Planning Tips to start 2024


Planning for a successful and fulfilling 2024 requires careful consideration of your goals, priorities, and overall well-being. I wanted to share with you my planning process as I am about to begin filling out my 2023 planner, because a new year calls for a new planner.

Especially in my role as a freelancer, biz owner and mum. I think it’s crucial to have a plan. Making the most of your time and ensuring that things get done are your responsibilities as a freelancer. Being the boss might be challenging when you don’t have a strategy or framework. It really depends on your organizational style.

Planners for me are the gateway to how I approach life.

I love them for the ability to brain dump everything that’s on my mind especially since a University of Tokyo study found that you’re more likely to remember things when you physically write them down, and I use a digital calendar to alert me to meetings, Pilates sessions, so I don’t miss them. It’s that one-two punch that helps me stay on top of things.

In this piece, I will detail the steps I take on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis and I will share my favourite, lifestyle influencers and business owners gadgets.

Here are some planning tips to help you get started:

1. Reflect on 2023:

  • Review the successes and challenges of the past year. This could be your In’s and Out’s (here’s mine)

  • Identify lessons learned and areas for improvement.

  • Mel Robbins shared an amazing hack here.

2. Set Clear Goals with Actions:

  • Define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. For example, Improve my sleep (HOW) Going to be 30mins before my actual sleep

  • Categorize goals into personal, professional, health, and other relevant areas of your life.

3. Create a Vision Board/ Goal Board / In’s & out Board:

  • Visualize your aspirations and create a vision board to represent your goals. You can keep this to yourself (a desktop background saver) or in your closet, journal, or diary. A place you can always come back to.

  • Place it in a location of your choice as a daily reminder of your objectives.

  • Below is a link to a Vision Board and Monthly or Weekly Layout that will help you get started.

Get started here with my template.

4. Prioritise Tasks:

  • Break down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This could be weekly, monthly and daily. There is no need to exert yourself beyond your energy.

  • Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.

  • Seeing simple notes will help you achieve them and be less overwhelmed.

5. Time Management:

– Use calendars, planners, or productivity apps to organize your schedule.

– Allocate dedicated time blocks for specific activities.

my favourite planners:

  1. Happy Planner – I have steadfastly supported this brand and realised through their planners the layout that best suited me

  2. STIL Planner – elevated luxury but simplified without too many colours.

  3. The Day Designer beautiful designs, original content and simple guided frameworks to inspire and empower anyone.

my favourite journals:

The only one I use is from Wilde House Paper I can’t live without them.

my favourite productivity apps:

  • Notion – this does take some figuring out but once you begin you will never stop.

  • Goodnotes + Notability – I appreciate the Goodnotes app as it is very functional. The latest upgrades in both Goodnotes and Notability is pretty good. Bring in a digital template, and away you go.

  • Digital planners (shop Etsy) – I think this is a no branier for those who are looking for fun exciting templates. Support the artist!

6. Develop Healthy Habits:

  • Set health and wellness goals, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep. I can’t stress enough about sleep.

  • Create a plan for maintaining mental and emotional well-being.

  • Blocking time in your diary for things that feed your soul is a must. Not every hour of the day needs to be accounted for in your business but rather in places that bring you much joy and help you towards your purpose.

  • Go for that walk, take an extra long shower, detox from social media.

7. Financial Planning:

  • In order to cancel any subscriptions you no longer need, go and check your statements NOW, PLEASE and thank you!

  • Assess your financial situation and create a budget for the year.

  • Plan for savings, investments, and debt reduction.

  • My friend Kel from Mrs Smart Money shared this fantastic resource which is FANTASTIC.

8. Skill Development:

  • Identify skills you want to acquire or improve.

  • Sign up for that course, workshop and event. This year I want to learn pottery (stay tuned).

  • Develop a plan for ongoing learning and professional development. It could be as easy as a new software tool – let YouTube be your friend.

9. Networking:

  • Cultivate relationships within your professional and personal networks. Now I am very cautious about attending anything and everything. This year I am signing up to events that support my growth(self) and business.

  • Attend events, conferences, or join online communities related to your interests.

  • Key in those particular events now.

10. Review and Adjust:

  • Regularly review your progress and adjust your plan as needed. That’s what I love about being flexible in my business.

  • Be flexible and open to changes based on evolving circumstances.

11. Mental Health & Well-being

  • Incorporate mindfulness practices into your routine, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises.

  • These apps have done wonders for me:

    • Calm

    • Othership

    • Headspace

  • Consider setting aside time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

  • Evaluate your screen time and consider a digital detox if necessary. THIS IS A MUST FOR EVERY PERSON. Don’t rely for validation from your screen.

  • Establish boundaries for technology use to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

12. Environmental Impact:

  • Consider ways to reduce your environmental footprint this could be your skincare routine, how you shop and things your purchase. Ask yourself, do you really need it?

13. Celebrate ALL Achievements:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate your successes, no matter how small. We take for granted how far we have come, what we have achieved, where we have gone, and we have survived, so we celebrate them. The recap at the beginning of this post, showcased your milestones through your In’s and Outs.

Remember, planning is an ongoing process, and flexibility is key.

Regularly revisit and adjust your plan as needed to adapt to changing circumstances and ensure that your goals align with your evolving priorities.

Now get writing in those planners which ever medium you choose!

with love,
Vanisha Singh