Give your Goals & Plans a Defined Timeline

End of Year Planning – Don’t Leave it to the Last Minute

Start Early on Next Year’s Planning with a Super Simple Planning Spread – Give Your Goals & Plans a Defined Timeline. November seems like a great time to set some goals for next year. Specifically the first two weeks of November. Why then? Well because Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving or other holidays have not come yet. Visiting family will not arrive yet, and if you are vacationing or leaving, you have some time before the packing begins. There is a certain quiet about this time – the air is still buzzing with excitement that comes from the end of the year activities, but parties and plans have not started up – yet.

Goals & Plans a Defined Timeline - setting up for this month, next month & next year

The other reason it makes for perfect planning for next year is that next year is close, but not too close. You have some time to think. You have some time to reflect. The time is perfect to think about what you want from the next year. I am not talking about achieving anything – though you can certainly include achievements – I am mostly talking about what you want to become as a person. Become what is important to you.  Decide to spend your time doing the things that will give you happiness, joy, and peace in your life.

Use the quiet spaces in the month to plan ahead and define your goal timelines | Start your goals with a timeline, not an obscure 'someday'

Define Your Timelines

This is my variation of the short-term, mid-term, and long-term goal planning. I was never good at using those planning terms – I needed a definition for the meaning of short-term, mid-term, and long-term. So I defined the timelines for me. It makes me work harder because I now have an accountability to time.

Short-term for me is Monthly.

Mid-term is something I want to accomplish in the next 2 months (sometimes I extend it to 3 months). In this case, I will be planning to complete by the end of the year.

“Next Year” I define as ‘by the end of next year’ – these are long-term goals**. I will define these more in-depth for the start of the year. This section is actually the reason I created this spread. I wanted to start thinking about my plans and goals for next year so they didn’t get swept away by the flurry of the holidays.

**I have an even longer-term goal type (more than a year) but I did not include that on this spread.

Planning & Goals Reference Guide

Want a printed template? Sign up below for the FREE printable – available in both A4 and Letter size.

The printable is a digital creation of my planning & goals layout – I use an A5 Leuchtturm dot-grid notebook (scroll to bottom for a link to the book).

Break Your Goals into Achievable Times

Break your goals down into achievable times – when you expect to get these things done. Start where you are and give yourself a timeline – not an obscure ‘someday’. Stretch yourself a little, be patient with yourself and make goals realistic.

Focus on Simplicity

This month with my focus on simplicity, I made a planning & goals page extremely simple so I was not distracted by all the ‘shiny’ things. I tend to flit from one place to another and never get anything done. So I laid out this page with simple functionality in mind. (The bottom picture shows without lines for an even more simplified look).

Start Early on Next Year's Planning with a Super Simple Planning Spread - Give Your Goals & Plans a Defined Timeline

Whatever Your Plans, No Matter Your Goals

Whatever your plans or goals for the coming months or year might be, take a moment to begin your planning for next year, whether it be to spend more time on self-care, cook more, lose weight, de-junk your house, using a planning & goals page is a good place for jotting down your ideas for yourself.

Do this now before life becomes more hectic so when you are sitting down after Christmas laying out your January planner you smile knowingly at yourself and can think “I’ve already set my goals for next year”. Go ahead, call yourself an overachiever. Because you are ahead of the game.

View the entire Monthly Planner Set up

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I’d love to hear what you do to plan out your next year’s plans & goals.

Remember to plan your life so you live beautifully.


Use the quiet spaces in the month to plan ahead and define your goal timelines.


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Want to know what I used in this post? I’ll tell you. (Contains affiliate links – if you click through and end up purchasing a product, I receive a small commission – though the cost is the same to you.)

7 thoughts on “Give your Goals & Plans a Defined Timeline”

  1. Love the idea of planning now for next year. Not only is there a bit of breathing room during the first two weeks of November, but it also gives me some time for trying out new habits and refining goals before the actual “begin” date.

    1. Oooooh! I like the idea of refining the goals. I agree that is important it’s like the first draft of a paper, the 1st draft is important. So this is like the rough or first draft!

  2. I love this! I’m pretty much a planner addict lol! I have several planners, for different areas so as not to over-clutter one single planner. You MUST plan out where you want to be or how will you know the path to get there?

    1. Hi LeeAnn,

      Thank you so much! It’s so true. I always think of it as a cross-country roadmap – with or without GPS. You can’t just guess and still make it to the beach or vacation spot without that map!

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