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New Year Self-Leadership Transition

Daily personal quality time between December 25 and January 06

Feedback from participants

"I found this program based on the Rough Nights ingenious! The compilation of impulses and the structure certainly created added value for me. Some questions have opened completely new perspectives on certain topics. I hope that many other participants will let themselves get inspired." (M.S.)

"I was very impressed by your New Year Transition program with lots of inspirational impulses. The charisma of CCIEL can only be explained by your own spiritual experience." (Ch.B)


Holidays - Tradition - Quality Time ... that make a difference!


There is hardly any time during the year that has such a density of festivities - with the tradition of Christmas and New Year - as the time between Christmas Eve and Epiphany (Three Kings Day). In the activities of our modern western society during these days, there is a risk that the roots and purpose of this time are being reduced to superficial rituals or even forgotten about. Interestingely enough, it is a very old tradition that has become more and more popular again, the tradition of the 12 Holy Nights (also known as the Rough Nights). Translated into a modern language, this tradition has the potential to reconnect to the deeper meaning of the time between Christmas and New Year's in order to enrich the festivities as we know them, on one hand, and to provide quite pragmatic personal benefits, on the other.

For many years I have dedicated some quality time (30-45 mins.) every day over the Holidays for active relaxation as well as retrospectives on the past year and perspectives on the coming year. Everytime I have experienced it as wonderfully refreshing, focussing, inspirational, and strengthening. Over the years it has become clear that this process was not just pastime, but can reveal powerful life energies. Year after year these moments of regeneration and reflection have proven to provide clarity, guidance, and resilience for future plans and my personal evolution.

Out of these experiences evolved the idea to create a framework for leaders - or generally people who just would like to lead themselves a little better - that we could call an individual, self-organized, strategic retreat. Some quality time for ownself every day in order to withdraw for a moment from the rich festivities (without having to miss anything), to reflect on the year that is closing, and to open perspectives towards the year that is about to begin.

To reserve time just for oneself and to fill it with purposeful dedication is one of the best things we can do to ourselves. From there we return to festivities with an enhanced presence to enjoy them even more. But first of all there is room for inner clarity and new ideas. Some (strategically) important topics for the coming year could become more clear in order to set priorities and direction.

In the tradition of the 12 Rough Nights, every day is dedicated to a specific topic that is celebrated with rituals and reflections. In my framework, I connect to these topics and translate them into our modern everyday language of Leadership and Self-Leadership. Rituals help to enhance awareness and attention for what is important for us: from retrospectives and learnings from the past year across our present situation all the way to an outlook on the future.

One aspect of the original tradition may sound a little strange at first sight: it's the idea that each one of these 12 days may correspond with a month in the coming year: i.e. day 1, Dec 25, corresponds with the coming month of January; day 2, Dec 26, corresponds with the month of February of the coming year, etc. I'd like to invite you to find out yourself how you resonate with this idea, what to do with it or abandon it (it's not crucial for the process). What I'd strongly recommend, though, for the purpose of really achieving your goals, is to consult your notes at least once a month over the course of the year to check in with your progress: what's on track? what came a little different than expected or planned? are there any adjustments needed - of goals or plans? or would you just need another attempt? This habit will contribute significantly to the success of your plans and achievements.

Ahead of the program I will provide you with some information for your preparation. Among other a generic structure on how to spend your daily quality time that has proven highly efficient and effective, not only to make best use of limited time, but also to get best outcomes. I'd like to invite you to join the process - and to allow yourself to be surprised by yourself!


Overview on the topics of the 12 Days


Introductory Information


Day 1 - 25 December: Foundation

Day 2 - 26 December: Connection with Purpose and higher Goals

Day 3 - 27 December: Make the Impossible possible

Day 4 - 28 December: Change and Transformation

Day 5 - 29 December: Relationships, Friendships

Day 6 - 30 December: Closing and Letting go foster positive Change

Day 7 - 31 December: Preparation for the Future

Day 8 - 01 January: New Year - New Luck

Day 9 - 02 January: Knowledge and Wisdom

Day 10 - 03 January: Connecting to the inner Power

Day 11 - 04 January: Letting go and Looking forward

Day 12 - 05 January: Trusting the Process


Integration & Closing - 06 January


Daily inspiration will be provided on this page day by day


Please block your timeslot for each day between Dec 25 and Jan 06 - anytime of the day that works for you - ideally around the same time of the day!

There are no obligations and we have no contact, unless you may have some questions that I'll be happy to answer by e-mail. All information about the program is public and accessible anytime on this page. If you'd like to get a brief daily reminder you may subscribe here.

Happy Holidays, stay safe and healthy, and have a very happy and successful 2022!






For your benefit, please define ahead some daily timeslots of about 45 mins. on each day over the 12 days between Dec 25 and Jan 06, ideally around the same time of the day. On one hand this will sustain some regularity in the process, on the other hand you may inform and align with your closed ones beforehand.

