Why do I put myself through this process? Because I want to learn from my mistakes and repeat my successes. And all the books and articles say it’s a thing.
Interestingly, though, something has cropped up in my mindfulness and self-care practices during the last half of 2022, and it has inspired us to come up with a new opportunity for reflection that happens more than once a year. I realized last year, after changing not just one, but*two* positions around the same time (shout out to my multiple-job people), that I needed to make course corrections more often than at the end of the year.
Enter, The Monthly Mindset! Sure, maybe it won’t have the same feel as huddling over your planner/Notion/Asana in the glow of twinkle lights at dark o’clock in December, but what it has done is helped me to pay more attention to the rhythms of my weeks, months, and year by taking an assessment more frequently and while my memory is still fresh.
It’s not just an assessment, however, because data without action feels wasteful. It’s also a reflection on what kinds of feelings, thoughts, and needs arose during the last 30 days and then a time of processing what would be most helpful for the next 30 days. Different than goal setting for production, this is choosing to spend some time contemplating the impact of stressors on your relationships, mental health, physical self, and capacity to access your authentic self.
If nothing else has become clear over the last three years, hopefully, we have all started to see that “business as usual” was never sustainable in the long term. Perpetuating a culture that measures a person’s worth by their pedigree (academic or familial) or their ability to produce meant that when production stopped in the face of a global pandemic, the search for meaning and purpose started to move to the forefront, not just for individuals, but for communities and organizations as well.
I’ll do a deeper dive on this particular issue another time, but that shift in our awareness is at the heart of a call to resist the urge to rush back to the “before.” Maybe there are more important things than what we have been paying attention to through the historical hustle culture lens.
To be clear, this is not a “those people over there” value judgment, folks. I indeed fell into the mindset of “produce or perish,” even as I have been a significant advocate of self-care and whole-person wellness. I mean, I literally build curriculum, coaching, and tools around it!
So, yes, this is all shared with a massive level of humility and a lot of “oops” as I realize that I have already begun to forget the lessons of 2020 when The Great Pause put us all in a time-out. It isn’t that production is an issue; it’s when the demand for production outpaces our humanity. When our desire for a stakeholder-approved bottom line is more significant than our value of the humans that contribute to and give their efforts to the product, then we’re turning people into a resource or, worse still, an object.
I hope that we collectively grow further in understanding this vital concept; what we bring into the world and our communities is more significant than what tasks we can complete to create or consume a product that makes someone money. Creating space for our individual experiences, perceptions, and expressions allows us to participate in community and life with richness and fullness.
I want that for myself, and I want that for you, too.
Yes, let’s get back to that. This intersects with The Monthly Mindset because the event is focused on carving out a regular time to ensure that you have an opportunity to identify where you might have the further cultivate those things that only you can bring to the world. It’s taking time to become aware of what barriers, stressors, or skills deficits may impact your ability to bring wholeness and wellness to every aspect of your life.
You may already have a practice in place that meets this need, and if so, we invite you to share it below (once we have comments open) because we always learn from each other when we are open and curious!
But if you have ever wanted to reflect (on the past) and project (into the future) to make the adjustments to your heart, mind, body, and soul, we invite you to join us for the Monthly Mindset.
If you want to try a tiny part of the process out, I’ll leave you with these two things to contemplate for January.