Create a Year You Love: A New Way to Look at Your Goals

“Where we think we need more self-discipline, we usually need more self-love – not just selflove as an attitude, but self-love manifested through the routines and rituals that we set up to enable the changes we desire to happen naturally and with ease.” 

Tarah Mohr

Each day this week I’ve shared bits of my own end-of-year goal setting process along with a few of my favorite coaching tools.

On Monday, I shared how evaluating brings awareness which is the most important first step.

Then you learned that focusing on the who makes a bigger impact than figuring out the how.

Yesterday I offered you a downloadable worksheet that gives you a crystal clear snapshot of your life right now and what would make it amazing! This is the basis for the goals you create.

Today you’ll learn a new way of looking at your goals that doesn’t have anything to do with willpower or self-discipline.

Let’s do it!


I need to be honest with you. I’ve struggled with the widely popular SMART goal technique. 

The rigidity took the joy out of goal-setting and so I just didn’t do it. I saw this with my clients too. 

Which is why I was so grateful to find a different, more heart-centered approach to goals in Tara Mohr’s book, Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create and Lead

Tara says making and sustaining change has nothing to do with willpower and self-discipline (thank goodness!) and everything to do with a spirit of self-love and an abundance of support.

Doesn’t that sound great?! Give it a try!

What are your goals for 2023?
Look over your answers for the last three exercises (links above): the lessons you learned, what you want to do differently, the role you’ll focus on, and the big picture of your life – where you’re satisfied and where you desire more.Taking all of that into consideration, come up with 3 – 8 goals for the year.

Turn Your Should-Goals Into Gift-Goals
Should-goals are created by outside pressures, or what we think we “should” do. Gift-goals are an expression of what we truly desire. They feel as joyful to pursue as to achieve. 

Use these questions to help you shift your goals from shoulds to gifts:

  • As you look over what you want to achieve, what are the “should” elements? 
  • Which parts of what you want to achieve feel like giving yourself a big, important gift – the gift of fulfillment? 
  • How can you reframe your goals or the way you are working on them to leave the “should” element aside and give it more of a “gift-goal” feeling?
  • At the end of this time period, what would success look like to you?
  • What would you create or bring into your life that would give you delight, joy and pleasure?

Rewrite your goals as gift goals. (Or give yourself permission to drop some entirely.)

These are Tara’s recommendations for setting yourself up for success. Go through these questions for each of your goals.

Create a plan based on your unique strengths and resources. What resources, strengths and assets do you have already that can help you achieve your gift goal? Consider people/relationships/connections, information, time, money, energy, talents, expertise, and background.

See yourself in partnership with a larger force. What larger force for good do you think would applaud what you are doing, be aligned with what you are doing, be on your side? 

Make it the default. How can you set up the actions you want to take as the default – what you’ll do automatically? If you can’t make them the default, how can you make them as convenient as possible? 

Find champions and sources of accountability. Who will you feel motivated to check in with, not out of fear or guilt, but because you like celebrating successes with them and feel you can be honest with them when it’s not going well? 

Compassionately investigate when you get stuck. If you find you aren’t moving forward toward your aspirations, ask yourself with kindness, “What’s going on here? What’s the stumbling block? What do you need to move past it?” Then listen to the answer and act on it.

Content used with permission in my role as a trained and certified Playing Big facilitator.
For more, visit or see the book, Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead (Penguin Random House).

There you have it! 

A new way of thinking about your goals and a path forward to create what you desire.

If you’ve followed the process I’ve shared in the emails, whether just one of the exercises or all of them, I am certain you will have more clarity and a sense of possibility than when you started.

I’m curious what resonated the most with you and what questions you have? Reply to this email and let’s connect about it. I value hearing your insights and perspectives.

Tomorrow I’ll give you one last gift to deeply anchor all of your insights and connect you to your inner knowing.

Happy Holidays and a very happy New Year!

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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