This is the Too Many Trees newsletter, where I share what I’ve been writing and reading in the realm of leadership and personal development. My executive coaching practice is centered around the idea that we are more effective in moving towards our goals when we become more conscious and intentional in focusing our time and attention, and learn how our unconscious patterns are holding us back. If you know somebody that could benefit from my perspective, please forward this to them or let them know they can set up a free intro chat with me.

What do you want to change in 2024?

January 07, 2024
One of the key ideas from my book is that your life will change when you change your life. If you don't like something in your life, try something different. But if you believe "This is just the way it is", then you will continue replaying the same behaviors and reactions that are getting you your current results.

The new year is an opportunity to reflect on your life and consider what you want to keep from the past year and what you want to change going forward. One way to do that is a continue/stop/start exercise:
  1. Continue: What were the high points of 2023? What do you want to keep doing or do more of?
  2. Start: What do you want to start doing in 2024? What will be different for you if you do that? What is motivating you to start something new?
  3. Stop: To do more of something or to start something new means doing less of something else because there's only so many hours each day. What will you do less of? What are some frustrating or unhelpful activities you could stop doing?
My 2023 Year in Review post shares my reflections, and I'd love to hear yours if you're willing to share.

If you want to do this reflection in a more structured way, I am running a Design Your 2024 class, where we will use my book, You Have A Choice: Beyond Hard Work to Meaningful Impact, as a study guide, working through the book one chapter a week for 8 weeks starting January 17th. This will serve as an accountability group for people to tackle the exercises in each chapter, and provide a chance to have discussions with other like-minded people people on these questions of "What do I want to be different in my life?", "What can I try to experiment with new possibilities?" and "What will I let go of to create the space and time for those explorations?" Please sign up if you're interested!
And now for the normal personal development content…

Book-related content:
  • On Friday, January 12th, I'll be doing a LinkedIn live event with Shyvee Shi as part of her Product Management Learning Series. We will be applying the ideas from the book to several career scenarios that PMs face, and taking questions from the audience. Please join us!
  • I wrote up my experience with writing, editing and publishing the book as several other would-be authors have asked for tips or advice.
  • Please write a review if you want to support my ideas reaching a wider audience, as getting past 100 Amazon reviews will create greater credibility with potential buyers and with the Amazon algorithm.
New podcast appearances:
LinkedIn: These are ideas that have helped my clients (or myself), and that I share via LinkedIn to help a wider audience, and archive here.
Links I wanted to share:
  • This clip from a Taraji Henson interview is heartbreaking. What she said is in this Variety article: "I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do [and] getting paid a fraction of the cost", reflecting on her experience where she has to prove herself and negotiate to get paid for every single project, rather than her reputation speaking for her.
  • Substack has a Nazi problem, by Jonathan Katz in the Atlantic. This was what I expected when I left Substack in April, that the lack of moderation would lead to a cesspool of "free speech" (aka Nazis). I'm a little sad that it happened so quickly, but it felt inevitable. Katz wrote a petition for Substackers to protest Substack's position, but I expect more and more people to abandon Substack for other newsletter providers. I went to Mailpoet, a Wordpress plugin, and I've heard good things about Ghost.
  • The strength of Taylor Swift, by Casey Johnston. I loved this description of how Taylor Swift has evolved, showing videos of her touring ten years ago (when she struggled to get through a 90 minute show because she was suffering from an eating disorder) and on the Eras tour (which she trained for six months for, including strength training and singing the set list on the treadmill, so that she could stay strong for the full three hour show and still be present and goofy with the fans). I'm inspired by her shift from trying to conform to unreasonable beauty standards (like being a size zero) to feeling comfortable with her own size and strength (as a size six).
Thanks for reading! See you in a couple weeks!
Beach vacation on Holbox island, Mexico
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