This is your year.
It’s your year to break up with uninspiring resolutions (have you broken them already?), old mindsets, and patterns that aren’t aligned with who you are and what you want.
It’s your year to get your edge back, live in your flow, and show up to life full of heart and energy.
Sometimes more than reworking your resolutions or short-sighted goals, you just need to rethink your approach altogether. No more instant-gratification objectives or checklist living. I’m going to show you how I organize my life for impact and alignment. This guide walks you through what I do at the beginning of each year, but it’s also what I do whenever I feel a little out of step or worn out by life.
This is for those of you who feel “stuck” in rhythms that aren’t serving you well. But it’s also for those of you who feel uber-inspired and don’t know how to channel that big energy. It’s for anyone who knows there’s more to life, but just needs a little road map to manifesting it.
Walk alongside me as I bring you through my process for planning a new year…any time of the year!
1. Clear Physical Space
This is the easy on-ramp that sets the stage for more important decluttering. I always start in the physical realm first. It’s the perfect primer for the mental decluttering to come.
For me, this means an annual closet clean out. And then some. I declutter my closet and ruthlessly gift or donate what I don’t like, don’t wear or don’t really want anymore. I’m a total minimalist when it comes to my closet. There’s less to fold, tidy and keep clean. I don’t have to stare at clothes that “I might someday need, or fit into, or come back in style, and on and on…” Having less in my closet doesn’t just free up space in my closet. It frees up space in me.
From my closet, I work outward by attacking different zones in my house methodically. I love a good pantry, bathroom cabinet, junk drawer, garage or playroom clean out. And I’ve found the places or things I find myself most avoiding are the ones that have the biggest impact when they’re cleared and paired down (looking at you, kids’ toys).
There’s a felt sensation of weight being lifted and my home being lighter when it’s not filled with so much excess. The decluttering of my home ultimately serves the purpose of providing clarity: I can think clearer and sharper and with more intention about life at large when I’ve created a minimalist sanctuary within my home.
2. Take Inventory
After clearing physical spaces, it’s time to take inventory. Here’s what you need to take inventory of: what feels good and what doesn’t. Ultimately, you’re going to do an audit over the most important aspects of your life and figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
I can’t understate the importance of taking inventory of the previous year (or if you’re doing this outside of New Year’s, then it might mean looking at the last several months). This takes time and serious intention. Maybe the hardest part is slowing down. You really can't press go until you slow it down first.
I’ve found that taking inventory and really mining those deeper and wiser places happens more freely when I’m meditating or on a yoga mat. Maybe for you, it’s journaling or a long run. Find wherever it is that you think most clearly, and commit to getting there, asking the questions, and considering the possibilities.
- What’s making me feel tired, worn out, uninspired?
- What felt good this past year?
- What do I want for this next year?
- What am I craving?
- What would make me feel great about how I show up for myself and the people I love most?
These questions aren’t meant to overwhelm, but help you determine where your energy needs to go. And where it doesn’t. Don’t just assess one area. Evaluate your business, family/personal life, health and more.
An easy and methodical way to go about taking inventory is to write down every responsibility and whether it is an energy giver or energy drainer. If it drains your energy, ask if it’s really necessary. And if it is, could it be done a different way or outsourced?
For example, I love finding and making new recipes, but I don’t love the hour I spend at the grocery store in order to get ingredients. I’d rather spend 30 minutes doing something that moves my business and 30 minutes on my yoga mat instead. Thankfully, Chris loves Costco! I’ve outsourced part of the grocery shopping to him. And when I need to do it, I take my boys to the Ecology Center, where we can enjoy the outdoors and a fun excursion (quality time!) all while getting the necessary groceries.
We have so much more control than we know, but have to take the time to review, think outside of the box, and consider how we might change things. Talk to your partner, roommate, mom or friend on how you can work together to remove or re-work the energy draining tasks.
