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New Year planning

Designing Your Dream Year: The Art of New Year Planning


As we close the chapter on 2023, it’s time for reflection and New Year planning. Whether it soared with triumph or tested our resolve, each moment has been instrumental in sculpting our current selves. The trials we’ve faced have honed our resilience, turning adversity into a forge for our inner strength. Similarly, our successes have acted as milestones, lighting up our journey with clarity and purpose. Gazing back, we’ve gathered invaluable lessons, arming ourselves with wisdom for the adventures that lie ahead.

And so, as New Year’s Eve fireworks fade, we embrace January with the excitement of New Year planning. This isn’t just about scribbling down resolutions; it’s a golden opportunity for us to infuse our lives with intentional actions and meaningful goals.

Like many of you, I know the familiar cycle of ambitious New Year plans quickly losing its sheen, much like holiday decorations fading into the background. It’s a pattern we’ve all witnessed — our resolutions start strong but gradually diminish as the year unfolds.

But what if, this year, we transform those fleeting wishes into concrete, actionable steps? Imagine a New Year planning process where each decision is as deliberate as our first cup of coffee in the morning. Together, let’s shift our approach to goal-setting, creating resolutions that resonate deeply with our true selves.

In this final episode of the year on the Passion Struck podcast, I’m here to steer you through the steps and strategies to make 2024 an unforgettable year. We’ll explore the art of setting intentions, drawing from the powerful insights of my upcoming book ‘Passion Struck.’

Just like standing at the edge of a vast ocean, toes buried in cold sand, staring out as dawn paints new beginnings across the horizon, New Year planning feels like a canvas waiting for your story to unfold.

Toes still in the sand, let’s breathe life into those visions. Are you ready?

Come along as we embark on a journey that is much more than just resolutions ahead — one of mindset and behavioral shifts that will lay the groundwork for a remarkable year ahead.

Embracing New Beginnings: Why New Year Planning is Essential

New Year planning isn’t just about popping champagne and making a wish as the ball drops. It’s your chance to hit the reset button on life. With the beginning of January, we are presented with a blank slate to fill in however we choose and set the tone for our year.

This fresh start is a chance to shed the weight of past oversights — be it unnoticed subscription fees or unused gym memberships — and embrace a journey of personal renewal. The new year isn’t only about goal setting; it’s about reinventing ourselves and our paths.

Why does starting fresh matter? Because studies show that goal-setters are ten times more likely to achieve their desired outcomes than folks who fly by the seat of their pants — a statistic too sweet to ignore. And while some might argue resolutions are made only to be broken, they’re missing out on harnessing the power of motivation fueled by clear intentions and deliberate action set at the beginning of a cycle.

In “Passion Struck,” I delve into the concept that minor adjustments can catalyze major life changes. The start of a new year is the perfect catalyst for such transformations. While change can indeed commence on any day, the collective momentum of a new year provides a unique and energizing force.

Furthermore, individuals who engage in New Year planning tend to lead more productive, intentional lives. They recognize the impact of goal-setting on everyday decisions and long-term achievements. It’s not just about crafting resolutions but about integrating meaningful changes into our daily lives.

So, the question arises: how do you ensure that your actions align with what truly matters to you? How do you harness the promise of a new year to shape a future that resonates with your deepest values and aspirations?

Aligning Actions with Values: The Prelude to Resonant Goal-Setting

An inner whisper encourages us to focus on the things that really matter. But when the new year rolls around, do we listen? Aligning goals with personal values isn’t just feel-good advice; it’s a strategic move for crafting meaningful objectives.

It begins with clearly defining what matters most to you — your core values and aspirations. Digging deep into your ‘why’ gives you clarity like nothing else can. Think about those things that light up fireworks in your heart whenever you talk about them — that’s where passion lives.

Quote by John R. Miles You don’t need an Indiana Jones adventure to find out what matters most; simply ask yourself questions like 'What makes me jump out of bed in the morning' or 'When do I feel

You don’t need an Indiana Jones adventure to find out what matters most; simply ask yourself questions like “What makes me jump out of bed in the morning?” or “When do I feel most alive?”. Once these treasures are uncovered, they become the North Star guiding all New Year decisions.

These insights allow you to craft objectives that are deeply aligned with who you are and what you cherish most. Every action you take henceforth should be a step toward these goals, ensuring that your daily life mirrors your broader aspirations. This approach is about consciously choosing, day after day, to act in ways that bring your vision to life.

For instance, if wellness tops your list of priorities, align your daily routine to support this goal. This might mean choosing nutritious foods, committing to regular physical activity, practicing mindfulness, or ensuring you get enough rest. Every choice becomes an expression of your commitment to wellness.

