Here we are again. Another 12 months have passed.


  • So how has your year been?
  • What have been your highlights?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What did you want to do but didn’t? What got in the way?
  • How did you get on with the three words that you chose for yourself this time last year?


These are the questions I invite clients to reflect on at this time of year and a ritual I have been practising since I started coaching over 13 years ago. Taking time to look back and reflect is how we grow, learn and move forward.


This year, the word (or actually three words) I would choose to summarise 2022 has to be “big life changes”. More than any other year, this one has seen some big personal changes not just for clients but also many of those who are close to me.


Leaving jobs and changing careers, letting go of businesses, saying goodbye to people they have loved and preparing to adapt to new phases of life, and house moves that have involved relocating to different parts of the UK, with one friend deciding that a life in New Zealand would be a lot more fulfilling than one in Bristol (not that there is anything wrong with Bristol!)


An ending can bring with it an element of uncertainty and discomfort. We would much rather have guarantees that everything new or different we face will be successful and work out well but that’s not always how life works. In his book Transitions, American author and speaker William Bridges helps us make sense of endings and unexpected changes in life by helping to explain and normalise the process we find ourselves going through.


He refers to the two parts of any change. There is the actual change itself. We leave a job and we start a new one. We sell a house and move into a new one. It’s the actual event or circumstance, which is situational and happens in a moment.


The second part of the change process is what is known as the transition. This is the emotional process that each of us needs to go through in order to deal with the actual change event. Transitions are internal experiences that happen in our minds. They have three stages. The ending and letting go; the neutral zone; and a new beginning.


The time it takes to endure a transition period is different for everyone and is dependent on the type of change but each stage is necessary if we want to fully move on. We have to let go of the old and take a step into the neutral zone which often feels like limbo land. It’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar but necessary if we are to have a new beginning. Supporting clients through transitions has to be one of the most fulfilling parts of coaching for me!


So as you let go of 2022 and look forward to a new year, what is it that you want more of? What is it you want less of? What are your three words for the next 12 months? What do you need to let go of and leave in 2022 so that as 2023 dawns you can fully step into another year and really live your life to the full?

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