Last week was Hallowe’en. My internal body clock and calendar does not have Hallowe’en as a setting. It’s simply not a thing for me.

For me, having grown up in the English countryside in the 70s, 80s and 90s, I count Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night) on November 5th as the start of the end of the year. 

Ah…how I miss the smell of bonfires across the gardens & village, the fireworks, a penny for the Guy, and the whopping enormous bonfire stacked for weeks beforehand on the village green.

It was a night of joy, excitement and fear: when I was really small, there would be a flame-torch procession from the local pub to the village green. Adults walking with burning torches in the dark to throw onto the bonfire. Yikes!

After November 5th, I allow myself to start looking towards Christmas (I am allowed to eat mince pies if I see them!)  

And I start planning for the following year.

But as creatives, we generally hate rigidity and conformity. We resist planning because we’re artists and creatives, right? We follow the muse.

And those of us creatives who do appreciate organisation & structure, we still enjoy a level of spontaneity.

So, I have created 3 different ways to plan for your life and business. With various levels of structure and spontaneity.

Love or loathe planning & structure, I’ve got you covered.

Choose the one which resonates with you and your personality best.

Planning for creatives. End of year planning. Productivity planning.

Option 1 – The Big Game Plan
Having a yearly plan, breaking it down into monthly, weekly and daily tasks. Working from the macro to the micro.

Pros:
Perfect for audacious goals that need precision planning.

Sets your year up in a set & forget way.

Cons: 
Can be too restricting for some personality types.

Can lead to a sense of obligation & overwhelm.

Option 2: Sprint & Reset

Working in 90 Day bursts – setting new goals and tasks regularly.

​​​​​​​Pros:

Allows for short-term goals and quick wins.

Perfect for testing new things and reviewing to either iterate or ditch.

Cons:

Short term planning can lead to ideas-hopping, without continuity.

Danger of wafting around if you forget to review & reset every 90 days.

Option 3: Go With The Flow

Getting clear on your over-arching vision and working spontaneously towards it.

Pros:

Allows for inspired action & nimble decision making.

Accommodates the unpredictability of life & builds flexibility.

Cons:
Can be used as an excuse not to make progress.

Encourages chasing shiny objects if you lack self-regulation or self-awareness.

Which one resonates with you?

I am a blend of Options 1 & 2.

The 90 day sprints appeal to my sense of control and organisation, while going with the flow works for my maverick, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do nature.

I tried The Big Game Plan a few years ago, taught to me by a productivity coach, and I had everything mapped out to the Nth degree…which meant I lost myself, my inspired thinking and flexibility.

Let’s start thinking about 2024 in ways that maybe you haven’t in previous years.

You are allowed to change how you do life and business, especially if you’re not entirely where you want to be right now with your creative business.