Saying YES! to Your Passion In 2023

Saying YES! to Your Passion In 2023

Heading into this new year, I’m still wondering how it can be 2023 already!  Although there were the same number of days in 2022 as usual, it seemed to fly by.  After spending the year doing my normal work as an HR exec, coaching clients at work and outside of work, reading books, presenting on panels, and trying to motivate and inspire and grow myself – all while raising a pre-teen and trying to spend time with family & friends and to have fun as much as possible, I thought about what I want to make sure I do in 2023.  What goals do I want to accomplish in 2023?  What haven’t I done in 2022 that I want to make sure I do in 2023?  The list is long!  But I am giving myself some grace, as I think you should if you’re thinking of things you didn’t do in 2022.

It feels a little weird to call it a passion if I haven’t done it in a year.  Or more.  But I do have a passion for writing and I’ve missed it.  And it’s high time to get back to it.  So after many years of speaking and presenting and not blogging, I’m committed to getting back to doing something I love:  writing as a form of inspiring and motivating others.  Writing as a form of expression…as a form of my own growth and development.  Writing because I enjoy it!

I certainly had my fair share of up moments and difficult moments in 2022.  It was a joy to watch my daughter grow as a volleyball player – serving aces and learning how to dig, attack and jump serve.  I completed an executive development program in the spring of 2022.  It felt like such an accomplishment to graduate from the program after spending numerous hours reading, listening, discussing and learning with my NAMIC ELDP colleagues.  The relationships I fostered in that program are so special to me, so that was time well spent for sure.  I went out salsa dancing many nights over the course of the year (I think I improved those skills at least a bit!), took in a concert or two, with Duran Duran at the Hollywood Bowl in the pouring rain standing out as one I’ll never forget, and I tried to keep up with my fitness with healthier eating (at least sometimes) and lots of walks, jogs (a 5k in October!), Zumba with my fave instructors, Pilates, and the occasional tennis outing.  The roughest times involved work, with our company being acquired and the usual integration difficulties and layoffs that follow such a corporate transaction.

There was plenty to write about, but other than sporadic journaling, I didn’t write.  If it’s my passion, then why?  After pondering it, as my husband would tell you I like to do, I think it’s about intentionality.  I wasn’t intentional about carving out time to sit down and write.  Any author will tell you that you need to set aside time and make sure you write during that time.  It’s probably Rule #1.  Heck, I’ve said that to clients in the past.  But if I’m being honest, I ran through 2022 (2021, too) working on lots of different things and running from one project or event to the next without protecting my time to write.  I wasn’t intentional about spending time on writing and I wasn’t good about saying no to requests and opportunities that take me away from writing.  And I think we all have to stop and think about how we’re spending our time and if it’s on things that matter to us, things that we love and are passionate about doing.  Although I spent plenty of time on things I love in 2022 (refer to the paragraph above!), I also spent time on projects and things that I wasn’t necessarily passionate about and didn’t further my goals.  Thinking back, I could have spent that time on things I am passionate about that will help me reach my goals.

So my question for you as you look at your goals for 2023 is:  Are you doing what you WANT to do or what you think you SHOULD do?  Are you saying yes to things because you feel you have to rather than because you generally want to say yes to it?  The next time someone asks you to do something, take a beat, breathe for a moment and consider – do I want to say yes to this?  And if you don’t want to do it and you can say no, do.  My mom used to tell my sisters and me:  “It’s easier to turn a no into a yes than to turn a yes into a no.”  That is so true.  You might be thinking – isn’t that selfish of me to focus just on what I want instead of thinking of my responsibilities, what I should do, what others think, etc.?  My short answer to that is no.  Period.  Full Stop.  But I understand that sentiment because I’ve struggled with prioritizing my own self-care, goals and desires.  And so I’ll say this – if you have a goal you’re trying to accomplish, you’ve got to make some sacrifices to achieve it.  And if those sacrifices are made in service of achieving that goal, perhaps looking at the “no” response through that lens will help you to say it.  Think of it as saying “YES!” to your goal, your plan, your passion, your desire for how you want to spend your time.  If you aren’t used to saying no and putting your goals first, you probably won’t feel comfortable with it.  But that’s where the growth is!  No growth or change is ever comfortable.

Take a good look at how you’re spending your time and whether you’re spending it on people and activities that you love, have a passion for, and want to do.  If not, it’s time to re-prioritize and say “YES!” to what you want.

I’d love to hear from you about what passions you’re picking back up in 2023 and how you’re saying “YES!”

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Nicole Hancock Husband is an attorney and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (“CPCC”). Nicole graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1996 with a Juris Doctorate and from Ohio State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, with a Finance/International Studies double major and Spanish minor.