Lockdown–Start Your New-Year Planning with This Essential Tool

Start Your New-Year Planning with This Essential Tool

Happy New Year everyone!

How did you start your new year? I’ve been busy all day purging and cleaning and organizing! Some of it was from the holidays and some of it was “incompletions” and long-standing to do’s I’ve been wanting/meaning to get to. Boy, does it ever feel so good to have a majority of those things taken care of! I’m so happy those things cleared from my energy and not bring the heaviness and disruption of it into this new year.

As a business owner (or aspiring one), I hope you took some time today/this weekend to review last year and start planning for this year. I have been doing this for the past few weeks and will continue when I meet with my business coach in a couple of weeks for our MasterMind retreat.

When I finally got smart and hired my first business coach (this should be a priority for you this year if you don’t have one), she taught me one essential planning tool right away that I implemented and has made a huge difference for me in my planning and organizing of my time and events.

What is this “magical” planning tool?

A Year-At-A-Glance Wall Calendar.

Below is my one from last year, all marked up, and hanging above my desk for easy glancing and writing.

Below is my one fresh one waiting to receive my planned activities or ideas for the new year.

Here are some tips for purchasing and using the Year at a Glance calendar:

1. Purchase from an office supply store like Office Depot, Office Max, Staples (about $25).

2. Get one that looks just like this (you can also find in “landscape” size, if having it horizontal versus vertical works best for your wall space). Make sure it has all 12 months on one side and large squares for writing in. Mine has some planning space on the other side, but since I have it on the wall, I never use that side.

3. Get one that is laminated and erasable. You can either use dry-erase or wet-erase markers (I recommend wet-erase because it doesn’t smudge as easily as the dry-erase ones).

4. I recommend getting at least 4 different colored markers. I use different colors to code different events.

  • Speaking engagements and Events
  • Networking events
  • Educational events for myself (training, telecalls, calls/meetings with my coaches & mastermind partners)
  • Marketing/promotional events (like teleclasses you are promoting and running, a product launch and marketing activities, the days your blogs/newsletters are due)
  • Other (like dates your taxes or other important bills are due, or other business-related events/activities that don’t fall into the other categories)
  • Personal (I put both my business activities and my personal activities on the same calendar to make sure I don’t get into conflicts between the two; remember, you have to have a life outside of your business! [And if you don’t you definitely need a coach]).

5. Include a short description, time, and even location

6. Start off by filling in recurring events, for example, your weekly/monthly networking meetings. I know all my scheduled times with my coach and mastermind group for the rest of the year so I will fill those in, too. I also like to put important peoples’ birthdays on my calendar. If you plan vacations at certain times, go ahead and fill those in, too.

7. Once you’ve done that, you can hang it on the wall (I used to use BluTack, which is like sticky putty that you can find in most stationery isles but now I find it’s better to use velcro–one side sticks to the back of the calendar and the other side sticks to the wall). Make sure it’s someplace easily accessible so you can write on it as you set up new events or projects.