We survived!! It has been quite a year! We’ve navigated a global pandemic – mostly intact – and are closing out perhaps one of the fastest years on record. I know there are no Velocity Records for time but if there were, I am sure 2022 would count as the fastest. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think that this year sped by!
So here we are, already December, and the change of years is close upon us. As many people do at this time of year, I like to reflect upon how the year has gone and what my goals are for the coming year. This year is particularly poignant, for multiple reasons:
- The pace of work accelerated exponentially this year, and I want to reflect on what that means for me both personally and professionally;
- I had my most successful year ever in my business;
- My 50th birthday is on Tuesday and this milestone has me looking at my achievements, dreams and goals.
As we round out this very full year, let’s take some time to reflect together on 2022.
There was a brilliant article in the Globe and Mail years ago with some really thought-provoking questions to review your professional year. I refer back to this article every year when I do my own review. The author divides the review into 2 sections: The Year Past & The Year Ahead
Some of my favourite questions are:
- What were the gifts of the year?
- What do you need to let go of or complete to start the new year fresh?
- If you could celebrate just one accomplishment at the end of next year, what would it be?
- What’s your theme for the year ahead?
These questions really stimulate reflection and thought for me, and that always leads to some wonderful ideas for the coming year.
Speaking of “theme”: each year I also choose a Word of the Year. My Word of the Year for 2022 was Joy. Having that theme influences my decisions and perspectives. My word for 2023 is Balance. Something I need to work on and have more of!
I also came across Tim Ferriss’ Past Year Review recently and love the idea of chronologically reviewing your year and categorizing your activities, commitments, work, etc into two columns, “Positive” and “Negative”. I’m really curious what this review will reveal!
One of my favourite parts of my yearly review is to look back on my reading list and create a Best Reads list! I will publish a longer list in social media posts next week, but these are my top reads from 2022:
If for any reason you need a bit of motivation to read, these books would be a fantastic place to start! Not to mention that a recent Yale study showed that those who read live up to 23 months longer than those who don’t!
There are so many incredible books still in my TBR pile and I can’t wait to have some time off the first week of January to do some serious reading!! What were your favourite reads of 2022??
While I rarely watch TV, I am a huge fan of podcasts and binged several brilliant podcasts this year.
Some of my favourites:
Growth & Development:
How to Fail with Elizabeth Day – “This is a podcast about learning from our mistakes and understanding that why we fail ultimately makes us stronger, because learning how to fail in life actually means learning how to succeed better.”
HBR’s Coaching Real Leaders – “Takes you inside real-life leadership coaching sessions with high performers working to overcome professional challenges and grow as leaders.”
The Story of Woman – one of my new favourites, this is a “podcast exploring what a man-made world looks like when we see it through her eyes. Woman’s perspective is missing from our understanding of the world. This podcast is on a mission to change that. Each episode [Anna Stoecklein, the podcast host] will be speaking with an author about the implications of her absence – how we got here, what still needs to be changed, and how telling her story will improve everyone’s next chapter.”
Bad Blood – about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal.
Father Wants us Dead – a man murders his family in the 70s and manages to elude capture for several decades with a new identity.
Your Own Backyard – a young woman goes missing in California and her case remained unsolved until the podcast resulted in a suspect being accused, tried and convicted for her murder.
I have had so many wonderful interactions with readers of this newsletter over the year and I am so grateful for each and every one of those messages! I appreciate so much hearing that you are enjoying these missives, that you’ve read a book I recommended, that reading this newsletter stimulated a new thought or perspective. That brings me so much joy!
In service of bringing you a newsletter that does create joy, but does not contribute to the increasing overwhelm so many of us have been feeling recently, I did want to check in and ask you directly, what your desired newsletter frequency would be.
This quote from James Clear struck me recently and got me thinking about that:
“One of the common trappings of success is overproducing.
Companies make money and rapidly expand their product line. Authors become popular and churn out books at a faster clip.
Scale can empower, but it can also dilute. Something is lost when quantity is valued over quality.
You have to maintain your standards even when all the forces around you seem to be calling for growth. Push back against more, more, more and remain committed to better, better, better.”
So in the interest of better – what would your preferred newsletter frequency be? Please feel free to drop me an email with your thoughts!
WHAT I’M READING…
A good friend recommended Fredrik Backman’s Anxious People to me ages ago and I finally got around to reading it last week! It was not at all what I had expected given the title. It was a lovely story of a bad situation made wonderful through the kindness and caring of strangers, and I found it beautifully uplifting.
The main character (who is never actually named) is in a dire situation: out of work, unable to make rent, and about to lose their children in a custody battle. Desperate, they decide to rob a bank to get the next month’s rent money. What ensues is an improbable but lovely story of intertwined fates and the unforeseen consequences of our decisions. It’s such a good read. Perfect for the holidays!
Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, happy, relaxing and joyful holiday season! Hope you have some time to reflect and recharge before the New Year.
Be emotional. Stay healthy!
P.S. The following quote is my favourite of 2022. ♥