Please Join Us! ==> REGISTER HERE for Live TWEAK IT Book Launch Webcast!
Please Join Us! ==> REGISTER HERE for Live TWEAK IT Book Launch Webcast!
As the holidays near, I want to thank everyone who has offered their early praise and enthusiasm for TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day (Center Street/Hachette, January 8, 2013). It has meant so much to me.
- R. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School
- Susan Cain, the bestselling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
- Dan Schawbel, Founder of Millennial Branding, author of Me 2.0
- Whitney Johnson — HBR blogger and author, Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream
- Julie Burstein, the bestselling author ofÂ Spark: How Creativity Happens and host of pursuitofspark.com
- Brad Harrington, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Work & Family.
“In her new book TWEAK IT, Yost draws upon almost two decades of experience in this area to offer new, commonsense techniques for personal and professional success that will benefit both people and business.” R. Glenn Hubbard, Dean, Columbia Business School
“Cali Yost is one of our wisest and staunchest thought leaders. In TWEAK IT, she delivers a brilliant mix of deeply researched and deeply practical advice that will improve the life of anyone who acts on it. A must-read book for anyone who is overextended, overworked — and passionate about their lives.” Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts
“Cali proves that there’s no one-size-fits all model when it comes to work life balance. TWEAK IT helps you better organize your life so you can make the most of each day. If you feel like you don’t have enough time to manage your social and professional life, you must read this book!” Dan Schawbel, Founder of Millennial Branding, Author of Me 2.0
“TWEAK IT by Cali Williams Yost, the leading authority on managing work and life, just went to the top of my recommended reading list for people who are ready to get their dreams done. Having made my own list of tweaks, I am already going more confidently in the direction of my dreams. I am certain you will too. When you ‘tweak it’, dreams won’t be somewhere over the rainbow, you’ll find they are right under your feet. Whitney Johnson — Author, Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream
I’m grateful to TWEAK IT for helping me make meaningful tweaks to my hectic work+life fit. In just the first week, I made a date to see my mom for dinner, set a schedule to walk with my husband a few times a week, and remembered to prioritize spending 10 minutes a day with each of my kids. Cali’s mindful approach and her stories about work+life fit naturals, offer up the possibility that we can all, in her words, “make what matters happen every day.”Julie Burstein, author of Spark: How Creativity Works, and producer/host of pursuitofspark.com.
“Organizational culture, management support, and human resource policies are important, but ultimately, it is the individual who must determine their fit, and manage the process of achieving it. Cali Yost’s latest contribution to the field, TWEAK IT, provides individuals with a simple yet elegant way to take hold of their lives and, in doing so, achieve their personal and professional goals. Filled with real-life cases and easy to execute tips and “how to’s”, TWEAK IT illustrates vividly how small changes can have a big impact on the quality of our lives and our relationships with those who matter most.” Professor Brad Harrington, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Work & Family.
Again, thank you all! And remember to “tweak it” and make what matters to you happen this holiday season!
I am excited to share the official trailer for TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day (Center Street/Hachette) which will be released on January, 8th!
Be sure to check out the valuable package of PRE-ORDER offers for you, your group and organization.
As 2012 comes to a close, let’s “Just TWEAK IT” in 2013 and make what matters to us happens, on and off the job!
I can’t wait to join you on January 8th to start harnessing the power of small actions and priorities to get our jobs done, AND also take care of ourselves, nurture our careers, manage our personal finances, connect with our loved ones, and maintain our homes.
To celebrate, I am offering the following limited time, PRE-ORDER specials to individuals, groups and organizations.
PRE-ORDER the book, TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day (Center Street/Hachette) from the following online retailers and send us a copy of your receipt (email@example.com) by JANUARY 11, 2013: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, 800CEOReads.
PRE-ORDER Special Packages for Individuals, Groups, and Organizations
For Individuals: Order 3 books and get a personalized bookplate signed by me!
For Groups: Each month in 2013, I will hold a private 30-minute TWEAK IT Q&A call with a small group that is following the practice together. This is perfect for book clubs, or any small local organization that meets regularly. Be one of the first twelve groups to order at least 25 books, and we will schedule a time that is mutually convenient to talk TWEAK IT together!
