What are your big dreams for 2021? Maybe you want to flex your muscles and finally master a strong pushup. Or you’re ready to become the at-home chef you’ve always believed you could be. Or perhaps you want to start making time in your life for a little more self-care.
No matter how large or small the goal, a dose of extra motivation along the way couldn’t hurt. That’s where Women’s Health comes in. We’re launching a year-long initiative called Vision21 to encourage readers to dream big and achieve their goals this year. We also partnered with our pals at Pinterest to launch a community vision board where you can share the images that are inspiring you every day.
But that’s not all: We’ve selected a team of motivating mentors—our 2021 Visionaries—who will offer advice and inspo throughout the year on your journey to crush your goals.
From fitness gurus to self-help savants, this list is stacked! Get to know our 2021 Visionaries below, and absorb their words of wisdom about goal-setting, creating the perfect vision board, and manifesting the future you’ve always wanted for yourself.
Let’s make our big dreams happen together this year.
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After two decades spent working at titles such as Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Marie Claire, Kanai recently left publishing to embark on a new career as the head of content and creator partnerships at Pinterest.
On how to think more purposefully about your future: “I left my 20-year career in the publishing industry during a global health crisis to go after an opportunity at Pinterest. Change found me at the most unexpected moment. It is important to develop a tolerance and appetite for these kinds of risks. You likely won’t be starting a different job all the time, but you can develop this muscle by constantly trying new things, such as classes and experiences.”
On her most cherished vision board pins: “One of my biggest inspos is Pippi Longstocking; I loved the book as a child. The idea of a girl who has crazy hair, wears a tattered dress and boots, and lives by herself doing whatever she wants flipping pancakes on the ceiling reminds me not to take life too seriously, but rather live my life and design my personal style on my own terms.
“I also love to pin productivity tools like this one called ‘Getting Things Done’ or GTD by David Allen. It all seems so basic but it’s good to have a reminder of simple processes. Also the child in me loves to pin little doodles. I am no artist, but I use doodling as a way to destress at the end of a busy day.”
A track athlete and healthy-lifestyle curator, Panton is training in the triple-jump with her sights set on a spot at the Olympic Games.
On how to change a “whine” into a “win”: “My biggest advice for reaching a goal is to listen to your regular complaints. I know, sounds crazy, but hear me out! Your most common rants are a great way to figure out what you want to change and can also help you figure out how you want to start living your day-to-day life. So if you are complaining about your need for change, you might start by creating a vision board that begins with photos of the life you want to manifest and quotes that inspire you, even for just for a moment, to start going after your goals.”
On the tech that’s helped her reach her goals: “I love my iPad and my Fitbit Inspire 2! As someone who makes a ton of lists, my iPad helps organize my life in a much more efficient and environmentally conscious way than a bunch of notebooks. And my Fitbit has been a godsend for tracking my sleep schedule. It’s nice to see how my Zs correlate with how I train that day.”
On her goal for 2021: “I want to finish the manuscript of my ninth book! The working title is Happy Days, and it will answer your questions about why you feel blocked, scared, anxious, depressed, or alone, and it will liberate you from the belief system that has kept you small for so long. I’ll guide you to transform your pain, fear, and discomfort into your greatest strengths. By taking this path you will become the best version of yourself.”
On how she reaches her goals: “I have big goals and visions and instead of trying to achieve them overnight I take lots of small right actions. I have always practiced (and taught) this method for reaching a bigger goal. I believe that when you add up the small right actions your goals become effortless. And it takes the pressure off!”
A fitness instructor and co-host of The Talk, Kloots has had to reimagine her future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, after losing her husband, Broadway star Nick Cordero, to the disease. She’s now honoring his memory by writing a book about their life together.
On putting in the time to achieve: “I’m a huge believer in dreams coming true—but it’s because you’ve worked hard to get them accomplished. That’s something my dad instilled in all of us in my family. I work every day of my life, and I usually have about four or five jobs that I’m doing at the same time. I love to work; I love to stay busy. So I’m very, very proud when I can finally check something off.”
On how she organizes her vision board: “I always put my initials with an exclamation point, which represents my fitness brand, in the center of my vision board because that’s the first business I started when I felt completely lost in life, and it was a major career shift for me and a huge leap that I just decided to take. Then it filters out into the corners—areas for family, career, home, and finances, so there are little pictures and words within all of those sections.”
On how he reaches his goals: “I think one of the big mistakes we tend to make when setting goals is that we focus on the end result or the accomplishment and we forget to take into account the growth or the learning we’ll need to undertake to reach it. When I think about what it is I’d like to accomplish, I also reflect on the knowledge I need to obtain, skills I need to grow, habits I need to institute, or qualities I need to strengthen to be able to accomplish them.”
On the app that’s changed his life for the better: “I absolutely love Blinkist, which provides key takeaways from thousands of books. I am a huge reader and I take lots of notes when I read, but still, it can be difficult sometimes to keep everything organized. Plus, I just don’t have time to read every book I’d like to. So the app is like a reference library in my pocket.”
