My 2018 Manifesto: A Mindful Approach to Work and Life

 Must the parties end? We think not.

Must the parties end? We think not.

Entrepreneurs are a self-motivated bunch. To be sure, without self-motivation, we wouldn’t be entrepreneurs for long. One of the things I love about late December is the opportunity to reflect on the past year’s successes and review how well I did with hitting the goals I set out for myself at the beginning of the year. It also allows me the time and space to be mindful of what I want to work on in the coming year.

Before my self-reflection time, I jotted down some questions I wanted to consider and then used uninterrupted time to reflect and answer the questions honestly. When I was ready to work on my plans for 2018, I used those answers to help inform my goals and focus them a bit.

In case you might find them helpful, here they are:

Who do you surround yourself with? * Where do you get your inspiration? * What sorts of things do you like to do (and not like to do)? * What kinds of thoughts fill your head? * What do you like to read? * What do you subscribe to? * What are you a member of and what do get out of your membership? *  What sites do you visits on the Internet? * What music do you listen to? * What kind of art are you drawn to? What movies do you watch? * What do you collect? * What goes on your board or on your refrigerator door? * Whose work do you admire? *  Who are your heroes? * Who do you follow online? * What excites you? * What’s the one thing you want to see happen in 2018? *

Reviewing how my current landscape looks and how (and if) I want to change the answers for 2018, I’m making adjustments to my daily habits. For example, this exercise reminded me how much I enjoy the arts so I’m going to seek out more opportunities to experience them, whether it’s attending more performance-based arts, visiting a new exhibit, or trying to secure a new arts-based client.

Also, not necessarily part of my business plan but definitely part of my personal plan:

1)   Spend less time on social media and nurture my friendships in real life.

2)   Clean my office, including my email in-box, files and desktop. Since my office is in my home, this is important to me on several levels.

3)   Ask for and encourage feedback ~ professionally and personally.

4)   Commit to attending more meaningful events. I’m writing this in the dead of winter and it’s so hard to motivate me to leave my house unless it’s necessary but I have included a few events on my calendar!

5)   Schedule one day each month for myself. If nothing else, just to be able to clear my head.

6)   Say thank you more often. More than just thank you, truly show appreciation to people who are kind.

7)   Get out into nature. Despite Chicago’s reputation of being a concrete jungle, there are a lot of places where it’s easy to enjoy nature.

8)   Change one habit. Just one. For me, it’s making sure I drink 8 glasses of water a day.

9)   Surround myself with people I love, support and admire. We all have 24 hours a day and I think most of us would prefer to spend it with those who bring out the best in us.

10)                  Finally, commit to a healthier me. This means everything from eating healthier, working out at least twice a week and surrounding myself with people who push me to be better.

This is my manifesto for 2018.

What I’ve been listening to: Methods Podcast

There’s been a lot of talk about facts this past year, thanks to the current administration. Who are these fact-checkers? And how do we know what we’re consuming is accurate?

If these kinds of questions fascinate you, too, you might enjoy listening to METHODS, a podcast about how we know what we know. Brooke Borel, author of The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking, interviews people who examine facts for a living, whether it’s a journalist or a historian.

I especially loved Episode 8 on Gun Country, which discussed the research lining guns and crime, and last week’s Episode 12: Bad Algorithms, which explored the dark side of big data.