Each November, I reflect on the year to guide me into the next year.

I used to make lots of firm plans but I prefer ease and flow, that’s guided with a clear intention, and I thought I would share my journey.

From the start of November, I reflect on the year in three broad categories:

– life,

– leadership,

– and business.

First – gratitude

I reflect on what I have been grateful for this year and why.

Then I move across this list:


How have I lived my life that relates to my values and purpose?


How have I led my life and business that relates to my values and purpose?


Is my business still connected with my values and purpose?

Then I ask

For these 3 areas to be operating at their best, what does that look and feel like?

Then the final piece

What am I going to say No to (top 3)?

What am I going to say Yes to (top 3)?

This year is full of gratitude to my husband and business partner, who has given me the space to explore my purpose and mission whilst also helping me to recover from a debilitating injury. Last year, I had many plans for 2022 and the injury forced me to rethink those plans. Yet as I close this year, I know the people and organisations I love to work with, how I want to live and lead my life, and what I say No to.

How often do you say no?

And do you know why you say no?

No shouldn’t be a difficult word to say when it comes to your life. When you know why you do what you do, everything else becomes clearer.

When I think back to the times I’ve said yes to work or events and ended up really not enjoying myself, I already knew instinctively that it wasn’t something I wanted to take part in.

And that’s the key.

When you say No – do it with an understanding of yourself.

Alex Liu, Managing Partner of A.T. Kearney says to tap into purpose and find joy at work “You need to find those sources of loving what you do, loving where you are, loving yourself. And I think that is the key to unlocking the energy to solve all these problems.”

Humans are great at solving problems and troubleshooting for other people, but when was the last time you did this for yourself, your life, and your business as a collective?

Recognising the choices you’ve made and the challenges you have encountered determines what no longer aligns with your future, and will help you unlock your energy. It will also give you the focus and plan for 2023.

Here are two other ways you can identify your No’s (and Yes’).

Fishbone template

You can use the fishbone template here to create this habit.

Questions to articulate your No’s and Yes’

1. What’s your purpose and your big dream?

2. Why? The reason behind your big dream/purpose

3. What have you said yes to this year that either made you feel uncomfortable, you didn’t enjoy or didn’t add any value to your life?

4. Write down what you will say No to. Then highlight the top 3-5 agreements to make with yourself. Agreements that you will pin on your wall as a reminder when you are in conflict over a decision.

When you know your ‘no’, it helps you recognise what lights you up and takes you a step forward to your purpose and dream.

“It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are important”.

Steve Jobs

It does get easier to say no. When you cut across the grain of yes’ and start being clear on where you, your teams, and your business – individually and collectively – want to be, you’ll meet the path of an independent thinker.

“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity.”

Thomas J. Watson, Former Chair and CEO of IBM

If you are struggling with any of this, please do get in touch.