Our blog post this week is by Beth Kawasaki, ReBoot Accel Co-Founder and VP of Marketing.
I welcome each January with a sense of relief and anticipation. Why? Because January is the one month a year that’s holiday and school-break-free; and, for me, it even steers clear of family birthdays and anniversaries. January feels more generous, and I savor a less committed calendar, using the extra time for personal reflection, interests, planning, and renewal.
Winter is a season of recovery and preparation. – Paul Theroux
January can also be a powerful time of preparation for thoughtful people pursuing new paths. Whether this includes a job search, career reentry or pivot, learning a new skill, refocusing on one’s health and well-being, or increasing one’s impact in the world for good.
I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger. – Mia Hamm
Here are three lessons I learned in 2017 and one tech tool I won’t live without in 2018. Happy New Year. And Happy Renewed You!
Lesson #1: Prioritize Your Health: As prime-age women, we are beginning to experience, up close, our own or others serious illnesses, diagnoses, recoveries and/or passings. I was recently forced into a higher level of health consciousness by my own illness, and then shocked to find out I hadn’t seen my primary care doctor for a check-up in over three years. With four kids, I frequent medical facilities, but to meet their needs, not mine. Two key learnings last year? Daily exercise is no longer optional, and I have got to prioritize my health and self-care too. To protect and enhance my own quality of life, and for the sake of those who love me and depend on me.
Lesson #2: Pick Positive Podcasts and People: On New Year’s Day I listened to a 52 minute podcast from Good Life Project entitled, “To Succeed at Anything, Do This.” In it, founder Jonathan Fields challenges New Year’s norms with this quote from Derek Sivers, and his own:
If [more] information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs. – Derek Sivers
Success is not just about knowing what to do. It’s about doing it. To succeed at anything worth doing, you must make key shifts in your environment, mindset, and community that “turn on” the actions needed for game-changing results. – Jonathan Fields
Fields, informed by neuroscience and friends like Gretchen Rubin, offers a domain agnostic “success scaffolding” which includes seven P’s: pledge, people, belief in the possibility (and how to get there), proof, picture, practical process, and practice. I was particularly intrigued by the second “p = people”, and the five kinds of people Field recommends gathering when committing to moving from where one is, to where one wants to be. I’ll be working on building out this team vis a vis my goals in 2018, and hope to act in one or more of these roles for someone else.
- Co-strivers: those who will be on the journey with you
- Champions: those who will cheer you on and speak truth to you
- Mentors or Guides: wise folks who have gone before you and can help course correct
- Accountability Partners: a group or individual who regularly checks in and keeps you honest
- Core Community: your safe place where you are accepted and belong on the good and the bad days
NOTE: this podcast is completely free and a positive accompaniment to your next health-full hike. I also enjoyed Field’s episode: “How to Close the Books on 2017, “ and love the lead quote from the poet, Mary Oliver, on his website:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – Mary Oliver
Lesson #3: Produce in Provocative Places: Over the holidays, I had a chance to work in the courtyard of the Honolulu Academy of Arts during a day-long downpour. It became a full sensory, awe-inspiring experience, and I felt my synapses firing differently. My brain was energized by the unexpected weather, the beautiful setting, a Bodhisattva with attitude nearby, and I had a hyper-productive and enjoyable afternoon. In 2018, I plan to work in evocative spaces more often. For breakthrough thinking, a higher quality output, and sheer pleasure.
My Top 2017 Tech Tip: Pocket It. In 2017 I discovered the Chrome extension Pocket. It won the Webby Award for best productivity app in 2014, and I use it every day to file away articles, videos, and more to read and view later. For busy people in active job search mode or forging new career paths, Pocket is a power storage and tagging tool for company and sector research, and for saving articles you can share and engage with on social media as you build your personal brand. Did your mentor or accountability partner just send you an article you “need to read!”? Now you’ll be able to Pocket it in an easily accessible place and read it on your time.
On behalf of the ReBoot Accel team, I wish you all the best in 2018 and hope some of this helps you start the new year smart, strong, in good health, and with joy. Did you learn any lessons in 2017 that could benefit another? Please let us know by commenting or by sending to [email protected] We’d like to hear from you.
Want to connect with a new positive community of people? ReBoot Accel is here to help. ReBoot Connect in-person community events and workshops ongoing in Silicon Valley, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, and Houston.
Winter Career Accelerator and Workshops starting January 31 in Silicon Valley.
Can’t get to those cities? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @rebootaccel, and please join our free “ReBoot Accel Discussion Group” on Facebook for more conversation, connection, sharing, and support.