I have a confession to make.

I signed up for three courses this January, and I’ve got so many notebooks and pens and pencils out that I’m doing geeky little dances around my apartment, although my apartment keeps getting messier and messier. Magazines, scissors, glue, crafts? Check. Class on financial awareness and making money as a creative entrepreneur? Check, check. Advancing my skills in writing and storytelling by taking more writing classes? Absolutely.

If you’re itching for growth and change like I am, the new year is always a beautiful time to try out new classes, habits, and ideas. I find I work best in community with other folks, and with a regular routine or schedule–so this month of January, I’m setting time aside to do more creative writing and crafts. But what will you do? What are you hoping to work on this year? What changes have you been itching to make in your life?

Earlier I posted great gifts for the Holiday, and as an addendum, here are several more programs that might be exactly what you need this January. (Obviously I want you to sign up for both the Writer’s Workshop and the Content Strategy course, but your needs and finances are diverse, so pick and choose what’s right for you).

Here’s a list of books, ideas, courses, and free self-guided programs to help kick off the new year.

Master Classes + Masterminds:

  • RevolutionU with Good Life Project and Jonathan Fields. A band of visionaries and creatives join together in an intensive 8-week mastermind with the one and only Jonathan Fields. Jonathan has been a voice of strength and courage and I’m constantly learning from him. I’ll admit, I’m tempted.
  • Jenny Blake’s Build-Your-Business Bootcamp. Itching to get moving on your creative projects and make your business, well, make sense? Jenny has been an instrumental friend and coach–I’ve often called on her to work through ideas, but now instead of one-off coaching, she offers this powerful class.
  • Weekend in the Woods: Yoga & Writing Retreat with my friend Dave Ursillo in Rhode Island. January 17-19, limited spaces left.
  • The Writer’s Workshop and Content Strategy for Thought Leaders. If improving your communication is something you want to focus on this year, sign up for the January 13th and February 17th courses. Since so much of our world (read: the internet) exists in written form, improving your writing chops helps you in every area of your life. Sign up before January 10th to join me in the first workshop.

Business + Creative Courses:

  • Willo’s Harvest & Thrive modules for Creative Entrepreneurs: I signed up for three of the modules and I can’t wait to learn from this lady. Clarifying your vision, creating structure and focus, and thriving financially and the heart of this creative endeavor. ($49 per module).
  • Hannah Marcotti’s Spirits of Joy January Course: (Begins January 2).I’m enrolled in this and you can follow some of my progress on my Instagram feed if you want a peek into what’s happening. $29.
  • Alexandra Franzen’s I Heart Email Course: This lady speaks my language. We write every day in email, thousands of words per day, and it could be so much better. The course runs at your own choice of donation amount (honor system). I’m so looking forward to this.
  • Jeff Goin’s 500-words writing challenge: Want to write 500 words a day? Join in with writer Jeff as he and his community write 500 words a day. (Sign up on his blog and leave a comment
  • Leo Babauta’s Sea Change ProgramA monthly membership designed to help you implement and stick to changes in your life. The subscription is $10 a month and you are not obligated to stay for the full year.
  • Seth Godin’s SkillShare Master Marketing ClassOpens January 15th. (This is an affiliate link, which means I get $10 if you sign up–so I can take more classes, tell you about them, and generally make the world better. Things that are good. Thank you!)
  • Tara Gentile’s KickStart Labs: a place for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to feel less alone. Twice-monthly calls and a community of success-focused and vision-driven microbusiness owners just like you.

Athletic courses, coaching, and challenges: 

  • Amber Zuckswert’s EPIC Self 3-week online challenge. I worked with this lady in Bali, and she’s a wonderful yoga and pilates instructor. Full of wisdom and motivation, her 3-week pass is an absolute steal. $150 for downloadable DVD’s, bonus coaching sessions, and healthy recipes.
  • A Shrink Session with Erin Stutland in New York City (digital classes available). I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this lady. Blends workouts with positive affirmations. Mind-changing. I love movement, so yes, I’m trying one of these this year.

Books + Self-Guided Programs:

  • Your Best Year Yet: A 2014 Creative Calendar from Andrea Genevieve and Krystle Lilliestierna. Featuring 12 interviews with entrepreneurial women (yours truly is in the guide!), the calendar breaks down marketing, business strategy, and steps to take throughout the year in conjunction with the calendar.
  • The Artists Way. Pick up a copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and write 750 words each day and rediscover your creative self. It’s a 12-week self-guided program. (I’m doing it with a few friends from January to March. So excited!)
  • Pam Slim’s latest book, Body of Work. I picked it up and I think that it is her best writing to date. It’s not always easy to describe what your threads are, but it’s a phenomenal set of exercises that help you see your life as a complete body of work–filled with various projects and drives–and less about a singular definition or job. It’s also a huge relief, because you don’t need to nail one job or one description; it’s not about arriving.

A note: pick one and start small.

In order to make change in your life–particularly if you want different outcomes, you have to do something different. Change is hard. It’s really difficult to do new things and to make time, space, and be accountable for the changes you want to make. Pick only one of the things above if it really and truly aligns with your goals. Make wiggle room for growth and change.

In my experience, the most successful things I do start small and happen gradually. They also happen in community–where people can nudge me if I drop off and encourage me to get back on track. There are some things I’m more successful at self-guiding and other things I need lots of accountability for. People, schedules, and finances are great ways to encourage accountability. This is one of the reasons why I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training–to have a program, schedule, and giant financial commitment that would encourage me to do what I wanted to do.

And a quick note on finances:

PS: If you’re short on cash or chasing financial freedom, you don’t have to do any of these things. An $8 notebook and your own brain will serve you just fine. Email someone and ask if you can do a creative swap to join their course. Sign up for 750 Words and start your own January writing challenge.

The benefit of financial investment comes from supporting the work of people you love (one of the reasons why I sign up for so many things), joining a community (which helps you stay accountable), and putting your money where you want your heart to be (also an accountability move). But if you can’t afford it right now, be honest with yourself, too. I support conscious consumerism.

Do you know any great programs that should be shared?

Link it up in the comments and I’ll edit the post to add it!

What are you doing to make this your year?


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