The one question you need to ask yourself

​Self-Work is a newsletter by Marcella Chamorro that takes you from stuck to thriving in 5 minutes or less, with strategies to help you show up feeling your best β€” and deliver your best work, too.


We're 10 days in to 2024 β€” how's it going thus far?

Whether you've been here a while or brand new (welcome πŸ‘‹), I'm happy to have you here!

Personally, I'm not the type to set resolutions or big goals because our North Star can change over the course of a year, but I do have one question that guides all the decisions I make.

Today, I'll share that question and walk you through how I put it to work.

(It's also a question I often use in my coaching sessions because my job is as much about helping clients achieve external results as internal results.)

So, let's kick off the year with a reboot of the most popular "new year, new you" post I've ever written.

Because if you're anything like my son, you want to spend the year feeling like this:

Let's dive in.


A Fresh Start For What?

People say ringing in a new year feels like a fresh start β€” but a fresh start for what?

We have no way of anticipating what the new year will bring.

On January 1st of 2022, I had no way of knowing what I'd face over the following 12 months. My father's emergency heart surgery. Trips to Minnesota, NYC, and Colombia. Transitioning to a new job that turned out to be a bad fit. New friends that are a great fit. Salmonella. So many colds. Going back to working out at a gym. So much therapy.

On January 1st of 2023, I had no idea some of my greatest blessings would also come with some of the most mentally trying times of my life. Growing a coaching business. A trip to Europe with the kids. Learning sales. Scaling my coaching via a course. A handful of coaching certifications.

What about 2024 β€” what will happen in the next 52 weeks? It's a toss up, and I have limited control over only some of the ingredients that go into making the year what I want it to be.

So, instead of focusing on what I want to happen this year, I ask myself this question:

How do I want to FEEL this year?

Focusing on feelings over accomplishments helps me craft situations where those desired feelings can emerge.

But it isn't an easy question to answer. Knowing how you want to feel requires reflection and self-awareness, something we rarely have time for.

With as much honesty as I could muster, I pondered these questions in silence, both in prayer and on paper:

  • How did I feel last year?
  • What moments did I enjoy most / least?
  • What was I feeling in those moments?
  • What didn't I feel that I am yearning for?

And I came up with three feelings I want to optimize for in 2024.


For part of 2023, I carried way too much on my shoulders. What can I say, it's a pattern.

This year, I want to remove some of the imaginary (and irrational) burden I carry to live my days feeling way lighter. My mental health needs the break. A sense of ease and flow is very welcome this year.

That will manifest in how I show up in my coaching sessions, in the content I create, but also how I show up with my kids.

Which leads to my next feeling:



I want so much more laughter in 2024.

I'm making more of an effort to play: sports like basketball, pickleball, and tennis, but also just LEGO-building and hide-and-seek. Having three young boys helps, of course, but figuring out how to feel playful at work is also something I'm thinking about.

Holding my work with a sense of lightness and playfulness is a big part of the next feeling:



This may not technically be a feeling, but it's the most important of the three.

I want to feel like I'm contributing to other people's self-work each and every day, with a calendar packed with powerful coaching sessions that change lives for the better. I want my year to be chock-full of contribution toward other people's emotional well-being as well as their external performance. Those two CAN co-exist, and I want to guide people in that direction.

And that hinges on staying light and playful as I go.


So, light, playful, and contribution.

No matter what random problems pop up this yearβ€”and pop up they willβ€”I'll do my best to create experiences and situations that make me feel the way I want to feel.

Now, it's your turn.


How will you feel in 2024?

I invite you to take some time to think (or, even better, journal) about the kinds of feelings you want to revel in over the next year.

We have limited control over the events that will unfold over the next 12 months, but in the words of a famous racecar driver:

β€œDon’t look at the wall. Your car goes where your eyes go.”
β€” Mario Andretti

As one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, I trust that he knows what he's talking about. 🏎

Because once we know where we want to go, we have a much better chance of steering our lives in that direction.

Your year matters. You matter.

Make this year yours by steering toward the feelings you want most.

You got this. ✌️

PS. Have a thorny conversation coming up?

Last year, I developed a self-paced online course called "Courageous Conversations" to help individuals prepare for awkward and difficult conversations we tend to avoid.

If you're looking for a framework to help you prepare for your next tricky convo (with sample scripts included), this course is for you. And it's priced specifically to be accessible to all β€” you can get it for as low as $47.

People who've taken the course thus far have left glowing reviews. It's all there on the landing page, so you be the judge.

That's all for this edition

I hope you enjoyed this newsie and now take some time to think through how you want to feel this year.

To keep my three feelings top of mind, I'll be closing the laptop this weekend to go on more adventures with my squad, like this one:

I'll be back next week with another edition of Self-Work, and a new podcast episode, as well.

Talk to you then.


All the best vibes ✨

Marcella Chamorro

Mental Health Coach + Executive Coach


Marcella Chamorro

Marcella is mindset coach for award-winning tech teams and an experienced marketing leader with a track record of successful creative ventures focused on mental health. She's worked with both thriving venture-backed organizations and wildly profitable bootstrapped companies to maximize their work performance and well-being.