Photo by Thomas Northcut/Photodisc / Getty Images
Photo by Thomas Northcut/Photodisc / Getty Images

I hate it when people say "New Year, New You." The reason being is that I kind of take that personally! What the heck is wrong with the current me? Let's be honest, the time simply changed from one minute to the next. It went from 11:59 PM to 12:00 AM like it does every single night the other 364 days of the year. I just spent 12 months with the "old me" and I don't think she was so bad that we need to completely replace her. How about a 2.0 version? That is the rant that goes on in my head every time I hear someone say "New Year, New You." As a result, I would like to plant a new seed. How about "New Year, Better You" or we can reach for the stars together and claim "Best You."

On a very positive note, there is this crazy momentum that develops with the thought of a "New Year." What is so symbolic about the change from one year to the next and how do we take advantage of the positive energy that it cultivates? I wonder, what inspiration does it provide that we were lacking all year long? Let's harness that inspiration and have it transcend across minutes, days, months and years for as long as we can. We should be looking at each new day as a new opportunity. There's no need to wait for a new year to begin in order to make positive changes in your life. Let's make a resolution together and vow that we will take advantage of the great momentum that this new year has afforded us, but let's not have it stop at the end of January when resolutions fizzle. Let's really take each and every moment as an opportunity to create and cultivate the life we want.

I spoke to Sarah Bogdanski, a certified Life Coach, to get you some amazing tips on how to set goals and maintain them in 2016. Her info and links to her website are at the bottom of this post:

Kelly: There are no dumb questions and we are in a safe space so I will ask, what is a Life Coach?  

Sarah: A Life Coach is someone who helps others make a change, move forward, or work towards a specific goal. A life coach helps you get from where you are in your life right now, to where you want to be, and may work with you on your relationships, career, confidence, finances, health, business venture – or anything really! They can help you change your thinking, help you get un-stuck, conquer fear, and inspire you to be your very best self. They are objective and non-judgmental, support you and your goals, motivate and inspire you, hold you accountable, and cheer you on as you achieve what you want and desire.

Kelly: What made you become a Life Coach?

Sarah: A few years back I was at a turning point in my life. My life was generally good, but I wasn’t really happy. I felt stuck – because I had all these ideas of the life I envisioned, but couldn’t seem to figure out how to get there. I felt like I was on auto-pilot with my career, I wasn’t happy with my daily routine of life, and I couldn’t seem to meet the right guy. So I hired my own life coach, and got really clear on my vision of what I wanted in life. I was able to get past mental blocks in my thinking and resolve some fears and limiting beliefs that I have developed over the course of my lifetime. In this process, I felt like I discovered a pot a gold! Within months of this profound experience, my life completely changed, and everything I dreamed of became a reality. I moved to a new city into my dream apartment, fell in love with an amazing man, started to earn and save more money, and began putting the wheels in motion to get my coaching certification. It’s like all the clouds in my head had moved out of the way, and I was now so focused on moving forward toward my dreams. With this life changing experience, I realized I wanted to be that person for others, and help them create positive changes in their life and relationships too; to get off auto-pilot with their life, get un-stuck, move the clouds out of the way and create an extraordinary life they dream of! 

Kelly: What has it personally taught you?

Sarah: That we all have the wisdom within ourselves. That we are each the owners of our lives, and not victims of past circumstances. That we can create the life we envision and that we all hold the key to our own happiness and success. Lastly, that should all live life on our terms – no one else's!

Kelly: Everyone says “New Year, New You.” what are your thoughts on that? Should it be a concept of a "New You?" Or the ability to create and shift into a better you?

Sarah: In the New Year, there is a sense of renewal and starting fresh, which is a wonderful feeling to have. And with this sentiment, it’s a great time to plan how to create a better, happier you. I believe who we are in this moment is a sum of all of our experiences, thoughts, choices and emotions that have led us to this point in time. And while all of those things led us to where we are today, we always have the choice to change, pivot or accelerate at any given point. So yes – recreating yourself and shifting, even amplifying who you are in this new season, is all up to you! The beauty is, not just in the New Year, but at any moment in time, we have the ability to create a better version of ourselves.

Kelly: People tend to set resolutions in the New Year but have difficulty conquering them. Any thoughts here?

Sarah: We all have so many ideas of what we want to change or goals we want to achieve. The problem is, many times they stay in our head and never move into action. Typically this is because our thinking holds us back – whether it’s because we’re too focused on what we don’t have, we are dwelling on the past, we don’t have clarity in what exactly we want, we feel overwhelmed or have fears about making changes. 

Kelly:  If you had to boil it down what would be 3 essential tips to starting the year right?

