Well my friend, we are into the last quarter of 2021. How’s it been treating you? No, really. Not in the generic sense of when someone says, “how are you?” and you respond with, “I’m good!” How has 2021 really been for you so far?
I know we aren’t done yet, so what I’m about to say might feel premature. October is officially Quarter 4 and this is where you get to finish things up, but this is also the time to start planning ahead. If you TRULY want to be on top of your goals for 2022, the time to start the plan is now. I know most people don’t start until December or even January, but let’s talk real quick about why you shouldn’t.
Starting in December means that you’re competing with your holiday and rest time. This is usually when you get to connect with friends, enjoy all of your traditions, and just bask in the season. By the time January hits, you’ve already lost days. Wouldn’t it be easier to just get your 2022 plan done so that your mind is free and clear?
Part 1: Priorities
Let’s look at the major pieces of life (relationships, personal growth, health and wellness, finances, career, spiritual, home, and fun--feel free to add any categories you want!)
Take a piece of paper and fold it into 4 quadrants. Write Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 at the top as the titles for each quadrant (or if it’s easier for you, actually list the months. Or do both! It’s your plan boo!). Ok here’s where prioritization comes into play. You get to prioritize 1-3 of these areas each quarter. That’s it! You might have a category that extends in every quarter and that’s okay. You also might have a category that doesn’t show up at all for 2022. That doesn’t mean that it’s not important, just that it’s not your primary focus. It will definitely still be a part of your life.
Need an example? Here we go!
Let’s say my overall goal is to get out of debt. Once I figure out how much that is, I see that it’s going to take me most of the year to do so. This means that the finance category is going to be something that I’m going to write under each quadrant because I’ll need to plan and adjust as the year goes on.
Now, for health and wellness, I always drop off from working out over the holidays--it’s okay sis! I know who I am and I’ve accepted it! So I’m going to prioritize it for Q1 to get my routine back, but I know I’ll keep the routine afterwards so I don’t have to keep it for the other quarters.
In the home category, I’m actually going to deprioritize this fully. It won’t go on my plan at all because I love how my home is decorated, it’s fairly uncluttered (less that junk drawer we all have!), and there are no major repairs that need to be done. I’ll still do the daily cleaning that needs to happen to keep it tidy, but I don’t need to make a plan for this part of my life.
Got it? Yay! So do yours now!
Part 2: Goal-Setting
This part might be even harder than the prioritizing you just did. You get ONE goal for each category in your quadrants. That’s it. Just one. You’ve got to get super clear on what you’re doing and if you have 50 goals, it’s just not gonna work. Trust me. Been there, done that, didn’t reach the goals. So choose one specific goal for each. Using our example from above:
Financial: My Q1 goal might be to consistently make a budget for each pay period that includes an extra payment for my Visa card. Q2 might be to continue the budget, but also pay off the Visa card and then when it’s paid off, use the debt snowball method to pay off my personal loan. Q3, decide on an additional income stream and use that money to pay off my Mastercard. Q4, pay off my car
Health: For Q1, I’m going to work out 3x a week for an hour.
If you’re familiar with the SMART method, use that framework to make sure your goals are strong. And if you’re not familiar with it, there’s a ton of articles out there about it! Don’t sell yourself short on this one, be smart ;)
Part 3: Planning
Now the funnnn part! You have your categories and your goals, so now you need the strategies to get there! How are you going to make that budget? When will you make it? Are you doing pen and paper or are you going to use an app? When will you work out? At home, outside, or the gym? What kind of workouts will you do?
The goal is the what, the strategy is the how and when. Write the plan, make it plain!
Part 4: Tracking
I love tracking my goals. Love, love, love. You get to see yourself making progress and celebrate it! New research says it takes 66 days (not 21, SIXTY SIX) to build a habit so figure out your tracking system and put it in a place that will be ready for you come January. It can be as simple as a calendar where you mark off the days or it can be more advanced with a habit tracker sheet.
This method may feel new, but I promise that if you see it through, you will get results and progress in the ways you want in your life. This might take a few hours so settle in and get it done! Set the mood and treat this as your first opportunity to look into the future and DateYourselfGirl!