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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

January 2024: Focus, Five Questions, and a Fun Book

I hope your 2024 is getting off to a good start. I just finished a two-week natural detox to reboot my immune system, this week I started teaching an internship course for the semester to fourteen undergrads, and I've gained three new individual coaching clients in the last two weeks. Other than trying to avoid Covid bubbling around me, I'm feeling energized. Enjoy my latest recommendations and tell me how you are doing.

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🥳 Word of the Year! This is a fun exercise I do every year and send it to my friends. Does it mean anything? Not really... but it's a fun way to spark some energy and creativity to kick off your new year. Give it a spin -- and if you don't like your first word, try again 😆

😱 The Dark Side of the Obsession With Focus. One of my favorite authors, Oliver Burkeman, author of my favorite book of 2022, Four Thousand Weeks, is back with more valuable content. Take 45 minutes to listen to this interview. I'm pretty confident you won't regret it.

​5️⃣ 1:1 Questions for the New Year. I got these from Lisa Cummings at Answer these 5 prompts for yourself first -- they are clues to your top natural talents:

  • I’ve always nerded out on these topics and types of activities:
  • This comes easily to me, yet not to others (things you do or the way you think):
  • I get a jolt of energy when I’m...
  • I lost track of time the last time I was…
  • Someone told me I’m good at...

THEN, if you lead a team at work, ​ask the 5 questions to each team member in a 1:1. Some of them will be tough to answer on-the-spot, yet get what you can in-person. Then have them come back with insights on the difficult ones. This will give you new ideas about what projects to assign each person in the future.

🧘🏽‍♂️ From Inner Critic to Inner Coach. I am so intrigued at how certain issues come in waves in my work with clients. Naturally, I'm speaking in huge generalities here, but before the pandemic, much of my coaching requests revolved around learning how to #lead and #manage. Then during the pandemic, the majority of my work centered on #stressmanagement and overall #wellbeing. Now, even though COVID seems to be showing up for yet another wave and there are two big wars happening, I'm finding that client conversations tend to be swirling around #career trajectory and #jobsatisfaction. I have more individual clients than I've ever had, and many of them are wondering what could be next... yet at the same time they are really hard on themselves and think they cannot compete in today's job market. If this sounds at all familiar, take a few minutes to look over this worksheet. Contact me if you want to talk about it!

🔭 Getting In Front of AI. I'm sharing this podcast episode as much as this particular contributor. I am consistently finding Ethan Mollick to be calm, reliable, helpful resource when it comes to understanding AI. When I randomly ask friends or clients whether they have been using AI, I'm finding that's it about 50/50 -- some are excited by it, others haven't tried it (and a couple weren't even sure what it is!). By no means am I an expert, but I have found it useful in a variety of interesting ways so far. Tell me what your experience has been.

📖 Getting There: A Book of Mentors. I started this last week and I'm enjoying it. Do I admire every single person profiled? Nope. But enough of them are worth learning from, and I always love a good story, to make it worthwhile. If you need a good reminder of how much life is "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration," and is also easy to pick up and out down in 10 minutes at a time, this book is for you.

Thanks for reading -- feel free to pass this along to a friend or coworker. And send me questions and feedback at Onward and upward!

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