Episode 33 | Why I Don’t Do Annual Planning in December

Annual Planning is tons of fun.

I love doing it. I'm a sucker for a good planner and office supplies in general.

I stopped doing annual planning a while back, though.


It doesn't tend to stick.

It's hard for me to predict right now what I'll want, or need, or feel inspired to work on in August of next year.

In this week's episode, I share more about the seasonal intention-setting and planning process that I use instead.

If you'd like to join me in setting intentions and planning for the next few months, please check out the free seasonal dreaming & planning workshop below.

You can also use the tips in the episode to do your own dreaming & planning if you prefer doing this work solo. I hope it serves you well  ❤

Free Seasonal Dreaming & Planning Workshop for Practitioners

Dec. 21 from 12-12:30 pm ET

Transcript of Why I Don't Do Annual Planning in December episode

Episode 33 | Why I Don't Do Annual Planning in December - powered by Happy Scribe

Well, Hi there. Welcome to in the Clinic with Camille. My name is Camille Freeman. I am a registered herbalist and licensed nutritionist. And in this podcast, I share little clinical tidbits with other practitioners designed to make running a practice easier.

So today I want to talk to you about why I don't do annual planning at this time of year. It's really tempting, and there are a lot of things out there about planning your year and getting organized for 2022 and fresh starts and all of this type of thing. And I think that's very fun. It's exciting to get organized. It's exciting to think about your head to do visioning and so forth.

And I am as drawn to that as the next person. And what I can tell you after many years of doing this is that without fail, anytime, I try to put a lot of work into organizing the whole year ahead. And here's what I'm going to do. When and all of this type of thing. What happens is there are always curveballs.

There are always bends in the road that we don't see happening. Sometimes it's a whole pandemic, but other times it is somebody gets sick in your household, you get a new puppy, you decide that you just want to spend more time in your garden and you're not as interested in the project. You thought you would be interested in December when there was nothing growing. Turns out in June, you don't want to be creating a new online course. You want to be out there with your calendula.

So here's the thing. Don't waste your time doing that. If you're not the kind of person who does well with your long plans. If you have a system and you plan and you stick to it and it works well for you, that is amazing. I'm certainly not telling you that's the wrong way to do it. What I do want to tell you is that if you've tried that before and you've done lots of goal setting and visioning and vision boards and planning and organizing and calendar and Postit noting and all of this and always without fail.

Come March or April, things have gone a little off track, and you never really look at that plan again until December, and it's time to do it all over again. Let's think about a different way that you might be able to do this. So what do I recommend if you're not going to do an annual plan? Well, I still think it's worth planning. It's worth thinking ahead to see "What am I going to do?". One of the things that I've noticed happened if we don't plan is we just get caught up in the day to day. We're answering the client emails, we're organizing the Apothecary. We are trying to figure out how to refine our intake form and get that thing paid and write the blog post and whatever else. And what happens is if you don't do some planning and step back and look at the bigger picture, you just kind of go down rabbit holes or you flow where the breeze takes you and you wind up not making a ton of progress towards your dreams or your intentions.

So what I found has been helpful for me is to engage in a seasonal planning process. I like this because I feel really tuned in to the Earth and the environment around me, and I also know that for myself, my own body, my own energy fluctuates a lot with the seasons. There's different ways that I feel in the winter versus the spring, the summer, in the fall. So instead of just trying to plan the whole thing, what I like to do is take it season by season.

What that means is that you're looking at about three months at a time and you're saying, hey, over these next three months, what do I want to work on at the higher level?

This doesn't have to be a goal, necessarily. I'm not a huge fan of smart goals personally, but I do think it helps to have an intention or some bigger thing that you're going to focus on and work towards in a single season. And when you do that, when you spend a little bit of time saying, let me just tap into the energy of this season for me, what do I have going on this season either in the garden or in my practice or my family life? What do I already have on the schedule?

What do I feel like?

Do I know anything about myself? Do I get seasonal allergies at this time of year? Do I always feel really down and inward? Do I like to cuddle up by the fire and not spend time at the computer during the season versus other seasons where I'm really into it, really thinking more about my own flow and then also thinking about what my clients need at this time of year. Is this a time when people are really reaching out?

Is it a time when people are doing other things and I don't hear from them very often. So I like to think about all of those things and then come up with a bigger picture, focus or intention area to ground me throughout that season. Then as that one season comes to a close and it's time to move into another season, I do the same process again, so I don't try to plan out six months from now, nine months from now, a year from now, what I'm going to be doing, what I'm going to want to work on or anything like that.

I just take it season by season. I go with the energy in that moment, usually for the next three months, I can have a pretty good feel for what I'm going to want to do.

What I'm interested in working on, what I'm feeling drawn to and so forth. Now, what happens? You might be thinking if someone breaks their leg or there's a major situation and you can't do it. No worries. This is not a do or die kind of situation.

If something comes up and my plan needs to be thrown out the window, I just regroup at the start of the next season, I let it go. I don't try to fix it, et cetera. I just do the best I can until the next season comes around. And then I start from where I am. And maybe I have way less time in that season due to something that happened the previous season.

Maybe I have more time, maybe more energy. Maybe I have urgent need to do something that I didn't have before. So I just recalibrate as I go. Now, if you are interested in recalibrating together, I am having a free Seasonal Intentions workshop to look at the winter months coming up. It's going to be on Tuesday, December 21 at noon Eastern time.

We're going to meet for about 30 minutes, maybe 45. Just depending on how long it takes, we're going to walk through the seasonal planning process that I use. This is nothing fancy, but if you find that it's nice to do this in a group. If you like to have somebody guide you through this type of process, and if you want a copy of the workbook and the planning form that I use personally, go ahead and sign up. It's free.

There's no charge. You do get added to my mailing list, but that's pretty much what happens. You can just go to camillefreeman.com/seasonaldreams and learn all about it. Learn how you can register and come on in.

We do record it. So if you can't attend live, you will get a recording after the fact. If you have any questions about this process, if you want to know more, please feel free to let me know and otherwise. Maybe I will see you on the 21st. All right.

I hope this is helpful, and I'll talk to you next time.

About Camille

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and licensed nutritionist specializing in fertility and reproductive health. I mentor other practitioners who need help building and growing their practices, working with complicated clients and getting clinical hours. I have a doctorate in clinical nutrition, and I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating. 

My pronouns are she/hers. 

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