Create NEW YEAR ENERGY – All Year Long

I love the energy a new year brings!  It is an opportunity to pause, reflect and reset.


But…..why not create that energy all year long?


The problem with New Year resolutions is that they fizzle out. We all know the statistics. We start off well-intentioned, but by mid-February we lose momentum, become discouraged and often abandon our goals completely.


Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely leverage the energy that comes with turning the calendar to visualize the bigger picture for my year ahead.  I document my focus for the year and what is important to me using the ithrive31® free New Year Journal.  But I don’t stop there.


Five years ago, I created a process that brings this “pause, reflect, reset” energy to my life, 31 days at a time.  It has been a powerful way to live. This disciplined approach for 31-day goal setting has resulted in focused, intentional living and some amazing outcomes. Each 31-day cycle brings with it renewed focus and new possibilities – it’s like feeling that New Year energy all year long.


As I identify my 31-day goals, I consider all areas of my life –  Financial, Physical, Emotional, Professional, Relationship, and Spiritual.  By focusing on each area, I am able to create balance and prioritize what is important.  Here are some ideas on how to bring energy to each of these life areas.


Thinking about goals in each area of your life can feel overwhelming, but if you break it down into small steps, it can be powerful.  Here are a few examples.

Financial Life Area

2021 Intention:   Create greater wealth: end the year in a stronger financial position than at the beginning.


Examples of 31-day goals:

1)    Identify a financial planner and set up an appointment.


2)    Complete the process to have $XX taken out of my paycheck and put into savings each month.


3)    Track spending for January; assess areas that I can reduce and set a plan for February.


Physical Life Area

2021 Intention:  Respect and honor my body to live in a healthy manner in 2021.


Examples of 31-day goals:

1)    “Dry January” – do not drink any alcohol in January.


2)    Participate in workout class – attend no less than 3 sessions a week.


3)    Prepare at least 3 healthy meals for the week on Sunday night.



Emotional Life Area

2021 Intention:  Self-development: Participate in learning opportunities that will increase my knowledge and continue personal growth.


Examples of 31-day goals:

1)    Identify and read a self-development book(name it).


2)    Identify and listen to a self-development podcast 2 times a week.


3)    Create a bedtime routine to allow reading 30 minutes each night; commit to this 3 times a week.


Relationship Life Area

2021 Intention:  Bring joy into my relationships by celebrating important family milestones; nourish old friendships and cultivate new ones.


Examples of 31-day goals:

1)    Schedule a zoom call with extended family for January.


2)    Reach out to (name of friend) to support through cancer journey.


3)    Friends night/Date night out with Spouse on January 16, 2021.


Professional Life Area

2021 Intention:  Continue building business success.


Examples of 31-day goals:

1)   Revisit 5 Year Strategic Plan and assess business goals for 2021.


2)   Devote 30 minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of the day to plan my priorities. Do this a minimum of 3 days a week.


3)    Complete a project on-time and on-schedule; secure a customer rating of 5 stars.


Spiritual Life Area

2021 Intentions:  Make my spiritual life a priority; Engage in activities that will strengthen me.


Examples of 31-day goals:

1)    Attend weekly worship with family.


2)    Participate in a spiritual program/activity (name it).


3)   Devote quiet time each day for prayer/meditation.





When defining goals, I do not use the “SMART” goal setting approach or rigid criteria.   For me, that is too constraining.

The criteria I use for setting my 31-day goals are:

  1. Make it meaningful to my life
  2. Align it with my long-term intentions
  3. Focus it on what will bring me energy for the next 31 days

I write my goals in every area of my life 31 days at a time and put it in a frame next to my computer.  It has become a powerful habit that I use to live intentionally.


I don’t treat this as a monthly activity.  I start and end my plan at different intervals throughout the year.  (E.g. January 3 – February 3, 2021,  February 8 – March 8, 2021 etc., April 20 – May 20, 2021 etc.  ). I usually allow a week or two between my plans to consider what I may want to focus on next.


At the end of 31 days, I review my plan. (pause).  If the actions I included in my 31-day goals are not working or not producing the results I want, I change them on my next plan, but I never give up.  I also believe in the motto, progress not perfection! I assess where I am at and I give myself some grace (reflect).  Then I put new energy back into my life. (reset)


If 2020 taught us anything, it is that unexpected things come at us all the time. Life is not predictable, and we cannot always control our circumstances. We will be in a different place 31-days from now and the circumstances will be different. By using a 31-day planning process, it has allowed me to align with the here and now.  I can focus on what I can control and adjust to the current situation, instead of abandoning my goals because they’re no longer relevant.  I can bring new energy to my life 31 days at a time.


Use the 31-day process as tool to make 2021 your best year yet! Small steps lead to big things.  Download your free 31 days goal template here.


Happy New Year.  I wish you great energy!

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