“There is nothing magical about January 1,” Lara Casey Isaacson, CEO, Cultivate What Matters.jan 1st

When I first read these words, I felt so relieved!  And now that we’re into February, I hope you find some relief too. I love December because everything seems to slow down just enough for me to squeeze in time for reflection, prayer and planning my year ahead. This past December was a bit different. Okay, very different. I did not want to forge new partnerships, make any money moves or set any goals without feeling God’s peace about it. At the start of 2018 I had not written down any goals until two weeks into the game. To be honest, I was stressed out about it. Who doesn’t have a plan when the game clock has started (not a sports fan, forgive me if this analogy failed)?! Now that we are in February, have you planned out your year? If not, please do not fret. I learned a few things that may help you.

My boss gifted me this amazing planning journal that challenged my approach to goal-setting. It was a gentle, faith-based approach to strategizing for the year. Speedy implementation is not always king. Intentional planning which leads to implementation is. I often rush to act so quickly that I leave no room for God to breathe His beautiful creativity and wisdom into my agenda.

Not much changed from what I originally thought were priorities, but my confidence in those priorities did. I knew with certainty that I was spending time on the most important things. Here are a few #majorkeys that I learned from this year’s planning experience. There is still time to set your goals for the year!

  • Take your time and take the pressure off. Remember that phrase, “There is nothing magical about  January 1st.” The world won’t stop spinning because your plan is imperfect. In fact, you will keep going. Leave room to set real, intentional goals instead of putting any ol’ thing on paper.
  • Relax, reflect, release. It can be difficult to reflect on what didn’t work last year. It may also be a little scary to consider everything you still have yet to accomplish. Don’t stress about it, instead reflect on the small and big wins you experienced. Use this as fuel to help you relax and release yourself from previous missteps to you can begin again.
  • Listen. Pray, meditate (sit silently and focus your attention) on God’s voice. Listen to your heart. Where is that inner voice guiding you? Slow down long enough to hear what you ought to do and make sure those things are actually important and necessary. I started with just 15 minutes of silence then writing my thoughts in a journal each morning. It made all the difference.
  • Simplify. You can do it all, but not at the same time. One of our 2017 Fit and Fab Weekend speakers Adrienne Lance Lucas [catch the minute highlight video] quoted this, and it really hit home for me. As Black-girl-magical as I think I am, I cannot do every single thing at once. Simplify and breakdown your goals into very, very simple steps. Then, spread them throughout the year.
  • Set one vision. I LOVE that in this planning process, Lara asks the reader to identify the one word that will guide your year. I have two (overachiever LOL). Advancement and Collaboration. The first was set by my local church and the latter I heard from in my heart after praying and journaling one morning. Everything that I do this year will be aligned around these two words.

So, now your turn to comment. What does your planning process look like? If you had to choose one (or two) words for this year, what would they be?

By the way, if you’d like to learn more about the planning journal I mentioned, you can find it herecultivate what matters pic2I’m pretty sure this particular book is sold out as of January 31st, but there are other versions and planning resources on the site. (Just so you know, this is an affiliate link, but I only share it because I think it’ll take your goal setting to the next level).

I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Instagram, I’ll follow you back.

Much Love!