The work follows a simple structure as it is outlined below, which follows a creative thought process and will never get boring even when repeated, because every day is about new topics - and at the end of the day about you! You will fill your time with content that is relevant to you, in addition there is always room to supplement or customize to your needs:

Step 1: Relaxation in one form or the other, that is appealing to you, be it your regualr workout, a walk in the park, your favorite music, a meditation or other acitivity that helps you to relax. The purpose is to shift your attention from outer activities to yourself and find inner calm and peace. Choose any form that helps you best achieve this.

Step 2: Connect to the topic of the day. Every day is dedicated to a certain quality or energy that has, according to the tradition, a specific meaning, on one hand, and supports a recreative and reflective process, on the other.

Step 3: Reflection along some guiding questions that stimulate retrospective on the past year and outlook on the future, with a special emphasis on your priorities and values, personal goals, or strategic focus and development for the upcoming year.

Step 4: Personal notes will help you at the moment to identify your personal key issues and learnings, on one hand, on the other hand you may have the chance to consult your notes over the course of the upcoming year in order to follow up on your plans and achieve desired results.

Step 5: Sustainability is about anchoring significant topics or insights as well as enhancing your centeredness and agility which will support you to focus on what you define as really important for you and your current life situation.

During the time between Dec 24 and Jan 06 you will find every day new inspiration on the topic of the day in this above mentioned structure on this site, with relevant questions for reflection and a proposal how you can anchor your insights. You may supplement this program with own activities or rituals to your liking.

Remark: Even though there is a clear structure, for good reasons, it is not so much about following it rigidly, much rather it is about serving a logic while leaving room for customization - always pursuing the main purpose: to make use of the time between the years for personal reflection, recreation, and orientation toward the upcoming year.

I wish you a relaxing, powerful, and inspirational experience!

Tip: You may invite somebody else to share this process with or even gather as a small group to share the rituals and insights, as long as you stay focused on your own process.


Day 1: December 25


1. Relaxation in a way that helps to calm body and mind (as suggested in the introduction).

2. Topic of the Day: Basis - Foundation

»Finally I have some well-deserved and undistracted time for myself!«

Leaders - and Self-Leaders - work with a variety of knowledge, skills, and tools while they reflect on the past and look towards the future, are able to learn, change, and innovate, in order to sustain personal as well as business success.

The solid foundation of an enterprise consists of marketable products and services, financial and other kinds of resources, but also of healthy, capable, and engaged leaders and colleagues.

What applies to organizations and management can be transferred to Self-Leadership accordingly to help manage our personal-, work-, and social life well, to maintain a sustainable work-life-synergy, and to strive towards our ambitions or even realize our life vision.

3. Questions for reflection:

- What are my capabilities and strengths that I can build on (in my leadership role, in other roles, in my current life situation)? What made the difference in how I got into my current role or situation? In which direction would I like to evolve? Are there any capabilities or skills that I would like to develop? Where would I like to be in 3, 5, or even 10 years? What would I like to be doing that enhances my sense of purpose and meaning?

- What do I consider as my foundation of my current life situation? What are my strengths, my talents? What am I really good at? What are the experiences that shaped my life significantly? What do I love doing? What brings me joy? What can I do literally without getting tired - actually right the opposite, it even gives me energy? What can I rely and build on? What am I - really - interested in? What are my concerns, my heart matters? What would I do if money was no issue?

- What is the foundation of my enterprise, of my business unit, of my role, of my own business? What makes up the success? What are current trends that have an impact on my business? What are the processes and tools I work with on a strategic level? Do I - or we - have a vision of how my - or our - organization could look like in 3, 5 or 10 years from now?

4. Take some notes of spontaneous thoughts triggered (only) by those questions that you spontaneously resonate with at this very moment. This is not about putting you to "work" even over the Holidays. These questions and your answers serve the purpose to reflect high level whether your foundation for continued success - personal or business - is solid, rather volatile, or even at risk, and to identify potential issues that would be good to address over the coming months and help you focus on the essentials.

5. Set up a reminder in your calendar if you have identified areas you would like to follow up on next year, that you may potentially want to discuss with people involved or with a person of your trust. Taking notes and setting reminders will help you to put the topic aside for now, to take you quickly to the next level of relaxation, let go of current issues or worries about the future, enhance your presence for your loved ones, and fully enjoy the Holidays!

Maybe you would like to let your thoughts sink in for a moment, in a minute of silence or on a short walk, in order to then shift your attention back to your loved ones and festive activities!?

»Who wants to build high towers, must spend a long time with the foundation.« (Anton Bruckner)



Day 2: December 26


1. Relaxation in a way that helps calm body and mind (as suggested in the introduction).

2. Topic of the day: Connection with Purpose and Higher Goals

Strategies and plans are useful management tools to give leaders, teams, and colleagues direction towards a common goals. In addition, a meaningful purpose of an enterprise becomes more and more important in order to stay resilient as an organization and sustain long term success.

Principles that work for organizations can be also applied on an individual level. If we recognize a higher purpose in our work which is in line with our values, our own goals, and our personal evolution, chances increase that we are more engaged, sustain health and performance, and at the same time stay agile and open for change.

If we identify meaning in our daily tasks, even in issues and problems that we face, it can help us to maintain motivation on a high level, in particular to seize challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Instead of giving up we can grow by mastering tasks and solving issues. Instead of revolving around problems we start looking for solutions.