Sarah: My 3 Essential Tips are all rooted in mindset and how this then translates into action. By focusing on your mindset first, you’ll put yourself in a strong place to move forward and achieve creating the best version of you. Here are my tips:

1. Celebrate Your Wins 
Before you start working on a better version of yourself in the New Year, be sure to acknowledge all you’ve accomplished already. Take a look back at the past year and write down all successes you already achieved and all the awesomeness that you are today. This practice will direct your thinking to a positive place. And once you’re in that positive groove with your thoughts, they will lead you to make better choices and take better action to your greatness. Be grateful for your past successes, and let those wins be your fuel to really BLAST OFF in the new year!

2. Get Clear on Your Vision 
Many times we tend to live life by what others or society expects of us. Or we stay stuck in a certain place because it’s our safety zone – like a career we’ve been in (even though we aren’t happy) because we’re climbing the ladder and feel like we’re too far ahead to make a change – or in a dead-end relationship that isn’t going anywhere but you’d rather stay in it and be miserable than start over again.  I challenge you to own your path this year. It can be hard to do, but allow yourself to get out of your own head (or stop listening to what others’ want for you) and focus on your heart and what it’s telling you. Listen deeply and decide what you truly want and desire for YOU. From there, get it out on paper. Once you write something down, it becomes much more powerful and helps the process begin to take shape.

3. Take Action & Get Support There’s no better time to creating the better version of you than right this very moment! Timing is never perfect, and to get started you just need to put one foot in front of the other. Baby steps are good! And be realistic with your goals. If you want to start going to the gym, going from 0 days a week to 5 days a week right away is extreme, and setting yourself up by biting more than you can chew typically doesn’t result in success, but failure. Instead, start slow and go once or twice a week. After you do that for a while and get into a nice groove, up it to more days. Or let’s say you want to save a certain amount of money this year. Make sure you look at your budget and be realistic with your savings each week. Come up with a do-able number – because if you overestimate you may drop off from saving after just a few weeks because it’s too much of a financial struggle. Over time, you will build toward your goal by taking realistic, smaller steps to get there. In addition, have someone support you, hold you accountable, and cheer you on in the process. Be it a friend, family member, significant other, or coach, having someone you can confide in and have as a sounding board on your journey to greatness will be just what you need to keep you on track and celebrate with you as you cross the finish line.

Kelly: What do you need to do to stick to the plan?

Sarah: Persistence. Even if you’re working hard towards your goal and there seem to be bumps in the road – don’t give up. These bumps help you grow and make you stronger each and every time you get past them. So if you’re trying to eat better, and you have a day where you aren’t sticking to plan, don’t throw your goal out the window and give up. Be kind to yourself and accept that moment, and then focus back to your vision and keep moving forward. When I was younger, my mom once told me “If you insist and you persist, you achieve and conquer.” I never forgot that message, it’s true! Little by little, those moments of persistence will guide you to conquering your goals.                             

Kelly: What area do you find people are the most challenged in? What’s your advice for getting past this?

Sarah: People are really tough on themselves. If they have a bad day or don’t achieve exactly what they wanted when they wanted it, they beat themselves up over it and feel like a failure. And when that happens, many times this is the place where people give up completely. My advice is to be kind to yourself and treat yourself with compassion. We’re all human and we all have tough moments or a bad day. If you trip along the way, be curious as to why you had that challenge and then pick back up and keep it moving. Sometimes those moments that seem the toughest are actually right before our biggest breakthroughs.

Let’s get personal:

Kelly: Printed or basic leggings? 

Sarah: Printed all the way.

Kelly: What is your favorite brand in the athleisure space?

Sarah: Right now I am digging Lululemon! They’re fun and funky and hug your body in JUST the right places.

Kelly: What is your favorite/go-to sweat session?

Sarah: Yoga and Pilates have become integral to my routine. Yoga for relaxation and stretching, Pilates for overall toning and strength (mental and physical).

Kelly: Are you a luxury lover, a backpack kind of gal or something in the middle?

Sarah: Somewhere in the middle, but I can go both ways too!

Kelly:  Donuts, cakes or cookies?

Sarah: Chocolate chip cookies with sea salt sprinkled on top!

I couldn't agree more with the advice Sarah shared. Be kind to yourself and believe that you have endless opportunities to make any enhancements to your life that you truly want to make at any point in time. 

Interested in learning more about how to work with Sarah? Click here to arrange a free coaching consult and learn about her private and group coaching programs.

About Sarah:  

Sarah Bogdanski is an NYU Certified Coach who helps individuals who are ready for positive change in their lives and relationships. She works with clients all over the country and from different walks of life. Sarah aims to help people uncover mental blocks, conquer fear, and support them in creating an action plan they are excited about. Contact Sarah for a free coaching consult. Connect with Sarah on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for her newsletter at for inspiration and tips around life and relationships, plus receive insider access to special programs and promotions.