New Year New You

New Year, New You – How Your Identity Counts

First of all, a very Happy New Year to you. I hope you enjoyed the Christmas break and had some time to reflect, reenergise and reset, ready to move forward into 2022.

So what do you want for 2022? And how will you achieve it?

I don’t know about you, but my inbox is full of tools and suggestions for setting intentions, goals, action plans etc for the year.

And whilst I agree that this is a great thing to do, I also recognise how difficult it can be in reality – both to create a plan in the first place, and also to stick to it.

A common pattern is to create an action plan (or dust off last year’s with a few tweaks!) and start the activities feeling refreshed, energised and excited.


Within a few weeks (or slightly more if you’re lucky), life gets busy, stress levels start to rise, the plan is discarded and little changes.

So here’s an idea for 2022 to mix it up and try something new.

Instead of thinking about goals and what you want to achieve and do, reflect on your identity and who you want to BE – after all we are human BEINGS (not doings).

Not only is an identity more simple to define and remember, it will naturally influence what you do, how you show up, tackle challenges and make decisions etc

By example, you may remember my big ‘aha’ moment last year when I realised I was part of a problem (here is a link to that article).

I realised that my lifelong identity of being a metaphorical ‘ROCK’ with all its associated behaviour patterns was stopping others (specifically my daughter in this instance) from being independent and growing. What’s more it was a source of resentment, stagnation and frustration in myself too – I felt completely stuck!

As I reflected on this, I asked myself “So if being a rock isn’t working, what do you want (and need) to be?”

And guess what sprang to mind?

A dolphin!!

For me being a dolphin represented being free, sociable, fun, collaborative, intelligent and inclusive. It also fitted with being a very light sleeper as dolphins rest with only half their brain at a time!

Whilst this might sound a little crazy, defining that metaphorical identity has been transformational for me.

Instead of thinking about specific plans or actions I ask myself “What would a dolphin do?”

And whilst it might feel a little crazy at first, it’s so easy to articulate to others why I have changed and what to expect in the future.

So, if you feel an identity change might help your transformation for 2022, ask yourself:

– What do I identify with now?
– Is it working?
– If not, what metaphorical identity – object, animal, person etc – represents the characteristics I want, or need, now?

And go for it! Become that metaphor, tell others, create a prompt (FYI I wear some dolphin earrings that I put on everyday as a reminder) and let go of those old and unhelpful behaviour patterns.


I hope you found that idea helpful and interesting. Have fun and let me know how you get on.

Please share this idea with anyone who you feel might benefit from it.

And if you would like some help discovering a new metaphorical identity then please get in touch with me at [email protected].

Here’s to a fantastic 2022!

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