Success and failure are equaly part of life. Striving and celebrating take turns. Taking efforts is much easier when they are carried by meaning and purpose. Success can even become bliss.

Accepting what is, making the best of circumstances, focusing on the purpose and concentrating on what can be influenced and contributed may foster the feeling of a fulfilled life in many aspects.

3. Questions for reflection:

Questions stimulate creativity and positive change. Please take a moment to read through the following questions and pay attention to the ones that you resonate with in this very moment. Then pick two or three questions that intrigue you in particular. Chances are that those are exactly the ones that are important for your actual life- or work situation, and the answers you find will guide you on your next steps.

- Do I ever pose questions about purpose and meaning - never, sometimes, often? About the purpose of my work, my daily tasks or other activities? About the purpose and meaning of specific life events?

- Which are my deeper values and concerns that give me the power to engage long term and navigate through rough times and master challenges? Are my personal values in line with the values of my work, my team, my organization to a high degree? Is there any adjusment needed in one way or another?

- Do I have a vision of my ideal life situation? Potentially a vision that is aiming at a higher purpose and meaning?

- Does my organization have a powerful value-based vision, that goes beyong business objectives and follows a deeper sense of purpose - maybe even something like an "evolutionary" purpose - in order to inspire leaders and colleagues? Which values build the foundation of our organization, my business unit, my own professional role?

4. Take some notes on the thoughts that are stimulated by the questions that you resonate with at this very moment. It is not necessary to invest a lot of time and energy to find final answers or solutions. For now it is enough to have posed a few questions explicitly in order for answers or solutions to reveal themselves over time.

Perhaps a topic was triggered that you feel like sharing or discussing with somebody - with people in your private life or at work - when you return to your daily routines after the Holidays?

5. If you are interested in Visionary Work, maybe some other time you want to dedicate some time for yourself to outline an ideal life situation, your personal life vision, or a vision for your team or your organization. Work on it until your vision starts generating a compelling power. Don't hesitate to "dream" around it!

If you have a few more minutes now, let your thoughts and ideas sink in, take more notes if you feel like, but then feel free to let go and put them aside in order to rejoin the people and activities that you spend your Holidays with. Enjoy!

»Shoot for the moon, even if you miss it, you will land among the stars!« (Les Brown)


Day 3: December 27


1. Relaxation in a way that helps you calm body and mind (as suggested in the introduction).

2. Topic of the day: Make the impossible possible

Linear strategies are following a strict plan to achieve clearly defined goals - often without looking left or right. Life, by nature, though, is often non-linear. Which means it's full of unpredictable occurencies and opportunities, likewise challenges and so called luck. That's why it's not only about rigidly striving towards goals; not to mention limiting life to that. It's also about keeping all our senses open, ideally having a vision of what we want to achieve and to work on strategies and plans, but at the same time to stay open and flexible (agile) to seize opportunities that are opening up unexpectedly.

3. Questions for reflection:

Let yourself get inspired by the questions but stick only to those that intrigue you at this very moment.

- What is my preferred approach to life or work? Do I set clear objectives and establish plans how to achieve them? Or do I allow myself to be guided by life, by everyday happenings and events, in order to see where this will take me? What are my experiences and results that I get by one or the other approach?

- Do I perceive unexpected events, sudden change, and problems mainly as disturbances or do I also recognize potential and new opportunities in these situations? How would I rate my capability to set goals, to develop strategies, to establish plans and to follow through on them in order to achieve what I want? How am I doing in cultivating non-intentional curiosity and openness for unexpected opportunities that life may send my way?

- How agile is our organization in order to explore opportunities that disruptive change is bearing, to respond to new situations with a strong sense for improvement or the market and customer needs? Do we preferrably complain about problems and "difficult circumstances" or do we literally love them, because we see the opportunity to improve a process, to win a new customer, to develop a new product or service - in other words to stay innovative?

4. If you take a few notes on thoughts that are triggerd by some of these questions, you are automatically becoming more aware of your preferred approach to coping with situations: a rather linear (proactively planning) or more non-linear (reactively seizing). The different strategies are actually rooted in different thinking, and we can train ourselves in finding a balanced approach: on one hand having a clear vision and a plan toward what we want to achieve, on the other hand to cultivate volatility as the true nature of life and perceive problems and obstacles, coincidences and unexpected events as opportunities that can even help us towards our goals. An agile way of applying linear and non-linear strategies can sometimes open doors to literally making the impossible possible.

5. Can you identify potential - in your own life or in the work environment and organizational culture -, how a skillful application of linear and non-linear thinking could be cultivated in order not only to take challenges easier, but to actually see them as a source for innovation? This capability is also called: Turning a necessity into a virtue.

If you feel like, let the following statement sink in for a moment and find out what it means for you: «If there are no miracles in your life, there is something wrong!» (from Mirror of the Soul, G.B. Ziegler)

»Probability also means that the improbable can occur!« (Aristotle)


Day 4: December 28


1. Relaxation in a way that helps to calm body and mind (as suggested in the introduction).

2. Topic of the day: Change and Transformation

Who wouldn't know the probably most quoted saying by Heraclitus when it comes to Change: »The only constant in life is change«?

