What Are Your Goals for 2023?

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, Executive Leadership Coach on 2023 goals, the image shows years 2023 2022

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about 2023 and what plans I want to make as well as what goals to set. For the first time in recent memory, I don’t want to make any big changes as the New Year rolls around, but instead, want to nurture and maintain what I already have. For me, I want 2023 to be a year of consistency rather than a year of big changes.

There are enough big changes on the horizon that will impact me: I have a high school senior who’s more than ready to flee the nest, a college-aged son who is heading abroad to study, and a daughter who is getting more independent by the day. So it does make sense that on the work front I’m happy to not set BHAGs, or Big Hairy Audacious Goals. All of this has given me pause to wonder more about this next phase of life that seems less goal-driven and more experience-rich.

When my kids were really young, I was often just hoping to make it through the night with *some* sleep. My goals were minimal but incredibly important to me. As my kids got older and mostly slept through the night, my focus turned to building my business(es) and keeping all the balls in the air that come with three active kids. While my daughter is eager to talk about the one time I forgot to pick her up at preschool (can’t it happen to anyone?), the reality is that my husband and I became master jugglers and kept many balls in the air, dropping but a few through the years.

While we’re not empty nesters yet, we can see it on the horizon more and find ourselves talking about it, especially with many of our friends who have recently hit that milestone. We’ve had more conversations talking about the quality of the life we want to live and the experiences we want to have (living and working abroad is high on the list), and less talking about the goals we want to achieve. There’s beauty in becoming more present and attuned to where you are now, and living into these last few years of active parenting.

Yet through all of this, there’s also a bittersweet quality for me, of missing some of the goals that organized my life and kept me driving forward.

Many often think of the feminine energy (or circular Ο energy for leadership embodiment fans) as that sinking into what is and being WITH it. Masculine energy is seen as that driving forward and ambitious quality (the triangle ⊳ with its pointing forward in leadership embodiment). For much of my life, I have found a lot of energy and motivation from pointing my lens forward and figuring out where I want to go. Now, I’m playing with that circular energy of nesting with my kids while I still can, and breathing to settle myself, my energy, and my desire to keep moving.

So how can I plan for 2023 while working to stay more rooted in the present? To be honest, I’m working to develop practices that continue to ground me such as meditation, journaling, hiking. I’ll be honest though, it’s a work in progress. Journaling has been on my “want to start” list for all of 2022. . .but I’m optimistic that 2023 will be its year!

How about you right now? When you contemplate 2023 are you approaching it with circular or triangular energy? What accomplishments do you want for 2023? What feelings and environment do you want to live into in 2023? Drop a comment below. I look forward to hearing about your desires and the journey you’re on.

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Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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