December 2022

December 2022


My own work, in case it’s helpful:

The word that I picked for 2022 was WHOLE, which prompted the Four Quadrant exercise I shared with you above. And one of the ways I’m looking at the year is by using my personal purpose shield (one of the several approaches I guide learners through in Paths 2 Purpose). My shield includes the categories of: Love, Learn, Create and Serve. (this is not an accounting of goals, but rather those areas of purpose I’ve defined as most important to me):

LOVE: This year my husband and I both turned 50 and celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. I’m so grateful that we are both committed to continuing to lean into our marriage and our family through all that life brings.

Opportunities to connect with old friends after the long COVID separation have been deeply meaningful this year. Making new friends while abroad is also an unexpected gratitude.

Despite the standard challenges of raising good kids, we are all growing closer through the adventure and the struggle of our family’s experience overseas.

LEARN: We made a bold move as a family: moving overseas to France for the school year. Both of us have continued to grow and expand our businesses. We’re learning a new language. We’re growing as a family and as individuals.

CREATE: I published my first poetry— four pieces in four publications (find them here…the fourth coming in a week or two)! An essay I’ve been playing with for literally a decade was selected as an honorable mention in a contest (as well as being selected for publication); another essay that means a great deal to me was selected for spring publication, and yet another selected as a finalist in another contest. (Links posted HERE when they’re available).

SERVE: Professionally, some exciting news coming next year, and continued expansion in speaking, writing, and facilitating learning for serious learners of grit, resilience and leadership.

And I finished five and a half years of work (I usually just round up to six!) leading a library board and fundraising for and opening a new library in our community.

Our fellowship community continues to thrive in our absence during this year abroad, showing a whole new layer of growth in an endeavor we founded 8 years ago.

I’m grateful for: meaningful work building courageous leaders for a better world, exploring ideas through writing, speaking and teaching, my family, friends, this beautiful world, travel, art, history and health.

And the rest:

Some things didn’t go as expected, and others didn’t go as well as expected. I’m still not back in shape. Old injuries are really bothering me now— both a knee and a shoulder— which is discouraging. Meditation and prayer are spotty (but regular). I didn’t pitch the book proposal yet (but I’m working on it!)

Developing the B2C aspect of The Grit Institute is still very much in early stages of a work in progress, though B2B continues to do well. In 2023 I’ll assess whether this is something worth pursuing, but for now, I’ll keep working at making this important work accessible to everyone.

My biggest takeaway from this year of being 50 years old:

Anything that is important, you have to decide is worth working for. Health and an active lifestyle, family, friends, and good work. Things that are not worthwhile must be culled. And so the key is to love the work, find something in the work that you love, and/or do what it is that you love. And routines help, a lot (I’m still working on that).

How are you looking back at YOUR year? And how are you starting to think think about 2023?

I’d love to hear— in the comments, or in your reply! And if you try and like the Four Quadrants technique, let me know how it goes, and feel free to share!



PS: Shopping for the holidays? Check out ways to wear your courage and your grit HERE, and my Bookshop storefront HERE! Look at Monk Manual as a planner for 2023. Or consider gifting one of The Grit Institute offerings to someone you love— reach out and I’ll help you through the process.

The Grit Factor Book by Shannon Huffman Polson


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The Grit Factor:
Courage, Resilience, and Leadership in the Most Male-Dominated Organization in the World