Each year Ray and I spend some time reflecting and planning for the upcoming year. This year we chose to visit a cabin to celebrate a rustic new year and used our time as a chance to plan. The quiet gave us the space to spend about 36 hours thinking, goal setting and challenging one another. It was a productive weekend and felt like a great start to 2011.

Now the scary part begins; actual implementation.

The first item on the agenda (yes I created an agenda, it helped keep us focused) was to review last year. This is a terrific way to not only build self-esteem but a great motivator to set lofty goals. When the entire year in review is in one place, it feels powerful and all of the nights spent in front of the TV can be forgotten for a brief moment.

Next, we reviewed our family mission, vision and values to determine if they were still in line and started setting some new goals for the year. We have several categories that we set goals for, they are:

  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Play (this used to be enrichment but we changed the word this year to hope that it resonates more with us)
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Professional

We set family goals and each of us set personal goals for these categories. We also try to keep it to one page so that we don’t get too overwhelmed. This year we also opted to include setting budgets while we reviewed and set financial goals. The budget conversation includes making a list of projects and budget associated with them and trips we would like to take with cost. Having a garden is on our family goals under play so we used the conversation as an opportunity to plan our garden for 2011.

We also decide on a theme for the year and a ‘year of’ for the year. This year’s theme is action and we have declared it the year of the urban experience. The theme came about because Ray and I tend to enjoy the conversations around plans and making change more than the action it takes to make something happen. We had to admit to ourselves that talking is not doing. The year of the urban experience is really about how we have fun. Last year it was the year of travel. This year we will be making efforts to visit more museums, shows, sporting events, good restaurants and other things that we have access to because we live in a metropolitan area.

We still have some work to do in getting it all together but the time away gave us a chance to reflect and get inspired. We came back yesterday afternoon excited for the New Year and ready to tackle all of the action items.

How do you get ready for the New Year?