Celebrations should bring us joy, but sometimes they don’t.
Sometimes you’re too tired to enjoy the party because you stayed up late getting ready.
Or a gathering didn’t go as planned.
Perhaps you felt obligated to host an event or give a gift because you “always do.”
Maybe your family traditions need some freshening up because your kids are teenagers.
It's time to update your celebrations! Use the start of a new year as an opportunity to:
- Decide who, what and how you'd like to celebrate this year
- Say goodbye to things that no longer serve you and add more fun
- Increase your joy and decrease your stress
Create your personalized plan of awesome celebrations that will delight YOU in 2023 with these three easy steps:
Step 1: Calendar Who and What You Want to Celebrate this Year
Step 1: Calendar Who and What You Want to Celebrate this Year
Get clear on who and what you want to celebrate.
Setting up a system to manage celebrations takes a bit of time now, but will save you hours down the road. The new year is a great time to review your calendar, month by month, to ensure the special people and special days are noted.
(The first step in creating your annual Celebration Plan is also the least exciting. I wish that weren't true, but it is.
I start there because seeing an event on your calendar requires you to take action--whether that's doing something, dismissing it or cancelling it.
If you know that your calendar is 100% accurate, please jump to step 2. If you're wondering if you updated your niece's birthday to the correct date, please keep reading.)
Here are some tips to make your calendar work harder for you when it comes to birthdays:
- If you use a calendar on your digital device, set-up birthdays and other special events as recurring.
This means that if you schedule your friend Val’s birthday for February 1st and make it a recurring event, it will show up on your calendar on February 1st, 2023; February 1st, 2024; and every year after that.
If you’re someone who still likes a physical calendar, simply transfer the key dates from your old calendar to a new one.
- Ensure you calendar only the people and events you plan to celebrate this year. Now is the time to delete that teacher's birthday your son no longer has, along with birthdays of friends you lost touch with, but haven't missed, in the pandemic.
- For birthdays, note the age the person will be turning. This is especially useful for milestone birthdays and kid birthdays.
- For friends you connect with only on social media (the guy you sat next to at a conference 4 years ago), indicate their birthdays in a different color on your calendar. You should be able to glance at your calendar and quickly know which birthdays require less than 60 seconds of your time to post a message on their wall or page.
Now that you've tidied up the birthday information on your calendar, let's expand to other celebrations during the year:
- Update your calendar to reflect life events that occurred during the year. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, adoptions are just some of the things that may have ripple effects on your calendar.
- Add in any graduations. Don't believe your child when they tell you their college hasn't posted the actual date of the ceremony. 😀
- Note any anniversaries you'll celebrate, along with family reunions, college reunions, retirement parties or other gatherings.
- Include key dates for things that your family cares about--sporting events, live shows, charity events, etc. It is so much easier to add in the SuperBowl at the start of the year!
Step 2: Plan Celebrations that Delight YOU
Now that your calendar is up to date with who and what you want to celebrate, take some time to think about HOW you want to celebrate in 2023. The value in thinking about 12 months is it gives you enough context to prioritize what you value most and not get lost in the details.
This is your opportunity to plan an entire year of celebrations---exactly how YOU want them to be. This is the year to say goodbye to things that are no longer fun and add more joy into your celebrations.
To keep it real, please assume you have the same amount of time, money and resources as you did last year. Please disregard those voices in your head that say your sister always has to host Thanksgiving or you can't host the cocktail party you've secretly wanted to because what will the kids do. 😀
Ready? Let’s create your awesome 2023 Celebration Plan using the prompts below. Feel free to write your answers down or just think about them.
What 2-3 aspects of celebrating bring you joy?
What 2-3 celebration traditions are important to you?
Which 2-3 birthdays do you want to make truly memorable?
How do you want to spend your birthday this year?
Thinking about the celebrations of the previous year, what 3 things did you do well?
What mistakes do you want to avoid?
What holiday is most important to you? What things do you want to repeat from last year and which ones do you want to change?
Is there a special occasion celebration you are ready to hand-off or say goodbye to? Just because you've hosted an event for the past 5 years doesn't mean you have to host it for the next 5 years!
What would you do if you only had 1 hour to get ready for a celebration?
How much decorating do you want to do for special occasions? Are there ways to make it more convenient?
What saved you time this year that you want to repeat?
Do you want to have events catered? Do it yourself? Potluck?
Is there a theme party you’ve always wanted to host? An idea on Pinterest that's been calling to you?
Step 3: Create Your Annual Celebration Plan
The previous questions were designed to help you prioritize what matters most to you when it comes to celebrating. By highlighting the must-haves and eliminating the nice-to-haves, you’re much more likely to fit celebrations into your existing schedule, give you things to look forward to and highlight any logistical issues to sort out.
Let’s get super clear on Your 2023 Celebration Plan! Please write down your declarations to the following statements:
The Special Occasions I Will Celebrate this Year: ________________
How I Will Celebrate Them: ___________________________________
The Birthdays I Will Make a Big Fuss About: ____________________
To Make Celebrating Fun, I Will: ______________________________
To Try Something New this Year, I Will: ________________________
To Keep My Sanity, I Will: ___________________________________
Things I Will Let Go of this Year: _____________________________
These are the Requests I Will Make of Other People: _______
Tah dah! You now have YOUR 2023 Celebration Plan! 🥳
How Celebration Planning Has Helped Me
I’ve been doing my annual celebration planning for several years now. I'm always surprised at how much this simple exercise helps.
It’s allowed me to design the celebrations I want to have and bring them to life. Advanced planning has helped me avoid schedule conflicts, last minute charges and staying up all night to get ready.
I hope you find your Celebration Plan serves you well! I'd love to hear how it goes. Please email me Lisa@BirthdayButler.com to share what did and didn't work well!