I’m putting a twist on goal setting for the new year in this episode. We are always looking for the payoff or the reward or what the destination is and we often forget to have fun in the moment of living. So while you’re setting intentions and planning for the new year, I want to set out this challenge: what goals can you set that aren’t about achievement but are simply about fun? What can you learn that’s brand new and gives you a sense of excitement?

It’s the toddler or puppy sense of joy that I want you to reach for. That utterly new experience that is absolutely thrilling, full of learning, and entirely about awe. Like a toddler playing in the snow for the first time. You know exactly what I mean. We forget about experiences like that when we become adults and I want to challenge you, and myself, to find something to pour yourself into for sheer joy this year.

There are three areas to consider. What can you learn that you know nothing about? What can you try that you’ve never tried before? And who can you meet that opens your world to new possibilities and ideas? It’s not about big ground-breaking things like parachuting or scuba diving. It can be something simple like taking an art class, trying a new restaurant, or inviting someone you just met to accompany you to a show. Branch out and see what you can learn, do, and see that’s brand new, just for the fun of it. Are you willing to give it a try?

Key Moments

04:12 The challenge: to learn something for fun with no external reward or purpose

10:06 Feeling a gap in your life and intentionally finding something new to fill it

13:56 Who do you want to meet? And how can you meet them?

  • Do something you’re not entirely comfortable with but that you’re curious about
  • Combat loneliness by reaching out to new people
  • Find that brand new puppy joy experience


Resources mentioned in this episode:


Contact Kari Lotzien | Be the Anchor: 



Kari Lotzien: [00:00:01] Welcome to Be the Anchor the podcast. I am your host, business and leadership coach Kari Lotzien. When the seas of life get stormy, and they always will, it is not up to us to captain anyone else’s ship or to try to calm the waters of the ocean. It’s up to us to set our own destination for what we really want, and to learn how to navigate those waves of life together while finding that place of security and stability with others. I call this being an anchor. If you are a dreamer, a visionary, an entrepreneur, whether you have an idea, big or small, that you think might just make the world a little bit better, kinder, gentler place, you are in the right spot my friend. We are going to talk about everything, from big ideas to mindset and strategy, and sometimes just how to get through the day. I don’t want you to miss an episode, so be sure to follow and subscribe to the podcast so that we can stay connected and keep doing this journey of life together. Thanks so much! 

