Whoa, are we really in the second half of December? Really?
For the last few days, every other email in my inbox is kindly suggesting “last minute” gift ideas to “finish up” my holiday shopping. I am nowhere near being ready for the holidays, so I’m taking deep breaths and trying not to freak out. My loved ones know that gift-giving is not my love language, right? It’s been quite a month and quite a year. Again, deep breath.
Our 2023 New Years card
Photo credit: Chong Oh
As I close out this very hybrid, very full year, I’m trying to slow down and savor this quote from Frank Blake, a gentleman who used to run The Home Depot: “What you appreciate, appreciates.” I hope you have the chance to do the same, remembering and celebrating what you loved about this year. 
This month, I gave my very first talk at a remote holiday party. The topic was reflecting on 2022 and thinking about 2023. I put on my dangliest pair of earrings and brought both a mug of tea and a glass of sparkling wine (I didn’t know what kind of party this was...), and joked that now I’m available for bar mitzvahs and weddings too. Haha. I thought I would share a couple of ideas I presented to the lovely group of members from Women in Development.
Reflection Questions

As a new year approaches, it is always a great idea to sit down and reflect on the good and the bad of the past year. If we get through something challenging or exciting and then skip celebrating our accomplishments and reflecting on our mistakes, it's like we took a difficult college-level course, did all the work, and didn’t get any credit for it. Please feel free to sit down with your favorite notebook or device to write out your answers to the following questions. Then ask, what are some themes? Some insights? How will you integrate these takeaways to evolve and inform the coming year?
  • What are you proud of?
  • What went well?
  • What was hard?
  • What do you regret?
  • What did you learn?
  • What did you gain?
  • Who/what helped you? Gave you energy?
  • Who/what depleted you? Be honest.
  • What do you want more of? What do you want less of?
  • What do you need?
  • What do you want to stop?
  • What do you want to start?
+/ - analysis 
+/- analysis worksheet
I learned this idea from The Tim Ferriss Show podcast and I love it. 
  • Draw two columns like the image above. + is for the people, activities, commitments, and projects that have brought a positive outcome that is important to you and energizing for you. - is the opposite. Who/what depleted you most this year?
  • Go through each day and week of your calendar, and place everything in one or the other category.
  • When you are done, look through the two categories and notice themes and patterns.
  • Now that you have your insights and takeaways, what will you do about it?
    • For things you want more of, go into your 2023 calendar and block out time for those “appointments.” Make a list of people you want to see and things you want to do and spend some time planning for them.
    • For things you want less of, what can you shed? If you cannot shed them short term, what can you do now to start to make a change long term? If you cannot stop (what if what depletes you most is parenting, for example!), what can you shift? What do you need? Who can help you?
Once you’ve given 2022 the respect it deserves, have fun thinking about 2023! Here are just a few questions to get you started.
  • Given your 2022 reflections, what advice would you give yourself for 2023?
  • At the end of 2023, what would you like to be most proud of? What is your headline for 2023?
  • What actions, priorities, and mindset shifts do you need to put in place to get you there?
  • Who or what (tools, systems, etc) can help you?
Hard Fork
For the last couple of years, I’ve been using audio media, like podcasts and audiobooks, a lot more than print or screen media to take in news and learn new things. This is both to maximize my commute and cooking time, and also to save my aging eyes. I know, I hear you. It’s hard to stay focused with audio if you are not used to it, but like everything else, it takes practice. Over the years, I’ve been able to train my ears to actually absorb what I’m hearing, and that’s really helped me to learn more.
Hard Fork
One new podcast I added to my rotation recently is Hard Fork, "a weekly look at the future that’s already here," co-hosted by tech journalists Kevin Roose and Casey Newton. This latest tech podcast from The New York Times has helped me make sense of the dizzying developments in the tech sector, including the unraveling of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX and the latest with Elon Musk and Twitter.
One recent episode on Hard Fork that made me pause was: “Can ChatGPT Make This Podcast?” Since then, I’ve been seeing more news stories on it, including an episode on The Daily called: “Did Artificial Intelligence Just Get Too Smart?” If you would rather read about this, you can check out: “The Brilliance and Weirdness of ChatGPT,” also written by Kevin Roose.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence system that is very good at predicting what words might come next in a sentence or conversation. It can also write text that sounds like a person wrote it and can also build on its answers to improve them in the same conversation. But we don’t quite know all the inner workings of why or how it’s working, which is scary. It can also generate wrong answers because it’s not fact-checked, and it can be misused by those with bad intentions that might figure out workarounds of its safety features.

Here are some amusing examples of commands it can currently answer for free, just in seconds.  
  • What is quantum theory? Rewrite it for a 6-year-old. Rewrite it for a 12-year-old.
  • Talking points in five bullets for breaking up with a boyfriend.
  • Write a Seinfeld episode with the characters from the Sopranos.
  • Write a Python script to automate a certain (insert what you need here) business function.
As I watch my first Roomba (best purchase of this year!) going back and forth cleaning the house, I try to think of what jobs this ChatGPT will take away and what awesome gifts and terrible consequences it might also bring us.
Exhalation: Stories
By: Ted Chiang
For some interesting hypothetical situations of how humans may interact with technology in the not-so-distant future, for better or worse, I recommend these thought-provoking works of art created by 100% humans.
  • Snow Crash, a 1992 novel by Neil Stephenson about the metaverse. (I’m still reading this, so don’t tell me how it ends!)
  • Exhalation: Stories, a 2019 collection of short stories by Ted Chiang
  • Her, a 2013 film by Spike Jonze
  • Ex Machina, a 2014 film by Alex Garland
As we begin to prepare for the new year, I am grateful for all of you (especially those of you who got to the very end of this message!)  Borrowing the eloquent words of Suleika Jaouad, a beautiful human, 
To a year that has never been…
Happy 2023!
Resources: For further reading, listening, and watching
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Copyright © Caroline Kim Oh - CKO Coaching and Consulting LLC - All rights reserved.

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