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December 13, 2023

Episode 16: New Year Planning

In this conversation, Pam and Sarah discuss the process of reflecting on the past year and planning for the new year. They introduce a workbook that Sarah uses to help individuals set intentions and create a vision for the upcoming year. The workbook encourages reflection on monthly highlights and analysis of lessons learned. It also guides you in setting intentions for different areas of your life, such as work, home, health, and personal growth. The importance of self-honoring boundaries and the power of intentions in daily life are emphasized.  The importance of revisiting and maintaining goals is discussed, along with various methods for doing so. The episode ends with a reminder to take time for oneself and the significance of self-awareness in creating meaningful change.
  • Reflecting on the past year and setting intentions for the new year can provide valuable insights and guide personal growth.
  • Self-honoring boundaries are essential for maintaining focus and prioritizing what is important.
  • Intentions serve as guiding principles and perspectives that shape actions and mindset.
  • Intentions can be practiced daily and integrated into various aspects of life.
  • Intentions can be reevaluated and changed as needed to align with personal growth and evolving priorities.
  • Revisit goals on a monthly or quarterly basis to stay accountable.
  • Keep your intention handy and consider incorporating it into your calendar or vision board.
  • Taking time for yourself and engaging in self-care is an act of self-love and sets the foundation for meaningful change.

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This transcript was generated by AI so please ignore any weird errors. If there is anything really terrible, let us know.


[00:00:08] Pam: Today, we are talking about reflecting on 2023 and planning for 2024 with a guide that you provide on your website. We’ll link to it in the show notes. People can just go and put in their email address and get the guide and we’re going to just talk about the the practice of doing this process, the value that it can provide to people, and, just what this planning process looks like and how you work through it with your clients, how you do it yourself and all the benefits that people can get from going through a reflective and planning process like this.

[00:00:43] Sarah: Amazing. I’m excited to share the process and share my workbook. I’m just going to hold it up for folks who are watching on YouTube. I started creating these workbooks five years ago for my clients and myself. And I decided to do that because many people enjoy the process of New Year’s resolutions.

There’s something, of course, about the new year. It feels like a natural time. It feels exciting and motivating for many people to come up with a vision for the new year. And yet, I found, find for most of us just writing down a laundry list of things we want to change or improve in the new year through the method of just setting a bunch of resolutions isn’t very effective or motivating.

So I wanted to come up with a better way, which really builds on the values that are integral to me, which is self awareness and inner leadership. This workbook, as you mentioned, has two primary goals. The first is to look at last year. So in this case, or 2023, so the year that’s closing off. So to look back and pull out the learnings from that year.

And then it’s to look ahead at 2024 and set some intentions for that year. And it’s not so much, as I said, setting a laundry list of goals, but it’s more looking at some of the values you want to honor, what intentions you want to guide the year, and what boundaries you want to set for the year. So more of an umbrella, if you will, of how you want to look at the year ahead.

So that’s the premise of the workbook.

[00:02:27] Pam: And I like that it has that reflective piece, because like you said, so many times people start out their new year and they set these resolutions and they’re not really necessarily based on anything. It’s just like, all of a sudden I’m going to make all these changes this year.

[00:02:41] Sarah: Yeah, it’s, it’s based on a fantasy.

[00:02:43] Pam: Yeah, It is.

And so then we, we make all these changes on January 1 and then… Research shows by two weeks into the new year, pretty much everyone has given up on all of those changes that they wanted to make in the new year. So having this reflective process to really look back at what happened in the last year and what can I change?

What do I want to change? Where can I have an impact in the coming year? Not, what am I going to change immediately on January 1, but what are the mindset changes that I need to make. Where do I need to get help? Where are the big overarching themes that I need to put some attention to?

[00:03:24] Sarah: Exactly. And it’s very much a coach’s approach in the sense that in a coaching session, what we do is we look at lessons learned between one session to the next. So what have you learned about yourself in the past couple of weeks or however long it’s been since we last met, and then what do we want to do with that learning?