For Organizations–Whether it’s an industry gathering or corporate event, the powerful, yet commonsense and practical, advice in TWEAK IT will help your members and employees take control of their lives on and off the job in 2013. The specific live event offerings are as follows (click here for client testimonials):
1000 Books: 2-hour, interactive, in-person presentation in the U.S. or Canada that can be simulcast to other locations, and an in-person Flex+Strategy Q&A session with the organization’s senior HR and leadership team.* (Value: $50,000)
750 Books: 60-minute, keynote, in-person presentation in the U.S. or Canada, and an in-person Flex+Strategy Q&A meeting with the organization’s senior HR and leadership team.* (Value: $30,000)
500 Books: 60-minute webinar for employees and managers, and a separate 60-minute Flex+Strategy Q&A teleconference with the organization’s senior HR and leadership team.* (Value: $20,000)
250 Books: 60-minute webinar for members, employees and/or managers. (Value: $10,000)
150 Books: Host a live Twitter or Yammer chat to answer the specific everyday work+life fit questions of your members, employees and/or managers. (Value: $5,000)
*Limited number available. Travel expenses for in-person presentations covered by the sponsoring organization. Book pre-order must be made before January 11, 2013 to qualify. Presentations can be scheduled through June, 2013.
Thank you for checking out the PRE-ORDER packages, and pre-ordering TWEAK IT for the holidays. Now, get ready to Just TWEAK IT! If you have any questions, please contact Linda Cannilla at linda (at) flexstrategygroup.com.
The holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year, but also the most difficult with everything we need to get done at work and at home. Why not make this year different!
JOIN me LIVE for a private, special 4-week TWEAK IT Holiday Challenge!
This special preview of the TWEAK IT practice (not available to the public until January, 8, 2013!) will show you how to harness the power of small, deliberate actions and priorities to make what matters to you happen this holiday season!
How does the TWEAK IT Holiday Challenge work? The Holiday Challenge group (limit number of participants) will:
- Join the private TWEAK IT Holiday Challenge Facebook group where we will communicate with each other.
- Meet virtually once a week to check-in and review how we did with our holiday tweaks the previous seven days, including ME!
The schedule will be as follows:
KICK OFF: 1-Hour ; either Friday 11/30 12 pm est OR Sunday 12/2 at 7 pm est. I will introduce you to the TWEAK IT practice, and we will set out goals for the coming week.
1st Check In: 30 minutes; either Friday 12/7 at 12 pm est OR Sunday 12/9 at 7 pm est.
2nd Check In: 30 minutes; either Friday 12/14 at 12 pm est, OR Sunday 12/16 at 7 pm est.
3rd Check In: 30 minutes; either Friday 12/21 at 12 pm est, OR Sunday 12/23 at 7 pm est.
WRAP UP / New Year Review: 1-Hour; Friday 1/4 at 12 pm est ONLY! We will review how the practice helped us over the holidays and how to take what we’ve learned and continue into 2013.
For participating in the TWEAK IT Holiday Challenge, you will:
- Receive a FREE signed copy of TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day, for your participation in the kick off, one of the weekly check ins and wrap up session.
- Have a chance to participate in the TWEAK IT national media campaign and share how small changes with big impact made what matters to you happen over the holidays.
If you aren’t able to participate in the TWEAK IT Holiday Challenge, get on our mailing list to learn about the many upcoming opportunities to join in the TWEAK IT revolution when it launches officially on January 8, 2013!
Let’s TWEAK IT and make this holiday season better than ever!
I am excited to share news about my new book, TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day, which will be published by Center Street/Hachette on January 8, 2013!
I can’t express my deep gratitude to everyone who supported me throughout the TWEAK IT creation journey. And here it is!
Why TWEAK IT?
Do these everyday work-life tradeoffs sound familiar?
- Prepare for a meeting, or leave work a few minutes early to go to the gym?
- Catch up on emails, or meet a friend for coffee?
- Ask for overtime or take my mother to the doctor?
- Finish some paperwork, or read at my son’s school?
We all wrestle with questions like these every day. How do you do your job and take care of yourself, nurture your relationships, keep up your job skills, care for your loved ones and maintain your personal finances and home?
In TWEAK IT, I reveal the secrets of the work+life fit “naturals.” These are the people I’ve met over the years who seem to fit all of the pieces of their personal and professional lives together with ease.
As I studied the naturals, I discovered they regularly follow four simple practical steps when managing their actions and priorities on and off the job; however, survey results confirmed most of us don’t. We either don’t know how important these commonsense steps are or we ignore them. That used to include me!
TWEAK IT shows all of us how to unleash the power of small changes that have a big impact!
How can TWEAK IT help you?
TWEAK IT translates the secrets of the work+life fit naturals into a doable weekly practice that’s accessible to everyone, whether you are a man, woman, mother, father, entrepreneur, millennial, caregiver or pre-retiree.
