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#20: Setting Purposeful Intentions for The New Year

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Happy 2024! Suri talks about setting intentions for the new year, steps you can take to make it happen (time and money-wise), and how to get the whole family on board.


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TRANSCRIPT – edited for clarity

Hi friends. If you happen to need a female voice talent for your Audiobook or E-book, or require support when it comes to letting go of sticky, stressful thoughts, one at a time – please check out my offerings on my website at or reach out at

Happy new year ladies and everyone listening in! It’s January 16, 2024.

👉 Did you have a good holiday?

I’m so glad to welcome you to episode #20 of Doing Things on Purpose – the podcast that empowers women to take charge of their time, health, relationships, and money by doing things on purpose. I’m your host Suri Stahel, and thanks so much for taking the time to join me today.

Mom Check-in

Let’s begin as usual, with the all important mom check-in:

We start with self care. If you follow me on Social Media or have heard in my last podcast episode, you know that I’m in the midst of Yoga with Adriene’s FREE 30 Days of Yoga Journey on YouTube – which runs all throughout this month. I hope you’re with me. The playlist is titled Flow, which you can find on Adriene’s YouTube channel. I’ll also include a  link in the show notes.

Please check it out.

Because there’s just something so powerful about the intention and the action of TAKING the time to pause, and to practice some self-care to support you, each and every single day. 

Just imagine if you decided not to change your baby’s diaper or not to cuddle your baby for one whole day, let alone one whole week, or one whole month… That baby is not going to thrive. And so it is for you as well, if you keep choosing to neglect yourself.

I’m not saying that self care will stop you from having any meltdowns or losing your temper as you move through your day, but you’ll find that it will lessen… or it will show up as less intense reactions than before.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

So I really hope you’re investing in yourself this year, and practicing some self care.

The second part of the mom check-in, is about managing our time. Because besides our mental and physical health, our time is truly the most valuable and non-renewable resource we have, wouldn’t you agree?

🙅🏻‍♀️ I’m not a believer in filling in my schedule with activities so that I can just do more, or hustle harder, or be more productive.

I like having that balance between effortful hours or days, with effortless ones. 

👉 So dear parents, how have your days been post Christmas and school holidays?

For me, it’s a bit sluggish, especially as the weather here in Switzerland has turned colder, and the days are a little grayer.

We successfully spent the first week of our holidays at my parent’s in-law’s house, screen-free. The days were filled with long conversations, games (we played an extended version of Brandy Dog), walks, cooking and reading. And in the second week, I had a slow start at home with the girls, listening to an Audiobook about dragons called Eragon, the coloring or doing embroidery. 

The only productive thing I remember doing was running to the store with my eldest to get her a bigger pair of sports shoes for gym class. 

We could’ve absolutely had a more productive holiday, but in the past months, I’ve noticed how my girls have a lot more to do in school as they get older and time seems to run short, even though we don’t have a full schedule as many others might. 

It’s just nice sometimes, to have the luxury of time – to get bored a little, and remember the things you always wanted to do or finish, but never had the time or brain space to do. 

  • For me, it was printing out some photos of places we’d gone to for the past few years. Last summer, we’d hiked to a mountain pond and a glacier in the Swiss Alps, which was on my mother in law’s bucket list.
  • And I also found many, many, holiday photos from Malaysia with my mom from way back in 2019 before COVID – that I had been meaning to put into a book, which I never got around to doing. So that’s what I’ve been doing in the past week. I still have to finish it, because we’re going to visit my mom in February!

👉 That’s what I’ve been doing at the beginning of this year. What about you?

I hope you had a chance to slow down and reflect with your loved ones, and if you’re alone – just reflecting with your own beautiful self.

Today, in my first episode of the year, I thought we could talk about…

Setting Purposeful Intentions for the New Year

New Year’s resolutions usually have a definite goal, a beginning and an end, right? Something you’ll either succeed or fail at doing. 

Intentions only outline a way – a path to move towards, if you will. It helps you be clear about your bigger priorities this year, and that informs many other smaller actions that you’ll need to say yes or no to, throughout this year.

So think about what are your bigger intentions? What do you want to move towards this year?

My main intentions this year are:

  1. To maintain my daily self care practice: which means 30-45 minutes of daily yoga.
  2. To grow as a coach and support-provider: by leaning fully into the Life Coaching course that I’ll be taking, starting at the end of February.
  3. To be a better and faster writer: by doing daily journaling or writing for at least 10-30 mins.

So the “what”: regular self care, growth as a coach and being a better writer – are the intentions that I’m going to prioritize as I move through this year. 

