January Goal Setting and Connecting Challenge

January – The month of New Beginnings! I love the process of looking back, reflecting, taking a moment to appreciate and acknowledge accomplishments of 2016, then looking forward! I am a goal setter for sure. If you’re wired like me and don’t usually celebrate or reflect, this is an important time to do just that.

Some people poo poo goal setting and resolutions. A common objection is, “well, I don’t keep them anyway, I always fail so why even set them?”. Come on, ditch the pity party. Let’s look at this through a different lens.

Pretend you set a goal each year, the same goal, for six years and you fall off the wagon February 1st each year. You keep on your goal for one month, January.

Hypothetically your goal is writing 15 minutes each day 5 days a week.

Think about this. In six years you’ll be six years older. Period. Would you prefer to be six years older with no goal progress OR six years older having written 32 1/2 hours? I’d prefer the latter.

Each year you’re probably excited and motivated setting goals with resolve and determination. Your intentions are good. Keep at it! Utilize different programs to teach and guide you through your goal setting process. Continual learning and growth. Here are some programs I’ve participated in through the years:

  • An excellent local resource for businesses that I’ve taken twice is through Catalyst Performance Consulting. Owner Stephanie titles it, Own Your Future. Click on the link for more information. It’s coming up next week!
  • My husband and I have also taken Lee and Melinda Weinstein’s program, Intentional Life Planning. It was an excellent exercise to do together! It’s most helpful to have a third party helping facilitate the conversation between hubs and wifey.
  • This year I stepped through Michael Hyatt’s program, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. I have enjoyed it immensely. My goals have all made me a bit nervous – exactly the place they should be!

Since I’m such a visual learner I’m working on something new this year to keep my goals “in my face”.

The goal setting work was done on paper and I am needing to transfer to a daily visual reminder. (For more on learning styles and to figure out your personal learning style read this post.)

In my office I’ve commandeered a section of the wall and painted it with chalkboard paint. This is a picture of the work in progress, the goals need to be placed onto the wall along with my inspiring words/liberating truths (to be created and written in the frame).

My seven specific, measurable, scary and ambitious goals range from personal to professional.

What are your goals for the year? Set some! Share them. Whether you’ve set some or not, I’d like to challenge you with a personal goal.


Personal Challenge

During this first month of 2017 I invite/challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and make a monthly ‘new connection’. Will you commit to making one new connection each month?

If you will commit, write it on your calendar; schedule it. You’ll have a much greater success rate if you do.

Why am I asking people to join me and set this specific goal? We MUST make connections. In order to change this current climate of animosity and judging one another it’s of the utmost importance that we’re connecting outside our ‘sphere’. You can bridge that gap!


  • Inviting a coworker to lunch or dinner
  • Attend a Go! Sense of Place Lecture
  • Take cookies to your neighbor (the one you don’t necessarily like so much!)
  • Donate to the Senior Center or Women’s Shelter
  • Write a thank you note to a service provider/partner (i.e. garbage collector, mail carrier, wedding vendor you work with, server at a restaurant, etc.
  • Pay for someone’s coffee
  • Smile and say “good morning” to a stranger as you pass by
  • Go to a different church
  • Attend a Rotary, Lions club, or other meeting
  • Sit with someone new at the Fresh Start breakfast (local Hood River Oregon)
  • Other ideas?? Please post!!

When we begin to raise the awareness and make connections in our personal lives, we are then able to fold this new attitude (which becomes a habit) into our businesses. We can then incentivize, support, and encourage our team to do the same.

The power of making positive connections can become exponential through businesses.

Businesses are under-utilizing their staff and the positive impacts and connections they can make. It’s time to be a part of that change.

My Connecting Goals


We took my mother and her friend and attended a music program at the gorgeous performing arts center at Wy’East Middle School put on by the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association. Admittedly it was not super out of my comfort zone but it was a new circle of people that we were ‘infiltrating’. Making new connections! The weather cancelled the Sense of Place Lecture and Jim Whittaker’s book talk or we would have attended those too.

Odd Months:

In home “Dinner and Conversation”. We had one of these last year and it was a blast! Jeff chose a number of excellent podcasts all of which will stimulate conversation, make us see and think about the topic in a new light. Group size is 6-8 (optimal discussion size) and will get the podcast in advance. Guests have to listen to the podcast prior to arrival. During dinner we discuss!

The purpose is to bring people into our home that we know, and others we don’t know too well that have differing backgrounds so we can make new connections, and increase our grace with one another through having a shared experience.

I’ll create a post and guideline about this if you want to instigate your own.

Even Months:

Attend events hosted through the Columbia Center for the Arts, Gorge Owned Sense of Place Lectures, Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association, and other community connecting activities. For each of these events I’m going to invite someone along! Join me by connecting with your local arts center.


Please share your ideas for connecting. I’m sure you have many! Let me know what you’re doing and how it went. I’m excited knowing that these stories will be powerful and amazing. Individually we’re creating that ripple in the pond. Let’s get with it!


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