Isn’t it crazy to think that this year is already half over? I want to use this as a time for reflection for what’s happened in the past six months and, maybe, this is a good time to set an intention for what could or will happen in the next six months.
Compared to 2020 this year just seems like it is rushing by – probably for obvious reasons. For me at least, where I am, we’re not being encouraged to stay home. Now I have a lot more places to go and people to see. So that’s probably increasing the pace of how time is flying this year. Since we are at the halfway point, I thought it would be interesting to compare this happy half year to a more traditional new year celebration.
Resolution, Reflection and Word of the Year
When we do a new year celebration, usually people talk about resolutions that they want for the coming year. Usually people do reflections. That’s when we see the “best of” lists coming out from whatever happened in the past 12 months. A lot of times in the new year, people decide on a word for the coming year.
So I thought this would be a fun time to do all of those kinds of activities on this episode at the year’s halfway mark.
2021 Word of the Year
A lot of times people come up with a word of the year. I have done this in the past few years too but I usually do not come up with a word of the year, specifically around December 31st or the weeks leading up to it.
I wait and see what word shows itself to me in the early months of the new year. For example, last year in 20, my word of the year was resistance. Obviously I was getting into the topic of resistance and really learning about it and practicing recognizing resistance and trying out different ways for myself and my clients and podcast listeners to release resistance. So that was definitely my focus for 2020. My word of the year for 2021 has emerged as Surrender. I started learning about surrender in the early months of 2021. Surrender came exactly when I needed it, when I really needed to learn to accept and let go and not try to control. What a wonderful concept for me to cling onto, basically. It has resulted in so many great things, so many in fact, that I don’t want to get into them in this episode.
I think I will talk about my lessons so far from surrender next week. So let me know what questions you have and I can include those in next week’s episode.
My mantra for 2021 is “live your life.” It’s what I remind myself of when I’m getting myself caught up in, “What should I do? What am I supposed to be doing? How can I feel better? What’s going on with me right now” and all of these questions. The answer “live your life” has been the perfect thing that I needed to tell myself and hear from myself. It helps me drop any thoughts of should, or have to or obligation and reminds me to just be present, enjoying and appreciating my life as it is right now.
Review the ½ Year with Start, Stop, Continue
A leftover practice I got from my old corporate days was to make a “Stop, Start, Continue” list. Have you heard of this? It’s where you list out what will you stop doing, what will you start doing and what will you continue to do.
It’s an interesting way to look at 2021 so far and to look forward to the rest of 2021 that’s still ahead of us.
What have I started doing in 2021? I do have a lot of new interests and new favorite things in 2021 that I wouldn’t have known about or, or considered in 2020, or before.
Right now I am teaching a surrender course that is going great. I’m really enjoying it. I’m continuing to learn a lot. We meet weekly – we’re halfway through our 8-week sessions. And it’s, it’s been a great opportunity for me to think more deeply about and incorporate and explain these concepts that I have been learning about and practicing in 2021.
Another thing that I started in 2021 is my journal and notebook shop. This has just been the biggest surprise learning experience and creativity outlet. I just cannot say enough wonderful things about this gift: finding the ability and process of creating journals and notebooks.
And even if I just created them for myself and they never made it into a tangible reality, that would have also been an amazing gift. I’m just having so much fun combining the two sides of art and science. I’m combining the artistry of designing the covers and choosing color combinations and looking at the font choices. I’m using my creativity for that part. And then I’m also employing the science or logical or rational side of myself that likes to think about the organization of the notebooks, what should be included, how much space to allow, how many pages, what should the set up look like, how would someone use this? That has all been so educational and interesting and already 100% worth it, even if this was just a personal hobby, which I just did by myself in my own house and just looked at on the screen and never even had a physical copy, but…
It Gets Better!
I do have physical copies. I do get to hold them and look at them and flip through them and touch them and write in them and stack them up and put them in a row and organize them by color or theme or purpose. It’s so fun to actually have the physical, tangible creation of what I was first creating in my mind and then creating digitally on a screen and now get to hold in my hands. And then it gets even better!
- I get to share these creations with other people.
- I get to see people’s reactions to the cover designs and the purposes for the journals and notebooks.
- I get to hear them say they love the idea of a prompted journal, or a coloring book for anxiety and stress, or a wine tasting notebook.
Another new thing for me in 2021, at the end of June, a friend of mine graciously hosted a journal party for me in her home. We had a bunch of fun friends come over. Games were played. We had some snacks. There were cocktails from a Cocktail Keurig Machine! That was also a new thing for me. It’s like a keurig coffee machine where you put the little pod in and it makes your cocktail for you.
