Move over strategy, I want more StrateJoy in ‘23

Rachael Cumberland-Dodd
4 min readDec 7, 2022


My inbox is making me feel itchy!

It’s a hive-inducing puree of goal-setting, planning, and end-of-year-review emails.
And I am not digging it at all.

For the first time in my 25 years as a working girl (noooo, not that kind of work!) I’m turned off by strategy chat, whiteboard sessions, multicoloured sharpies and pink post-it notes.

(Now, this ain’t like me at all — I usually love planning, strategising, forecasting)

I have decided during that quietly glorious period between Christmas & New Year (aka Betwixmas) whilst scoffing choccy & quaffing Port, I will be ditching my usual business strategy sessions.

Bah humbug to you strategy, I’m working on StrateJOY.

And you’re most welcome to join me ❤️

Hands up who else feels a little battered and bruised by this year?

For so many peeps and for so many reasons it has been a crapola 2022.
Nothing in my 2022 business plan (or yours I’m guessing) allowed space for war, recession, heat wave, Roe vs Wade, energy crisis, strikes and Elon Musk.

And I think that’s why I’m ditching conventional Just Do It goal-setting and starting the new year with a little more space and joy, joy.

Cos who the fuck knows?

This new approach to plotting, planning, and dreaming has been inspired by Soul Goals.

Soul Goals are kinda like retro-fitting business planning. it’s about starting with how you wanna feel, rather than what you wanna do.

Sound a bit too woo for you?
Not if like me you’ve spent many a year setting goals, then feeling like a failure when you didn’t meet them, or when priorities changed, or they took waaaay longer than planned.

And frankly, failure isn’t the vibe I’m wanting in 2023.

I spent a gorgeous few hours this weekend mulling over how I want to feel in my biz next year and exploring how to reverse engineer my aspirations into these feelings.

It’s an easy four-Q process:

⭐ Ask yourself, how do you want to feel in 2023 in relation to your work/biz?
Dream into iit, luxuriate into good vibes — and don’t overthink!

⭐Pick 3–5 words that make you feel all warm inside (These are your core feelings)
Try to avoid workaday words like success, confident or happy — go deeper, what feelings are beneath these words? is my go-to thesaurus for finding words that give me the feelies

⭐What can you do every day to generate those core feelings?

⭐And, what do you need to do/have or experience to feel these feelings?
This is where the planning rubber hits the road, actually set yourself some tasks/habits

Et voila, you have soul goals ❤️

Need some inspiration? Here are my core feelings and my 2023 soul goals.

(Who am I kidding, I’m sharing these with you cos I need more accountability in my life — thanks chaps!)

Rachie’s 2023 feely feels & soul goals:

I wanna feel…

Why dat?
Work has felt like a slog at times this year; mismatched clients, saying yes to too much, chained to my desk
Soul Goals:
✨More co-working sessions (this gives me life!)
✨Block out time in diary for more dog-walks
✨Establish more rigorous client-filtering process

Why dat?
Oh golly, I have been wafting like a willow tree in winter this year — listening to too many ‘experts’ and not to this expert (ie me)
Soul Goals:
✨Create a website that is unapologetically me
✨Daily writing, this is how I figure out what I really think
✨More sharing of content — no point having a point of view if no one knows it!

Why dat?
I have a corporate hangover; it’s called keep quiet and meet your KPIs — but that approach is so 2020 and no longer helpful.
Soul Goals:
✨guest on podcasts — to share above truth
✨Experiment with offers — even if they’re not perfect!!
✨Improve my Financial literacy — being rubbish at maths is no longer an excuse for not having a handle on finances. If this is you, read Rich Dad Poor Dad

Why dat?
Just cos
Soul Goals:
✨Be in daily appreciation for the life you’ve created, the wonderful people around you and the work you do.

There ye go….my less-than-conventional, slightly woo, but deeply ooo approach to goal-setting.

Before I go, one final share….this just popped into my inbox

“A successful business is one in which you feel at home”

Now that sums up how I wanna the 2023 to roll.



Rachael Cumberland-Dodd

Marketing is Medicine folks. Brand-builder & messaging guide, plus evolving human being.