Saturday, November 16, 2013

Year planning

It's the time of year when things are simultaneously winding down and developing a sense of high urgency, at both work and home. Halfway through November, there's realistically 4 weeks - maybe 4.5 at a push - left to get activities finalised, projects wrapped (and Christmas presents, for that matter) and the storm windows in place, so to speak, for the Long Sleep (aka the period 23 December - 13 January at least, in which most people are not available and thus work, and life, downshifts to a different space).

One of the things that both complicates but also energises this period, traditionally, is the need for it to incorporate planning for the following year. I may not be the world's tidiest person when it comes to my house, but I love a good logistical tidy-up of my schedule, plan and intentions.

This always includes the obvious - I am in work planning phase for January - June 2014, for example, and I'm finalising the kids' extracurriculars - but it is also a bit broader than that.

This is when I plot out family holidays - we're taking two next year, a shortish break to Phillip Island and a longer holiday to the Great Barrier Reef. It's when I think about special activities or events that I want to prioritise - I'll be pencilling in the Emerging Writers Festival for myself in this category, and the Melbourne Show for the whole family. It's where I draw borders around known high-intensity family times (birthdays, Easter etc) and try to integrate this with known crunch points for work (happily, our scheduling area at work is very efficient, and there is already a comprehensive calendar showing key meetings and events for 2014).

It's also when I start to think about personal goals for the year to come. These aren't so much behavioural / aspirational - it's not I Will Be A Better Person stuff - but more pragmatic targets I want to set myself for the year. So far, for 2014, I've come up with:

- Attend one professional conference in my work area and give a peer-reviewed paper. You could argue that this is strictly speaking part of my work planning, but it's actually more about career development, which I characterise as being a personal (ish) goal.

- Do Month of Poetry in January and complete it. January's a good month for me to be writing a poem a day - I'm on leave for two weeks of it, and it is not likely to be a high-pressure time at work.

- Do NaNoWriMo in November and complete it. I have missed NaNo so much over the past two years - I loved it in 2010 and 2011 (and finished both years). Next year, I plan to take a week of leave in the week of Cup Day, which has a double value of covering the kids' inevitable curriculum day on the Monday and giving me some solid writing time to make a start.

- Do at least two Reading Challenges. I'm sure I'll still be working my way through the 99 Black Books Challenge, but I want to make sure I do at least one other. I've discovered books and writers that have enchanted and challenged me through doing these challenges and I don't want to stop doing so.

Am I the only one who starts thinking in these terms as November slips by?

This is post 16 in NaBloPoMo. 16 down, 14 to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment