Cool Tool to Plan Your Year

It’s the end of January 2018 and your New Year’s resolutions have already gone out the window?

Don’t worry. Let’s press the Reset Button. Let’s have a Do-Over. Let’s do what I love to do every time I flub up: Begin Again.

I’ve just finished planning my 2018 using the same tool that helped me reach some big goals last year. It’s simple and it’ll help you feel calmer and more confident to accomplish what you’d like to this year.

Step 1: Draw a large circle on a sheet of paper. Make sure it’s perfectly round. If you can’t freehand a perfect circle, then trace around a plate or something that’s a perfect circle.

Step 2: Toss that perfect circle in the bin.

Striving for perfection slows you down and sabotages your progress.Click To Tweet

Just draw a nice large circle freehand on a sheet of paper. Smile if it’s a little wonky.

Set that blank wonky circle aside for now and move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Grab any old piece of paper and jot down all the goals and wishes you have for the new year. Then start thinking of them as intentions rather than goals and wishes.

Stop wishing and hoping. Intentions are bursting with probability and momentum.Click To Tweet

Step 4: Write down your personal theme(s) for the year. That feeling of “It’s time to…”

Last year mine were Completion and Discernment. I really wanted to complete some projects that weren’t getting done. And I wanted to practice discernment in how I spent my time and what I let into my life.

This year two of my themes are Creativity and Listening. I want to create something that has been tapping on my shoulder for a while, and I want to be still and silent more so I can listen to the guidance that is always there for me.

Some other ideas for your theme this year could be:

  • Simplify your life
  • Say No without feeling guilty
  • Declutter and release what you no longer need
  • End procrastination and step into action
  • Be more present in the moment
  • Health, energy, vitality
  • Connection and Relationships

Brainstorm for a couple minutes and write down whatever comes to mind. As you look at everything you jotted down, you’ll notice one or two feel like a higher priority than the others. Choose those one or two themes and write them inside the circle you drew earlier. Focus on them daily.

When you know what your main priority is for this year, it will make it easier for you to make tough decisions as they come up. For example, if I’m reminded daily that one of my priorities is to be still and listen more, then I’ll be creating specific alone time for myself and probably not falling into the trap of overdoing socializing.

Step 5: Divide the year into either three four-month sections, or four three-month sections. It really doesn’t matter which one you choose, but most likely one or the other will feel better to you so choose that one.

Get your calendar and fill in all the events and things you already know will be happening throughout the year. Then fill in your intentions (formerly known as goals and wishes) into the months you’d like to work on/complete them.

Then throughout the year, focus only on the section of year that you’re in. Your time and energy will be devoted only to those intentions, not worrying or wondering about what’s coming up later in the year.

Staying focused on only a few months at a time will energize you, motivate you and create momentum to help you achieve all that you want.

You can create a vision board or notebook using bright images and words that depict the intentions for the current section. Remember to also focus on your themes daily and to be conscious of making decisions with your themes in mind.

2018 really can be the year you finally do those things you’ve been dreaming of doing. When you become clear on your intentions and stay committed to taking one small step at a time, miracles can happen.

Jumpstart your own creative dreams right now with my free audio mini-course, Invite the Impossible: The simplest way to manifest your biggest dreams.


  1. Brigitte Reissner on February 1, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for this practical note how to manage 2018! your tips are always helpful and make life easier. I’m off to the Caprivi for work-holidays with my parents and will take time to finish off my circle and calendar which I started already.
    Take care and big hug. Brigitte

    • Karen Powell on February 2, 2018 at 7:48 am

      I’m so jealous Brigitte! Have a wonderful time in the beautiful Caprivi and enjoy setting your intentions for the year in such an idyllic place!

  2. urmila on February 1, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Karen

    Thank you very much. today is my birthday and going to start with my pressie.

    Love light and blessings

    • Karen Powell on February 2, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Happy Birthday Urmila! What a great present to give yourself: everything you desire 🙂 Enjoy it xxxkcp

  3. Ronel van Wyk on February 1, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Health & Gratitude??

    • Karen Powell on February 2, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Love those Ronel! lots of love to you xxxkcp

  4. Birgit on February 2, 2018 at 6:28 am


    • Karen Powell on February 2, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Can I offer you a tweak in how you say Effortless, Birgit? The first thing I see is Effort and the second is Less. Those words probably don’t hold the energy you’re really after. How about something like Ease and Flow? (Two of my personal favorites 😉
      When we focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want, we make it super clear for Life to deliver the real goods!

  5. Elma on February 2, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Hi Karen

    I love your blog, thanks for the wonderful tips, I always learn something positive and helpful.

    • Karen Powell on February 2, 2018 at 9:54 am

      Thanks so much Elma! Really appreciate that feedback. Hope you have an amazing 2018!

  6. Lela on February 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Hi there inspiring Karen,
    2018 is the year: I can do it !

    • Karen Powell on February 3, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Yes you absolutely can Lela. I believe in you 100%!

  7. Leilanie Chamberlain on February 5, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Abundant energy & success

    • Karen Powell on February 6, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Feels amazing Leilanie!!

  8. Rosalia Joseph on February 5, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Karen, thank you so much for this. Keep doing what you’re doing and never cease a moment. I visualise a year of achievement and growth already. You’re awesome !!! Much love.

    • Karen Powell on February 6, 2018 at 6:45 am

      You’re so welcome Roaslia 🙂 Achievement and growth are yours!
      Lots of love right back to you. xxk

  9. Bience Gawanas on February 6, 2018 at 6:28 am

    I will be starting a new career to head an office which need change. So my themes will be change and transformation both at a personal and organizational level. I just do not know how to make it sound catchy and inspiring.

    The calender will help me to remain focus on quick wins

    Thanks Karen once again for sharing a amazing tool

    • Karen Powell on February 6, 2018 at 6:56 am

      You’re very welcome Bience.
      The way to make something sound (and feel) inspiring is to imagine the desired outcome. Your themes for 2018 are change and transformation. Imagine how you’d like that to feel after the fact. Imagine you’re sitting by yourself at the end of 2018. You’re looking yourself right in the eyes in a mirror in your home or office and you smile as you think about everything that has transpired throughout the year. Some of it may have been challenging, sure, but the dust has all settled and you can now see where it’s delivered you personally and how the organization has transformed. What feelings do the change and transformation contain within them, now that they’ve “happened”?

      That’s how to get to the catchy, inspiring words.
      Best wishes for ease, flow, peace and joy in your upcoming transitions Bience.

  10. Magano on February 6, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Dear Karen,
    I am so grateful for your inspiring process at the start of Feb ( new January ;-). I was sitting here taking notes and brimming with enthusiastic energy as my ideas took momentum whilst listening to you. You really help so much Karen. It has been a beautiful day today anyhow, with so many acknowledgements from Life of the tiny steps I am taking towards myself…actually it was just 1 or 2 nods but it feels like way more somehow :-)!! I am glad the day ended with me watching your video. Lots of Love.

    • Karen Powell on February 7, 2018 at 8:06 am

      Small steps lead us right to our dreams Magano 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve got your momentum going for the year. 2018 is going to be amazing! xxk

  11. Gill Embling on February 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    A Wonderful New Year/February inspiration – thank you! I particularly liked the idea of dividing the year up – never thought of that before. Yours in creativity, Best, Gill

    • Karen Powell on February 13, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Thanks Gill! Dividing the year up keeps me sane and focused. Have fun with all your plans for the new step at a time!

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