My word for 2022 — part 2
There’s a precursor to this post which talks about why I chose the word consolidate and what it means to me.
I’m keen to work on my writing craft and therefore it felt appropriate to break this topic down into a two part blog. This second instalment goes into some more detail around the plans I have to consolidate a number of areas and activities over the year.
Using the wheel of life to frame my thinking.
As a coach, coachee and coaching trainer, over the last 2 years I’ve come to really value the wheel of life tool as a way to get a holistic reality check on how your life is looking. I can honestly say the last 2 years I’ve over-weighted my life into the business & career area and I’ve had to make sacrifices around the amount of time I’ve had to see family, friends and enjoy my other hobbies. The only good thing for me to come from the pandemic was that as I was studying I didn’t miss out on socialising given the restrictions — I digress! The next section will call out a couple of consolidating activities I plan to do around the wheel of life areas.
My areas of focus in priority order
Health ( Physical and mental)
I’m starting with health as without health our overall quality of life is impacted.
- Meal planning — I love to cook and it helps me to unwind at the end of the day ( so this one doubles up with fun & recreation). Hello Fresh saved my ass in 2021. However 2022 is the year I’m consolidating my meal planning and prep approach. There could be a blog in this alone as I’m trying out a few things already. MealLime and cookbook to help me digitally meal-plan and collate my ingredients lists. Which also saves on food waste and therefore helping the planet. I mean I’m sold on this plan already!
- Mindfulness practice — I’ve previously done a 365 meditation challenge back in 2017 — when I had time! (Mmm there’s a theme) and so 2022 is the year to consolidate my mindfulness practice and find a pattern that works for me. I get easily distracted at work contesting switching a lot! so my mindfulness is focussed more on workplace self-awareness. I’m trying 3–5 mins a day before starting work to get me started.
For those of you who know me, my husband Vikas is my love, and of course a huge part of love relates to your partner, but also I’ve increasingly come to learn that self-love comes first.
- Self-love & compassion — one area I’m consolidating follows on from some work I started last year after I had some counselling ( see previous blog on talking about this). My relentless focus on my business and career goals had led to a strong inner critic, which was really getting me down and in my way! So 2022 is about working on my inner champion and hushing my inner critic.
- Adventures with my husband — linking into fun & recreation this year ( touch wood with covid travel restrictions) we can explore a little more. We love travelling and so we’re hatching some plans to do more of what we love in 2022 ❤
Family and friends
I think this is an area that we can relate to, as 2022 feels like the year of getting to spend more quality time in person f2f time with our nearest and dearest. So I look forward to seeing you my dear family and friends ( if you’re reading this :D )
My financial future health is a priority area for consolidation this year. I’ve been putting off two of these key consolidation tasks for a long time.
- Save for a house — The time has come to get a garden. We need a garden so we can have a dog! Of course it makes logical sense :) There’s some extra cash I want in the bank to pay for solicitors fees, house moving costs and some extra furniture we’ll need. So time to get saving!
- Create a joint will — After 7 years of marriage we’ve still not personalised our wishes. Of course there are legal rights when you’re married but as we don’t intend to have children which I’ve talked about previously, conversations around what we want to happen to our possessions and the legacy we want to leave need to be properly considered. Connected to this I’m really interested in legacy, as we all need to be adults and lean into difficult conversations surrounding death & the impact we want to leave in the world.
- Merge all my previous pensions into one pot — this is a seriously grown up consolidation task! Working through pension paperwork from numerous jobs and working with an IFA to work out what on earth I need to do to get all my other pensions into one location. Thinking about my financial future I need to get my house in order!
Fun and recreation
This one overlaps with family and friends, so outside of the obvious fun to be had in life ( which is most certainly not about consolidated fun) there are a few recreational hobbies I’d like to focus on consolidating this year.
- Language learning Spanish & Hindi — for those who might not know I studied Spanish at Uni and so until about 10 years ago I was fluent in Spanish after living in Spain for 18 months. A key learning about myself in 2021 was that learning is a core value of mine. And I can’t keep channeling my love of learning into formal degree level qualifications! So, I realised I can continue to fuel my love of learning and communication by consolidating my Spanish. Alongside this, I’ve always wanted to learn a language with a different alphabet to the European languages and so I’m 40+ days into learning Hindi on DuoLingo and loving it!
