I’ve come to love this time of year – the transition from one year to the next. It’s my chance to take time to reflect on where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished (or not) in the past twelve months, and decide what I want to accomplish in the coming year. Many people I know argue that New Year’s is an arbitrary date and that we should make resolutions and commitments whenever we need to. But I’m a big fan of rituals and traditions.

Going through this exercise and thinking about my past year, I realized that, although I achieved quite a few things professionally, 2019 has been mainly a year of intense personal and emotional challenge – and growth. It’s been less about doing and more about being. Browsing through last year’s calendar to remind myself of all that happened, let me contemplate what I learned and what I am most proud of. Here’s what I came up with:

I learned to face my fears.
I learned that I’m stronger than I think.
I learned not to take things personally.
I learned to let go.
I learned that everything is temporary and that everything and everyone has something to teach me.

All that has made me a very different person than I was only 12 months ago.

And, while I have my list of New Year’s resolutions – all the specific things I want to do in 2020: the professional goals I want to reach, relationships I want to nurture and good habits I want to build – what’s even more important to me is my intention for who I want to be in this new year.

I want to be more real in the way I show up in the world. This doesn’t mean that up to now I’ve been fake or inauthentic. Being real to me means being able to tell my story, all of it. It means talking about the transformational journey that I’ve been through. I’ve been holding back from owning my story – at least important parts of it – without realizing it. I’ve done it probably to avoid offending or making things awkward, for myself and others. And it has prevented me from having real impact on the people I serve and support. The few times that I’ve allowed myself to be more open, more vulnerable and more real, I’ve found that it’s opened up important conversations and allowed others to reflect on their own experiences in powerful ways; but it’s also allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of my own experience.

Why is being real important to me? There’s immense joy and freedom in showing up as the whole person that I am. But beyond that, if we see our intentions as an expression of our values and sense of purpose, then setting an intention to own my full story allows me to shine a light for the people I want to support and help; to build connections, inspire, motivate and empower them to transform their lives. That’s the reason I became a coach.

So consider this post as my first step in that direction – to walk the talk.

Who do you want to be in 2020? I’d really love to know.