What a month you are January, full of opportunity and hope. Kind of makes me feel like playing “Here Comes the Sun” by Nina Simone. So how does one prepare to make the most of the day, the month, the year ahead? I take it head on.
1. Two books that stood out from my holiday reading list (yes it was decidedly short on fiction, but this is how I learn);
“Unleashing the Power of the Female Brain” by Dr. Daniel Amen – While incredibly patronizing, not even including the pink book jacket, there is some good information on our brains and how to get the best out of them; understanding, appreciating and leveraging our assets is one of the philosophies I believe in most when it comes to women advancing in the world. This book shares the thread I was looking for that “women’s brains have five special strengths: intuition, empathy, collaboration, self-control, and a little worry.” I took stock over the past year, and felt some of these I could honestly say were “strengths overused” so, I’m committed this year to living as I call it, The Good Life. Trusting myself to make smart decisions, not flying by the seat of pants of course, but allowing for reward, rest, care, depth, and from there I can see their result; peace and joy. Oh, and building up my “brain reserve” as Amen calls it for an awesome year where I can handle anything I’m dealt.
“Dance of Anger” by Harriet Lerner – I wish I’d read this a decade ago. If there are any recurring conversations that you wish to spin out of, read this. It’s that simple.
2. The 2015 Desire map day planner by Danielle Laporte (Everyone at Women of Influence got one this year!). This inspired me a lot about the hard work done in 2014 and why we do it.
“We’ve been on an evolutionary journey over the past few years – that only takes place every fifty years or so. This is essentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it finishes up in March. Once the last square of Uranus-Pluto takes place in March 2015, we will have defined the creative changes needed in our leadership and our structures. After these structures are fully defined, we’re ready to build the next part of our lives.” (Anne Ortelee)
3. Nespresso maker to keep me going despite the slower pace of the world during the holidays and paired with “Missoni for Target” espresso cups (ok, I was a lot late to that party, but I got on it – thanks ebay!)
4. Spotify to keep my brain nourished while I work: Favourite playlists are in Focus, particularly Peaceful Piano, when I’m getting creative about work.
5. A Treadmill! That’s right, I’ve been a runner all my life and finally felt like I needed an option for cold winter nights when my kid is sleeping, so I rented one from Easy Fitness. I know running clears my mind and makes me feel good. Now I have no excuse. No nanny? No problem.
6. Yoga at home – as always with the Yoga Glo app, but I stepped it up this holiday with one of the city’s best instructors coming right into my living room! Thanks to Cecily Milne for giving my vision of scorpion a base to work from. This pose is in my future, I can feel it.
7. Ski Pass – Since skiing is top of my list for living well, I decided to pull the trigger and invest in a positive family activity for a lifetime to come. Sundays, you will find me and my little man in “Snow Bears” lessons rain or shine with grins ear to ear.
8. Henri Bendel candle in Fig – Whoever said that lighting a candle is a good routine to prevent procrastinating was right. If that candle’s burning, I am focusing and it also feels like a nice treat.
9. Last but absolutely essential: Excel spreadsheets on Onedrive – who can strategize without this? I write, plan and fine tune my Key Initiatives by quarter and by pillar of business for the year ahead, that, when achieved, keep me on track to hitting my 5 year plan, just a worksheet away so I can keep my eyes on the long term vision. Then we review the plan weekly with our Senior Team to ensure we are owning it.
This is our year! Join us and get going with me and the Women of Influence community. Let’s do this.
Ps – If you’re staring at this list feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start to make this your year, then this is the PERFECT time to sign up for the only workshop I lead, born and bred out of how I figured out I am passionate about influencing women; my FIND YOUR PASSION workshop is on January 20th in Toronto at the Spoke Club. Do it for you.