As you may know, this year I decided to align my goals with the six ways of cultivating Radical Self-Trust (RST):

  • Seeking self-knowledge
  • Living core values with intention
  • Nurturing your superpowers
  • Practicing loving kindness toward yourself and others
  • Playfully experimenting
  • Settling into your life’s purpose

This new strategy resulted in me removing a lot of my tactical and task-oriented goals (write a book, increase business revenue, etc.) and focusing instead on the RST strategies and related goals that I wanted to guide my life and work in 2019.

As we end the first quarter of the year, here’s an update on how things are going.

Seeking self-knowledge. (Engaging in deep reflection on my personality, core values, strengths, weaknesses, and life’s purpose.)

  • Continue to write weekly essays for my email newsletter (also posted on The Academic Creative blog) and record podcast episodes that help me reflect on how my day-to-day experiences can be larger learning opportunities for myself and others

This has definitely happened. Having a content calendar for the year has also helped me to be more planful about this content and less stressed about generating new ideas at a moment’s notice.

  • Practice meditation more frequently as a way to notice thought patterns and to soften internal judgments

I have not practiced meditation even once in 2019, so obviously still working on this one.

  • Intentionally daydream about new possibilities and directions (both alone and with my partner)

This is also happening. I’m having more conversations with my partner about our shared future goals, which I’m really enjoying.

  • Read inspirational non-fiction that aligns with my values and intentions for the future

I’ve read a couple of non-fiction books this year, but so far I’ve mostly been diving into fiction. I’d like to read more memoirs in Q2 of the year to help with this goal.

Living core values with intention. (The alignment of what I believe to be important with the actions that I take on a daily basis.)

I recently identified some of my core values as (1) creativity, (2) radical self-trust, (3) process, design & systems, and (4) documentation. Here are my goals related to those values:

  • Nurture my creativity by carving out space for solitude, reflection, and experimentation with new modes of expression

I have had some wonderful moments of solitude already this year and it’s become so clear to me how important it is for me to build in that alone time on a regular basis. So far, I’ve experimented with just one new mode of expression through letting writing.

  • Actively reflect on how I’m practicing (and how I’m seeing others practice) radical self-trust in their lives and work through journaling and note-taking

Although I haven’t been journaling and note-taking as much as I would like, facilitating my 7 Weeks to Radical Self-Trust group coaching program has definitely helped with this goal since I get to talk about elements of RST every week.

  • Continue to develop processes and systems for my side-business that improve efficiency and delight my clients

This is definitely an ongoing goal, but I’ve started to look into some automated calendaring functions that would make it a lot easier to schedule client meetings. I’m hoping to implement this into the business in Q2.

  • Be generous in sharing the fruits of my creative efforts

I’ve had a lot of great meetings with new people about writing, podcasting, and lots of other topics related to creativity this year. This is one of my favorite ways of connecting with others who want to learn about how they can be more creative. 

Nurturing superpowers. (Purposefully investing in and honing my strengths so that they improve my life’s work and are noticeable to others.)

  • Revise and niche my speaking offerings to better align with my strengths and my coaching practice (I started this over my winter retreat — you can see my new speaking page here)

I have done this through the modifications I made on my speaking page, so I’m currently seeing what other changes I should make based on client feedback.

  • Reserve time for quarterly strategic planning sessions

I just booked another 10-day retreat period at the end of May to help me do some planning for the second half of the year. I haven’t been able to make this a quarterly event (yet), but carving out time a couple times a year for this planning seems to be working.

  • Schedule rest periods to keep from being depleted

This has also been going pretty well. I’ve been prioritizing sleep, planning ahead with tasks so that I can take parts of weekends off of work, and building in some work from home days to recharge after being around a lot of people when I travel for conferences.

  • Be discerning about taking on new long-term projects (just because I can doesn’t mean I should)

I’ve already said “no” to a couple of new opportunities this year and it felt great!

Practicing loving-kindness toward myself and others. (Having consideration and affection for myself and those around me.)

  • Take regular morning walks

Truth time. I am completely failing at this one. I can blame it on the weather, the dark mornings, and my need for sleep, but I really need to get back to this in Q2.

  • Schedule solitude at least one day per month

This has happened and I love it.

  • Read a novel for pleasure at least twice per month

This has happened and I love it. See some of what I’ve been reading in this recent blog post.

  • Be a supportive presence for Prolific members (this is my online community for academic writers), my coaching clients, my co-workers, and for the authors in my book series

This is always a work in progress, but I think I’m doing okay on this one.

  • Practice non-judgment of myself and others

Working on this one, and it’s hard. I try to catch the thoughts when they happen and let them go as intentionally as possible to create new mindsets and thought patterns that will replace the more judgmental thoughts.

  • Express more gratitude in both verbal and written forms to people in my life

The letter writing has certainly helped with this, but it’s also a work in progress.

Playfully experimenting. (Taking calculated and creative risks in order to learn more about myself and the world around me.)

This happened and it’s one of my favorite things to facilitate each week.

  • Play with new content on social media (mostly Instagram and YouTube)

I’ve been playing with Instagram more than YouTube, but I’ve also been watching more YouTube videos to see what I like and might want to emulate.

  • Try some new artistic modes of expression without worrying about whether I’m doing it right

Other than the letter writing, I haven’t done much with this goal yet this year.

  • Experiment with hosting virtual writing sprints and retreats and explore the possibility of facilitating in-person retreats

I hosted my first writing sprint in Q1 and had a great time. I also scheduled some Prolific writing retreats for Q2, so I’ll get a taste of that soon! I had a great conversation with someone who currently runs in-person retreats and was able to gather some really helpful information, but I’m still thinking on that one.

  • Form a “reading group” with my partner and discuss books over dinner

This happened and we have read one book together so far (Redwall) and started on the second book (The True Adventures of Charlotte Doyle).

Settling into my life’s purpose. (Making a commitment to contribute to the world through my particular constellation of strengths and abilities.)

  • Log a minimum of 100 hours of coaching and work with a minimum of 6 new coaching clients each quarter

I’m definitely on track with this goal so far. I hit 200 total coaching hours in Q1 and added a ton of new clients in the first part of the year. Coaching continues to be one of my favorite things, so I’m so pleased that it’s going well and drawing new clients.

  • Begin to develop and document the coaching tools and strategies I use when working with academics and higher education professionals

This has started happening through the development of the 7 Weeks to RST curriculum, but I want to do more of this in the remainder of the year.

  • Think about what I want to let go of (projects, attitudes, mindsets, etc.) to create space for my vision of the future

I feel like I’m constantly doing this, but I haven’t set aside intentional time to think about it yet this year.

  • Market the offerings of my business with intention and through offering genuine solutions to real problems

This is a constant project, but I’m intentionally thinking about marketing a lot more since I started recording season 5 of Make Your Way and we are devoting the entire season to marketing topics!

I’ve still got a lot on my plate for 2019, but I’ve found that this method of guiding my goals has been really useful so far.

To think on:

  • How did your first quarter of 2019 go?
  • What alignment can you see between your goals and larger vision?