We feel inSPIREd at the beginning of the new year

The new year has begun and most of us have started working again without taking the time to set personal goals. However, 2020 has impacted us both professionally and personally. Confinement presented its share of challenges in order for us to adjust in these two spheres. While it is important to plan our time and goals at work, it is just as important to do so for our personal lives. Nurturing this aspect helps ensure balance and maximize our personal resources, including hope, sense of achievement, resilience, and optimism (HERO model).

I therefore present to you, for this exact purpose, the SPIRE model (Ben-Shahar and McDonough), with which you and the members of your team can take the time to reflect. This is an exercise that I invite you to repeat at the beginning of every year to ensure that your life is aligned with your aspirations.

The SPIRE model takes into consideration 5 aspects on which you can set goals or make improvements: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Relational and Emotional. For each of these aspects, it is important to identify what we want to accomplish in the coming year. Writing these aspects down helps to achieve them.


As you reflect on the spiritual side, consider what you could incorporate into your life to savor the present moment more and make it meaningful. What touches you so much that it makes you cry? What amazes you and what makes you want to live? Is this a passion that you nurture but neglect to prioritize compared to other aspects which are actually less important?


As you think about the physical aspect, consider how well you take care of your body and mind. Are you getting enough exercise every day? Do you have good eating habits? Are you taking the time to live mindfully? Are you getting enough sleep? There are meditation apps to help you. Physical training is now more accessible remotely, often free of charge.


When thinking about the intellectual side, consider what you would like to learn and what experiences you would like to live in 2021. How can you be more creative? A variety of training and activities are now offered online, whether synchronous or asynchronous.


As you think about relationships, ask yourself what you could do to nurture constructive relationships with yourself and others. Are you empathetic towards yourself? Are you open to others? Do you tend to withdraw when facing challenges or reach out to others for help? Do any of your relationships need to be harmonized? Are there people in your network who you would like to get to know better? What are some small gestures or attentions to take in this sense?


Finally, when thinking about the emotional aspect, ask yourself about your emotional intelligence. Have you taken a test or training to assess how you can improve it? What are the things you can do to feel positive emotions and strive for the growth of your personal resources (HERO)? What would you like to bring to others?

In conclusion, and to help you take your thoughts further along the SPIRE model, I would like to remind you that time management starts with planning in your schedule what really matters to you. Have a single calendar for both your personal and professional life. Include your priorities and what is best for you first (ex. favorite physical activity, training that stimulates you, important meetings set with your loved ones, etc.). This way, you will see how much time you have left to go about other important occupations, including work, exercise, cooking and one more important aspect … sleeping!

By Andrée Mantha, M. Sc., CRHA