When considering such existential realities, it is actually nothing less than absurd to think of life as a state (not to mention a "status") that is to be achieved - or conserved. Stability and predictable continuity would be illusions that exclude "liveliness" in the widest sense, exclude the fact that the Universe - of which we are part of - is in permanent motion, exclude the fact that Nature - of which we are part of - underlies a continuous cycle of birth and death.

A new definition of what we call stability and continuity could help to find grip and security - in other words: comfort and confidence - in "continuous change". The term has become quite popular, but can be understood in different ways: "Agility" could be defined as the capability not only to react to and keep up with change, but to literally cultivate liveliness and to co-create change.

Life is volatile. Taking a closer look at it, no moment is exactly the same as the previous one or an upcoming one; no situation is ever exactly the same as another one that passed or will occur; no problem exactly the same in all aspects as another one; no activity exactly the same even if it looks very alike (and even when the result is a cake with the same name). Looking at it closer, every moment is a very new one! The already above quoted Heraclitus, who was undoubtedly an expert for change, reinforces in another statement: »You cannot step into the same river twice.«

While the uncertainty that comes with change can create some discomfort, it also bears a tremendous potential: In every moment there is opportunity and creativity, different options and decisions.

3. Questions for reflection:

As usual: If you wish, let yourself be inspired by some questions that resonate with you and trigger spontaneous thoughts or answers:

- How do I cope with change, disruption, innovation? By my own nature, do I preferrably look for routine, stability, and control - more or less consciously - or I am rather fascinated by uncertainty, change, new situations and continuous evolution?

- Do I tend to wanting to control "things", or do I seek space for leisure and creativity; can I "let things happen" in order to find out what may evolve from the process?

- Are there life areas (activities or habits, health, work and career, relationships, material security) in which I identify a desire for change?

- If at work I fill a role with high responsibility: Are there processes or dynamics in the organization that I would like to understand better? Do I see potential that in some areas I may take a closer look in order to get a better feel of what is (really) going on in my organization or my team?

4. What thoughts or answers are triggerd by some of the questions? A few notes can help to become more aware of own preferences and different perspectives; and to potentially redefine Leadership - or Self-Leadership - as less of being a "function" or a personality trait, but rather a set of skills that everyone can developed.

5. If you could change something over night, what would it be? In the world, in society, in politics, in the business world, in your organization, in your family or circle of friends, in your life situation, in yourself?

»It often takes more courage to change one's opinion than to stick to it!« (Ch. F. Hebbel)


Day 5: December 29


1. Relaxation in a way that helps to relax body and mind (as suggested in the introduction).

2. Topic of the day: Relationships, Friendships, Partnerships

Everything is connected to everything! What Zen-Masters have taught over centuries is now being proven by physics. Thus, everything is related to everything. The connections could be called "communication" in the widest sense. Looking at it like this, communication is much more than the transmission of written or spoken words. Also, and in particular, non-verbal communication - facial expressions, body language, gestures, colors, scents, forms, architecture, art, images, decoration etc. - are "sending" (often unmistakable) messages.

What tremendous importance inter-human communication has in our life, the famous communication psychologist Paul Watzlawick has expressed quite simply but very powerfully: »One cannot not communicate.«

Don't we all wish for good inter-human relations with others, but often seem to overlook that they are based on the most important relation of all: on the relationship with ourselves.

3. Questions for reflection:

Different questions in this paragraph resonate with people in different situations, thus, choose again only those that trigger thoughts and ideas for you and skip the others:

- What kind of relationship do I cultivate with myself? Am I in touch with my very values, with my needs, my thoughts, wishes and goals? Do I take decisions in line with my values and higher goals? Am I aware that differents opinions, misunderstandings or conflict are quite often rooted in different values?

- How do I shape my relations with other people - in my private life, at work? Which ones of my relationships are mutually authentic and relaxed so that they strengthen identity and integrity? Do I maintain relationships that are primarily based on a certain purpose, that are mainly based on duty and obligations? Which ones of my relationships do I experience as really joyful, easy going, harmonious, nourishing?

- Do I recognize in my social relations - in the private environment, at work or in society - unexplored potential or significant room for improvement of communication, getting along better, or enhance collaboration?

- Which relationships in my life are inspirational and nourishing? In which form would I like to honor them today? What are the core qualitites of these relationships and what can I do to cultivate and sustain them?

4. As usual, take some notes on spontaneous thoughts or answers to the questions that you are interested in. In order to manage something well, to change or improve something, the very first step of becoming aware is very important.

Communcation and relationships are strongly rooted in our personality, in our attitude and composure (towards ourselves and others). That's why it's quite revealing to become aware of our own part and contribution in the relationships that go well, but also in the ones that seem rather challenging.

5. If you feel like, you may get creative and draw on a sheet of paper, visualize with pictures or symbols  the network of relationships that you navigate through every day. Who is positioned quite close to you, who is more distant? Which connections are harmonious, inspirational, productive? Which ones seem rather "difficult", energy consuming, potentially conflicting?

