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Reflections

Monthly Check-In Reflection – September 2020

September 28, 2020

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Dear kindred friends,

If you’ve been tracking along with us since January 2020, we are 75% through the year. If you’ve been tracking with us just starting this month, then welcome to your first check-in! At Kindred & Co. we believe that we can create all the goals and dreams we want, but if we’re not checking in with ourselves about how things are going, there’s a good chance we may not see progress we want. So every couple months we are going to specifically check-in on those goals and our progress. Accountability is important friends.

So no matter where you’re joining us on this goal journey, we are still going to be asking you the same question. Because even if you just started writing and testing our your goals, we believe it’s valuable to do a quick evaluation early on on how our goals are, whether they are truly realistic based on the first month of us trying to live them out.

Ready?

“75% through 2020! How are you feeling? Check in with the goals you’ve set and your intentions for the year, and how you feel about them.”

Like we mentioned, this question is not meant to bring about feelings of shame or frustration with yourself. They’re not meant to point out where you’re failing or give room for boasting about how you’re doing. That’s not what we’re about here.

Rather, we want to ask these questions to help us develop a practice of reflection and understanding of ourselves. To truly understand who we are and how we are doing over the year.

Especially a year like this one, that held it’s own set of rules and “fun” with COVID-19 and all the other ups and downs environmentally, economically, systemically, etc.

So checking in is especially important for this year.

We may not have gotten very far in our goals at all this year. And at first glance, we may even be tempted to say ‘wow, I didn’t get anywhere, I failed.” But if we take a moment to look at our goals and progress within the context of 2020 and the mental, emotional, physical spaces we were occupying, I think we’ll see that maybe it was less about us not meeting an expectation due to lack of our own capabilities. Perhaps, there were many other life circumstances that worked against us thriving in the way we set out to do at the beginning of 2020. Maybe instead our mindset should be of an extra dose of kindness and grace towards ourselves.

And even if you are just now setting your goals for 2020-2021, it’s helpful to have this same context in front of you so you can create realistic goals and expectations for yourself. My personal temptation is always to ignore the context I’m in, or to say “I just need to move past this, and being more productive and more goal-oriented will help me push past the crazy around my life. It’ll help distract me because this feels more within my control.” While there is room and necessity for a resilient mind, constantly holding this posture becomes an issue when we actively ignore and act like the context around us and in our lives do not impact our abilities to set appropriate and realistic goals. Or move forward well in them.

When I continuously try to push past my context and what I can’t control, looking instead only to what I presume I can control, I’m ignoring how life’s circumstances might be draining me emotionally, physically and mentally, subconsciously affecting how I can progress in my goals. This often turns into frustration with myself with a lot of “why can’t I just _______?” When the reality is, if I just took a moment to acknowledge that there are other factors at play, then I might just have a more holistic understanding.

So, as you’re starting out writing your goals for 2020-2021, it’s helpful to think about the greater context to more accurately set yourself up realistically and appropriately and ultimately, for better success.

Does this all make sense?

This was a short check-in and a short reflection, but an important one as we individually look back at the goals we are setting or the goals we did set. What has actually been happening this year and how might that have impacted where I’m at in my goal progress? What might that mean for my expectations for the rest of this year and also for what I decide for next year? Or, if you’re just starting out, what might that mean about how I adjust my expectations for going into the 2020-2021 year and how might I need to be flexible and adapt as this year comes to an end and next year starts up?

We do ourselves a disservice if we choose to set goals and expectations outside of the context around us. And while those contexts will always impact our lives, right now, they ever more so do and we need to create the space and flexibility to adjust with them.

I know I’ve needed to and will probably continue to need to as the consequences and new realities of this year impact and change the years to come.

With joy&gratitude,

Val

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