So this is really a macro version of that. So what have you learned about yourself in the last year? What can you pull out? And then what do you want to do with that information to serve the upcoming year?

[00:03:55] Pam: So the workbook starts out with a sheet where you really look at each month of the prior year and you ask people to summarize each month’s highlights in one to two sentences. I would be able to do that because I keep a journal so I could back through my journal.

[00:04:12] Sarah: mmhm

[00:04:13] Pam: Is that something that you find that is easy for people usually?

Can they remember every month in the prior year? how do you approach that?

[00:04:22] Sarah: Yeah, that, I try to keep it, light in the sense that I suggest one to two sentences. the whole process isn’t supposed to be onerous, taxing, or overwhelming. It’s supposed to feel, informative and fun. To reflect back. So for many people, they, some people keep a paper journal. I write everything down.

I also have everything in my Google calendar or my Outlook calendar. So for those who don’t keep a day timer, most people, if they’re, working anyways, they have an online calendar. so that’s a great place to look back. And again, I would say, spend a couple of minutes looking at the month and then pull out what the highlight is for you, one or two highlights, and that highlight can be, what you loved about it, what really stands out as being beautiful, amazing, fun, meaningful, memorable, or maybe the bigger challenges. Just if you were to look back and define last January, after reviewing the month, what shows up for you as the most meaningful part of the month.

And this is really giving us a bird’s eye perspective of the year. And so in looking at that, oftentimes my clients will tell me, wow, I see this pattern or wow, I really noticed that it was when I was spending time with these particular people where I felt most alive. Or I’m realizing out of the whole year, this one experience really stands out as being the best.

Or when I look at the whole year, I realize how this one experience totally stressed me out and sideswiped me. So sometimes this quick exercise can give us, we’re always looking for a new entry point, so it’ll just give us some new insight into the year.

[00:06:05] Pam: So when you ask for one to two sentences of the highlights there, it’s not just the positive. It’s really what was happening in that month, what stood out the most, positive or negative.

[00:06:17] Sarah: Exactly. And then the next page in the workbook is, has a few prompts to help you analyze whatever you wrote down. And again, the goal is not perfection. It’s like with any coaching exercise, whatever you put down is perfect. It’s information. So based on that, you’re going to be prompted to answer some questions.

So what do you notice when you look at that? What were the challenging bits? what would you do differently next time? What are you proud of? What was the best part of last year? Questions like that. So this is really helping you harness the learning and make some conclusions, draw some conclusions about your own life last year.

So to put it into your own words.

[00:07:00] Pam: And this can help highlight things that you do have the power to change as well as things that maybe you don’t have the power to change. So it can focus where you can put your effort into in the new year. Cause if you do look at it and say, okay, these are, these were challenging things that I can’t do anything about them actually happening, but I can change maybe how I’m thinking about them or change how I’m letting them impact the rest of my life.

That’s a way that you could deal with some of the challenges. Or if it is something that you look at and can see that you made decisions repeatedly that were causing the same issue over and over again, and you do have control over that. Then that can direct some of your attention to what, you can actually change in the new year.

[00:07:54] Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. And by way of an example, a client who I was speaking with recently was commenting on a speaker series that they used to lead in the workplace and how meaningful that was for them initiating this particular event. And so maybe months have gone by since this was a part of their lives, but in looking retrospectively at the whole year thinking, wow, this was genuinely a huge highlight of the year. Maybe I want to bring this forward in a more significant way next year. Maybe I want to prioritize this now that I realize out of all of the months this was such a hit for me.

[00:08:41] Pam: As we’re talking, I’m sitting here thinking about doing this process myself because I’m not someone who does New Year’s resolutions. I’m not even someone that really does any planning at all. I do financial goals, but I don’t tend to, sit down and say I want to achieve X. It’s, just never, I’ve never been a planner in that sense, which is really funny to think about because of my love of lists and spreadsheets and planning and in that way, but like big picture planning has never really been something that I sat down and did. But as I’m sitting here thinking about doing this process, and over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about it, knowing that we were going to record this episode.

