2023 in bright colours with balloons and lights
So, here we are again – the start of a new year. Have you set your New Year resolutions! That’s what we’re supposed to do, right?
Well, yes. That’s traditionally what goes on. But who actually achieves their resolutions? Apparently only 1 in 10 of us will meet the goals we set at the beginning of the year.

All sorts of things go awry.

    • You weren’t totally clear about why you made the resolution in the first place
    • You didn’t conjure up in your mind the fabulous benefits you would get from seeing it through
    • You didn’t really believe you could do it
    • You didn’t take action and take it again, and again despite all the reasons not to
    • Old habits and old ways of thinking got in the way and things settled back into the ‘same old, same old’.

It really is difficult to make New Year resolutions come true and of course it’s disheartening when they don’t.

It’s certainly the case among my non-profit coaching clients. We’re not so hot on New Year resolutions, actually.
What we are hot on, is New Year Thinking. The kind of thinking that takes their year from ho hum to truly alive.
I encourage my clients to reflect on what’s worked beautifully in the last year and, where it all went ‘horribly wrong’ and – here’s the difference – how they’d like to feel in the next.
Why do I focus on feelings? Because, if you want to create positive and purposeful change in 2023 you need to start with what you want to feel. Not what you want to do. Sounds weird? Trust me.
Grab yourself a notebook or your laptop, and let’s see where my process takes you.
Brand New New Year Thinking

Bringing 2023 alive with New Year thinking

Take time to think about exactly what you’d like to feel more of in 2023. Get specific – there are over 400 words for feelings as I’m always telling my coaching clients. Let’s use them.
What five feelings would you most like to experience most in 2023?
Take a look at mine here for inspiration. I’ve been playing around with these for a few days. You might like to do the same.
In 2023 I would like to feel:
At ease
What about you?
Once you have your list, take each feeling in turn and jot down the answers to my questions below. Not all will land with you, but they should help clarify what needs to happen next.

First, learn from 2022

Start off by remembering a time when you felt that emotion in 2022, even for a moment. Then ask yourself

  1. What exactly was going on at that time?
  2. Which of your values were you honouring?
  3. What skills and talents were you using?
  4. What were you doing that you particularly love?
  5. Who was there? Who wasn’t there (if that’s significant)?
  6. What was it about the experience that gave you that feeling?

For my emotion of ‘Connected – I wrote down about an outing to my local pub with good friends for ‘Beer and Carols’. It’s not happened since 2019 because of the pandemic which gave it an extra precious feeling. The vibe was raucous and care-free. It brought the whole mix of our community together and we sang non-trad Christmas songs, too, which are such a joy to sing. I even had a go at the screechy high parts in the carols with other women I met –  but no one was looking for perfection.

I was truly honouring my values of connection, and fun and engagement and I loved every moment.

An image representing Brand New New Year Thinking

Then, create 2023

In order to experience that feeling again:
1. What would need to happen this year?
2. What would you want to do more of?
3. What would you want to do less of?
4. What could you let go of completely?
5. What really brave action or risk might you need to take?
For me, in order to feel connected like this again I would:
1. be open to connection from others, saying ‘yes’ more, instead of ‘no’
2. arrange more face-to-face work events so I can bring leaders in the sector together in real life
3. spend fewer days just me at my desk with my laptop and endless cups of coffee
4. drop the nagging mind gremlin that says ‘who are you to create community for others? What do you know?’
5. find out how to be a Diversity and Inclusion ally even though that makes me feel nervous and foolish.
How about you?

How to set things moving

Once you’ve answered the questions, decide how you can want to set 2023 in motion. Consider:
• One-off single actions
• new habits – stopping or starting something
• A new approach or attitude.
Now, you’re well on your way to some genuinely useful and achievable New Year resolutions.

What next?

I have a few places for senior purpose-driven leaders to start one-to-one coaching with me in January and February.
If you know you want support to achieve your 2023 goals, hit reply or email katie@katieduckworth.com I’ll get back to you straightaway to set up a chat.