I cannot say that I will miss 2022. It was a rough year for a lot of people: more COVID, Mpox, RSV, war in Ukraine, layoffs, inflation, political tensions... for me, it was dominated by a severely broken ankle in May from which I am still recovering. The word of the year is apparently gaslighting. Bleah. My personal word of the year is physical therapy. Bleah again.
Sadly, we felt the same buh-bye feelings about 2021... 2020... so I'm cautiously (skeptically? tentatively? desperately?) optimistic for better news in 2023. In the meantime, I encourage us all to do some reflecting in these dark, cold winter days. I find it so important every year to take some time to pull the lens back and look back over my calendar, my journal, and world events in the past year and get my bearings for the one to come.
So my first recommendation builds on that idea, and then I throw in some other ones that sparked conversations with clients and fodder for new presentations. Tell me what you think!
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✍🏾 Journaling Prompts. As I have shared more than once here, I am a massive fan of journaling. Personally, I use Evernote, having given up on writing things down years ago because I ran out of room in my condo to store all the #@(#& journals. But I also found, in talking with many clients, that they often have earnest desires to journal but are quickly stalled with the pressing question of "What do I journal about?" So here I am with a multitude of prompts, links and opportunities. And I want to put a special endorsement on the prompts I've collected from Esther Perel, a therapist who has intriguing podcasts and whose interviews I have enjoyed. I think these might be just what you need to spark some energy to journal on a deeper level. You may want to bookmark this journal prompts link because I update it relatively regularly. Just do it!!
😡 What is Emotional Labor? I find the correct concept of emotional labor to be very helpful especially when working with clients who are customer-facing. Across the board, I am hearing from those clients that interactions escalate quickly when there is any sort of frustration, and that they are not equipped to deal with the barrage of anger and antagonism. Furthermore, it creates massive stress because they are not able to respond in kind (nor should they). But that is remarkably taxing and that has caused some significant churn within the workplace – it feels like someone is always quitting out of exhaustion and frustration and those remaining are having to adjust to new people and more onboarding. Further content can be found here: The Concept Creep of Emotional Labor and The Power of Non-Anxious Presence. Bottom line: we have got to learn how to settle down interpersonal communication in every area of our lives: family, friends, colleagues, customers. Closing in on 3 years of challenging world events has worn us down and made us more reactive and less resilient. Let's work together in 2023 to regain some patience, generosity and civility.
🛑 Urgency Doesn't Exist. Frequent readers know I am a massive fan of Oliver Burkeman, who wrote my favorite book of 2022, 4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. I stalk him a bit online and subscribe to his newsletter. This link on urgency was a great reminder. Please read the entire post (don't worry, it's not long), but may this little quote tease you: "The first and most obvious sense in which urgency isn’t what it seems is that virtually none of the things that generate that knot-in-the-stomach feeling are the matters of life-or-death we tend to assume." Exactly.
💬 Cringe quiz: Are you fluent in Gen-Z office speak? Gearing up to teach another course in January to college seniors, along with my work with some under-25 clients and heck, communicating with my 22 and 24 year old niece and nephew, I took this #genz quiz. Good luck! (PS I got 4 out of 6 right... but I doubt I really get it.)
☮️ Wellbeing at Work? I like this new trend toward #wellbeingatwork. Sadly, I am not convinced that it will continue though... Favorite quote: "The equation is simple: The greater the wellbeing of your employees, the greater the wellbeing of your organization. That’s not just good for your employees; it’s good for your business." #culture #employeeengagement
👯♂️ Body Doubling. This may be an unfamiliar term to you -- it's certainly new to me. But for my clients who are #neurodivergent, this has proven helpful. For those who might struggle with focus, self-motivation, or executive function (prioritizing), body doubling can provide some assistance in remaining on task. As the article states, "You can body double in person, over the phone, via video chat, or even through text. The knowledge that someone is 'present' and aware that you are doing the task is intended to increase motivation and follow-through." Sort of like studying with a reliable friend in college. Try it out?
I hope you and yours get some good space to rest and restore some sense of hope and purpose for the new year. Thank you as always for reading -- feel free to pass it along to someone else. Reach out to me with questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Buh-bye 2022!