Visually, it can look something like this:
Drain or Inspire
Delegate or Remove
Delegate - work with Chris
Meeting with clients
Remove - support organically with affiliate programs
Creating new content
Want to know something about me? I love New Year’s energy. I channel that buzz by making sure I have everything on hand to kick the year off right. This includes my Thrive Market autoship, protein, Pique tea, Pasturebird and Force of Nature meats. I take advantage of shopping at a discount for the healthy things I want to be stocked up on in order to feel inspired and ready for what’s ahead. But that’s about all I do the first week or two of the New Year! don’t do much else until
I don’t even try to take inventory – the deep work outlined above – until after the craziness of the holidays has calmed and the hype of New Year’s has died down. I need to wait until I’m in a calm space to do the New Year’s recap, and I don’t rush to get it in before December 31st. This is such a pivotal step that I don’t feel bad taking much of the month of January to really nail it down.
A Cheat Sheet to Taking Inventory:
If taking inventory of your life feels big and overwhelming, don’t fret! Here’s a cheater method: Work backwards. Imagine yourself in three years. What would you be doing? Now, from that place, determine the few but defined changes you need to make in order to move in that desired direction.
Want to know mine? I want to share more real-life cooking out of my home, continue to offer products that actually move the needle for your health, and I want to travel with my family. Operation move in that direction is officially in effect.
3. Clear Mental and Schedule Space
If you’ve really sat in your audit spot for a while, you might have an idea about what needs to be cut moving forward. And that’s exactly what has to be done – declutter your mind and your time to create space for what will actually make you feel good.
Start by looking at the year. The first thing I do is pull out Jesse Itzler’s Big A## Calendar. It’s totally my style. And if you haven’t found a calendar or planner or time organization system you love, I can’t recommend enough that you try this one! I love that it allows me to be super targeted. And it also makes me plan special things.
But regardless of what calendar or planner you use, if you’ve taken honest inventory, then it’s time to start making cuts. Whether you have to send an email, make a phone call or just say “no” to someone, now is your time.
This can hurt. It can feel scary. But speaking from experience, it offers so much freedom. Your no’s are what allow you to say yes to what and who you love.
My 2024 word is freedom. I knew if I wanted more freedom moving forward, I was going to need the courage to say no to things I’ve held onto for a while. Things that used to serve me well, but now were weighing me down. After taking an honest look at my professional life, I knew I had to simplify things in order to make space for my most authentic work. The pace of producing two podcasts per week and keeping up with dozens of brand contracts (even though I personally used/supported/loved their products on the daily!) made showing up to work feel heavy. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve dropped basically all brand partnerships (even though I still support their brands), and I’m simplifying podcast production. Already, I feel lighter and more energized to produce content that’s original, from the heart, and offers more impact to my community.
I don’t know what you need to clear from your schedule to create room for more important things in both your time and your mind, but I do know that your “no” is just another way of saying “yes” to better things.
4. Determine Points of Impact, and Craft a Plan to Implement
Life should already feel lighter! Now we’re getting to the good stuff. It’s time to find a few points of impact, and implement a plan to put those routines or decisions into place.
This is where you have to tap into those original questions of What would make me feel good right now? and What am I really craving?
Spoiler alert, your most aligned life is not craving ten new to-dos. It’s craving a couple impactful decisions that will pull you together and carry you into a state of flow.
I always look to make one decision that will reverberate a hundred times over in my life. Can you make one call or sign up for one weekly class or implement one routine that will have a compounding effect?
Maybe you want to feel stronger and more grounded this year. Make one call to a yoga studio and sign up for Tuesday mornings. We build these things up to be really big decisions, but then we make the call and find out the plan can be put into motion without a whole lot of effort. It just took some intention. Now, you’ve auto-piloted that positive momentum.
