‘t Is the season for end-of-year planning

And there we are, in the last week of the year. Time to get a nice, hot cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate (or, if you are around or south of the equator, maybe a nice glass of iced tea) and reflect. Now, I know, if you’re an author, you’ll probably feel like you’re procrastinating every time you stare into the distance. But it is exactly during reflection-time that things tend to fall into place. Ever get an epiphany (see, another seasonal joke) in the shower? Well, there you are. (Pro-tip: keep water-based felt-tips and crayons in the shower so you can write on walls and mirrors.) So, sit down with your beverage of choice and follow me on a journey to productivity. End of year planning, I promise, will help.

End of year reflections

I know that “the end of the year” is basically a human invention. And I know that marking December as the end of the year is a particular quirk of the Roman calendar. And the Chinese, for example, celebrate at another time. But you know what? That’s great. It doesn’t matter when you “start” your year, what matters is that you take a moment to look back and forwards. Back? Yes.

There’s a lot of steps to writing. And it’s often a lengthy and time-consuming business. Whenever you think you’re done, they just keep moving the line. Done with your initial research? Great, now you’ll have to write your entire text. Done writing? Awesome, now let’s get to editing. (Honestly, people often are disappointed to learn how long this editing process can take.) And with all these steps and tasks, it can be easy to overlook your achievements.

So this is the time of year where you can look back and reflect on all the things you have accomplished so far. Have you started your book? Finished a chapter? Did you publish blog posts or a journal article? Did you receive a book contract? Find the courage to start working on the edits someone else suggested? All of these are achievements. And they should be celebrated. Because if you only focus on the things that still need to be done, chances are that you’ll lose faith in your own abilities or feel discouraged to proceed with your project for a long list of reasons. So: what did you achieve this year? Raise your mug or glass to yourself and accept my respect and congratulations!

Next year’s goals

Yes, this one you probably expected: goalsetting. Now that you have reflected on last year’s achievements, you’ll probably have some ideas as to what you want to achieve next year. What is it you’ll want to celebrate? Do you want to finish your book? Find a publisher? Edit your work to perfection? Or finish writing articles or chapters? Make these goals for the new year. Set everything up so that you’ll have reasons to raise your glass one year from now.

But the end of year planning doesn’t end there. When you have set your goals, you can translate them into a plan. When do you want to achieve what goal? How much time do you need for every step of your process? How can you distribute your tasks over the next year so you don’t get overwhelmed? What is it that you want to learn or improve, and how will you go about developing this knowledge and these skills? What practical steps can you take and how much time will you have to make for it? Will you read books (if so, how many and which ones) or take an online course (which one, how much time do you need?)? These are all excellent questions to answer at the end of the year.

And this plan can be translated into monthly, weekly and daily tasks. What can you do each week to get closer to your goal? How much do you need to read, how much do you need to write? How many hours will you invest in online classes or the reading of blogs?

How I can help

There are a few ways in which I can help with your end of year planning process.

We can have a coaching session. As you can see in my price list, the first session is free. So why not use this free one-hour consult to set your goals and make a plan for the coming year? We can have a video chat to talk about your dreams for your project and translate these into an actionable plan. Just send me a message in the side bar and start a conversation!

Or you can go to my Etsy shop and check out my End of year reflection printable. This two-page worksheet will help you organize your thoughts to tranform your dreams into an actionable work plan!

End of year printable etsy