How to Put Together an Annual Calendar?
Measuring Your Length of Time – Part 7
I mentioned earlier how we don’t actively consult or use an annual calendar to track and prioritize what we do with our time. However, there are a few items I’d like to highlight that happens annually that we have built into how we do life.
The Thought or Concept:
Every year there are events that occur that you never miss and some you don’t wish to miss, but somehow have a tendency to sneak up on us. This would include birthdays, holidays, Mother’s day, significant dates, etc. Why continue like this year after year, when you know they’re coming? We used to wait until the month before Christmas to start preparing, why? Why, do that to yourself? It happens every year at the same time, so why not be better prepared?
Our annual activities are staple items that don’t require much attention once recorded to the calendar. They’re already set in stone for the year and everything else must work around these items. And since these activities are something we participant in regardless, we might as well be prepared in advance and no longer find ourselves coming from behind.
Here’s a list of nine activities that we consider annually, to name just a few.
- Our fiscal year – Our financial calendar ends on the last day of November. We run our financial plan and budget from 12/1 to 11/31. In this way, we cut off in November so that we can use the month of December to make plans, adjustments, and to implement changes as the new year begins, starting day one.
- Self-implemented Budget Billing – Our budget billing for expenses is based on 12 months of invoices. You’ve heard us talk about our budget billing process for paying bills before. These numbers are based on 12 months of statements. Using 12 months of history for each bill, we true-up these numbers in December as we’re preparing a new family budget for the next year.
- Annual vacations – Each year we have three staple vacations that we plan for. These vacations include the following:
- Tamia’s main vacation
- Annual marriage retreat
- Clark family vacation
- Annual Family Plan review – I mentioned our financial budget earlier, but that financial review is just a piece to our annual “Family Plan” overview. During the month of December we comb through every area of our lives to make plans and adjustments for the new year.
- Events stored in a shared annual calendar – We keep our annual events in one Outlook calendar, like holidays and birthdays. Using a calendar more items are added/updated overtime. Each year it’s more refined and more reflective of the events and dates that matter most to our family.
- Incremental adjustments – Incremental changes at the beginning of the year work best when implementing lifelong improvements. Any changes you’d like to make with the least amount of friction, save them for Jan 1, the new year. For some reason we’re conditioned that this is the time for change and it makes it easier for everyone to get on board.
- Family Plan closeout – We have a scheduled time to closeout the current year’s family plan binder, so that we can start a new one.
- Binder closeout – We’ve set aside a time to closeout our books, so to speak. We closeout our binder for paperwork accumulated for the year so that we may start over clean for a new year.
- Annual New Year’s Prayer – This is the event that ends our year and starts our new year. This is the most important scheduled event that we have as a family. We’ve done this for more than a decade.
Whatever you and your family (your business) do in a year, make note of it. This way you have something to share, pass along, and most importantly follow for years to come.
Today is Friday!
Have a way to record what you do annually. In a year, it’s easy to forget and let the things that are most important get out of sight & out of mind, slip away without you ever revisiting them. That’s why having an annual calendar is most important. What have you missed this past year that you’d never want to miss again? Start here.
Thanks for reading and share this content with the first person that comes to mind.