TBU #21 February is the new January
[00:00:00] Shelley: Hello and welcome to season two of Two Booked Up. Now if you're like me and you're all like, what? How is it February already? Then this episode is for you. Or if you just feel like you somehow got behind on all the new year to-dos and you could do with a bit of a fresh start, then welcome. This is your episode.
[00:00:24] Rowena: Or even your first start! Shelley, I've started to say that February is Mom's New Year, especially for those of us in the Southern hemisphere where we've had our long summer holidays and the kids are only just getting back to school at this point.
[00:00:41] Shelley: I know it's like February is the new January. There we go. We just made it official. If you ever needed permission for a restart of the year, you've got it right here. So on today's episode, we're gonna talk about our words for the year since it's Happy New Year, and what those words mean for us for this podcast and for our reading lives. Besides doing this podcast together, Rowena and I are also accountability buddies, and we've been choosing words what, for at least the past four years, maybe more. Hey, is it Ro?
[00:01:20] Rowena: Yep. I'd say probably about that long, maybe even longer, but I also really recommend the guiding word approach, or in my case, maybe a phrase. I've seen it help so many of the people that I've coached over the years. So stay tuned. We're aiming to send you off with a few New Year's Day fresh start energy vibes.
And of course, we might also throw in a few good book recommendations as well.
[00:01:44] Shelley: This is the Two Booked Up podcast where we talk about books,
[00:01:55] Rowena: The books that are challenging us to live more intentional lives
[00:01:59] Shelley: the books that are equipping us on our business and professional journeys.
[00:02:04] Rowena: and the books that delight and bring us joy.
[00:02:07] Shelley: If you want to live life with more intention and if you want to be doing work that brings you joy, Then come and join the bookish conversation with me, Shelley Tonkin Smith.
[00:02:18] Rowena: And me Rowena Mabbott here on Two Booked Up.
[00:02:22] Shelley: Okay, so let's just kick off this episode with talking about the idea of a word of the year, and why should you set a word of the year? What's the thinking behind this? So really what a word of the year is, is choosing a guiding word that will really be like a beacon and like this milestone that you can kind of work towards during the year.
I, I kind of picture it as like a bit of a magnet that's like gathering all the different little iron filings of, of the year and all the different little pieces of what's happening in your life and guiding it towards a particular intentional goal. And I really like the idea of setting a guiding word for the year because for me as a bit of a rebel, I'm sometimes a little bit turned off by the expectations surrounding setting goals or setting New Year's resolutions.
And I find that by setting a word of the year, it just gives me this creative spin. I feel like I can be a bit more creative about a word of the year, and it gives me that guidance and that direction without feeling like I need to, oblige these certain expectations.
So I love the sort of loose focus that a word of the year gives me. How about you Ro? Like what do you feel about the word of the year and, and the guiding word kind of approach?
[00:04:00] Rowena: Uh, look like you, Shelley, I really like the word of the year approach. I have been doing it for myself a number of years. I also find that it is very useful for people like Shelly, who's a rebel. For those who find setting New Year's resolutions or very specific goals, a little bit overwhelming or a bit constraining.
So a word of the year instead can be very much like that guiding light or something that kind of just gives you the general vibe you're after. It can also be really useful when you wanna check in with yourself. So, for example, if you wanna say, does this particular decision align with my word of the year? Um, it kind of imbibes your year with a bit of a theme and a bit of a focus.
So I love that. But I know that intention setting, can be another way we can get around the fact that for some people, goals feel a little bit hard and fast, whereas in intentions are a more guiding approach when goals are more specific.
Now, as a coach, don't get me wrong, I love goals and I work with my clients on goals. Um, and we set beautiful goals together. But I do understand that sometimes the word goal can be, let's say, it can put off people, they can feel very put off by it.
So I think intentions or a word can be a much more happy approach if you like, a, a looser, more joyful approach. So, Shelley, with all of that, let's get down to the juicy bit that I'm sure our listeners are keen to hear. What is your word for this year? The year 2023.
[00:05:31] Shelley: My word for 2023 after some decision making and discernment is the word momentum.
[00:05:40] Rowena: Mm,
[00:05:40] Shelley: So the reason. Uh, it was a good one, isn't it? I'm quite excited about this because for me, obviously the, you know, the face value of momentum has got this implication of movement and, um, motion and action, and it's also got this idea to me of incremental progress.
It's something that I've always loved is experimenting your way to an answer and yeah,
[00:06:08] Rowena: It's a bit like your catchphrase actually experimenting your way to an answer. I feel like that's one of your catchphrases or mantras or guiding lights. Yes. One of the things that I feel like is I always associate, have an experiment, have a Playful approach. That's very much kind of a Shelly thing, so I love that your momentum word has built in with that.
