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6 min read

Unpacking Your 2020 Baggage

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What a long, strange trip it’s been…

I have always loved New Year’s Day, and certainly never more than this year! For me, it represents unlimited possibilities. Some years are easier to put away than others and 2020 is a tough one to put away. Many of us are carrying baggage with us into the new year, and for some, it may be difficult to let go and look forward. As we journey on to the new year, let’s spend some time unpacking that 2020 baggage, putting some things away and choosing what we want to bring along into 2021.

Why Unpack?

Just as you open your suitcase to unpack when you return from a trip, it’s a good thing to do the same when the calendar advances to a new year. Looking back to look forward is a healthy, productive way to start your journey into 2021. A dear friend of mine shared something she does on a regular basis to keep herself focused and to recognize her accomplishments. She lists what she accomplished the previous day, week, month or even year. This serves as a reminder to her that she continually accomplishes things, even if some of the things she intended to do remained on her to do list. Recognizing your own accomplishments as well as understanding what got in the way of achieving some of them is like giving yourself the gift of a balanced scorecard. This can serve to re-focus you on what matters most to you and keep you on a path to getting where you want to go. 

What to keep, what to toss?

When you open your suitcase to unpack, you choose what to do with each item. Some things need to be cleaned or repaired before they are put away. Other things get tossed, like that boarding pass. Or, it may be kept as a joyful reminder of the time spent in a favorite location. Even better, sometimes you find a memento from your journey that you will keep forever. Try applying this to your review of your healthcare career in 2020. While difficult for most if not all of us, there are parts and pieces of the year that we will bring into the new year, some that we will toss, and some we will keep with us for a long time. 

Taking a page from my friend’s method, take some time to write down what you intended to do in the year, what you accomplished (both intended and unintended) and what you didn’t do that you thought you would. Revel in your accomplishments for a little while. Pat yourself on the back! Then, toss out what no longer applies or makes sense for you to do. What remains should be the goals you have for the new year. Ask yourself: if I still want to do this, and I didn’t do it last year, what got in the way? If it’s a new goal, what could get in the way? What could I do or who could help me to knock down that barrier? What changes must I make to achieve that goal? Do I still want to do it?

The Journey Ahead

At the start of 2020, I wrote a blog, Creating Your 2020 Vision: Clarify Your Purpose (llvcoaching.com). I purchased marketing materials , wrote a second blog in February, Your 2020 Vision in Action – Planning & Measuring Success (llvcoaching.com) and had a business and marketing plan designed to attract coaching clients and build my coaching business. I was struggling to decide if I wanted keep my niche narrowed to healthcare professionals, or open it to everyone and anyone. Did you ever hear the saying, “man plans and God laughs”? True that. My niche was decided for me by circumstances and through referrals from my network. It chose me, and I’m so glad that it did. 

As I unpack my 2020 baggage, I’m finding more value in what actually happened in my business than what I thought would happen. My niche is clear to me now, thanks to the opportunities that presented themselves to me during the year. I ended up coaching a few COVID-19 patients for a research study, delivering complimentary coaching sessions to healthcare workers on the front lines, coaching a few healthcare professionals in career transitions, and consulting with a fantastic organization, Teleios Collaborative Network, www.teleioscn.org, a non-profit serving and supporting hospices. I was elected to the Nevada HIMSS board and am leading the first mentorship program for undergraduate and graduate students interested in Healthcare IT.   Reviewing what I accomplished last year, it’s now clear to me that my niche is to coach and support healthcare professionals. 

My journey ahead will follow the steps I mentioned here: decide what to keep and what to toss. Take that first step toward the possibilities in 2021.

What will your 2021 journey look like? Need some support to get you started? Sometimes we can’t see what’s getting in the way of achieving a goal. Oftentimes, the barrier is something that keeps popping up and limiting our success. A good way to dig deeper in order to understand what’s holding you back is to take an assessment. One I use in my practice is the Energy Leadership Index (ELI)*, an attitudinal assessment that provides a unique lens on self-awareness and emotional intelligence, two key ingredients for any leader.  Many healthcare leaders' results point to this desire to serve others, sometimes at the expense of taking care of themselves, resulting in burnout and fatigue.  As a coach, my goal is to empower clients to self-coach, and the ELI fosters that goal.  I'm often amazed by the insights these leaders have as we debrief on the results of the assessment.  There's a shift toward understanding the value of investing in themselves as a means to the end goal of serving others. For more information on the ELI, follow this link:  https://llvcoaching.com/special-offers 






Contact me at Scheduling | LLV Coaching and Consulting to schedule a complimentary introductory coaching session or to learn about the ELI.


* Energy Leadership Index, Copyright © 2007, 2013 iPEC 





An organizational model that allows not-for-profit hospices (Members) to leverage best practices, achieve economies of scale and collaborate in ways that better prepare each agency to participate in emerging alternative payment models and advance their charitable missions.