I started thinking about how had I been doing this process over the last few years, it would have been very clear to me that what I’m constantly being drawn to… what I’m always wanting to do is share knowledge and share things that I find helpful in my life and, just information that I think that other people who are like me would find valuable as well.

And I’m always wanting to do that. Like every year of my life, I’ve tried to do it in one fashion or another. I’ve started a website or a podcast or, what, whatever it is. I’ve always had these little projects that like crop up and I put a little bit of attention into them and then like life takes over or work or, whatever it is and I de-prioritize it. And I’ve never fully let those projects grow into what they could be. And… that is a theme that I would have noticed sooner had I been doing this process. I might’ve put more emphasis into those projects and been further along with that goal and that wish that I have of having this platform. Which, obviously we’re, building here with this show, but I think that in hindsight, I probably would have done a lot more because I know how fulfilling it is and how much I enjoy that process.

even if you’re listening to this and you’re someone like me who doesn’t set concrete goals, I think purely just the reflective practice of looking back at the year and seeing like what really stood out to me and what do I really want… it can help you be more mindful of what you want to build and keep it in the front of mind when life does take over so that you can prioritize those things a little bit more and make more progress there.

[00:11:16] Sarah: Yes. So good. Good. yes, do your last year review. Don’t take too long looking back on your past months. Take a quick glance. You’ll remember, right? When you actually look at what your activities were on the weekends and the evenings at work, whatever it is, you’ll remember what stands out to you and write that down.

[00:11:38] Pam: So then what does building our ideal 2024 look like with the workbook?

[00:11:43] Sarah: So the 2024 Dream Space, that’s what I call this next page. So now that we’ve looked at 2023, we’re ready to start thinking big picture for 2024. And you’ll notice that I don’t have a formula here for writing out SMART goals for any of the categories, but instead I do have categories almost like for anyone who’s worked with me, or many other coaches, I use when I first begin working with someone, something called a wheel of life. You probably remember filling one out way back when. Where it’s a circle and you’re looking at all the different components of your life, and you’re really gauging how satisfied you are in each of the different areas of your life. And so this is a similar type of approach where we’re just looking big picture at different buckets of your life, and you’re writing down what a dream scenario would be for each of those categories.

it’s not specific goals, it’s not specific actions you have to take in each category. It’s just dreaming up what would true fulfillment and success look like in these categories for you. it’s more of a brain dump, free flowing space to think with full permission about some of these categories in your life.

[00:13:03] Pam: So the categories we have specifically, here are work, home, health, love life, family and friends, hobbies, fun and personal growth, wealth, and then you have a “what else” box for that may be important to each person.

[00:13:21] Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. Because I came up with these categories, but by no means are they prescriptive. So create your own category down below. And if any of these categories don’t feel particularly resonant for you, just simply cross it out and rename them.

[00:13:36] Pam: And what I like about these categories is not only are they all important, but they will have various levels of importance at various points in your life. So you may look at this and think, work, love life and home are good, but I really need to focus on my health because I’m in my forties now and I’m starting to face mortality.

So let’s, let’s work on that, or, wealth, because I’m getting older and I need to worry about retirement, and then, fun because I’ve been working so much for the last two decades that now I need to build a little bit more fun in. So you can pick and choose what your focus is and where you need to work on building some, or putting in some extra attention in the next year.

[00:14:22] Sarah: Yes, 100%. And similarly, maybe when you did your last year at a glance, you noticed how important it was to have some quality time with a couple of best friends. And then maybe you want to really focus on building up certain friendships or reinvesting in certain friendships again this year. And so this is a place to jot that down.

So again, you can use whatever you learned about yourself. And that will for sure, inform what you end up, including on this page. But it’s really, it’s just a free space.

[00:14:54] Pam: So then you take what you’ve put there in your dream space and on the next page we go into some more in depth questions to help you figure out how to make those changes and what actions you’re actually going to take in 2024. Is that right?

