Looking Forward to 2020: Gratitude, Gatherings & Goals

  • Gratitude
  • The Aspen Difference
Kristina Scala

As we near the end of the decade, it's a poignant time for reflection, centered around three important aspects of our lives: gratitude, gatherings, and goals. 



Thank you. Each of you lends important values and purpose to our community and creates our community. Like a grove of aspen trees, we value your uniqueness and your connection to who we are as a whole. 

At the end of the year, our actions can become rote: we're on a path toward closing out the year/decade. I urge you to stop and reflect: What's going well? What are you proud of? What can you celebrate? Celebration and gratitude increase our happiness -- and the benefits are more extensive than we might realize: In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor notes: "students who were told to think about the happiest day of their lives right before taking a standardized math test outperformed their peers. And people who expressed more positive emotions while negotiating business deals did so more efficiently and successfully than those who were more neutral or negative.”


For many of us, this season is a time for gathering with family and friends. Bring your celebrations to these groups and encourage them to stop and reflect on the questions above, and celebrate together. Doing so builds a ripple effect for the community and allows others to recall and remember what they've accomplished. 

Gatherings -- whether private with family, or public with larger groups -- can be a time to build habits and practices with and for our kids. Be vulnerable and share first before you ask them to answer the questions above. For parents who would like to see their children become even more grateful, it's important to model and build a habit and practice with them. We see that grateful, reflective kids who are responsive vs. reactive come from parents doing and being the same -- a timeless gift you can share with your kids. 


Goals & Beyond

It's nearly 2020: a new decade and a new time to build habits and practices with and for our kids. When you look at the heart of goal-setting, you must also address value-setting, mission and vision-setting, which is reflective of a commitment to live an intentional life, recognizing one's gifts, strengths and passions, and providing a vehicle to harness habits and create remarkable outcomes. 

Leveraging a coaching tool called "Wheel of Life" allows us to plot where we are in eight essential facets of life: Personal Growth, Health, Family, Relationships, Social Life, Attitude, Career, and Finance (different models leverage different names, but similar concepts for all eight).  

In the coming weeks, evaluate where you are in each of these dimensions of life and recognize that we have the power to do something about each of these. Where do you have the highest focus? Where would you like to create more focus and leverage strengths in areas that need to be shored up?


Enjoy the coming Winter Break with your family. We look forward to seeing you in 2020 for a year filled with insights, growth, and celebrations.


Interested in taking a deeper dive into exploring your values, mission and personal vision? Join us in January for our Parent University "2020 Your Best Year Yet!" led by Leslie Bartlett of Allegria Coaching. Register today. 



About the Author:

Kristina Scala is the Founder and President of Aspen Academy, Aspen Youth Leadership Institute, Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute, Aspen Academy Investment Fund, Bear’s Student Enterprises, and MODI. Scala is a thoughtful and creative leader, passionate entrepreneur, enthusiastic educator and master facilitator who presents on topics of education and personal, leadership, entrepreneurial, and parenting development. She works to inspire and motivate people to live a purposeful and authentic life through being kind, doing good, and making the world better through what we think, say, and do.