New Year 2022

January 2022

This New Year's Eve my family celebrated quietly, with our tradition of chocolate fondue and sending up Chinese lanterns into the frigid winter night (traditions are important — read this!). Still, 2022 isn’t just a new year. It’s a new year unlike any we’ve ever known, as we approach two years of a global pandemic, with much still unknown, and reality shifting daily. Despite the challenges, I love New Year’s, and new starts (and birthdays, and Mondays— every day and moment is a chance to begin again) and am excited for all that is to come this year. I hope you are too. If you need a boost, check this out about walking through the arch of Janus for the science of a Fresh Start! This year… will be what we make of it!

I’ve heard from several people that resolutions are too much this year. Some may be just still — tired. Others are white-knuckling it, especially in the health care fields. I understand. And so I’m putting together a series to help guide you through those times that still feel — hard.

As an offering to 2022, I’m going to focus each of the first 8 newsletters— (that’s more than half the year!) on a chapter of The Grit Factor. And whether you’re sprinting out of the gate this week or covering your eyes, let’s start with story. Pick up The Grit Factor and reacquaint yourself with chapter 1. I’ll give you a quick exercise here — follow on social for one new opportunity each Tuesday expanding your work in the chapter.

  1. To begin, give yourself a half hour to sit down with your notebook and a cup of tea or coffee. Write out your thoughts about how you might look back on your life so far as a story? What does it tell you? What have you discovered? (More specific exercises at the end of Chapter 1 will take you further.)

  2. Now look ahead. What story do you want to write this year for yourself? For your organization? For your contributions and your life personally and professionally? Consider ensuring your story for this year includes giving back, collaborating, and finding ways to encourage others.

As you know from The Grit Factor, our brains take in information in the form of story. We understand and process story. Taking time to think of your own life as a story, one you have the opportunity and responsibility for crafting, is an important place to return, again and again.

Bonus perspective: what is one small thing you can try this year that will make your life better? A short morning meditation? A daily walk outdoors?

Because you are a subscriber, Going for Grit— the program designed to support you and take you deeper into The Grit Factor— is live and available to you now! Remember to use the code YOURGRIT for 20% off!

I’d love to hear from you on how looking at your life and contributions as story helps shape your perspective on this new year!

To your grit,


Other things I'm loving:

  1. Wrath Bearing Tree podcast (and literary journal): veteran built and run, considering ideas in the intersection of service.

  2. George SaundersSubstack on writing stories.

  3. Carrie Underwood’s new Substack on Spirit and Idea.

Keynotes & Learning Journey Facilitation

Booking now for keynotes and learning journey facilitation this upcoming fall and winter. Virtual keynotes and in person in Europe with limited in-person engagements available in the states July 2022-July 2023.

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