Setting an intention for 2023
December 31, 2022
This is the Too Many Trees newsletter, where I share what I’ve been writing and reading in the realm of leadership and personal development. My executive coaching practice is centered around the idea that we are more effective in moving towards our goals when we become more conscious and intentional in focusing our time and attention, and learn how our unconscious patterns are holding us back. If you know somebody that could benefit from my perspective, please forward this to them or let them know they can set up a free intro chat with me.
The end of the year is a time for reflection about the previous year, and an opportunity to set intentions for the upcoming year. Given the unpredictability of the world, I rarely set goals these days; instead I choose an intention that guides my day-to-day actions, as my actions are the only things I actually control.
In my 2022 Year in Review post, I not only take a look back at my highlights from 2022, I share my continued intention to connect with courage and vulnerability:
I tend to think of myself as special and separate, so I miss opportunities to connect because I isolate myself, thinking I don’t belong. Yet when I actually open up and make an effort, I can generally find some form of connection. Biasing myself towards connection will mean letting go of my default assumption that connection isn’t possible, and instead looking for points of commonality; in other words, I plan to retrain my brain to look for connection, rather than difference.
Connection also works as a theme across my priority areas of family, coaching, citizenship, and even self-care, as I can connect vulnerably with myself. Rather than treat myself like an unbreakable superhero who needs nothing and can handle everything alone, I intend to acknowledge my needs, and share more of my tender, fragile self with others by courageously asking for help. Even though I might get rejected, the opportunity for increased connection is worth that risk; thinking of myself as special and different only creates an excuse to shut down and withdraw. Instead, I am inspired by Radical Friendship’s prescription to not look down on others, and recognize that we are all connected via our common humanity.
I started practicing these ideas in 2022, and will keep practicing connection in 2023 in a variety of ways: sharing when I am feeling overwhelmed rather than grinding through, working with my family on navigating collective issues rather than trying to solve them myself, prioritizing time with friends and family, connecting more as a citizen of my communities, and most importantly, reaching out more to others. I’ve been waiting and hoping for others to initiate connection with me, both in my personal life and as a coach; in 2023, I intend to proactively reach out to people to connect each week. As I often tell my son, the way to get better at something is to practice, so I’ll keep practicing connection.
What are your highlights of 2022? Where do you intend to consciously focus to create new behaviors in 2023? I’d love to hear from you if you’re willing to share.
And now for the normal personal development content…
LinkedIn: I haven’t shared anything on LinkedIn the last couple weeks because I’ve been on vacation. I’ll start again next week.
Articles and resources I’ve found interesting:
Self-Aware Leadership, an interview with Shalini Verma. I appreciated this podcast interview with a Google director on how she transformed herself and her leadership by tuning more into her body and its embodied wisdom.
My friend Seppo Helava will be teaching a 1 hour resume workshop on January 5th at noon Pacific time. He’s helped dozens of people with their resumes over the past few years, and this is a summary of what he has learned that is effective to get interviews.
Thanks for reading! See you in a couple weeks!