Q3 Reflections and resolutions follow-up
Another quarter in the past. Amazing to be alive and healthy, and even thriving, in these times.
Grew tomatoes in the garden this year and, really, easily over 1,000 cherry tomato fruits to harvest. Garlic did pretty well considering it didn't even get watered - and in big part that's thanks to a rainy spring. Excited to have had some rewards for the labor, and continue to grow into 2022.
Here were my topics for the year:
- Physical: Moving with Joy
- Emotional: Nurture All Things
- Mental: Spacious
- Spiritual: Joyful Att/Intention
Physical: Moving with Joy
I've been diligent about 3x/week weight exercises. After a few weeks of struggling to gain any weight by tracking just protein, starting to track calorie intake and that has lead to eating so much more. At first it was difficult to eat SO much. And at times still is. Was very focused on low-carb as well and this was extra difficult, since high-fat foods are so filling - I was even eating plenty of calories and still not gaining much. In adding more carbs, I wanted to do it as mindfully as possible - and the seasons made it easier with fruit. Complex carbs also, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice pasta, joined in. So I'm actually at the heaviest I've been in a while, about 8 pounds over my starting weight of the year.
I also move more, have joined a (climbing) gym, and walked a ton during travels. Continue to do yoga and stand at my desk. At times did the pain-free maintenance program routinely in the evenings and that was really nice. Another shoulder/neck yoga routine that's 10m has also stood out for its amazing results.
Room for improvement:
- Cardio. Perhaps going into winter, I'll have a bit of chance to do some, but really this has turned more into a desire to follow up the weight gain with muscle maintenance + cardio in the spring. Much more sustainable.
- Breaks have gotten a bit easier, but not great. The toughest is when I'm really busy, juggling a bunch of different items and wanting to wrap them all up before I take my break. This mindset of "I'll just finish this and then..." is what's been the major obstacle. I do look in the distance, and I do stand diligently 2-3x/day, and I don't work very long workdays. One idea is to literally just take 3 breaths every 20m, when I see the 20s timer. Unless I am in a meeting, it's easy to do – and even then.
- Structure the day so that 15m every 90m are an opportunity to rest and step away. Effectively every 2h have 15-30m open.
- I did a bit of trampolining every week, but not daily. Still, I enjoy it and am glad it's there.
- Digestion - I seem to accumulate bloat during the day and my digestion could be more stable. It's gotten better with this cleanse, but I'll be looking for more here. I may have slacked on water a bit?
- Somewhat frequent headaches/eye sores, and neck/shoulder stiffness. Yoga focus has been helping, but not enough to counter those long days of "plowing through."
- I've been better about taking breaks between meetings.
- Gaining weight - and muscle. Circumference tape measurements confirm it, and while some of it is (belly) fat, it's really gratifying to be able to gain muscle! Maintenance will help when it comes time to trim the fat (ha). Tracking my calorie and protein intake has been sufficient.
- Started another cleanse last week
- Walked a LOT during the trip to Europe, guess at least 26 miles. Also took bicycles, and e-bikes for the first time.
- So much great food, especially chocolate, cheese, wine, croissants. During the trip I only gained 2-3lbs, and then within 3 days of coming back I nearly lost them all.
- SO many cherry tomatoes.
- Continued every other week massages. Continued weekly baths.
- Sleeping early and very well.
- Continued yoga and stretching, work standing, semi-regular neck pillow.
- My wrists haven't hurt in SO long! My arms are feeling great, too.
I feel bigger. And definitely stronger. I'm continue to stretch and move my hips, and that + the butt/glutes is where I'd like to see more improvement in my body.
I also seem to get headaches more frequently. They're primarily eye strain related.
Emotional: Nurture All Things
Vacation has been so emotionally nourishing. It was probably the first vacation in 5 years, besides the holidays, when I could really step away and enjoy where I am without feeling like I'm running behind on something.
Room for improvement:
- Sleep during busy times is a challenge. Having more time to process would be great, but that's inherently scarce during busy time. A bath helps, a massage helps. At the end of day though, I must have boundaries as to HOW busy I allow things to get. With self compassion I can see that it's difficult, as a business owner, to predict all of the ups and downs and when a time is going to be extra busy. Still, life is so much more pleasant when I'm under capacity VS over. The high of a busy lifestyle is overrated and NOT worth it. Blocking out time helps, and keeping this in check so that a busy week can be followed by a more lax week is really good too.
- Would still like to use those top-10 thought patterns as a reference.
- Select my top 1-2 values. These 2 are the likely ones: Learning (comes with Curiosity and Joy) and Wealth (comes with Growth and Health, since wealth without health isn't worth much). Wealth feels like my top value right now.
