It’s been exactly six months since I wrote about selecting my 2011 Word of the Year: engaged. So, this is a good time to review how this word has challenged me and how I’m doing with the strategies I came up with.
I still find myself struggling a bit with the word “engage” and found that default settings aren’t called that for nothing. Anytime you’re trying to change your default, you need to work on it. I’ve been reminded of this a few times so far this year.
I still struggle with jumping from one task to another. Generally it’s to check email or facebook or something like that “really quick.” The good news is that I more readily recognize when I’m doing it. The bad news is that I sometimes don’t realize it until a half hour has gone by. Yesterday I downloaded a tool recommended to me by a friend. One feature of the tool is to watch and time what sites you visit. If you spend too much time (you can set this) on a non-productive site, it will let you know.
Another default setting is the tendency to withdraw into myself when I’m in a new or uncomfortable setting. Like I said six months ago, I like to get a lay of the land before I participate. I’m doing better with this one. I’ve consciously dove into conversations a couple times when I wasn’t completely comfortable. There are times when I’m uncomfortable and I don’t dive in, but I recognize those situations more as they occur and look at what it is that makes me uncomfortable. Looking into why I’m uncomfortable has been extremely useful.
I’m doing pretty good with staying involved in activities that I feel fully engaged in. Even when I find myself coming up with excuses not to go before hand, they tend to be pretty rewarding. Sometimes the reward is that I felt the uncomfortableness and went and had a good time anyway! I found one of my favorite groups this way.
So, how am I doing with those strategies I came up with?
- Set an intention for each meeting/event/outing I attend. I don’t always do this. The times when I don’t set an intention, I tend to have a more frustrating experience. However, when I do set an intention things go pretty well. Sometimes the intention is simply to have a good time and that’s enough. Intention setting for meeting, events and outings is important to me because they remind me why I am there and what I hope to accomplish.
- Only attend meetings/events/outings that I have a high potential to feel fully engaged in. I’ve done a good job with this one. I stopped attending a meeting I really enjoyed, but didn’t feel fully engaged in to try another meeting that I thought had a bit more engagement potential. It paid off! I love attending the new meetings and am fully engaged. And, I continue to sign up for events that are outside of my comfort zone, but I feel have potential.
- Set an intention for each day. I haven’t done this one for a while. The main reason is I generally had the same intention for each day: I am fully engaged in each task. Actually, I think I’ll write that down and post it in my office right now (see the picture above).
- Meditate daily. I did this daily for about a month and for some reason stopped. This is definitely something I want to recommit to.
- Set goals for each week. About two weeks ago I pulled out my six month goal list and broke it down into individual tasks and assigned them to specific days. This has worked out pretty well for me.
- Set goals at the beginning of each day (or the end of the previous one). In April I got an accountability partner. We talk each morning and tell each other our goals for the day and how we did with the previous day’s goals. This has been a GREAT help to me. I found it was even more useful when I made sure I had my goals for the day listed before we got on the call so I wasn’t coming up with them as we talked. That’s where setting up the tasks in advance really paid off. Some things still get moved, but they all get rescheduled.
These are the strategies that I’m recommitting to:
- Set an intention for each meeting/event/outing I attend.
- Only attend meetings/events/outings that I have a high potential to feel fully engaged in.
- Meditate daily.
- Set goals for each month based on my long term goals.
- Set goals at the beginning of each day (or the end of the previous one).
Did you select a word of the year? How are you doing with it?