As you may remember, 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 half of the year (did it go as fast for you as it did for me?), 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. I’m also intentionally taking breaks from content creation (like in July) to make sure that I’m not getting burned out on producing too much content.

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

I started practicing meditation in the second quarter of 2019, but it’s definitely not a habit yet. I’ve found that guided meditations are the best option for me right now since they keep me on track and I can fit them in pretty easily. The best time for me to do this has been in the evenings.

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

This has been one of the best parts of my year so far. As I’ve developed some new coaching programs, and as I start to design my new coaching training, brainstorming and ideating have been really helpful tools.

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

I’m back to reading more non-fiction after reading a bunch of novels in the first part of the year. Right now, a lot of my reading time is going into research for my new coach training program, but that includes a bunch of topics that I love to learn about!

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

As I mentioned in the last update, this year I’ve experimented with just one new mode of expression through letter writing. However, I’ve been actively carving out time for solitude and reflection through writing morning pages and talking morning walks every day for the past seven weeks.

  • 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

I mentioned in the last update that 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 that I’m facilitating the program. Designing my new coach training has also been a really important exercise in thinking about the coaching tools that help people cultivate radical self-trust.

  • 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 was hoping to implement this into the business in Q2, but it’s looking like it will be a Q3 goal now…

  • Be generous in sharing the fruits of my creative efforts

I mentioned in my last update that I’ve had a lot of great meetings with new people about writing, podcasting, and lots of other topics related to creativity this year. Those meetings have continued and are one of my favorite ways to connect with others.

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‘m currently working on drafting my new radical self-trust keynote and it’s such a fun process! I can’t wait to share it with larger groups and get their feedback.

  • Reserve time for quarterly strategic planning sessions

I had a planning session in May and just booked another one for September, so I’m making this a reality and loving every minute of these strategy sessions.

  • Schedule rest periods to keep from being depleted

Since I’m writing quite a bit right now, I’m trying to take Saturdays for more rest and reading as a way to recover. Those days might end up being writing days at some point, but so far they are helping me to stay rested.

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

As I mentioned in my last update, I’ve already said “no” to a several new opportunities this year and it feels great. I have a clear vision of where I want to spend my time for the next several years and that has been helping me make decisions about what to add (or not) to my plate.

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

  • Take regular morning walks

I completely failed at this in the first part of the year, but I’ve been walking every morning (and hitting 10k steps a day) for the past seven weeks. This has been such a great way for me to carve out time for reflection and self care.

  • Schedule solitude at least one day per month

This has happened consistently and I love it.

  • Read a novel for pleasure at least twice per month

Quarter two has seen a lot more non-fiction reading, but I’m okay with that shift given that it’s a lot of research for my coaching training and I’m pretty passionate about making it the best I possibly can.

  • 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

This is always a work in progress, but I made some choices in Q2 that felt like really good steps in the right direction related to how I practice non-judgment toward others.

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

My letter writing project continues to help with this, but it’s always 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 that happened this year.

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

I’m back to a random grid on Instagram and liking the creative freedom that comes along with that.

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

I’m working with a branding agency on some re-branding of my business and it’s been such a cool and creative process so far. I’m certainly no branding expert, so I’m giving myself lots of room to experiment and see what happens.

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

Prolific writing retreats for Q2 have started and the first one was so fun! I can’t wait to host two more this summer.

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

This happened and we have read two books together so far (Redwall and The True Adventures of Charlotte Doyle) — we’re in the process of choosing our next book.

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 300 total coaching hours in Q2 and continue to add new clients each month. 

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

This is definitely happening. Since I decided to start designing my coaching training, I’m pulling together all these tools and strategies into a training guide that participants in the training will receive. I have to be honest that I’m having the time of my life with this project!

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

I’m doing this a lot through conversations with my partner lately and it continues to help me learn more about myself and what I want for my (and our) future.

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

This is a huge focus of the branding work that I’m doing right now — I can’t wait to share more later this year!

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