With the advent of the holiday season, we can all breathe a heavy sigh of relief that we’ve nearly crossed the finish line on the wild ride that’s been 2020. While the goal post kept changing and new obstacles were tossed onto the track daily, we’ve learned that collectively – with our family, friends, colleagues and communities – we can do hard things. We’ve learned how to throw away the playbook, reassess our strategies and think more creatively.  

While the realities of 2021 are still on the blurry horizon, it’s a wonderful time to self-reflect, be introspective and set a clear vision and intention for how you want to show up in the year ahead. 

Given December is already inundated with a laundry list of to-do’s – from year end planning and performance reviews, to holiday preparations, and Zoom get-togethers galore – you might be asking yourself, “how can I possibly have time for anything more.” Despite the chaos, it’s critical to carve out quiet time to invest in yourself and create a plan with purpose and intention.    

Here are some strategies and questions to contemplate before the clock strikes midnight:

  • What one word describes your intention for 2021? Grit, hustle, grace, resilience? Once you’ve identified what that word is for you, determine how you plan to hold yourself accountable to that word in your work and personal life. Check in with yourself periodically (especially in difficult or uncertain situations) to ensure that word shines thru in your performance, attitude and actions.
  • How do you want to feel in each area of your life? Inspired, alive, connected, energized, empowered, limitless, secure, certain, accomplished, courageous? Be honest with yourself, but don’t judge or criticize what feelings come to mind. Just let it flow naturally. Once you have a large list of words, circle the ones that resonate most to you, and then narrow the list down until you reach your final three-five words. According to The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle Laporte, “when you get clear on how you want to feel, the pursuit itself becomes more satisfying.”
  • What can you do to feel that way?
  • What is your personal ‘why’ that keeps you motivated? In other words, what greater purpose or meaning does your work serve?
  • What do you want to do, have and experience?
  • How do you want to think and show up differently? 
  • What three or four goals do you want to focus on next year?
  • What do you aspire to achieve? 
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What’s not working?
  • What are the steps you can take today to accomplish your goals tomorrow?

This exercise will give you the clarity and insight you need to make empowered choices – your future self will thank you.