- Gardening — As we plan to move house and get a larger garden for now I plan to work with what I’ve got on the terrace and revive things that look dead from the autumn/winter. Any tips here gratefully received.
As mentioned as learning is a core value of mine I will always be passionate about personal development. A lot of my personal development to date has come from my involvement with JCI network and while I’ll still be involved my areas of consolidation this year are more personal.
- My UpFront journey — After graduating from Bond 4 in July. I am continuing to work on developing my understanding of what it means to be a feminist and part of the UpFront global bond — there’s more to explore and unpack here connected to self-love, authenticity and community.
- Blog writing — I plan to consolidate my newly established reading and writing practice. After attending UpFront I realised I wanted to write more — but how to find the time! I had adjusted my working pattern to help with MBA part-time studies and so after submitting my dissertation in May I adjusted my working hours to give me 1.5 hours a week to actively work on my personal writing. I wouldn’t have written his very blog if it wasn’t for this.
- Reading practice — This is something I made the time for when doing my MBA and am working on how I create space and time both in and outside of work to read more. In particular taking the time to read more ThoughtEconomics articles — Not biased to read more of my husband’s work at all :)
Business and career
I’ve put this second to last intentionally, as I’ve noted earlier on in this blog ‘in the last 2 years I’ve over-weighted my life into the business & career area and I’ve had to make sacrifices around the amount of time I’ve had to see family and friends’ . So I’m being intentional about prioritising myself, my family, friends and life above work.
I actually chose to stop writing this at 5.30pm on a Friday as I needed to prioritize spending the evening with Vikas and sorting out a meal plan for the next week.
Publish outstanding blog topics
There are a number of areas in relation to my professional career and interests I will consolidate in 2022. As part of a blog I published back in July I outlined a number of topics I’d like to write about. I covered a few of these over 2021 but still have more to work through.
- Post MBA reflections: the merits of executive education
- Being a Trustee at 33:why we need more young professionals on boards
- The future of executive education:life-long leadership learning
- CX (Customer Experience) secondment reflections
- There are a few other experiences as well from 2021 I’m keen to share as well
Recognise my achievements
- MBA Graduation ceremony — On Thursday 13 January 2022 I will graduate from MMU with a MBA distinction. This will be a milestone day in my life. Given its significance I’m writing some reflections on what this graduation means to me. Though one thing I will be doing is creating a graduation photo wall of my achievement to remind myself of the power of hard work and determination.
Build on my passion for sustainability
- Sustainable business community networks — throughout my life I’ve gone through periods of connecting more deeply with my love of our planet. I studied environmental politics in my masters, supported a local community apple juice project, stood for the Green Party as a parliamentary candidate back in 2017 and most recently my MBA dissertation looked at the role of CSR in retail. So building on my passions, interest and MBA research I’m keen to consolidate my connections with a number of sustainability networks such as Better Business Network, Co-op’s new sustainability CoP and run a sustainability themed event with JCI Manchester.
Contribution to society
While this is listed last, impact is something I often think about and means a lot to me so is always a consideration. In my mind the culmination of a number of these activities will lead to me being an active citizen and continue to make a difference.
A few areas where I’m keen to consolidate my focus and passions around are the following
- Women in living legacies ( WILLs) — more to come on this, I’m interested in the idea of the legacy we live in our lifetime as women ( beyond children as a legacy) is a topic I’m keen to work through.
- Environment and climate change — connected to the above business section sustainability is intersectional across all the areas of our lives and so I’m excited to see how my environmental interest coupled with these areas can lead to some interesting opportunities to make a change.
- Speaking up — connected to my experiences with UpFront I’m working on learning how best to use my voice and speak up on the issues that matter to me.
Thanks for reading this far! I hope you’ve enjoyed this two part series. I’d love to know what has resonated with you, what you’d like to hear more about. I’m really open to exploring how I can connect with others on these topic areas and share my experiences of working through these areas this year.
So keep an eye out for more on these issues over 2022! And if you don’t see anything more from me then feel free to ask me what’s stopping me.