2020: Saying Goodbye to A Year to Remember

by Coach Gabriella Dennery MD | Physician Coaching

2020: Saying Goodbye to A Year to Remember

I hesitate when saying ‘Happy Holidays’ this year. The phrase seems hollow to my ears given the roller coaster ride the world is still experiencing. At the same time, I take it for what it is: A chance for me to dig deeper to find the ‘Happy’ in the lessons of 2020 and what they mean for 2021.

In 2020, the pandemic ushered in a period of courage and compassion through overwhelming hurt and stress. People from all walks of life stood up for justice and accountability, demanding new levels of transparency, responsible citizenship, and governance.

2020 also rocked our individual and collective mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health like never before. It also made the human connection that much more precious. I’ve seen more of my relatives via zoom calls than in pre-pandemic days when I was hopping on planes, trains, and automobiles. This year I welcomed my first grandniece who lives more than 400 miles away.  I reached out to friends I haven’t spoken to in decades, forging new friendships and collaborations I did not expect.

Now turning the corner toward 2021, I feel more hopeful as I’m witnessing frontline workers receiving the vaccine, looking forward to celebrating my turn and that of my loved ones and colleagues.

There are still massive challenges ahead for 2021.

At the same time, setting a clear intention for 2021 will keep you focused on what matters to you most and the life you want to create for yourself and your loved ones.

Here as some examples to get you started.

Feel free to borrow any of them or create one for yourself.  More than a goal, a task, or a resolution, an intention sets the tone for what you want to experience more of in 2021. Is it peace of mind, more time with family, celebrating your victories, remembering there are none too small?

My intentions for 2021:

  • To express gratitude and thanks out loud daily because there is much to be thankful for.
  • To play my violin daily as it brings a smile to my face and lightens the atmosphere of the house.
  • To trust what I bring to the table in support of people’s healing.
  • To advocate for the happiness and fulfillment of those I am blessed to encounter so we may each experience healthy living from the inside out.

An intention starts with you because what emanates from you comes back to you.

Go for what you desire to experience more of this year. The task list will follow later.

Wishing you health, peace, and happiness, today and in the New Year!


Life Coach Gabriella Dennery, MD OMD is passionate about helping busy physicians rediscover the joy of their calling. She draws on her training as a physician, a musician, and an ordained non-denominational minister in addition to health & wellness and life coaching to offer professionals from all walks of life the benefit of her broad experience and deep insights.

You can find Gabriella as one of the co-creators of STAT: Quick Wins To Get Your Life Back.

The daughter of a psychiatrist mother and a neurosurgeon father, both from Haiti, Gabriella and her five siblings were expected to choose from five noble callings: Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, Law, or Agronomy (caring for the delicate soil of Haiti).

Gabriella, an innately gifted healer and teacher, chose Medicine and graduated with honors from Howard University College of Medicine, “The Mecca.” Following her residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center, Gabriella moved to New York City to serve as an attending physician and clinical instructor in Harlem and later as medical director and attending physician at SUNY Downstate Bedford-Stuyvesant satellite clinic in Brooklyn.

Her greatest joy as a primary care physician was supporting her patients, shepherding them to Aha moments, and nurturing positive shifts in perspective that measurably improved their health and wellbeing–a strength that makes Gabriella so effective as a coach.

After more than ten years of practicing internal medicine, Gabriella chose to explore the integration of medicine, music, and ministry to promote better health of her fellow physicians by becoming a physician coach. She successfully coaches physicians to prevent and/or navigate through physician burnout, reach career and personal goals, clarify and take actionable steps to achieve their own personal vision, and is well known for helping doctors at all stages of their careers, from students to residents/fellows to practicing physicians. She maintains her work-life balance by playing percussion and violin, composing music, and enjoying a very fun and fulfilling marriage.

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