[00:15:12] Sarah: Yeah, this is just getting a little bit more clarity on what you captured in the previous page. So what stands out for you, pulling out some of the key ideas. for example, some of the questions on this next page are is there anything new that you’d like to try next year?

So is there anything specific? Or are there any existing activities, habits, or thoughts that you don’t want to bring with you into 2024? Are there particular values that you want to highlight and what’s most important to you? So again, it’s now like looking at everything you’ve written down and again, pulling out some of the important bits. there’s just some good general questions to guide you with that.

[00:15:59] Pam: What I like here is that it’s not just additive. You’re asking, is there anything new you’d like to try? and new things that you want to do in the new year, but you also make sure to keep a question in there about what you need to let go from prior year. Because so often it is, I’m going to do more, I’m going to do more.

And we don’t take that time to say, what shouldn’t I be doing anymore? What needs to be left in the year, last year, whether that’s a mindset, whether it’s actually something you’re doing, whether it is a job or a person. Anything that you look back and you’re like, that was really draining. That took me away from what I wanted.

And there’s the cost benefit there was too great. I need to let that go in the new year.

[00:16:44] Sarah: Yeah. A hundred percent. A club, a group that you’re a part of, anything. We can’t just keep adding without subtracting because then it’s just too much

[00:16:57] Pam: And we change! You know, you outgrow things.

[00:17:01] Sarah: Yeah.

[00:17:02] Pam: It’s totally normal to bring things in and out of your life, that there shouldn’t be any guilt or, negative feelings around letting things go.

[00:17:14] Sarah: We are allowed to quit things we’ve discussed in previous episodes. if you’re interested in more information on letting things go and quitting things, we can add that link in the show notes too.

[00:17:28] Pam: I’m a big advocate of quitting now.

[00:17:31] Sarah: Yeah.

[00:17:32] Pam: The next sheet is all about boundaries.

Talk to me about boundaries within this context.

[00:17:39] Sarah: We need boundaries to help us because simply we’re trying to, try on new things, bring new things into our life, let go of other things that are no longer serving us. And as we are stepping into the unknown and, living with new intentions, we’re going to need boundaries to help us stick to it, to help us say no to the things that are no longer serving us, to help us say yes to, the things we want to do.

And to, just to help us stay the course.

And the purpose of the boundaries is to honor you. So they’re self-honoring boundaries. And oftentimes, our boundaries are, porous because we have so many obligations from our work and from our loved ones and our lives and our families, and those porous boundaries can impact our actions.

So there’s a whole page dedicated to helping you define what boundaries will look like for you, given what the vision you’re starting to uncover for 2024, what kind of help might you want to ask for that’s going to serve you, what kinds of people or situations are you going to say no to, et cetera.

So again, some open ended questions, but to help you really think about what boundaries mean to you, why they’re important and, what they’re going to look like for this coming year.

[00:19:18] Pam: And boundaries are one of those things that, you know, just because you say you’re going to have a boundary doesn’t mean that magically you’re going to be able to honor that boundary. They… it takes a lot of work, especially if you’re not someone that’s used to saying no to other people. So keeping this mindset of why you’re setting the boundary and having it done in this context of I’m setting this boundary in service of these goals that I have for 2024.

That can help you stay committed to the boundary, make it easier to say no in the moment when you are being asked to do something that you would have normally done, if you do it, then you’re not going to do the thing that you really want to be doing. It can just give you that power and that, mindset to say, no, I’m, keeping this boundary because it’s what’s good for me.

[00:20:13] Sarah: Yes. And also, you mentioned a couple of minutes ago, that we change and our desires will change. what we want will change. so too will our boundaries. And even as a mom, my, the boundaries I can have with my kids evolves every year, depending on what they need, depending on how old they are, depending on what’s going on in my life.

So I’ve always. tried to have certain boundaries that are reasonable, given their age and, my life. So, it’s always going to change. It’s always going to evolve. And so too with my partner, right? What kinds of boundaries, do we want to respect for one another? that’s also going to evolve with changing seasons and with, changes in our careers and our interests, et cetera.

