Close this Year. Plan for the Next.

Close this Year. Plan for the Next.


It’s end of December. Do you set New Year's resolutions?

80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

Let’s do something different. Instead of rushing forward, let’s look back.


The point is to make sure things you’re pursuing continue to matter to you even as life changes around you.

I do weekly review religiously. I also do daily reflection at night. It only takes a few minutes but it’s a ritual that helps me feel grounded.

December thought, is when I pull out the big gun: I do a full sweep of the past year.

You’ll be surprised at how much you forget - life’s treasured moments and hard-earned lessons.

Pain + Reflection = Progress
- Ray Dalio

As the founder of one of the world's largest hedge funds company and author of Principles: Life and Work, Ray Dalio knows a thing or two about learning and self improvement. Reviewing lessons, even painful ones, is worth the effort.

How about listing your wins and accomplishments?

It’ll give you a happiness boost. And that’s worth doing in my book.

Resources to help you wrap up the year

Short on time? Pin this for later:


Fun ways to close this year and plan for the next. Pin this for later.

A Tutorial on Reflection + a TEDx Talk on how to declutter your mind by Ryder Carroll.

Year Compass: a downloadable booklet. Block off 3 to 4 hours for this.

Year in Review on MarieTV: 3 powerful questions that’ll set you up for a great year ahead. This one will only take you 10 minutes.

Fun ways to plan for next year

One word theme: You choose one word, or a short phrase, to sum up what we want to focus on for the new year. 

I got the idea from Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast. My theme for 2019 is Space.

No, I’m not planning to be an astronaut and go to space.

It’s to create space for curiosity. To make room for things that matter. A big part of it is to slow down, do less, and prioritize.

Gretchen Rubin’s 18 for 2018. You put things that make you happy on the list. For best result, choose a combination of low hanging fruits for instant gratification and small actions that lead to good habits.

19 for 2019 - 19 Things that make you happier for 2019 #19for2019

Here’s my list:

  1. Declutter the house.
  2. Write 750 words everyday.
  3. Read 26 books.
  4. Log off at 4PM most days.
  5. Have a Sarah day.
  6. Have a Benjamin day.
  7. Landscape the front yard.
  8. Write at least one blog post a month.
  9. Go out with Allen without kids at least once a month.
  10. Put some photos into albums. Do this with kids.
  11. Make a quilt.
  12. Do another Whole30
  13. Buy a box of Thank You cards and send them all.
  14. Do monthly reflection on bullet journal.
  15. Find an exercise routine that I enjoy.
  16. Take more naps.
  17. Organize files and notes.
  18. Declutter social media.
  19. Go to one live event/conference. World Domination Summit?

Hope you’ll take time to reflect and do more of what makes you happy.

Now it’s your turn.

What’s one thing you did that you’re proud of? Any lessons learned? Leave a comment below.


Most of us don't have enough time for ourselves.

We make soap with simple ingredients that give you a spa experience in your shower. The more you give yourself, the more you can ask of yourself.

Treat yourself. Everyday. 


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