For today, pick one specific relationship out of your network to try something new in your approach - try something different, do something unusual, something surprising. See what happens, with you and with the other person.

»The harmony between two people is never for granted. It needs to be conquered over and over.« (Simone de Beauvoir)


Day 6: December 30


1. Relaxation in a way that helps to calm body and mind (as suggested in the introduction).

2. Topic of the day: Closing and cleaning slates are supporting Change

Unsolved issues and unresolved conflict can clog up and block the natural flow of our energy and our life. These blockages cost us a lot of energy that we would rather invest into mastering our challenges. If this sounds somewhat abstract at first, it is because these are mainly subconscious processes. In our everyday routines we often overlook these kind of phenomena because we are very busy in outer activities. Sometimes these activities are a welcome distraction from issues that we don't want to address, but rather procrastinate.

As a matter of fact, paying more attention to our needs and a more sensitive perception of rather coherent or rather problematic situations, in other words the clearing up of situations step by step and maintaining good relationships sets energy in motion and empowers us. Power that is available to pursue our tasks or learn new things. If we take responsibility at any moment and take our needs seriously, if we clarify incoherences with other people and find good solutions together there is less reason to complain about "difficult" situations or people. Instead we are getting better and better in solving problems and in building good relationships - this can enhance our life quality tremendously.

3. Questions for reflection:

- If I take a closer look: are there any issues in my life of which I actually felt for a while that I should address them and find solutions, but I seem to always find "good" reasons why "it is not the right moment yet"?

- Are there any people in my private or professional environment with whom I experience incoherent situations or conflict that are disturbing communication or hindering productive collaboration?

- Do I experience situations in my life where I feel like I use more energy to "withstand" or "procrastinate" instead of clearing up and set free some energy to fulfill my tasks and duties, to move forward and shape my future, to learn and grow?

4. Which questions do resonate with you and trigger some thoughts or answers? If there are situations that call for attention, what could you do to seek clarity? Do you think it might be possible to talk to the person or people involved - would you be ready, would the people be ready? Or might it be good enough if you find clarity for yourself and just position yourself differently in that situation? Perhaps by taking an inner distance to it so that it will no longer bother you that much?

5. A few minutes of undistracted reflection - at least virtually - on your current life situation including the most important people in your private or professional environment to explore potential "need for clarification" and, if necessary or promising, to address it in order to "clean the slate" could have a tremendously liberating effect.

»What the caterpillar calls "the end of the world", appears to the rest of the world as a butterfly.« (Laotse)


Day 7: December 31


1. Relaxation in a way that helps to calm body and mind (as suggested in the introduction).

2. Topic of the day: Preparation for the Future

"Who doesn't know where he wants to go, should not be surprised if he ends up somewhere else", said Mark Twain.

Achievement of goals and "peak performance" (in which form ever) requires good preparation. We see that best in sports, in the arts or in other performances. The "act" is just the "moment of truth", when it becomes visible whether the performer has prepared well and whether he or she is a master in what they are doing. We don't see what is behind it and what it took for the performer to get here. The same principles apply to Leadership and Self-Leadership. The better we are prepared and skilled (in self-, social- and leadership skills) and the better we understand the principles and master the tools, the better the chances that we achieve our goals.

If we fill leadership positions, every thought, every behavior, every interaction, every e-mail with peers, colleagues, customers, partners or other stakeholders is a "moment of truth".

As far as our own life is concerned, if we take a closer look, every decision, every thought, and every action is a "moment of truth". It's only a question of how mindful we are about it - more aware or less conscious - it's always decisive!

The famous psychologist C. G. Jung was convinced: "If you do not become aware of your subconscious, it will determine your life - and you will call it fate!"

3. Questions for reflection:

- How do I think I'm doing in my capabilities of leading myself well (whatever that means to me right now)? What are my strengths, where do I see room for development (what would I like to be better in)?

- What does "Leadership" mean for me? Did I ever reflect on my understanding of leadership and my related competencies and skills as a leader?

- Do I, and in what way do I, think about the future - plan, worry, trust in (in my private life or in my professional role) with regard to setting goals, establishing a plan and following through on it - or being open to expect the unexpected?

- For people in a leadeship role: In which sense do I define Leadership as something "innate", as "personality traits" that we either have or we don't have, as a professional role, as a set of competencies and skills that can be learned and developed?

4. Take a few notes on reflections around the questions that resonate with you. Maybe they trigger some goals for you to work on next year? Is there a specific field of interest that you always wanted to dive into but never had a chance? Is there something new you would like to learn or experience? Is there something you'd like to stop doing, something that is not so good for you after all?

5. Preparation for the future could mean setting goals, at the same time letting go of the past and opening up to the unexpected.

If it appeals to you, you may perform a small ritual that goes perfect with the change of the years: Write some significant events and experiences of the past year or certain habits, that you may want to change, on a piece of paper each. Reflect on each of the topics with all memories and feelings associated, then burn them one by one in your fireplace or in an open fire outdoors. Literally dissolve your past in flames - positive or negative, challenging or worth preserving - in a dignified and grateful way, in order to clean the slate and prepare your inner state of being for whatever the future will bring.

