Happy New Year to Me! (Driving Thoughts for a New Decade)

I turned 40 yesterday, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

In my experience so far, every decade has been better than the previous, so I have nothing but great anticipation for my new one.

Because my birthday falls at the halfway point of the year, January 1st and July 1st feel very similar to me. I get a fresh burst of energy as I reflect on what I’ve accomplished, refresh my goals, and challenge myself to do better.

Every January, in addition to setting new goals, I also,

1) Choose a theme for my year. (Confession: Ok, it took me until March to establish my theme for this year.)

2) Identify a handful of what I call “driving thoughts” for the year. It could be quotes, mantras or general sentiments that I want to be intentional to stay aligned to, as I carry on pursuing my goals.

It never occurred to me to share my driving thoughts with anyone, until a few months back when I was training a group of awesome business coaches in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois, and they asked me a bunch of good questions about it.

So in celebration of my new year, I’ll share my driving thoughts for 2018 with you, in hopes that you’ll take this opportunity to develop a “new year” perspective too… even if you have the misfortune of a December birthday.

Karie’s Driving Thoughts for 2018


1.    Live a Life that I Need God to Live

If you have it all under control, you’re not really living. If you’re truly growing, you’ll experience a mix of exhilaration and humility… Knowing deep down that you’re capable, but that you can’t do it without calling on your Creator to help you continue to grow into the person that you are here to be. (I learned this from Mike Quinn, who exemplifies it more than he says it.)

2.    “Definiteness of Purpose is the Starting Point of All Achievement” – Clement Stone

Busy is not a badge of honor. In fact, living in a constant state of busy is an insult your own intelligence. Are you not smart enough to solve bigger & better problems than the ones you’re facing right now? Of course you are. We just get distracted by noise and perceived urgency. But when you get clear on your purpose, priorities come into focus, and true achievement happens.

3.    Hold it All with An Open Hand

I used to stress a lot. Every time I had a business setback, or something didn’t go as I planned, it’d get me all wound up, losing sleep and all. Yet, the Law of the Harvest tells us there are seasons, and that we don’t get to control every factor in our environment. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the process of sewing or have peace in a drought. Even if you’ve had a loss, if you keep your hand open, it’ll fill up again.

4.    Put My Money Where It Grows, Not Where It Shows

This does not mean I can’t shop. (Let’s not be ridiculous.) It just means my priorities are clear, and I have a whole bunch of bank, investment and charitable accounts with auto-transfers, making sure our future selves (and the causes we love) get paid first.

5.    “Life is a Collection of Experiences” – Jim Rohn

This is not only a driving thought for 2018 – it’s Kaufmann Family Core Value #2. I don’t hesitate to invest in amazing experiences, or to help create them for others. But this driving thought also reminds me that even the less-than-ideal experiences have value. Once a quarter, I tell my clients, “Imagine your challenges were sent to you as a gift. What did they come to teach you?” Just collect as many experiences as you can.

We’re running downhill now…

I hope that my Driving Thoughts will help you to pick up some steam as we enter the back half of 2018. If you have your own, please share them below. I might steal them for next year. ?

Until then, may my “new year” give you good reason to raise a toast, and commit to making your second half even better than the first.