28
Dec 2017

My New Year Tradition (that works)

I hope you had a wonderful holiday! I spent Christmas at home with Jonathan, the kids and family. It felt so good to have a white Christmas again in Massachusetts. As I wind down from the holidays and look forward to the New Year, I’m getting ready for one of my favorite traditions— a gathering of friends to plan our 2018. I first shared my New Years intention setting process in 2015 and am sharing it again because I use the same process and advice every year (and it’s also so fun to see pics of my first apartment in SF!). I’m so excited to share this tried and true method to craft an extraordinary year.

I love the beginning of a new year. It’s filled with so much potential and excitement. When it comes to setting resolutions, it can go two ways. We can quickly list off some random things in our head on the way to the grocery store like lose twenty pounds, stop eating cheese, find boyfriend, be less stressed and make 2018 the best year ever!! Or we can be intentional about our goal setting, sit down with some girlfriends and plenty of time and really get to work crafting our year. Which do you think yields better results? No brainer.

Each year I sit down with some of the most successful and creative women I know to craft the next year. I want to walk you through the practice I’ve done the past five years that has yielded huge emotional, spiritual and financial growth in my life so you can have an incredible 2018.

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STEP ONE. SET THE SCENE.
Our goal and intentions feel so much more tangible when we can physically create how we want to feel around us. Do you want your year to be filled with elegance? More nature? Girlfriends? Do you want to let go of perfectionism? How you want to feel should dictate the scene you set. You may want to have a dinner party, go sit under a tree, gather your closest friends at a cafe or sit next to your pile of unfolded laundry and relish in the messiness.

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STEP TWO. CELEBRATE YOUR YEAR.
So often, especially when you are an ambitious woman (which I know you are), we skip over the most important part of goal setting, celebrating!! We can’t craft an amazing year unless we learn from our last, the good and the bad. In your journal, answer the following questions:

  • What were the top three highlights of 2017?
  • Explain how you grew as a woman over the year.
  • What were some of the best decisions you made in 2017?
  • What were the low moments of 2017?
  • In what ways were you waiting on the weight, relationships or money to get what you want?

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STEP THREE. CRAFTING A MEANINGFUL 2018. Here’s the fun part. Take some time to answer the following questions about the next year. I find it really helpful to be in a group of girlfriends, family or your partner to share with while you are brainstorming. It helps get the excitement going. I also want you to think about this with every question, “How can I infuse more meaning and intention into each area?”

  • What do you want to stand for in 2018?
  • What are your values and core beliefs?
  • What are you most excited about in 2018?
  • What’s your number one goal for your relationship with yourself?
  • What’s your number one goal for your romantic relationship?
  • What’s your number one goal for your career?
  • What’s your number one goal for your health and well being?

STEP FOUR. IDENTIFY THE OBSTACLES.
2018 will be no different than any other year. There will still be obstacles, fears and self doubt. Accomplishing these goals you just wrote about will not be easy, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. I always say, doing XYZ will never be easy, so you might as well do it now! However, you have a much higher chance of accomplishing your goals if you are aware of the obstacles and prepare for them.

  • What could get in the way of you accomplishing your goals in 2018?
  • What has been a common thing that has tripped you up over and over in the past?
  • What are some ways you can move through this obstacle? (examples: talk to my Mom about the pattern I see in my family that I have as well, stop letting my husband call all the shots, get over my fear of failure in therapy, stop waiting to lose twenty pounds to date).

“You have a much higher chance of accomplishing your goals
if you are aware of the obstacles and prepare for them.”

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If you want to be more confident in your clothes…

“Focus on what makes your style unique to YOU. You should walk out of the house saying, “This represents who I am and I look GOOD.” Some easy go-tos: a bright lipstick, a personalized mani, statement jewelry, or a bold scarf.”
MELANIE KLUGER, Personal Stylist
Headoverheelswithmelanie.com

If you want more energy…

“Start your new year by committing to one simple + life-changing habit: drink one green smoothie a day. Boost your energy naturally with the sweet and detoxifying green smoothie recipe below to give you that extra pep in your step.”
JADAH SELLNER
Founder of SimpleGreenSmoothies.com

If you want to feel more relaxed and grounded in your home (and your life…)

