Updated: Apr 16
When life throws you a curve ball
If you’re like me and so many others who have been thrown a curve ball in the year of the pandemic then you understand that besides being the year of the “pivot”, you’ve affectionately said, “it’s the year of reinventing yourself”. Maybe you pivoted all over the place in your job or maybe you weren’t even given the opportunity to pivot and you were let go like millions of other people. You took the time to grieve the loss of your work family, friends and then looked at yourself in the mirror and said “Okay, let’s pull it together and figure out who we want to be!”. I spent a lot of time doing some real soul searching to learn a few things about myself. If you’re in this stage, I encourage you to do the same. Challenge yourself as I did with these questions:
What brings you joy?
We spend an enormous amount of time at our jobs - specifically and to the point, on average more than 60% of our day, basically our lives, are working. Doesn’t it make logical sense that it should bring us joy? I spent on average 10-hours day working as Marketing Director for a small 100-employee business with eight retail locations (nine when I left). It brought me tremendous joy in the beginning. In my last year there, it brought me frustration, fear, stress, anger, sadness and quite honestly disappointment. I was disappointed in the new direction and leadership and we just weren’t in alignment anymore. That disappointment and misalignment, I believe is what brought on many of those other emotions.
As you look for your 2.0, think about what brings you joy. I don’t mean that in some goofy, over-the-rainbow, sunshine and butterflies way. Although, I do enjoy all those things. What I mean is, ask yourself “What does the perfect day look like for me?”
For me, my answer was…
7 am - Wake up and hop on my Fuji bike and peddle away for at least 30-min.
7:30 am - Resistance training or weight lifting, yoga, whatever my body is craving.
8:00 am - Shower and dressed for the day!
9:00 am - Breakfast-Bible-Pray (Goal to read the entire bible in a year - never done this before!)
9:30 am - Morning Mindset - This is what Brendon Burchard calls it in his High Performance Planner which I’m a huge fan of. It sets the tone for my day. It forces you to schedule your day - I’ve always done that - but it guides you in looking at your day in a preparatory way. Prepare yourself for the wins, prepare yourself for the challenges that lay ahead and how to best deal with those challenges.
10:00 am - Go into an office that is full of earthly elements - lots of wood and metals. Maybe there’s a conference room with all glass walls - open - airy. Dress code is business casual - jeans. I'm not sure I want to wear pumps again anytime soon! I want to work with people who are respectful of their colleagues and open to new ideas and opinions. I want to work for businesses whose core values are in alignment with mine.
What brings you joy?
2. What went well in the last year?
What worked? By taking some time to do a little reflecting and self analysis you might just uncover your strengths and weaknesses. For example, for me, in the last year, I pivoted to virtual events. I don’t mean throw a PowerPoint up there events. I mean, interactive, you see me, I see you, let's talk, maybe move around, let’s have some fun while we’re at this virtual event! Throwing in a “Happy Hour” or “Coffee Hour” somewhere in your meeting adds a little “normal” to a not so normal time. A local restaurant, Bourbons, helped by sharing their mixologist to teach attendees at an event I managed, how to make a smoked bourbon. It added a lot of energy and fun to the event. As a result, brainstorming new and unique events this year remain my focus.
3. What were the challenges?
Take a close look at your challenges last year. Maybe as a result of the pandemic and having to adjust the way you work, you discovered some of the ways you were doing things prior, were really not that great. Perhaps, because of the need to pivot you learned that some of the ways you were doing things weren’t that effective. For example, a challenge for me this past year was the distraction and noise from employees, vendors and suppliers. I’ve always believed in an open-door policy as a leader. I try to make myself available to everyone from top-to-bottom of the organization. However, last year under new ownership and business leadership style this became a challenge. When I began working from home, due to Governor’s orders, I became much more productive. There weren’t as many interruptions. So in Julanne 2.0, I’ve learned that while “open door” is great and I still embrace it, it’s okay to shut that door, not answer emails or phone calls. Schedule times of the day to check emails, return calls, is much more productive for me.
4. Where do you want to be when your 80-years-old?
Depending on your age this can seem like a really ridiculous question and hard to answer - but here’s the thing. Thinking about your future that far into the distance, forces you to look at the decisions you make now and the impact they will have long-term. For example, do your plans include retirement? What does your retirement look like? On a beach somewhere? In the same home you have lived in the past 50-years? Living near your family, kids? Travel?
5. Thinking about your legacy, who do you want to be?
What do you want to be known for? For me, the lives I’ve touched, the people I’ve loved and who have loved me, that’s my legacy. I don’t believe we’re remembered for the accolades, the awards, the triumphs. I believe we are remembered for those moments when we did or said something that touched someone’s life and made a difference - whether it was in their life or in a moment.
6. What are you saying “No” to?
Just as important as unpacking and discovering who you are and who you want to be, it’s important to think about the things that may be getting in the way of you being the best “you” that you can be (that was a lot of “you”!). For example, I had to do an analysis on the hours I spend in service work. This is really important to me. This part of my life brings me a lot of joy. However, I cannot say, “yes” to every cause. So I decided to calculate the amount of time, that made sense for me, to spend on service work. That way, as opportunities came and left, I could make quicker more educated decisions about what and when to say “no”. Think of it like a budget. In its most basic sense, 80% spend, 10% savings, 10% tithe.
7. Write out your goals.
You’ve sifted through what’s working and not working. You’ve taken some time to decide what you want your future to look like. Now, it’s time to reflect and set some intentional goals. Important tip here! If you’re writing your business and personal goals - keep them to no more than eight. It’s easy to lose sight and focus if you set too many goals and we want to be successful at the end of the year! I personally, try to keep my business goals to three things I can measure and track; revenue, clients, followers on social media. On the personal side; finances, spiritual/personal growth, recreation/friends, exercise/fitness.
Set your goals, write them down, on a whiteboard, excel sheet, planner and measure and track them regularly. My fitness and spiritual I track daily. My finances, and work goals I track weekly and monthly. That way I can make adjustments as I uncover what’s working and what’s not working.
It may seem like a lot but it’s a great beginning to help you narrow down your focus. My next blog I’ll talk about working with a Career Coach or an Executive Coach.
Until then, be well, and stay in Joy!