Physically I am in 2024 and mentally I am in 2023.
Because our family was traveling when the 2024 new year began, I decided to wait to reflect on 2023 until we returned. Which, in theory, was a great idea. And in practice, did afford me more space (physical and mental) to actually think through my 2023 reflections well (aka without distraction).
However, it meant that this January 31st came way too fast. Didn’t the end of 2023 just happen last week? No, but it feels like that because that’s when I personally felt and experienced the end of 2023.
So if you are like me and feeling at odds that January 2024 (definitely triple checked I wrote the right year) is already come and gone, you’re not alone. Even the business owner who preaches about ending well, preparing well, and reflecting on the in-between did not get this one right. Even she (aka me) is feeling a little flustered.
It does not mean you and I are any further “behind” than anyone else. There is still time and room to start anew in 2024.
No one said that we could not start our new year on February 1st instead of January 1st. Well, I guess the calendar kind of dictates that, but given there’s still 11 months of the year to go, I still say we are okay.
Plus I have something that will help you actually feel like your year starts February 1st if you want it to (keep reading).
So now that it’s established that we can start our 2024 new year on February 1st, here’s what I’m doing:
Start with your 2023 reflections. Of course this is my first answer. I can’t know where I’m headed in 2024 if I don’t first understand what my 2023 was like – the good, bad, ugly, beautiful, and mundane. Once I know how 2023 was, what I want to leave behind and what I want to carry forward, then I know how to step into 2024. Three other reasons why this is important here.
The type A planner in me is always tempted to jump right into the nitty gritty and schedules of 2024. I love color coding and filling in the details of my new planner and calendar. But if I start with the nitty gritty, I’m quickly going to lose space for the 2024 new year things I wanted to carry in from my 2023 reflection.
There are many books I did not read in 2023 that I’ve moved to my “2024 must read list.” And, there are certain topics I want to read and learn about in 2024. If I just fill my cart or Libby app with only the missed books from 2023, I’m going to run out of capacity to learn and grow in the topics I feel pulled towards for 2024.
The reality is that the books from 2023 will still be there. They aren’t going anywhere if I don’t squeeze them all in now. Even if it feels like it, in my odd “everything is urgent” mode I tend to hold. I can incorporate the 2023 books periodically into 2024, alongside the other topical books I listed as reads for 2024.
See how I would have already set myself up for missing something critical in 2024? Taking a moment to really consider the whole of the new year and who I am hoping I’ll be by the end, sets up my 2024 to be one of less urgency and more confidence. Less urgency because I know what is actually important for this year, and I don’t have to chase random (even if good) tasks to accomplish that. More confidence in knowing I have a grasp on who it is I want to be becoming at the end of 2024. Human being > human doing.
Given what I want to be true of 2024, what are some rhythms that would be helpful in my growth towards that? Another way to ask this is, what is needed from me daily, weekly, monthly, etc. so I’m moving towards my dreams and hopes for 2024?
For me, there are certain topics I want to learn more about so this means making a list of books and people I want to learn from. Once I have that list, it means assigning one of those books per month and committing to that. It might feel structured, but I know that life moves quickly and if I don’t have a plan for which books I’m going to read and (generally) when, I won’t actually get to it.
I also want to grow in how I balance work and family life. I work from home and my daughter is home half of the week so it can be easy to let boundaries slip in an unhealthy manner. Last year I learned I cannot go from one scheduled event to another without any breathing room. Most telling was the transition (or lack thereof) from work to being present with my family and daughter. For 2024, this means that on my work days, I need to stop work 30 minutes before my daughter comes home or is around. 30 minutes of doing no work and mentally “closing up” for the day.
What are the things you want to be true of in your 2024 year? What are the rhythms you need to set in place for this to be true?
And in general, how was your first month of 2024?
If you’re like me, just getting started on the year and want a system for reflection and intentional planning, check out our planners. Our planners have the whole system I just laid out for you, built right into it. Both undated and dated versions available (and currently on massive sale).
If you have a Kindred Planner and know that come mid-June, you might have just “misplaced” your planner, I got you. A guide to get you back to using your planner emailed directly to you. Operation no 2024 planner left behind is a go.
With joy & gratitude,
Pin the above image and save it for another day when you need a reminder of how to restart your year.
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