6 books that will help you stay on track in the new year.
Health coaches say that a goal without an action plan is just a new year’s resolution—something you sort of want to do, but never actually put in the time or thought to make happen. This mindset probably sounds familiar, considering only 8 percent of people who make resolutions at the start of the year stick with them. But a handful of authors, coaches, designers, and creators have vowed to change this and make this the year you follow through on turning your intentions into actions.
Enter the adult workbook/journal/planner. Drawing a page from the coloring book craze, one of this year’s trends is personalized journals designed with the intention of keeping your goals on track. These books can be written, drawn, and scribbled in, and each have their own unique process for helping you not only identify where you want to go, but come up with systematic plans to get there.
Here are 6 books to help you make 2017 your most productive year yet! Try one or a few to see which style works best for you. Whether you like a little guidance or a lot; prefer to set goals that span 30 days or 13 weeks; or want to focus on your health, your business, or your more, there’s a goal planning tool that’s just right for you.
Are you ready for some serious action over a relatively short period of time? This hardcover journal is designed to track your hourly progress while working toward one or a few 13-week (3-month) goals. After you identify a larger target, you’re given prompts to break your goal down into weekly and daily action steps. On a daily basis you’ll pre-plan your actions by the hour, creating a schedule the night before while also jotting down that day’s wins and gratitudes. An easy-to-read forward explains how the best use the journal as well as some of the research behind its design.
To buy: $32, bestself.co.
This planner is a go-to for someone whose goals run the full gamut, from health to wealth. On its opening pages the year-long planner invites you to list a theme for 2017 and your top goals for the year. Next you flip right to “January” a multi-page section which is mirrored each month of the year. For each month there’s a page to list your goals and questions designed to get you excited about the changes you commit to. Each week you list more goals, and you have a weekly agenda to briefly note each day’s accomplishments, plans, and more.
To buy: $40, inkandvolt.com.
Conquer Your Year
Pick up this book if planning for your future involves a vision board (or five). This journal is designed as a companion for entrepreneurs who want to better their brands and their selves. You start by choosing “your word of the year” then defining and vision boarding five big-picture goals for the year. Next you move onto your first of 4 “sprints,” or 12-week periods of focus, which have room for a general brain dump, daily tracking of 5 mini-goals as well as water and exercise consumption, and a place to note your priorities.
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
Designing Your Life
Like the idea of making some big and small life changes, but not sure where to start? This book (not journal) is chock-full of advice and insight on creating your own personalized path, including a number of activities you can do in one of your own notebooks. Written by two Silicon Valley alums associated with Stanford University’s Stanford Design Program, the premise is using curiosity and creativity to discover your passions and pursue them, whether that means hosting more dinner parties, going back to school, or going after the job of your dreams.
To buy: $15, amazon.com.
In some ways this feels like a typical—albeit beautifully designed—12-month planner. There’s a boxy view of each month and a closer looks at each week, with space to track your actions by the hour. But the book opens by asking you to define your best year—prompts include personal growth, finances, adventure/travel, and physical health—and each month starts with you jotting down a 30-day goal plus the action steps you’ll take to get there. As you work toward your aspirations, a checklist lets you track just how many days you were out there moving the dial.
To buy: $30, commit30.com.
Design the Life You Love
No calendars or daily agendas here! This graphic workbook, by designer Ayse Birsel, encourages a playful approach to designing your own life from the ground up. Whereas most tools ask you to build on where you are, this one asks you to examine if you’re in the right place to begin with. Each time you pick up the book you’re encouraged to draw as a way to warm-up the right side of your brain. Then you work through activities designed to help you deconstruct your life; form a POV of your life; reconstruct your life; and express your life as a new design.
To buy: $16, amazon.com.