Are you ready for 2021?
If not yet, that’s okay! We interviewed Winnie Wong, Founder and Creative Director of The Everyday Planner, who shared valuable tips on how to plan for the new year and how to make the most out of it.
1. Choose a simple planner.
A planner can be a helpful tool for you to work effectively and focus and center your life.
“I’m a very digital person, but I think for planners, it feels a lot better when I write things down,” Wong said. “But it really depends on the person’s personality, like for me, I feel like I have better attention when I’m able to write things down, cross it when I finish. There’s more of a satisfaction.”
“I feel like it helps me in a more efficient manner,” she added.
And now that almost everything in life is digital, she said that a planner is a good way to separate yourself from that.
She also shared things you can look for when buying a planner for the new year. Personally, she said she prefers it when the planner is straight to the point, simple, and flexible so that it can help you focus and work on what’s important.
“You need a bit of structure in order for you to follow through, but also flexibility and openness,” she said. That flexibility in design may help ensure the planner suits any personality (aka you).
And in terms of using the planner, she suggested, “Work at your own time. I don’t use my planner every single day. It’s really for things that I feel I need to remember and prioritize so that when it’s written down, I have an awareness of the things I need to complete.”
2. Build a habit.
According to Wong, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, a lot of them fail because everyone chooses something huge and extremely overwhelming.
However, she said, “One way to make your time more efficient is to work on it bit by bit.”
For instance, Wong said, if your New Year’s resolution is to live healthier, during the first week, try to eat greens for at least one meal every day. After that, for the second week, once you’ve built a routine, then you add to it.
Wong acknowledged that people like to see results immediately, but she shared, “Building habits is very important if you want to be more efficient.”
3. Keep your home environment neat.
Wong emphasized the importance of keeping your environment tidy.
“I have so many things that are going on and happening to me, but I feel like I am grounded and centered because my environment is neat and my environment is clean,” she said.
“Even though you have so much emotional pressure [that] you overwhelm yourself with so many things to do, I feel like the physical environment has a huge influence of taking that stress out. It won’t take away all the stress, but it will minimize it,” Wong said.
4. Know your small goals and big goals.
Wong provided an example of one of her personal goals, developing good posture. “It’s not easy to adjust. It’s something you have to work towards,” she said.
“Creating smaller goals that will help you reach your big goal will really help you make the most out of your 2021,” Wong said. ” Your big goal is something that you project that you can achieve in two years while the small goal is something that you can probably achieve within a month.”
Furthermore, she also advised to be realistic. With The Everyday Planner, there’s a section that can help you keep track of your small goals and big goals.
5. Focus on your strengths.
Whenever the New Year rolls around, people become focused on being their best selves.
“One of the main components of being your best self is looking at not exactly what makes you truly happy because I feel like that fluctuates,” she said. “What makes you happy now might differ from something in the future.”
“I think people nowadays feel so lost because they’re trying to search for who they are, and they put so much pressure on that, on what makes them happy, what exactly defines them,” she said. “But everything can define you. You don’t need to necessarily pin something down. You’re more complex than that. Trying to put yourself into one word or one phrase is very limiting.”
She advised to “manage yourself,” to work at your own pace and not put too much pressure on yourself.
Rather than being too focused on so-called happiness, Wong advised, “Work on things that you are good at. Work towards that and build skills because that really helps you become more centered and grounded with things that you might want to do in the future.”
“Build different types of skills because you’ll ever know when you actually might need it,” she said “I’m not saying to be the jack of all trades, but I feel like building a skill and being open to trying new things is always something that will help you along the way.”
If you would like to start off the year right, check out The Everyday Planner.