The weekly TWEAK IT practice of small changes, or “tweaks,” builds that solid foundation of everyday contentment and order we all crave—one step at a time. You will learn how to:
- Create a “TWEAK IT snapshot” that brings all of your work and personal realities together in one complete picture.
- Use your current calendar & priority list to successfully manage this “snapshot” on a regular basis.
- Choose the standard tweaks you would like to see happen consistently every week (going to the gym every morning, or making sure to sit down with the entire family for dinner four nights out of the week).
- Pick your unique Tweaks of the Week – the new, periodic small actions and priorities you would like to add to your routine over the next seven days (reviewing household finances, setting up a LinkedIn profile or trying out a new sporting activity during the week).
- Partner with your boss, coworkers and family members to make these tweaks a reality.
- Review and revise their weekly Tweak It practices to keep it fresh and relevant.
To ensure your success, TWEAK IT includes the “get started” advice of experts from over fifty work and life related areas, like wellness, career relationships, personal finance, caregiving, and life and home maintenance.
Because I wanted the support and learning to continue even after you finished the book, we created the TWEAK IT TOGETHER mobile-friendly community site. The site will launch on Monday, January 7th, the day before the book is released!
How can you get started?
SPECIAL Limited Time Offer! If you pre-order three or more books, send us a copy of your receipt (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will send you a special thank you gift!
Like the NEW! TWEAK IT Community Facebook Page and Tell Your Friends!
Stay tuned for more updates!! If you haven’t already, be sure to join our mailing list.
As you can tell, I am so excited to share all that I have learned as I researched and wrote TWEAK IT, and I look forward to helping everyone “Just TWEAK IT” in the coming months!
Today begins a “week of action” for the bloggers who are part of AARP’s caregiving “kitchen cabinet.” Not only do I deal with eldercare/family caregiving issues professionally as a work+life strategy consultant, but I have been a caregiver myself.
As my call-to-action, I wanted to go back and reflect on how I felt in August, 2007 as I began to emerge from the eldercare trenches having just lost my mother to an 18 month fight with lung cancer. I had written a blog post entitled “Mom’s Peaceful Passing–Eldercare True Confessions.” Reading my words today, I am transported back to the exhaustion, complicated feelings and hard realizations. But mostly, I am proud.
I am proud of my mom. Proud of my sisters and even proud of myself. My mom brought us into this world, and we can honestly say that we shepherded her through her final transition in as loving and peaceful a way as possible.
But we were lucky. My sisters and I had very flexible jobs. My mother had enough money to get the care she needed (assuming it was available, which is a whole other issue.) And it was still hard. Harder than I remember. Clearly, time has softened the edges of the experience, but it hasn’t dimmed the insights and passion that continue to inform my work in this area.
Were you a caregiver in the past? When you reflect back on the experience today, how do you feel? What do you wish others knew that you may have learned the hard way? Here is my story from August, 2007. I would love to hear yours.
Mom’s Peaceful Passing–Eldercare True Confessions
My mom peacefully passed away on July 6th after waging a heroic eighteen-month battle with lung cancer. I want to thank everyone who has sent messages of support and shared their personal stories of caring for an adult they loved. It has meant so much to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Over the past six weeks as my sisters and I provided 24/7 care until her death, then arranged my mother’s funeral, I had no capacity for blogging. But now, two-weeks into my “re-entry,” I would like to share some personal observations about eldercare. My experience has radically changed how I will professionally approach this major work+life transition going forward.
I had to save my true confessions about eldercare until after her death, because reading them would have been too painful for her. Because the truth is that eldercare is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.While I would do it again in a heart beat, it’s a responsibility that exacts a tremendous toll—physically and emotionally—straining even the most well-thought-out work+life fit.
The best way to describe what I mean is to compare eldercare to working after having my children, who are now nine and six. (Note that for the purpose of this comparison, I’m assuming that the children do not have special needs. To learn more about those unique challenges, see guest blogger, Linda Roundtree’s, excellent posting).
Like eldercare, becoming a parent is a huge transition. In both circumstances you are often sleep deprived and have absolutely no time for yourself. But, in general, caring for your child is:
- Happy and rewarding;
- Based on a relatively predictable curve of development with care readily available, albeit for a price; and
- Controlled by you. You say how, when, and where the child will be cared for and the child must comply, willingly or unwillingly.
In contrast eldercare is sad, unpredictable, and rarely, if ever, fully controlled by you. Let’s briefly look at each aspect of this comparison.
