The Art of Love & Money Plan for a New Year black sky with fireworks

New Year, New You?

New Year, New You?

Or New Year, Same You?  Just with new insights, new thoughts, new ideas, new plans.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions like I once did.  I mean, an arbitrary day of the year to set everything all new and fresh and better, just because the date on the calendar has switched?  I just don’t know.

What I do believe in is setting goals, writing down dreams, making them happen by turning your dreams into step by step processes.

I’ll share my process with you.  If you haven’t done your New Year’s Goals yet, you can do them along with me.  If you have done them, you can review them with me and tweak yours as you see fit.

I spend the week between Christmas and The New Year just jotting down notes, exploring my thoughts and feelings.  The actual goals come later.  I like to reset my goals quarterly.  It keeps me moving and it keeps me accountable.  If I have a whole year to do something, it’s likely not to get done.  If I have 90 days, that’s 9 ten day sessions, and I’d better get started right away.

Stop Doing This in 2018

I made a list of things that I no longer want to do with my life in the New Year.


Telling the same old story.

Judging and comparing.

Listen, we all do this is some form.  Prefacing these complaints with “I don’t want to judge…” “Not to complain, but….” does nothing to make me feel less icky.  As human beings, we all have thoughts that occasionally sound like judgements when spoken out loud.  This year, I am going to focus on letting the thought come, and then letting it go without have to discuss it.

I have this really terrible habit of trying to guess what other people are thinking of me.

What Other People Think of Me is None of My Business

This year, I am not going to tell the same story out loud in my head over and over.

This year, I want to catch these thoughts, remind myself that this is a story I am telling myself, and that I have no idea what other people are thinking, why they would ignore my messages, or otherwise exclude me.

I’m going to focus on what I can control:  How I act and how I behave, how I show up.  The rest is not up to me.

Brené Brown has a great example of this in her conversation with Chase Jarvis. Watch the whole conversation here.  (Starts about minute 13:00.)

Do This in 2018

I then brainstormed a list of new things I’d like to start doing in 2018.

Drink more water.  My body shows signs of dehydration on the regular and I ignore it.  I ‘feel’ fine.  But I also have no idea how I would ‘feel’ if I was fully hydrated.

Sleep.  Rest. Go to bed early with my husband.

Eat well balanced, healthy prepared meals together.

Work when at work and then get out of there on time.

Set aside a time to blog, podcast, and book club and then be done with it until the next day.  Don’t toil away on it all day into the next and constantly feel behind.  This is a labor of love.  So do the work you love, call it good enough, then live a full life from anywhere other than behind the computer screen.

Places I want to Explore in 2018

Next, I scratch down all of the places I hope to explore in the upcoming year.

I write them all down.

I can’t do them all at once, but I just write them all down and see how it moves me.  I’m only half of the couple, so my husband and I will reconcile these destinations later, but first it’s important to get them out of my own head and onto a sheet of paper.

Things I want to Accomplish in 2018

I write down all of the things I’d like to try out or accomplish in the New Year.

More daydreaming.  Later, I’ll assign these goals into actionable steps with dollar amounts and deadlines assigned.  For this week, it’s just a fun brainstorming session where I can allow myself the possibilities of what is to come.

Choose a Word for 2018

Maybe you want to choose a theme for the New Year.  Once, I chose the theme “Anti-procrastination” because I was so tired of having all of the same items on my list year after year.  That year, we waterproof-ed the basement, poured a new sidewalk, and did our estate planning.  I think you can see why those things sat on the list year after year.  I can plan out a dream kitchen like nobody’s business, but planning our estate was not sexy.  The thrill was not in the doing, but in not having to write this same thing down  on the list again the following year.

P.S. This is still not totally done, but we did get a good start on it.  Things are organized enough to the point of being able to be implemented as our wishes.  << Lies. We tell ourselves.

Maybe your word will be Gratitude.  Or Health and Well Being.  The point of having a word or a phrase is to hold all of your decisions for the year up against this word and ask if your actions are propelling your goals or holding you back.

Reflect Back on 2017

Review your old journals and notes from the past year.  Look at all of the items you crossed off!  Track your Net Worth.  Look back over the years to see how far you have come.  Reminisce the fondest memories of the year.  Celebrate accomplishments. Wander through the good times.  This last year, I used a joy jar.  Every day, I would tear off a scrap of notebook paper and scribble something that gave me joy during the day.  Don’t be a perfectionist.  This is not meant to be pretty and only use the best paper and pens and handwriting.  It’s meant to track the joy you felt in the year.  I didn’t get to it every day.  I didn’t write down the absolute best days.  I know because I didn’t take it to Ireland with me.  And I didn’t do it while in Kansas City for our weekend getaway and I was not taking the time to do it while our grandchildren visited over the summer.

Try Something New for Thirty Days

I watched this great TedX video clip by Matt Cutts the other night and I loved it as an alternative to New Year’s Resolutions.

There you have several options to try out.  You don’t have to reinvent a whole new you if you find that exhausting.  You don’t have to be super-human and a perfectionist robot who never swears, drinks or eats too much.  You can be YOU and you can be Glorious, have a lot of fun, and conquer your own little corner of the world.

Happy New Year!


ACTIONABLE STEP:  Try your hand at each of these goal setting techniques, see which one resonates with you most.  Plan out 2018 to be a great year!  Email me or comment below – I’d love to hear what you are most excited about for 2018.