The Important Task That I Do After Christmas and Before New Year

Updated: December 26, 2020

The holiday season is a time for many things. For some, it’s a time for rest. Others, a time to spend with loved ones, friends, and family. While for some, it’s a busy time to make money.

For me, it’s a little bit of all those things. However, when the week after Christmas and before New Year comes, that’s when I usually retreat from everything and do an important task – planning for my next year.

Between December 25 and January 1, I’ll choose a couple of days to reflect upon the year that was, and design how I want the coming year to be.

What exactly do I do during these days? Read on to find out.

The Year That Was

The first day is mostly spent thinking about what I’ve done in the past year. I diligently keep a journal, so it’s fairly easy for me to recall my failures and successes.

Actually, that’s what I use my Starbucks planner for — a daily journal. In it, I write my daily accomplishments, things that I’m grateful for, and sometimes, personal thoughts on what’s happening with my life. I find journaling therapeutic, and I encourage you to try it as well.

Browsing through the year, I particularly note the realizations I’ve had, as well as how I handled the challenges I faced. I consider these the lessons that the year has taught me – and thus, deserve to be reflected upon.

Once done, I write a year-end accomplishment report. I pretend that I’m submitting this to a “boss”, so I make it formal and detailed. It may sound silly, but this task forces me to really dig deep into the year that was.

The Year That Will Be

On the second day, which may or may not be the next day, is when I define my goals for next year. Specifically, I list down one primary goal and a handful of secondary goals.

First and foremost, I make sure that I’m perfectly honest with myself during this time. That is, I have to decide on goals that are really important to me — and not what others are simply expecting from me.

I go ahead and ask myself, “If I were to accomplish just one thing next year, what would I want that to be?”

The answer becomes my primary goal, to which I will commit most of my time and energy next year. Then, I define my secondary goals, which I often limit to five.

It’s normal for me to carry over a few secondary goals from the previous year to the next year because I’m not strict with myself when it comes to secondary goals. In fact, I only get to finish around two or three of them.

However, when it comes to my primary goal, that’s where I attach a guarantee to myself.

Creating the Road Map

After I’ve decided on my goals, I break them down into several tasks and give each one a due date. This ensures that I have a practical road map to follow next year.

I plan with a realistically optimistic attitude, which means being aware that distractions and unexpected, urgent matters will certainly happen along the way. Thus, I give each task a generous deadline.

As a final step, I’d again write a report about my goals. This one is like a Project Plan, complete with timelines and strategies, which I imagine that I have to submit to an imaginary “boss”.

And that’s it! This is how I normally end my year – a habit I learned several years ago and has proven to be quite effective in giving me purpose and direction for the year ahead.

How about you? Do you also set goals for the coming year during this time? I’d love to hear how you do it. Let’s talk and share strategies.

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4 comments

  1. Yes we do. Me and my wife do the same since we got married in 2011 and the results are overwhelming. It’s good to have a great control of our finances.

  2. I also keep a journal and make goals for the following year. It’s like a reflection and planning just like what you do. I will borrow the step wherein you submit it to an imaginary boss. I like that idea. 🙂

  3. Yes I agree with you Bro Fitz. Journaling is therapeutic. I’m guilty not setting goals but this time I already know what should I prioritize next year… before the year ends Brod Fitz I am grateful I came across your webpage. Your blogs help me a lot, I searched for you in insta and thank God I found you. May you bless more lives in the next years to come… Amen

  4. Fitz, we really appreciate these types of articles, you cover the little things that are actually so important to long term success. When you penned the article on journaling what you are grateful for, we followed your lead and gifted new planners to each family member so that they also could begin the practice. This final step of reviewing the past year is actually something we do each quarter and then the big year end review as we plan for the next new year.

    I think we all need to stay flexible as we enter 2021. Many folks lay all their hopes on a vaccine and life will return to almost the old normal. Others fear that current vaccines may not be effective against new COVID virus strains that are now appearing. We are thinking it is important to not beat yourself up too badly if you miss on a call you make. Allow extra time if needed to accomplish a goal. Build up that emergency fund in the event there is a serious round two.

    As I type, we are again sort of repeating last year. School was almost ready to open and with the new virus strains floating around, school is once again an on-line or homeschool proposition only. I am thankful we invested heavily into our homeschool materials. What may have been simply tutorial in nature is now a full on school program for our young troops. I will hold on to more free cash for emergencies. I really DISLIKE uninvited cash, it earns nothing. We will boost our lockdown preparedness just in case. We will move forward with caution.

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