December is here. Let the madness begin!

American readers have got a jump on me, as I'm fairly certain that Thanksgiving is, in effect, the start of silly season in the US. Everyone gives thanks for what they have, and then embarks on a crazy month of consumption and consumerism.

At our house, Mrs L has begun the whispering campaign. She points out every house, shop or roundabout that has a bit of tinsel on it, raising an enquiring eyebrow in my general direction. Wizened old campaigner that I am, I start showing willing, by bringing boxes down from the loft. This buys me a couple of days, so that I can at least get to December before I start putting fairy lights on to anything that doesn't move. From January to November, I'm the Grinch, muttering darkly about sickening consumerism. By the 5th of December, I'm Santa Claus' fatter, alcoholic, brother, holly in the hair, a pint of eggnog in one hand and a fistful of candy in the other.

However, when not ho-ho-hoing, my mind turns to the coming change of the year. I'm a Celt, and a heathen, to boot, so Hogmanay always feels more important to me.

2022 represents 52 weeks. Assuming I die at 80, then I've only about 1,500 weeks left. (Rest assured, I'm touching wood as I type that last sentence.) Thinking of lifespan in weeks focuses the mind wonderfully. I have a lot I want to get done.

This year, I'm putting some structure to planning my year. I'm going to complete a "Plan Your Year" workbook, provided by Shawn Blanc and his team at The Sweetsetup.

Now - disclaimer time. The link above is an affiliate link. If you use it to purchase a planner, then millions of dollars will be showered upon me - so please go ahead and buy one!

You have a range of options. An analogue version, an iPad version (also requires Goodnotes app) or both. If you go for both, you also get an invite to an online workshop (December 7th - 8th, 2022). Shawn's workshops are fantastic, and usually chargeable, getting one included is a steal. Going through the process in a workshop adds a ton of value, so if you're able to join, I recommend this option.

Planning the year is a month long process for me. The course provokes a lot of thought, and to be honest, it is thought that brings me the most value. I finish the plan in those weird days between Christmas and New Year, so by the time I'm hoisting a glass of bubbly to 2022, I've already set my agenda for the year. Will everything in the plan happen? Of course not. That's not how life works.

However, who was it said - "plans are useless, but planning is indispensable"? No less of a man than Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Planning my year gives clarity and intention, and ensures that I'm striving to be who I want to be.

Maybe you should try it?

This post is free for all - but I'm also writing a novel.

If you want to follow along as the novel publishes, become a member. It costs £3 a month, discounted to £2 a month on the annual plan. Members get access to the novel, scene by scene, and will, at the end, receive an electronic copy of the version to be published more widely. There's a members' chat where people give me feedback and help me procrastinate.

Right. I'm off to put lights on something.