Podcast# 222 – Rebecca Bloom and Joan Lambert Discuss How Amava Circles Can Help You in “Finding Your Next”
Amava’s Mission Statement is as follows: Our mission is to empower people and organizations with research-based solutions to keep individuals and teams active, engaged and socially connected. I have partnered with Amava to provide opportunities to the Career Pivot community. I run a circle for them called, “So you want to be an expat.” There are several other community members engaging with the Amava team.
Rebecca Bloom’s bio is as follows:
Rebecca is a writer, editor and writing coach, volunteer patient advocate, and former attorney. She has worked in retirement, employee benefits, and compensation law and consulted for businesses and nonprofits large and small, strategizing tone and creating multi-channel messaging for diverse stakeholders. Rebecca is a devoted dog and daughter mom.
Joan Lambert’s bio is as follows:
Joan is a former attorney who has worked in the private and non-profit sectors. She has served on the board of several nonprofits and is the co-founder of the Preeclampsia Foundation.
She is a Certified Retirement Coach and has spearheaded the curriculum development of Amava’s popular Designing Your Next series. She also mentors college students, and is a long-term volunteer in her community’s schools, recently serving two terms as an elected School Board Member. A product of the California public school system, having attended UC Berkeley and UCLA Law School, Joan is devoted to principles of equity in education, with a particular focus on public schools as engines of long-term social change.
This episode is sponsored by Career Pivot. Check out the Career Pivot Community. Make sure and pick up my latest book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life Third Edition.
Now on to the podcast…
It’s all in the Circles
Amava has “circles” (or classes) for people to come together for one hour each week to learn, grow, and get to know one another.
One such circle is called, “Designing your Next”
This circle helps people at any stage as they plan for their lives in the future from where they are now.
They discuss their values, priorities, and visions for their life and then turn that into a plan.
This is only one type of circle. But, there are many more.
There are fun circles, trivia circles, and “name that song” circles as well as memoirs and enneagram circles that people truly enjoy.
Marc event teaches a 6-week Expat Circle.
Where do the Circle guides come from?
Most of the curriculum and circle guides started out as coming from Amava’s own team and the experiences those team members had. In addition, Amava also hires people in their community who have an abundance of experiences and lessons to teach.
Since the programming is research-based, learning circles have a collective responsibility for the sharing of knowledge.
The way members learn something new is not just what the teacher is teaching but also from those in the room sharing their experiences in life.
The goal of “Designing Your Next”
The goal was to help people who were undergoing a transition manage it and think about a specific process.
There is a lot of reading before the session. People actually watch videos and do the reading before they come to class and then they come they are ready to engage and to talk.
Who is the typical “Designing Your Next” Circle member?
The majority have been women.
Most of them are in the baby boomer demographic and an equal number of them are still working vs. already retired. However, if they are still working they are at least looking at retirement.
That’s why the curriculum attracts them – because the circle is discussing their plan for their life going forward.
They are asked to write a vision for what they want their life to look like in a few years and are encouraged to share that with their partner.
Many people have never done that life vision work with their spouse and do not discuss these transitions together.
8 Weeks of “Designing Your Next”
- 1st week – transitions and how to manage them.
- 2nd week – how they’re spending their time currently and doing a time diary exercise. (A lot of “ah ha” moments arrive during this week.)
- 3rd week – they focus on defining their core values which many people have never thought about.
- 4th week – prioritizes where they are both now and after the transition.
- 5th week – write a vision statement from everything they’ve discovered in the four weeks prior.
- 6th week – start creating an action plan. They think about specific goals and the small steps to get unstuck and get started.
- 7th week – continue with the action plan and discuss how to take the steps and face the challenges.
- 8th week – a recap of everything prior and how to keep the momentum going.
Do people follow through?
Or at least make a significant amount of progress.
New Circle for accountability
To help members after they take a circle, Amava is creating a new Circle for accountability so people can meet in a group that can continue to make progress and share success.
Accountability is something people in the circles are very interested in.
Everyone says accountability is the most important thing.
There is research that shows that someone will be twice as likely to achieve their goals if they have accountability.
Impact of COVID
Covid made people think about their lives, so in that way, it had an impact.
However, many members were already in the demographic of approaching a milestone anyway so there’s an interest at this point in their lives.
A book that is often mentioned in the circles is “Life is in the Transitions” by Bruce Filer. This gives a framework as to how to look at transitions as either personal or collective, as well as involuntary or voluntary.
Covid is this huge collective involuntary transition.
Future of Amava
New Circles are being created as well as new programs.
Currently, a “retirement institute” is being worked on that will have a much more comprehensive program available for retirees.
Retirement is far more complicated than many people think it is. What many people think they’ll miss the most is the money.
But what they miss most is normally the relationships.
To find out more about Amava you can go to: www.amava.com
To reach Rebecca Bloom: Rebecca@amava.com
To reach Joan Lambert: Joan@amava.com
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