My 2018 Master Plan – Setting Goals for the New Year
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Resolutions Fail Me
I love the new year. This time of year is full of fresh beginnings and excitement of things to come. But one thing that has never worked for me is the practice of setting New Year’s Resolutions. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I can never seem to keep them up for even a week, let alone the full year. It’s always a bit of a disheartening start to the year. That’s why this year, I decided to try something a bit different by creating my 2018 Master Plan.
This is a spread is from my 2018 setup but I hope it can still serve to help inspire you as you prepare for the new year. If you’d like more inspiration you can check out my other new year spreads:
To me, resolutions have always been a promise to do something every day or so many times a week. For example, I would resolve to exercise two times a week or draw four days a week. I was promising myself that I would start a habit right away – without taking into account that habits take months of hard work to fully cement into place. And I would always set three, four, or sometimes even more resolutions all at once. It’s no wonder I never succeeded! That’s asking a whole lot of myself when I struggle to start and maintain a single habit for an extended period.
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- Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
Break it Down
Instead of trying to sucker punch myself into starting a myriad of new habits right at the beginning of January, I decided this year I would work smarter and not harder. I’m already focusing on habits all the time – I even have a full section devoted to habits in my 2018 bullet journal setup. In my 2018 Master Plan, I decided to set myself milestones for every month of the year.
None of these individual milestones should take more than five to thirty hours of work in a month (or roughly 730 hours a year), that’s not that bad! A few sessions of devoted work should have me knocking out my monthly goals without breaking a sweat.
Time Marches On
The reason I decided to format my 2018 Master Plan around one valuable goal each month is that I am a victim of time. I talk about it a bit more in my 2018 thumbnail calendar post, but essentially, I have a horrible concept of time. I am often startled when I find myself in a new month, and my big goals keep getting pushed forward as a result. Subscribe to get access to 40+ pages of printables, brush lettering worksheets, and more!
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If I have one preplanned goal laid out at the beginning of the year in my 2018 Master Plan, then I will be able to keep an eye on those slippery goals and grab them before the month disappears behind me. Like I said before, none of these goals will consume my month. Because they are not massive goals, I find it easy to say, “later” and focus on more pressing business. Keeping them safely tucked in my 2018 Master Plan gives me a point of reference as well as a deadline for each one, so I don’t slip.
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My 2018 Master Plan
I set up my 2018 Master Plan with the simplest layout. At the top of the page, I lettered out the spread header with watercolors (which you can learn how to do right here). I created six sections on one page and six on the next for each month. After I lettered out the months with my fude brush pen, I sat down and thought up one goal for each month, though I did add a few tiny tag along goals. Easy enough, right?
In 2018, I want to focus on creation. I’ve had a blast growing this site and working on creating posts, and I want to push my creation into overdrive in the new year. New digital freebies, printables, courses, and videos are in the works. I’m also excited to start focusing my attention on physical products like stickers and art prints.
For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’ve set a reasonable goal for myself. No longer am I trying to push myself into a habit that I’m ill prepared for. Instead, I can slowly lead myself to victory with my 2018 Master Plan for what I hope is a stunning victory. Each month will be a challenge, but totally within my grasp if only I reach for it. And that’s one amazing feeling to have at the start of 2018.
Check out all of my posts about planning for the new year!
I’ve found that one of the best reasons for exploring some kind of master plan is to make sure I don’t get swept up in what everyone else thinks would be a great idea for me to do! While I’m still working on “it’s okay to say no, thank you” knowing where I feel like I’d like to end up in a year or two years, or what my overall life intentions are, helps me make the smaller decisions throughout the year.
This is a really great point Barbara! It really does help with saying no to the things that won’t help you get where you want to be.
I came here looking for inspiration to start setting goals for new year and I see how good it is to have every goal simply written down. I’m starting the new year with a master plan like yours.
It makes a world of difference that’s for sure! Enjoy, Mike 🙂
inspiring article, keep it up!
Happy new year
Thanks so much Esraa! Here’s to another new year. ?
Great inspiring post! Can’t wait to start my new year 🙂
Thanks so much Ana! Happy New Year
I will be adding this spread to my bullet journal, giving myself one goal a month sounds great. I want to build on the first of the year to the end with and that should rocket me from a partime job to full-time business owner. Thanks for the idea.
Glad to hear this post has been helpful for you Cecilia!
Mmmm yummy colors, so pretty!
I made one New Years resolution I have kept… not to make any more resolutions. However towards the end of last year I decided to take another crack at keeping a bullet journal and that I was sick and tired of being a hoarder.
I just had my last session with my organisers today. How about that for timing? I was actually able to stop adding to my hoard back in July, it just took time to get rid of the actual hoard. My bullet journal literally changed my life.
Now my theme is going to be self-care. Hoarders generally are terrible at that. That includes everything from cleaning my newly uncluttered house to occasionally painting my nails. HUGE topic. I knew I would have to break it down into small, bite sized chunks. What excellent timing for your Master Plan post! I am using the time left in this year to set up my 2018 bujo, and add a little bit of color for the new year.
SO glad to hear this post was timely for you Renae!
THIS makes MUCH more sense. Thanx for sharing. Your journal is so pretty!
Thanks for reading Joyce!
Love this idea! I am like you, I often find myself shocked to be looking at a new month already. I think this would make sense for me.
I would love to hear what you think if you try it, Elizabeth!
This watercolor is beautiful!!!! 🙂 Love the blue and green 🙂