I prepared two versions of my 2020 review: one here which focuses on mostly personal goals and plans, and another, on my business and productivity blog, which includes professional development.
Evaluating Priorities and Values
With the global pandemic wreaking havoc, and the increased national focus on the racial justice movement, in 2020 I focused on my role as a citizen and business owner giving back to my community, rather than on growing my business. Like many others, I read a lot, listened a lot, and spoke out about my commitment to helping causes that were important to me. I participated in Get Out The Vote efforts, and donated more than ever before to organizations that support underserved communities and which promote racial justice. I reviewed policies and processes to help ensure we keep representation in mind when building websites and looking for new clients.
Keeping Fit and Self-Discovery
I increased my running during the pandemic. It was fun to participate in running challenges, and to have a small pod of running friends to meet for runs a few times a week. I improved my endurance running, even though I didn’t really get faster. I ran over 975 miles in 2020!
The shutdown has created an increased sense of isolation. As someone who frequently reaches out to friends, I was able to continue to let people I love know I was thinking of them, whether by sending a card or a quick text message. These “random acts of kindness” have been a weekly goal of mine since before COVID hit. This has been helpful for my own sense of purpose and priorities during these challenging times.
Inclusiveness has always been very important to me. I like to be inclusive, and I also like to be included. I know I am not the only one who has experienced the feeling of being left out, and during COVID, it was more pronounced as groups had to become smaller and more exclusive for social distance. “Not making the cut” in some pods resulted in hurt feelings.
I have often wondered “What is wrong with me?” I ask myself why I am not included or chosen to be part of a group. This year, especially, I worried that my friends only tolerated me because I am nice to them but deep down they would rather not spend time with me. I suspected that behind my back they rolled their eyes at me. (TBH, I even worry sometimes that my own family feels that way about me!)
My husband and I had enneagram typing done this summer by the wonderful Shay Bocks. This was a valuable experience in understanding where we each come from and bringing us closer together. It was also super enlightening for me personally, as well. I am a Type One/Perfectionist. I am hard on myself. And guess what … a Type One is defined by a fear of being defective and a desire to be good.
I realize that in many ways my thought process is irrational and unhealthy. And then I worry that my lack of self-esteem makes me even MORE annoying and unlikable! People advise that I shouldn’t care about what other people think – as if stopping that thought process is like turning off a light switch. Then I feel even worse about myself for caring this much.
I know this way of thinking has to stop. I need to find ways to change my thought process and accept and love who I am. I don’t think I will ever stop caring about what people think about me, however, I want to stop questioning, speculating and worrying about it. This boils down to self-esteem and self-love. See below for how I plan to work on this in 2021.
2020 In a Nutshell
- Visited my daughter in Chicago for her 21st birthday
- Attended women’s mastermind in Florida
- Visited my In-Laws in Florida
- Attended WordCamp Miami and met my amazing Assistant Lauren in person (got in one WordCamp before the Pandemic lockdown)
- Helped mentee enroll in college
- Visited my parents in South Carolina
- Ran a lot of miles (over 975!)
- Gained a few pounds
- Volunteered for local food pantry
- Enjoyed having my husband working from home
- Had frequent Zoom calls with my kids
- Spent the summer in Avalon, NJ with my husband
- Tried and failed to learn guitar
- Struggled with self-esteem and worried to much about what others think of me
I love using the 12 Week Year format to create goals for my business and my personal life. I have played with a variety of formats for listing, tracking and scoring. I may try using my current task management app, ToDoIst for this, and am also looking at the newly popular ClickUp. After going down a rabbit hole with these two systems this week, I am going to stick with my tried and true Google Sheet method for now, as it is simple and I am used to it. One of the keys to the 12 Week Year is scoring your progress, which is not something task apps do (you can click “complete” but it doesn’t create a score)
My goals for the next 12 weeks include both business and personal development goals.
I have done some research on approaches to improve one’s self-esteem. These focus on reflection and self-talk. It will take discipline and commitment to make progress on this lifelong thought process. I also want to be sure I am doing this for my own benefit and not to be more likable and fit in.
- Morning Pages Journal
- Conscious Effort in Self-Talk
Explore Creative Expression and Limit Screentime
Creativity used to be fun. I spend so much time on the computer that I no longer trust myself to explore creativity that is not digital. I am joining a writing group (writing by hand!) and also continuing some yoga challenges to offer space for open, creative thinking. I would also like to use this currently dormant personal blog as an outlet for some writing and reflection (I know, that is an online activity, but I will count it toward creative expression!).
While I have separated from my spirituality lately, I am implementing a nightly prayer ritual called the Ignatian Daily Examen. This will hopefully be one more non-screentime practice that will inspire reflection and creative thought.
- Join writing group
- Yoga with Adriene
- Daily Examen
Lose 5 Pounds
This is pretty self explanatory and is often on my goal list. I actually am not hard on myself about gaining a few pounds this year. Purely for my own comfort and health, I want to get back to my normal weight.
- Use My Fitness Pal (Track food and exercise)
- Limit Alcohol to 1x per week
I continue to find great value in participating in a local high school student mentorship program. I also started looking into additional mentorship/teaching opportunities through Junior Achievement and iThriveHer.
My membership on the board of the Educational Theatre Company has started to take a bit more time, as the pandemic especially has increased the marketing needs and cut the staff. I have been employing some of the values/priorities that I identified into my input with this organization as well and look forward to seeing how it evolves this year as the shutdowns continue.
Lastly, I may explore a new idea for a volunteer organization this year if I have the bandwidth.
Finding Hope in a Broken World
As I wrap up this review, sirens are blaring (I can hear them from my office in Arlington, Virginia) and the nation’s Capital is under siege. Over 350,000 people have died of the Coronavirus. People are distrustful of the media, the government and each other. It is hard to discern truth from lies and manipulation. Setting goals and finding motivation when faced with so much hatred and death is not easy. I intend to find acceptance of the space I need to manage stress, to forgive myself and others and to live with love and kindness.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and best wishes for peace and happiness in 2021.