Today is my birthday and it's inspired me to share my yearly breakdown. No, not a mental one, that happens way more than yearly, but how I break down my once a year tasks.
Many people do this in January. They do ALL of it in January, ALL in one go and it becomes way too much. The other downside to doing it in January is that here in the UK the weather isn't great and our energy isn't usually very high. It's also quite a bit of work to review, plan and execute, which is why I not only split it up, but I also do it at quieter times of the year and when it is more suitable for my life.
Below Is how I break up my yearly reviews and goal setting work, but you might have other bits you want to include or have better times you could do them. Simply use this as some inspiration for your own breakdown and don't let it influence you into something that isn't right for you.
March (a.k.a. my birthday month) - Reflection - This is about assessing how everything is working overall, how I am feeling and how am I showing up in the world. Do my core values still feel right and am I happy with how my goals are progressing. While this isn't the halfway mark from when I start my yearly goals, it is the time that is best suited. I'm a lot more productive in the warmer months of late spring and summer, so I don't really want to be pausing and reflecting then. It also means that if I need to adjust my goals for the year I haven't lost 6 months. I do my goal work in November, so they will have had plenty of time to settle in, but I will still have plenty of time to work on any adjustments that I choose to make. I will also get my spring/summer clothes and other bits (paddling pool) out at this point and make sure everything is mended and fullying working.
April - Spring Clean - While not exactly self-development, I do like to have a little home reset twice a year. I deep clean my house on an 8 weekly rotation, but I will use this as a time to check I haven't been missing anything, make any simple repairs and maybe touch up some paintwork. I will also do my 3 home overview lists (these are discussed more in the Let's Get Organised course and audios in the membership, which launches in the next few weeks). Simply put I write a list of repairs needed, a list of functionality issues and an aesthetics wishlist for my home. I do this again in December.
May - Health & Fitness - While my general aim is to avoid extremes and feel general fit and healthy, I do love trying new things and taking on fitness challenges. These are usually charity/fundraising-related. I find it much easier to make changes to my food and workouts in the summer months so deciding what (if any) changes I want to make and starting them is much better done in May. This gives me a good few months to make it a consistent habit before the weather gets cold and yucky.
September (Once term time has fully started) - Reset - This last September I hosted one of my resets over on Clubhouse and the recaps can still be found in the video section of my Instagram.
My reset includes:
1. Gratitude for what has been in the past 12 months.
2. Making sure my long term and weekly todo list system is still working
3. Listing habits I want to stop and start.
4. Review or set up a morning routine.
5. Review or set up an evening routine.
6. Resetting your physical space. Declutter the seasonal, (what hasn’t been used this spring/summer), what needs repairing/replacing (it's a great time to buy replacements as people will be selling off secondhand instead of storing over winter). Make sure everything is ready to be put away at the end of the month. I don't put away anything damaged.
7. Goals for the next 3 months.
November - Goal Setting and Life Vision - This is when I will do the "big stuff" around goal setting. I start by clearing out my Trello boards (the app I use for my long-term to-do lists and goals). I will check in with my bucket list, life affirmation goals and review each of the categories of my life for the things that aren't serving me. Chances are you will have a few things bouncing around your head, including some decisions to make and I use this as my deadline for making these kinds of decisions.
I will set my goals for the year, both personal and professional. I then will also break them down into manageable chunks and set deadlines for most of them. Over the last few years, I have actually phased out my 5-year goals and 10-year goals list. I wanted a little more flow to my life. I keep a list going on my Trello for next year and the year after, where I can brain dump any ideas and long term purchase goals go onto my shopping wish list (such as a camper). I just felt like the 5/10 year goals list weren't authentic to who I am and how I want to live my life. Things change so fast and I do want to have too many preconceived ideas about how I want my life to turn out. Working a year or so ahead is plenty for me, but you do you. There is no right or wrong here.
I also set my New Years' Resolutions in November so I can start working towards them over December ready to fit the ground running in January. I actually quite like the concept, but I set a few boundaries around them.
Nothing health or fitness related
Nothing that is a consistent lifestyle change
Very specific and tick-off-able
Must have an element of fun or gamification
Nothing that contradicts my core values or life goal affirmations.
This year my resolutions were:
To read 12 books in 12 months.
Paint my desk.
Paint my kitchen bookcase.
Complete my vegan nutritionist course.
I will complete a life balance chart and these are available in the Downloadables section of the membership and select my word/theme for the year. Lastly, I will update or redo my vision board.
I like to have this all done and dusted before the 30th of November, as this is when the Christmas decoration go up.
December - I massively limit anything, not Christmas related during this month. But I will do a mini-version of my April spring clean. I find this a good time as I have items I only use for Christmas, I often move furniture around for the tree and other bits, plus I get lots out of the loft. Simply put, it is a time of year when I get to see things I usually don't. But I keep it brief and essential only.
That's it. Well, it might sound like a lot, but it really isn't as much as it seems when you are actually doing it. Plus, year on year it feels less and less. Now you are a couple of months into the year, why not hit pause and do a little review and map out your own yearly breakdown.
Both the September and November work will be happening within the membership this year and I can't wait to work with you on this. Embracing my theme for the year (FLOW), I have set a goal date and a stretch goal date for opening the membership up. My goal date is 1st May and my stretch goal is 18th March. This first group of Beta testers are in now and I've already ironed out a few kinks. If you are an email list member, you will be the first to hear about the doors opening and it would only be fair to offer you a little discount, as many of you have been with me for years and years!
When it first opens there will only be two payment options (pay for a single month or pay for 3 months). There will be no rolling contracts to start with. A single month is £19 and 3 months is £36. The door opens on the 18th March 2022 (a special date for me). As a little early sign-up offer you can grab your first 3 months for just £27, you'll lock in your first rolling subscriptions of £9 a month (when this launches later this year ) and those who take it up will also get a Founding Family badge on their membership account. I can't lie, I'm super excited for this, which has been about 4 years in the making and there is so much amazing stuff in there already. If you are on my email list there is also an extra bonus coming your way.
Anyway, Happy Birthday to me and I'll catch up with you soon.
Ta Ta for now.