Even at its most difficult, caring for a child always involves the possibilities of the future. Caring for an aging or sick adult is about loss. Loss of the vibrant person. Loss of their pain-free existence and control over even the most mundane activities of life. And, ultimately, death. Because the work+life fit equation is based on time and energy, the pervasive sadness of eldercare is an energy drain that doesn’t exist with child care.
Yes, my children will unexpectedly wake up sick and not be able to go school, we’ll have a snow day, or my nanny will be running late. But for the most part, things are pretty predictable. Not so with eldercare.
While every child is unique, there is a general developmental curve they will follow. With eldercare, there is no such curve. Every adult’s medical, family, financial, emotional, and community circumstance is completely unique. And there is a shocking lack of affordable care. For the most part, unless you are very poor, very wealthy, or have excellent long-term health care, you are on your own. In fact, I don’t think most people, or employers, have any idea just how on your own you will be when dealing with eldercare.
In our case, my mom was single so my sisters and I were her primary caregivers. Thankfully, she had a wonderful community of friends and enough resources to support the care she required. But even so, we had to provide a tremendous amount of care, because there are many things you still have to and want to do yourself. And, both my sisters and I had a great deal of job flexibility. We couldn’t have done it if we didn’t.
Even with the flexibility that comes from working for myself, trying to plan my work around my mom’s care was almost impossible. I just had to take my best guess, and my best guess wasn’t always accurate. I probably should have said “no” more than I did, but I just wasn’t sure what my capacity would be. (Success Blog posting).
As I recently explained to a friend, it was like holding my breath for the last 18 months, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, which it always did at the busiest time for work. Toward the end, when the level of unpredictability accelerated, I began to understand why people would be forced to give up working. The ability to plan anything beyond just making sure your loved one has what they need is almost impossible.
Not Being Fully in Control
Now perhaps I was naïve, but I failed to consider the fact that my mother would have very strong ideas about how, when, and where she would be cared for. Very often those ideas didn’t coordinate with what my sisters and I thought would be best for her and, perhaps, most convenient for us and our work+life fit realities.
It was just one more unique element of eldercare that often added more time, more worry, and more stress to the equation than anything I’d experienced with child care.
As much as I consider my children’s wishes and well-being, their father and I have the last word. When your parent is mentally lucid which my mom was until three days before she died, your ability to dictate the details of care are very limited. In fact, we came up with a mantra, “hey, it’s her journey,” just to help us not worry as much when we disagreed with her choices, which was often. But they were her choices.
I look forward to using my 18 months in the trenches learning first-hand about the unique challenges of eldercare. As a school psychologist who dedicated her life to helping others, my mom would have wanted that. And now, as she would say, “I’d love to hear what your experience has been.” Let me know. And it’s great to be back!
(This post originally appeared in Forbes.com)
When I went to the polls, an issue that was barely mentioned during the campaign partially guided my vote. I favored the candidates nationally and locally whom I thought would begin to address the looming eldercare/adult caregiving cliff. Why?
Yes, jobs are very important, but increasingly people will struggle to keep a job as the demand to provide unpaid care for aging relatives (e.g. parents, aunts, uncles, friends, adult siblings) grows exponentially. Ultimately, this demand will far exceed the current level of supports in the community and the public funds available to pay for those minimal supports.
More and more individuals and employers will find they need to fill the gap financially and physically, and the worst is yet to come. But we aren’t talking about it. At least not yet; however, that’s going to have change.
What does eldercare/adult caregiving look like in action?
A couple of months ago, AARP in partnership with the Ad Council launched a three-year public service campaign to raise awareness of the tens of millions of unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. today.
When I first saw the powerful PSA, “Silent Scream” on television, it was so accurate in how it portrayed of the complicated emotions related to caring for another adult that it took my breath away. (My only wish it that they’d shown someone trying to rush out the door to work while figuring how to keep their mother safe when the caregiver doesn’t show up).
If you haven’t seen it, check it out here. It is worth three minutes.
What is the current state of eldercare/adult caregiving in the U.S.?
There are approximately 314 million people in the U.S. today. According to AARP, of that number, roughly 42 million were unpaid caregivers that provided $450 billion worth of unpaid care to adult relatives and friends in 2009. This is care that we, collectively, would have had to pay for otherwise.
In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over a three-month period, 39.8 million people over the age of 15 said they provided care to someone over 65 years old because of “a condition related to aging. Of that 39.8 million:
- • One-third cared for two or more older people
- • 23% also cared for a minor child.
- • 85% of caregivers and elders did not live together
- • 56% of caregivers were women (44% men)
In other words, today about 13% of the U.S. population provides some type of unpaid family caregiving.