So just because we had certain boundaries last year, doesn’t mean they’re going to be the same ones this year. Or just because if we didn’t have great boundaries last year, doesn’t mean we can’t have great ones this year. And even one new boundary can make a huge impact. If you’re, if you have really porous boundaries, if they’re really hard for you and you suddenly have one, one firm boundary… as an example, letting your family know I always go to this particular, class with this certain group of friends once a week on Tuesday evenings. And that’s something that’s I’m going to honor for myself and I’m going to put in the calendar, no matter what is going on, right?

Barring a huge real emergency, but no matter what sort of other needs people might want me for. That one thing can make a huge, difference in your life. Just having that one boundary. So don’t think just because you’re not great at boundaries, you can’t become better. And don’t think just because you were great at boundaries last year they can’t be revisited for next year because it really does evolve.

[00:22:13] Pam: And I really like that concrete example that you gave there of, I go to this class every Tuesday because through this process, you’re looking at, what do I want to have more of? What do I want to do differently in the new year? So let’s say that for the person who had that example there, in their dream space, it was spending more time with friends.

So then they, the action that they take to spend more time with friends is going to this weekly meetup with those friends. And so then the boundary that they set is I have this weekly meeting with my friends.

[00:22:50] Sarah: Yeah.

[00:22:51] Pam: That can’t be taken away from me because of, whatever you want me to do. So it’s this flow from here’s what I want, here’s the action that I’m going to take, and here’s the boundary that I’m going to set to ensure that action is taken consistently.

[00:23:06] Sarah: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And similarly, it can be a boundary, for, your family too. For example, I want to watch my kids basketball games or practices. I used to not because I don’t really like basketball as a sport. I don’t understand it. And so I just wouldn’t go. And then I realized how much it meant to him. And so now I go. It’s as simple as that. And so that’s a boundary for when the time comes on the week that regardless of perhaps a work request or a friend request for something else, no, this is what I do. This is a boundary I set in service of this value I have and this goal I have to be there in this way for my kid.

[00:23:53] Pam: I feel like I could give tons of boundary examples, but I do want to give one more that is a really practical example, because I think a lot of people right now are dealing with schedule creep and work feels like it happens 24 hours a day, because, especially after the pandemic, everyone’s accessible all the time.

And when the workday happens is nebulous. And That was something that I dealt with a few years ago in my career. And so I set boundaries of when I will schedule meetings and that made a huge impact on my time and how the control that I felt over my time, the productivity that I was able to have, because I didn’t have one meeting here and then a half an hour break and then another meeting.

And I actually was able to schedule chunks of time where I could concentrate and actually focus and get work done. And I also didn’t have to worry about having a meeting at eight o’clock in the morning and then 5:30 at night and having this really crazy schedule. And that’s because that’s something that’s important to me.

Having control over my time is a priority for me. That may not be for someone else, which I don’t know, but, But I think that kind of boundary of when you allow people to take your time physically, like actually taking time in your calendar is one that is usually fairly easy to implement, depending on your position, but it can make a huge difference on all of your other goals.

[00:25:24] Sarah: Yes. And, a tip just to build on what you said, because I agree it’s so important, a way to enforce a boundary to support yourself is to have rules around when you turn your phone off and when you turn notifications off and, for example, put it in a drawer. I know some people, they’ll shut their phone off, for example, from 4 to 8 p. m. while they’re with their families.

Or that’s an arbitrary time. It’s whatever works for you. But a certain, again, that’s an enforced… you’re not just waiting for the time to feel right. You’re saying, no, this is a boundry I’m doing, or I turn my phone off, my notifications at 8 o’clock or 9 o’clock or whatever it is, and then I don’t look at them again until the morning after I’ve had my breakfast, done a meditation, whatever it is.

So, whatever works for you, it’s not prescriptive, but thinking, how can I shut down the computer, put it away, turn my phone off, put it away. That’s a beautiful boundary that you can set that’s going to feel amazing… uncomfortable at the beginning, but amazing after.

