Mapping out the New Year: Boundaries & Focusing

I always feel melancholy on the last day of the year.  I guess it is because I am thinking about the past and pondering the future.  What will I do differently? Will I see my goals come to pass?  Will my priorities change this year?  These are just some of the questions I think about as I embark on a new year. They are not easy questions to savor.  They can be overwhelming and many years I just pitch it all out by January’s end.

A few days ago as I was praying for a good friend of mine, who had just landed a new job, I was flooded with thoughts of schedules, priorities, goals and acts of service(she is the queen of serving others).  It was like the flood gates opened wide and I was hit in the face with ideas of what my year should look like.   Being that I am so visual and throw in ‘old school’,  3 x 5 cards jumped out at me with lines ready to be filled.  This revelation was slowly coming together all in my head. Using the cards to give each area of my life a name and its own set of boundaries.  Focusing on just a few things that need to happen this new year and saying no to the rest.

cards 3x5

As I met with my friend to share this fresh discovery, we both talked about how we tend to go overboard.  We think of all of these wonderful things we should do and then we are disappointed when we cannot fulfill them all.  It becomes such a scheme  to thwart us and an unproductive exercise that steals our motivation. Planning out our year, naming the areas and its goals will keep us focused.  If attending a seminar on self-defense (while a great skill) does not fit under any of our goals or categories then we will say no.  If baking homemade cookies for the school bake sale is not a priority because it takes up time at night when we should be studying for a class, then we will take store-bought cookies.  In 20 years, it will not matter if they were store-bought or if we spent time and effort to bake them homemade.  Unless it is on your list and it says bake more.  It is not on mine. 🙂


Here is what it looks like for me.  I make my God and my faith a priority therefore I will fill in what I want that to look like and what I plan to do.  Life happens and things change. I will map out the year as best I can and leave the rest in the hands of GOD.

God & Serving



Work & Education

Under these sections I will note what is important and what I want to accomplish in each category.  Goals, wishes, desires, game plans, dreams and visions for the future should grace these 3 x 5 cards.

Some will overlap and if you have a large family you might want a card for each child.  Some might include spending more time walking the family pet.  You might have 4 different categories and sections then the ones above here.  Personalize your own and fill them with what is important to you.  Don’t set up a category unless you have taken ownership of it.  This is your life not your next door neighbor’s.

I plan to carry them with me in my purse/backpack and glance/gaze at them when I need to make decisions. After a few glances I should be able to memorize each sentence on these cards. Eventually I will be working like a bee on all of my sections.  And I will come to the understanding that while some causes, as wonderful as they may be, are not on my agenda for this year.

Please feel free to share this with your friends on Facebook or Twitter by clicking on the share button below.   Happy New Year!

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