Planning and Preparing for the Year Ahead

Planning and preparing for the year ahead in January sets the stage for a successful, accomplished year ahead!

Planning and Preparing for the Year Ahead

I’m sharing 10 ways to plan and prep for the year ahead to make the most of the coming months. If there are other things that you do to get ready for the new year, I’d love to hear about them!

Review your Christmas season document and make updates as needed

I’ve mentioned the concept of a master Christmas season document a few times, most notably in my after Christmas organization post. Having a master holiday document helps you keep track of everything from when to order Christmas cards to how many batches of cookies to make for gift boxes to where you store your decorations. You can use your document to keep track of everything, eliminating so much stress.

Now that the Christmas season is over, review your document. Update what did and didn’t go well and anything that changed from last year. Make any additions as well, if you’ve added new traditions, decorations, etc. The sooner you update it, the fresher it will be in your mind. Then you won’t have to think about it again until the next holiday season.

Purge to make room for new Christmas presents

If you didn’t do a purge before Christmas, it’s not too late. Go through clothing, toys, kitchenware, books, and any other areas of the house where you know you’ll be tight on space when you bring in new items. The more that you can declutter now, the better shape you’ll be in for birthdays and other events with presents throughout the coming year.

Review and revise your master cleaning schedule

Having a cleaning schedule is key for making sure that you hit the most important tasks every week and get to deep cleaning periodically. Be honest with yourself about the schedule that works best for you. If the concept of having set tasks for Monday, Tuesday, etc. is too overwhelming, set up a schedule where you clean room by room. Then you aren’t committed to cleaning every day and can simply pick up again with the rotation as your schedule allows.

The beginning of the year is a good time to review your cleaning schedule and make adjustments as needed.

I have deep cleaning guides for the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, and living room, each with a free printable checklist.

Make a plan for unfinished projects

Don’t let another year go by without wrapping up a few projects. The sooner you finish up old projects, the more time you’ll have for new pursuits. Take advantage of the time at home during the colder months to finish out home updates, DIY projects, and anything else that’s been sitting half-done for too long.

Start budgeting for big purchases, home maintenance, and other major expenses

Prioritize major purchases and other big expenses for the year ahead. Decide exactly what you want to get done or what you’re going to buy and how you’re going to pay for it. You may need to talk to your bank about getting a loan, or you may need to arrange other financing options, such as a payment plan through a window company.

Schedule all annual appointments

When you have appointments already scheduled, you’re more likely to keep them or to make the effort to reschedule them. Get the appointments made now before your whole calendar is full.

Annual appointments to make may include doctor checkups, dental cleanings, and vet visits. Get your next haircuts and routine car maintenance scheduled as well.

Block out time off of work for vacations and holidays

Taking breaks from work to travel and spend time with family for holidays is so important. If you already know that there are specific weeks or days that you want off for trips or other occasions, request that time now.

January is an ideal time to plan and book vacation packages. Many cruises, waterparks, all-inclusive resorts, and other travel companies offer fantastic deals this time of year. Take advantage of them while you can.

Set up subscriptions for frequently used household items

Having subscription services for household items that you use up on a regular basis saves you a lot of time and money. It may take a little trial and error to establish a schedule to get what you want when you want it. But it’s well worth the effort.

There are multiple retailers that offer subscription services, including Amazon, Target, and Walmart. You can subscribe to cleaning supplies, paper goods, beauty products, baby supplies, food items, pet products, and more.

Find ways to order online or schedule pickups for routine groceries and other frequently used household items

Further, ordering online and/or scheduling pickup orders saves you a ton of time and can save you money as well. While it’s nice to do some shopping in person, such as picking out produce and trying on clothes, many groceries and other frequently used household items work well for online shopping and pickup orders. Avoid the long lines and impulse shopping opportunities, and enjoy your newfound free time on more enjoyable pursuits.

Additionally, take advantage of annual and semi-annual sales and other major discounts to stock up on essentials and shop for Christmas presents and birthday presents. For example, I get a lot of beauty basics from the semi-annual Sephora VIB sale. I stock up on mascara, makeup remover, foundation, and more, all at a discount, and then have these items on hand all year long.

Make a reading list

As with any goal, the more specific you can be, the greater the chances are that you’ll accomplish it. Instead of simply saying, “I want to read more” without a clear plan, make a reading list and decide how many books you’re going to read each month. I have a list of my top 20 all-time favorite books if you’re looking for suggestions. I also have tips for reading more books.

[Disclaimer: There are a few affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support!]

Are you planning and preparing for the year ahead?

I’d love to hear your best tips for ensuring a successful new year!

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10 Ways to Plan and Prepare for the Year Ahead

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