A Blythe Coach

January was for Tango, Snow, Art, & Completion – 2024 Month 1 Review

The first week in January being school & studio holidays and furthermore part of the 12 Days of Christmas, we continued to take time off from regular teaching and work duties, recovering from the holidays and completing our celebration of the years past and freshly arrived.

Early 2024 in Cologne, the mood was very winter wonderland, with more snow than I’ve seen in the years I’ve lived in Germany so far! It was a study in contrasts, with cozy cuddles indoors, deep inner work, sparkling fun, and jumping right out of my comfort zone and into my vision for the year!

Did a lot of journaling, an important part of my process

January Mood & Timeline

My philosophy on January and the start to the new year is to go gently, allow myself to process, rest, celebrate, and plan at my own pace.

Only my online classes continued and it was lovely to meet in mindful movement through the holidays with my community there with few demands from elsewhere.

At home, we did some clearing, cleaning, and decluttering after the holidays, I finally conquered my paper pile tiger (a huge accomplishment!), Ela repaired my broken water bottle strap and some miscellaneous items to get the apartment and our personal affects shipshape. We also got out a good bit to socialize, adventure, and try new things to set the tone for the year.

Completion, reflection & planning were major themes of my month personally, including tallying data from the year past, tying up loose ends including applying to be reimbursed and receiving payment for medical bills through my insurance and other adulting responsibilities necessary to move forward unhindered.

Also made use of the time gestating new ideas, brainstorming, and thinking creatively about the future.

My completed January Bullet Journal spread, major objectives L, dates/art flyer R

Teaching & Coaching

Once schools and studios were back in session, I returned to Tanzschule Tanzraum Nippes for Ballet for all ages as well as covering for another teacher on vacation, and I went back to Henry Ford for Yoga plus new course: English through American films and music!

I taught a well-received trial Barre a Terre class at one2one Institut and will be having another to try another time slot in February. Online Mindful Movement classes in Balletlicious Ballet Barre+ and Yummy Gentle Yoga have been ongoing, and I will continue to share as further offerings become available and my schedule evolves this spring and beyond.

2023 Bullet Journal Monthly & Weekly Spreads Flip video on YouTube

Bullet Journaling & Planning

Bullet Journaling, reflection, planning, setups, and decorating are at this point a well-established part of my life and creative process, and even moreso as one year’s cycle transitions into the next.

In January I completed monthly & quarterly reflections in my 2023 books in order to finish digesting the year and set up my spreads for 2024, including Annual Collections and February setup (having set up January in December).

I was very much reflecting on 2023 even as I planned 2024, completing monthlies, quarterlies, and my reflection blog along with my 2023 Review BuJo Spread, 2024 Annual Book (setup flip to come) and February setups. Over the course of the month I started filling in 2024 Annual Book Collections, populated my Future Log for the year ahead, and kept January memories.

2023 Annual Collections Journal Flipthrough and 2024 Migration part 1 on YouTube

Creative Chosen Challenges

Hosting and participating in challenges and workshops was definitely a highlight of 2023 and will certainly be a part of 2024, too. Here are a few I participated in for January:

Jahresrückblog” – Annual Reflection Blog Challenge

In December I participated, in January I wrote, and on February 2nd I finally published for Judith Peters’ aka Sympatexter‘s blogging challenge called “Jahresrückblog” (in German). Though it still took time to process my 2023, the challenge was a brilliant support for writing and sharing annual retrospective.

She also inspired me through this experience to start writing monthly personal reflection blogs like this one in addition to the expert articles and special challenges and projects I’ve been creating.

Twenty-Four 24s in 2024: Keeping Track of Projects & Practices

Measuring action towards my most important goals and habits that support my projects or areas of focus is a key objective for notebooks and journaling.

This particular game or approach was inspired by Jess, aka JashiiCorrin on YouTube, with a Bullet Journal spread to declare and track that I first set up for 2023. I wrote about my “Twenty-three 23’s in 2023” in my 2023 Review blog.

