Episode 6 | Starting the Year Strong

Dec 12, 2022

Description: The new year is right around the corner. If you’re hoping to start the year strong, tune in to hear how to reframe the narrative and tips to get intentional – in your personal and professional life. Plus, hear our latest bookmarks to save for your upcoming vacay.



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Kerri: Hello and welcome to the Flourish and Friends podcast. I’m your host, Kerri, and I’m here with my friend and collaborator, Esther. Hey Esther.

Esther: Hey guys.

Kerri: Our goal for this podcast is to create an avenue for our Flourish community to gather around important convos that lead to more growth and more flourishing.

Esther: Yeah, nothing is really off the table because how we lead our lives spills into how we lead at work, and overall, our brand reflects that, especially as creatives.

Kerri: With the new year around the corner, we can prepare now to start the year strong. We’re chatting today about ways to prepare for the new year in our personal lives and also as a brand. But first, let’s start with some fun things that are giving us life. 


Kerri: Esther, it’s time for Fresh picks. What’s sparking joy in your life right now?

Esther: Oh man, this is a big six month awaited. I think we need a drum roll. My new hay couch has arrived from Europe. It’s been.

Kerri: Yay!!

Esther: Yes, it’s been a long time coming. It is actually really funny because the first time they tried to deliver it, They brought it to the, like bottom of our staircase, we could see the couch. And the two guys that were delivering it were just like, they looked at our staircase and they’re like, Nope, we need more guys.

So they had to reschedule and come back, like two weeks later, which, you know, I feel like patience is just an undercurrent of this season in my life, learning patience. But, yes, our couch is here. It’s, if you don’t know hay, couches, they’re very, modular. They’ve got quite a few lines out now with some cool fabrics, but when we went to buy it, we were kind of overwhelmed with all the options and ended up going with a pink couch, which is not very popular to do.

When we, yeah, I think it, it’s definitely a statement piece. Um, My favorite part about it is that there’s, it’s a double chaise, and so you get to lie down one side or the other side.

There’s only one armrest, and the armrest is like the perfect height for your head to lay on. It’s a wonderful, there’s just so many ways to sit on this couch.

Kerri: It is absolutely gorgeous. Like I, worth the wait. When I saw the picture in your space, it brought me so much joy and it is beautiful and like I think pink, the pink that it is is like pink in a classic way, you know? Like it is, like you said, it’s a statement piece, but I feel like it’s gonna be timeless cause it’s just gorgeous.

It also looks like it should be in like Architectural Digest. It probably is

Esther: Yeah, I’m sure it is.

Kerri: It probably is in AD, So

Esther: Yeah. And I, if pink can be neutral, this is a neutral pink, definitely muted. I wouldn’t go like hot pink, although like six months goes by and you’re just wondering what shade of pink did we choose? I just, you know, you never know what’s gonna show up, but we’re very excited about that.

We finally have a living room to set up, and that’s where we spend most of our time now.

Kerri: I’m so excited for both of you and all of the memories you’ll just make. Being so relaxed on that couch.

Esther: Absolutely.

Kerri: All the convos, all the movies. The naps. Yes. Uh,

Esther: Yeah. Well, what’s a fresh pick for you, Kerri?

Kerri: My fresh pick for this week is sheet masks because we are entering winter and cold season here in America. And we all know that means dehydrated skin. So I just love a sheet mask, specifically Korean sheet masks.

The ones that you tear it out of the thing, you unfold it, and you just stick it on your face and you look crazy. But it just makes your face feel so good and moisturized and pro tip, you need to, uh, make sure that you use all of the juices that are in the packet. Like, because when you take out the mask, it’s like dripping in juices.

A lot of people just throw the packet away and it’s like, no, you’re missing the best part. You guys squeeze all the juices outta the packet and. Put it on your neck, put it, rub it into your hands, and just like soak in all of the moisture. So yeah, that is, that is my fresh pick

Esther: That’s amazing

Kerri: We all need more moisture in our lives and sheet masks can help make that happen.

Esther: Do you, um, ever feel like you’re Dwight from the office when you put it on? Do you know that episode where he like cuts the face of the mannequin?

Kerri: Yes. Yeah. Oh my gosh, I’ve never thought about that. But you’re ab. You’re absolutely right…I don’t think anyone like, I think everyone looks so hilarious, in sheet masks haha

Esther: like you’re putting on a hockey mask with like the eyes and the, the little circle for the mouth so you can breathe..