Kari Lotzien: [00:01:10] Hello my friends! Happy New Year! I hope that you had some time over the last few days or the last week to just kind of cozy up, sit back, reflect on the past year and hopefully take a pause. As we come into the new year, many of us start thinking about goals and what we want to accomplish in 2024. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:01:31] Whether you’re the type of person that is a resolution setter, or you do your analysis and your business planning early in the new year, whatever that looks like for you, many of us who are high performers in business and in life tend to set goals, and we are constantly looking forward into I’m going to go through struggle or hardship, I’m going to focus my energy and my attention now so that I can achieve something. I can get to a reward. Whether that’s in health and wellness, we’re going to lose 10 pounds, we’re going to run a marathon, we’re going to achieve better health, eat better, lower our blood pressure, whatever that is. Or maybe you’re setting big goals in your business that you want to achieve a certain revenue milestone, or you want to expand or go into a new market. All of those things are great, and I don’t want to ever lose sight of the importance of setting goals and having forward motion in your life. But I want to put a little bit of a twist on it today because many of us who are that personality, myself included, we’re always looking for What’s the payoff? What’s the reward? Where are we going? What’s the destination? And sometimes we forget to have fun in the moment. So as you start to think about planning for the new year, I want to invite you along with me to set some goals around where am I going to be a beginner this year? What am I going to learn or explore? Where am I going to go? Who am I going to meet just for the fun of it? I think we get to maybe an age in our lives where we haven’t been in a place of being the newbie for a very long time. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:03:19] We are pretty comfortable in a lot of areas of our life. We have connections. We have people that we do things with that we feel comfortable doing. We are likely pretty confident in our businesses where we know what we do, we know how to serve, we know how to move forward. And we get into a place where things just start to feel a little bit maybe boring and it’s not, it’s not a bad thing. It can feel comforting. But one way that I think we challenge and push ourselves so that life doesn’t feel boring is we set goals, we think about what’s next, and we move forward on those things in a place of achievement. For some of us, you achieve those goals. But if you’re a high achiever, you’re pretty used to having that experience of reaching your goals and then setting new ones. So I want to invite a different way to look at this. What is something that you could do this year for fun? That has no external reward or purpose or destination, but you just want to do it for the sake of doing it, that it’s something you’re curious about, something you want to learn, something you want to explore just for the joy of it. To introduce yourself again to that beginner mindset. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:04:44] Now, I want to give you a little bit of a frame of reference for this. If you had the ability or the experience to spend time with someone over the holidays who is a toddler, or maybe this is the first time that someone has experienced your holiday traditions or the first time that they’ve ever seen snow. You know what this feels like with toddlers, right? Where they’re just, they’re in awe of maybe the lights or the decorations, or they’re experiencing a new food for the first time, and you get to see their reaction to that. I think we also get this with puppies, right? When they’re just exploring, and they have such visible reactions to new things around them, whether that is, you know, playing with something new or hearing the vacuum for the first time, or, you know, finding something outside that they haven’t found before and the joy that overtakes them. This is the feeling that I’m looking for. Is that idea of just somewhere you’ve never been, something that you’ve never experienced, and being able to be completely present in that moment and just absorbing yourself into it. Now, what might that look like? You know, for those of us who maybe have pretty routine lives and do a lot of the similar things that we’re comfortable with over time, or maybe you’ve actually gotten to a position where you’re more of a mentor or a leader, you might teach other people your hobbies or in business, whatever that is, but you’re in a position of leadership. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:06:23] I want you to completely go to the other end, and I want you to be a student. Whether that’s taking a watercolors class, learning how to paint, learning how to do pottery. Maybe you’ve never golfed before, and that’s something you’ve been kind of curious about. Or you want to explore hiking or pickleball. Anything. This past year, I was talking about doing this podcast, and a friend of mine asked me flat out, you know, what would  this be like for you that you would feel like it was valuable, that it was a good way to spend your time? And I said, well, really, I just want it to be a value to my audience. This is why I love incredible friends. She said, Well, does it have to be? I was like, Well, like I think so, right? If nobody likes it and it’s not worth… And she said, Well, why are you doing it? Like what’s your reason, what’s your purpose? And I said to her, I don’t know. It’s just, it’s always been something I’m curious about. It sounds fun. Um, I remember when I was a little kid, I used to practice, you know, being a radio announcer. And I used to, you know, hit – remember when we used to hit record and play at the same time and record our cassettes – I used to do that all the time, and I’d practice telling you about the weather or the latest news. It was fun for me, and I said, there’s a piece of podcasting that I think will just bring that out in me. And she said, well, what if you were just to do it because it’s something that lights you up and it sounds fun and it doesn’t matter all of the rest of it. Could that be enough? 

Kari Lotzien: [00:07:58] And it wasn’t until she faced that question to me that I thought, yeah, you know what? It is enough. And the truth is, I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this because you know what, it does, it lights me up just like I was a little kid sitting in front of my cassette recorder with my little microphone and telling no one and everyone about the weather and imagining what that would be like. I am having such a good time doing this. It’s just bringing me joy. 

