December Downshift: 4 Questions to Ask to Complete the Year Feeling Clear

 In Practices, Wisdom Blog, Year Ends and New Years

Every December, as a personal leadership best-practice, I ask myself 4 inquiries and then alter my personal and professional choices accordingly. They make a huge difference in how I feel when I begin my next year, and how I reflect and see the year that’s just been.

In the past decade as I’ve shared this practice with people – which I call the “December Downshift” – is that while the idea of doing it sounds divine, the reality of the pace and pressure in our work, family and end-of-the-year life keeps us from doing what the natural world started way back in November – slowing down.

Most of us would emphatically agree that we’d love to:

  • Start the new year feeling clear – mentally & emotionally.
  • Have our home and work space feel clear and coherent.
  • Create more space for ourselves and only complete what matters most and reflow the rest to next year – ahh! exhale.
  • Be free of some of the relationship drama or distress in our personal or professional relationships that shows up during the holidays, or is hanging out from earlier this year.

But we find it challenging to go against the tide of what Clarissa Pinkola Estes aptly termed “the over-culture” – “the dominant and often power-mad culture we try to navigate without being crushed or over-assimulated into, thereby losing all our unusual talents, our never before seen wonders.” 

To go against such a strong current of year-end deadlines, family obligations, and the holiday consumption machine, we need super powers. One that I love to apply at this time is the super power of “harmonic defiance” which I define as this:


“Harmonic Defiance is choosing to defy the systems and realities that do not work for you, not by ranting and raging but by doing things differently, in wise ways that cultivate harmony.

Choosing to proactively create new realities by how you design your life; lead within your organization, community, and family; and show up in your relationships. You don’t ask for permission. You just choose what is in harmony. And do it.”

Harmonic defiance isn’t about having to do or make some grand global impact, it’s about embracing our power to create a better world and better way of working and living by the choices we make in our day to day lives. For example: choosing to mimic mother nature in December vs. mimicking the over-culture.

I’ve shared below the 4 inquiries, which use the wisdom-led leadership capacity of ‘intuitive thinking.’ Intuitive inquiries seek wisdom vs. answers, and so reveal insights we miss if we only operate from our mental and intellectual mind vs our higher and intuitive mind.

Ask and answer these for yourself and use them for your team, so you can end the year feeling good about what you’ve done, clear in mind and heart, ready to step into the new year reset.

1. What do I desire to complete to set me up to step into 2022 replenished, reset and open to receive in my:

  • Professional life: projects and goals
  • Personal foundation: health, finances and home

2. What would I love to let go, release or clean up before year end? These are emotional judgements or baggage, relational realities or mental patterns that are calling for attention to bring into coherency or leave behind.

3. What connections do I desire to make (new ones or reconnecting to old ones) now, and will reach out to before we complete 2021?

4. What would feel good and aligned to re-flow – move this into next year, and by doing so release self-induced pressure? Knowing that I can re-engage with this in the new year.

It helps a lot to write these out and then take simple but mighty actions accordingly. Invite a friend to do this with you for extra accountability. I use these with my team and in my marriage to create more supportive relationships and sustainable success all around.

For an extra resource, tune into podcast episode 171 POWER PAUSE: Inquiries that Will Support You to Complete the Year Feeling Clear on my podcast, Feminine Power Time.

Also, you can join me for the annual year end Reflection Ritual & Power Pause – a 4-step reflection process – at

Share the love!
Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt