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Box of Crayons

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I love this site and the email I got from the today was perfect for Sparkers! The main part of the post was 7 Ways to Make Next Year Better Now, I had to share this great email with all of you!

1. What are the lessons of the year?
This has been a year of "no podium finishes" for me. In 2011 I created End Malaria and the year before that Do More Great Work came out. But this year, there's no big thing to point to and go "Ta Da!" I miss that, so it's useful for me to chew on that a
bit - do I need the applause? What do I think of as success, truly? Am I shallower than I thought (and I already thought I was fairly shallow...).

At the same time, I know we've been working a lot more behind the scenes at Box of Crayons, building our Program Faculty and changing the way our teams work. Now it's all run by The VPoEE and my role has become much more focused. On my good days I enjoy the freedom that brings. On my bad days, I whine about my shrinking sandbox. So there's another lesson there for me about the "prizes and punishments" of saying No so you can say Yes.

Here's another lesson I'm still learning: the Smart-Ass Price. With some valued clients I made a quick quip in the quest to be funny and just hurt feelings. It's a pattern - always go for the easy laugh - and it's one I'd like to break. (I'm finding the daily EnneaThought a useful prompt on this.)
2. What might be the Great Work Project?
You probably already know where I stand on this one. Here it is in
three bullet points:
We want to do more Great Work - but the Good Work tends to
overwhelm us. There's always more Good Work to do.
Creating a Great Work Project creates the focus and courage and resilience to get Great Work done
Like I say, there's no need to commit to anything right away. I'm at the stage of thinking of some key themes for 2013. One of 2012's was "ship shape" and that's helped us get things tidied up and set up behind the scenes here.

I think one of 2013's will be "invitation to dance" (it was originally "engagement" but that's a bit ... tired). I'm already thinking of new, smart and funky ways to have people come and play with the content we're creating here.

Keep it light and loose as you reflect on this. Unless of course you already know, in which case stop waiting for 2013 and just start doing something!
3. What's my deep practice?
I've been reading a lot on habits and practice. Duhigg's The Power of Habit, Coyle's The Little Book of Talent, and Lemov's Practice Perfect.

One of the key things I've learned is the value of mindful, concentrated practice. Not just jumping through the hoops and hoping that distracted repetition somehow matters. But giving it your best shot and showing up fully to the work you're doing.

I've got a list of habits I'd like to start. Stretching - maybe 'hot yoga'. Meditation - maybe my friend Eric's Meditation Habit course. Maybe calling a friend more regularly. Maybe upping the game on my bike.

If there's one thing (and there's not just one thing) I've learned from Leo's Zen Habit's blog, it's pick one habit to transform at a time. Trying to do all of these at once will just result in overwhelm, disillusion and failure. I'm not sure where to go yet. I will before the year's end.
4. What relationship will I transform?
I wonder, if you collected all the final words from people on their death beds, how many would focus on the people in their lives. Say, versus the state of their in-box or some other quotidian worry.

My experience is that it is so, so easy to fall into patterns of ... disregard with those who matter. You go through the motions. Or you assume all's fine and well and good.

The quality of your relationships has a direct bearing on your quality of life and your happiness. If there was one person to start with, that you'd show up differently with in 2013, who would that be?
In 365+ some days ...
You'll be looking back on 2013, another year older, whether or not you do anything differently. So you may as well try something out.
Don't you agree?

Don't Take My Word For It
Smart people thinking out loud about habits and change .
Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.
Edith Wharton, writer

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you were heading.
Lao Tzu, philosopher

Habits are safer than rules; you don't have to watch them. And you don't have to keep them either. They keep you.
Frank Crane, columnist

Change in all things is sweet.
Aristotle, philosopher

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
Timothy Leary, psychologis
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