Anyhow, the journal party was so interesting and fun. It has been so great to see people enjoy the notebooks and journals as much as I do and get as excited as I am about them and love them and want to write in them and want more of them and have ideas for them.
So the journals and notebooks have definitely been the 2021 gift that just keeps on giving and keeps on getting better. And I am so excited to see where it will take me in the future. And if it takes me nowhere, if it all ended tomorrow, for some crazy reason, I’m already 100% satisfied. I’m already 100% delighted by this whole experience in the past few months.
What have I stopped in 2021?
I have noticed a pause or slowdown in some of my relationships. I think this is just the natural evolution of how people change, how circumstances change, how interests change.
2020 probably did that for a lot of us when we weren’t in direct contact with people that we used to be around all the time. And then 2020 caused people to move or change jobs or just change their lifestyles. So I have kind of noticed a pause in my desire to spend time with some people or also the accessibility to some people. It’s just been interesting to note, I’m kind of keeping an eye on it and just seeing where this takes me.
Another relationship that has definitely changed for me in 2021, is not with a person but with a place (or places).
Is This Relationship Over?
You know, that I love Zumba. I love going to the gym for my Zumba classes. But now I might add a D on to that love and say past tense loved.
I was really concerned in 2020 when (rightfully so) the gyms closed their doors. At the time, I really was fearful about how I would be able to continue my Zumba habit and what might take its place and how quickly I would be able to get back to it. Because I was 100% into Zumba at the gym. I had multiple gym memberships because I wanted to be able to go to certain classes at certain times that met my schedule. That was all part of the life that I designed for myself. I was living it out in the way that I wanted to. And then: “Surprise!” As things happen. I didn’t get to do what I wanted to.
Now that gyms have opened up again and people are exercising in group settings together. I haven’t joined in yet and I might not at all. And I feel okay about that. I was someone who thought I would never want to rely on an at-home workout for myself. Scheduled events were great for me. It was good that I never wanted to be late to and I liked the accountability of seeing other people. And now, those factors are not as important to me anymore. I have found a substitute that I can do at home.
Change in Behavior and Attitude
So this change in my behavior that started out of necessity in 2020 has maybe morphed into a change in attitude in 2021. And I might have stopped my gym relationship for now, or maybe even for a while.
Having been wrong about my confident belief that I would always want to do Zumba at a gym if given the choice makes me think, what else am I mistaken about? What other things do I assume about myself that are not even true at all?
This has been another new 2021 theme for me? Noticing when I’ve been mistaken or wrong about myself and accepting my mistake rather than trying to let my ego force me to be right all the time.
So this might be a good question for you. If there are certain things, habits, priorities or preferences in your life that you think you would never stop, You tell yourself “I would never give this up. I would never do without that.”
Would you though, could you?
I thought to myself, I would never want to have my daily workout be an at home, self-directed workout. Well, here it is. And I’m enjoying it and it’s working out for me. So maybe there are other areas like that too. And maybe you have some areas like that
Stop or Continue?
Let’s move on to what has continued and what I think will continue in 2021. But before we do- I have one that I’m not sure about. Zoom Meetings.
Zoom has just been such a great way for me to connect with people, throughout 2020, and now even in the beginning of 2021 for the first six months, I’ve been on Zoom a lot. I’ve met a lot of great people this way. I’ve furthered connections with people.
Using Zoom has given me access to teach people who I wouldn’t have otherwise met or been able to correspond with.
So do I think zoom meetings are going to stop for me now that everything’s opening up again or continue? I do think I will continue because now I have relationships with people and groups in other parts of the country and the world.
So of course I don’t want to just close the door on those opportunities and those relationships. But, I do wonder if, just naturally, we (me and the rest of us too) we’ll just start to shy away from doing things online because we’re a little bit zoomed out or because we just really want to take advantage of our ability to meet people in person. So this will be interesting to watch.
But, I did use zoom prior to 2020, just not for quite as many things. And, not everyone knew about zoom prior to 2020 – so now, a lot more people are comfortable with it and might be happy to meet in this format.
What will I continue to do for the rest of 2021? What are my plans? I’ll definitely be continuing the podcast. So you’ll continue to get to hear me (or read this) every Friday.
I definitely will continue creating notebooks and journals. My goal is to have 200 designs created, and I’m about a third of the way there right now. I just have lists upon lists of more ideas and concepts and various creations in the process of being created.
Coaching and Mind Management
I’ll definitely continue coaching with my coaching clients. I love hearing their progress and seeing their transformation right before my eyes. And I love showing them their transformation that they’re sometimes not even aware of because they feel like they’ve just been continuing on with their lives. And then when I hold up their before and after to them, in a descriptive way, I describe to them their mindset transformation – it is so exciting and confirming that coaching and mind management works.
