The events of the past 18 months significantly impacted our lives. As we adjust to this ever-changing new normal, join me in reflecting, regrouping, and taking stock — to cope, find new solutions, and foster resilience as we make positive strides toward our new future.
“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Taking Stock: The Good, The Bad & The Way Forward
Life is very different today from how it was at the beginning of 2020. The pandemic, racial tensions, and economic upheaval seemed to change everything — from how we interact with our work, friends, family, and the world at large, to how we see ourselves.
These changes packed a punch because they happened so quickly and you had little say in how they played out in your life. But today, even as disruptions continue to occur, you are more experienced and have a better sense of what to expect. You have a say. This is your opportunity to reflect, learn from the lessons of 2020 and 2021, and decide how best to move forward.
Taking Stock: The Big Picture
Begin by reflecting on your life as a whole. Ask yourself the following questions to determine where change is needed and how to move forward:
✵ How do I feel today compared to how I felt in February 2020?
✵ How have my focus and my goals changed?
✵ In what ways do I feel more or less connected to those around me?
✵ Who am I now compared to who I was then?
Taking Stock: The Good
Fortunately, not all the changes and impacts were bad. Hard times likely drove you to problem solve, innovate, and build your resilience.
For example, the “opportunity” to slow down was a blessing in disguise for many people. Spending more time together forged deeper family bonds. Working remotely saved commute time, provided freedom to take conference
calls while taking a walk, and created the flexibility to check on your kids, let the dog out, or switch over the laundry between emails. Some of you read voraciously, spent more time outside in nature, or even discovered new hobbies.
Taking Stock: The Bad
Unfortunately, many experiences were (and continue to be) difficult, stressful, and chaotic. Several of my clients suffered burnout due to excessive screen time and the blurred boundaries between work and home. And you’re not alone if you lost sight of your goals or picked up some bad habits along the way.
Many concerns shaped your experiences and how you survived. Maybe you suffered illness or the loss or absence of loved ones. Perhaps the demands of virtual schooling and empty grocery store shelves took their toll, or you were frustrated by the isolation of quarantine and canceled travel plans. Combined with political, social, and economic upheaval, these stresses likely changed you and your worldview.
Taking Stock: The Way Forward
By reflecting on the impact of your experiences in 2020 and 2021, you can make informed choices and powerful strides for your future. “Reentry” will be tough; the world has changed, and so have you.
As you begin this process, extend grace to yourself and others as the world continues to evolve. Be intentional and selective. Cling to the good and gently set aside the bad, while striving for a life that is richer, fuller, and more meaningful than ever before!
Tips for Taking Stock of Your Self and Your Life
- Give yourself a gold star. Kudos for making it through these tough times (mostly) in one piece! Instead of beating yourself up for bad habits or goals that fell by the wayside, remind yourself that the past 18 months were hard — and you did your best. Prepare to move forward with intention, no matter what the still-uncertain future holds.
- Identify pain points. As you assess what habits to keep and which to overcome, note areas of resistance, such as dreading returning to the office or putting off reengaging in a prior commitment. These can be signals that something wasn’t or isn’t fully serving you.
- Practice brutal honesty. Be clear about how you’re feeling and your current capability. Maybe your mental health is still feeling the impact of pandemic life. Or maybe you picked up some bad habits you know aren’t serving you. Be honest with yourself about your actions and habits — not to beat yourself up, but to be a good self-steward.
- Take it slow. Remember that you and the world have both changed, and your priorities may have shifted as well. Instead of automatically adding back all your old obligations, be selective. You have the power to shape your life — so take control and take it slow.
As your coach I am dedicated to helping you live a balanced, successful, and fulfilling personal and professional life. Through my Leap Forward Coaching method I offer you a proven process and life-changing experience to help you take stock of your life, cultivate what works, and ditch what doesn’t.