The thing is, if you want to hop into the new year, you've gotta make a jump early. Now is the right time to start thinking about 2022!
One of the things that I've always tried to do, at least as an adult, is to summarize the past year and come up with plans for the subsequent one. While the format and approach has varied, I find it helpful to get motivated and focused on what I want to get done.
The past two years, I've done this in Notion. As I've evolved it, I wanted to share the approach more broadly. I may be biased, but I think it's a great way to start the new year off right!
So with that said, this post is announcing the HOP New Year Planner, a template available for you to easily incorporate into your own Notion setup!
The general approach here is to do a separate review for each area of your life. This could be anywhere from 5-15 different areas, depending on how you split it up. For the template, I standardized on ten main areas:
- Side Hustle
This, of course, can be adapted. I added a few more for my personal use, but you get the idea - each person is going to be different.
Each life area then has a page that is used to do three main things:
- Review what was done in 2021, the wins and the losses
- Do some journaling/ad hoc thoughts on that
- Brainstorm goals, ideas, tasks etc that you could do in 2022
Once that is done for all of the areas, all of the ideas are in a database where those ideas can be prioritized and refined, and whittle down the broad list into what you want to commit yourself to.
Once you've settled on the things you are going to commit to, you are left with a handy goal list for 2022 that you can check off as you check in on it periodically in 2022!
And that is about it! It is fairly simple, but it provides a solid framework and helps to focus some time on each part of your life.
Want to give it a try? The good news is that we have the template ready to go! You can easily access it here via Gum Road. The template is free (there is an option to donate), but going through Gum Road will help give me some useful analytics on how many people try it out. Once you go through there, you can import it into your Notion setup or sign up for a new account (the base version of Notion is also free)!
I can't speak highly enough about using Notion as a way to organize certain areas of life, and it is a great fit for new year planning!
The template is completely free, though you may make a donation, if you choose!
There are some helpers within the template, but I'll share a few here as well to help get you started:
- You can keep the reviews of 2021 fairly short. If you had notes from last year, then it is helpful to compare what you set out to do vs. what you actually did. But you should give relatively more thought to what you want to do in 2022.
- Be sure to start this process a bit before New Year's Day. A lot of the benefit comes from having time to brainstorm different ideas, evaluate and iterate on them, and prioritize, which takes some time, even if it is more "background processing".
- Brainstorm, but be realistic - it's fine to make a big list of things you could do, but when prioritizing them, definitely utilize the "Optional" or "No" categories. It's fine to push things off to next year if it just won't fit, or to leave it as a nice-to-have once you finish the things you really want to do!
- I add one other categorization for my ideas, which is whether it is a goal, a project, a task, or an experiment. This helps delineate things a bit further and gives some clear actionable steps (tasks) that I can take to get things rolling, as well as some fun experiments to try to mix things up.
And that is about it. I hope whatever your plans are for 2022 that you find a good way to get into gear and make 2022 a successful year!