This year the general goal number being 24, for each of the 24 chosen metrics I mean to make at least 24 contributions, and in this way consistently support my major goals and most valued priorities. Some of the activities truly do fall about every two weeks, some being weekly or even daily (such as yoga practice, meditation, and reading), I will arrive at my goal at a different rate for each type of action, but each is something that I value and want to nurture.

Having set up my spreads for the 24 areas in my Annual Collections Bullet Journal, I’ve been keeping track of my efforts for each along the way, but won’t necessarily share results in every area in each monthly review blog. Instead, I’m thinking of reviewing them in more detail on a quarterly or seasonal basis, since I do content and business planning and looking at numbers such as social media growth at that interval. Some metrics I may not share in detail for personal or privacy reasons, and of course what measures are important to you will be different from my priorities, but I hope this sparks ideas for your own practice.

In any case, additional photos and video to come as I work in my own 2024 collections, and I’m finding this structure a lot of fun and really supportive so far.

Alphabet Superset

Continuing the Alphabet Superset challenge with Campbell Walker, aka Struthless, in 2024 and I published my “N” micro video choreo &

“O” micro video choreos to TikTok and Instagram in January. P-Z still to go as the year progresses!

It’s an eclectic and inspiring community to be a part of and creating these short works and seeing what others are making certainly provides a stimulating creative motivator.

January BuJo spread: goals/art flyer L, further early-year objective R

Yoga Visibility Challenge

Susanna Barkataki is a yoga teacher who I follow on social media and always feel called out by, in a good way, so I signed up for her Yoga Visibility Challenge in January.

The practices provided, reflection, and action steps had me considering my voice, message, role, identity, and challenging but needed conversations. I made a first stab at responding to the prompts for each of the three days of the challenge here on Instagram, but I know there’s always further growth in articulating my voice and message.

Actually, I launched my Podcast, then the blog and YouTube Channel a few years ago specifically in order to practice exactly this sort of articulation, to share my knowledge and refine my message. By getting work out there, I have been figuring out how to best say what I’m here on this earth to.

Along the way, I’ve been more and more open about my own life experiences and perspective, and though this visibility feels very vulnerable, I know it is valuable to see others.

Fortunate in so many ways, the position I come from is one of privilege, as I’m a white American with multiple degrees and am read as female in alignment with my assignment at birth. Though I’ve long identified myself as queer sexually and my sense of my gender evolves as my consciousness expands, I’ve been lucky not to have been met with ridicule so far, blending in enough for acceptance, but know it’s possible.

Leading and intentionally lifting up others, I stand for diversity and inclusion and practice a pedagogy of emancipation, inquiry, anti-discrimination and bias of all kinds.

Hosting Workshops & Challenges

I hosted a few challenges in 2023, and I’ve got some exciting things to share with you this year as well!

Aside from trial classes in a new location, I didn’t teach any special workshops or host a challenge in January (again, focusing on rest and reflection). In February I’m collaborating again on Eating Disorders Awareness Week and will be sharing more 26.2.-3.4.2024 as well as taking part in International Women’s Day on March 8th, Dance Week, Coaching Week, the Spring Equinox, and more to be announced…

Writing & Publishing Articles

In January I published one article to the blog: Quantum Leaping in 2024 – Word / Intention of the Year. I continued working diligently behind-the-scenes on my A Beautiful Year of Slow Creation and Growth – 2023 Reflections Blog, which I published February second, and others as yet to be released.

Filming & Sharing Videos

I published one video to the A Blythe Coach YouTube Channel in January, though I was also preparing content for February and beyond:

2024 Word of the Year – Leap! Video on YouTube

Connecting through Email & Social Media

I sent four weekly Email Newsletters in January, was active on Instagram and Facebook, am using TikTok to post my Alphabet Superset videos. In 2024, I plan to review performance metrics and strategy on a quarterly basis. Each month and in my corresponding reflection blog articles, I just want to keep creating, sharing, and interacting.

