7 proven strategies to make 2019 your best year ever!

7 proven strategies to make 2019 your best year ever!

Let’s start by looking at 2018, first, shall we?

How do you feel when you look back at this past year? What were your highlights? What made you feel the most happy and fulfilled? Were any goals that you set up not met? Is there anything that you are afraid to admit?

When I look back at my year, I feel proud of what I have achieved. Restarting my business took longer than I expected but looking at the number of clients that I currently have, I can only be grateful and happy.

It is not just the number of clients I am happy about, but, much more importantly, about the transitions that they have achieved. Some of them left their cushioned corporate jobs to follow their passion and life mission. Some of them achieved their dreams by moving abroad, others by getting their desired position. Some are obviously still transitioning, but I am confident that they will meet their goals.

Running your own business as an expat mom is challenging and it is not always as easy as it may seem, but looking at my own accomplishments and those of my clients, I can see important strategies that I want to share with you. If you feel like you still haven’t realised your BIG goals, and want to make 2019 YOUR year, read on.

Find your North Star

Getting up early in the morning, making breakfast, taking the kids to school, going to work, having lunch, working a bit more, and then rushing back home with shopping bags, picking up the kids from afterschool care, preparing dinner, bedtime rituals with the kids, Netflix, book, and finally off to sleep. Sound familiar?

This is what some of my days look like. Full of responsibilities and tasks. There is, however, a fundamental element to it, without which I am not sure how long I could carry on performing those tasks. I have clearly defined my purpose, my life mission. I have a feeling that although I am sometimes extremely tired, I know that to me it all makes sense on a deeper level.

So, if you want to make 2019 your year, you need to start by finding your North Star. Setting up any goals without it is pointless. It is what all companies do, they start with their mission and vision and only then do they start working on their goals and actions.

If you are struggling to find what your North Star is, read my article on figuring out your life mission.

Get inspired

I have to admit, I am an inspiration junkie. I cannot live and work without it. TedTalks, inspirational books, videos, networking events, you name it – I love it. I don’t think I could do my work properly without it. If you feel stuck, lacking energy in realising your plans, or do not know what your North Star is, please promise me you will make sure to incorporate a big dose of inspiration in 2019. We, as humans, often need to see examples of things that are possible to make a move first.


Want to feel great about yourself? Contribute, help. Nothing makes us feel happier and more fulfilled than when we help others. To know where or how to contribute, look at your life's mission, think of causes that you believe in, and get involved. It doesn’t have to be huge; it can be a small step. But you need to make it.

Most of my clients are not happy with their career paths, as they feel they do not contribute to things they find important. Nice cars, business trips, a great boss and team are often not enough for them to stay. They need a purpose, and in 9 out of 10 cases it is about contribution.

Combatting plastic pollution, improving the quality of life of animals, helping people get healthy (mentally and physically), helping companies to become sustainable, producing healthy food – these are only a few of the examples of causes that my clients want to contribute to.


Having moved between various countries, I have lost many friendships. And I have experienced how important it is for our quality of life to have a great support network around us. When we live in one place for our whole life it is much easier to maintain a stable, strong network of family, friends and colleagues. But when we, as expats, move from country to country this often proves difficult.

Do you want to feel at your best in 2019? Trust me, you cannot do it alone! Connect with others and when you do, connect deeply.

Save, not spend

Hahaha, and who is saying that? Me! Big spender myself. But in the last months, I realised even more, maybe very naively, that it is our overspending that is bringing us trouble on many levels. We live in an overheated economy, mass-producing products and services that we actually do not need at all. And we especially do not need it to feel more fulfilled. We create a golden cage for ourselves that we cannot escape later on.

One of my big goals for 2019 is actually to save rather than spend, so I can be even freer with my choices. Do you want to escape your own "golden cage"? Start looking at things you do not actually need in your life: takeaway coffees, excessive clothing, food, alcohol etc. These are the short-term pleasures that make us feel happy for a second, and feel hollow the minute after.


Yes, plan. Your mission will not get fulfilled by itself. You need a dreamy head to create your path for 2019, but you need to stand with both feet on the ground to make a plan you can put into action. When planning steps to take, do not forget to include steps like connecting with others and getting inspired, they will get you far ahead and quicker than you think.

Get a coach

Obviously, it is a little cliché for a coach to say “get a coach’. But I truly believe in it. I would be nowhere near where I am now if I had not worked with different types of coaches and mentors myself. A coach is not your friend or family, who often has a fixed perception of you. A coach is someone who is a mirror that you can reflect yourself in, see your true potential and your blind spots. A coach is someone who will make sure 2019 WILL be your year!

So, don’t be shy and share in the comments below your BIG, BOLD plans to make 2019 your best year ever!

Dorota Klop-Sowinska


Dorota Klop-Sowinska

Official Member of Forbes Coaches Council. I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am the author of the book Career Jump! How to Successfully Change Your Professional Path...

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Stefana 11:40 | 20 December 2018

Hello, Can you please give us some LinkedIn profiles of good coaches in the Netherlands? Thank you!

minasolanki 11:45 | 20 December 2018

Hi Stefana, you can also check out our coaches page: Good luck!