Sorry to interrupt you, but I just wanna reiterate that I think that's so beautiful.
[00:06:34] Shelley: I, and, and I think this is where I've had to let go a bit of perfectionism cuz sometimes I've gone, oh, I need to have all the answers. And in, in being more experimental over the years, I've gone, oh no, I will experiment my way towards an answer. And, what I'm also finding with this idea of momentum is actually bringing other people into my, my own momentum.
So to me, it also guides this idea of collaboration with my clients, like with you Ro, with even my family, bringing them in on the journey and having this idea of collaboration over perfection. So I don't have to have all the answers. I can actually bring all my people in to my thinking, which I haven't always done in the past.
I've sometimes felt that I need to have this perfect answer or write this perfect website or whatever the case may be. And this idea of momentum is like gathering not only speed and action, but also gathering people with me and bringing people along with me on the journey, which is quite exciting.
The word momentum also has this benefit of having a few words inside of it that I can riff off of.
So I told you this is about creativity. So the word moment in momentum reminds me to live in the moment, to not be too worried about the future, um, and not dwell on the past, but rather this moment is all we have. And so here's your first book recommendation is 4,000 Weeks by Oliver Burkman. I read this over the summer holidays and it is so good.
We are really excited to chat about 4,000 Weeks on the Two Booked Up podcast and this book really just challenged me to go. Just like let go of all this idea of trying to control time. Time will not be controlled. It is what it is. You've got your 4,000 weeks and so you, you only have this finite amount of time and you really only have this moment right here in front of you. So seize it, be there in the moment.
So that was a nice little play on momentum. And then the other little play is, the first part of momentum is Mom . So, as you know, being a mom is a big part of my life. It's part of, I feel, it's part of my job. I think as a homeschooling mom, I feel it's part of my job, uh, as well as my vocation and, um, who I am as a person.
And. I also over the holidays, read the Wild and Free Family by Ainsley Ament, and it's just so lovely about creating a vision for your family and , we've gotta be intentional about family life.
And I, I just have loved that book and I wanna embrace a lot of the principles of giving my children a childhood, letting them be children, helping them to see their potential and that kind of thing. So my word snuck in a couple of little sneaky words in between. So yeah, what do you think of that Ro?
[00:09:51] Rowena: I really love that because I acknowledge that words are powerful. Shelley, as a copywriter, words are your thing. And so I love that you've managed to sneak in a couple of extra words, yet tie it all into one word that's very economical. . Thumbs up for thumbs up from that perspective.
[00:10:08] Shelley: So Ro, now, I wanna know what your word is for 2023
[00:10:13] Rowena: Mm. Well, my word is not a word. My word is two words. It's a phrase. So I have had a couple of years now where I struggled to find a single word. Instead. I've had quite a lot of success in the terms of feeling great and using it as my guiding phrase. So for a few years, I had the same phrase, which was simple and light, and I possibly will still revert to it because it just always works for me.
And it's very much a guiding phrase for me and has been for a number of years. Last year I tried a new phrase, which lasted two months, and then I reverted to simple and light as well. So this year we're hoping that the new phrase that I've chosen for 2023, which is curate and cultivate, I'm hoping that it will stick.
Um, so let me explain why curate and cultivate. Is my phrase for this year. So it could have been something different. I have to admit that I just chose these words partly because of the alliteration, and I do love alliteration. So it possibly could have been something like refine and finesse, but that really doesn't, it doesn't sing to me.
[00:11:20] Shelley: I, I like curating, cultivate.
[00:11:22] Rowena: yes, I think that they're a little bit more, um, I dunno, they're a bit more dynamic.
[00:11:26] Shelley: Yes, and artistic - maybe that is that creative thing that I love so much
[00:11:30] Rowena: Yes, yes. And exactly the curate part is very much the creative part, but it's also the gathering, like you've just shared Shelley, about your momentum word. Curating is being selective and being deliberate, but it also means that you are gathering from all different sources to then pull out the very best.
So it's very much that collaboration idea. It's the creativity. It's about being able to bring out the best in whatever situation that you're in and be selective or deliberate, or perhaps intentional is the other word we would use, given that's one of the words that we often use and I often use on this podcast.
And then cultivate, always makes me think of gardening, which is not a bad thing. But it's to improve or to grow, or to nurture or to develop. And so the words work together. So one is you. Get the very best of things. You curate it and then you make them even more amazing. So you, improve that. You grow it, you nurture it.
Once I kind of felt into it, that felt really aligned for me for my entire life because I choose a phrase that works across like Shelley does, like you do Shell, across my whole business as well as my life, and my family. It also, like you, Shelley, I have a couple of books that have influenced my choice of words.