One milestone that I did hit in January was 500 subscribers to my YouTube Channel – hooray!

The best way to keep up-to-date on everything I’m coaching, teaching, creating and sharing as well as my favorite work from other creators is to subscribe to my weekly email newsletter. Would love to be connected to you there, here, on social media, online or in-person!

Ballet de Lorraine did a wonderful job with Trisha Brown’s “Twelve Ton Rose”

Arts & Culture

Highlights in the areas of culture, art, and sport for January:

  • Saw a new sport live: Ice Hockey with the Cologne Haie or sharks and our neighbors, so much fun! Neither Ela nor I had ever attended a professional ice hockey game, and it was especially luxurious from the boxes.
  • Live dance performance: we had a getaway to Bonn to see “Twelve Ton Rose” by Trisha Brown performed by Ballet de Lorraine in Bonn, along with a Postmodern Art exhibit – beautifully done!
  • Began Tango Argentino beginner class at Tanzraum (Basic, Ocho…) where I’m learning to lead a pair or ballroom dance for the first time and Ela is following. It’s challenging, technical, exciting, and we’re having fun.
January Glows & Media BuJo spread: media L, highlights R

Media Musings

It sounds like fun to keep track of my favorite inputs on a monthly basis as well, such as what I’ve enjoyed reading, hearing, seeing, etc.

Happy to chat further about what I’m reading and enjoying as we mosey into the year, and to hear about what you recommend I read, listen to, see or otherwise experience next.

Books & Reading

I finished reading one novel in January, Emma Cline’s The Guest, which was such a hard-to-put-down thrilling trainwreck of a ride! Definitely for adults and probably not for everyone, so well-written and so unhinged.

Daily scripture (currently Bible, Quran), poetry (Rumi at the moment), and nonfiction readings (Better Living Through Birding, Yoga Through the Year…) continue to inspire, and I’ll be working my way slowly through several great works this year.

Music & Listening

One new playlist resulted from my music listening in January, Quantum Leaping into 2024, which is my balletic soundtrack to dance in the new year.

Continuing to actively work with playlists such as my in-progress

Alphabet Superset music, ABC Choreo Music Ideas, and of course tracks and playlists for each of the classes that I teach or more seasonal fun in the works.

Songs that particularly stuck with me in January included some which vibe with my theme of leaping and flying, such as

  • “I’ll Fly with You”
  • “Fly Like an Eagle”


This section is about Films & Series Seen, particularly outstanding YouTube videos watched and so forth.

  • “Good Grief” film, yes I cried
  • “The Menu” film, twisted but good, maybe a bit much with “Saltburn” late last year…
  • “Blue Eyed Samurai” is animated but violent, beautiful if you’re into that sort of thing (Ela was watching the series and I joined her)
  • “Bear” series is stressful but well-played (live-action kitchen drama, another Ela pick)
  • “Queer Eye” new season gave me a boost I needed, and reminded me (along with their IG account) during the Yoga Visibility Challenge, what an inspiration Jonathan Van Ness is and how I appreciate the Fab Five!
  • “Love on the Spectrum” is a sweet feel-good documentary
  • Imbolc Yoga” from Moon Medicine on YouTube (35 minutes) was a particularly lovely practice
Enjoying a snowy stroll through the park with my love in January!

Questions for Reflection

  • How do you reflect on the year past, last month, or other periods of time?
  • What goals and intentions do you have for 2024?
  • What actions or habits must you practice regularly in alignment with your intended outcomes?
  • What creative inputs and media should I check out next?
  • How can I support you in going after your dreams this year?

Resources for Further Exploration

Blythe Stephens, MFA & Bliss Catalyst
she/her or they/them
Creator of A Blythe Coach @ablythecoach
helping multi-passionate creatives dance through their difficulties,
taking leaps of faith into fulfillment through coaching, yoga & dance education

DISCLAIMER: A Blythe Coach recommends that you consult your physician regarding the applicability of any recommendations and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself.

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