New Starts – New Beginnings


In addition to being a new year, we're also beginning a new decade. 2020 begs the question, "What clarity and vision do you have for the year ahead?"


Each year I look ahead at what the coming year may bring for both my business and my life as a whole. I like to ask myself the following questions:

  • What adventures would I like to go on?

  • What experiences would I like to have?

  • What will I need?

  • What will be important to me?

  • What will I carry over?

  • How will I know that I have had a fulfilling year?

I then ask myself how I want to "be" in order to achieve these things, and additionally, what I will do to remember it throughout the year. For 2019, my key words were space, pace and experience. I created a visual representation of them for myself, as a reminder throughout the year of my intentions.


This ritual sets up my year to be meaningful, leaving behind any baggage that might have accumulated and provides a positive vision for a new year and a new beginning. This reminds me of creating coaching agreements with clients for both long-term visions and shorter-term session objectives. Looking at the PCC markers currently used for Competency 2, they are really similar to the type of things I ask myself at the start of the year:

  • What is it you want to accomplish?

  • How will you know you accomplished it/them?

  • What’s important about these objectives?

  • What is going to get in the way or what baggage might you need to discard?

  • How do you keep focus on your vision/objectives and how will you ‘check in’ periodically to see if you’re on course or need course correction?

If we treat every coaching interaction as a new beginning, like the start of a new year, it allows us to come to each session assuming nothing; being open to work with our clients with fresh eyes and thinking and supporting them to have a 2020 vision on what they want to achieve within the session or longer term.


I am reminded of Ben Zander, the musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, who when taking on his new students, asks them to write themselves a letter to be opened at the end of the year answering, “Why I got an A in this class.”


Why will you get an ‘A’ on December 31, 2020? What will your clear vision be for yourself in 2020?


Hilary Oliver is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is also a trained Coaching Supervisor and Mentor Coach. Hilary trains coaches and works with managers and leaders to develop their coaching capability. She works as an international Corporate Executive and Board Level Coach, a leadership development designer and facilitator working with a wide range of organisations. Hilary also specialises in working with organisations to support them develop coaching culture. She has been the President of the UK ICF and is a Past Chair of the ICF Global Board.


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