This was going to be a post about looking back at our successes and failures to see what gems of information we can glean for our future progress.
But then WordPress? Divi? The Great Web God in the Sky (I’m totally laying this on the Patriarchy)? started fudging about with how to write a blog post.
As my Mum would say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t meddle with it”.
Which of course, is excellent advice….
(Seriously Website Gods, you had a perfectly usable platform before – and I know it’s good to experiment, but here’s my feedback to you – Keep It SIMPLE!!!)
Hokay, back on an even keel (rant over I promise).
I understand dear reader, that Autumn is a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and a BAJILLION posts and articles that ask you to reflect on your year and plan for your big year ahead – and yes, like another sludgy leaf in the gutter, you may think this is one of them.
Well…. perhaphs, or as the French say Peut-être (which is actually one of my favourite French words, but then I only have a handful).
But here’s the thing, my loves…
When you take stock of your activities, it can give you remarkable insight.
This can happen on two time frames (or more,I mean, just how strategic are you??). There is the Short Term and the Long Term.
SHORT TERM REFLECTIONS – you’ve just completed a project, or launched a ‘thing’ or finished a production/installation/season/etc. When you look back over it, ask yourself:
- What went right? What was dazzling, brilliant, breath taking, strategically well placed, well planned?
- How did you do it? What were the tools you used? Who were the people you spoke to? Who were the folk who loved you and cheered you on?
- What went tits up? Like, seriously, don’t hide from it, AND don’t wallow in the mire. What went wrong? WHY did it go wrong?
- What did you LEARN from it? Every disaster has the power to make you a master – these are learning opportunities. Did you find out that you ran out of time to prepare/market etc because you didn’t get it planned out? Or because you panicked over the enormity of the task and didn’t think you were good enough to do it (we’ve all been there…) Or was it because you got overwhelemed by the number of things you didn’t know how to do?
- If you could repeat the experience – WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE? How could you get planned out better? Who would you bring on to your team to help out? What kind of self care could you build in so that you feel looked after and less stressed?
Oh, and don’t think I’m joking with the Self Care piece. It’s vital to look after you. Give yourself compassion and learn about what rights you when you start to keel over.
For me, I learnt to recognise that when I’m overwhelmed from numerous things happen at once I start to feel like all I want to do is sleep (It’s like stress narcolepsy or something) So, if there is wiggle room in my day, I’ll have a nap, or take a really hot bath with Frankincense oil. If there’s less time, I’ll take myself out for a walk – I’m like a Spaniel in many respects, it doesn’t matter if it’s dry, drizzling, or blowing a gale, I NEEED to be outside at least once a day.
Then there’s LONG TERM REFLECTIONS. Now, if you’re someone who journals on a regular basis, more power to your elbow (Okay, I think I need to check some of these expressions, is that really a thing, power to your elbow? I feel like its right, when I said it in my head it’s right, but now I put in on the paper….it’s not even like English is my second language). Flipping back through your journals will give you a huge amount of data.
Likewise, If you are the type of self employed person that does there own taxes, or keeps spreadsheets on incomings and outgoings – this is utterly useful information.
Ask Yourself questions such as:
- Over the course of a year are there any months that I earn more money in? Does this happen year after year?
- Over the course of a year, when I look at it over a number of years, are there any months when I produce significantly more high quality work?
- If I look at holidays, do I produce ‘better’ work before or after my break (insert your own personal definition of better – might be that you make more money, might be that it engages with more people, might be that you have more fun)?
- What events have I attended before/ after/ during a particularly juicy patch of creativity?
- When do I go dormant? Is there a particular time of year when I look at it over a range of years? Is it around the same time as a particular event I attend or host, or around a holiday time?
What you are looking for are patterns. It can take years to work them out, but they’re useful questions to hold in your mind. For many people jumping into creating the next big thing, straight after launching or releasing a big thing is a crazy idea – but if you’re someone who works on momentum, and then rests for a couple of months, it’s useful to spot the pattern. Likewise, you may wish to hibernate through winter, or summer is too hot and hectic to think.
Reflecting back over a short time period and a long time period can really help you use your drive, energy and focus.
You might find it useful to see how I have used Long Term and Short Term Reflections Recently.
I noticed only the other day, that I am super productive in October, which means I have lots of changes to implement and ‘stuff’ to share come mid November. Same in May/June, loads of ideas and heaps of energy to focus them. I become really clear and excited, which means come mid July I have a new thing, or I do a new thing. But that’s a revelation that’s only struck me after a decade of creating, doing, launching etc. I’ve also learnt to recognise that I can create and teach within the same time frame – each week. BUT I can not create, market and launch in the same time frame. What I do recognise is that having the deadline of a launch date gives me the impeteus to create, so now I give myself a deadline to create by so that I can start to market – it’s not rocket science, but it’s taken my a few courses to recognise this!
Knowing when you’re in go mode, doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything for the rest of the year, it just means that you know when you are at your brightest and shiniest. Of course keep producing and putting things out there – new offers, new ventures, new productions. But at the same time, recognise why your energy may not be as high and vibrat.
So there we are, I hope you found this helpful. It can take time to map out your long term pattern of flow, but your short term reflections will give you feedback straight away. Use this knowledge about yourself as a way of working to your unique awesomeness, and give yourself permission to bring in others who have uniquely awesome talents that you may lack.
Feeling how you flow is an incredible way to create and allows you to do more of the things you love. If you’d like to know more about how this can look in your life, then get in touch and lets talk about putting more magic into your life.