For many of us, the New Year signifies new beginnings, new resolutions, new goals that we set for ourselves. Though one can start afresh at any time of the year in your life, having a fresh start  with a headstart when the calendar changes the year give a new high.

In the past, at the beginning of every year, my initial days and sometimes the whole month went into planning for the New Year. This eventually made me hard to catch up on the days lost. Not that it was impossible but just the feeling of not starting on the first day or week of the New Year did not feel right. I was hit by this realization last year that I should have started early or could have got a headstart on the New Year. So I made December my month of planning and head-starting my New Year with a bang. I did whatever I thought that I should have done earlier well before the New Year and this included not just my professional planning but also prepping me for personal growth.

The question remains that this being the last month of the year, what can you really do to feel accomplished this year and give your new year a much-required headstart. Well these are the things I did and will be doing this year end as well:


This is the most powerful thing you can do to clear out your mental and physical space before saying goodbye to this year. A cluttered space and a cluttered mind never function right.

  • At Home: Start with your personal areas like your wardrobe, nightstand further going on to your living areas and other parts of the house. A clean space will have fewer distractions thus helping you focus on the more important things like spending quality time with your family.

Related Article: Guide: Three Simple Ways to Uncluttered Looking Homes

  • At Work: Try to finish all the pending tasks to the extent possible. Archive the old projects you were working on so that you have a clean slate to work on. Review the progress of the projects that run into the New Year.
  • Your Mind: Do away with all the negativity, grudges and guilt that you may be holding in your mind. Do not let these negative aspects take up space in your mind. Many of us do not realize that our mind needs space to process and achieve our goals, so why fill it with junk. To make a headstart and to achieve your goals this year, do away undesirable emotions tend to drain you emotionally and physically. So let go off all the excess baggage before entering the New Year.

2. Review, Reflect and Recognise:

A good thing to do before you enter the New Year and aim for the headstart is to take out few minutes and reflect on the ending year. Evaluate your actions, thoughts and how the year went in general.  This is especially helpful in making you feel more accomplished and accountable.

List the following:

  • Your Accomplishments: (even the smallest of them, will motivate you for the New Year, g. Adopting a good habit, new experiences etc.)
  • Things which you wished to achieve:  (this will make you accountable and will induce self-realization)
  • The reason for not being able to achieve: (This will help you understand what held you back, e.g. Fear, procrastination etc.)

Take the learning of the past into your future to not commit the same mistakes.

3. Identify & Write down your Goal and Vision for the next year:

Set goals for your work, home, finance and personal growth.  This gives you a purpose and a more meaningful year to look forward to.  Make sure to write your goal/vision very boldly and place  it where it gives you a constant reminder.

4. Set your Focus:

You may want to achieve a lot of things professionally and personally, but focusing on what is your priority will show results faster. I’m not saying that multiple goals cannot be achieved together. But if you focus on one thing at a time, you tend to complete the task faster and accomplish that goal as you tend to be more organized and systematic. This, in turn, boosts your motivation to achieve further goals, thus initiating a chain reaction.

5. Plan:

Planning for your next year’s goal is a crucial step to achieve or come close to your goal. Tentatively plan your new year on a monthly basis. Understand that things may or may not go as per your plan, but having a plan in advance will ease your way in the future. It may be easier for you to get on to track as well if things don’t go as per your plan . Make a habit to plan your month and week in advance. Organize your To-Do lists and action plans for your goals. Having the steps to achieve your goal would help you focus on your goal and make your organized.

One powerful thing I did this year was to write 5 significant things I needed to do before the year ends on a sticky note and put it right in front of my working area. This gave me an instant reminder and orientation to work towards completing my tasks to achieve my goal.

Do not restrict your plans to your To-Do lists only, plan events which you wish to attend, classes you might want to join to grow yourself. One thing I have seen that having a physical calendar in front of you is more powerful than just virtual one, that’s why I prefer to have both,  a physical planner where I can see it for most of the hours and also have a virtual one which I can refer to when on the go.

The type of Planner I use: This one has Monthly, Weekly and Daily Views with tabs clearly marked.

The type of Planner I use: This one has Monthly, Weekly and Daily Views with tabs clearly marked. Buy it Here

These were the things I did last year and will do this year for a head start into the New Year. Do keep in mind, for some it might just take a few days, and for some, it may take weeks, the key is to start.

Also, complete checklist Worksheet below and share it with others who may find it helpful.

Related Article: How to calm an overactive creative mind?


Checklist Worksheet for a Headstart to the New Year

  1. Declutter
    • Home
    • Work
    • Mind
  2. Review, Reflect and Recognize:
    1. My accomplishments: (list as many)
    2. 3 Major feelings I felt this year (Recollect all the times when you had this feeling and understand why you felt so…Fear, Confidence, guilt etc.)
    3. Actions I wished I had taken/ Things I wished to achieve:
    4. Reasons why I could not achieve those things:
  3. Goal & Vision:
    1. My goal/Vision is to/ to have/ to feel
  4. I will focus on___________________________________(task/goal)
  5. Plan
  • Framework Plan for the Year: (Monthy-wise summary)
  • Action Plan for January:
    • Week 1
    • Week 2
    • Week 3
    • Week 4
  • Further plan according to your needs