Dr. Jennifer Ashton
As ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, Dr. Ashton reports on a host of health and wellness news, including the COVID-19 pandemic. She is double board-certified in OB-GYN and obesity medicine and has a master’s degree in nutrition.
On her goals for 2021: “My goals for the next year are divided into physical ones, professional ones, and social ones. Physically, I would like to get into better cardio condition. I have an Achilles tendon injury that I have to always pay attention to, so it prevents me from running outside, but if I am careful sometimes treadmill running doesn’t irritate it. In terms of my professional goals, I would like to cover a health story from another part of the world and write my seventh book. Socially, I would like to reconnect with friends that I haven’t spent a lot of time with over the past pandemic year.”
On how she reaches her goals: “I set daily goals, short-term goals, and long-term goals. My short-term goals are usually measured in days, weeks, or months, and my long-term goals are in the order of 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year goals. Generally, I keep them in my head, but once in a while, I will write them down on a notepad I keep on my nightstand. I am relentless in my commitment to self-improvement, and I am always trying to be better in some way or do better. At the same time, I am learning how to accept my flaws, failures and limitations, and that balance is improving everyday.”
On how she reaches her goals: “My approach to goal setting is to start small and start with attainable things. So many people dream big, which is great but sometimes it’s overwhelming, and you don’t know where to start and therefore get discouraged. I like to take things day by day and live by the mantra, ‘The time is now.’ If your goal is to drink more water, set reminders and start and end every day with an 8 oz. glass. If your goal is work-related, I always reverse engineer the larger goal and start with the smallest steps (a.k.a. the foundation) so that I can climb my way up my to-do list. Remember that goals aren’t set in stone and they can change and evolve as you move forward.”
On what she would “manifest” right now if she could: “I have been an active angel investor, and I have continued to grow my network over the years. I am now in a place where I can send off informal emails to a group of people to help entrepreneurs raise capital, and I want to formalize this ‘network’ into a collective or fund. I don’t know how I would do this, as I have a full-time job, but I have had this feeling in my stomach that this is a part of my plan. So here I am putting it out into the universe! Let’s see what I receive back!”
Cline is a vocal mental-health advocate and is best known for her starring role as Sarah Cameron on the Netflix series Outer Banks.
On what would be on her vision board: “Beaches, dirty martinis, and the phrase, ‘I want to be everywhere twice,’ to quote our Outer Banks costume designer Emmie.”
On how to start achieving your goals: “Start the day by setting your intention, say it out loud, write it down, envision how great you’ll feel once you start making moves toward what YOU want. However you need to put it out into the universe, do it. Write down what you want as if you’re grateful that it’s already yours. Then do whatever you can toward that intention that day, be proud of yourself, and repeat. Be proud of what you accomplish and don’t beat yourself up over what you don’t.”
Alcantara started working out in her kitchen just eight years ago, and has quickly become a much-sought-after celebrity trainer (her clients include Kim Kardashian). She is also the author of the book Fit Gurl: The Total-Body Turnaround Program.
On her goals for 2021: “I have so many goals! When it comes to health and fitness, I want to work on my cardio, drink more water, and focus on recovery—lots and lots of stretching. Mental health is a big one for me and something I’ve been working on for a few years now. I’d like to be a healthier person inside as well as out so I can have healthier relationships, realistic expectations, and become a better, understanding, more patient, and compassionate person. I want to have a better and closer relationship with my daughter—we currently have an amazing relationship but as a working mom with so many responsibilities and pressures I feel that many of the times I’m consumed in something else and always end up with this everlasting parental guilt of not being enough. I’m sure many parents can relate!”
On the product that’s changed her life for the better: “Hands down my new kitchen appliance, the Thermomix TM6. It’s the best time-saver in the kitchen since it pretty much does the cooking for you and lets you plan ahead. I am always able to whip up something fresh and easy for my daughter and me to enjoy, and still get through my list of things to do.”
Roe is a chef, welfare advocate, and the host/producer of Counter Space on VICE TV.
On her approach to goal-setting: “With so many complicated and challenging things happening around us, I’m trying to be diligent in reframing the seemingly small things I accomplish in a day as the big victories that they are. The state of the world feels like swamp water right now; so waking up to brush your teeth, put on clothes, and make yourself coffee is A FEAT to be celebrated.”
On her goals for 2021: “The theme of 2020 for the most part has been, ‘STAY AWAY FROM EACH OTHER.’ But I can’t help but think about how much 2020 has shown us how much we all really need each other. I’m excited to find new and safe ways to encourage connection, and continue to build community. I’ve definitely got my heart set on finding ‘together-ness in a world of apart-ness’ this year. In the physical sense, I am very excited to start working on my new backyard, as well as continuing to work on my television series.”
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