Next, I’ll delve into how to create goals that resonate on a deeper level, goals that are not only in harmony with our values but also structured to become attainable realities. This is where I’ll explore the SMART framework of goal-setting, a methodology that transforms vague aspirations into focused, actionable objectives. Stay tuned as I break down this process, making your goals not just achievable but also a true reflection of your inner self.

Transforming Your Goal-Setting Strategy: How to Create Goals That Truly Resonate

If you’ve ever felt a disconnect between your daily grind and what you truly value, it’s time for a change. Rethinking your schedule isn’t just about creating free time; it’s about carving out space for what’s genuinely important — those priceless family moments or reflective sessions at your kitchen table.

Let’s take a closer look at SMART goals, a framework that’s more than just an acronym — it’s a blueprint for achieving what you set out to do. Here’s how to make it work for you:

Specificity is Key: The ‘S’ in SMART

Setting a goal should be like charting a course in navigation: clear and precise. For instance, replace a general goal like ‘getting healthier’ with something specific, such as ‘replacing one sugary drink with water each day.’ This specificity turns a vague ambition into a clear target.

Measurable Means Manageable: The ‘M’ in SMART

If you can’t measure your progress, how will you know you’ve succeeded? Swap out nebulous goals like “do more exercise” for something quantifiable, like “walk 10,000 steps daily.” Tracking progress becomes straightforward when it’s quantifiable.

Achievable Ambitions: Dream Within Reach

Aim high, but keep it realistic. Goals should be challenging yet attainable. Scale that mountain tomorrow; today, start with a smaller hill. Ambitious goals are great, but they should be within the realm of possibility to avoid disappointment.

Relevance Matters: The ‘R’ in SMART

Ensure your goals align with your true self, not an idealized version seen on social media. If public speaking isn’t your thing, don’t set a goal to become a keynote speaker overnight. Goals should reflect your personal values and current life situation.

Time-Bound Targets: Set a Deadline

“Someday” is often synonymous with “never.” Set a clear deadline for your goals. Whether it’s a year from now or next Friday, a defined timeline sparks action more effectively than any motivational quote.

As you embark on this path, remember that while strategic planning is vital, it’s equally important to embrace life’s surprises. Keep your planning tools — like your journal and planner — handy, but don’t forget to leave some pages blank. Life’s unpredictability often brings its most valuable lessons and opportunities.

Now that I’ve laid the groundwork for setting resonant goals, it’s time to explore how to prioritize them for maximum effectiveness. Stay tuned as I delve into organizing your goals in a way that maximizes their impact and aligns with your overarching life vision.

Prioritizing Goals for Maximum Impact

As the euphoria of the New Year’s celebrations settles, it’s time to turn our aspirations into action. Effective New Year planning is more than just a list of goals; it’s about creating a roadmap for success. Imagine you’re at a buffet with every dish you’ve ever loved. You can’t possibly eat it all, right? The same goes for goals — trying to tackle them all is a recipe for indigestion. Let’s focus on the most delectable dishes first.

After setting SMART goals, it’s crucial to understand how to prioritize them effectively. It all starts with a concept I refer to in my book as “Dream Big But Start Small.” Crafting goals that are not only lofty but also realistic allows us to appreciate and embrace both the significant and everyday moments that resonate with our deepest values and dreams.

Picture your goals as dominos lined up; knocking down the most significant one triggers success in others. This chain reaction is what we aim for when prioritizing goals based on their impact and urgency.

The Urgent vs Important Matrix

You may have heard of Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle. It’s like sorting laundry — you don’t mix red socks with white shirts unless you want everything pink.

Imagine a two-by-two grid, with “importance” on the X-axis and “urgency” on the Y-axis. This creates four quadrants: quadrant 1: top left for “most urgent and most important,” quadrant 2: top right for “least urgent and most important,” quadrant 3: bottom left for “most urgent and least important,” and quadrant 4: bottom right for “least urgent and least important.”

Now, take a moment to think about your daily or weekly activities — everything from meetings and project work to phone calls and emails. Where do each of these fit within the matrix? Place each task or time investment in the appropriate quadrant. But here’s a strategic twist: add color-coding to your tasks. Use the following color scheme based on priority:

  • Green: Highest priority items (Quadrant 1: Do)
  • Yellow: Second-highest priority (Quadrant 2: Schedule)
  • Blue: Third-highest priority (Quadrant 3: Delegate)
  • Red: Not a priority (Quadrant 4: Delete)

After you’ve categorized your tasks, reflect on your own habits. Which quadrant do you find yourself in most often? If you’re not primarily in the upper left (green tasks), with a strategic eye on the upper right (yellow tasks), it might be time to reassess. This means shifting items from the upper right to the upper left when necessary, ensuring they receive the attention they deserve. Spending too much time in the less productive quadrants can stagnate your personal and professional life.

