Disasters can be transformational.
“Anyone who has ever gone through a significant disaster knows it can be life-changing,” as Jody Michael, CEO and founder of Jody Michael Associates points out. This year, she experienced it firsthand.
On January 22, workers who were replacing the roof on her property started a fire. Fortunately, no one was injured, but it left a mess — both literal and metaphorical — that took the better part of the year to clean.
As she has helped thousands of clients do over the years, Jody practiced resilience.
In a message to the JMA team on the afternoon of the fire, Jody said: “Spiritually, fire is both the creator and destroyer of life in the Hindu tradition. It is a powerful cleanser. I say we reframe this event and say, We’re off to a clean start!”
Indeed, we were.
2016 was a year of transformation, growth and inspiration. Throughout the course of the year, we all learned many lessons that we will carry into the New Year.
In this blog post, we share our team’s top insights, resolutions and goals for 2017. We hope some of them will resonate with you, and inspire you to make it one of the best years ever:
- I bring on a lot of my own stress by overcommitting — or, more accurately, by saying “yes” when the better answer is “no.” In 2017, I will begin changing the way I respond to requests, starting with taking a moment to consider the logistics of the request – as well as the potential consequences of a “yes” or “no.” (Nancy Scheel, executive coach)
- Practice mono-tasking, not multi-tasking — it’s just less stressful! (MJ Jones-Williams, office manager)
- Letting go of what’s not working is very freeing. Endings can be beginnings … great beginnings. (Jody Michael, executive coach, CEO and founder of Jody Michael Associates)
- Don’t worry about what others think of you. It’s a waste of time. Concentrate on being authentic and living in alignment with your values and goals. While it can be one of the hardest things to do, it’s also one of the most rewarding. Besides, chances are those same people are busy worrying about what everyone else thinks of them. (Kathy Barry, marketing manager)
- Cultivating an awareness of thoughts and moods before acting allows you to respond with more deliberation, intention and authenticity. (Anna Bray, career and life coach)
- It’s so easy to neglect feeding the soul, but without nourishment, it withers. In 2016, I learned that there are many ways to kindle the spiritual flame, from collecting inspiring quotes to savoring the lyrics of my favorite songs or stopping to smell the roses — literally. (Mardee Handler, director of marketing and communications)
- In the new year, I’m going to be sure to add a little “white space” to my life by resuming a mindfulness practice. (MJ Jones-Williams, office manager)
- I had more “courageous conversations” in 2016 than I have ever had. Learning to identify and say what I truly feel has allowed for richer interactions. I have learned that a lifetime of habits around what is said and what is not said can be shifted … and beautiful connections and conversations allow all relationships to blossom. I am so grateful for this lesson. (Maura Koutoujian, career and life coach)
- Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference … In 2017, I’m going to aim for seven hours of quality sleep every night. (Kelly Obbish, director of operations and strategy)
- Focusing on yourself first and others second is not selfish; it’s the key to wellness. My new “bad back” is forcing me to do now what I knew needed to be done, but delayed. Neglecting to take care of myself ultimately gets in the way of achieving my goals. In 2017, I will remain committed to healthy practices around diet, exercise and curated rest. (Jody Michael, executive coach, CEO and founder of Jody Michael Associates)
- Asking myself “what needs to be enjoyed today?” — in addition to asking “what needs to be done today?”— is an important reminder to live life to its fullest (Nancy Scheel, executive coach)
- Taking a step back — in work, relationships, personal commitments, etc. — can be the bravest, smartest decision you can make. It will feel scary, but it will have an enormous impact on your quality of life. (Kathy Barry, marketing manager)
- In 2017, I plan to bring out my favorite cookbooks and start experimenting in the kitchen again!!! I love to cook! (Maura Koutoujian, career and life coach)
- Curiosity and respect go hand in hand, opening the door to myriad new opportunities for growth, connection and authenticity. (Anna Bray, career and life coach)
- Rushing is counterproductive. While it’s tempting to try a faster route, I’ve found that the time wasted in correcting haste-driven mistakes makes those “shortcuts” far less efficient. (Mardee Handler, director of marketing and communications)
- There is a beauty in creating routines. When something is a routine, you remove the burden of decision (“when should I …?” “how should I …?” or even “should I …?”) In the new year, I’m going to create a morning routine that includes 10 minutes of mindfulness practice each day. That way, I know I’ll do it! (Kelly Obbish, director of operations and strategy)
- Disruption is key to growth. As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that constant innovation based on client feedback is integral to the vitality of my business. (Jody Michael, executive coach CEO and founder of Jody Michael Associates)