Intentions. I’ve been thinking a lot about intentions. I tend to do a lot of reflection around my birthday in February, planning for what I want the year ahead to look like, and our February Tide Risers UnstickHer session also focused on intention setting. I generally stay away from New Year’s resolutions as I tend to forget them or not follow them after a couple of months. Instead, I pick a single word each year that helps me set and remember my intention for the year. While I am still finalizing my 2018 word, a theme keeps emerging which may inform my choice.  


As you may recall, we kicked off our 2018 cohort sessions with Julia Bator offering her wonderful workshop, Choosing the Bigger Life. I loved her (re)framing of what "bigger life" could mean, and how it can mean different things to different people. 2017 was a big year for me: I turned 40; I got married; I moved to NYC. Lots of changes. All at once. All these changes have offered a chance for me to stop and reflect on what I want this new chapter of my life to look like. I’ve decided to slow my company’s growth to focus on the personal. That meant giving up some long-term clients, significantly reducing my work travel, refocusing and redefining what work is, and being willing to take some risks with new clients.  I left the retreat thinking about what 2018 has in store and more importantly how I want to shape it so that I too am choosing a bigger life for myself. This is definitely a work in progress, but I do feel that I am on the right path.

A couple of weeks after Julia’s presentation, my husband got us tickets to go see the Megyn Kelly show on NBC. Mostly, we went for the free swag (watches!). While we were there, she spoke about her book: Settle for More. Specifically, she stated she believes women often settle for less. She spoke about the importance of pushing for more. I love the idea behind her title. 

After the show, I did revisit a book that has lived on my nightstand for years: Playing Big by Tara Mohr. A very close friend and mentor gave it to me years ago and I often pick it up and read a chapter or two. Tara talks about focusing on what matters and not letting our inner critics get in the way. It’s almost like Julia, Tara, and Megyn all had coffee and were saying the same thing: Choose a bigger life. Play bigger. Settle for more.  

While I am still listening for cues for my 2018 word, I think I am on the right path to choosing something bigger than I might have before the year started. For the first time in 20 years, I chose some work outside of the education sector, which is a bit scary; I have been building my coaching practice and have doubled the number of clients I normally work with; and I have sought out some new partnerships that I previously imagined were unavailable to me. While I am not sure exactly how these ideas will all play out this year or in the years to come, I do think something is starting to click for me, and I’m excited to have a forum like Tide Risers to explore these exciting developments. 


Veenay Singla is the co-facilitator of the Tide Risers New York City cohort. She is also a coach, consultant, and connector, focusing primarily on talent and leadership in the education reform sector. Veenay has led a number of successful consulting engagements for clients such as the Achievement Network, Bellwether Education Partners, The Broad Center, Chicago Public Schools, the Crown Family Philanthropies, FirstLine Schools, Hawaii Department of Education, The Mind Trust, and Teach for America.