Now that the new year is fast upon us, I invite my coaching clients – and you! – to set your intentions for the coming year. And to help you do that, I’ve produced a valuable download: Design the Year You Want! It gives a step-by-step process to aid you as you begin to plan for the future you want to have, with helpful exercises full of coaching questions and some useful reviewing and planning templates.

It is an open invitation to celebrate all you are and have done – and starts with you making an inventory of your accomplishments and learnings in the past year. Now, if your year has been a challenging one (like mine has been!) – you can still celebrate the fact that you’ve got through it, and what you’ve learned, even through adversity.

While my coaching clients never seem to spend enough time celebrating their successes, I find that they spend even less time celebrating their learning from any perceived ‘failure’ on their part. Even if they have heard the phrase ‘there’s no failure – only feedback’, they don’t actually celebrate this. They are reluctant to even acknowledge it, let alone integrate it and rejoice in their growth and development from it. They’d rather put it all behind them and move on. But moving onward is not simply a matter of forgetting the past. It informs our future, and our learning from the past is to be celebrated.

As well as the big things (promotion, childbirth, marriage, divorce), remember to acknowledge and celebrate any small achievements, accomplishments and successes, too. On this journey of life, the destination (or goal) is not the only thing of importance– the tiny steps you take and the milestones you reach on the way should all be celebrated.

My Design the Year You Want! download will also help you to align yourself to your values, access your inner resourcefulness and set your intentions for the new year. Call them new year’s resolutions if you like – but regardless of the name, the important thing is to commit and take action on them.

All in all, this resource – with your valuable input and answers – provides a useful guidebook to help you prepare and plan for the new you, as well as the new year. So, do take a look and complete the exercises. It’s a great investment of your time.

Here is a little of what you can expect.


To really help you get in the planning mindset, it’s important to start by reviewing and reflecting on the past year, so I have devised a few ways of inventorying your accomplishments so that you can celebrate your successes.

Some of you may know that I always advocate some stocktaking at this time of year. Stopping to reflect, take stock and simply appreciate you and all you have done, been and are, is an essential act of self-care, as well as being a great way to draw a line on the past, plan for the future and look forward to taking action in the new year.

What have you accomplished (however small or large) this year?

Even if you’ve had some challenges, and made mistakes, or – in your perception – ‘failed’ in some way, you can still take the learning from the experience, and move forward with greater knowledge, skills, strength and understanding.

Remember to acknowledge and signal your accomplishments with some kind of celebration, too. Once you have recognised and acknowledged your successes, I invite you to celebrate who you are and what you’ve done, in all areas – in other words, celebrate your whole self! Anything you love to do can be a celebration if you designate it as one.

As much as we can benefit from our experiences and learnings, we also need to invest time in celebrating this – however big or small – in the most appropriate way.


In this section of Design the Year You Want!, we identify some home truths about what you honestly feel and what you really want.

What do you want to be like? How do you want to show up in the world? What do you want to contribute?

We also clarify what is important to you – your values. This does the groundwork to enable you to see how far your present life and actions are aligned with what is important and what drives you. 


Next, I ask you to identify what, or who, most inspires you. This helps you focus on the qualities and behaviours that are important to you.

Then, we look at what you want to do. You will also develop a personal mantra and visual image to keep you focused on your inspirational motivators and deepest desires.


You already have much of the knowledge and advice you might be seeking from others. We’ll access your whole self – including your intuition – and find out what messages it has to tell you. Use a relaxed, meditative state to get in touch with your heart, gut and head (or your spirit, body and mind) and find out what useful advice and information they each have for you, as you move forward.

Then, I help you to access your inner mentor or your best self, to see what they have to say.

Using your inner resources and resourcefulness puts you in a strong position of confidence in your own knowing and capabilities. Then you can plan to use this wisdom in your next steps. 


Set your intentions for the year ahead. Here, you will begin to consider where best to focus your attention to get you to the place you want to go or grow. Based on your desires, aspirations and values, and all you have learned from the previous exercises, you can next decide how you would like to prioritise your resources.

This is the basis of your year’s plan.

You’ll also find a list of further helpful articles to explore different aspects of reviewing your year and planning for the future.

With a new year, a fresh, clean sheet is presented to us, and we can’t wait to write a new story on it. But we also need to refer to our backstory for context, because how can we know where we are going unless we can see how far we’ve come? That’s why the end of the year is a great time to take stock – and prepare yourself for creating an actionable plan.

Make a great start by reading more here: Design the Year You Want!

I hope you enjoy!

Happy celebrating – you and the season!



And, if you are interested in more downloadable career development resources, check out our resource page with tips and tools to strengthen your leadership.

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