What is the projected future of eldercare/adult caregiving in the U.S.? (Click here for more)
(This post originally appeared in FastCompany.com)
Recently, as skeptical senior leader asked me to explain the business case for why organizations need to take a more coordinated, strategic approach to work flexibility.
I began to list all of the business benefits, including, “Millennials value their lives outside of work and expect to be able to do their jobs flexibly.” He responded, “The problem is that they don’t want to work hard. I would never have talk about work-life balance when I was their age. I just felt lucky to have a job.”
He is not alone in that thinking. The meme that Gen-Y/Millennials “don’t want to work hard” exists, in part, because they talk so openly about work-life balance. But is the bias fair?
First, there will always be people in every generation who who don’t want to work hard. The Gen-Y/Millennials are no exception, but is it accurate to ascribe that quality to an entire generation simply because they are open about how they want to make their lives both on and off the job a priority? It’s not, for the following reasons: (Click here for more)
In case you missed it last week, Hannah Seligson wrote a thoughtful and compelling article entitled, “When the Work-Life Scales Are Unequal,” that appeared in the Sunday New York Times business section.
The article deftly addressed the perceptions and realities of unequal work-life “balance” in the workplace (As a colleague in the work-life field said on Twitter, “Good job, everyone. I was prepared to be annoyed based on the headline. Nice piece!”)
I’m honored that Selignson included my insights in the article as well as cited findings from the 2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check survey; however, what I found particularly remarkable were:
- The placement of the article on the front page of the Sunday New York Times business section, above the fold, and
- The large picture of a father with his child at swim lessons accompanying the article.
The placement and the picture represent noteworthy and important symbolic shifts for the work-life debate. Why?
Work-Life as an “everyone” issue takes its rightful place as a business topic
Historically, the “Style,”Family” and “Life” sections/segments of major media outlets have covered the work and life beat. The message sent was that work+life fit is nice and interesting topic, but it doesn’t impact the business directly enough to warrant front page, above-the-fold attention in the business section (in “Careers” perhaps, but not “Business”).
Yes, articles related to attracting and retaining women when they became mothers got some business coverage, and more recently, pieces about fathers and work have started to appear here and there.
This article was different. It was front and center, in the Sunday business section of The New York Times. And it focused on the reality that we all have lives outside of our job that we have to manage. While we don’t need to tell each other what we are doing when we leave work, we must improve how we collaborate and coordinate. We have to focus on how we get our respective jobs done so that what matters to us, personally and professionally, happens in a way that works for everyone. That includes men, women, single people, married people, parents and elder caregivers. Everyone. And being able to manage that process effectively does impact the business.
Does that mean work+life fit shouldn’t be covered in the “Style,” “Family,” and “Life” sections/segments in the media? No. We can always use more help with how we manage the “life” side of the equation better and smarter in the context of work, and that fits beautifully in those categories. But, acknowledging the “work” piece of the puzzle in the context of life is equally as important, and belongs in the business section.
I was out of town for the long weekend, so I didn’t see the hard copy of the article in print until I returned home on Monday. Online, there’s a small picture with the article of Aziz Gilani, a director of DFJ Mercury, and his children, Aleena and Ziyad, whom he often takes to swim class during the workweek (image credit: Michael Stravato, The New York Times).
But in the printed paper, that same picture is huge, and placed prominently on the page. To see an image of a father who leaves work to take his children to an activity on the front page of the business section of the Sunday New York Times, again, wow.
Contrast that picture with the question I posed during a speech I gave two weeks ago, “What are the two most prominent work and life stories in the media over the summer?” Without missing a beat, the group shouted, “Anne Marie Slaughter’s article in The Atlantic about how women can’t have it all,” and “Marissa Mayer, the pregnant CEO of Yahoo.” I then asked the group of attendees, “What message does that send about work and life issues?” Again, almost immediately, “That they are about women and mothers.”
Yes, women and mothers need to flexibly manage their work and life everyday and throughout their careers (I am a mother of two and I understand all too well), but as the image of Gilani and his kids that accompanied this article shows so clearly, so do men and fathers. And, while not pictured, so do young people going back to school at night, or someone caring for an adult sibling with disabilities.
Maybe I’m jumping the gun, but I hope that the “When the Work-Life Scales Are Unequal” article is the first of many more that deal with the challenges we all face managing work and life in a modern, hectic world. And that those pieces also appear on the front page of the business section, above-the-fold, in major media outlets like The New York Times. It’s long overdue. If there are examples, please share. I’d love to see them. Because that’s where the topic also belongs.