[00:08:29] One of the best things I did last year was launch the Anchored Leadership Academy Group coaching program. We had our first group go through in the fall of this year, and let me tell you, it was incredible. We gathered a group of established entrepreneurs who really want to move forward in their leadership, so developing their teams, being able to give great feedback, delegating well to move to that next stage of business. The next cohort is going to start in February and doors are open now for applications. All you need to do is click on the link in the show notes, have a read, see if it feels like a good fit for you and then book an inquiry call. That’s it. Hope to see you there. All right, back to the show. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:09:14] I’ve done other things this year for the exact same reason that it just kind of sounded fun. Something that I wanted to see if I could do. I did some hiking this year and it felt amazing. I took some hikes that I thought, I don’t really know if I have any business doing this. I don’t know if I actually have the physical ability to do it, but I thought, you know what? If I don’t, I can always turn around and come back down. But I took the chance and it opened up a piece of me where I thought, oh, I actually really do enjoy this. I like the type of person that I feel like when I’m in this moment, and I think we get into these habits and these routines, and for a lot of us that are at places in our lives where maybe you’ve undergone some change. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:10:06] I think of myself, my kids are, they’re in their early 20s, and I was recognizing how many of my social connections were linked to their life. It was linked to their school, their sports, other families that their kids were involved in the same thing and that’s who we hung out with. And when my kids moved out, I kind of felt this void. Where I thought that some of those friendships would continue long after our kids were done, but they kind of just fizzled. Not because they’re bad people, not because, you know, we don’t like each other, but simply because we just weren’t engaging in the same types of activities on a regular basis. I’ve heard people who went through the same thing if they went through a change in their relationship. So if they’ve gone through a divorce or things have changed, they’ve moved to a new community and those relationships that they had before and the activities that they enjoyed doing just aren’t a part of their life anymore. And we can have this sense of kind of mourning and grief and loss about it, or feeling a little bit confused, or we can take responsibility to create the life we want and to see that, you know what, there’s a gap here. I’m feeling a gap. What can I do intentionally to fill it? Who do I want to hang out with now? What are some of the things I want to do now? What do I want to explore? Who do I want to meet? What could I do? Could I take a line dancing class? Because I want to learn how to dance and I enjoy music. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:11:39] Could I sign up for that local art class? Could I sign up for a group that you learn how to crochet? It doesn’t matter what it is. But what if you could come at it from that beginner mindset to say, okay, I don’t know anything about this. I’m not comfortable at all, but I just want to do it to get that same sensation that the infant who’s experiencing something for the first time, and they’re not expecting anything of themselves, they know that they’re probably going to be terrible at it because they’re learning. It’s just where they’re at. They’re a beginner. Bring yourself back to that idea of beginner. So when you’re going through your your list of resolutions and all of the things that are going to make you a better, stronger, healthier, richer person this year, add in a goal on where am I going to be a beginner? What am I going to learn? 

