The start of a new year is a perfect transition to remember who you are, rediscover your unique place in life, and reconnect with both of those. Without it, dreams stay unrealized, potential goes unused, and you’re uninspired without clarity of what makes you come alive.

A stressful or unfulfilled 2020 will lead right into a stressful or unfulfilled 2021, unless…

Here are five strategies to set you up for success.

Strategy #1: Hand pick your inner Board of Directors

Different voices weigh in at different stages of development that shape the way we see ourselves and our potential. How helpful is your inner voice for you right now? To level up this year, choose the specific voices you’re going to listen to. Besides your own, here are some to consider getting in tune with. Someone who:

  • believes the sun rises and sets with you, delights in you, and loves you unconditionally
  • challenges you with thoughtful questions to deeply reflect about your choices, purpose, and alignment
  • encourages your dreams and visions with enthusiasm and will even dream your next idea, adventure, or innovation with you
  • Gives wise, practical, experienced counsel

Strategy #2: Take a re-inventory of your inherent gifts

We often undervalue who we are, and overvalue what we think we’re not. While leadership development is often associated with gaining new skills, this year consider what skills you’re undervaluing. Then maximize them. There are two simple ways to take inventory:

  1. Notice when you’re given a compliment and you dismiss it. (That’s your gift.)
  2. Notice when you’re exasperated by something/judging someone’s inability. (That’s about your gift, not their incompetence.)

These two practical observations will be eye-opening in recognizing which gifts or talents you’re overlooking as irrelevant, and you’ll avoid spending time and money on ways you think you need to develop more. Take the easier road here. What already comes easy for you? Start there.

Strategy #3: Pursue what you feel when you’re at your best

Think about what “leveling up” means to you and then ask yourself this question: What do I want most, personally and professionally, this year? Now imagine you already have that. Write about how you got to this point you want to be at. Write about what you learned, what you feel, and how and why you’re different.

  1. When you’ve done this, tell someone. (Read it to the person who came to mind as the one you encourages your dreams and vision with enthusiasm).
  2. Secondly, post it in your office, mirror, or a place you’ll continue to see and feel the reality of your next level.

Strategy #4: Make your move

Reflect about a step that will be useful for you to smoothly transition into this new level of leadership and development for yourself. The step can start off like a small habit change:

  • Turn off your phone for two hours during the day
  • Set a timer for 11:30 and take a 30 minute walk daily
  • Clean out an area of your home/office to create more inspiration

The step could also be a bigger change:

  • Write the book, blog, memoir
  • Scratch the entrepreneur itch and start that business
  • Ask for the promotion
  • Make a plan to retire
  • Make that other big decision

Without the intentional first step, you likely won’t notice the intentional development. Go ahead and make your move, no matter how small.

Strategy #5: Celebrate

This is important to do all along the way. Celebrations are the dopamine drip of accomplishment and fuel our motivation to take the next step!

  • Check off the to do list. Done. Check.
  • Report in and share with your inner board of directors
  • Make a social media post
  • Purchase something for yourself
  • Take a day off or plan a day drip
  • Get that fancy take-out meal

Find ways to acknowledge and validate to yourself that leveling up is what you wanted to do, and you are doing it!

The biggest reward will come when you recognize you’re really “living” this year––with ease, aligned to your gifts, surrounded by support, and contributing wholeheartedly to the world.

You’re ready for 2021. Make your move.

Reflect: Which strategy is speaking to you most right now? That could be your first move…

Rachel is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through International Coaching Federation (ICF) for INspired Leadership at ESSDACK. She helps professionals get where they want to be, faster. Contact her.

What if you could measure leadership and culture? Ask our team how: INspired Leadership Website


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