Take "leadership" for your future: Celebrate New Year's mindfully. Appreciate past success, enjoy the moment, and listen to your dreams about the future.

»Leadership capability is learnable, not innate.« (Daniel Goleman)


Day 8: January 01


1. Relaxation in a way that helps to calm body and mind (as suggested in the introduction). Maybe you are repeating what you have found to be effective for you, maybe you have a variety of (non-)activities that you enjoy?!

2. Topic of the day: New Year - new fortune

The transition from the old to the new year is a powerful moment. Critical moments like these happen in change processes of any kind - moments when the course for future success is set!

With every closing, every ending and new beginning comes a letting go and welcoming. Letting go of (mental, emotional) "dead weight" of the past opens space to really embrace and engage for new things.

Happenings of the past have shaped who we are. Experiences - fortunate or challenging - are opportunities to learn from. Insights and key learnings, accomplishments in any form and goals are today's starting point.

The future will be shaped by our thoughts and actions, guided by our interests, needs and desires, on one hand, and by conditions and events that we will face, on the other hand. It will be crucial how we cope with and manage the interaction between intrinsic engagement and extrinsic circumstances.

If something should improve, some things needs to change - and this can manifest within us (composure, attitude, thinking, feeling) or around us (lifestyle, work, relationships, possessions). Sometimes it is necessary to let go of beloved habits, routine behavior, established patterns or "automated solutions", in order for our ambitions to become reality.

Whether we succeed in change, depends on one thing at the end of the day: Is, what we want, a true matter of concern to us; is it in line with our own nature; are we "equipped" and prepared for it; is it part of our life mission; is it important enough so that we will sustain through the challenges that will come with it, and are we willing to abandon other - less helpful - things if necessary?

3. Questions for reflection:

Today we have a small set of questions, but they are crucial for the success of our implementation and achievements:

- What could help me to integrate new habits, bevahior and skills into my everyday activities in order to support my goals in the new year?

- What can I close and leave behind in the old year in order to make room for something new?

- What could jeopardize my goals in the new year if I just continue as usual? What can I do to minimize risks?

- What I wish for, is it really important enough (for me or others) so that I will follow through even when things get "difficult"?

4. Capture in your notes, which could be the biggest challenges for you, the biggest change or change-overs towards your goals. Which will be your specific next steps - even the smallest ones? How will you approach them? What do you need? What could help you?

5. Consult your notes of the past days, when it was about your strategic positioning and focus - for yourself or for your team at work. How well are you equipped and prepared to address it over the coming months? What are the strengths that you can build on? Are you lacking something? How can you close the gaps?

»Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.« (Albert Einstein)

Cheers to a Happy New Year! Have a good start into a healthy and successful 2022! Lots of power to follow your wildest visions and to manifest what you truly want!


Day 9: January 02


1. Relaxation in a form that calms body and mind (as suggested in the introduction or already proven to work for you).

2. Topic of the day: Knowledge and Wisdom

"Knowledge" can come in different shapes:

  • information drawn from analogue or digital sources,
  • memorized information in the form of acquired facts, data or key learnings,
  • inspiration in the form of creative ideas,
  • intuition as a blend of data, experience, gut feeling and inspiration as an answer or solution to a given challenge.

Wisdom can come in the form of knowledge handed down over generations, on one hand, or in the form of acquired insights and learnings over the course of our own life, on the other hand.

The human being has the unique capability to supplement existing knowlege continuously with new information and thus learn contuinuously; key word: lifelong learning.

In an organization, "knowledge" in the broadest sense is of high importance to make relevant information accessible to the people involved in order for them to accomplish their tasks and solve problems; key word: knowledge management.

For individuals and organizations it is important to stay capable of learning and to evolve. Terms like agility and innovation describe the faculty of organizations and teams to continuously complement existing information with new information and insights as well as key learnings from everyday experience in order to develop new solutions; key word: learning organization.

3. Questions for reflection:

- What would I like to know more about? What am I truly interested in? What knowlege could help me to follow through on my plans?

- How would I rate my own knowledge; on one hand with regard to my professional role, my knowlege, skills and competencies; on the other hand on what we call "general (life) knowledge"?

- Where do I stand in my efforts to stay current and keep my knowledge up to date in relevant trends (management, leadership, digitalization, New Work, New Organizing, evolution of human being and society, etc.)?

- How is our organization set up with regard to "knowledge management"? How is the flow of information and decision making organized?

- How do we make sure that our organization has access to relevant information (about the market, customers, regulations, trends, future of work, etc.) and that knowledge in the information is continuously updated and developed. In brief: How does our organization learn?

4. Please take again some notes on your spontaneous reflections on questions that you resonate with. If you have immediate answers and find specific solutions, even better. At this point, though, it's more generally about raising awareness about whether you identify room for improvement in order to follow up on issues later, at an appropriate moment.

5. Maybe on this second day of the new year, in addition to sharing best wishes, you may feel like sharing some insights and ideas that you gained over the past days in this process with somebody? Sharing ideas with others can help to refine our own point of view and create momentum for our plans. In particular, if we want to integrate new behaviors in our life or establish new habits, it's important to share with people in our immediate or work environment in order to support implementation.

