I Started With Small Steps to Make 2017 My Best Year Ever

What About You?

A new year is an opportunity to revisit our goals. For many of us, setting a resolution that will usher in more clarity, success, and CALM is at the top of our lists. However, it can be easy to get caught up in the “more is more” mentality and stray from what it is that we truly want. In this article, I challenge you to take a few moments to look inward and discover what it is that you actually hope to gain this year. By recognizing your authentic inner truth and expressing it, you’ll start to take tangible steps toward achieving the success you deserve, despite the unexpected obstacles.

Emerging women leaders and executives who focus on being true to themselves take the small steps they need to become self-aware so that utilizing their own natural strengths is an expression of their authentic selves. It’s just too easy with the amount of choice(s) to start chasing every opportunity and shaming ourselves that our vision is just too BIG.

Instead, keep your vision BIG and your goals a bit smaller but still an expression of your authentic self, using manageable, SMART goals (see my free giveaway here to expand on this topic).

In addition, Wayne Dyer reminds us of Five magic words when we set goals and intentions:

We want to feel good!

Our feelings are often a guidance system informing us of whether or not we are creating resistance to our intention, goals, actions and vision! Feeling bad lets us know that our goals may not be aligned with our vision. Our vision is created after a discovery of our authentic self.

It’s a choice your make.

Start your New Year wanting to feel good!

I want to feel good, do you?

Is this your Choice?

Over the holidays, I had a fall that resulted in my dominate hand being injured. Around the same time, a family member passed away and my son celebrated Christmas with a fever of 103! It is at these times I remember my vision and take tiny steps toward my goals to make a choice to FEEL GOOD, despite the pain, obstacles, and unexpected circumstances. It may sound a bit callous, but this is when a leader is needed at home AND work. The goals change and become smaller but I keep going and often something magical happens: I feel better! Then I am free to send, show, and BE the love that is needed. As leaders, we are the ones that model the way. In some cases, it may be showing up BIG, or modeling self-care as I needed during the holidays. I felt good that I trusted this and emerged strong to support others.


If your leadership resolutions, Vision Board, and life plan look just like your neighbors, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Why? Because there is only one you. You offer something entirely different from every single other person on the planet. Your goals should be as unique as you and your vision. So often, we confuse our desires with what we or others expect us to be. “I want to make X amount of money this year, because then my family will truly believe in my business”, or “If I just get three more clients, I’ll reach _’s tier of success”. These beliefs are like trying to squeeze into someone else’s custom-made dress. We can wiggle our way in, but we’ll never be truly comfortable. Success is not “One size fits all”. In order for us to accomplish our heart’s desires, we must first do the difficult work of calling them by name. This requires you to search and strengthen your life purpose and why, so you will gift others with your inner wisdom and stellar leadership competencies. If you are unclear what these are, visit here.


Why is figuring out what we want so hard? Addressing our deepest hopes opens us up to change. I am sure that none of us wants to be unsuccessful. However, when we fail to address the REAL needs and desires of our hearts, this is exactly what we are setting ourselves up for. Leadership without a solid foundation is like pushing a large boulder up a hill.

What would it look like to discover:

  • Who you are “being” in work, life, and play
  • What you do and what your brand leadership message is
  • Where you will serve
  • Why you are uniquely gifted with your leadership message
  • How you will communicate and market your message with influence

AND So Important – Prioritize Self Care

You cannot pour from an empty vessel. Spend time evaluating whether your habits are supporting your leadership journey. If your health is waning, you must first make time to care for yourself before spending energy on anything else. Discover the eating plan that works best for you, incorporate movement into your day, stay hydrated, meditate, breathe, and hug someone. Address any underlying conditions that you may be tempted to ignore in favor of piling on more work. When your health is a priority, your creative energy is nourished, and your work will flow more freely. So often we become unconscious to our needs, out of sync with our authentic selves, only to collapse in exhaustion and defeat! This does not feel good and is not the type of leader I strive to be. What about you?!

Our authentic leadership happens when we also Live In Sync With Our Values

I find that this exercise really resonates with many of my clients, and I return to it often. Take time to ask yourself the following questions and answer “True” or “False”:

Take this quiz to see how well you are living in sync with your values.

  • I have spent time clarifying my values and can easily articulate them.
  • My values are my own. I have not simply adopted them from parents, teachers or other outside influences.
  • I based my choice of occupation on my deepest values.
  • My values are in alignment with the company I work for (or own).
  • My business associates and I regularly examine how we are living up to our values and mission.
  • I turn down money-making or status-building opportunities when they conflict with my values.
  • In resolving disputes at work, I look beneath the apparent problem to see if values are being dishonored, and then I seek ways to honor them.
  • Anyone looking at my life from the outside would see what I value.
  • I use my values as a guidepost for making decisions. I ask if a particular choice would bring me closer to—or further from—a core value.
  • When I feel upset, it’s almost always because my values are being trampled—either by me, someone else, or the situation.
  • I am not easily swayed by others’ opinions when they conflict with my values.
  • To remain open and flexible, I am willing to re-examine my values to determine whether something is still true for me.
  • I find creative ways to honor all of my values—even when they conflict with one another.
  • My work values are in harmony with my personal and relationship values.

If you answered false more often than true, you may wish to clarify your deepest values and bring your life into greater alignment with them.


If everything in this article has resonated with you, but you’re still hesitant to make a change, know that you are not alone. Fear lies at the heart of many of our habits. It requires a great leap of faith and courage to walk forward into the unknown. If you want 2017 to be the year that you finally earn that promotion, leave the corporate environment, or start your own business, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. Recognizing where you are and what you want is an essential step. If you’re ready for the support you need to make this change, don’t hesitate to reach out to me today!

The NEW leader is YOU! BELIEVE!

I invite you to start now. Visit my website at TheCoachingNest.ca and sign up for a free giveaway. If you have questions and want to connect, I would love to chat: 902-431-5189 or drop me an email: Shelley@shelleycox.ca

Sharing your Leadership Journey,

Shelley Cox

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