As we approach the New Year, you’ll likely find yourself thinking back on 2020 while anticipating the changes and potential that next year can bring.

To help you reflect on your past year in a way that’s intentional and builds a foundation to start planning the next, we’ve outlined an important five-part strategy! Here’s what you can do this month to start 2021 off right:

1. Review your 2020 goals and priorities

A lot can happen in a year! It’s important to take time to pause and reflect on the year that you’ve had. (Whew, you got through it!) Think through the goals you set for yourself and the areas of life you intended to prioritize.

Areas To Reflect On

  • Your health and happiness; Your routines and habits
  • Your relationships
  • Your personal and/or spiritual growth
  • How you spent your time and money
  • Your professional development

Ask Yourself

  • What stands out to you the most?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of? What were some of your best moments?
  • Which areas were difficult? What did you learn from the challenges?
  • Which areas were most rewarding?
  • What worked – and what didn’t?

In a way, much of what happens throughout the year helps to shape what will happen in the next, and it’s important to be able to accept the year for what it was. Learning when there are lessons to be learned and being able to forgive and move forward will give you a chance to fully assess the year that’s passed.

2. Recognize and celebrate what went right!

It’s all too easy to be hard on ourselves at the end of the year – thinking back on everything we wish we’d done or said or accomplished. After all, our brains are predisposed to notice the negative over the positive. (Hence, the importance of practicing gratitude – to redirect our brains!)

In step one, you reflected on your year. Now, make a list of three (or more!) of your favorite accomplishments from 2020. You’ve likely done more than you even realize!

Celebrate these achievements and the things that you’re especially proud of. Doing so will set you up for starting the new year out the right way – with positivity and success at the forefront of your mind!

3. Consider what you want to change

Whether you started 2020 with a list of goals or not, you’re aware of which activities, habits, relationships, etc. have been working for you — and which haven’t. What do you hope to change?

Take note of these items but also remember that mistakes are not really mistakes – they are learning lessons for the future! A fresh start is right around the corner. A whole year’s worth of new possibilities!

4. Identify what matters to you now

It’s time to outline your core values, passions, and strengths to solidify what is most truly important to you – a building block to developing personally meaningful goals for your new year.


  • Your values motivate you to prioritize based on what is most important to you. What matters most to you? What will you choose to value or prioritize in 2021?


  • Your passions inspire you to stay excited and engaged in your life. What do you really love doing?


  • Your strengths empower you to create relationships, achieve goals, and build your career. What are your gifts?

Your Day Designer Flagship Planner includes a worksheet to help you outline these core components – or you can download this free printable!

5. Set new goals to kick off your new year!

You are now ready to set your 2021 goals! Start by envisioning where you want to be a year from now. Think through the following five life segments, ideally in this order of priority to create balance:


  • Prioritize your health and happiness.


  • Friend and family matter!

Personal Development

  • Never stop growing.


  • Your time and money.


  • Your job, your career, and/or your community involvement.

Identify the progress that you’d like to see in each of the areas above and then map it out for your year (either in your Day Designer Flagship Planner or on this free printable).

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Stay tuned! Next, we’ll talk about breaking your goals down into manageable pieces through a simple formula that works: Yearly Goals + Monthly Actions + Weekly Routines + Daily Habits = Well-Designed Life.