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January is a time for fresh starts, new beginnings, and the potential of not accomplishing the goals you set. Spend January setting your 2016 up for success with the following to-do list!



New Year’s Resolutions start in January and for 25% of people, they last through… the first week. 60% abandon those resolutions in under six months. The average person makes the same New Years Resolution 10 separate times and never actually reach it! Let’s break those patterns and start creating goals that are realistic AND challenging. Ones that have firm deadlines, a strong why for completing it, and incite some energy in you! Need some guidance? We have a few blogs to walk you through it here, here, and here.


You have your goals down… now start acting on them! Figure out what the first step is for each goal and make some progress. Breaking those goals down to small, achievable steps helps to see progress. Remember – taking just one step gets you a little closer to your goal.


Hand written thank you notes are the perfect way to express gratitude towards someone. They are easy to write and they leave a lasting impression. Take 30 minutes to jot a quick note to those who you truly enjoyed this past holiday season. It may be a thank you for a gift, a thank you for their time, or a thank you for their hospitality. Make sure you date it, put a greeting, express your thanks, add a detail, and end it with your regards.


A new year gives you the opportunity to see things in a whole new light! What’s great about Mondays? What potentially could the person who cut you off be rushing towards? If the elevator is not working, what’s the benefit of taking the stairs? Can you experience the joy of having single (or a few) pieces of chocolate even if you are trying to loose weight? What could the other side of the story be to an assumption you have made? Changing your perspective increases your happiness, positively impacts your relationships, and opens up new possibilities in life.


Interested in a print out version of the above to-do list? Check it out here: January 2016 To-Do List



December is often full of stressful experiences. How can we take some time to bring that patience and relaxation back to this joyful month?



How long have you gone without looking at your phone? Studies suggest 72% of us check our phones more then once an hour. We all know we we do it – we all talk about cutting back. And, we all know the benefits of shutting down. This holiday season – a time to be focused on our loved ones, find an extended period of time to shut your phone, computer, and tablet off and truly live in the moment. Need an extra push? Watch this video – it will make you re-think pulling your phone out for everything.


About 15% of Americans living in poverty consider a warm winter coat as a budget “extra.” Most of us have an extra winter coat (or a few) from previous years. It doesn’t fit right, we never replaced a missing button, we like our new one better. Let’s warm up the world where we can and minimize our home’s clutter while we are at it.


Psychologists have proven it is the giver, not the receiver, who receives the biggest benefit from gift giving. Yet we create it into a stressed and often last minute experience. The week of Christmas (or a birthday or any gift-giving season) typically consists of people running around trying to grab a last minute gift. Not even a good gift… just a gift. When you consider the person you are giving a gift to, determine what would add meaning to their life. Giving a gift is an opportunity to think about your relationship with that person and reflect on our feelings for them. Make it a gift that adds meaning for you and them.


Find 30 minutes to reflect on this past year (maybe turn off your technology to do it?). The best way to get yourself ready for next year is to understand and make peace with this past year. What was your proudest moment of 2015? What are you disappointed in? What do you regret? Who did you connect with in the past year? What opportunities did you take full advantage of? What habits did you break or create? Looking for more questions to dive deeper? Check out Anuschka’s blog which gives you 50 Questions to Help You Reflect.


Interested in a print out version of the above to-do list? Check it out here: December 2015 To-Do List


My grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in the fall of 2014. The doctors informed us of the aggressive treatment he would need to move forward with and that the treatment was not going to actually “treat” or rid his body of the cancer, it could only prolong the inevitable.

My grandfather was an old fashioned man. He did not want pity or sympathy. He built his life from the ground up and provided – through hard work, grit, and determination – for his family. He was a do-it-yourself man and when he spoke (which was not often), his words were wise. He never spoke of emotions and the few times he said, “I love you” I cherish deeply. The last time I saw him I tried to tell him how much he meant to me and how much he helped to shape me, but I couldn’t find the words. Every time I tried to speak to it, he made it clear we were not having that conversation.

In September 2015, about a year after his diagnosis, my mother called sharing that we only had a few weeks left with grandpa. The cancer, through the challenging treatments, was consuming his body. He was weak, tired, not hungry and starting to feel pain. The next morning, I woke, and through tears, wrote a love letter to my grandfather. I sealed it, knowing these would be the last words I shared with him, stamped it, and put it in the mail on my way to work.

It arrived only a few hours after he passed away.

While I know the letter provided my grandmother with the written words of how my grandfather impacted his family, I never had the chance to share those words with him, and now I never will.

As I reflect on the people who have been instrumental through my life, I wonder why I have not taken the time to communicate the impact they have had on me, the gifts they have shared with me, and the way they have helped shape me into the woman I am. Do I need to wait for someone to be on their death bed before I have the courage to thank them?

Maybe in December, a month consumed by the desire to give and receive gifts, we can find the time, the courage, and the words to tell those we love, why we love them. I knew my grandfather was in the process of dying for a year, and I waited for him to have only days left before trying.