Planning the Coming Year – A New Year’s Day Project

By , January 1, 2010

Today, New Year’s Day, I indulge in a very pleasant activity: updating my Franklin Planner.

This task occurs the first day of every month throughout the year. On the morning of each first day, I remove the pages for the month before the one just past from my planner and place them in a storage binder. At the same time, I place next month’s pages in the binder.

The difference today is that I commonly spend some time on the first day of the year to update the whole planner. I add family birthdays and anniversaries to the appropriate pages. I add the non-standard holidays I observe, such as favorite saints’ days, Guy Fawkes Day (November 5) or a particular quirky favorite, “The Secret of the Unhewn Stone” (December 23). I add any upcoming events as I know of: trips planned for the upcoming year, calls to loved ones on their birthday, and application deadlines. I also go through each month and correct the Franklin Planner’s listed moon quarters. They print the moon quarters for the Eastern time zone, but because of the time difference, some moon quarters fall on different dates for us.

This year, there’s something new. I’ve resolved to read a poem a day in 2010. To get myself started, I’m leafing through my few poetry books and prescheduling poems that are appropriate to a specific date or season. I’ve scheduled a poem on my mother’s birthday that a friend wrote about her and published. I’ve found poems about specific months, and have scheduled them for the appropriate first day of each. I’ve scheduled a romantic poem that has always inspired me for Michelle’s and my anniversary this coming August. And, since we’re still celebrating Christmas, I’m lining up holiday poems for next December, enjoying them this season while scheduling them for the next.

On many days this year I’ll no doubt be opening a book at random for that day’s poem, but for many days in the year, there will be one already chosen for me, a gift to myself from my former self.

Today is also the day I add tools to my planner, such as the local pages cut from this year’s tide book, which go in the back cover folder to be referred to as needed.

I like updating my years’ pages on New Year’s Day, because it orients me to the year ahead. It’s a meditation of sorts, on the months ahead, preparing me for necessary tasks, and whetting my anticipation of the celebrations to come.

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