Kara Nothnagel
Simple Authentic Living


Simple. Authentic. Grace.


Hi there friends, 

How has the new year been for you?

Maybe you are organised, ready, full of vision and excitement for the New Year or perhaps you are still settling in. At the close of 2017 I had to do some serious heart work in order to face this coming year. A lot of the change that followed hasn't been easy, but I must be honest and say that I am already reaping the benefits. Based on the process I put myself through, I have put together few tips on how to approach your year in terms of living well.

There are 10 points in this list and it took me and Mr. Noth about 7 days to work them through.

My choice of planner: MiGoals 2018 Hardcover Goals Diary. Photo from my Instagram Grid.

My choice of planner: MiGoals 2018 Hardcover Goals Diary. Photo from my Instagram Grid.

1. Give yourself heart check up 

How are you, really? In this fast paced world it is easy to become disconnected from our hearts. However, the hard truth it that out of the heart flows all things! You need to know how you are, so that you don’t get sabotaged down the road by your own lack of mental or emotional capacity. How do you feel about the last year? Is there anything you are carrying that you need to let go of? Is there anyone you need to forgive? Is your integrity in tact? Sometimes this is an uncomfortable exercise, but it is so necessary. 

Write these things down so that you don’t forget and commit to taking necessary actions. For example, write in your journal, meet up with someone, write letters… But don’t just leave the things. As John Bevere says “What you wont confront, wont change”.


2. Think about the end of this year. How do you want to feel on New Year's Eve 2018?

What is on your wish list for the year? What do you want to have accomplished? What/who are you aspiring to be?

Write these things down. They are the beginnings of vision and goals.

3. Take stock of the previous year. What worked for you? What didn’t work? What mistakes did you make and what did you learn? What successes did you achieve, how can you repeat them? 

Write these things down. They are keys for success and greater momentum.

4. Take some time to find a life word/theme for the coming year? 

This should be a word that is shaped by and encompasses your hopes, dreams, desires, commitments and convictions for the year ahead. 

Write it down. This becomes the internal word that govern’s your external decisions. 

Use this word and an anchor to set goals for each area of your life

Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, Socially, Family and Financially

Kara Nothnagel Instagram Quotes-03.png

5. There are so many beautiful resources out there and so many of them are free.

These are my top three favourites. 

Start by adding in any dates that you already committed to prior to the start of the New Year. After this, concentrate on adding in the things that most align with your theme for the year. 

For example my word this year is QUALITY. Therefore, some of the first things we put in were: Weekly Date Nights, Romantic Weekends Away, Special Family Days Out, Holiday, Conferences, Quality Time with Friends.

Part of quality living, is working hard and resting well. Our word is quality, not quantity. So we strategically placed respites throughout the year so that we take care of our emotional and physical needs. 

Tip: If you have kids make sure you look at the school calendar and check for any non/school days, half term/mid term breaks, holidays etc… Nothing disrupts flow more than an unexpected non-school day. 

6. Evaluate month by month. 

Do your months flow well together? Do you have lots of back to back pressurised weeks? Are your weekends balanced? Make adjustments as needed. 

7. Look week by week. 

This was HUGE for us! This is where we look at the flow of our weeks and even add in menial tasks such as who will do the school run. This step helps each of us know how to plan better. Maybe for you this is simple, but we are self emloyed, so we have to think through all the details. 

8. Make a day plan.

What time are you aiming to get up, start work, take breaks and eat meals?

This may sound over the top, however these things are not meant to imprison you, they are meant to free you from having to make endless decisions every day that end draining your creative and emotional resources.

9. Make it digital.

We use google calendars to make all of this electronic. I still work day to day with a paper planner, but Mr. Noth works better online, so I update the online calendars as well. Online calendars are brilliant for quick, mess free changes. Plus, for your inner geek, you can colour co-ordinate your calendars so it is clear which appointment belongs to who. We put individual appointments in our chosen personal colours, but then joint appointments go in his colour - so he pays attention!

10. Be accountable with your commitment. 

The only way you will keep on track is if you make your life open and accountable to others. This part takes humility, but it is a decision for the smart and focused. The accountability factor makes your progress measurable. As the proverb goes, 'there is wisdom in the counsel of many'. Therefore, allowing people to not just see your process but also speak into it, will help cover your blind spots and give you the opportunity to reap the benefits of the wisdom of others, 

So, there you go friends. I hope that this glimpse into my process will prove valuable and useful to you. I would love to hear what you have been doing, or how you apply some of these things. 

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by, K xx



Photo Credit: Feature Image of Grey Calendar from Siobhan O'Donaghue