Please Tell Me You Did NOT Make Resolutions

It’s a New Year! Did you make any resolutions? I HOPE NOT.

I mean, ok—if you did—no judgment.

But I do think the New Year is a time for going inward and stilling the inner drive. What good are goals and pronouncements without reflection first? A few weeks ago, I spent four hours freewriting answers to questions on a “validate your feelings” CEO worksheet that I’ve developed over the years and modeled after resources from Feminist Business School, Springboard, HIVE, and a few other trusted entrepreneurial spaces that I inhabit. Seeing as I have four jobs (director and teacher of a nonprofit; director and teacher of an S-corporation), that’s only an hour per job to inquire, reflect, and synthesize an entire year’s worth of feelings.

It has taken a long time and a lot of mistakes to get to a place where I spend that kind of time exploring unquantifiable “metrics” like feelings in order to better understand what my business, my writing, and my overall life-balance need. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t get me wrong—I run plenty of numbers. I track time meticulously (thank you, Harvest app). I track transactions and line items (thank you, Wave). I seek professional support (thank you Reverb DEI, MW Consulting, Ultimate Rainbow, HIVEmates, the WRITEABILITY Board, Wanderwell, and Sister curricula materials).

But before all that, I go dark. With great glee, I turn on my autoresponder, avoid my desk, and take to the woods. A few weeks and long walks later, I’m ready to ask hard questions and allow for long, meandering answers.

What do I have to show for all of this reflection? It took another hour to review my notes and distill them into key takeaways. The results: Seventeen sentences declaring the needs, impact, and preferences of my businesses, along with my roles within them, and fifteen tasks directed toward positive change that I’ll address in 2024. Taken together, these distillations will help correct any misalignments and allow me to lean closer to the future I’m envisioning—not just in regard to my own role in both businesses, but for the caring, creative, dedicated humans those businesses serve.

When it comes to life’s most important things, I’d like to hear more about how you inquire, reflect, and synthesize. When we ask questions, there’s almost always a story hidden inside the question, and that story can teach us what it is we most long for next. When we reflect, we push past first reactions and dig into what’s under the under of our life’s purpose. And when we synthesize, we empower ourselves to move ahead with confidence and discernment.

  • Are there questions you ask yourself as each New Year dawns? What are they and what inspires you to ask them?
  • Are there activities you engage in that help you reflect effectively (ex. walks, less tech)? I’d like to hear about it.
  • What truths have repeated themselves over the years and become your guideposts?

So write to me or leave a comment below, and let’s start the conversation. I’d love to be inspired by what you’re discovering in this big, messy, painful, beautiful life!

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