It’s almost 2019! Which means…time to plan for a new year! I LOVE PLANNING as much as Buddy the Elf loves Santa. I loooooooooooooove it. I know you can go to 504,258 different places on the internet to read about goal setting for the new year.
I hope that there’s something here that will help you plan your best year ever, a year that’s filled with purpose, clarity, and peace as you travel down the path that God has for you.
I’m so tickled to share my process with you. I believe that goal setting is all about transformation. We make goals and plans for the new year because when December 31 rolls around, we want to be better versions of ourselves, right? And in order for that to happen, transformation has to occur.
This meme sums it all up:
Choose A WOTY
So how do we move from living the same year over and over, to being transformed into the person God intends for us to be? I think it can start with identifying a word of the year.
A word of the year – WOTY – is a word that is your focus for the entire year. It can be anything from a character trait you’re hoping to develop, or an attribute of God you’d like to study.
I take the process of choosing my WOTY seriously. I pray and listen for God’s leading until I’m 100% certain about the word – the focus – that He wants me to have for the next 12 months. I don’t want just a good word, I want a God-word.
Why a WOTY?
Listen. I can only speak for myself here, but having a WOTY turns my good intentions into growth.
My 2019 goals are all centered around that word, which means things are intentional. Purposeful. Not just a random goal that sounds good on January 1st and that I’ve forgotten about by February 5, but something I’m constantly studying, working toward, striving for, and sharpening in every area of my life.
My WOTY is the common thread that runs through every facet of my life – spiritual, emotional, physical, homeschooling, parenting – it’s the theme that binds them all together and gives me a razor-sharp focus for growth.
Last week I shared how my 2018 WOTY transformed my life. God can use our WOTY’s to do great things in our hearts and lives.
Once you have your WOTY – plan your planning day!
Plan A Planning Day
This doesn’t have to happen on January 1. And you don’t even have to make arrangements to leave your house. I usually lock myself in our bedroom for a few hours (when Mr. Cozy House is home to keep an eye on the kids, of course 😉 ) for some uninterrupted planning time.
If you do want to make a day of it, pack up your gear and head to a coffee shop, or even a friend’s house. Last year, I was able to get away with a friend for a few hours to plan. We camped out in her family’s unoccupied rental house and planned to our heart’s content. Think outside the box to come up with a quiet location.
This year, getting out of the house in order to plan the year probably won’t happen, so I’m going to make it an enjoyable time at home. I’m planning to get some nice chocolates to snack on, some fancy hot cocoa to sip, and some new markers to write with. Picking up a few new things makes the process a little more special.
Must-Haves for Planning Your Best Year
A few supplies you may want to have on hand when you sit down to plan your best year:
I always like to start my planning time with prayer and Bible study.
You’ll want a place to write down all your plans and goals for the year. I find it handy to have a calendar handy, also.
Because color makes planning more fun.
Helpful books/resources – i.e. The Life Giving Home
The Life Giving Home is my road map for my yearly planning session. Sally Clarkson gives awesome advice on how to first “declutter your soul,” as she calls it – mentally evaluate your previous year, identify your goals and priorities for the upcoming year, and identify new routines you’d like to establish.
Map Out Your Plan
This is the fun part! Grab your planner/journal and markers, and get ready to jot down ALL THE THINGS. It’s time to make our plans for 2019!
I call this my map for the year. I put it inside the cover of my journal, so that I can refer to it all.the.time. Find a safe, easy to access spot. Writing it in an obscure place won’t do you any good – put it somewhere you’ll see often, where you can be frequently reminded about your goals.
Maybe it would work best for you to hang it somewhere visible – on your fridge or at your desk. Whatever works! This is your map for 2019. I want you to WEAR IT OUT.
I start by really getting to know my WOTY. I look up the definition (l like to use the 1828 Websters dictionary online), and I write down it’s synonyms and antonyms. I want to know the specifics of that word. I want to know what it is AND what it isn’t. I write all that down at the top of my map.
I also search for Bible verses that include my word, verses that I can meditate on and memorize throughout the year. I also like to identify one verse to be my scripture focus for the year.
Have you heard of mind mapping? That’s basically what we’re going to be doing here. I put my WOTY in the middle of my page. (This is my map from 2017 – it’s easier to see than my map from last year. 🙂 )
I designate the different areas of my life that I want to focus on for the year. Mine usually include: spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, and homeschool. And I section off the page for each of these areas.
Then the goal brainstorming begins. How will my WOTY inspire transformation in each of these categories?
For 2019, my WOTY is delight. I’m a naturally melancholy person, so I’m a little nervous – God might have some crazy things in store for me this year. Eeeeeek.
So when I have my planning day for 2019 (in two days!!!!!! YAAAAAAYY!!!!), I’ll ask myself questions like this:
- How can I delight in my husband this year?
- How can I delight in my children this year?
- What can I do in the area of self-care that will bring me delight?
- What areas do I need to grow in spiritually so that I can more fully delight in the life God has given me?
- What routines do we need to establish in our home that will make it a delightful environment?
- What are some activities/outings/adventures that would bring delight to our family this year?
- How can I delight more fully in who God is?
- What books can I read to help me dive deeper into the theme of “delight?”
What areas do you feel led to focus on? A relationship with a loved one? Making healthier choices? Growing stronger in a certain discipline?
You may want to journal your thoughts out on paper. Pour out your fears, hopes, ambitions, frustrations as you write. Sometimes that release of words onto paper helps me pinpoint heart issues that I didn’t even realize I needed to work on. Examine what God reveals to you with an open heart and mind. Transformation can’t happen unless we are open and honest with Him and ourselves.
Envision the atmosphere you want in your family and home, and build goals around that vision. For each area of my life, I try to identify three goals. I KNOW I will not accomplish all those goals, but it’s a good place to start.
To finish up the planning process, I generally just spend some time making lists. I make a list of books I know I want to read. I make a TOP TEN goals list – the top ten most important things that I hope to accomplish, the most important things that God lays on my heart for the year. I make a list of family activities that we may be able to squeeze in throughout the upcoming months.
The most important thing I want to encourage you in is this: invite God to guide your planning day, and your best year. He wants us to grow and mature, and He wants to help us. I’ll have a post on how to keep yourself accountable to your WOTY coming soon! (UPDATE: you can find that post here!)
I hope and pray that 2019 is your best year yet.
Do you choose a Word of the Year? Tell me in the comments!