I am fortunate to have a circle of happy, successful friends, many of whom I hike with on a regular basis. Hiking is great exercise but also an opportunity for great conversation. With 2019 approaching, one conversation turned to making goals and a friend shared the exercise she works through at the end of each year.

Why make goals? Yogi Berra said it best -“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” 


  1. When were you able to use your best talents, skills, and gifts? What were you doing?  How did you feel?
  1. What did you realize you were good at that you didn’t know or claim before now?
  1. How did you grow? What do you know now that you didn’t know last year?
  1. What did you do that gave your life meaning? How much time did you spend in that zone?
  1. When did you avoid doing something uncomfortable even though you now know you should have spoken up or acted?
  1. What did you put off that you wished you had spent more time on?

Review your answers.  Note what you want to do more and less of next year.

  • More
  • Less


  1. What impact are you making? Is this enough for you right now?
  1. What do you believe created your present circumstances? What wisdom has life given you?
  1. What used to bring you joy but now, the energy is disappearing?
  1. What are you clinging to that defines you but it is now time to let go of?
  1. If you cleared away obligations that feel like a burden, what would you do instead?
  1. If you had the opportunity to fully express your talents, what could you accomplish?
  1. What do you dare dream of doing? What do you long to create?
  1. Is there something you are called to do but thought you couldn’t?
  1. What inside of you wants to be heard or unleashed? If you listened to this longing, what would you know you had to do?

DECLARE YOUR THEME FOR THE YEAR.  What word, phrase or sentence defines what you want to focus on?  What phrase inspires you to say “yes” even if the path isn’t clear?


Clean Up the Path – To follow your Theme, you must leave some things behind.  When looking at your past, what can you let go of or at least, spend less time doing? Find ways to release what drains your energy and diverts you from your Theme to allow the chance for your higher contribution to take form.

  1. To step into your profound potential, what must you leave behind?
  2. What can you say “no” to now?
  3. What old promises you made to yourself can you now release? Crossing things off your list gives you more energy to spend on what is important now.
  • Actionable items