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Rona Kremer

Hoping to Inspire You to Reach Your Potential (Speaker at Advertising Week, Wisdom 2.0, KQED, global talk show host, and more)

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Create Your Purpose Plan

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I created a worksheet to help you get started with clarifying your purpose and creating an action plan to achieve it.  I’ll be using this at a workshop I’m leading this weekend (called “Create Your Purpose Plan”) at the Purpose Summit in the Bay Area.

If you want to use the worksheet on your own or preview it before the event, check it out here.

If you haven’t gotten tickets yet for the Summit, use the code RONA for 25% off.

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A 7-Layer Dip of Service Dogs

Muni DogsI recently got my burning question answered by KQED’s podcast Bay Curious.  How many dogs could ACTUALLY fit in a MUNI train if stuffed floor to ceiling, like a canine 7-layer dip?

I became obsessed with this and added many more ideas. Like, how hard is it to have a service dog in SF? Are there more service animals than there used to be because you can certify them online? Can we have an “Any Number of Dogs Bark-be-que” listening party?

Insight on emotional eating + other self-soothing habits

A few things I learned this week that may help you manage your self-soothing habit / addiction.   emotional-eating1Here’s the headline: When feeling a difficult emotion, trying to get myself to feel “good” instead of “bad” is too high a task.  I have used food as a freeway because it’s such a far distance between those states.  But if I have a more reasonable expectation of myself, then I won’t need to rely on this tool to attain the unrealistic.  Coming back to a neutral state with just my own internal resources is doable.  Thanks Regina for the conversation that led me here!  

I would love to see you write in the comments – what is your self-soothing habit and how you are dealing with it?

  1. Setting a reasonable goal for my ability to shift my emotional state.
    • Realizing that when I’m “feeling bad,” I have had an unreasonable expectation of “forcing myself feel good” or of “healing the emotion” by confronting its root cause.  
    • Rather, a more doable goal is to dissipate the unpleasant emotion to return to a neutral state. This is important because I would only be in a situation of wanting to eat emotionally if I am too underresourced (emotionally triggered, tired, alone, etc.) to make a healthier choice.  So in a way, this would be the least likely time I could expect myself to accomplish such a feat as healing childhood pains or make myself feel “great about life again.”  
    • So, the question in these moments becomes: Can I create a clean slate (come back to neutral) right now? Yes, No, or Maybe.  Another word for this is becoming present or mindful.
  2. Spend 90 seconds for emotions to pass
    • Emotions can be intense or overwhelming to deal with.  If we start reacting to them, they can last any amount of time – minutes, hours, months, etc.  But if we wait in the moment and are present with them, they can pass quickly.
    • Here’s the 90 Second Rule: When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop. In other words, the lifespan of an emotion is 90 seconds.  
    • When you start feeling a difficult emotion, choose to take 90 seconds to feel how it takes form in your body, and then invite, allow, and watch it dissipate from your body.
    • One note here is that emotions are like onions with many, many layers.  So you may get to repeat this exercise many times to finally heal from an emotional experience.
  3. If it’s too hard to confront emotions, shift my thinking from focusing on “what emotions am I having” to “what energies are impacting me right now?”
    • I have on so many occasions not had the courage or wherewithal to spend those 90 seconds.  Emotions are connected to deep-rooted pains from childhood that in an underresourced moment are complex and not immediately healable.  
    • Therefore, I now think of impulses/feelings within me as free-form passing “energies” rather than emotions.  
  4. Cleanse unhelpful energies
    • An image in my mind here is clearing the slate, allowing energies to pass, and coming back to myself as I am, present in this moment.  
    • Think about how to cleanse energies that come up or are leftover from experiences.
      • Some ways to do this: burn sage, take a shower, light a candle, use essential oils, write, draw, text a friend about it
      • Gain awareness of what energies get absorbed within you and how to best deal with the various types.
  5. I’m starting to see food as an artificial, temporary source of joy, but the body as an independent, self-replenishing, never-ending resource of pleasure.  
    • Today was an amazing day on this.  I have been feeling a discomfort recently in my body. I can feel my hip fat getting scrunched when I sit or do certain yoga poses, and I realized that it actually hurts.  I was thinking that while I constantly have this low-grade discomfort, what I could be feeling instead is the pleasure and delight of the healthy body I currently have.
    • Today when I ate, the joy came from two new places (in addition to enjoying the food):
      • Creating a pleasurable feeling in my body by taking steps to have less fat on it – someday.
      • Enjoying the pleasure my body is giving me – right now – just by breathing and sensing the world around me.  Saying to myself: “I am willing to feel the pleasure of being in my body today.”

