Happy New Year!

2020 has been a year like no other. Many of us experienced challenges, setbacks and uncertainty. If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s to slow down and focus on what matters most. And, no matter what you’ve experienced this past year, you made it through and now, it’s time to start looking forward.

Before setting any goals or intentions, take some time to reflect and hold onto any lessons learned from this past year. Regardless of what challenges you’ve had, there have hopefully been some new awareness, learnings and accomplishments as well. And you can use those lessons to deepen your experience and empower you to take control of your health, well-being, personal and professional growth. Walk yourself through the four-step process that follows to reflect on the past year and design the year ahead.

Step 1: Release
Before moving into creating a whole bunch of new goals, there may be some things you would like to release and let go of. Clearing out the old allows you to create the space for the new so you can start the year with a clean slate.  In order to do so, try doing a free-writing exercise to write down everything you want to release from 2020. Simply write whatever comes to mind and do so for 5-10 minutes. Just see what comes up and don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or who will see it. When you’re finished, you can simply tear up the page or safely burn it.

If it helps, you can use this writing prompt:  I want to release…

Step 2: Creating the New
According to Deepak Chopra, “Wherever you place your attention, your energy flows. When you add intention to your attention, you give your energy a direction. Intentions are effortless and have no attachment to the outcome. This allows for the energy of the Universe to organize everything in the best way possible.”

Try this exercise to uncover your true desires and establish powerful intentions.

The Wheel of Life
You can assess your total well-being with the Wheel of Life. Each spoke of the wheel represents a separate component of health–as with all wheels, if one spoke is out of alignment, the wheel cannot work properly. Complete this exercise to help you develop a sharper awareness of your current state of well-being.

Key Aspects of The Wheel of Life:

Family + Friends
Developing and maintaining strong relationships with others


Nutrition, exercise, sleep, habits and routines

Spiritual + Personal Growth
Building a strong connection with oneself – body, mind, spirit

Physical Environment
Feeding the senses with nourishing stimuli

Feeling free to give and receive in abundance

Fun + Recreation
Your commitment to play and creativity

Engaging in work that you find meaningful

Partnership and passion

Click here Wheel of Life BLANK to download your copy of the Wheel of Life. Using the attached page, give yourself a score of each aspect of your life on a scale of 1- 10, with 10 being “amazing!”. Be as honest as possible. Your answers will give you an indication of where imbalances exist and where energy may need to be placed in order to restore harmony.

Step 3:  Identifying and Closing the Gap
It’s unrealistic (I think) to be a 10 in all areas of our life, however, we can strive to move closer to our ideals. Reflecting on your answers from the Wheel of Life, list the areas that you rated 5 and below. Now, close your eyes and visualize what a 10 would look like in each of those areas. Try to be very specific here. Now capture your vision and write down your what your ideals are in each of these areas.

The distance between where you are today and where you want to be (presumably a 10 out of 10) is what I refer to as The Gap. In order to close that gap, you’ll have to take a variety of steps. Let’s try to outline what those steps are and package them into your 2021 goals.

Here are some questions to consider in helping you identify what actions you would need to take to be at a 10.

  • What aspects of yourself would you like to change or improve?
  • What systems or support do you need to help you get there?
  • What routines, habits or practices do you need to let go of or adopt, personally and professionally?
  • What do you need to learn to close the gap? Where or who will you get this information from?
  • What obstacles or roadblocks (internal or external) stand in your way to closing the gap?
  • What else could be contributing to the gap? Be honest with yourself.

Step 4:  Creating Accountability
Let’s face it; we all need help along the way. As part of your plan to achieving your goals, it is critical to build a support structure that will help keep you accountable and on track throughout the year. Your support structure may consist of actions you take as an individual, daily rituals or assistance from other people such as friends, coaches, or specialists. Utilizing all of the resources that are available to you will produce the most effective support structure and one that keeps you accountable and on track over time. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep your goals visible. By physically keeping your goals in a place where you will see them every day, you will be reminded of what you want to achieve and of your passionate reasons for achieving them.
  • Review and Refine. Review your plan often and revise as needed, or as context and priorities shift. Because another lesson of 2020 is that there is, and will always be, so much outside of your control. Maintaining an attitude of flexibility and adaptability along the way will support you in countless ways.
  • Share your goals with someone you know. Once you verbalize your goals to someone else, you are effectively making a commitment to achieving them.
  • Gain an accountability partner. This could be a friend, co-worker, or family member with the same or similar goal. Having an accountability partner will help provide you with the motivation you need to stay on track.
  • Hire a coach. A coach is someone who isn’t as close to you personally as a friend or family member and can provide you with the objectivity that is needed to truly keep you on track and help hold you accountable to what you want to achieve.
  • Join a support or Mastermind group. Support groups of any kind are typically comprised of people who are working toward the same outcome. If you want to complete your first marathon, find a running group. If you want to learn more about investing, find an investment club.
  • Hire an expert. We all have day jobs, so it may make sense to hire someone with certain expertise. For example, you may want to consult with a financial planner to help with your financial goals or a personal trainer to help you with your health and fitness goals.

Congratulations! You are one step closer to setting your vision for 2021.

Please remember, I’m here to help and support you along the way. If you’d like further assistance in developing your vision for 2021, please contact me at louise@leadingandliving.ca or at 905-466-1903. The first session is always complimentary.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers to a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2021!