HOW WELL DID YOU DO IN FEBRUARY?
Inspired by a good friend of mine from high school, Aly, I have decided to do a review of my life on a monthly basis at the end of every month.
Why do we wait until the end of the year to reflect on the year that was and set New Year resolutions for the year to come? Why can’t we treat each month as a fresh opportunity to learn from the previous month, and make adjustments to make the next month of our lives more in line with who we want to be?
Starting with the month of February, I looked back at the past month and asked myself the questions below. I hope you consider developing this practice of a monthly review as I found it really insightful and rewarding.
1) What am I proud of, what was exciting, what brought me joy, and what is worth celebrating from the past month?
February was great in many ways. I had a chance to practice my photography by covering a Toronto Entrepreneurs event, I hosted the 25th Anniversary Dream Circle (see post here), and enjoyed watching the Olympics in Sochi, especially when Canada won gold in men’s and women’s hockey.
I also really enjoyed the downtime of February, trying new cooking recipes like Raw Tacos and fresh juices, and reading The Alchemist, which is a beautiful book. I was also excited about receiving the biggest pay check I have ever gotten as a speaker, getting more bookings this spring, and finding out that I’ll be leading a Canadian youth delegation to Sweden for a summer youth program in July 2014.
2) How deeply did I connect with family and friends?
Every month, I set an intention about who to connect with for the month ahead. This month, I felt that I did a good job of following through on these intentions. I organized and cooked a lunch for my high school friends and their kids at my house, took time to meet for tea with people who had reached out to me from my website, and went on a ski trip with friends to Blue Mountain. I also made people feel special by writing a letter to my parents on their anniversary, and made a t-shirt for my friend’s going-away party that everyone could write on as something and she could take with her. The month also had some great memories with loved ones at family dinners, cooking together, watching movies, and playing ping-pong.
3) How productive and efficient was I in working towards my goals, and what strides did I make to move closer towards them?
In terms of my health, I wasn’t that good to myself this month. I fell ill with a throat infection after my ski trip, and spent 2 weeks recovering from that. I also didn’t maintain my self-care rituals of daily exercise, juicing, and meditation.
In terms of my work, although I did accomplish some major things such as hosting the 25th Dream Circle, and completing my outreach to universities in the USA, I wasn’t effective at blogging regularly, hosting my video show, keeping up with emails, and visioning next steps for The Potentialists community.
4) How did I show up? How many risks did I take? Was I playing Big or playing Small?
This question is great because it gets a bit into the mindset of success and the awareness we need to keep moving forward. Reflecting on this past month, I was playing big sometimes, and playing small other times. I felt that I did a good job of honoring and taking care of my health after I fell ill, showed up well for friends and family, and was productive in terms of my work.
However, being sick, combined with the February winter weather, made me feel low, lethargic, and slightly not as motivated. Moreover, when I was sick, I felt like I became a bit more cranky in my interactions with those closest to me, and was isolating myself because I wasn’t in my best state. As a result of this, I didn’t step outside my comfort zone, let alone my house, this month, and didn’t take enough risks to try new things, creatively express myself, or reach towards ambitious heights.
5) What adjustments can I make to recalibrate and do things differently next month to make it better?
Making adjustments is important so that we don’t make the same mistakes over and over. In terms of my health, I learned from February that yoga, meditation, juicing, daily dance parties, and journaling are my essential daily self-care measures. I will be motivated to doing them in March because of how important they are for preventing illnesses like the one I had in February.
For connecting with others, as much as I am blessed with great friends and family around me, in March, I want to focus on finding mentors for my speaking, nutrition, fitness, and spiritual development. I will commit to making a list of people to connect with and reach out to them in March.
In terms of work, in March, I will “batch” responding to emails, having regular outreach/follow up days in the week (Thursdays), and will share more of my thoughts on my blog (even though I journal them). More importantly, I will commit to stop being hard on myself, practice gratitude for who I am and what I have, and regularly give myself praise and encouragement. In February, I realized that despite being unwell, and in spite of what I did accomplish, I was being hard on myself, getting stuck on what I hadn’t accomplished on my list of things to do, and missing out on enjoying each moment.
Finally, in March, I will make a list of risks I want to take and make them happen. I love bucket lists, so keeping a regular sense of adventure in my month will help me feel excited about it. I will also be more open to spontaneous plans, and say YES more to social invitations or events that are unexpected or outside my comfort zone.
What will come out of your reflection on February, and how will you make your March epic?