Don’t Set Resolutions: There’s a better way

“Setting an intention for BE-ing comes with the same intended resolve and accountability as our New Year’s resolutions – with a deeper understanding of our Why’s and the benefit to others, and an empowering clarity.” -Kathryn

I send you my wishes for 2021 to be your year of joy and celebration of the extraordinary ripples of impact you create!  Don’t let resolutions get in your way!

Earlier this week as I coached the Mindful Leadership group, it was interesting to see how many negative aspects surround the New Year’s tradition of making “resolutions.” 

In general, the feeling was that not only do they often not achieve the results desired, but they also can do harm.  If the desire or need to do or be “better” comes from a belief that how we are now is not good enough, not valuable or successful enough at our very core, then the quest to be “better” may never be attainable, or rather, when attained can feel empty (Like Joe Gardner realizes in SOUL**, or when you land your dream job only to wonder 6 months later why you’re still not happy.).

Instead, there are some wonderful New Year’s practices I teach to shift from making Resolutions, to revealing one’s purpose to inform (and motivate) next steps. Here are three from past Blogs you may want to play with to help you Set an Intention for BE-ing in 2021:

  1. Taking Stock? Try my Six Questions to Clarity Exercise to create a framework that will support you!
  2. Gratitude is a VERB – move beyond the journal!
  3. Try these prompts to help you choose (and value) how you show up – and observe (and value) the resulting impact you have!

Webster’s definition of intention [along with my notes]:

  • what one intends to do [choosing how you think, feel, communicate and act] or bring about [the resulting impact as a result of your intentions – how you choose to show up]
  • a determination to act in a certain way : RESOLVE [Setting an intention for BE-ing comes with the same intended resolve and accountability as our New Year’s resolutions – with a deeper understanding of our Why’s, and the benefit to others, and an empowering clarity.] 

As I was writing this, I took a break to listen to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti give an update on the Stay at Home orders.  He was inspired by the word resolution – not in identifying how to do better or accomplish more, but by finding hope in its Latin root resolutio meaning “loosen, release” or as he said (paraphrasing): “to be set free. Free from this pain, from this fear, from this loss that so many of us have felt this year, free for our children to play and learn, free to return to our workplaces, free to see our loved ones and hold them without worry of getting them sick, a year free from the shadow of disease.”  He goes on, “My only resolution is to summon the strength and to find the love that surrounds us and is within us, and to share that with one another. And to know that fortitude and generosity is what has and will see us through the toughest of days.” 

To me, he is inviting us to Set an Intention for BE-ing, and valuing the impact that this alone can have on others.

When we shift from making resolutions and measuring our success and value in “traditional” ways, to choosing how we want to BE, we create the possibility for the lives of meaning, impact, joy, ease and abundance we truly desire – and are meant to have.  And, guess what?  Everything you need is already within you, and you always have 100% ability to choose how you show up “even if…”, “even when…”   

“We only have a short time on this planet. You want to become the person that you were born to be. Don’t waste your time on all the junk of life. Spend your precious hours doing what will bring out the real you. The brilliant passionate you, that’s ready to contribute to something meaningful into this world.”
–Joe Gardner in the Pixar movie SOUL**

**Have you watched SOUL yet? I loved it’s message. Join me this Sunday to share your thoughts on the movie, and discuss Purpose, how to find yours, and why knowing it helps us Set our Intentions for BE-ing, and make big and small decisions on what to do, when and how!

To your success, to your health, and to a year of your dreams!


Next Chapter Coach
Creator of The Career (Life!) Breakthrough AcademyTM

P.S. – This time of year can be challenging if you’re at a Crossroad Moment, trying to figure out what to do, what is possible, what you (really) want, and what you should do next.  If this is YOU or someone you know, I’ve opened up a few more times on my calender to get on the phone for a confidential call.

Joy is a Leadership Necessity. Jump In!

“Joy; the kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”
— David Steindl-Rast


Today, my invitation is to join me in experiencing and BE-ing joy.  No matter what is happening around you.  Yes, “even if…”  and “even when…”.

Joy isn’t like happiness which is based upon the happenings around you. It’s not dependent on whether things are going “well” or not.  In fact, joy can be present at some of our most difficult moments.  It is an emotion that comes with the anticipation and/or awareness of something that is wonderful. I learned this when I experienced joy at the hospital bedside of our son when he was in the serious throws of what would be a successful battle with brain cancer. In my client work, I teach how to gain greater clarity on joy (and thus ourselves as leaders) by identifying “peak moments” where we felt alive, at the top of our game, with a full heart in gratitude – and then through a guided process help to reveal the Evidence of ImpactTM in those very moments.

In fact, one of the amazing secrets about joy is that ultimately, it is not about US. We may seek it, but in reality, joy comes at the very moment we are living in our purpose – showing up fully and having the impact on others we are meant to have.


Here are 6 more secrets (FACTS) about Joy; learned from my own journey and now championed by my clients:

  1. JOY is not a selfish act – it is an indication that you are living in your purpose and having the impact you are meant to have on this earth.
  2. Choosing JOY does not mean we move through life ignoring feelings of sadness, loss, inconsequence, separation, frustration, stress, injustice or are pretending something negative does not exist. 
  3. JOY is both a litmus test and a compass for creating the (meaningful) success we really want.
  4. JOY is in the present moment.
  5. Moments of JOY, and thus impact, are… limitless.
  6. JOY is a choice, and a practice.


When thinking about your career and life, your next steps, your decisions, “Let joy be your compass and impact be your guide.”  Ask yourself:

  • What have been my moments of joy (specifically, the 3-second moment of “spark”?) 
  • Where in my body did I feel it – specifically?
  • Why did it feel so good?  When I felt Joy, what were the ripples of impact to others?  How do I know?
  • How often do I want to be feeling that?
  • What would it mean to others if I could feel that way?

I am often asked, “How many true moments of joy are possible to experience or to expect in a career and life?”  Understanding that when you feel joy, others also benefit… my answer is not a surprise, and for the past five years it has been true for me  “At LEAST once a day!”

To your success and JOY! 🥂 Kathryn

Next Chapter Coach
Creator of The Career (Life!) Breakthrough AcademyTM