January has become synonymous with new beginnings. Although you do not need to wait for January or the first of a month or a Monday to start something new, why not take a moment to reflect and visualize what you want for yourself this month?

I know, I know, it’s actually February and you might be saying but January is over! But like I said, we don’t need the first of anything (year, month, week) to do any of this. We are all busy and we do what we can when we can. You could even wait and do this next month if it better fits your schedule! 

First, grab a notebook. 

Now, open it to a blank page and think about the last year. What did you accomplish? Think big and small. List out at least five things you achieved. How did you feel after you hit those milestones? Which one are you most proud of?

What did you not get done that you had hoped to? What obstacles were in your way? Be honest with yourself. It’s ok to not have reached all your goals or even dropped some goals. Life gets busy. Things come up and plans change. Did you drop a goal because it no longer served you or did you drop it because it was hard? Did you adjust because your work schedule changed or because you wanted to watch TV on the weekends instead? (And that is totally ok too! We need some downtime to relax)

What is the greatest lesson you learned?

Who were your biggest inspirations over the past year? What made them stand out? How did they make you feel? List them out and refer back when you are feeling a bit low and need a boost. And create another list of those feel-good social media accounts you can head to when you need some inspiration!

What word would you use to describe your past year?

Ok, so we have looked back. We know our wins. We have an idea of what takes us off track and people or accounts that bring us motivation to keep going. Now we need to decide what we want this year. What do you want more of this year? Less of? Write them out. 

Is there anything you need to stop doing? (Like making excuses, or is that just me?)

Start writing out where you want to be at the end of the year. How will you feel? What will your biggest win be? What words and feelings best describe future you? For example, let’s pretend you want to start running but don’t see yourself as a runner yet. Write down that at the end of the year you will be wearing those cool running shoes and spandex, sweating it out on the treadmill/road/trail, while your favorite playlist blasts in your ear. Describe your outfit. Write out details of where you are at. Write out that playlist that’s bumping in the background. Be sure to include how you will feel when you hit that goal

Do this for all areas you want to change.

Now, you’ve got a mental image in your head and on paper. Write out the steps it will take to get there. In our runner example, you will need to first get your gear if you haven’t already grabbed it. Next, get that gym membership or trail pass. Maybe your next step is to put on your running gear, maybe you don’t even leave your house but you put it on, walk around, and see how it feels. Next, maybe you run to the mailbox or end of the block. Keep writing out all those little action steps. Remember, it’s the small, daily steps that will help you achieve the big, long-term goals.

On the days you are struggling, pull out your notebook. Read through your vision. Look at those motivational people and accounts. Evaluate your plan, update as needed, and get back to work. You can always adjust and change your plan as you learn more about yourself and your goals. 

And if seeing someone else achieve big goals doesn’t serve you? Remember, they didn’t get there overnight. They took all the little steps, they just didn’t show you the process. Because the process can be messy. It’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna take time. Not everyone likes to share the behind-the-scenes. The big wins get much more traction on social media than the messy, small stuff.

Where do you want to be at the end of this year? What do you want to achieve? Let me know in the comments and maybe we can help you determine all those little, messy steps to get there!

This year I decided to try out the One Little Word to help me visualize for myself. Check out my video walking through the kit from Ali Edwards. 

Categories: Planning


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.