And the “how”: are the steps that I plan to get there – can always be tweaked if I find a better way, or want to try a new method, to reach my set intentions faster or with more joy.

But how can you make sure that your family life and the juggling of other responsibilities won’t get in the way?

1. Clean up your calendar

The new year probably brings new schedules, dates and events from school, your kids’ extracurricular activities, your work, or your partner’s work, that you need to be mindful of. So start the year by updating your calendar. 

I’m a big proponent of family calendars. We use Google Calendar, where I’ve set up an account that both my husband and I have access to. So think about:

  • What new events need to go in there – is it school holidays for the year, meetups or volunteer work?
  • Which events have new details that you can add to the notes section? 

On top of that, add family events that you know you need to plan for this year: 

💵 Maybe a week or a day, to review your family finances from the past year, before you file your taxes – which would be by the end of March in Switzerland, or by the 15th of April in the US.

  • How much debt do you have
  • How much did you save or spend and on what mostly
  • How much have your investments grown? 

I’ll be having a look at our finances and sharing our numbers in a future episode if you’re interested, because I think money is so important to talk about.

If you’re just starting to manage your money: go to my website, click on “podcast,” and go to the “money” section, to see previous episodes covering that topic.

🏖️ Moving on to the fun side of calendar planning: What holidays, family activities or travel plans do you want to experience this year?

  • Is it a visit to SeaLife…
  • or a weekend at the national park during the autumn holidays that you’ve been postponing since forever?

🙌 Having an idea now, sets you up for success later, because you’ll be able to anticipate, and plan ahead the time and money, to finally make it happen. And you’ll also be clear about what’s possible and what’s not, based on your personal situation.

2. Make A Family Activity Planner

This is a physical paper version of the family activity calendar. Ours is titled: 2024 Family Activity Planner. Then underneath, I split it into three columns:

  • Month
  • What?
  • How much?

How to fill the specific columns:

  • Month: List down the months (maybe in block letters like I like to do) all the way from January to December.
  • What?: You can fill in birthday parties to plan, your anniversary dinner, tickets to the circus or theater, your summer trip, a visit to the swimming pool or art museum, and so forth. You can also add in times when you expect to spend more, like during Christmas.
  • How much?: Write down what you anticipate this activity to cost in pencil. You can correct this number after the event, just so everyone is aware of the expenses spent. It might be embarrassing to show this number so explicitly when people come to visit. But hey, that’s real life. And I think it sets a good example to our kids about not being afraid to talk about money, and learning to manage money – which they’ll hopefully model as they grow up.

To make this list even more fun! I like to write the title and months using block letters, so my kids can color it in and feel like they’re participating in the process. 

They can also see what’s already planned out, and they get a chance to share what their ideas are for the year. 

Then we put it up next to the kitchen wall, where I also have all their school and activities schedules put up.

💖 I love this approach SO MUCH, because not only do we have one piece of paper where we can see what we have to look forward to throughout the year, but as we move along, we also remember the things that we’ve done earlier on that year. 

Because we tend to forget. We tend to complain that we never get to do anything fun, like so and so family – who seems to have it better than we do. We forget about the fancy new year’s brunch that we had in January, or the fun trip to the circus we splurged on in Spring. 

So whenever you feel a bit down, you can look back at this list and see that you did good. Or maybe you’ll be prompted to add something fun in the coming months ahead, that are currently just waiting to be filled. 

I think fun little activities, done regularly, are more doable and helpful to the well-being of you and your family, than any one-off big event. Because those positive experiences will accumulate and help strengthen your relationships over time.

👉 So I do hope you’ll create your own Family Activity Planner for this year. It only takes a few minutes of your time…

  • You can keep filling up that calendar more and more, as you move along the year.
  • It’s not something you have to complete in one sitting.

But pace yourself – consider putting just one or maximum two, planned family activities per month.

👉 Let me know in the comments when you’ve made yours, and what intentions you’ve set for yourself this year.

I’ll share a photo of our finished calendar on social, and on the show notes of this episode at

OUTRO: That’s all I have for you today. As you can tell, this is a shorter episode.

I’ll be sharing more bite-sized episodes as I start my coaching course next month and have less time to write research-intensive content. 

Let’s see how we go. I appreciate you for sticking around this far. 

You’ve been listening to the Doing Things on Purpose Podcast with me Suri. If you like this episode:

  • Please give it a thumbs up, five-star rating or positive review. It helps other people find it as well.
  • If you’d like to, you can always find me on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or Instagram 

I wish you a great week of dreaming and planning for the ‘yet unwritten’ year ahead – and I’ll catch you again next time.

Our 2024 Family Activity Planner – kids will help to color in the months!

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