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Career

24 questions every woman should ask

How often do we stop and ask ourselves, 'what was the last thing I said to myself?'

It's easy to caught up in the demanding pace of everyday life and not spare a thought for the bigger picture.
How often do we stop and ask ourselves, 'what was the last thing I said to myself?', 'what am I most proud of achieving?' - and 'when was the last time I rewarded myself?'
Stopping to consider 'the hard questions' helps us to pause, evaluate and reset. We allow ourselves to realise and acknowledge that we might be working too hard, expecting too much of ourselves or haven't had much time lately with our partner, children - or to ourselves.
In the latest issues of NEXT and Woman's Day, a set of 24 tear-out conversation starter cards have been included. Keep them handy and pull them out at a girls' night, around the dinner table, or to ask yourself and reflect on your answers.
In the meantime, we put NEXT editor Rachael Russell and Woman's Day editor-in-chief Sido Kitchin under the spotlight to answer some of the questions themselves. Here are their answers:
Woman's Day editor-in-chief Sido Kitchin (left) and NEXT editor Rachael Russell
What was the last thing you said to yourself?
Sido: Just one more episode. (My Brilliant Friend - TVNZ On Demand)
Rachael: When am l ever going to find the time to get everything done!?!
What does escape mean to you?
Sido: Sea, sun, family and Jandals. Messy hair, don't care!
Rachael: I immediately think of a beautiful beach with good body surfing waves and my family and friends to hang out with. No phone, obviously! And no pressing concerns buzzing about in my head.
What does success look like to you?
Sido: My family together in fits of giggles.
Rachael: Having a balance of creatively fulfilling projects with enough stress-free down time to spend with my family and do the things I love.
If you could go back to any age what would it be?
Sido: I recall 27 being particularly fab and free. But I didn't have my lovely children, so on reflection I'd say 38 when I welcomed my second baby and took off to France.
Rachael: In terms of going back to a great age, it would be 17 – all fun, no responsibility. But for a redo, I'd go back to 22 and tell myself not to worry so much about the future.
Do you feel like you've got balance in your life? If not, what would help you achieve it?
Sido: I do, but I have a husband who happily carries most of the domestic load, so I'm fortunate. (Helps that I'm a hopeless cook!)
Rachael: Does anyone ever feel they've managed balance? I think I get closest to achieving it when I push back and use that magic word, 'no'.
What quality makes you respect a person?
Sido: Someone who's honest, an open book and completely authentic … Anika Moa and Wendyl Nissen come to mind!
Rachael: Empathy – people who see outside their own needs and wants, and show kindness to others, are number one in my book.
What is increasingly becoming socially acceptable but shouldn't be?
Sido: Faulty Lime scooters. I've lost precious staff to injury lately.
Rachael: Narcissism. I pretty much quit social media after the #10yearchallenge.
What was your last leap of faith?
Sido: Wearing white out to dinner.
Rachael: This question has simply highlighted that it's been way too long since my last leap of faith.
Are there any failures in your life that you are proud of?
Sido: A "green issue" of New Zealand Woman's Weekly in 2008, hoping to inspire Kiwi woman to think about how their lifestyle choices impact the planet for generations to come. Had a heart of gold, but sold terribly. I like to think it was ahead of its time!
Rachael: We often try new things at work that don't pan out in terms of commercial success, but I'm always proud of the ideas and execution. You have to try things, and no one gets it right 100 per cent of the time.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
Sido: When I asked my girlfriend how to be a good mum, and she said "just love them to bits". Easy!
Rachael: Trust your instincts (or 'don't overthink it', which are pretty much the same thing).

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