This matrix helps us avoid mistaking busyness for productivity because being busy doesn’t always equate to achieving our passions or purpose. Think like an athlete aiming for gold — they concentrate on training where it counts most. In goal setting, this means going after high-impact objectives that align closely with personal values — a sprinter won’t spend time perfecting their backstroke. Focusing too broadly is akin to juggling while unicycling — it might look impressive until everything comes crashing down. So choose wisely; your energy isn’t infinite (despite what coffee promises).

To truly prioritize effectively requires more than just good intentions — it demands action steps clear enough that could be explained by a five-year-old without losing interest halfway through. Break down each priority into bite-sized pieces easier to digest than Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.

In essence, our calendars are a reflection of our priorities and values. If your calendar needs an overhaul, remember that it’s more than just a tool for organization — it’s a map for intentional living. Next, stay tuned as I delve into overcoming obstacles in the journey towards our goals.

Overcoming Obstacles on the Path to Your Goals

Chasing your goals can feel like you’re running a marathon with hurdles. Sometimes, those difficulties may appear unconquerable, yet let’s be honest — each barrier is only another tale anticipating to open up. Let’s explore how to overcome common obstacles that might stand in the way of achieving your aspirations.

Confronting Self-doubt

Self-doubt can often be a significant barrier, casting shadows of fear and uncertainty over your abilities. Many grapple with the fear of failure or worry about others’ opinions. But remember, you can confront and conquer this doubt. As I discussed in a previous episode, overcoming self-doubt involves cultivating self-awareness, challenging negative thoughts, embracing failure as a growth opportunity, practicing self-compassion, and building positive daily habits. This journey requires patience and perseverance, but gradually, self-doubt gives way to a confident inner voice, empowering you to reach your goals.

Kicking Procrastination to the Curb

Next up, it’s the beast known as procrastination. It lurks around every corner, whispering sweet nothings like “do it tomorrow.” But here’s how you beat it: start small. Break your tasks into bite-sized pieces so tiny they seem almost laughable to avoid. The Psychology Today guide on beating procrastination suggests setting clear mini-deadlines; this way, you get frequent doses of accomplishment which fuel your drive forward. For example, if your goal is to write a book, start with a daily goal of writing 300 words. This approach makes daunting tasks feel achievable and keeps you moving forward.

Fanning the Flames of Motivation When They Wane

Keeping motivation steady can be tricky. One effective technique is to connect immediate tasks with long-term goals. Neuroscience suggests creating vivid mental images of success and embedding them in your daily routine, as recommended by the American Psychological Association. Celebrate each completed task as a step closer to your ultimate goal. The secret sauce? Reward yourself regularly but make sure these rewards align with your end game — think healthy treats if fitness is your jam or an hour reading up on investments if financial freedom rings true for you.

Avoiding Accountability Avalanches

Last but not least comes accountability — it matters big time because announcing plans means facing good old social pressure (and nobody wants egg on their face). Lock arms with someone marching towards similar heights or even better, declare intentions publicly — you’ll be surprised how much backing out stings when everyone knows what you set out to do. This isn’t just tough talk; science backs this strategy through findings published by associations such as SAGE Journals research on goal achievement and sharing goals publicly.

Dealing with Negative Influences

In my upcoming book, I discuss the impact of negative influences, which I liken to “mosquitoes” for their potential to cause significant, often unseen harm. To create an extraordinary year, it’s crucial to conduct a ‘mosquito audit.’

  1. Assess Your Inner Circle: Reflect on the people closest to you and identify any negative traits. Do they support or undermine your goals and well-being?
  2. Analyze the Impact: Evaluate how these individuals affect your mindset and progress. Are they uplifting or draining?
  3. Identify and Address Energy Drains: List out activities or relationships that consistently sap your energy. Assess their alignment with your values and goals.

By addressing these obstacles with actionable strategies and a clear mindset, you can pave a smooth path toward achieving your goals. Remember, the journey to success is not just about setting goals but also about overcoming the barriers that stand in your way.

Join the 50-Week Challenge — Transform Your Year, Transform Your Life!

I’m excited to unveil an incredible opportunity that awaits you in 2024. Get ready to take your goal-setting to the next level with the Passion Struck 50-week Challenge — a journey that’s more than just achieving objectives; it’s about transforming your life.

This isn’t just a series of tasks; it’s a comprehensive journey designed to align your deepest aspirations with actionable steps. Each week, you’ll be presented with a new challenge, that I carefully crafted to touch various aspects of your life — from enhancing physical health and emotional well-being to fostering stronger relationships, financial savvy, spiritual depth, and creative expression.

Why Join the 50-Week Challenge?

