EKL’s Resolutions for 2015

1995 was a pretty darned good year too LOL!

1995 was a pretty darned good year too LOL!

Emily’s 2015 Resolutions

With all of my 2015 projects on the table, it’s going to be an awesome year, but it’s going to require some discipline in order to succeed on all fronts. These are the values that will drive my BEST YEAR YET:

  • Use less paper products. Last year, I vowed to use less plastic. It has been trickier than I expected, and required an ongoing investment in glass, silicone and metal for things like water bottles, food storage, utensils for cooking and eating, and using reusable bags. This year, I have dreams of soft cotton embroidered handkerchiefs, linen tea towels, natural fibers abounding in eco-friendly goodness. We want to eliminate baby wipes, paper towels, tissues, and we are still in discussion about toilet paper. I mean hey, we are already doing cloth diapers, it can’t be much worse than that…can it?
  • Declutter. We had a plan in 2014 that didn’t last all year. The plan was to declutter one item a day for a year – and supercharge our efforts with 7 items a day in the month of May – but…we pretty much only managed to keep it up until mid-May. Don’t get me wrong, we got rid of a TON of stuff, and learned some valuable lessons while doing it, but it’s time to get back at it! With Christmas behind us, we are going to start with the rule of “one new thing in, one old thing out”. It’s eye for an eye around here, and only the things that actively contribute to a better life will make the cut!
  • Get wicked organized. Not knowing where things are, stuff laying around, half-completed projects, these things are all sapping my time and energy out of me, as well as contributing to an unhealthy level of latent stress. In addition to decluttering (i.e. less stuff to organize), I am going to get some serious order in the stuff I do have.
  • Make health a mission. Stereotypical, I know, but after two back-to-back pregnancies, my body has taken a beating. I want to feel powerful again! On the agenda are homemade whole foods, biking to work, yoga, and…dare I say it…sleep?

What other things should SUPER BUSY PEOPLE have as resolutions to keep their year humming along?

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Personal and Professional Development vs. Self-Acceptance: Who wins here?

I am told this is my “intense” look. I guess I was a little intense on my wedding day.

I can get a bit intense, or so I’m told.  A cherished colleague of mine recently said to me, “Dang, girl, what are you trying to prove and to whom!?”  Whatever could she be referring to?

I am a fervent believer in personal and professional development.  To define terms here, I will be considering them as one in the same.  When it comes to EKL, what you see is what you get – at both the board room table and the kitchen table.  Personal/professional development is identifying development areas, targeting actions to increase knowledge or experience in those areas – basically, planning your awesomeness.  Raise your hand if you have a 5-year plan!  Raise it again if you also have a personal marketing plan, short and long-term action plans, complete with key performance indicators!  Oh, that’s just me?  Yeah, I guess I am a bit intense.  What am I trying to prove?

My same dear colleague suggested that I accept myself for who I am, where I am in life, and let things happen naturally.  The Self-Acceptance Hippie inside me heaved a huge sigh of relief, while the Self-Improvement Junkie got all indignant.  The Hippie was thinking, phew!  I can just be myself and that’s okay?  The Junkie hollered, no!  That’s not okay!  You must strive for perfection!

Striking a balance between Self-Improvement and Self-Acceptance – that’s a humdinger for us gen-yers!

I am a product of our times, so what do I do?  I decide that 90 minutes of hot yoga in a 40°C room with the uber-tough prof was just the place to explore this notion.

Dripping with sweat and looking like the literal definition of a hot mess, I revel in pushing my limits, while at the same time observing them without judgement.  One of my favourite postures is Natarajasana (dancing shiva pose).  Taking root into the ground on one leg, you equally reach to the sky with your hand and stretch upwards with the opposite leg.  Opening, lengthening, balancing, grounding and floating, this pose builds determination and focus.  I observe, this is where I am today.  I stretch, the good kind that lengthens and builds, not injures.  I am present.

Young women, learn to practice your career the way you practice yoga.

You may think this sounds like the Hippie talking, but hear me out.  The women who blazed trails before us left us with a resounding message: You have to work harder to get less.  I am not saying whether this is right or wrong, but it was definitely a notion that I internalized at a very young age.  Be not just ultra-educated, but have top grades.  In fact, be the best at everything – the world is your oyster and if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.  And my generation dreams larger than life.

Stretching without injury

With your eyes on the prize, it is hard to remember to take stock of everything that has to happen between point A and point B.  Keep your eyes on the prize, but develop strategies to get there that include bite-sized action plans.  Set intermediate, short and even super short mini-term goals (this really helps satisfy our instant-gratification nature – try it, you’ll love it!).  One of the major advantages as well is being able to refine your strategies and objectives in mid-climb!  But above all, don’t barrel headlong towards your long-term goals with tunnel-vision…that’s just asking for a burn-out by the time you hit 30!

Observing without judgement

Know yourself.  Be present enough to be able to do a personal inventory, but be kind and generous enough to do it without judgement or accusation.  Think of this exercise as measuring your potential!  There are lots of skills you may not have yet, but you are brilliant and capable and motivated – you will have them one day with your bite-sized action plan.  No need to beat yourself up for not knowing something that you haven’t gone out and learned yet!

Take root with energy equal to that with which you reach for the sky

‘Nuff said.  Namaste!

This is not me. Let’s just say this is not where I am at yet…one day!