New year, new goals. I've contributed a column on goal setting and made room for more meaningful work.
How has your 2020 been so far? Did you kick it off with a bang? Or have you been exhausted from all the year-end partying, or battling the flu? However you started off, it’s all good. Every day is a fresh start.
New Year greetings from my family
Here’s the holiday card we managed to make, but barely sent out. I’m almost always late and disorganized about holiday cards, but I decided not to stress about it this past year. Laugh all you want (and many of you do, TO my face! 😉) but I love having a new card each year for my family scrapbook. I also love having our own card to send back for all the beautiful cards we receive. So, I will keep making them and sending them out as I please.
What do you no longer tolerate?
Last month, I included a list of year-end review questions (now included in this LinkedIn piece), as well as 2020 preview questions. Thank you for all your positive responses. I think I’ll create more tools like that list in the future and format them in a way that is easier to share.
The only person in my family who indulges my requests for such reflection is my son. I made a shorter version for him to answer. One powerful question I meant to take out for the kid version, but left in by mistake was: “What do you no longer tolerate?” Frankly, I didn’t think he would get it. I laughed out loud when I read his answer: “I no longer tolerate my little sister being annoying.”
What do YOU no longer tolerate?
You can also read the full list of questions in my December Notes.
WID Wisdom Column and Habits
WID (Women In Development) invited me to contribute to its first “Wisdom” column of 2020 on goal setting. WID is a professional membership organization serving women working in fundraising. I've had many opportunities to work with the leaders of this organization over the years, and they do great work for their members. I especially enjoyed facilitating their expert panel discussion on #MeToo issues in fundraising.
Women in Development
Writing this piece got me interested in how we could work to meet the goals we set throughout the year, and then I happened to listen to an episode of the podcast Hidden Brain called “Creatures of Habit,” in which psychologist Wendy Wood talks about how to build good habits and break bad ones. The main takeaway for me is that willpower, while admirable, is not a very effective tool for making changes that last. This led me to re-read the book, The Power of Habit, which I wrote about in my February 2018 Notes.
Coincidentally, I have a health coach friend who has gotten me curious about how eating habits are formed and maintained. For the first time in my life, I’m trying 21 days without alcohol, gluten and dairy (with a couple of cheat meals built in for big dinners my family is hosting this month) to see what kind of impact it has on how I feel. As someone who prides herself on never having been on a “diet,” and enjoys saying “Oh, I eat EVERYTHING,” avoiding entire categories of food has been a super interesting experience.
For the first time, I really have to stop and think before I eat something. I already knew I drink too much wine and it’s been nice to know it’s easier for me to just not drink it at all, rather than deciding on how much to have on a case-by-case basis. However, I didn’t realize how much bread and other baked goods I eat daily, literally out of habit. Now I can see that it’s a loop I fell into, and now that I’ve broken it, I can choose to tweak or reset my regular eating patterns.
In my effort to make more space for the work I enjoy and want more of, I have said goodbye to several partners and client organizations over the last few months. I’ve also realized I’m not good at (nor enjoy doing) consulting work, so I’m no longer taking on those gigs. I plan to focus on coaching and facilitating, leaving some open space for new, inspiring work that I know will pop up throughout the year.
One stream of work I’m making more room for in 2020 is the group coaching work I do with Chief. Chief is a private club for women leaders that aims to bring gender parity to the C-Suite as quickly as possible. I’ve learned so much from working with two groups of women leaders by facilitating their ongoing leadership development work and discussions. The company is growing rapidly and so far, seems to be providing ample support for the growing cadre of members and coaches. I’m inspired by the two millennial, women CEOs and their nearly flawless execution of their vision. I mean, both of them just had their first babies, on top of everything. The company just purchased a 20,000-square-foot Flatiron building that occupies five stories and will serve as its flagship in Manhattan (Whoa!) to continue to serve its growing membership. They’re also getting ready to open their L.A. location this year. Read this Fast Company article that talks about the L.A. expansion.
Chief Co-Founders Carolyn Childers andLindsay Kaplan (Photo Courtesy of Chief)
Another ongoing piece of work I love is facilitating monthly strategic discussions among the senior leaders of one client organization. I love having the context and history of their work as I support them, and seeing the progress this team is making.
I have also enjoyed supporting a coaching client think through her potential business ideas by facilitating a brainstorming session with her friend and advisor. Both participants found it insightful, fun and energizing. I felt the same way. I would love to do more of that!
And of course, my core focus is individual coaching work. One new thing is that my clientele is no longer just social impact leaders. My clients include an amazing mix of artists, educators, finance and tech executives, physicians and entrepreneurs, to name a few. I really enjoy supporting and learning from such a diversity of people. Plus, it's always meaningful to identify common patterns that most who are aiming to work better and live fuller lives share.
What do you want more of? And what do you plan to do differently in 2020?