Kerri: Yes, but the important thing to know is especially cuz Korean sheet masks are popular. And if you don’t know who I am, I’m Korean, um, they actually fit my facial features. So like the, the holes are the appropriate size , but that means all of the holes are too small…

Esther: That makes sense, that makes sense.

Kerri: …for everyone. So my friends will have to like stretch the holes out to fit their mouth, but it’s like, you know, it’s just, you got, there’s just so few things that actually fit my face in my life. So..

Esther: And I think, uh, the white girls out here just need to experience, um, a little bit of of fitting into someone else’s facial features for one. So let’s, let’s do it. Let’s, let’s do that.

Kerri: Absolutely haha.


Esther: All right, so we are so excited to dive into this topic, starting the Year Strong. But first, Kerri, I’d love to know if you have any traditions or rituals surrounding the New Year?

Kerri: Ooh, such a good question. I don’t have any like mind blowing rituals where it’s like we always do this thing or I prepare for my new year in this way. 

I think The Enneagram three in me wishes I had that, but I don’t. But I will say a tradition that I’ve had all growing up and still have now is keeping up the Christmas spirit by keeping up the Christmas tree. because, if you’re in Europe or maybe someplace outside of America, most people celebrate Christmas on Epiphany, which is actually January 6th.

So the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas and end on January 6th, not before Christmas. America, I don’t know why. It’s just all kind of backwards here and like, Oh, Christmas is over. As soon as it’s December 26th. No, it’s just started. And we always kept the tree up, especially because my brother’s on January 6th, would be up till January 6th and then typically come down after that.

But now that I have my own tree and my own home and it’s been pandemic, I just am keeping up the tree as Taylor Swift says. In January is not that revolutionary, but we have definitely pushed it to February before

Esther: Hmm. I’m sure some people out there have probably pushed it to maybe March

Kerri: Yeah, I learned, I think the queen of England, rest in peace her soul. She used to keep up all the Christmas decorations till the beginning of February because her father died. I think at the beginning of February. We’re gonna have to fact check this. But she, So that was kind of her tradition through her whole life.

So I just, now I’m like, Oh, I just do what the queen does, but now she’s gone and I’ll just do what I wanna do. So, but I feel like just maintaining the holiday spirit, especially because January is such a dark month of the year, having the warm glow, glowy goodness from the lit up tree just provides a great ambience for our living room.

Esther: I love that. Speaking on Christmas trees. I would always like, I think the week leading into Christmas, just leave the lights on overnight. Do you ever do that So you wake up?

Kerri: Uhh yeah we, we attempted to have a fancy timer through an app and then it just didn’t work. So my husband’s very, very energy conservative. So no, we don’t leave it up all night long. My dream.

Esther: It doesn’t take that much energy, come on.

Kerri: Yeah. You tell him that. You tell him that. He, he’s the guy that turns the light off as soon as we leave the room, and I’m like, Okay. All right. But how about you? What’s your, do you have a new year tradition or ritual that you like to do or bring in the new year in a fun way?

Esther: I wouldn’t say anything specific. I, I do love, being around friends on New Year’s Eve. some years it’s bigger crowds. Some years it’s smaller crowds. I would say my favorite New Year’s Eve was when it was just three couples. So, our friends, Amanda and Megan and their families. They had little ones, so they’d like put them down to bed and then we just all stayed up late and played board games and ate tapas. And it was amazing.

Kerri: Aw, that sounds delightful.

Esther: The drinks were flowing. We were just sitting around the table all night and I think at one point we’re like, oh shoot, it’s almost midnight. And so we got up and like celebrated a little bit and then finished our games.

Kerri: Uh, okay. I have so many questions. Do you always stay up till midnight?

Esther: Uh, Yep. Always, always.

Kerri: You’ve always stayed up till midnight. Yep. Okay. And then what, what board games were some highlights? 

Esther: Well, Settlers of Catan will keep you going for a very long time.

Kerri: I would be so fascinated to play settlers with you, Esther, because I get really competitive and I’m just so curious, like, do you get competitive? Like what? what is it like? Like I’ve, yeah.

Esther: I’m a, I usually am a sneaky, like, reserved, competitive person. I would say Cody’s pretty much the same. 

Kerri: Longest road, use some strategies, okay.

Esther: Oh yes the longest road’s a good one. And then don’t if someone is challenging a rule. I think I, I get very vocal about..

