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How I’m Planning Projects in 2016

Photography by Tammy Strobel

“You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
—Amelia Earhart

I shared my 2016 intentions in a recent Little Letter, and so far the New Year is unfolding beautifully. I have a general sense of what I want to accomplish in 2016, but I’m leaving space in my calendar to embrace new opportunities.

For example, rather than penciling in all of 2016 with business projects, I decided to focus on the first four months of the year. My biggest projects include creating awesome content for A Simple Year and preparing for a speaking gig at York College in April. Plus, I have ongoing projects like my photography series, the blog, and my newsletter that need attention and love. Once I get through the first four months of the year, I’ll have a better sense of what business projects I want to focus on next.

Letting go of over-planning feels uncomfortable and scary because I have to acknowledge that control is an illusion. Planning future business projects doesn’t mean they will happen or that a perceived outcome will occur. Also, planning less gives me the opportunity to explore new and different business ideas.

I don’t have all the answers, but I feel good about my choice to plan less. Planning less isn’t about goofing off or not doing the work. In a way, less planning is about trusting myself, trusting that I have the smarts and resources to run my business and to figure things out if I fail.

I’m looking forward to a year filled with helpful business projects, blogging, art journaling, everyday adventures, and photography. And speaking of photos, below is a gallery of images I took during December and January. Over the holidays, it snowed in Siskiyou County, and I spent unplanned mornings walking around Yreka taking snapshots with my iPhone.

Enjoy the images! If you’re reading this via email or in a feed reader, visit RowdyKittens.com to view my photo gallery.

With gratitude,

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Karen January 12, 2016, 5:50 am

    Thank you so much for this, Tammy. I’m just transitioning out of a more-than-full-time job back into freelance, and for some reason it’s coming with quite a bit of agitation. How much work is too much? How much do I need? What if my family needs me more? I’ve worked freelance for most of my adult life (the job was a 5-year anomaly), but for some reason I’m nervous about getting it “right” this time. Your post today reminds us that planning is kind of an illusion anyway – like weather forecasting, it’s only accurate close-up. I’ll walk around with that idea in my head today and see if that doesn’t help calm the worries. Thanks for all you do!

  • Dain January 12, 2016, 9:20 am

    Beaaaaaaaaaaautifiul photography. Your photography always inspires me to get outside with my camera. Thanks for that.

    • Tammy Strobel January 12, 2016, 10:19 am

      Thanks Dain! Have a great day.

  • Michele January 12, 2016, 9:27 am

    Hi Tammy! I enjoyed reading your post. “…I have to acknowledge that control is an illusion.” I’m working on this myself in 2016! Just curious, will your speaking event at York College in April be open to the public? I would love the chance to hear you speak!

    • Tammy Strobel January 12, 2016, 10:19 am

      Hi Michele, I’m not sure. I believe the event is only for students. I’ll be chatting with the event organizer later this month. When I find out specific details, I’ll share the information here. Thanks for your interest! 😉

  • Carla January 12, 2016, 7:06 pm

    Tammy, beautiful photos of the snow! So lovely. Very much enjoyed that gallery. Snow has such a peace and calm about it.
    I lived briefly in York, PA when little. Great places nearby there, too — Hershey, PA (visit the chocolate factory!) and also the big farmers market in Lancaster, PA with all the Amish (you’ll see horse-pulled buggies on the road). Have fun on your trip.

  • Eric West January 14, 2016, 7:30 am

    Sounds like a great way to approach your goals. I don’t typically plan out the entire year. I have some things that I want to work on, and I have them jotted down. I also like to set a theme for the year. That theme helps guide me and my decisions throughout the year. One year the theme was declutter, another year it was change. This year it’s writing. I enjoy writing and I want to make time to do more of it.

    Wishing you the best for 2016 and I hope your speaking engagement goes great!

    • Tammy Strobel January 14, 2016, 10:41 am

      Thanks Eric! I pick a theme every year, too. My theme for 2016 is adventure. Wishing you all the best this year! And, yay for writing. 🙂

  • DarrenKeith January 16, 2016, 3:55 am

    Reading your post is so enlightening, inspiring, and fun. I learn something new every time. Thanks for time to share your thoughts with the masses. We appreciate what you bring to us every time. Have a Blessed 2016.

  • Priti January 19, 2016, 8:30 am

    At the desire map session with Danielle LaPorte this weekend, she mentioned that overplanning kills magic/mystery….I think there is some truth in that and when I read your post today again, I thought hmmm, maybe leaving room for the magic and mystery is a good thing, even in our business 🙂

    • Tammy Strobel January 19, 2016, 9:18 am

      Leaving room for magic and mystery is SO important. 🙂 It’s awesome you were able to attend a Desire Map session! I hope you’ll write about the experience on Instagram (or your blog). xo.

  • Jason January 25, 2016, 6:49 pm

    This is great! I have always tried to set yearly business goals and been frustrated in the end. This year I decided to only set quarterly goals and I can only set those goals right before that quarter begins. That lets me focus more on the present and then make adjustments as I go.

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