“Clean out the “secret” cluttered corners of your space… your closets, drawers, filing cabinets, etc. Having clutter behind closed doors creates feelings of shame, guilt, overwhelm and feeling like a fraud. As you organize these areas, notice how much calmer and more aligned you feel in your life.”
REBECCA MCLOUGHLIN, Interior Coach and Founder of Beautiful Living, RebeccaMcLoughlin.com

If you want to cook more…

“Learn some one dish meals! When it comes to getting a healthy dinner on the table,  the last thing we want to be doing after a long day’s work is spending loads of time in the kitchen prepping, cooking and cleaning. Check out the Slow Roasted Citrus Salmon recipe below to give it a whirl.”
CLAUDINE DAGIT, Chef and Event Planner, CookingWithClaudine.com

STEP FIVE. GET IT ON THE CALENDAR.
When it comes to goal setting I see three main reasons why they don’t come to fruition. 1, You try to add more stuff into your life without taking anything away. 2, You don’t make your new goal a priority by putting real time towards it. For those reasons, it is so important to create time for your new goals.
Let’s say you have a goal of going for a walk outside every day, I want you to spend some time with your daily calendar to schedule it in. Since going for a walk could take 45 minutes, you may have to let something go like doing the dishes or making your kids’ lunch. Maybe you now need to consider getting a housekeeper to come clean more often or you need to ask your partner to make the kids’ lunches instead of you.

Another thing to consider is when your personal goals and career goals could be at odds with each other. Perhaps you have a goal of travelling more, but you only get 10 days of vacation. Or maybe you’ve already committed to going to visit your family three times next year which doesn’t give you space to trek through Nepal. What do you need to negotiate at work or cancel in order to make this a reality?

That’s it! Get on the phone or send an email RIGHT NOW to find a time to gather your girlfriends together to craft 2018.

As for me, there’s so much I want to accomplish in 2018, but the most important thing for me is to find my sweet spot between work, motherhood and myself, especially with my third on the way. It’s a constant struggle for me as it is for most moms, but I am committed to striving for my happy place in all areas of my life. In the comments below I want to know what YOUR number one goal is for 2018.

Love,
Sarah

P.S. Over the years, this intention setting process has stayed the same. But, I have also learned to harness the moon to help me achieve my goals. In 2 weeks I’m hosting a New Year, New Moon, New You Workshop at Hawthorn Farm and on LiveStream. The New Moon’s energy is here for us to bring our intentions, dreams and desires into reality. I’ve been setting intentions and doing rituals under the New Moon every month for the past year and it has created so many incredible things in my life (including my new beloved Home and retreat center). We’ll be clarifying your intentions and doing a group manifestation ceremony. You can sign up here to attend in person or here to attend the LiveStream. I’d love to see you there.

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Images by Bess Friday. Styling by Melanie Kluger.

SLOW ROASTED CITRUS SALMON
Serves 2
2 salmon portions
1 fennel bulb (thinly sliced)
1 blood orange
1 lemon
1 lime
Preheat your oven to 275°. Thinly slice the fennel and citrus and toss with extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil) and quality salt and fresh pepper and place into the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Place salmon over the veggies, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 275° for 35 minutes for medium rare.
Chef’s notes: Garnish with dill and citrus zest for a fresh bang of flavor! This pairs perfectly with a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa and a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc.For more recipes, click here.

 

TROPICAL TUMERIC CLEANSER GREEN SMOOTHIE
Serves 2
2 cups kale
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups pineapple
1 cup mango
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, to taste
Blend kale and coconut milk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.*Use at least one frozen fruit to make smoothie cold.For more recipes, click here.

enjoy

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  • Ruth O’Leary

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks so much for this article. I ran a candlelit bath and afterwards wrote down all the questions above and answered them. I did this in a beautiful journal that iv had for over a year and never used. I find your posts and emails very helpful and they remind me to stop and think about myself and my goals and self care. So than-you from the other side of the Atlantic! Ruth (Ireland)

  • Kylie Ross

    My number one goal for 2018 is
    To truly, deeply and wholeheartedly love and accept myself just as I am so that Ia and others can see me and accept and love me just as I am.

  • My number one goal is to accept me for where I am right now. I’m really looking forward to 2018 and want to be kind to myself as we have a move coming up, a three month old, a 2 1/2 year old, and a career change. So much happening! Can’t wait to join online for the new moon ceremony.

    • What a beautiful intention, Amy. We could all be a bit more kind and compassionate to ourselves. Have an amazing year!

Design: Jane Reaction. Development: Brandi Bernoskie.