This week’s post is going to be different than the one I had originally planned and I know that the tone will likely be a bit different than my previous posts. I recently got back from vacation but this morning I am finding myself in a bit of a slump or suffering from a lack of focus, and at first I thought it was just a struggle to get back in the work mindset after vacation but I feel it is a bit deeper than that.
I am trying to get caught up on some podcasts that I listen to for both personal and professional reasons and I find that both of them with most things can help me in both realms of my life. The first one is Happier with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft, this one is a bit more of a time commitment because they seem to be between 35-45 minutes, however they are only once a week. While this can seem like it is a long time I find it to be fun, entertaining and helps me focus on cultivating Happiness for me, which has really helped me both personally and professionally.
The second podcast is Before Breakfast with Laura Vanderkam and is really what prompted today's change for the blog I love Before Breakfast because they are generally between 5-10 minutes and post Monday – Friday. What I love about this length is I feel she really gives you something to think about and good suggestions in the perfect amount of time without being overwhelmed and taking a huge chunk of time. I can find that amount of time fairly easily and in fact I often listen as I am getting ready for the day, and those tips are also manageable and not necessarily huge changes more like tweaks that can be incremental so I feel I am moving towards my goals.
This morning I actually listened to two days worth back to back the first one was from Monday and is titled "Revisit those New Year’s resolutions”. Now I did make some and I have been somewhat successful in them but as often is the case I let life derail me, so when I was listening to this I did start to review what I had originally set out as my resolutions and re-evaluated them specifically the ones I had dropped. I asked myself:
Are they still relevant?
Why did I really drop this?
Do I need to change the way I make the change?
Is there something new and more important to focus on now?
The second one is titled “Get out of a slump” and really spoke to me as I mentioned I feel like I am starting to fall into a slump. I really want to stop this fall before my slump becomes a rut because it will be an easier course correction. The one thing that I really latched onto was the idea of pacing myself, now naturally I cannot really apply the advice given for the specific example but it did spark an idea for me. And coincidentally in my list of ideas to write about is a title “Pacing yourself” and right now I feel that I have something I can focus on and help me get out of this slump before it becomes a rut.
Regardless of if you feel that you are in a slump, now may be the perfect time to take another look at what you want to do both professionally and personally and see if you are on track to achieve what you originally set out to do. Or if you didn’t set goals in January why not set them now. To paraphrase something Laura said in the Revisit podcast January is somewhat arbitrary but it is an easily recognizable clean slate, but really any time can be a clean slate. Right now in early July we still have just under 6 months left in the year so why not start now? If you find that you need to tie your resolutions to an established “clean slate” type date there are other dates that you could look into that maybe relevant to you.
I know that September is a “clean slate” month for me, simply because of habit it has always been the start of the new school year for myself (when I was in school) and now for my children. Other types of “clean slate” dates could be ones that you identify with culturally and religiously, while I couldn’t possibly know them all a quick look at Wikipedia shows that there are many New Year celebrations that don’t fall on January 1, perhaps one of those dates would work for you. This is the Wiki article I was looking at, I love that they break it down by month/season. There is an entry on New Year's Day that will break it down to geographic regions as well.
And the last idea I have for a “clean slate” date would be Thanksgiving, It is a tricky time and life certainly starts to get really busy, but the idea of that date really appeals to me because it can be a way to set the intention for how you want to proceed and re-evaluate how you spend the time from Thanksgiving until December 31st and focus on what you do, why you do it, an most importantly do you need to do it?
Now that I have identified some "Clean Slate" date ideas and have found a spark with the two Before Breakfast podcasts that I listened to earlier today, rather than having that confused and unfocused look, I know that soon I will have regained focus.
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DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly. I do not receive any type of compensation from any of the podcasts for mentioning them in my posts.