Kari Lotzien: [00:12:29] I like to divide it into three areas. So one being what am I going to learn that I know nothing about right now? So this year I learned a ton about podcasting that I had no idea about last year. But I enjoyed it and I was such a newbie. There was times where I had to google what certain words meant because I didn’t even understand the language. If there’s something that you’re curious about and you want to learn, where are you going to be a beginner? New activities or adventures. Now, you might think that this sounds like, oh, I need to travel all over the world, and I need to go scuba diving off the coast of Hawaii, or I need to go bungee jumping. It’s not like that. You can have new adventures and new experiences 15 minutes from your home. Some of the best things that I’ve done sometimes are just going to neighboring communities and exploring something very basic. A new type of food that I’ve never tasted before or go to, like I said, an art class. Go to a community that’s maybe within an hour of your home that you’ve never been to before, and just explore, see what’s there. Go to the new stores. Go tour around the neighborhoods. Just giving yourself the experience of what would it be like to live here? Strike up a conversation with someone in the coffee shop because they’re probably, especially if it’s a small town, they might be curious about why you’re there or what you’re doing. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:13:54] Which leads me to my third. Who do you want to meet this year? Who can you invite into your life that you don’t know now? Is it someone that you’re curious about? Is it an acquaintance that maybe you want to think, I wonder if this person could be a friend? Remember when you were like five years old, you could walk up to a random kid on the playground and be like, hey, you want to be my friend? Next thing you know, you’re my new best friend. But as we get older and we get more ingrained and we get more comfortable with the people that we spend time with on a regular basis, doing the activities that we always do, there’s a comfort in that and that definitely has a place. But where are we stretching? And I’m hearing so many people talk about how lonely they are. It’s sincerely breaking my heart. And I think it can’t be like that, because if there’s so many people that are feeling this sense of kind of loneliness and disconnect, why are we not connecting with each other? And it can be as simple as saying to someone that you’ve met as an acquaintance, hey, I was planning on attending this event. I was planning to go to this show. I was planning to go see a movie. Like you can, whatever it is, would you like to join me? Right? It can be as simple as that. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:15:15] You could ask someone who’s an acquaintance, you know, would you like to get together and go for a walk? Would you like to come and have coffee and just take that next step, see how it goes? I don’t think we’re putting ourselves out there because all of that fear that we’re going to be rejected, right? You hit about probably grade 3 or 4, and you stopped asking kids on the playground if they wanted to be your friend, because suddenly the fear of being rejected kicked in. And for many of us, that lasted another 40 or 50 years. Well, guess what? They’re not like that anymore. They might be feeling the exact same way you are that maybe they want to do something new, but the group of friends that they currently have aren’t really into that. Sign up. Go introduce yourself to someone, put yourself out there and meet new people. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at what comes back. I had a couple of situations this year where I took that initiative and I said to someone, I don’t really know how to do this, and it seems kind of awkward, but I like you and I’m just wondering if you want to be my friend. Both times, actually, we erupted into laughter and said, I know, isn’t it weird making friends as adults? It’s like we don’t know how to do it anymore. And both of those relationships have turned into some of my closest friendships this year. And we’re able to do things because I’m exploring new territory and new adventures and trying new things that I hadn’t done before. But when I partnered with these new people, they had that connection. So it was kind of like a double bonus that I got to make a new friend and I got to do new activities together. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:16:54] So these are just like three easy ways. Learn something new, go to a new place, or have a new adventure. Try something new, and meet new people. Just introduce yourself. I think this is how we grow. We’ve all heard that term you don’t grow from your comfort zone. This is the way to do that. And one of the bonuses that I think that can happen in this is that if you are a mentor, a manager, if you’re someone who’s teaching others, the farther away that we get from that experience of being a beginner, the less likely we are to be able to truly connect with those people and understand what they’re feeling in that moment. This will keep you humble. This will give you that experience again of feeling a little bit anxious, a little bit uncertain, but also excited and thinking about the possibilities that will then allow you to connect more easily with the people that you’re teaching or the people that you’re leading. So it has that flip side. I don’t want you to do it for that reason. I really don’t, because that starts to sound like a goal or an objective to get to a reward. I want you to just have the experience of what it feels like to be a beginner, to have that joy of a brand new puppy experiencing snow for the first time, and just to feel it. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:18:14] Thank you so much for being here. I’m going to share with you throughout the year different things that I decide to choose to be new at. I’d love for you to do the same. Pop me a message in the DM if you need some ideas, or you want to share what you’re considering, and maybe you just need a little bit of a accountability partner or someone that you’re actually sharing it with. Like, I really want to do this and you just want that little bit of a boost. So join the community. Feel free to send me a DM. I’m so glad you’re here. Happy New Year! Let’s make this one the best yet and continue to just create that life that you crave. This is how it’s done, my friends. If you haven’t liked and subscribed to the podcast yet, please make sure you do. And if you feel that this message would resonate with your friends or family, take a screenshot. Share it on your social media. This is how we grow the community together, and I am just eternally grateful because that is my mission here is to create community. Thanks so much. See you next week. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:19:15] Please know that this podcast is meant for entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitution for medical or professional mental health advice. If you require support, please do reach out. Thanks so much.