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How to Plan Your Year Ahead

Updated on October 4, 2014
Planning Your Year with a vision board
Planning Your Year with a vision board

Planning a Successful Year

It is easier said than done but planning can help you set your goals and finally work on those new year's resolutions.

To plan a successful year does not only include planning your finances but it also involves creating a balance between your career and personal life.

A successful year is one that has balance in a social life, career and family life too.

It doesn't help working hard to get that promotion if what you really want is to have a family because while you are working on the one, you are forgetting about the other.

How do you plan a year for success financially with a balance in your personal life too?

Vision Boards will Motivate You

Make a wish list to inspire you
Make a wish list to inspire you

Make a list of what you would like to see happen this year

We all have dreams and goals but many of us leave it there. Making a list is easy but achieving what is on the list is the hard part.

The first list you need to make is your dream list. This includes things that you would like to see happen in the year ahead.

It can be anything from wanting a promotion to having a baby. While you write down these dreams don't think of the possibilities just think of what you would really love to see happen in this year.

A dream list is exactly that, dreams and aspirations that you would love to see realised so don't be afraid to write down anything that you want to see happen.

If it is an overseas holiday, a baby, a wedding, a promotion, a new car, a home etc, write it down.

What is on your bucket list?
What is on your bucket list?

Planning is Important

Once you have made your dream list, you now have to decide which one you would really love to achieve this year. Pick one for now and you can work on the others one by one.

Whatever you have on your list is important to YOU and only YOU can make it happen!

The first step to achieving your goal is to plan ahead so that you know where you are going and what you have to do to achieve your goals.

Don't let anyone tell you that it is stupid, in fact, don't tell anyone about your list until you have achieved at least one goal.

For you to start on your list, you need to know where it is that you are going and you can only know that if you plan.

People say that you can't always plan ahead but it does help.

If you would like to have a baby then planning is important because you need to work out how much a baby will cost you, you need to be physically prepared, which means you have to discuss it with your partner, get off the pill and start taking folic acid etc. These are all things that have to be planned in order for you to achieve this goal.

A work promotion takes many extra hours and you might have to sacrifice some social or family time in order to achieve that goal. Planning for the promotion could mean that you need to study, shadow someone at work with more experience but whatever it is, you need to plan for it.

Buying a house is also something that takes time and planning. Finances need to be looked at and you need to understand what is involved when buying a home.

Everything can be achieved if you plan for it and work hard at getting it.

The only way that you cn make your wishes come true is to make a list that you can visually see to remind you that THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT NOW!

Look at Your Finances

Once you have made your wish list, you need to work out a way to make it happen. Having a look at your projected finances for the year could be a big help because this way, you can see how much harder you have to work at reaching your goals.

Don't look at the list and think that it is not possible because it is possible!

Projected financials can make things a lot easier for you as you can see where to cut expenses or where you will need to find extra money.

Just remember that you will have at least one thing on your wish list achieved in this year and you have to make it happen, whether it means sacrificing your dinners out to get what you want, working extra hours to get more money or finding a way to achieve that goal.

Projected financials makes life easier to plan
Projected financials makes life easier to plan

How to Make a Projected Financials List

Write down all of your monthly expenses such as electricity, telephone, rent, car payments, groceries and every little expense that you have on a monthly basis.

Work out what other overheads you have during the year; school fees or a yearly membership fee, service for your car etc. Also add in an amount for unexpected expenses because that happens in everyone's life at some stage throughout the year.

Add up your monthly expenses and calculate what that would be for the entire year.

Don't exclude anything and make sure that you write it all down so that you can go back to it to see where you can make a change to achieve something on your wish list.

Realistic Earnings List

Making this list is easy if you get a monthly income but if you don't receive a monthly income you need to estimate what you would likely earn each month.

Be realistic with the income and add in only what you come out with at the end of every month.

If you get a bonus at the end of the year right it down but you will not be including this into your earnings as this is the money that you should keep for the unexpected expenses that you might occur during the year.

Don't work out what you could be earning but what you actually do get otherwise it will cloud your decisions or disappoint you when you need to reach that goal.

Be honest, be realistic as it is only you that will get to see this list anyway.

Be realistic when thinking of finances
Be realistic when thinking of finances

Make Your Wishes Come True!

Make it happen!
Make it happen!

Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

Now that you have done your wish list, projected expenses and realistic earnings reports, you will have to go back to your wish list and have a look at whick one you would ideally love to achieve this year.

Once you have decided on what that will be you need to research how you will be able to achieve that goal in this year.

Firstly, you need to see how much it will cost you. If it is an overseas holiday that you have chosen then you need to work out exactly how much it will cost you and you need to find out if it is possible to put down a deposit at a travel agent.

Once you have established how much your dream will cost, you then need to look at your finances and see how far off you are at achieving your goal.

Can you cut down on any of your monthly expenses?

Do you need to find extra income to achieve your goal?

How would you find extra income?

These are a few questions that you have to answer but you MUST find a way!

Whether you need to work extra hours, sell an old car or cut down on expenses, sacrifice something that you love for the entire year, do it!

Are You Ready to Achieve Your Goal?

See results

Make it Happen

Working on your goals by planning the year ahead will make it happen for you. You need to take it seriously and ensure that at least one of your goals on your list will be checked off this year.

Make a plan, find a way and just get it done! It is not easier said than done because you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and you work for it.

By having a list and planning what you will be doing to achieve that goal will help you think and act on it.

This is the year to achieve something and do something that you have always wanted to do, even if it means working harder to do it!

For people who want to find a balance between work and home life, there is a way to do it and it is as easy as you making way for your new year with new changes to improve your life and happiness.

© 2014 Natasha Pelati


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