Happy New Year 2012!

I can feel it in my bones.  This is MY year.  It’s your year too, of course.  So I guess that makes it OUR year, yes?  Okay.  So it’s our year… and what are we going to to with it?

If I had to guess, I’d say you’re a lot like me in that you are ready to kick things into high gear.  I mean, the struggles of 2011 have been cute and all, but I’m ready to host my international travel show and I bet you’re ready to *insert your life’s purpose here*.

It’s not for a lack of trying- I definitely have been.  But towards the end of 2011, I started to realize that the metaphorical journey has been just as adventurous as the African safari I’ve been dreaming of… ok, maybe not quite as physically scary, but my path has had lions and tigers of another kind.

The point is- no one ever taught me how to have the life I dreamed of as a little girl.  I’ve never been diligent about setting goals, prioritizing my time or networking effectively.  And I’ve decided that must be the missing link.  ”The Secret”.

As I study people that I admire or are incredibly successful, I keep running into some of the same suggestions for living a good life.  I’ve made a challenging daily checklist for myself, incorporating the ACTIONS that seem essential and achievable.  After all- if I make the list too challenging from the jump, I’ll give up before I start.  I know me.  (If you’d like to follow along with me, you can download the checklist PDF here.)

All that to say, I’m switching gears a little bit.  I’m still going to cover people, places and things in Chicago but I’m also going to host a “Betterment Program” for anyone who is ready for a little accountability, community and guidance.  I’m scheduling group chats, relavant videos and celebratory events.  It’s gonna be a challenge and I love a good challenge.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss a thing, shoot me an email at Jen@JenChicago.com and I will add you to the “Inner Circle” list.  If you think you’d just like to watch- have at it.  We’re all at different places.  My goal in sharing this with you is that it might encourage you to “shine your light” in 2012 and have a community of people to support you.

Lastly- I’ve been on vacation in Texas and I didn’t create the personal video I wanted to accompany this post, BUT DJ Earworm’s video compilation of the top songs of 2011 is a pretty awesome substitute.  (Sometimes you just gotta go for stuff even if it’s not EXACTLY how you’d like it to be, you know?) In the words of Nike’s genius campaign, you gotta “Just do it.”  And so we will.

Okay.  That’s all for this first Monday in January.  Stay tuned.  It’s gonna start coming at us like drinking water from a fire hydrant.  We’re gonna need a bigger straw.

Let me know your thoughts as I build the parameters of the Betterment Project.  What things would you like to see covered?  Have you tried a happiness and goals project before?  Do you have resource suggestions that you’d like to share?

I’m all ears.

PS: If you want to add this song to your playlist- you can get the free download here.


Jen Knoedl is Executive Producer of JenChicago Productions, as well as its enthusiastic video host. Click here to find out about sponsorship and partnering opportunities regarding travel, Chicago and entrepreneurship. Tweet Jen at @JenTravelsLife


  1. Jen-

    What a great way to kick off 2012! It sounds like you have a lot of great things that you want to accomplish this year. Like most of us, it sounds like you’ve had some challenges in the past making all of your resolutions come to fruition! Many of my clients have this same issue. Last year at this time I wrote an article on this entitled, “How To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Actually Stick”, which I thought I would share – http://tinyurl.com/789n3gm. It looks like you are already on your way to success in 2012. I thought this might be beneficial!

    Good luck!


  2. JenChicago says:

    Awesome, Tom! I’ll check it out. Thanks for dropping by.

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