How to plan for the New Year without feeling overwhelmed

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Naivasha Mwanji, Programme Manager, Elevation Networks


So you go to sleep and wake up in a New Year and just like that comes a wave of expectations. As you draw the curtain on the year before, you may start feeling a little anxious, excited, scared and optimistic all at the same time. Perhaps you’re excited about the ideas that you finally want to get off the ground or anxious about how and where you’ll start? Regardless of what you want to do, effective planning is crucial.

Here are three quick tips to help you plan for the year ahead without feeling overwhelmed.

Map Out Your Year

There are 52 weeks in a year; 8760 hours. That is a lot of time to get things done. If you find planning for the year ahead overwhelming then break things down into manageable chunks.

Each January, I write down everything that I would like to do that year. This includes places I would like to go, dishes I would like to cook all the way through to professional targets and fitness goals. Knowing what I want to do throughout the year, helps me plan what I do each day.

You don’t have to do everything at once; focus on the small tasks you can do each day to achieve your bigger aim. It also helps to be specific. If you set out to do something, create a timeline, set yourself some deadlines and work towards them.


Stay In your Lane

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

Stop comparing yourself to other people!
In a social media obsessed world we often find ourselves sucked into other people’s lives in a constant battle of comparison and FOMO (fear of missing out). What you see isn’t always what it seems. When in doubt, remember that you’re on your own journey and your path is probably not the same as those around you. Tune into your own life and focus on what you need to do and watch your life change.


Be Patient

It is so easy to get frustrated with yourself and throw the towel in when things aren’t going your way but consistency + determination x perseverance = results.

I remember when I was learning to drive and got so frustrated with myself that one day I pulled the car over and started sobbing at the wheel. My instructor, shocked and confused, waited until I had finished sobbing and asked me what was wrong. I was frustrated that I couldn’t get the manoeuvre right. Rather than being in the moment and focusing on the learning, I was trying to speed up the process just to pass a test. I passed my test on my third attempt and realised that the first two times, I simply wasn’t ready because I wasn’t patient with myself.

According to research, it takes on average 20 hours to learn a new skill and 10,000 hours to become an expert; be patient with yourself!

Have a productive and fulfilling 2017!


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