Growing up in the Boston area, I never got the Groundhog Day concept. Shadow or not, New Englanders know that we’re typically looking at six plus more weeks of wintry weather on February 2. Weather-wise, it’s been a bizarre non-winter so far; the New Englander in me suspects Phil will see his shadow and winter will finally get started.
But maybe we can make Groundhog Day meaningful in another way. One month into the year is a great time to check-in on how the New Year’s resolutions and goals are faring. If you’re doing great, pat self on back and keep going! If you’ve gotten off track, take stock of what might be getting in the way of achieving your goals, and make some adjustments. As we ushered in 2012, I did some thinking and blogging about priorities for the year. I didn’t use the traditional “resolutions” paradigm; instead, focused on building on things that have been working and spending more time on things at which I excel and enjoy. So let’s check-in on how I’m doing:
New Year Green Lights Here I listed 6 things that I enjoyed in 2011 that I wanted to continue in 2012. The first half of January was dominated by writing a major proposal for a national Civic Communication Corps, so I can definitely say I am off to a good start “working on exciting SCI projects” [the nonprofit I founded and work at]. That big project didn’t help much with my goal of “reading books”–I didn’t switch to Kindle, but am still making my way through the first book I started in 2012. We’ve had some good “focused family time”, enjoying walks and 2 trips to the Museum of Science. However, some online projects have eked into our offline Sundays a bit, so we’ll have to monitor that! I have definitely been doing well on “writing > 140 characters”, consistently blogging here and at Cooking Chat.
Enjoying the Climb I’m pleased that despite a major work project in January, I did manage to carve out time to focus on enjoying the present. Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to do a family hike on New Year’s Day up a small nearby mountain was probably a good way to get into the “enjoy the climb” mindset. I also got into a good routine of taking exercise breaks after my first few hours of work on my big proposal, and found it made me more energized for the work and everything else. Also, I’m finding that taking more photos lately has helped me to pause and appreciate the little details all around me.
Finding Flow Well, the proposal I keep mentioning fully engaged my passions and interest. Putting it together entailed collaborating with some great people, envisioning a new national program to help reinvigorate our civic life by tapping digital communication tools. And despite doing a lot of writing on that, I also stepped up my blogging. On both fronts, I was reminded of how much I enjoy writing and creating. But after we turned in that proposal, a lot of more mundane administrative tasks had built up at SCI, so the balance of the work month has been less flow-inducing. My challenge the rest of the year is going to be structuring my work to spend a greater portion of my time doing the creative, big picture work that plays to my strength and interests. I’m sure that will be good for me and the organization!
Last year, during a much more wintry winter, I first blogged about looking “Beyond the Shadow” on Groundhog Day. Having done it two year in a row, I think we’ve got a tradition here!