One of which that I've, almost finished listening to over these holidays is Workstyle, by Alex Hurst and Lizzie Penny, which I'm sure we are gonna talk about on an upcoming, episode at some point. But Workstyle has been transformative in terms of how I think about my work and how I already choose to put things together, let's put it that way.
But it's been very influential in reminding me that there's a bunch of things that I already do that are awesome, and then being able to let go of some of the things that perhaps are less great, which I think is that curate part, and then cultivating the things that are great.
So there's that real kind of synchronicity with curate and cultivate.
And two other books have kind of influenced my choice. One was Things That Matter by Joshua Becker, which. Is very much linking to that, curating about being selective, about focusing on what matters. So similar to some of the books we read last year and then and cultivating it.
So then focus, find out what matters and then focus your energy on that. So again, curate and cultivate sticks with that.
And the other one that I've just recently finished is Spiritually Loose by Susan Pierce. And um, it has been a very different kind of read for me. quite illuminating in terms of all sorts of things, but it's again, very much that curate and cultivate about saying, find what makes you happy, follow your joy, and then do more of that, which again, seems to align with curate and cultivate. So, you know, be selective and deliberate about what brings you joy and then cultivate it, do more of it. Um, so the wording, the phrase just seemed to really. So, yeah. So there you go, Shelly.
There's, there's my phrase for the year, so we'll see how long it sticks.
[00:14:28] Shelley: Yeah. Or whether you go back to simple and light
[00:14:31] Rowena: Yeah. Correct. Well, there's been, there's been two, uh, two or three years on simple and light, so it's a hard habit to break now.
[00:14:39] Shelley: Well, it's a good habit.
[00:14:40] Rowena: It's a good habit. That's true.
[00:14:42] Shelley: and look how powerful that kind of a guiding word or guiding phrase has been for you. And yeah, just getting back to Workstyle. And by the way, we'll put links to all of these books in our show notes if you wanna go and grab them afterwards. But yes, Workstyle, just the idea of choosing your work style and individualizing the way you work, I think is, yeah, so important in that curation of, we've got so many opportunities and I think especially post covid in terms of the way we work. There's so much that we could do. But I think this is also where Essentialism, one of our other books that we've featured on Two Booked Up comes in as well, is you've gotta choose the stuff that actually works for you and your life in this time right now. Um, so a lot of these themes are gonna be coming through in our podcast, in what we talk about in Two Booked Up, and they will also inform the books that we choose and the discussions that we have.
So, yeah, I'm gonna just talk a little bit now about how our, our words will influence our approach to Two Booked Up. So we've had, uh, lots of nice chats over our summer break, and for me, Bringing momentum into the Two Booked Up podcast means a little bit less perfectionism. So you might hear a couple of ums and ahs that I'm not gonna edit out.
Um, we are aiming to have a little bit more of a conversational style, a little bit more back and forth, um, in some cases. We're gonna keep the momentum by sometimes publishing fortnightly rather than weekly, but we are gonna play around with that. If it means maintaining momentum, then we'll rather like plan to publish fortnightly than burn ourselves out because we can't publish weekly, for example. So we're experimenting with all of that, and we are so excited to, to keep the momentum. We've just been amazed to look at our metrics and to see just the uptake in listeners that we've had. and really we do feel like this is building.
So you can expect to hear a lot more on intentional living here on the podcast, on living in the moment, equipping you to do that. And the books that really are helping us to do that and to live more lives that really bring us joy. Um, I think that's, that's really important to me on this podcast is to equip people and to give people the resources that are worth their time. The, those books that are really worth diving into and the juicy kind of topics, um, so yeah. How about you Ro? How does curate and cultivate apply to Two Booked Up for you?
[00:17:25] Rowena: Mm. I look, and I would also add before we dive into my bit, that the intentional, joyful, and also inspirational. We're hoping that some of the books that we share, , maybe they're not gonna equip you necessarily, but maybe they'll inspire you. So by sharing some of the books we've read, you'll get inspired to read them yourself, or we'll give, we'll inspire you with some new ways of thinking about things.
Um, and we have loved, not just the metrics, but also the feedback that we've received. So for any of you who've sent us a little message, um, sent us emails have commented
[00:17:57] Shelley: or
[00:17:58] Rowena: Reviews. Thank you so much. Reviews are our love language. Please feel free to leave us a positive review and we will love you forever or at least for as long as the episodes are out.
Um, but we have been, I've been blown away by that, and that stuff is really touching to me because it says we are reaching real people, so, and that's what it's all about. We wanna support real people who to live their best lives and find the right balance between career and work and family. And the books that we share are our way of helping to do that because Shelly and I are doing our best living it to live in intentional, joyful life while juggling businesses and parenting and everything else.
