Life is an experiment. And even though we might think we know what's going to happen, the truth is that no one truly knows what the future holds. We always have an opportunity to create our future -- with our thoughts, words, and actions. We always have an opportunity to conduct new experiments about how we want to be and what we want to do.
This is the perfect time of year to reflect on and refocus our life and leadership experiments, so that we know we are intentionally creating a 2021 that aligns with our values, strengths, and purpose. This month is the perfect time to examine all of the data you've collected during the past year and analyze it, so that you know which new experiments to try in 2021.
Take a moment and look back over 2020. What experiments did you try? What were your big lessons of the year?
As I reflect on 2020, here are some of my experiments and big takeaways:
1. I created and launched a podcast. What I learned from this is that accountability partners are critical when we're trying something new. I also learned that I have a short podcast attention span (which is why I keep mine to 10 minutes).
2. I started taking gratitude walks during the pandemic; I walk for 5-10 minutes and say out loud only the things I'm grateful for. What I learned from this is that it can be hard to see the good in the midst of my pandemic anxiety, and, yet, when I'm able to stick to this gratitude practice, I feel lighter and more empowered.
3. I moved all my coaching work to phone and/or Zoom. What I learned is that while I appreciate the ease of video meetings, phone coaching sessions actually allow me to feel more connected energetically to my clients. (I recently researched the reasons why video meetings induce cognitive overload and disrupt the synchrony of communication.)
Viewing our life and leadership through an experimentalist lens is helpful because it allows us to adapt and flex more easily, stay in a growth mindset, and give ourselves and others permission to innovate and be creative.
Being an experimentalist also helps us reframe and allow for our "failures." Here's how I describe it to my clients: When you conduct an experiment, there are going to be times you collect data that wish you didn't, because it's upsetting or uncomfortable. That's life and that's what an experiment is all about. The gift of being an experimentalist is that you get to mine the data for the learning, to use it to adjust and pivot.
As you reflect on 2020 and set your goals and intentions for 2021, I invite you to think big. Think about how you want to grow as a human being and as a leader. Think about what you might be ready to ask for, what mindset you might be ready to shift, and what goals you are ready to work toward.
Then design your experiment. For example, if there is someone in your life you want to feel calmer around, here's an experiment you could try:
Hypothesis: "Taking 3 deep breaths after an upsetting comment or email from this person will help me calm down a bit so I can respond more thoughtfully."
Experiment: I will do this the next 5 times I interact with them.
Result: See what you notice in your body and with your thinking...
Step into your experimentalist mindset, put on your figurative lab coat, grab a notebook, and go collect some data.
I wish you all the best for a healthy, happy, and meaningful holiday season and New Year!
p.s. A new podcast episode of In the Right Direction is available! Listen in to hear how to connect to the purpose and meaning in your life using the tool of core values. And stay tuned for next week's bonus interview episode with coach and forest therapy guide Linda Lombardo about the power of the nature.
Network Your Way to Success
Wednesday 2/3/21, 7-8:30 pm EST
Zoom Fatigue: Yes, It's Real, And Here's What You Can Do
Months into our reliance on virtual platforms, many of us are now realizing how draining it is to stare at a screen all day. There are scientific reasons behind that! This workshop explains the neuroscience of Zoom fatigue and then dives into strategies for you and your team to combat screen fatigue. Please contact me for more information.
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