Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



cultivating a good life in 2016

Part of cultivating a good life is beginning with the end in mind.

Right. As in … the principle that author Stephen Covey has ingrained in so many of us. It’s one of my personal mantras. I think about it quite a bit. And if you ask my team, they’ll tell you I bring this up a lot in our conversations and meetings. You know why?

It works.

Okay, so it’s a brand new year. Goal setting and resolutions and “a new year: a new you!” is so much of what we’re hearing about, right? Naturally. And that’s great! Listen and absorb and allow yourself to be influenced by those you trust. There’s some great advice out there. Today I wanted to share my thoughts on all of this as we ring in 2016.

Over the past couple of weeks I found my thoughts occasionally dabbling in some ideas for 2016 personal goals. I wasn’t putting pen to paper but just letting my mind wander. I’ve never been one to think that there’s something magical about January 1st. But as a natural goal setter, why go against the grain? There’s so much talk about resolutions during this season and I love that so many people feel motivated and eager to improve… regardless of the date.

  • Drop 20 pounds
  • Get out of debt
  • Buy a house
  • Get my degree
  • Start a business
  • Start a family
  • Declutter my entire house

Do any of these feel familiar? If you have written out some resolutions, take a look at that list. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Of course there are ways to make it feel less daunting. For example, focus on one goal at a time, like one per month. Or the tactic of breaking down each goal into smaller baby steps can help you to have success with those resolutions.

Here’s my challenge to you: When you have a moment to be completely still, I want you to focus on a much bigger picture than a lengthy list of goals. Envision the end of this year. Envision YOU at the end of this year. What do you want to FEEL in December 2016? Do you want to feel happier or healthier or lighter or less busy or more busy? Can you see yourself having a closer-knit family or more meaningful friendships or a job that you can’t wait to return to the next day?

This is the principle of beginning with the end in mind. Once you have a clear vision of what you deeply desire for yourself, that right there is exactly what you need to guide you in setting goals or resolutions. Your own clarity on what you want to FEEL at the end of this year is more valuable than any book you could read or advice you could see on social media.

Defining the “end result” (and really, we’re just talking about the end of this year for now) means that you now have the compass you need to keep you focused on what kind of goals to set. Having the big picture in your mind & in your heart means that you can steer yourself in a direction that will keep your smaller goals in line with whatever’s most important to you.

Are you envisioning a stronger marriage at the end of this year? Knowing this will lead you to specific goals that might include regular date nights and more patience and a stronger willingness to compromise on the little stuff, and perhaps even a getaway for the two of you this year.

Are you envisioning that feeling of not being so burdened all the time? Knowing this will lead you to specific goals that might include saying “no” to a few more things, letting go of that grudge you’ve been holding, decluttering your home, or unsubscribing to all that junk mail that clutters up your inbox each week. PS – It might be time to seriously declutter who you follow on social media. Be choosy. Unfollow. Only allow people / organizations into your personal space that will inspire you to be a better version of yourself, not make you feel “less than.”

Are you envisioning a happier home environment? Knowing this will lead you to specific goals that might include regular dedicated family nights, or a new rule that devices are not allowed at the dinner table, or being intentional about more “teaching moments” and one-on-one times with each child. Or perhaps you’ll be motivated to have your children learn more about the joy of serving others as you regularly discuss, plan, and carry out various acts of service as a family.

I can give a hundred examples, but I think you’re getting the point. Begin with the end in mind. Allow the bigger picture to guide you and keep you focused so that instead of having an unrealistic list of 30 goals that you’re going to tackle in 2016, you have a vision of the person you’ll be 12 months from now. If you’ve already written that list, now’s a good time to check it twice and cross off anything that’s not supportive of the bigger picture goal that you have in mind for yourself and your family.

This post marks the beginning of our third year doing this “Good Life” weekly series on the blog. I chime in once in a while, but honestly — you hear from me plenty (especially if you get our emails or follow my social media), so this weekly series is predominantly a space for other people, of various stages and walks of life, who each share one of the ways they cultivate a good life. We are delighted to carry on the tradition and look forward to sharing more inspiring thoughts each and every Sunday. I’m so glad you’re here and that you trust us to share ideas that will help you to cultivate a good life and record it.


32 Responses

  1. Ann says:

    Love these posts. Keep them coming.

  2. Sue K. S. says:

    This is the most meaningful post about setting goals I have read in some time. I think we all set goals but have forgotten to think of what it looks like when they are achieved. Thank you for the reminder. I think I have some work to do! 😀 Happy New Year to you and thank you for always being a positive inspiration.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Love the thought of thinking about the end result and building the goal(s) from that.

  4. Cindy says:

    Love this post. Thank you for your inspiration. Happy New Year!!

  5. Joanna says:

    Love this post. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I have set a lot of goals for myself this year. I will definitely look through them again with this in mind.

  6. Laura says:

    Great post. Thank you.

  7. Pam says:

    Well said!! Please keep the inspiration coming!!

  8. Carol Anne says:

    My One LIttle Word for the year, Create, is how I begin with the end in mind. Good post.

  9. Mandy says:

    Such beautiful thoughts Becky, thank you for sharing!

  10. Jen says:

    Thanks for this. You can always be counted on for thought provoking posts.

  11. Chris says:

    Thank you, Becky! Sometimes I get so caught up in the NOW and the little things that I forget the big picture or end result I’m wanting. Happy New Year!

  12. Sabine H. says:

    Becky… Such a thought provoking post. Thank you for this. I now feel confident that this year… By setting my intentions based on this mindset I will actually make them happen. That feels good!