And so we are sharing what works for us and what we've found to be useful and in in book format.
So in terms of my phrase and how my phrase relates to the podcast, well, I like to think of curate and cultivate for a podcast in a bit like a museum. Not that we are stagnant in a museum display, but that we selected the best pieces for display.
So I'm gonna use the phrase perhaps more to guide the episode content. So I'm completely with Shelly. We're gonna have more, a bit more momentum, a bit less perfectionism, a bit more conversational style, but we're also gonna make sure that we are perhaps a little bit more specific and deliberate, and maybe don't include absolutely everything, but maybe just the very best or most illustrative stories from the books or very, very best examples that we could come up with between us to show you how the books have been applied in our lives, or help you, the listeners, to improve, to grow or develop in your businesses, in your careers, or in your personal life.
And of course, in your reading habits. So that's I think how I'd like to be able to use the curate and cultivate to guide our approach to Two Booked Up building, of course, on what Shelley is going to be bringing as well. So I very much, it's a collaboration where Shelley and I, we work together.
[00:19:57] Shelley: What I was also gonna say is in terms of the cultivation, we'd love to hear from you listeners. Um, so join our email list. If you go onto twobookedup.com, you'll be able to sign up for our email list, and then you can reply to those emails and ask us any questions. So like, if there are topics that you were like, oh, you did cover.
Just a few examples, but I wanna hear more. Tell us if you wanna hear more and we'll do another episode about that. Um, we'll dive deeper.
[00:20:23] Rowena: We could have a reader asks type episode, but we'll have to come up with a an alliterative fun title for it.
So let's think about what you can look forward to listeners in our next episode. So in our next episode, we are actually gonna be talking about how you can be more intentional about your reading for 2023, and we might just - spoiler alert - we might be sharing a little bit about what we are doing to get intentional and then giving you some insights about what you might like to take away from that.
Now I know, coming from an upholder like myself and a coach, that could sound like I'm setting you reading targets. And given I read 120 books last year, I have no expectation that anybody else is gonna do that, cuz that was hard work, let me tell you,
Don't worry, don't worry. For all of you rebels like Shelly or Obligers and questioners out there, we will definitely be taking a very fun approach and we'll be talking about how you can reinvigorate and expand your reading life in 2023. And we're gonna focus on your non-fiction reading life, but I have plenty of tips for how you can expand your fiction reading life as well. So our episode will be focused on non-fiction reading, but there will be application for those who perhaps prefer to read fiction as well.
[00:21:43] Shelley: Yeah, there's been our episode on, fiction and, how fiction can actually help you in your business and personal life. That was episode 18. It's been really popular. I think people are loving, incorporating fiction reading and actually extracting lessons out of fiction and novels into real life.
So I think that is an interesting angle. But yes, uh, the focus will be more on non-fiction and kind of personal development and business books. Um, and by the way, if you are new to two booked up and you're not sure what we are talking about, when we mentioned Upholders and Rebels and questionnaires and what's the other
[00:22:17] Rowena: Obligers, , obligers,
[00:22:19] Shelley: everyone. Sorry, obliges. That's like most people in the world. Um, you can go back and listen to episodes one to four, where we read The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. Love it so much. And in fact, we have a whole back catalog of great listens.
So go and have a browse and see what takes your fancy.
But now, Ro, while the momentum is high. We're gonna wrap this episode up and leave you, our listeners to think about your word or phrase this year and how it will possibly impact your reading life in 2023. And do let us know what you come up with. You can find me on Twitter at ShelleyTSmith. Or you can sign up for my newsletter at shelleytonkinsmith.Com. And if you'd like to learn more about my copywriting services, then head on over to ShelleySmithCreative.com and please remember to subscribe or follow Two Booked Up in your podcast player. We've got lots more to say about intentional living, about doing the work that lights you up and about all the books that can help you to do that. So if you're subscribed, then all those episodes will automatically download for you.
[00:23:34] Rowena: And don't forget to visit twobookedup.com where you'll find show notes and a transcript of this episode, including links to all the books we've mentioned. And as Shelley mentioned earlier, we'd love it if you'd sign up for our email newsletter on the website as well.
Now you can find me at RowenaMabbott on Instagram.
Let's continue the conversation over there. And if you'd like to learn more about how I can support you as a career and life confidence coach, as well as read all my blog posts and get access to my newsletter, then head over to my online home at rowenamabbott.com. Thanks for listening to Two Booked Up today.
Shelley and I will be back with another new episode in a couple of weeks time. Until then, enjoy February as the new January.