In this post, I focus on my “Not-to-do-in-22” list, some distress it caused me and what I did to put it right.
Instead of New Years Resolutions, this year I did what Tim Ferris calls a Past Year Review. The review left me with two concrete lists of people, activities and commitments that created peak positive and negative emotions or results in 2021. These lists will help shape which things to give time, energy and focus to in the coming year.
Reflecting on my not-to-do list, I realized I’m uncomfortable, even sad, about some of what I’ve written. What? That’s right. There are things that didn’t achieve what I wanted them to achieve in 2021 and beyond that, caused some kind of stress, or frustration on an ongoing basis, yet I’m still feeling bad about not doing them in 2022? Here is the reason: There are things on this don’t-do list that reflect my deep values and beliefs despite not accomplishing what I wanted them to achieve. As a result, they are on this year’s don’t-do list. My grief about some of what is on this list, is the thought that I need to let go not only of the activity itself, but also this thing I really want in my life – the aspiration behind the activity.
Let me illustrate with one example.
One of the activities that regularly generated negative emotions and results last year, was what I’m going to call group online socializing. While this was not true in all situations, I have “group online socializing” as a broad category on my “Not-to-do-in 22” because it most often left me feeling more isolated, frustrated, and lonely than ever. We had so many pandemic lockdowns, I keenly felt the lack of connection with others. Group online socializing was an attempt to regain that connection with other people.
Having it on my “Not-to-do-in-22” list made me feel a little like I needed to let go of this aspiration for deeper connection along with letting go of group online socializing. This is (of course) not true. I’m glad I’ve realized that these two things can be true at the same time: I can want deeper connection with others and let go of trying to achieve it through group online socializing.
This process has helped me define not only what I need to let go of this year, but also what the aspirations were behind those activities. I’m looking for alternate ways to achieve the things to which I aspire while letting go of the things I know don’t work.
Some Questions for Reflection
- What activity or commitment generated negative emotions or results consistently for you in 2021?
- What was the aspiration behind the activity or commitment? (My aspiration behind the group online socializing was deeper connection with others).
- What is an alternate way you could try to achieve your aspiration? (I realized that I felt more significant connection when I connected with others one-on-one last year. This year I’m going to use my time and energy on those one-on-one connections to foster deeper relationships and connection.)
This Week’s Photos
In honour of looking below the surface, this week’s photos are of whales my husband and I saw on our recent trip to South Africa. There were so many whales, so close to shore. What a treat! My photos don’t do them justice and I didn’t get any pictures of them breaching although we did see it.
Part of coaching is realizing what you subconsciously believe that just isn’t true. These beliefs impact your behaviour, thoughts and emotions (just like my subconscious thought that I had to let go of my desire for deeper connection along with not doing group online socializing anymore. Making the distinction is helping me move forward in a more helpful way).
Coaching can have a remarkable impact not only on how you feel about yourself, but also on the way you show up at home and at work. Broadly speaking, the personal growth coaching I do can impact the following areas: personal wellness, relationships and work performance.
If you’re interested in coaching, I have three options for you to consider at varying price points:
- The 6-week mental fitness course plus weekly pod group check-ins
- Individual coaching
- The 6-week mental fitness course plus individual coaching
I would be happy to give you more information if you are interested, including the cost of these options.