Starting The New Year Right!

Hello, my name is Heidi, and I am a planner addict.

I’ve used a personal planner in one way or another for the last twenty years.  My addiction to planners started when my cousin gave me a Day-Timer personal planner as a high school graduation gift.  I never looked back.  As I went through different phases of my life, I always had a planner as my partner.

One of my favorite New Year’s activities is to get our new calendars for the year all set up.  As a busy family of six, our calendars see a lot of action.  Not only do I have my personal planner, but we also have our family calendar that lives on the refridgerator for all to see.  While I love decorative picture calendars as much as the next planner addict, the squares just aren’t big enough for us.  This is why we use a desk blotter size calendar as the family calendar.


Using a desk blotter size calendar ensures that we have enough space for all the games, work schedules, chores, events, appointments, and celebrations that we can throw at it.

My personal planner this year is a Happy Planner from Me And My Big Ideas.  I take my planner everywhere with me.  This one has all my personal lists, information, ideas, brainstorms, well everything!  My family calls it my “brain”.

January Setting Up

When setting up the New Year’s calendars, you will need just a few supplies.  I make sure I have my personal planner, my family calendar, a few good pens, any school or work calendars, and last years calendars.  I like to go month by month to fill in what I know is coming up.

I start with all the calendars on the same month.  First I fill in birthdays and annual events.  If you like to send out snail mail cards, now is the time to write that you will need them in your personal planner a few weeks before.  I also like to write myself a note to purchase any gifts or make travel plans a few weeks or days before the actual date so I don’t forget.

Second, I look at last years calendar to see if there are recurring events that are likely to pop up again.  Things like sport schedules, yearly medical exams, vehicle tabs, etc.  If I already have the event scheduled, I’ll add it in.  If I need to be scheduling it in the future, I’ll add the event into my todo list for the month in my personal planner.

Third, I look at work and school schedules.  I am a teacher and we have three teenage children.  So, I have two different school calendars, plus my husband’s work schedule and my brother-in-law’s work schedule to track.  Now is when I put in the skeleton of our schedules.  All those holidays off, staff work days, and regular scheduled work days go onto the calendars.

Once I’ve gone through all twelve months, I have a great start on keeping our family on track for the new year.  Each weekend, I spend time with my calendars.  I set up my personal week to come with to do lists and events.  I add anything that didn’t make it on to the family calendar while I was out and about.  This habit keeps us all on the same page no matter how many directions we are moving in.

January’s focus for modernbygone will be planning and managing your household.  Come back next week to see how I set up my meal planning and grocery shopping lists!

What is your favorite New Year’s activity that helps to set you and yours up for success?

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