How to Plan a Great Year

Make a list.

Have 35 items on that list. Have those 35 items be financial, personal, professional, and physical goals you want to achieve in a year.

Realize that a lot of those goals will happen anyway, without being listed, or are already in progress.

Decide that the satisfaction of crossing off those certainties doesn't compare to the satisfaction of having a more simple, manageable list.

Decide you really like being able to see that whole list without having to scroll down or flip the page.

Cut your yearly goal list down to 15 items.

Create a 101 in 1001 list, because you do really want to cross off those certainties or in-progress items anyway.

Migrate your 30 x 30 list into your 101 in 1001 list, effectively slashing your time to accomplish those remaining 30 items by a year.

Tag your 101 in 1001 list with items that are also on your 2016 goal list, because if it isn't a color-coded list, it's a useless list.

Create an additional document that itemizes every single thing you can anticipate in the next 12 months.

Color code this list too. Red is for hopeful, orange is for probable, black is for definite.

Assess your monthly budget. Make a copy for each month of the new year.

Decide to format something differently in your January budget. Have to duplicate the new budget 11 more times.

Do this again. Two more times.

Create a spreadsheet for your races and mileage in 2016. Try to plan two pre-training training plans.

Decide to make another list that breaks things down only slightly differently.

Realize you're being ridiculous and delete this list.

Repeat at least once more.

Take five deep breaths.

Decide to plan your year by quarters instead.

Realize that the last two years were incredible and life-changing in so many ways. Think about what percentage of those life-changing events were planned in advance, and which ones came to be organically and with the help of the people and experiences that enrich your life.

Decide to relax, as best you can, and look forward to what already promises to be a great year.


  1. Love this - I like that you said make sure it's something you don't have to flip over!! Every month I'm listing 5 things that I want to get done..if it doesn't get done it rolls over into the next month! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. Such a great list and a great outlook on getting it all done :)!

  3. hahahaha list, short list, then delete and make list again. yep, sounds familiar!

  4. I wish life was like a video game and achievements were displayed so you could run through them or punch them like Sonic or Mario. Obviously I've never played video games so I don't even know if that analogy works, but you get the idea :)

  5. This is one-million percent how I see things going for you when you tell me you're already planning into 2017. The last 3 sentences are the truth. No way did I plan for many of the things that came my way, and even at some times I cursed the things I had to do that resulted in changing my life forever. Embrace spontaneity and the undeniable beauty of 'now'.

    However, meeting you in 2016 is triple-coded with red, orange and black. Underlined for emphasis. <3

  6. The biggest thing that helps me in those moments when I panic over needing to plan and do everything RIGHT NOW is looking back at all the things that didn't work out when I thought they would, but that worked out anyway. And same with your last paragraph, I think about all the things I didn't plan that have worked out better than anything I ever could have planned. I'm learning to trust the world around me and the people in it to help me have new experiences. It's not all on me to make sure that I have a rich and fulfilled life, and that is really freeing.

  7. This is such a great Idea. I am a planner freak and I love making lists. Thanks for the great tips ♥

  8. I've not really thought about looking back on experiences and looking at what was planned vs what just happened, but that's such a good idea and has me thinking so much now. I wish sooo much that I was someone more motivated by crossing things out on a list, but I'm not... I'm more likely to lose the list or just throw it away, haha. But I do want to make a 30 by 30 list... eventually :)

    ps. loving your new sidebar picture!

  9. Love this! Especially "delete that list". Yup.

  10. Hahaha this is almost exactly the same for me too! Minus the spreadsheets and running/workout goals. It's a process lol.

  11. I'm with you! Delete, repeat, delete, repeat, deep breaths. Over and over!

  12. Haha! I got a kick out of this. I do the same thing, to the point where I have to wonder if maybe my organization gets in the way of my actually getting things done. :P

  13. LOL I am a total sucker for color coding anything and everything. :)
    You're so right... there are so many things that we can't plan for. I've noticed that sometimes they're the best things of them all. :)

  14. Beautiful post! The type A planner in me laughed at writing a million lists.. because I totally do that! haha.

  15. I love this! I am all about those attainable goals, which is exactly why I haven't bothered to make insane resolutions for the year, but rather set goals that can easily roll into the following month if needed. Flexibility this year is going to be key for me and I'm going to embrace that as best as I can :) xo

  16. hahahaha love this. i love to plan, but you are right, when you look back at what things were amazing and not planned, it does make you want to cut back a bit on the planning. hope 2016 is a great year for you :)

  17. Hell YES! haha I love this because I can see you doing all of these things as I'm reading it. I am kind of making my list as I think of them, that way they kind of are organic. I mean 'hot chocolate at Serendipity' was on there last year too but the probability of it happening in the next few months is ideal.

  18. So ambitious. My goal for the year: Make it through. Rinse and repeat.

  19. Delete the list sounds like a perfect plan hahaha. So excited to see what 2016 has in store for us!!!!


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