Preparing for this next year: outlining my year at a glance and ideal work week

This past month I had the opportunity to travel to Gulf Shores with a bunch of very good business girl friends. (Note: mid-November was the perfect time to take this trip because it was close enough to the end of the year that we were ready to focus on what next year would look like.) We took this trip as an opportunity to bond & dive into our businesses head first. As a whole we wanted to get our minds wrapped around what our 2023 would look like. 

The biggest lesson I learned this weekend: Never be the smartest person in the room

  • Each of these ladies were wicked smart in their own right, but in our own industries we were the smartest there
  • It’s okay to challenge each other (I needed to get out of my own head!)
  • The best of business friends will give you some much needed perspective & productive anxiety so you just get the shit done!

(oh and make sure to have a plumber on call…that’s a lot of toilet paper!)

group picture of women small business owners during a business retreat
These ladies are my business besties! We all help support each other in these seasons of life, business, and just all around hard and amazing stuff.

Creating my 2023 Overview Calendar

We all agreed that we would come to this retreat with a draft of our ideal 2023 calendars. This is my cleaned up version that I now have in my notebook. It contains all of our planned family vacations, everyone’s birthdays, school vacations, big work happenings for Aaron and myself. This made it very clear in my head what I can and cannot do for next year. The things that were solidified, but I need to keep track of were written in pencil.

Life First Calendar

Remember, I always do a life first calendar, I plug in family…then work. 

Year at a glance calendar with family & professional events

Creating my ideal workweek

When can you actually work?

One of the first things each of us did was create what our ideal work week would look like. We factored in our family, working out, eating lunch, and times we wanted off. 

Count all the hours that you have to actually work

We then counted all the hours we had in a week to actually work, 

mine was 26 hours, 

it’s far less than the traditional 40 hour work week. Some of us had as little as 16 hours a week to work. This gave each of us a clear expectation of what we would get done each week. With the assumption that each of my tasks took us an hour, I could really only get 26 things done ????. And I ultimately know that I don’t work on paid projects for all of these 26 hours. 

Setting good expectations for myself

Below is the work week I created for myself, remember it’s “ideal”, some weeks I have to work less, some weeks, more. But it’s a good outline for myself & creating good expectations for how much I can actually get done. 

ideal work week calendar to outline when I can actually work in a given week around my family obligations

I’m not showing you these calendars because I want you to see how much I have my life together, actually the opposite…shit goes crazy fast if I don’t keep boundaries in my life. 

I want to show that despite us being as active as we are, I know I can only do what I can do as one person. I’m continually trying to find the balance in my life and set clear expectations for what I can actually accomplish. 

So with that being said, this retreat made it very clear to me that I need to automate & outsource as much as I can to get back my time. 

If you create your own 2023 overview calendar or ideal work week, I’d love to see it! Email me at and show me yours!

See how I prepare for other aspects of my business:

meet Gari-Ann

Gari-Ann Kia is an accomplished Branding and Product Photographer with a passion for helping creatives and professionals elevate their brand by showcasing their product, promoting their services, or simply enhancing their brand image. Gari-Ann's expertise in branding and product photography will help you stand out from the crowd. With years of experience in the field, Gari-Ann has honed her skills and developed a unique approach to visual storytelling that resonates with her clients and their target audience to help them stand out from the crowd.

Gari-Ann currently lives in the Washington DC area with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling with her family, some of their favorite destinations have been Santorini, Wanaka, Paris, & Aix en Provence. In her free time, Gari-Ann enjoys giving back to her community by supporting fellow military spouses & their families and mentoring other small business owners.