Learnings From an Extraordinary Year – A Life Coach’s Experience

Published on Dec 30, 2020

Woman with sparkler representing a life coach reflecting on the learnings of the past year

Feeling calm and present, I pour raspberry tea into my favorite cup. I have just devoted a couple of hours to my annual ritual – bringing my year to a close and celebrating the extraordinary things I’ve learned.

When I drink my tea it not only warms my body after a walk in the cold, it also warms my heart because it reminds me of Michaela Boehm who has the same Iittala cup that I do. Michaela is my embodiment teacher, who I have seen drinking tea many times over Zoom, in 2020. One key reminder this year was – it’s the small things that matter!

Today, I will share my personal journey from 2020, then, invite you to answer some powerful questions to help you to mindfully complete your year.

My Personal Journey

“I was disappointed when you didn’t keep your promise”.

“I don’t agree that you can spoil your child with too much love”.

This year I used my voice to speak up and say the truth more often. I didn’t swallow my feelings in a joke or a fake smile. It was a year when I skipped small talk and went straight to the essence of how my heart was doing.

Are you happy this challenging year is over?

Taking time to look back I realise the word “challenging” doesn’t speak to me here. I see it more as an extraordinary year, a year when the world gave me the opportunity to become more present than ever. A year when I was forced to home retreat, look the reality in the eye and stop procrastinating on what really matters.

Before, when something was problematic in my marriage, I would sometimes think “I won’t bring that up now, it will pass in a few days” or “my business is working well enough, it’s not necessary to do that right now” if I stumbled on technical difficulties.

All the things I occasionally procrastinated on before, I was forced to deal with right away.

When my father called from Sweden and shared that he had all the Covid-19 symptoms, I could not distract myself from my worry, since I wasn’t in the middle of a training or on holiday somewhere. (Thankfully, it turned out later he didn’t have Corona)

When my best friend, who lives in Stockholm, shared with me what her reality working in the intensive care unit looked like, I was not on my way out to have dinner with friends. I was sitting on my sofa and could take the time to fully face the sadness.

When we embrace the suffering with Love, let the facades fall, slough away the illusion… we come into alignment with the heart space

Danielle LaPorte 

My 2020 Learnings

Ten things I learned that helped me build my resilience this year. I hope these learnings are useful to you too. 


    1. Accept that life is beautiful AND messy. Feeling good all the time is not the number one thing about being well. It’s bypassing being a REAL human being. The more I learned to love my mess and share it with my close ones, the more connected I felt.


    1. Areas in our lives that are already problematic are highlighted when we can’t distract ourselves. When I stopped procrastinating and started dealing with things as they arose, I carried less resentment.


    1. Change happens during hard times. This year was a perfect opportunity to look at what actually matters. Health became a number one priority and I started to work out regularly, eat less meat and drink more water.


    1. Remind yourself that hard times are temporary. During the most difficult times this year this reminder was very helpful.


    1. Engage with your body every day to turn down the noise in your head. I signed up for an embodiment training with Michaela Boehm and learned the non-linear movement method. With ten other beautiful women, we learned ways to shift from go to flow and some useful exercises for emotional release.


    1. Instead of reading the news, focus on communicating with your loved ones. I decided early on that checking the news just two to three times a week is enough. I used the time I gained to practice gentle communication. In the evenings we did a family sharing on the highs and lows of each of our days.


    1. Use difficult times to BOND! Giving my daughter extra hugs and calling my aging parents and my close friends more often, made me feel very nourished.


    1. Align your need to help with your own resources. During the first weeks of the pandemic, I got carried away with all the online offers I saw from others. I thought I needed to offer MORE than I already did. When I realised that I needed to focus on my own and my family’s health first, before I could support more people, I felt much calmer.


    1. Other people’s aggressive behaviour has nothing to do with us. When my daughter was overly aggressive towards me or when a person hit my car with his fist on the street, the reminder “not to take it personally” helped me to not react with judgment.


    1. Find your working tribe and get support. This year I joined two masterminds, started therapy supervision, joined a membership community and learned selling from the heart, joined a story school where I found my wild voice and hired a virtual assistant. Being self-employed can be lonely sometimes and with the lockdown, even more, but reaching out for support helped me stay sane and expand my business at the same time!


The Most Important Thing I Learned This Year

I used to hate uncertainty and planned my life in rigid detail. I still see my Danielle LaPorte calendar as my little bible, but with so many things being changed and cancelled this year, I had to let go of controlling the future. The outcome was that I experienced being much more present. My most important thing I learned this year was:

When I embrace the unknown future with love, I connect with my needs in the now.

 Silhouette of a woman reflecting whilst watching the sunset over the dark hills.


Create Your Own List

What were your biggest learnings this year?

Here is a list of questions to work on so that you can complete your year and identify your own learnings. You can do it alone or why not do it with a friend?

Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself to Achieve Completion

Looking back on 2020 how have you coped with the challenges?

What was positive about this year?

What was the hardest part about this year?

Which situations drained you and how did you cope with them?

What were you most proud of?

Which activities made you feel really alive?

What would you tell someone who had this year in front of them?

What do you want to leave behind you?

What do you want to bring with you into 2021?

Answering these questions will enable you to make space in your life for new creations in 2021. As long as we are stuck in old habits that don’t serve us any longer, or are stuck in resentments or regrets, we don’t move forward.

Some Book Tips..

I read three books this year, which each helped me in different ways:

  1. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle “We don’t need more selfless women. What we need right now is more women who have detoxed themselves so completely from the world’s expectations that they are full of nothing but themselves.” 
  1. Transitions, by William Bridges “Transition means something is going on inwardly. You have reached a point where it’s time to let go of an idea or an assumption, a self-image or a dream. It means you are moving from one chapter of your story to the next.” 
  1. The Choice, by Edith Eva Eger “You can live in the prison of the past, or you can let the past be the springboard that helps you reach the life you want now.” 

Moving Forward

If you need support with feeling your feelings, practice gentle communication and creating your life with intention, book a free 30-minute consultation with me: https://calendly.com/katarinastoltz


Stay healthy!


Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.


Reawaken Your Career Dreams

Get clarity on your next career move in 4 weeks

1 - 28 April 2024

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.