»An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.« (Benjamin Franklin)


Day 10: January 03


1. Relaxation in a form that appeals to you.

2. Topic of the day: Connecting to our inner power

When we realize that the world is not "carved in stone", but actually is (just) as we see it, we become more aware, where the roots of some misunderstandings could be when everybody has their own point of view and claims to be the (only) "right one". At the same time we realize that we have choices how we want to see things. This means that there are lots of things we don't have to accept as just given, but we have an opportunity to decide to shape things differently in our life.

If we realize our power to create, we can think and act responsibly and focus on working towards our own goals - and this not on the shoulders of others or on the cost of nature. In the contrary: if we focus on strengthening ourselves, we don't need to prove nor fight against anything. In small steps we create our life within our possibilites as it feel good.

We can integrate the wellbeing of others into our considerate thinking and behavior. Our feeling of "power" does not depend on being better, stronger or faster than others, nor does it build on convincing or fighting against others. Power will transform into strength that helps us to follow and manifest "our own thing". This can result in real happiness! No reason anymore to admire or envy others, to complain about "difficult circumstances" or to fight against anything.

3. Questions for reflection:

- What do the terms power, responsibility and empowerment mean for me?

- Am I aware that my thinking, my decisions and my actions actually have a tremendous impact on how "things" are going and evolving for me, how people in my environment behave, and how my life and work situation present themselves?

- How am I doing in perceiving diversity not so much as a threat, but as a resource to learn and find better solutions - for my own life as well as for challenges at work - and thus use it for my personal as well as for my professional evolution?

4. Again, you are invited to take some notes on spontaneous reflections on some of these questions.

5. Do some of the insights on these topics imply some changes in your conclusions or goals that you have jotted down over the past days? Remember that goals are not carved in stone, either, but can (should) evolve based on new insights or circumstances. "Competitive thinking" and an inner "attitude of fighting" are very energy consuming. Whereas focusing and working on our own strengths could be a strategy that paradoxically can lead to the very qualities that distinguish from the "competition" and to approach goals and achieve them much easier.

»To rule over others requires power. To rule over oneself requires strength.« (Laotse)


Day 11: January 04


1. Relaxation in a form that appeals to you.

2. Topic of the day: Letting go and moving forward

Already on day 8 we discussed a first time that looking back on the past year and leaving it behind is helping us to move forward. We emphasized the importance of deliberately closing issues and deciding which past experiences - challenging or successful, even some that may root in the distant past - we want or have to let go of in order to focus on our future.

The better we can let go, the lighter we can move forward and focus on future projects and goals. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Because our imprints from the past - from the more recent or even more distant past - as well as our habits are deeply engraved and cannot be easily "switched off".

A first important step into the "Here & Now" and look towards the future is to become aware of our familiar patterns and unreflected habits. At least we become aware when we behave out of old routines and thinking patterns. We immediately realize that it's up to us to take different decisions and take a new attempt. That makes it much easier to remind ourselves of the visions we have designed for our future and strive to implement our strategies and plans.

3. Questions for reflection:

- Are there any areas in my life where I feel like I'm experiencing similar kind of situations (mainly unpleasant) over and over, that I struggle with similar challenges, or that projects or relationships become difficult at similar end points?

If that is the case, it could be an indication that even when we face a new situation we tend to fall back into the same or similar patterns (thinking, behavior, communication, coping strategies, etc.) when trying to solve a problem, which means that we haven't learned our lessons from past experiences that would allow us to really evolve. But no problem! New attempt, new chance!

- Today, what do I want to let go of once and for all in order to feel liberated and move forward in quick steps?

4. Take again some notes on spontaneous thoughts about your own experiences in this matter. Match your past experiences against your visions of what you would like to experience. Don't let yourself be discouraged from your most ambitious goals. We get tested over and over, that's part of the journey; we are being challenged if we are really serious about our plans and if we have the skill set need. Challenges are great opportunities to learn important things we need to accomplish our goals. If appropriate, redesign strategies and redefine timelines to move forward step by step - even when very small, but continuously and consistently - until you see progress and celebrate milestones.

5. Remember that it is very important not to fight against the "undesirable" but rather focus on and work towards the "desirable". That's the only way that your visions can become reality. Life is what we make out of it. Our actions and outcomes are the result of our thoughts. We have discussed it in yesterday's impulse: The world is what we think of it! If we want it differnt, we need to start thining about it differently.

»You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.« (R. Buckminster Fuller)


Day 12: January 05


1. Relaxation in a form that helps to calm body and mind.

2. Topic of the day: Trust the process

If we want to achieve something special we won't accomplish it without a clear focus and targeted striving.

But as the saying goes: Who strives will get support by luck. Most importantly we need to be serious about what we want to achieve, and that this is not only in our own interest but for the benefit of others as well.

If we approach things with head, hand and heart, sometimes life is waving with unimaginable opportunities that take us in the right direction towards our ambitions. In addition to working hard we may - as we have mentioned several times, because it is so important and sometimes almost miraculous - stay open for the unexpected to recognize opportunities when they open up, and even try to see the potential that could reveal itself through supposed problems and challenges.