- Surrender exercises - not daily, but I do them multiple times a week. And what I'm finding is, a lot of times, I've had such a great day and not much has piled up.
- 365+ days of continuous meditation! (achieved this week). This is a HUGE milestone and I can tell it's compounded my mental health so much, especially during such a tough year for humankind and the planet.
- Vacation. What an emotionally uplifting experience!
- Target of 10-3 workday with a longer Monday and a shorter Friday (on average, not during busy times - room for improvement)
- Mentorship and client meetings feel more human and nurturing than before. I have more fun and connect better, it seems? Not quite sure what's changing, but something is!
- Family holiday in the mountains, so nice!
- Lovely trips and sights, food (for the soul), and slower pace of life. Really enjoyed Denmark biking and relaxed lifestyle! Even got a hygge shirt :)
- Leadership improvements - had a call with another mentor and more insights. Very grateful to business clients for allowing us to grow and add a PM.
Really happy with Q3. Good for the body and for my emotional health. A couple supplements are great help as well - e.g. vitamin B and D.
I still catch myself frustrated and messing stuff up, taking the long way instead of the patient way. The book Slack by Tom DeMarco really resonated with me, I've been gradually implementing more parts of it into my life. Mainly, to avoid having back-to-back scheduled times, to leave space to adapt.
My favorite mind improvement is very much related to meditation. Generally more content and less reactive. The spacious aspect has come through from good boundaries around my work life as well, giving me more time to enjoy life and care for myself. Great stuff! 2 hours per day of unplanned work time have been very helpful, and it's only tough to do when I have a lot of calls.
A growing business has also worked my mind in new ways, without stressing me out (for the most part!)
I do still rush. I do it especially before I'm about to enjoy something - I caught myself delaying an enjoyable snack for example. That sounds cruel in writing, but psychologically it makes a ton of sense. Instead of doing it this way, I now focus more on taking the time to enjoy each thing.
Mantra "I have plenty of time", helpful.
Room for improvement:
- Very similar to the quarter before. Resting my mind more between chunks of work.
- Peer review the mission - I did another iteration.
- Make a will, could wait until I have kids though.
- Did my financial review and am almost finished with the insurance side of it, as well. Feels great!
- Working shorter workdays. Super exciting to have weeks where I'm able to do that.
- Transitioning most of the programming to the team. Some of the code review, as well.
- Continued process focus, hiring people in new roles to help us.
- Read another business book, Slack by Tom DeMarco.
- Lots of joy and nurture, through work and also personal.
- Even better about 6h workdays and headed to 5. There are still longer days, especially on busier weeks when projects start, etc.
- Had a coaching session with Marius, went well!
Spiritual: Joyful Att/Intention
Summer! So great for the spirit. So nurturing to be able to travel, spend time with family, with the garden, eat a ton of fruit, and more.
Room for improvement
- Not doing long meditation sessions or retreat yet.
- Not doing breathworks as often. Though I am doing a lot of reflection and focus on breath, stretching, etc. I don't feel like it's a huge piece I'm missing, though know it would be enjoyable and inspiring.
- Inconsistent about the 2nd meditation. Happens some days.
- Achieved: 2+ hot springs trips, with 1 more on the way
- Scaled back the plants, and tried to grow shiso again - tough stuff. Garden did so well in summer!
- Really enjoy leadership now and feel calmer during more difficult moments
- More time with nature - picture of owl, warbler. Lost and buried a wild pet bunny (Jet!)
Still doing the daily joys. Got to kite in Denmark in the rain, that was a very joyous and nature experience!
Present and future
To frame in a more mindful way (inspired by Headspace meditations): How are you now? How do you want to be feeling and living?
You feel joy and lightness. Getting back to the gym, traveling, socializing, eating with the seasons. So many good experiences in Q3! You feel very connected to nature. One remarkable benefit since returning from Europe has been getting up early - at the crack of dawn really.
It's harder to write in the second person I'm noticing - so will switch for now.
Q4 is a wrap up of the year. It's time to slow down and live even more spaciously than before. It's not about stopping altogether, more about steady, slow flow. Look forward to the CSA for the 2nd year in a row. Also will be rounding out the first full year in a new house. A couple of trips. Family time. Vacation. Smooth transitions. Guiding the way with patience, nurture. I'm really content with where I'm at and contentfully looking to the next 3 months, as well.
With Uplift, funny I was looking forward to more sales and marketing. I ended up de-prioritizing marketing altogether, since we are getting plenty of referrals through our network. Focus was a lot more on HR, project management, and sales.
During trip to Europe/vacation I got the chance to reflect more on who I am. I'm a nourishing leader and a guide. I have incredible focus, and steadiness. I'm finding more and more balance and contentment in sustained growth (versus do-it-fast and worry about it later).