Kerri: Justice oriented.

Esther: ..the rules.

Kerri: Yes. Pull out the rule book..

Esther: Or, or I might be trying to bend them, bend them towards my favor so we’ll see. Whichever is

Kerri: whatever is..whatever is most beneficial. haha

Esther: Uhhuh, Yeah, a hundred percent. But I love those strategy games. Those are always so fun.

Kerri: So good. Yeah, so starting the year strong with life and work and professional things. Now in December is kind of a time to look forward. Obviously, as we talked about last episode, it’s also a really busy time of the year, but I think there’s this kind of always looming idea of New Year’s coming up. How can we prepare? So do you have things that you do to prepare to start the year strong? How important is starting the year strong to you? What does that mean to you?

Esther: I think just tying up loose ends is really important, before breaks. I think I don’t really have, too many loose ends normally because I am a contract worker. And so I think as a business owner you could probably speak to that a little bit more, what that looks like and with planning and everything.

I think also just, it’s just important to reset, so as much time as you can take off. Do it. Going, taking off from Christmas to New Year’s is really smart because you already have so many family obligations and, no one’s really working that week anyways. So I think, that’s a really good time to just, okay break, for at least a week.

Kerri: Absolutely. And I think our bodies need that break after all that social time and all of the like you know nowadays, like all the viruses that are probably mingling they just, our bodies are gonna be like, What? So building in that time is so good. 

Yeah. Loose ends as a business owner, my fellow entrepreneurs can definitely, resonate with just knowing the end of the year as like, tax, all the tax things like meeting with your accountant if possible, to see are there any last things we can, can do to this timeframe?

Time period is always great and, and then, you know, client work or projects more generally. Anyone who’s working probably has some projects or things that may still carry over. So, just wrapping those up or working ahead so you can take that time off is really helpful.

Esther: I think also, just making time for reflection. For me, it’s a very personal thing, to just reflect on how I’ve grown over the year and set some intentions. I normally like to find a word to declare over my year and kind of guide us.

Kerri: Yes.

Esther: Um, I know that’s kind of more of a trending thing more recently, just instead of goals setting an intention. I think that intentions can just be that target. That even if,  you know, a lifestyle change doesn’t happen, it can be like more of a progress mark than an achievement. So you know, setting intentions. If I can do it in December, I will, but sometimes I’ll spend that first month in January, just doing personal reset and reflection. Like I said, and then that intention figuring out what that intention is throughout that month.

Kerri: Yeah, I definitely resonate with that. We talked a little bit about this and actually a lot about this in episode three, but just the ability to celebrate wins and name them holding space for that reflection. 

And I like how you mentioned taking the whole month of January because that was something I wanted to give an encouragement to for the people who are like me, who feel like I need to be Jan one, like hit the ground running. It’s just really like take the pressure off of ourselves that we can’t, we don’t need to be moving a million miles an hour. We can ease into the new year, take the time, be able to reflect on the full package of the year too. 

And think through what those big mile markers were both personally and professionally and there could be even three layers here too. It could be personally in your relationships and your memories and all of the things that went on. Professionally where you are in your role. And what you’re looking forward to, any sort of growth or projects or things you wanna achieve. But then also with your, your brand, if you’re creating on behalf of a brand, be able to gather the data and kind of look back on what happened last year, strategy too.

Strategy like next to actuality and what and what you’ll often find, especially on that third piece, is things shifted. We, we started the year with plans to do, you know, X, Y, and Z and different things came up, but that was okay. We shifted for a good reason. 

So when you kind of look forward to the year, you can have again that grace to set intention, but hold the goals maybe loosely or hold the, the end result loosely. As long as, you know, if my intention is I want to, to grow, grow means a lot of different things and it might mean something different four months from now if something happens. And that’s okay and that’s a good thing.

Esther: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I love that. You know, the setting time aside, I think it’s really important to just add it to our schedule, add it to our calendar, too. Specific times to strategize and within that moment of having space, I think our, our mind can move more freely and have more creative thinking if we carve out like this slow space in January where we’re just, reflecting and setting goals and, and bringing in our collaborators or bringing in our stakeholders, into that conversation.

And, yeah, just make it fun, right?

Kerri: Do it by, by the light of the Christmas tree

Esther: Haha yes.

Kerri: It just sets the right ambiance. I’m just telling you, you can go any, any direction. It can make you sleepy or it can give you inspiration for your, your, uh, intentions and goals. Yeah, we wanna, thinking about the new year. It’s still December, but we wanna. invite you to our vision party. That’ll be happening after our holiday break.