Let’s have some community about this… please leave a comment below to let others know how you are evolving your own approach to managing emotions!  Thanks!

The comedy of hiring for psyche with a “true” resume

Interviews are getting better learning about the mind of a candidate.  How can your resume show who you are on a deeper level, to provide the info companies are looking for these days?  Here’s the kernel of an idea of how to stand out as a candidate.

Traditionally, interviewing has just a 14% correlation with actual job performance, according to Work Rules!, a book by Google’s head of People Operations. He says the best interviews are a mix of getting a work sample, doing cognitive ability tests, and behavioral / situational structured interviews.  

While applying for jobs these days, I’ve gotten to personally experience this.  I nerdily find this exciting, because companies have become more interested in and better able to discern candidates’ thinking process and attributes on a deeper level.  I’m ALL ABOUT it –  my work is always focused on helping people (including myself) create healthy internal worlds that lead to satisfaction and success externally.

I recently came across a HBR article that speaks to this – and matches what I spoke about in my first standup comedy experience (last week at The Eagle in SF).

“Elite professional organizations deliberately set out to identify and recruit ‘insecure overachievers’… [who] are exceptionally capable and fiercely ambitious, yet driven by a profound sense of their own inadequacy.”  

In a way, companies are now hiring for psyche – the more fundamental basis of who a person is. 

File this under “bad advice”: I decided to give some well-intended but bad job search advice in my standup show. It’s an excerpt from a piece I’m writing called “Corporate Standup: A comedy about the least funny part of your day.”  Take this “hiring for psyche” consideration too far: make your resume (built to make you look good) into a “true resume” (sharing your raw humanity).  Sure, I can say I’m “detail-oriented” on a resume — but that’s not necessarily believable or noticeable to a recruiter as-is.  Instead, on a “true resume” I’d say: “Obsessed with getting the details right because I’m a recovering perfectionist after feeling unloved as a child.”  And how convincing is that – because I have a psychologically built-in intrinsic motivation to be consistently detail-oriented! 

Though, happily, at this point I can say that I am a “far-more-secure-than-ever overachiever.”

While that advice is terrible as an exaggeration, I do believe there are ways to make your resume stronger by showing the deeper information about you that recruiters are ultimately looking for.  I will let you know when I figure out how. 🙂

Job hunt resources: job tracker template, interview prep steps, and coaching!

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 2.58.58 PMHey guys, I’m looking for my next job – are you? 

  • Here is how I keep track of what jobs I’m applying to: watch an intro video & download my template
  • Here is the step-by-step process of how I recommend preparing for interviews.  
  • Let’s get our next amazing job together!  Let me know if you’d like to participate in either of these opportunities over video:
    • I am happy to host a webinar speaking on this topic and answer questions.
    • Let’s meet up for a video coworking session where we can check in briefly, go off and do work on our job search, then come back together and share progress and lessons.

Happy hunting!

How to kickstart 2018 – rock solid/goddess level!

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Photo credit: Sarah Walton

I’ve prepared for 2018 better than I have for any year and I’m all atwitter about it. Feeling grounded and powerful.  And I wanted to share my process with you, since people have been asking.  

The Tuesday-Friday after Christmas I made myself a “work retreat” – I retreated from doing anything else besides working (on my life) over the holiday break.   I took steps to close out and make peace with 2017, then get super excited and planny for 2018.  

If you’re in the mood to get your mind wrapped around this year, I hope some of the ideas and resources in here will be useful and inspiring to you.  And if you’re a spunky type, maybe you’ll even use this to plan ahead for how you will handle your transition from 2018 to 2019.  

Steps I took to set up my work retreat:

  • Set intentions for the work retreat.  This article on self-care really set the tone for me – take care of myself by doing things that are “hard” but will make the biggest difference in improving my life.  For me that meant doing a strategic review of 2017 and setting goals/strategy for 2018 as a whole, doing a full financial review, creating a career strategy for 2018, a writing strategy for my blog (and upcoming book), clearing up miscommunications with two friends, and doing little administrative tasks I had being avoiding.
  • Look at my list of loose ends to tie up / things to do.  Make three categories:
    • Tasks I will do during retreat
    • Tasks I will not do – list out tasks as they come up for me so I don’t let them distract me
    • Tasks to do after the retreat – not urgent now, but schedule for later
  • Create specific, awesome rewards of fun nights / weekend for my work
  • Create individual accountability: video and in-person coworking sessions for at least 4-6 hours a day for accountability and energy
  • Create group accountability: Tell people on Facebook at the beginning that I’m doing the work retreat, and post my results at the end

What I did during the retreat:

  • Reflection: Annual Reflection over video with my friend Wes Kao – you can see our template and instructions here.  
  • Goaling: Wrote out goals to achieve in all areas of life:
    • The One Thing (free copy here – effectiveness/productivity book) – choose 1 thing to focus on and give it your undivided attention
    • Have one primary “thing” but also have one thing for each area of life.  For me this includes: Career, Finance, Community, Adventure, Exercise/Movement, Health, Personal/Professional Development, Partnership, and Family.  This allows you to have one primary goal for the year but also have aims to direct activities in other areas of your life.  Like, if your one thing for 2018 as a whole is to move to a new city and your 1 thing in “exercise” is to run a marathon – you make sure your exercise time is focused on running.  
  • Planning: Reviewed 2017 accomplishments and planned 2018 milestones with the Lifehack Bootcamp (productivity training) annual preplanning call, including what things do I want to stop doing (for me, that’s judging myself and my environment).
  • Career: Wrote a 2018 career strategy based on influence from:
    • Cal Newport (productivity expert): What is the 1 problem you want to be best in the world at solving?
    • Bev Kaye (career expert): Write 2 paragraphs that describe what kind of job you’re looking for and let this impact how you approach your current role and/or to use in a job search.  See mine here as an example.  
  • Finance: Met with my financial advisor and did a review of all 2017 finances
  • Relationships:
    • Over Thanksgiving, I sent emails to 10-15 people who had particularly contributed to my year, so I felt good that I had already spread the love.
    • Over my work retreat, I reached out to two friends I had misunderstandings with and cleared the air.
    • Spent time with family and friends new and old over the weekend/evenings.  These adventures were also my reward for my work.  
  • Intention Setting in Community:
    • Did a conference call with my sisters for us to share our intentions for 2018 so we can support each other
    • Did a video call with my two goddess friends for us to share our intentions for 2018 so we can support each other
    • Set up an energy healing session for my friend Aimee and I to create clearing and good energy for each other for the year
    • Hosting an upcoming event at my house for my friends to come together and share our intentions for 2018
  • Things I will incorporate next year:
    • Handle tax questions preemptively for upcoming tax season
    • Budget planning for the following year as a whole

Overall, here are my results from 4 days of work!  

  • 2018 Prep:
    • Built strategy around my career advancement and new blog
    • Set goals for all areas of life
    • Created a plan to write a book (found a publisher)
    • Created a plan of tasks to complete in January
  • 2017 Wrap Up:
    • Did financial review of all spending/income/investments
    • Finished small overdue tasks/requests/billing
    • Spent time with two friends to clear up miscommunication
    • Continued work in my part-time coaching job
  • Self care:
    • Yoga 3 times
    • 1 counseling session, 1 coaching session
    • Went on a date with San Francisco (took a long solo walk)
    • Spent time with friends & family in the evenings and on the weekend
    • Listened to an album that was on my list for a long time
    • Cooked for myself and guests for multiple meals in my new kitchen

Snapshot below of one of my video coworking sessions. 🙂

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Finding your tribe

One of the best pieces of career advice I received ages ago, was “find your tribe – the people you feel a kinship with – and do whatever career they’re doing.” I was talking to my buddy Maya last night about the tribe of consultants.  She said they have nothing in common except they value autonomy.  My tribe is awesome.

The end of the weekend

Waking up yesterday, Saturday morning, was not only a shift to waking consciousness, but a new one altogether.  Twiddling my toes under the blanket, I began dreaming up all the weekend-licious fun I was going to have that day.  A jolt of memory then – “I’m resigning because I’m starting my own company”, I messaged to my manager at a large corporation earlier in the week.  My last day was racing toward me.  The first Saturday of my transition had dawned.

Beginning to run my own schedule – how much I work, when, with whom –  I realized how un-ergonomic it has always felt to work 5 full days and then have 2 days off.  My best days include a mix of work and play.  So I decided that every day can be used like any other – another sun’s bead on a string whose tail nests over the horizon.  Time-agnosticism is in and the weekend is out.

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