2013 planning

A friend referred me to Leonie Dawson’s “Incredible Year” planners, which I ordered in December. After getting stuck on formal business planning, this has become a lovely alternative to kicking off the new year.

Critical to the process is closing out 2012. Leonie offers exercises to look back and determine what was accomplished, what could be changed, and even includes a rant session. Then she has us say farewell to the old, and get ready for the new.


It’s not that her exercises are new to me. I think the difference is that she makes it fun. We don’t have to plan in a linear fashion. She writes to skip pages if they don’t sing to us. And she acknowledges that life won’t sing to us sometimes, and offers lists to get us out of times ‘when everything sucks’.

I filled out some pages with ease, and others took me weeks to mull over. I still haven’t figured out what my dream vacation would look like, but I am determined to schedule one.

For the business I will supplement her worksheets with those of the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, and experiment with other articles and exercises as well. But it felt good to have permission to do this at my own pace, in my own way, rather than pushing through page 2 to get to page 3.


My word of the year took a bit of internal arguing this year. I had a few, but the strongest emotion came from ‘magic’. It wasn’t a good emotion. Magic doesn’t feel actionable. Magic feels silly. It implies suspending disbelief, it connotes sitting back and watching things sparkle, it’s not something I can just ‘do’: I don’t have control over it.

Once the word popped up, every single day had a reference to magic, whether a quote or a song, an image or a comment someone made.


And maybe that’s the message. To not overthink this year. To do what I can, to fill out the 100-things-to-do list, set my goals and add the daily steps by which to achieve them, to improve on good habits, but to also let the magic in.

So let’s have a magical year, shall we?

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