And we’re gonna take some time to talk through things like intention and vision boarding. And so that’s to come. Would also encourage you to maybe have a celebration party with friends and be able to go around and share like what are some big things that have happened. And what are things you’re looking forward to? 

So I know a group of my friends got together and talked through those things, and you can do that again, personal level, professional level. Make it what you want. But it can also be a fun thing to even put some intention around, and maybe it doesn’t have to be like a reflection centered party. Maybe just the parties you already have going on, how could you insert some moments of reflection or some of those deeper questions with those people in your life that you care about? Looking back on the year.

Esther: Yeah. And I think if you work for yourself, maybe if you don’t have those people around, it could be a good time to think about who, you could bring in as a mentor or coach. that sort of voice to add, just a, a bouncing board and a, add a third party, more professional voice into that season of planning and strategizing.

Kerri: We might have to do a whole separate episode on that, like mentorship and you find that. But that could even be a great goal or intention to set for next year for 2023, is finding that outside perspective or that person or persons you would want to help speak in, who’s a little bit further, along than you are.

So you maybe like me thinking about next year already. Maybe you’re just in the season and you’re really present because you have a lot going on. But we just wanna encourage you to have that grace for yourself. Take the pressure off, see this marker of a new year as, a turning of a page. But it also doesn’t have to have all this pressure to have everything all together on January 1st.

And that’s all, all good. Earlier in the episode, I dropped a little hint, but I want to invite you to our Vision Party on January 9th. That’ll be the first episode back from our holiday break. We’re not going on holiday break right now.

We still have a couple more episodes, but if you wanna join us for that, that might be a good opportunity to start centering your year and finding an intention.


Esther: All right, so let’s move on to our bookmarks this week. Kerri, is there something that you’ve been reading or watching lately? That you’d like to share?

Kerri: Yes! There’s a book called Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. He has a really interesting story. I heard about this book at an event I was at and borrowed it from the library, and I’ve already gifted it to a friend. It is not the most mind blowing book in the world. I think it’s a lot of things you already know about in terms of if you wanna set a new morning routine or rhythm, how to go about doing that.

But what I really liked about the book is it kind of just pulled all those things and provided a bit of a spark to, to have an excuse to reevaluate how you are approaching mornings. And not everyone has to be a morning person. That’s totally okay. He talks really through the setting intention. You know, speaking of setting attention for the year, setting the intention for your day, and what that rhythm can look like for you.

And since it’s getting darker out, I think it’s especially helpful in these darker months to have some sort of bones of a rhythm that you can go through and go to when you wake up and it’s just pitch black and you don’t wanna get up at all. So I highly recommend it. It’s, I will say it’s a little bit cheesy in some points, but there’s still some great takeaways.

What’s your bookmark, Esther?

Esther: So I wanted to highlight Chef’s Table. It’s on Netflix,

Kerri: *claps* Classic!

Esther: Yes we got a fan. If you don’t already know, Chef’s Table is a great, highlight of incredible artists who happen to be chefs around the world. 

I’m a huge fan because it has some just beautiful cinematography and storytelling, but also every episode leaves you more inspired to go create and, even though these guys are geniuses, uh it just, I don’t know. It, it shows you, that when we create connection between our mind and our creativity and our hands, something magical happens.

So go watch that if you haven’t already, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Kerri: I love Chef’s Table. It’s just you can never go wrong. If you’re looking for something to watch, be like, just pick an episode, any episode, and you’ll see these geniuses, like you said at work. And the dedication to that craft is incredible. It’s such a unique and challenging craft to become an expert in, and it’s, it’s inspiring, like you said.

Esther: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I’m such a foodie as well, so whenever I can be inspired by other chefs, it’s great. I cannot create anything to that level, but

Kerri: You can enjoy everything at that level.

Esther: Yes, I can appreciate it. 

Kerri: Yes.


Kerri: All right. Thanks for joining us today. Be sure to check out flourishcreative.co/podcast to see the show notes.

Esther: We’d love to hear from you. If you can, send us a note to hello@flourishcreative.co. Or tag us on Instagram while you’re listening we’re @FlourishCreativeCo. And feel free to leave us a review wherever you’re listening, that helps us find new friends and grow our podcast community.

Kerri: Thanks again, and until next time, live well and flourish.



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