A new year.  A new you.  Right?  You’ve had time to put away (cough) the Christmas decorations and now it’s all about you, sugar.  How will you make 2018 the best year possible for YOU?  If you dislike the whole “New Year’s Resolution” list like I do, today is your lucky day.  Lots of good stuff to share!

My morning routine includes listening to a podcast.  I have about two dozen loaded onto my Google and it’s a great way for me to learn something new while getting ready in the morning.  If I need motivation for a busy day, I will choose a podcast to help pump me up.  If I want to ponder my next book, there’s a podcast for that, too.   I also listen to them when I am cleaning the house…helps distract me from the chores I dislike the most (can you guess what they are?).  If you are new to podcasts, click here for my starter list.

I have been spending alot of time the last few weeks delving into ways I can spend more time focusing on seeking joy (more on this later).  As a result, I discovered this podcast Call Your Girlfriend.

Call Your Girlfriend is a “podcast for long-distance besties everywhere co-hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, and produced by Gina Delvac. Every week, Aminatou and Ann call each other to discuss the intricacies of pop culture and the latest in politics. Since launching in 2014, we’ve built an audience of hundreds of thousands of listeners per episode.  We highlight women who are agents, creators, movers, and shakers who have smart, interesting things to say. We also care deeply about the lived experiences of non-famous women who are just trying to get through the week. We’re here for every facet of women’s humanity.”

This week’s episode which you can access here is titled “Level up 2018” focused on how to take that new year energy and boost your accountability, activism, emotional health and career goals with advice from some very wise women.  I loved what contributor Sabrina Hersi Issa had to share.  I took notes which can also find here and thought I would share them with you.  I am listing them in bullet form, but I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast to get the full picture of her suggestions:

  • Make space in your life to have time to make your goals happen.  Be a “possibility” model.  Loved this!
  • Every year on her birthday she realized she was turning a year older and worried that she hadn’t met unreasonable expectations she had set for herself the previous year, but did nothing to hold herself accountable for achieving her goals throughout the year.
  • She decided she needed to create a system to keep her accountable and focused.
  • As a result she implemented “Personal Inventory Days.”  She schedules and sets aside a personal inventory day (PID) monthly (hers recurs on the day of her birthday, the 16th of every month).
  • She sets this day up on her Google calendar as a “Monthly Trigger.”
  • She has reflection questions she asks herself each month and comes up with to-dos for that PID.
  • Reflection questions always include:  What did I learn this month? What surprised me, and why? What am I grateful for? Who am I grateful for?
  • On these PIDs, she does things that are related to achieving her goals — like checking her credit report, attending doctor’s appointments, looking over finances, tracks progress against goals, takes stock and reflects.
  • For the gratitude reflection question — she takes this PID to write gratitude notes to people who have made a difference to her that month (love this!)
  • At the end of the year on her birthday, you’ll have lots of data to look at to see where are your gaps between where “I am now and where I want to be in the future.”
  • This plan affords you to set your own priorities.
  • Use the phrasing “I run my own life.”
  • If your dreams are important to you, don’t disrespect them by cramming them into arbitrary New Year’s resolutions or birthday deadlines.
  • Take stock on what you want for YOURSELF.
  • Get really honest with yourself.
  • Be un-apologetically  focused on your needs and write it down.
  • Make a plan — put it some place accessible — like a beautiful journal or notebook you can carry around.
  • You invest in yourself.
  • Gage what you need with where you want to be.
  • Block off the time every month.
  • Half the battle is getting out of your own way (Cue angels singing here!).
  • This process allowed her to see what she was doing out of obligation vs. what she wanted for herself.
  • PIDs free up brain space.
  • Take time, name your goals, plan for personal development, build an infrastructure to make this happen for YOURSELF.
  • You run your life.
  • You get to THRIVE.

Pretty terrific stuff!  My birthday is August 29th, so I know what I will be doing every month on the 29th.  I’ve created a 2018 Finding Joy tab in the menu to save all this goodness so you can have access to resources I find along my journey.  Joie de Vivre!