  13. Char says:

    Love this and will be what I am going to do this year. Thanks so much for the thought provoking post. Keep them coming.

  14. Leigh says:

    Awesome. I commented on your Instagram post about blogging that the best “Good Life” posts, for me, are those that challenge me to act in a specific, concrete way. This kind of post is exactly what I was talking about! I will definitely be pondering on this today before I put pen to paper for any resolutions. Thank you!

  15. karen says:

    Love this post and so inspiring. Please keep contributing to your blog even if just once or twice a month. I love the insight. It is part of my quiet time….reading your post with a cup of tea!

  16. Corrine says:

    Love this! I just wrote down what I would like to accomplish this year. With this written so close to the beginning of the start of the year I don’t feel stressed that I can go back through my list with a different vision. I really like the idea of re-setting my goals to what I would like to see me like and my life like at the end of 2016. Thank you for creating a clearer vision, and organized vision for me to reflect on!

  17. Casie says:

    I love this post and the advice within it! I love making goals at the new year and then quickly become discouraged and give up when I can’t achieve those goals! Focusing more on the end result will keep me motivated! Thank you Becky!

  18. Helen says:

    This post is really great and I will keep in mind when I will take some time and plan for the year ahead. The end result is what it’s all about and thank you for reminds me of it.
    Thank you Becky and please continue with this posts! They are great!

  19. Karen Watts-Edwards says:

    Becky- this is GREAT! I so much admire and respect what Steven Covey brought to the world and 7 Habits is my go to book for cultivating and living a good life. Seeing the big picture (the end in mind) is crucial to me in terms of motivation! And can I go one step further? Losing 20 pounds is not the real goal!!!!! The real goal is a healthier more attractive body. THAT you can dream about. Losing weight is a means to an end- not the end itself. And healthier eating and exercise are activities that help accomplish the goal.

    I have a great idea for 2016. It’s been kicking around in my brain all week so here it is! Turn a mini project life album into the Vision for 2016 book. I can post the goals along with some beautiful photos of the END in mind. Then I can use journaling cards to record the progress. Becky, you are truly a light in my world. THANK YOU!! Karen

    • Julie says:

      That is a great idea Karen! Glad you mentioned it because I was thinking something similar and this is a perfect way to track it and add personal touches as we go along (not to mention excuse for using more fun products!)
      Hope your 2016 is great!

  20. Julie says:

    Love this post. Helps to keep things real and genuine rather than a list of tasks that could feel meaningless as they are checked off. The WHY is important to remember in everything we do! Thanks Becky!

  21. I could just hug you! You are one smart cookie. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I took your BPC class the first time around. That saying has stuck in my head since then. Great words!

  22. Sophia Bryan says:

    I am always excited to find other natural goal-setters!

    Beginning with the end in mind is great advice- thanks for reminding me.
    When I set my yearly goals, I try to spread them into different areas of my life. My mom taught it to me and we call it our New Year’s STEP. We set a goal for Spiritual, Temporal, Educational, and Physical aspects of life. This limits us to four goals, and prevents us from over-doing it in one area.

    I’m a little over-zealous about goals, and I’ve had to learn that some people just aren’t that way. For example, my husband doesn’t really do resolutions. He has his own method for personal improvement. It’s important to remember to respect that not everyone loves or hates resolutions! I’ll never forget being shamed for my love of goals in high school, and I try to be considerate of others when I gear up for the New Year.

  23. Aggie Aviso says:

    Hi Becky, ever since I read that tip “Begin with the end in mind.” my memory keeping process streamlined itself. Love it, love you! Thank you!!

  24. Joyce says:

    Thanks, Becky. I have forgotten to think of the end. I do feel defeated sometimes before I even begin. I hope to take up this challenge and look ahead while still focusing on what I need to do today to make it to the end.

  25. Kellie says:

    “Begin with the end in mind” is my 2016 motto! Thanks for sharing!!!

  26. Tina M says:

    Hi Becky, so good to have found you. I was browsing at AC Moore Art store yesterday and saw your products. I was so impressed with the quality of the product – nearly bought a kit and an album, but I wanted to know more about you and the Life Project, so, I browsed your website, which took me to this blog. Your presentation on this blog is excellent and your message is inspirational – a good start of me. I am sold! My goal for 2016 is to de-clutter my house and my life to make space for a new life. I imagine at the end of December 2016, I’d be living in a Zen like home and living a healthy and creative life. Thank you for sharing your creative process with us. I am a fan now! :-)

  27. Debra says:

    Love this Becky! Thank you for the reminder to start with the end in mind. This is always the best advice for me but I sometimes forget along the way, so thank you for always sharing!

    • Erm. I have no cook book writing knowledge, but that sounds like an interesting idea. Perhaps you could tie the people/recipes in with nationalities or types of cuisine.Whatever you do, have a good think about it first!

    • >Man er sÃ¥ cute under sÃ¥dan en varmehjelm! Sidder altid og glor helt vildt pÃ¥ mig selv i spejlet imens.. hehe.Heldigvis er det min tur om 14 dages tid!God weekend!

    • http://www./ says:

      That’s a smart answer to a tricky question

    • http://www./ says:

      quin – this small selection of photos are just amazing, we cannot wait to see the rest… both you and leanne added to what what was a fabulous day and have captured some stunning photos which I am sure the entire family will cherish forever!! thank you! (p.s. photos and your website music = many tears of happiness!) Colin & Quin xAugust 8, 2011 – 1:11 pm