[00:26:25] Pam: Yeah,

[00:26:26] Sarah: So those are some boundary, ideas for you all.

We love boundaries, so we could provide even more, but we’ll stop there.

[00:26:34] Pam: Yeah, maybe we need to do a whole episode on boundaries.

[00:26:36] Sarah: We do actually.

[00:26:37] Pam: Yeah.

[00:26:38] Sarah: Okay,

[00:26:39] Pam: So what’s next?

[00:26:40] Sarah: So next is Intention Setting, and the title of this whole workbook is Intention Setting for the New Year, so we’re finally getting to this crux. So now that we’ve looked at last year and harnessed some learning from there, and now that we are looking ahead at this year, some of the big buckets that we want to lean into, pour some TLC and intention into those areas.

We’ve thought about some of the boundaries, self honoring boundaries that we want to bring forward. Now we want to come up with some intentions to help guide the way forward. And I distinguish a goal from an intention. So I think it might be useful to just distinguish them right now.

So a goal would be something that is measurable. We hear of SMART goals, right? It’s measurable. It’s a specific destination or achievement that you want to reach by a certain date. That’s what makes an effective goal a goal. Whereas an intention is different than that. An intention is more like a guiding principle or a perspective that you’re going to adopt for all of your goals. But even not even your goals just for all of your life inclusive of your goals, right?

So it’s a way it’s a way you want to see the world and then that becomes a practice. To say I’m choosing to lean into this I’m practicing believing this intention because it’s gonna feel good for me and it’s going to nurture me as I move forward in my life

[00:28:16] Pam: And do you want people to choose one intention? Do they pick a few? What’s the guidelines here?

[00:28:25] Sarah: I would say you can pick one or you can pick a few. It depends what works for You there’s, no rule. I think if we have too many, it can become confusing. sometimes some people pick an intention for the week. Some people can pick one for the day. You can pick an intention for one hour if you want.

Sometimes you go to a class and you pick an intention for how you want to be in that moment. The goal here is to think, we’ve been looking bigger picture, so after you’ve looked bigger picture at yourself and what you want for the year ahead, is there a certain intention or maybe two that would support you?

That feels right? So that’s not to say you can’t have other intentions too, right? we get this, we get to believe as many things as we want to believe. So there’s no scarcity here. And I would say above all else, what feels the most resonant?

[00:29:25] Pam: And so the, this intention or these intentions would be something that you, think about every day, or when you are feeling like maybe you’ve gotten off course? Like how do people integrate this intention into their daily lives?

[00:29:42] Sarah: Beautiful. So great question. You can have it on a sticky note, on your laptop, on your mirror. You can write it in your daytimer. You can have it be the screenshot on your phone. So it pops up all the time. You can say it to yourself as a mantra when you’re brushing your teeth in the morning or having a shower or walking your dog.

You can say it to yourself as you’re going to sleep…

[00:30:13] Pam: And if you’re someone like me, that you look at this part of the process and it feels a little like woo, maybe, or it doesn’t feel like a concrete tactic of how I’m gonna achieve my goals. one thing that helps me is to actually look at this, list here. You’ve got a list of potential intentions.

obviously people can use whatever they want, but looking at this list and then choosing one or two that would have applied to the year before, and thinking about that As like in context of that year and seeing how that intention would have helped in those scenarios or how it did apply connects it in more of a concrete way.

And then that helps me think okay, now I see the value in having this intention in the new year.

[00:31:12] Sarah: Okay, I love that idea. And so Pam, let’s go with that. And then I’d ask you to take a look at the list here and let me know which one of these, pull one out and tell me how that would have applied to your last year.

