As we enter a New Year, some of us are proactively thinking about questions like What should I KEEP doing this year? What should I STOP doing? What should I CONTINUE doing Some of us, on the other hand, are just hoping to survive this next year ahead. 2022 was a tough, straining year for most of us.
How can we thrive more in 2023?
As an executive coach, facilitator and culture change professional, I always find at the beginning of a new year, leaders experience a vast spectrum of feelings from excitement/hope to high anxiety/dread. Where are you at in this spectrum? Wherever you are on this spectrum, here are three leadership focus tools I have found helpful over the years that I use and leverage with clients to help with clarity and calm.
Tool #1: Gratitude
What can you celebrate from 2022?
No matter how great or disastrous your 2022 was, there are always things, people and moments to celebrate and be grateful for. There may also be some “failures” or tough things to be grateful for, too. Robert Emmons, one of the world’s leading scientific experts on gratitude, outlines that gratitude has two key components. “First,” he writes, “it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.” In the second part of gratitude, he explains, “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves – we acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”
I have the daily ritual of capturing five things, people and moments I am grateful for. I find this practice helps immensely to feed a growth mindset and live more in my heart versus in my head.
Practice: Grab a coffee, tea or chosen beverage and carve out 30-60 minutes for this activity. Capture your top ten things/people/moments you are grateful for from 2022. If your list is longer – awesome!
Tip: Take a few moments to really feel into the ten things you are grateful for.. What are you learning about your top ten things from 2022? How can you build on this in 2023? You might find some interesting themes emerge!
Tool #2: A Hooky Headline
What do you want 2023 to represent for you?
For those of you who have worked with me, you will know that I love this tool! “Hooky headlines” can work in multiple contexts: for an email, for a meeting purpose, for a business quarter, for a project or to summarize intentions for the year. What do you want 2023 to represent for you? It could be a single word like: “Thrive”,“Grow” or “Courage”, or it could be a phrase like: “Embrace the Possibilities” (a 2023 headline from one of my friends).
My “hooky headline” for 2023 is “Thriving and Co-creating New Possibilities”. Grounding myself in this 2023 intention will fuel how I show up and what I focus my energy on this year. Many of us are still trying to find our footing after the pandemic pulled the carpet from underneath us, wanting to spend more time on our front foot (thriving and moving forward) instead of being on our back foot (surviving and being reactive). That is why I really connect with the word “Thriving” – for me, our family and our clients. “Co-creating” for me is collaboration on steroids – co-creating with awesome people energizes me! The last part of my “hooky headline”, “New Possibilities”, was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend over the holidays, and I just love that notion and the energy of that phrase.
Practice: Set aside 30 minutes to draft a “hooky headline” for 2023 that is meaningful and inspiring to you. Brainstorm on your own or invite a friend to help you shape it.
Tip: Try to keep your “hooky headline” seven words or less. Headlines longer than that are tougher to remember. You want this to be as sticky as possible!
Tool #3: Your Vital Values
What are your top three vital values for 2023?
One of the best ways to being an authentic leader is living our most vital values. Our values act as a compass when navigating throughout life. They inform our decisions and contribute largely to how we show up as leaders. How clear are you on your most important personal values? If you haven’t already, I invite you to reflect on your most vital values and decide which three best represent your intentions for 2023. Your top three personal values will help you realize your “hooky headline”.
My three non-negotiable vital values for 2023 are: compassion, curiosity and creativity . I believe these values are integral when navigating change. Here is a quote that I think we can all relate to:
Pandemics do not have clean, neat endings. Dealing with so many changes at once was a mental challenge for us all…and the near-end of a pandemic requires an adjustment just like the beginning did.
-Steven Taylor, Professor & Clinical Psychologist at UBC (University of British Columbia)
Compassion for me is deep care for self, others and the world around us. Tuning into this value helps me be more heartful. Compassion is central in any meaningful change. Curiosity is my learning value – it enables me to be open to new things and perspectives. Creativity is my navigator through difficult or challenging times. This value fuels my growth mindset so that I can problem solve more effectively. As a musician, creativity is an integral part of my songwriting. What are your top three personal values for 2023 that can help you realize your 2023 hooky headline?
Practice: Set aside some time to reflect on and identify your vital three personal values that you want to lean into in 2023.
Tip: If you need some guidance in this process, I recommend taking the VIA Character Strengths Survey – it is a complimentary tool that will help you identify your top 24 strengths and values. You can leverage your results to choose your three vital values for 2023.
These three leadership focus tools can help you in your reflection of 2022 and clarify your intentions for 2023. If you find these tools helpful, we encourage you to share these tools with your team and carve time and space to share perspectives and experiences.
Here’s to a healthy and fulfilling 2023 for you all!