The main thing that I will continue to do throughout the rest of 2021 is just to live my life.That’s the daily practice and intention I’m most interested in and excited and curious about.
2021 has already given me so much and been so full of so many wonderful things – I can’t wait to see what else comes.
Your Start, Stop, Continue List
Now that you’ve heard me what I started, stopped, and continued to do in 2021 – what about you? Can you identify anything that you’ve started this year?
Or something that you’ve intentionally stopped doing in 2021?
Have you identified what you will for sure continue doing for the next6 months and maybe beyond?
What About Goals?
New Year’s Eve is also a time that people usually make resolutions or maybe they make a goal for themselves for the new year. In general, I am not making goals. I do have the specific goal for my notebooks. So I do have some very short-term goals as far as “To Do’”s for the week or things that I want to do in this month.
Now, I am more interested in intention. Setting an intention for myself about how I want to feel or how I want to show up, how I want to be, how I want to live my life. Unlike the past version of me, pretty much any more, I’m really not interested in setting a focused, specific, especially not a smart goal for the future for the six months out or a year out, or five-years out.
If anyone asks me about my five-year plan right now, the answer is just I’m living my life. I do not have a specific number or measurement or anything to put on what’s going to happen.
I wonder if this relaxation of measurement has happened with anyone else after we all got the big surprise, which we should have known in the first place, that we don’t control anything.
Even though I have been a person in the past who has been very, very driven by goals, maybe my incorporation of surrender work into my life has changed that about me. I’m not interested in setting goals any longer than maybe three to four months out. I’m open to whatever is coming.
New Topic of Interest for the Rest of 2021?
I do have a new topic that I’m interested in that I’m excited to learn more about and research. Maybe you can help me with it because maybe, you know what it’s called.
I don’t know what it’s called or how to describe it really.
I noticed one morning when I was writing and kind of reflecting on how I learn and what I’m interested in and how I do things, I realized that there might be phases.
This made me think of the product life cycle or the Kubler-Ross Change Curve (which you might have heard of as the Stages of Grief).
I’m wondering if there’s a model or curve that has documented and replicated that our interest in things goes through phases that you could map and match people or events to whatever phase they’re in. So like a product life cycle, like from an inception to when it’s no longer viable.
Adult Development Cycle
Do we go through a development life cycle as an adult?
Maybe it has something to do with conception of an idea or interest and then excitement, and then learning and feeling determined, but also nervous, but then feeling pride and then learning more and growth and then confidence, and then it’s possible that it wanes off and goes into disinterest or boredom.
My theory is that right now in your life, there’s something that you used to be so excited about and so interested in and so motivated to learn and explore, but now you’re not as interested. Maybe you’re a little bit bored by it because something else has taken that place, or perhaps you’re just not interested in that topic anymore. Thinking about this made me really wonder: is this a specific cycle that I could map out for different parts of my life or different things that I’ve been interested in (hobbies or interests or styles)?
I started to research but one of the first things that kept popping up for me that doesn’t describe what I’m talking about at all is if you’re no longer interested in something that you used to be interested in, a lot of the articles that I was finding were describing this might be depression.
This isn’t Depression
I do agree if someone used to be interested in something they’re no longer interested in- that might be a symptom of depression, but this is not what I’m talking about with this theory that I want to research.
I think that in normal human developmental evolution of things, it’s probable that we used to be interested in things that now we’re no longer interested in. Instead, we’re interested in something new. We’re not depressed. Our interests just change.
I am just really curious about how this model or curve might look.
Is it just my own personal cycle – is this just me? Or do humans tend to go through some similar stages of excitement, motivation development, disinterest, disillusionment maybe, and then renewal again, because now we’re excited about something new?
If you know what this cycle is called, or if you know of any work on this topic, please share it with me. If you have your own theories and you want to talk about it with me, I would love to discuss it and dive into this with you.
As 2021 Progresses
Exploration of this topic might be something that I want to spend some more time on as 2021 progresses.
Wow. We have really gone through a lot of topics in this post!
If you’re still with me, thank you for reading about all the various things. That’s a lot for just six months, and I am excited for what’s coming in the next six months, and I’m also open and curious and I’m letting whatever comes come. I am not trying to dictate. I’m not trying to control. I’m very open and I am looking forward to continuing to live my life for the rest of 2021 and beyond.
What About You?
If you happen to be reading this at another time of the year, and you’re not currently celebrating Happy Half Year, you can still do this reflection process. In fact, why don’t you start it now in preparation for your next birthday – and use the Birthday List method I shared last year (and created a Birthday Lists notebook for!)?
Whenever you do this reflection and intention setting work, I hope you have an amazing experience.