[00:31:27] Pam: Yeah. The one that’s really standing out is “I remember I can do hard things”

2023 was really, a year where I put a lot of focus into, health and fitness. So I started doing things that like, initially I started rowing and I was doing half an hour a day and it felt the most, so much work. And then I increased it a little bit and increased it a little bit. And then by, by the, this time of year, now I’m doing over an hour a day with the rower. Plus I’ve added in weight training and I’ve done all of these things that now it’s if you had told me at the beginning that I had to do this much work, I never would have gotten there.

But remembering I can do hard things got me to where I am now, but not just from fitness. The strength that I got out of going through that six, seven month process of being in better shape, doing hard things physically made me more able to do hard things emotionally, hard things mentally. It was really a process of learning, I can do hard things.

And that applies to my entire life, not just the one area where I was pushing myself.

[00:32:44] Sarah: Okay, so now, that’s such a great example, and so how would having that intention or holding that intention would have supported you then?

[00:32:58] Pam: I think that the way that it would have supported me is just continuing that, that evolution of taking the strength that I got from the physical changes and bringing that into, more focus on building the things that I wanted to do… going back to what we were talking about at the beginning of the episode about building other projects where I’m sharing knowledge.

I’m, I constantly have ideas of things that I want to do. And then I’m like, Oh, that sounds really hard or that’s going to be a lot of work. So that mantra, that intention of, I can do hard things.

[00:33:40] Sarah: Yes!

[00:33:42] Pam: Yes. It’s going to be hard and I can do it.

[00:33:45] Sarah: it’s such a good example. So imagine the impact of if, you’re saying that to yourself every single day and reminding yourself of it. And I think another salient point about this is that mantra feels true or that intention feels true for you,

[00:33:59] Pam: Yes. Very

[00:34:00] Sarah: right? It’s not something that you’ve just read on a greeting card or you saw it, in an Etsy shop.

if you, you believe it to be true and you find it motivating or moving, something about it speaks to you. Therefore, that makes a good one. That makes it a good one.

All right. the list is long. I’m not going to go through all of them, but I wanted to give folks who read the workbook an idea of all the different types of intentions that are possible for them.

And by no means is it exhaustive, right? Anything is possible, but there are a lot of them. I can share with you some of my favorites. One that I love and speaks to me a lot is every day I am open to life. And why that intention is so powerful for me is it reminds me that anything is possible. It reminds me that good surprises can happen at any moment and it reminds me that I’m an active participant in life. That’s what it makes me feel like when I read that.

So it really speaks to me.

Another one that I love is I celebrate the small wins.

[00:35:17] Pam: It’s a good one.

[00:35:18] Sarah: Yeah, I love that one because, I, like to remember not to wait for anything to celebrate. Everything is a celebration, like getting to live this life and do this work every day is a win. I don’t need to get the next level of the certification.

Like it’s, already here. It’s already happening. So this, I think is a game changer for, many, people. This is a life changing concept. You can already celebrate today. Yourself and your life and your work and still long for more and go for more.

[00:35:52] Pam: It makes me think of last night I was making dinner and playing music and dancing in the kitchen after I’d had a pretty rough work day. And I was so grateful for that ability to say, yep, today was rough and I can throw on music and dance around the kitchen. And that’s a win to end the day on a positive.

[00:36:14] Sarah: Listen, so many people win big awards and they’re miserable. It means nothing. So redefine win. That’s another good intention. I redefine win every day. I’m redefining win, winning on my terms or for what’s meaningful for me. I love that example.

[00:36:33] Pam: One that, I really like on this list is I embrace change.

We talk all the time about the stories that we all have about who we are and what we’re capable of. And I think just having that mindset of, I embrace change for me and for everyone, can be such a huge shift. Especially right now, we’re in this environment where, changing your mind seems like a negative.

if someone holds a view and then learns something new and changes their mind. It’s Oh, you’re a flip flopper or people are anti science because scientists think one thing because of the research and then new research comes out and they’re like, Oh, things have changed. No. And then people are like, Oh, science is wrong, And it’s no, everything is constantly changing, and that’s a good thing. So the more you can embrace it for yourself, to allow yourself to become someone new, to experience something new, and to let go of stories about who you are or what you can do, and give other people that opportunity too, that change just makes the world so much more exciting and fun.