The most amazing events and strokes of luck don't always come in the shape that we imagine and as we set up our plans. Sometimes they are camouflaged as problems or conflict. We remind ourselves of the impulse about linear and non-linear strategies (day 3). Not always do we get what we want straight away, often we get what we need in order to learn important lessons that help us to accomplish what we want. A little courage to trust in life that under certain cirsumstances things could tunr out even better than we could imagine, may not be such a bad approach. Whether that really works, we can only experience ourselves.

3. Questions for reflection:

- Which events and turning points in my biography have shown that life sometimes has something even better in the pipeline than what I had in mind or what I set myself as an objective?

- Which difficult experinces in my life have turned out to be a kind of blessing in the aftermath, when it became clear what became possible and where this lead eventually?

If you recall the one or other example, it's proof enough that this is not about hocus-pocus but just the way life could also work - unexpected, disruptive, surprising, lively, sometimes amost miraculous!

4. You may take some notes on disruptive events and significant turning points in your biography that may have turned your life upside down over night, but eventually moved a few things in new, even better directions. Experiences like these could provide additional encouragement to not only look at problems and challenges with new eyes, but to literally integrate them into our life strategy.

5. How would you feel about an extended walk in the fresh air on this winter day?

Can you feel the cool wind in your face? Your new ideas and strategies that you have brainstormed on could symbolize the "fresh wind" that you can bring into your work and life. If you feel like, you could metaphorically visualize the wind you feel on your walk as the wind that is blowing in the sails of the boat of your projects in order to move it in the right direction even across stormy waves.

Aim at your destination but don't get disturbed by storms or doldrums, just set your sails right!

»When the wind of change is blowing, some people build walls, others build windmills.« (Chinese proverb)

With day 12 we are closing the series of topics. Tomorrow will be the last impulse, and it will be about a summarizing conclusions and integration of key learnings in order to create momentum for your projects.


Integration: January 06


1. Relaxation in a form that you have found to work well for yourself to calm body and mind.

2. Topic of the day: Integration

Over the past 12 days you may have expirienced rich festivities to celebrate Christmas and New Year's - and perhaps you are already back in everyday life and work by now?

I hope you had a joyful time with your loved ones - and hopefully inspirational moments, if you had the chance to take out a little time for yourself to work on the daily impulses. Maybe you have spent some time in an unconventional place or setting, i.e. travelling, in a retreat or in a foreign country together with new and different people. "Gifts" can come in all kinds of different forms, shapes and experiences.

Sometimes it could happen that we have more time for ourselves over the Holidays that we'd actually wish for. For example, if our life situation has changed and for whatever reasons we may not be in the circle of the people we used to spend the Holidays with in the past. Yet, in new situations and in being alone lies the potential to regenerate and have new ideas. This can be a tremendous resource for new goals and future happiness.

In whatever life situation you are at the moment: if you had the chance to dedicate some time to the New Year Self-Leadership Transition over the past 12 days, you may experience some positive impact sooner or later.

You worked on significant topics for you, and you may have found answers for yourself that will allow you to leave the past behind and focus on what is important for you in the upcoming months and all over 2022.

3. Reflection:

- You are invited to go through your notes from the past days. Watch out for the topics and ideas that resonate strongly with you today - maybe they trigger emotions and thoughts, perhaps you feel a special power associated with them.

- Over all, what are the key topics that have cristallized? Can you identify areas to focus on, can you connect some dots?

- Which 2-3 topics have become most important, so that you may want so set some goals or agree with yourself on a commitment to address them now?

- Can you identify a clear topic for the year ahead? What motto could you put it under? Could you phrase a kind of vision or mission statement for 2022?

- What are your next steps and what is it that could provide additional support to create momentum for your projects?

4. Write a summary or cristallize the essence of your notes.

At least once a month over the coming year, please consult your notes to evaluate where you are on your journey: what did you implement, what did you achieve, what went different than planned, what unexpected opportunities opened up? Would you need to fine-tune goals or plans or just take a new attempt?

5. To close the process of this "magical" time, here's a little secret:

Paradoxically it is not always necessary to rigidly stick to plans and to work obsessed on details in order to realize projects. Of course we need to follow through, take the right decisions and make sure important things are set up in the right direction. Yet, allow yourself to relax and trust that what is really important for you will pop up again and again when decisions are due, when you are invited to take initiative, or when new opportunities open up that support your ambitions.

Find a good balance between a persistent and continuous linear apporach and a relaxed openness to embrace and seize unexpected, sometimes disruptive non-linear opportunities!

»What you think, you create. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you become.« (selfmadeladies.com)


Happy Epiphany, Happy Three Kings Day! Enjoy the tradition, become "the king of your own kingdom", the master of yourself and your own life, and open up to opportunities that 2022 has up in the sleeve for you!

Enjoy your creative journey, I wish you the best of health, joy and success with all your projects!


Questions about the process? Any feedback? Send me an e-mail, I'll be happy to respond!

CCIEL - Competency Center for Integral Evolution and Leadership

Hans-Ueli Schlumpf
CH-4102 Binningen / Basel (Switzerland)
T: +41 (0)79 888 92 92    W: www.cciel.ch



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