4 Things to Start 2017 Off Right


2016 wasn’t the best year on the books for me. I had some ups and downs and honestly, feel like I barely made it out on top. One thing I learned in my time as a teacher is that successful practitioners take time to reflect on their practice and utilize their takeaways in future planning.

I took this concept and applied it to the general practice of how I live my life. I reflected back on 2016 and the year before and I found that what was missing was a plan.

I have read numerous blog posts and other articles that chronicle making lists, creating vision boards, journaling and planning, but somehow it took until now for me to finally get it! For the first time ever, I have been able to outline what I want to accomplish over the course of a year or more (I’ve even started looking into 2018).

This hasn’t been an easy process, however I did find that once started, the ideas tended to flow freely. I would like to share with you the type of planning I did in hopes that my simple methods can help someone else start off their year with a bang!


  1. I created a Financial Plan

I created a financial plan that includes savings and investment goals as well as a (wait for it…..) budget. Most of my tips and tricks came from Taylor over at Tay Talks Money. I stumbled upon her blog on Pinterest and found a wealth of great tips for financial freedom. I went with the zero-sum budget method as outlined here as well as signing up for saving through the Digit App that I learned about in her post here.

I wrote down every. litlle. dollar. I spend and divided my expenses based upon paydays– (Hint for those who are paid biweekly: setting up a two-check system for paying bills each month provides you with an extra check a couple times per year. I get my first “third check” in January!)

  1. Instead of a “New Years Resolution,” I went with a “Bucket List” of sorts

I initially decided I would make a list of 12 things, one per month, that I wanted to accomplish throughout the year. Eleven flowed freely, so that’s what I stuck with. I actually shared my list with my mother this week and she said my items were too practical to be labeled a Bucket List, but whatever!

Two items from my list were: 1) Blog once weekly for the first 90 days of the year and 2) Make a “bucket list” at the beginning of each month with smaller tasks that will help me achieve my larger goals.

2a. I broke it down

I actually took my bucket list a step further and created an outline for each month of the year, based on my big list. This will hopefully decrease my likelihood of shirking my planning responsibilities for whatever excuse I make up on any given month 🙂

I also added “Re-evaluate my plan, is it working?” on June’s bucket list in order to keep me accountable.

  1. I prepped myself for the worst

Keeping myself accountable is going to be the hardest part. I want to be able to stick to my list as well as take it in stride if I cannot accomplish every little thing in the time that I would’ve liked. I had to be real with myself and understand that this exercise will also work to expand my character even if it isn’t a completely successful endeavor.

  1. I have put this darn list EVERYWHERE

No “out of sight, out of mind” on my watch! I have posted my list and budget in my bedroom and kitchen, I have printed copies inside my agenda at work and saved in my phone as well.

So, here’s hoping that I will be writing an update post in June because I am consistently blogging and my plan was effective! Even if that’s not the case, a girl can sure plan…

What are your plans for the New Year?


3 thoughts on “4 Things to Start 2017 Off Right

  1. Taylor K. Gordon

    Thanks so much for including my blog in your post! I’m glad that my zero-sum budget explanation makes sense. As I was writing it, I was though “does this only make sense in my head or will someone be able to replicate it.” LOL

    I love your idea of bucket lists instead of resolutions. I feel like the word resolutions guarantees an epic fail for most people. But other ways of phrasing it like bucket lists and goals with real steps monthly steps are probably a better look.


    • Musings of Mind and Matter

      Taylor! I am here today to tell you that it makes TOTAL sense! lol I read your post and knew that it would be a great solution for me!

      Also, yes! The “Bucket List” makes somewhat mundane tasks seem more like exciting challenges waiting to be faced head on! I am truly ready to see what this year has in store for me.

      Happy New Year to you!


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