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Not inspired to set yearly goals? Do this instead!

Published on Feb 23, 2022

Woman writing yearly goals in a diary with an open laptop and a cup of coffee. 
How is the beginning of the year unfolding for you? Do you have new energy or are you already tired from trying to make this year different? (aka I hate you 2021, let’s finally have a year when we can travel, hug properly and do ALL the things the pandemic has deprived us of).

Resolutions, intentions and goal setting–a new calendar year is a potent time for imagining something different. It’s easy to get lost in all the promising messages out there about how we can change, improve, optimise and just be all-around better versions of ourselves.

I have skipped setting my yearly personal goals this year.

So, what have I done instead?

I came up with an exercise to do with my clients this month where I took them through a visualisation exercise and asked them:

  1. How do you want to feel?
  2. What do you want to share with your friends/family on New Year Eve 2022?
  3. What were your learnings?

I did this exercise myself and I want to feel:


I want to let go of another kilo weighing on my shoulders—the pressure of keeping myself busy even if the only thing I need is to rest on the sofa and say ‘I can’t take care of that right now’.

What about you?

How do you want to feel?

After my last blog post I received so many messages thanking me for being so honest. I had friends and people I hardly know sharing their deepest secrets.



‘It was so worth it’, I thought to myself.

It hasn’t been easy writing articles from a raw, vulnerable place during the pandemic. It’s been the first time that I’ve gone through similar challenges at the same time as my clients and readers.

Before the pandemic my rule was: Don’t share when you’re in the middle of a struggle, share when it’s not that raw anymore and when you have created enough distance to recognise the learning.

As soon as the pandemic started, I broke that rule and asked myself how I could best serve.

It’s been a balancing act not losing my professionalism as a coach and therapist.

I took a risk of not being liked.

I took a risk of being laughed at.

I took a risk of inviting unpleasant comments and questions.

I’m happy I took that risk. I gave people the feeling that we’re all humans, including coaches and therapists.

This is what I want to share with my friends and family on New Year’s Eve 2022:

  • I showed up as myself.
  • I asked for help when I needed it.
  • I drank more tea than coffee even if that was uncool.
  • I said no when others wanted more of me than I could give.
  • I said ‘I don’t agree’ when I felt I had a different opinion.
  • I said ‘I have to think about it’ when it was not a clear yes.
  • I did not check my email first thing when I woke up.
  • I called my friends and asked ‘How are you?’ instead of having an opinion about their life.
  • I went to bed even if I hadn’t ticked things off of my to-do-list.

And my learning in 2022:

‘When I prioritise my well-being, I will be less reactive when I’m together with the people I love’. 

Feel like like doing the same exercise? Here are the three questions again:

  1. How do you want to feel?
  2. What do you want to share with your friends/family on New Year Eve 2022?
  3. What were your learnings?

I believe it will create less anxiety than setting your yearly goals.

I would love to hear from you how you experienced it. Please share in the comments.




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Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!