Fun and amazing to participate in.

[00:37:56] Sarah: Wow. I loved your addition about embracing change not only for yourself, but embracing change for others. Because to me, that’s also such a oh my gosh, I’m not trying to control the uncontrollable, which is other people in the world,

[00:38:11] Pam: right?

[00:38:12] Sarah: right? I’m just letting them, I’m embracing them however they want to be. And that’s freeing. Cool. So what I’m getting from this little conversation right now is the fact that these words, the invitation is read the words on this page and see what speaks to you. Because words mean different things to each of us. I wouldn’t have had that interpretation that Pam shared and now I love it, now I might have it, but you’re allowed to have it too.

So whatever you read, read it with a sort of open mind and open heart and see what speaks to you. And then, if you want, you can grab a highlighter. Even though I wrote the list, I’m still highlighting the ones that speak to me. And, I get to practice those. you get to practice…

the thing about, perspective shifting and mindset shifting is it’s the first step is finding a new thought, a new belief that you want to hold because it genuinely speaks to you and you think it will serve you and practicing it, right? So you asked at the beginning of this Pam, what did we do with the intention once we pick it? And I would say, Honor it by practicing it, looking at it, reading it, remembering it.

And then, and as you read it, letting, whatever meaning you’re deriving from it, sink in.

[00:39:37] Pam: And if it ends up not being the right intention, you can change.

[00:39:41] Sarah: 100 percent change it. You’re allowed to change your mind.

[00:39:44] Pam: You have a section here for final reflections after you pick some intentions. what’s, the goal there with that section?

[00:39:56] Sarah: It’s really, the goal is to capture final thoughts. So to write down any intentions that feel right for you from the list that I offered, and moreover from any other ideas that pop to your mind. And then just to write down any other dots that may have been connected as you filled out the workbook. You can put some doodles there.

You can really write down anything. It’s just a final space. A little bit of a blank space for you to fill out.

[00:40:29] Pam: So then once people fill out this workbook and they’ve got their intention, do they revisit it? Monthly, quarterly, how do you make sure that this stays, top of mind as you’re working your way through 2024?

[00:40:45] Sarah: I think that, revisiting your goals on a monthly or quarterly basis is ideal. If you are using a day timer, I use something called the Passion Planner and they have a monthly check in process and there are so many different sort of templates you could find online, that will hold you accountable to it. Not everybody wants to do that. If you don’t, I would encourage you to keep your intention handy. You can even pop it into your calendar so that it shows up on the beginning of the month, for example. And then you can sit with it and see how that’s feeling for you. Have I been honoring that? Has it been working out for me?

Revisiting your areas of focus. Right, your dream space. If you want to put that on your bulletin board, if you want to do more with it, flush it out into fuller goals, a goal list, flush it out into a vision board, create a piece of art with it, work with a coach who’s going to help you build out the ideas and bring them to life.

this is your first step, so then you get to decide what you want to do with it, in terms of actioning it and holding yourself, to the goals and intentions that you’re setting.

[00:42:08] Pam: Anything else you want to add?

[00:42:10] Sarah: I would just welcome you to take the time for yourself. I see it as an act of Bravery, to be honest, just to take an hour or two outside of the hustle and bustle of life and say, I’m going to focus just on me. It’s an act of self love. It really is an act of self care.

I really believe after supporting so many people one on one and in groups, that meaningful change first begins with self awareness. Meaningful change in your life, meaningful change in your community, in your workplace, any kind of issue that you are passionate about, that you care about, that you love. First, the first step is to be filling up your own cup And knowing how to take care of yourself. And so doing a workbook like this, spending some time with some thoughtful questions, some thoughtful, provoking questions is going to help set you out for success and is a true act of self love hectic world.

So it’s something you can do for yourself and what better holiday gift to give yourself.

[00:43:26] Pam: Great, we will link to the guide in the show notes and let us know if you have any questions or come up with great insights for your new year.


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