Planning your next year without organizing these first is a recipe for disaster.
December can be very scary.
It makes you realize how quickly another year has flown by. Sometimes it makes you realize how little you are doing with your life. While at other times, it makes you realize how awesome of a job you did this year.
Which one of these realizations you have, depends on what you did throughout the year, and, more importantly, how did you plan ahead in the prior year.
Because of this, here are two of the most important things you can do every December:
- Reflecting on the current year
- Planning the next year
It’s through reflection and planning that you make sure that the best year of your life is still ahead of you.
To get the best value out of these two processes, you want to make sure there are a couple of things you have organized well. Without good organization, it’s very difficult to both reflect and plan.
So, let us look at 5 things or areas of your life that you want to organize before starting the next year.
There’s this beautiful quote from Seneca:
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
And here’s another from Plato:
No wealth can ever make a bad man at peace with himself.
Money is important. Very important. The lack of it can make you miserable in life. However, an excess of it, cannot make you the happiest in the world either.
The best thing money can buy you is financial freedom. Reaching financial freedom has always been my main goal.
I am not someone who buys a ton of things. I am usually very content with what I have. As long as I know that I have enough saved up to last me for a couple of years and I have some source of income that’s paying my bills, I am happy.
For a lot of us, that is enough. For others, money is a tool to go out there and buy materialistic possession after possession, until your wallet bleeds dry.
I don’t know which side you are on, but, whichever it is, it’s important to know about your financial health.
Before entering the new year, go and do a self-audit of all your bank accounts, investment accounts, and any other assets you might have.
It’s important to know where you are right now before planning how much you want to make the next year. It can also be very eye-opening and make you realize if the lifestyle you have right now is sustainable or not.
It’s important to reflect on meaningful relationships that you have in your life.
Look back at the year and see which people you have made the best memories with. Remind yourself of the people who were there for you when you needed them the most. Write down the relationships that truly mean something to you.
When it comes to people in our lives, it’s very easy to take them for granted. I learned it the hard way. You come to just expecting them to stay in your life. You stop tending to the relationship and investing in it.
Instead, write down the relationships that matter to you. Later, invest the time and energy needed in them to make them even better in the future. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your partner, best friend, or family — the same applies to all.
There’s this beautiful quote by Seneca:
People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.
All of us have the same 24 hours every day. How we spend these hours will determine where we end up in life.
Organize your schedule. It doesn’t matter whether you use a digital tool like Google Calendar or a physical planner. What matters is that you are using something to schedule things in your life.
One year is a long time to figure out if a particular schedule works for you. Look back at the year and see which parts of it you were your best self and what schedule was working for you then.
Be proactive about it and stay on top of your schedule. The end of the year is the perfect time to clean up your calendar and plan for things ahead.
I mostly write about productivity. So, of course, you were already expecting to see this point!
Jokes aside though, productivity systems are best studied at the end of the year. Similar to your schedule, you have had one year to use your existing productivity system. Does it work for you? Only you can answer that.
Bring all components of your system together — calendar, task manager, habit tracker, note-taking app, gadgets, items, etc. Reflect on every one of them. Do they work well together? Can you simplify it? Or do you need a totally new one?
The answer most probably depends on how your year was. If you didn’t have a good productivity system, most probably you didn’t have a good year either, productivity-wise at least.
The end of the year is the perfect time for you to organize this so that you can plan ahead with an even better productivity system to help you get everything done.
We spend huge parts of our lives digitally.
Whether watching Netflix, playing Playstation, browsing through photos, wasting time on TikTok and Instagram, writing digital notes, attending video calls, or listening to music — lots of what we do today are done on the other side of a screen.
It’s important to make sure we keep our digital life organized.
Most of us use our phones and laptops way more than we spend without them either by ourselves or when with friends and families. Especially, our phones nowadays know much more about us than we know about ourselves.
Our phones can be our biggest distraction or biggest productivity tool. So can our other devices, such as laptops and iPads. Because of that, it becomes crucial that these devices are set up for our success.
I would recommend doing the following to organize your digital life:
- Unsubscribe from unnecessary email newsletters
- Organize your files
- Declutter your photos
- Change your phone setup
- Delete apps you don’t use anymore
- Inspect your social media usage
- Think critically about your information diet
The list above is definitely not exhaustive. I have another blog post coming soon to help you develop a detailed plan.
I hope you found this a valuable read and have some takeaways that you can go ahead and implement in your wonderful lives.
If you enjoyed the content and want to support me, please consider doing the following: