One of the many things I did recently was an aptitude assessment at Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation. I’ve done ✅ lots of previous MBTI and similar type assessments because generally speaking I’m always fascinated by such things. But the unique qualities of this most recent evaluation is that it removes the subject from self-reporting in areas of interest and isolates their unique strengths by measuring actual performance in a variety of activities.

The process can be spread out over time but I opted to squeeze everything into two sessions of testing over two consecutive days. Some of the tasks seemed absurd and others simply daunting, but still others were truly like child’s play (naturally it turns out that these areas were my strengths.) What I learned about myself was genuinely affirming, though to be honest, I was already on a path that seemed in alignment. The experience has been useful in defining my personal goals for 2019 in the context of the theme word “prune” I have established.

I am one of those people with way more interests than hours in a day or even years in a lifetime so this assessment is helpful for me in choosing the most productive ways of spending my energy. I learned in particular that I’m in the 90+% of adults in my age group for two key areas which relate to long-term orientation; foresight and idea generation. I found this rather entertaining because anyone who has ever spent any amount of time with me knows that I tend to generate ideas nearly constantly. I am usually enthusiastic to be involved in a group collaboration where we are working on developing some tangible experience or outcome.

There were some other areas of strengths that I found validating, as well as, some areas of weakness which were utterly frustrating. I could really say a lot about this research but space doesn’t permit. I do encourage others to consider doing their own assessments as I found the information and experience beneficial. I wouldn’t say it changed my path much but it did solidify some of my commitments and encourage me to keep going forward which is really what I ultimately needed to establish my plan for the new year which as I have mentioned will revolve around a central theme word of ‘prune’

I chose this word intentionally because I feel that it represents many things of relevance to me at this time. Prune as in refine, edit, eliminate excess and to nourish, enrich and nurture various talents, but not shrivel up as I proceed into my 50s. And prune as in tasting the richness, fullness and sweetness of these years of my life. Staying grounded but not getting stuck in the mud. I can look back and reflect on my first year of this blog experiment and conclude that I’d like to continue with it; making manageable improvements as I go forward and expanding my efforts and content.

I will continue with my blog posts, better organize and add some new elements. My three new year resolutions are “education, exercise, and elevation” I aim to check some more boxes on the classes I am always taking and to finally shed some extra pounds while at the same time rewarding myself with some of my favorite things like elevating my wardrobe and experiences. One thing about mom life for me has been surrendering some of my fashion loving hobbies to focus on my higher priority of caring for my kiddos.

My kiddos are now well on the way to being young adults however and not only do they not need but they also really don’t want all my attention and energy going into their activities. I think this is a difficult transition time for many moms where they maybe didn’t have many interests beyond immediate family. Many might struggle to redefine an identity that revolves around ‘self’ again. But, inevitably, children grow and their needs change and if we are to honor them then we must make changes as well. At least, that is the case in my home.

With all this in mind, I decided it could be fun to start my own little fitness and fashion challenge. For better or worse, fitness is not always enough of a personal reward to recognize my efforts. Or at least that is what I am arguing here. So I have devised a personal strategy of setting a fitness challenge on the first friday of each month in 2019 and finishing with a final friday fashion challenge reward on the last friday of the month. I will be sharing those posts on my Instagram page and I invite anyone interested to join me. Feel free to follow me at https://instagram.com/jenalandtheblog I’d love to share this journey with you and together we will both achieve our goals for 2019.

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