Imagine a year where every week brings a new opportunity to grow, learn, and evolve. By joining this challenge, you’re not just setting goals — you’re embarking on a path of holistic development. Each challenge is a step towards building a life that resonates with your passions and values.

  • Discover New Horizons: Every week brings a fresh perspective, a new skill to master, or a hidden strength to uncover.
  • Grow Beyond Limits: Tackle challenges that stretch your comfort zone and expand your potential.
  • Community of Like-Minded Individuals: Join a vibrant community sharing this journey, offering support, inspiration, and camaraderie.
  • Expert Guidance at Every Step: As your guide, I’ll provide insights, encouragement, and expert advice to help navigate each challenge.

What’s In Store?

  • Varied Themes: From physical wellness and mental agility to emotional resilience and spiritual growth, each challenge encompasses a crucial aspect of life.
  • Actionable Steps: Clear, manageable actions to integrate seamlessly into your daily routine.
  • Regular Check-Ins: Weekly newsletters to keep you on track, filled with tips, success stories, and motivational boosts.
  • Exclusive Content: As a subscriber, gain access to unique resources, expert interviews, and personalized advice.

Ready to Transform Your Year?

Signing up is the first step in a journey that promises growth, self-discovery, and an empowered approach to life. As you conquer each week’s challenge, you’ll not only witness transformation within but also become a beacon of inspiration for those around you.

How to Get Started

  1. Sign Up for the Newsletter: Enter your details here to join the challenge and receive your weekly guide.
  2. Receive Your First Challenge: Kickstart your journey with an exciting first step, delivered straight to your inbox.
  3. Join Our Community: Share experiences, gain insights, and find encouragement in our exclusive online group.
  4. Embark on a Year of Growth: Brace yourself for a year where each week brings you closer to the best version of yourself.

The Time is Now!

Don’t let another year slip by unexplored. Sign up now and make this year the most remarkable one yet. The 50-Week Challenge awaits you — are you ready to rise to the occasion?

Conclusion: Embrace the Journey of Living Passion Struck in 2024

As we stand on the brink of 2024, it’s time to break free from the grasp of pinball living and embrace a life marked by intentionality and passion. This is your moment to make every choice count, to consciously steer towards the life you’ve always dreamed of.Wrap up your New Year’s planning with a clear vision and unwavering confidence, ensuring your goals truly mirror who you are and what you deeply desire. Embrace the SMART framework to stay focused and on course.

Establish routines that align with your lifestyle, as these are the foundations of true success. Take control of your time by skillfully managing your calendar, using tools like the urgent vs. important matrix to make it an asset in achieving your goals. Remember, cultivating strong relationships is just as crucial as your individual accomplishments.

Approach obstacles with courage and determination. Refuse to let fear or procrastination impede your progress. Leverage available resources, whether it’s engaging podcasts or setting personal reading goals, and commit to continual self-improvement. This is how you turn aspirations into realities.

Let 2024 be a year guided by deliberate, meaningful decisions. Fuel your days with your passions, infusing each moment with energy and purpose. When challenges arise, push forward with determination, knowing that each step forward is integral to fulfilling your dreams.

The year ahead is more than a sequence of days; it’s a blank canvas for you to paint an extraordinary life story. It’s your chance to be the architect of your own journey, crafting a narrative rich in intention, passion, and perseverance. Here’s to a year ahead where we continue to grow, learn, and be unapologetically passion-struck.


To dive deeper into these concepts and solidify your journey towards conquering self-doubt, pre-order my new book and gain access to an e-book I’ve developed that guides you step by step in your quest to overcome self-doubt.


I also wrote about Shameflammation, which is essential for helping you learn how to identify and conquer your inner demons.

Thank you for taking the time to engage with my perspectives. May your journey be filled with joy, growth, and fulfillment.

As a new reader, please check my personal growth and well-being stories reflecting my reviews, observations, and decades of research and interviews.

The Power of Choice, Overcoming Traumatic Brain Injury, Reverse Aging, Significance, Optimal Anxiety, Person of Courage, The Power of Hope, Being Stuck, Curiosity, Awe, 5 AM Club, Strong Moral Compass, Psychological Immune System, Playing The Long Game, Drama Addiction, Trust Building Exercises, Taking The Road Less Traveled, Why Passion is the New Currency, Unreseasonable Hospitality, Five Senses, Digital Addiction, When to Quit, Effortless Perfection, Mental Immunity, Sensory Experiences, The Value of Struggle, Overcome Challenges, Victim Mentality, Anger Management, Gratitude, Vulnerability, Free Will, and the Power of Asking.

You might find more information about my professional background. You can listen to the #1 Alternative Health Podcast, Passion Struck, with John R. Miles. You may join Medium with my referral link to enjoy unlimited content.



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