I have a steam oven in my home, and for months after moving in, it was a source of mental tension. I love cooking for my family, but I didn’t feel totally in control or comfortable with the steam oven situation. Finally, I looked at my calendar, cleared the tiniest bit of space, and signed up for the steam oven class. I’ve taken the class, mastered the oven, and feel so much joy and control over cooking for my family. It was one decision that I built up to be really big. In reality, it was just one phone call to sign up, and the positive effect is felt every single day when I cook for my family.
Another moral to that story? Outsource the deadline or the commitment. When I signed up for five cooking classes, I wasn’t signing up to be the teacher and I no longer had to “find time” to research steam ovens. I outsourced the commitment. All I had to do was show up, which made it so much easier.
If in doubt, remember this:
- Prioritize a few actions that will actually energize and align you. Don’t pick depriving, depressing goals (I’ve never met someone inspired by writing “lose 5 lbs” on their planner).
- Find those “one decision's” that have a long ripple effect outward. Those are the cornerstone habits that create massive and repeated positive momentum.
- Outsource the commitment or deadline. Ask a friend to join. Leave the workout planning up to the studio instructor. Let the teacher be the one to walk you through it. This lifts the weight of being isolated in your goals.
After clearing the clutter, taking inventory, and sitting with my Big A## Calendar, I created space to do something that felt right. I booked a trip to France for my family! It isn’t just about having a good vacation. It’s about stepping into that future person I want to be. It feels right to know I’m creating a childhood for my boys of shared experiences and deep connection doing new things.
A Real Life Look:
I want to show you a start to finish real life look at the minimize, prioritize and plan method in action.
After giving birth to my third child, Julian, I became increasingly concerned about my second son, Taschen, getting lost in the middle. My oldest boy, Bash, is naturally outgoing and vocal. He’s always soliciting me or Chris to come play. Julian is labor and time intensive because that’s what the baby phase is. Taschen is happy to play with his trucks alone.
Instead of continuing to beat myself up about feeling like Taschen was getting lost in the middle, I decided to take inventory. I thought about our family flow when I cleaned out my closet, when I was on the yoga mat, as I took a hike through the fire trails. I knew that in order to go to bed without feeling a nagging sense of mom-guilt every night – in order to really feel great about myself – I needed some one on one time with Taschen.
So I cleared the space. I coordinated with Chris, and we decided an hour and half to two hours on Thursday afternoons would be my Taschen “special time”, my T time! One decision. Ongoing outcome.
I don’t take calls, get a haircut, schedule a workout or cram emails during my Taschen time. It’s all for him. We’ve used that time to hit the trails or the beach with his Tonka trucks. I’m finding what kind of movement he loves, and I’m engaging in it with him. If it’s rainy, I’ve already signed us up for a spot at a local mommy and me art studio.
After several weeks of our new routine, I feel lighter. Dedicating this small but mighty space in my week has made all the difference in my relationship with Taschen, but also how I feel about myself as a mom.
All I needed was to minimize, prioritize and plan. And that’s really the only thing you need, too.
I want you to feel fully you. To love the skin you’re in, the energy you give off, and the way you show up to life for yourself and your people. It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to figure out how to get “unstuck” and operate more aligned with myself.
Wherever you’re at, I hope you take the time to walk through the guide outlined above in order to step into a life of true well being.
A Few Final Ideas:
If you want to feel focused, vibrant and energized, I’m here to offer a few easy ways to autopilot your plan to improve your health (and your family’s, too):
- Be Well By Kelly Protein Powder - Subscribe and save on the highest quality vegan or grass-fed protein powder. Feel nourished and energized while cutting cravings and setting yourself up for stable blood sugar all day long.
- Fab 4 Fundamentals - Educate yourself on the magic of blood sugar balance through the Fab 4 Fundamentals course. I teach you how to put food together for meals in a way that stabilizes, energizes and still tastes delicious.
- Fab 4 Under 4 - Invest in your child’s health and let me walk you through how to feed a child for optimal growth and development. One class, and you’ll feel confident feeding your kiddo for years to come.