I’m Skipping New Year’s Resolutions And Creating a Life Plan Instead

The new year is the perfect time to reflect and reset. In my opinion, New Year’s resolutions are a thing of the past. Typically, they’re too broad, and without clear, actionable steps resolutions are doomed to fail. Now, people are swapping resolutions for a single word (or two) to anchor the upcoming year. People are creating lists of “more this” and “less that” actions. Personally, I’m doing a bit of both, and I’ve honestly never felt more excited or invigorated to see how this all plays out in 2023. 

My Word of the Year

My word for the year is discomfort. I’ve written about this topic before, and after a lot of reflection, I realized I wasn’t taking my own advice. This word is helping me focus on how I use my time as well as how I respond to others. 

First, with the arrival of Luca, my time is even more valuable, and I have significantly less of it to myself. I realized I needed to lean into the discomfort of getting up earlier and structuring my days better so I have more me time and more time to get things done.

Here are the actions I’m taking for Q1:

  1. Get up at 6am 5x / week
    • 25-minutes of alone time to read, journal, and start my day
    • 25-minutes to knock out a few household tasks
  2. Complete tasks on specific days of the week
    • Formerly, I was doing a little bit of everything while Luca napped. I’d try to create content, catch up on emails, do laundry, wash dishes, etc. anytime I had a spare minute. Because I was never focused on one task for more than 15-20 minutes, I constantly felt behind. 
    • Now, I’m time-blocking and assigning tasks to specific days of the week. 

Second, the word discomfort is a vulnerable word for me. I’ve realized that I am completely uncomfortable when I can tell people are frustrated or annoyed by me (when I say people, I mean my husband). FWIW, this intolerance is different from needing to be liked. I truly don’t care if people like me or don’t like me, but if I feel like I’ve done something “wrong” to someone I deeply love and care about, I struggle.

Here’s what I keep reminding myself of. It’s completely normal (and healthy) for someone to be annoyed and frustrated by something I do, don’t do, or say. Just like I can be annoyed or frustrated by a person or situation. It has nothing to do with how I feel about them or their character. It’s a moment and it will pass. It’s not something we need to unpack. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. 

My action step is to notice when this is happening, and to come back to my word of the year, so I can give myself and A space and grace in the moment. 

Creating a Life Plan

The Full Focus Planner was a game-changer for me last year. Michael Hyatt shared how he created a Life Plan and revisits it quarterly. You can read more about it here, but here’s what I’m doing so I have clear, actionable steps tied to goals for 2023. 

  1. Define Your Outcomes
  2. Establish Your Priorities
  3. Create Your Action Plans 

First, you begin with the end in mind. Think about how you want to be remembered by the people who matter most. 

Second, establish your priorities. Michael Hyatt refers to these as accounts that you make deposits into or withdrawals from. Here are mine:

  • God
  • Self (mental and physical)
  • Andrew
  • Friends 
  • Family
  • Career
  • Finances

Third, you create action plans within each priority. You jot down what the idealized version of this account looks like. You should be able to answer the question, “What does my best look like in this category’? From there, you get brutally honest about the current status of that account. Then, you write down action steps that will help you get to the best version of you in that category. 

My Life Plan is nearly complete, and I’ve already implemented several of my action steps. I’m going to schedule a couple of hours each quarter to revisit my life plan. I’ve also shared my life plan and action steps with Andrew and a couple of close friends to hold me accountable. 

Whether you choose a word of the year, create lists, or write a life plan, remember to have clear action steps. Find ways to hold yourself accountable whether it’s sharing your intentions with a loved one or putting time on your calendar to reflect on your progress and make adjustments for the next month or quarter. 

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