why hello 2023.
You’re going to be a start of new traditions, just so you know. It’s been a hell of a year (and I bucket 2020-2022 as part of that singular year, because y’know, pandemic, unrest, recession, etc. etc.) and you’re going to be the year of a lot of reset, reimagining, and recalibration. Here’s the why and how. To start, let’s…
🥂 Celebrate (things learned, moments won)
I’ve always been told that you learn most at times of hardship and challenge. When your limits are pushed; when your abilities are challenged. To say this year was a challenge is an understatement.
In the last year, I’ve changed jobs, I’ve changed lifestyles, I’ve changed my surroundings, and I’ve changed my pace.
And while the hustle and chaos was for the better, it’s forced me to prioritize a pause. To write it down. To reflect on it. To take a deeeeeeeeep breath.
2022 has brought many new hurdles in my way — from (positively) challenging new collaborations, to new kinds of adventure abroad. I’ve worked towards this moment to find a sense of confidence in myself, and yes, I’m insanely proud. However, I think when I look at my weekly affirmations, what I’m most proud of is in the medium itself: in the fact that I maintained and prioritized that pause to listen and learn.
- I’ve listened to the impact I’m actually making on my peers, instead of assuming.
- I’ve listened to what my peers want to feel, instead of jumping to conclusions.
- Most importantly, I’ve listened to myself: and reassured myself that I am enough.
…and in 2023 — that reassurance will keep the momentum moving. To allow my curiosity to take flight (yes, in the cheesiest of sense).
🙇 Appreciate (some gratefulness and self-affirmation)
2022 was the year to reconnect with my network. The privilege of business travel reunited me with so many friends, collaborators, and mentors around the world — and that’s worth calling out as something I can never take for granted.
The friendships I’ve made in recent years, that I’ve been too long disconnected from. The friendships I’ve always had, that make it through the toughest of times. I’ve learned lately that the further you distance yourselves from your friends, the more meaningful a small gesture of friendship hits.
2023 will be the year to activate those networks. To not just focus on myself, but what I can do in the service of my peers’ passions. After all, that’s why I do what I do.
📋 Focus (on what I achieved and what I want to do)
2022: The year of me
✅ Said “no” to work, to maintain focus
✅ Kept healthy, despite the pace
✅ Restarted a reading habit
2023: Let’s get to work
🎨 Kickstart a friend’s passion project
✨ Bi-weekly “pause” habit (70% reflect)
📖 Knowledge boost: one book a month
a quick bio...
💁♂️ Jamie Kwan is an Experiential Designer and Strategist, working at the intersection of space, service, and digital experience design. During the day, he’s a Service Designer with Atlassian in 🇨🇦, but more broadly … He's a recovering Architect, 'creative-tech'-dabbling designer, and a research-driven brand strategist, who's worked alongside clients in the retail, technology, themed entertainment, and financial services sectors in navigating the future — transforming their brand purpose into designed experiences that connect with their audiences (and strives to make their heart skip a beat). ✨ Through his work, he's on a mission to inject the power of play, storytelling, and hero-centered experience design in envisioning the future. Selected clients include the Panama Canal Authority, CJ Group, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), AIRMILES, Canadian Tire Corporation, Cineplex Entertainment, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
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