A New Year Planning Guide For You

We’re one week into January and the new year, and talk of goals, resolutions, and change haven’t slowed yet.

The new year can be a great time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. It can be an intentional time for thoughtful examination of accomplishments and challenges in the year before. It also presents an opportunity to set an intention, theme, or focus for the coming year.

Sometimes, the turn of the calendar is a symbolic fresh start and provides the momentum we need to take action. It’s a planner and visionary’s dream. We can embark upon the new year with agency, gratitude, and resolve. Be it relationships, work, school, family, or health goals, we can pursue the transformation we desire for ourselves — dream of what’s ahead and how to get there.

Other times, we enter into a new year with little energy and not much to give. We’re exhausted, worn out, and discouraged from the year before. New goals and resolutions seem overwhelming, maybe even pointless, when we’re just trying to get by.

All the talk of change may overshadow the growth we’re proud of and want to hold on to. Subtle messages of discontentment and inadequacy may creep in – “change, be different, you’re not enough.” Perhaps you’re not a planner or visionary, and defining where you want to be is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for you.

If you’re not sure where to start in 2019, it’s not too late. This New Year Planning Tool from YearCompass can be a helpful resource to reflect and focus. It provides prompts and space to examine your past accomplishments and successes, and explore what’s possible.


Take some time to review the guide. Give yourself time to think openly. Be kind to yourself in the process. Allow yourself to reflect without judgment. Perhaps you have a loved one or trusted friend who you can share this with. Invite someone you trust into this process who can provide accountability and support as you work through your hopes for this year.

Wherever you are this January, it’s okay that you’re there. If this month is an exciting opportunity or a painful reminder, take note. Be mindful of what a new year brings up for you. If you’re looking for support in defining and achieving your goals, if you want change and are not sure how to go about it, if you feel lost and don’t know where to start, our counselors can help you navigate whatever may lie ahead for you.