Create a Year You Love: Who Before How

“We do not see the world as it is, we see it as we are.”

Anais Nin

The holiday season is in full swing and you’re likely juggling a lot at the moment. 

Unless you get intentional, the busy-ness of life can keep you from taking time for yourself to pause and reflect on the past year and envision the next.

Before you know it you’ll look up and another year has gone by.

That’s why I’m offering this gift to you.

I’ve broken down my own-end-of-year goal setting process and combined it with some of my favorite coaching tools so that creating a year you love and the results you desire is inevitable. 

Each day this week I will send you simple prompts. Take a moment now (none of these will take longer than 10 minutes) and you’ll create positive change for a lifetime. Truly. 

Yesterday, I shared how evaluating brings awareness which is the most important first steps.

Today we look at who you desire to be in the new year, which is far more important than how you do it.

Let’s get started!


When you think about goal-setting you probably first think of what you want to accomplish and then your brain goes straight to figuring out how you will do it.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but the secret to sustainable change is starting with WHO.

When you start with WHO – your values, your purpose, your passion, your beliefs – the what and how become really clear and practically effortless.

Here’s the thing. We often try to take on too much. We expect to be amazing in all areas of our lives all at once – the best mom, the most loving partner, the most productive employee, the most accomplished creative – but we end up burning ourselves out and not feeling good about any of it.

So in this exercise you’ll constrain to one role that you’d like to focus on this year.

That’s doesn’t mean you won’t do anything else, obviously you still have other responsibilities. 

But when you choose a focus the choices you make to support yourself become clear.

Set a 2 minute timer and write your answers to these questions.


What roles do I play in my life?

Think about your current responsibilities. What am I accountable for in my life? What do I do during the day? What do I do during weekends? What would I call the role I’m playing as I’m doing each of these activities?

Examples: parent • child • family member • homeowner • manager • employee • employer • partner • money manager • writer • self-caregiver • friend • adventurer • cheerleader • action taker • personal champion • dreamer • DIYer • student • speaker • motivator  • traveler • dog trainer

Which role is my major focus for the year?

Harness your power in one main direction to achieve the kind of change you want to make. When there is one role on which you’re focused, you find focus and new levels of persistence and determination. 

How to choose? Ask yourself these questions…

  • If I could put one problem behind me, once and for all, what would it be?
  • In which role do I want to have a breakthrough?
  • If I were able to put a big check beside one of my roles at the end of the year, signifying that I felt a sense of mastery in that role, what would it be?
  • What’s the biggest impediment to my success and happiness right now?
  • Which aspect of my life is the biggest drain on my energy and willingness to go for it in life?

Remember that what you focus on is what you get – focusing your awareness on this role will generate the result you want.

*These questions are inspired by the book The Best Year Yet!, by Jinny Ditzler, Grand Central Publishing, 2000.

There you have it.

WHO you will BE in 2023.

In 2022 my role was “leader” and I was pleasantly surprised by all the ways that role played out over the year and how I grew into that self-concept.

Feel free to reply and share your role for 2023 or any insights that came up for you. If I hear from you, I’ll share the role I’m focusing on this year. It’s bumping me up against my comfort zone in the best way. 

Tomorrow I’ll share a tool that will give you an overview of your life, where you are now and where you’d like to be. It’s what I use in my consults or for initial coaching sessions and gives you a great foundation for creating a life you love. You won’t want to miss it!

Happy Holidays and wishing you a New Year you love!

With so much love,

Published by allisonburch

Hi there! As a Gottman Certified Educator, I love helping new families navigate the transition to parenthood and supporting them as they create a life they love. I get to live the dream in Austin, Texas with my big-hearted husband and two extroverted boys, where we get to put Gottman's techniques to use daily.

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