We’re halfway through 2021 already! Mid-year is a good time to pause and reflect. Are you happy with how the year has gone so far?
Mid-year checkin – taking inventory of our year so far
Way back in episode 95 and again in episode 303 we talked about a process for doing a midyear review; I encourage you to check those out. In the meantime, I wanted to have a quick chat about how the year has gone so far, some things I’ve enjoyed that you might like too, and some thoughts I’m pondering as we move into the second half of this year.
When I’m thinking about how my year is going, I like to start from a positive perspective (which doesn’t come naturally for me–I more easily see where things fall short). I purposely try to cultivate this mindset because it makes for a happier life, at least for me. So to start a mid-year checkin, identify and celebrate the wins! And by celebrate, I mean write them down and be happy about it. Not only your accomplishments, but the good things that have happened in your world.
So for instance, as I’m publishing this episode, our younger daughter and her husband welcomed their first child just a few days ago–our 9th grandchild. In addition, during the first half of this year we finally finished two major projects here at the house, and I’ve lost a fair amount of weight. These are all things I want to take note of, be grateful for, and celebrate!
What about you? What good things have happened in your life during the first half of this year?
The next step is to revisit and re-evaluate your goals. Did you set any goals for this year? How are you progressing toward accomplishing them? Do you want to rethink any of them? If you’re disappointed with your progress, give some thought to how and why you got off track.
For myself, I’ve made progress on a couple of my goals for this year–losing weight, for example, and some decluttering and organizing for the house.
However, I have fallen off the wagon in the last week or two on my diet and exercise plan. Looking at why, I realize when something happens to throw off my daily routine (such as houseguests or losing a couple of nights’ sleep while at the hospital with my daughter), I find it harder to stick with my healthier habits. So I need to come up with a plan to help me stick with my healthy habits when my normal routine gets interrupted.
In addition, I still haven’t launched the YouTube channel. I’m pondering the reasons why and coming up with a plan to address it. (Next week I will go into more depth on how to re-set/reboot when things have gotten off track.)
Now let’s look at what’s coming in the second half of the year? What do you need to do to be ready?
In my family, our youngest son is leaving in a few days to move to another state where his new post-graduation job is located. It’s a big milestone for him, but also for us. He’s been gone before, but just away at school. This is his first post-graduation job, his first apartment, and this is permanent.
Another big event coming up is that I will be hosting the first-ever TPW planning retreat here at my home. Five women will be joining me here for a long weekend in October to retreat, relax, and consider plans for the coming year.
As for travel plans, we’re hoping to visit our son in DC and our other son and his family in Wisconsin.
I’ll be spending some time thinking about what I can do now to prepare for each of these important upcoming events.
On a completely unrelated note . . . a couple of things I’ve liked recently
- Madame Chic books–written by Jennifer Scott, who has a blog and a YouTube channel called The Daily Connoisseur. The books share lessons she learned about life, style, elegance, and more when she was a foreign exchange student in Paris, France. The first book of hers I really enjoyed recently is called Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris. The other book I really liked is called At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life, where she goes into detail on ways to make each day special and enjoyable.
- Something new (and a bit random) I learned after years of making beds and struggling to figure out the right way to get the bottom sheet on a king- or queen-sized bed, . . . you probably already knew this, but I JUST learned that when you’re standing at the foot of the bed looking toward the headboard, the corner with the tag sewn into it goes at the bottom right corner of the bed.
Finally, a couple of thoughts I’m pondering
I was listening to an episode of Brooke Castillo’s The Life Coach School podcast (episode 318, which I highly recommend). She was talking about planning for the future when the present is full of uncertainty. Among other things, she offers questions to ask ourselves as we consider plans for the rest of the year; some of what she said has been on my mind since I listened. I encourage you to listen to her entire episode, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some quotes with you:
“So, if I ask you the question, “Where do you think you’ll be three years from now? Can you picture yourself? Can you picture your life and your experience of your life?” And if you feel like no you can’t, it’s most likely because you are identifying yourself based on what happens in the world, based on externals. . . . [W]ho I am is not determined by anything external. It’s not determined by my job or my clients or how much money I make or don’t make or what people say about me or don’t say about me. Who I am is determined by the decisions I make internally. And that is true for all of us. . . .
Your identity is not a separate truth that came imprinted on you. Your identity is how you see yourself, who you are to you. So, if you’re having trouble imagining your future self, my guess is it’s because you’re defining yourself by that external world and you can look at how you’re defining yourself right now and you can see how much of it may be determined by your experience, your circumstances.
Your circumstances do not determine your identity. So, if I say to you, “Who are you?” and you say, “I’m a mother,” or, “I’m a healthcare worker,” or, “I’m a life coach,” or, “I’m a waiter,” or whatever it is that you are and that’s how you define yourself, by what you do externally, I want you to take that to a deeper level.
How do you define yourself when all those things are taken away, when you can’t work at your job, when you’re not around your family? How is the value of your life and who you are as a person unchangeable by the circumstances?”
On another (but related) note, a lot of people have been sharing the quote shown on the following graphic, which I borrowed from a friend’s Facebook feed. It resonates with a lot of us. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the past couple of years is that I’m responsible for my own happiness. No one else and no outside circumstance determines my emotions. Knowing that how I feel in any given moment is a direct result of the thoughts I’m thinking at that moment has been so important to me in my own personal development.
Here is another statement I saw on social media that resonated with me and are part of the inspiration for this episode about pausing to reflect at mid-year:
Where do we go from here?
The first half of this year has been a time of reevaluation for me, of how I’m spending my time and whether I’m making a worthwhile contribution. I have wondered many times whether it’s time to retire the podcast. I’m not certain whether I’m adding value. Producing a podcast takes a lot of time—time to think of meaningful topics, time to research and outline the content, time to record, and more. And as most of you know, I do this while at the same time working more than full time at a demanding law practice that’s been even busier the last few months.
But interestingly, again this week as I was considering those questions, some of you reached out, not knowing my frame of mind, and shared with me your thoughts on how the podcast affects you and your words of encouragement (thank you, Priscilla & Sheila & Amy).
Help me out as I plan the future of the podcast — please take a few minutes to complete a survey at TheProductiveWoman.com/survey2021.
What do you think? Questions? Comments?
How has your year gone so far? What are you celebrating? What are you looking forward to? What’s on your mind? I’d love to hear from you. Share them in the comments section below or in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, or send me an email.
Resources and Links
- The Jennifer Scott website
- The Daily Connoisseur YouTube channel
- Lessons from Madame Chic
- At Home with Madame Chic
- Brooke Castillo’s The Life Coach School podcast, episode 318
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