This week marks the end of the First Quarter of 2021 for those following a traditional fiscal year.
And whether you're in business or not, what that means is that 1/4 of the year is now over.
But guess what!
We still have another 3/4 of the year left!
As such, it is critical to take a bit of time this week and reflect on how the year is going so far. Whether you are progressing towards your goals. And what shifts, tweaks, additions, or deletions need to occur.
This week's blog is dedicated to take you through a quick appraisal process of your year so far. It doesn't have to be complicated. Let me show you in these three easy steps.
1. Identify Your 2021 Goals Or Pursuits
The first step is identifying what it was you were hoping to accomplish this year. Remind yourself of those goals/pursuits that you set out on. If you didn't set any, what are the things that you are finding figural or important to you now?
For example, the pursuits I am focused on in 2021 are the following:
Well it's that time of year again!
Brackets filled. Work blown off. Upsets. Buzzer beaters. Diaper Dandies. And a whole lot of gambling!
Though I don't follow the tournament near as much as I used to, there are still a few lessons to be learned. Whether you love basketball...hate it...or somewhere in between...I think this blog will offer a little guidance on navigating the madness on the court of life.
Intrigued? Read on.
1. Upsets Happen
Just because you're a highly seeded team (hello, Ohio State), it doesn't mean that you can't or won't be upset. In fact, upsets happen every...single...year. Though at times heartbreaking (depending on which team you favor), they are a part of the tournament. And you know what, it brings a lot more excitement. Think about how boring it would be if the higher seeded team won every game. You wouldn't even need to have the tournament. Just seed and be done with it.
The same is the case in life. Sometimes winners lose. And sometimes losers win....
A few years back on my 35th birthday, a buddy and I decided to sign up for a 35 mile ultra marathon trail run. We were definitely in over our heads as neither of us had ever run anything over 13.1 miles. Further when you check out the website, the description of the race is as follows:
Big climbs. Big views. Technical trails. Great people. The Santa Barbara Nine Trails 35 Mile Endurance Run is a challenging problem for trail runners of every ability level. The trails are steep, rocky, inaccessible and long. There is more than ten thousand vertical feet of gain and descent packed into the relatively short 35 miles. Experienced runners will tell you that Nine-Trails runs like a tough 50 miler. Athletes attempting this course should be prepared for long, slow sections with no support.
So needless to say, despite us training, logging miles, and getting on some trails in Ohio, there was likely very little that we could do to emulate the actual task ahead. Alas, any confidence...
To perform is to carry out and fulfill an action or task.
One can argue that we all perform, and though that is certainly the case, some individuals perform at a higher level, more consistently, and in more challenging contexts. These types of performers often fall in the domains of sport, performing arts, business, medicine, and high risk professions (e.g., armed services). In order to perform effectively, these individuals need proper technical skill. They need to be educated on effective strategy. They need to possess and nurture the correct physical attributes. They need to behave appropriately within their social sphere. And last, but not least, they need to effectively leverage key mental elements.
If you were to consider how much of your effective performance is mental, what percentage would you say?
Over 50%? Good!
Now, if I asked you how much time do you devote to developing these mental elements, what percentage would you give?
Ya, you're not alone!
In fact, I don't think you have to look too far to find an individual that admits struggling with relevant or sustained attention from time to time. And though certainly there can be biological/neurological/genetic reasons for this difficulty in focus that could warrant a psychological diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. For the majority of us, we are likely in a different camp. And that camp being a difficulty in concentrating that is a by-product of our environmental circumstances.
What do I mean by environmental circumstances?
Well a couple of things. First off, we have our social environment. And in today's society, there is no shortage of distracting shiny things. Whether it's social media, increased email, a 24/7 news cycle, push notifications, an endless rabbit hole of website/youtube/Netflix glory, and the plethroa of other distractions that a technologically advanced society throws at us, it is incredibly evident that our...
Mild depression can distress. Moderate depression can derail. And severe depression can destruct.
And though depression can come from a variety of sources that are both biological and environmental in nature, in my experience as a psychologist many of the bouts of that funky black dog that land in my virtual office result from a gap between one's real self and one's ideal self. And the larger the gap..the greater the funk...to a certain point.
Let me tell you what I mean.
First off, let me illustrate this concept between real self and ideal self.
Every single day of our lives we carry with us two forms of our selves. The self that we currently are that day and the self that we would like to be.
For instance, someone's real self might be 260lbs, but their ideal self is 240lbs. Their real self earns $60k a year but their ideal self would like to earn $100k. Their real self is on the bench for their sport team, but their ideal self is starting. Their real self...
Ahh, love is in the air.
Yesterday was Valentine's Day. That day dedicated to bringing lovers together for a day (or night) of chemistry and connection. Or for those singles out there, a bunch of bourbon with the boys, rose' with the ladies, or an afternoon of swiping on Tinder.
Regardless, Valentine's Day is about is about coming together and taking deliberate time to reinforce and strengthen the relationship between one another.
And though I don't consider myself a couples counselor...at all...I do peek around at psychological theories pertinent to human relationships. One such model that I have always been fond of for its simplicity and application is the "The Five Love Languages" identified and authored by Gary Chapman.
Though we will get into what each love language is, the basic premise is that there are five general ways that romantic partners express and experience love.
Sometimes partners speak the same language and sometimes they don't. When they do, it often leads...
Last night was Super Bowl 55 played between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Every year we gather to witness to two well-deserved teams fighting it out on the gridiron. It's typically the highest viewed television event of the year, one with the highest paid advertising dollars, and one where we consume the most food and drink (behind Thanksgiving). In other words, the Super Bowl is a big deal.
Regardless of whether you're a part of the team, a fan of the team, a fan of sport, or a casual observer, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year. With it can come feelings of anticipation, curiosity, anxiety, joy, and yes, even sadness. And though many of us watch as external observers of the Super Bowl playing out in front of us, we too have our own individual Super Bowls that we have the opportunity to encounter throughout our lives. Whether that's a big job interview, an audition, a proposal, childbirth, a keynote, or a championship event, we all have...
I imagine many of us have heard of a SWOT analysis (don't worry if you haven't, we will get into it today) and its application to thinking through business strategy. However, I believe it can also apply to one's own personal strategy when it comes to goal identification, pursuit, and completion.
The problem is that we usually don't apply such a rigorous framework to our personal goals as we do to the goals set forth in a company, team, or organization.
Well, maybe it feels like our ass is less on the line. There's a lesser feeling of accountability. Or frankly, we just don't think our personal goals require such an emphasized analysis.
Maybe that's the problem?
Let me start off by saying that we do NOT need to take ourselves or this process super seriously. At the end of the day, we are living life and as long as we're focusing on the important things (as discussed in the previous blog here) then everything else is icing on the cake.
However, getting better and...
Last week I wrote a blog about the importance of completing an Annual Review and how this Annual Review can serve as the fertilizer for selecting pertinent goals. If you missed it or need a quick revisit, you can check it out here.
For some of you, a goal might have instantly emerged as a result of reflecting on your Annual Review notes. However, for others, it’s not as obvious.
Kind of like those “Magic Eye” books that no matter how long you stared at the fancy art and relaxed your eyes, you could not, for the life of you, see that 3D sail boat.
For you out there that may be unable to “see the sailboat” right now, this blog is for you. For those of you that saw the sail boat instantly, I still think you will get something from this blog as it may spur some inspiration for future goals.
So you ready? Relax your eyes, let’s find that sail boat.
We Have Options
When it comes to goal selection, we have a few options.
These options can help...