Spring Check-in and the Importance of Momentum

Spring-Momentum

 

It’s springtime in DC, Easter Sunday and the tail end of cherry blossom season.

Last night, the city hosted its annual cherry blossom fireworks over by Southwest Waterfront:

cherry-blossom-fireworks

Winter’s behind us, the weather is gorgeous and people are happy.

Spring – and Passover – and Easter – all symbolize rebirth, hope, & a buoyant optimism.

So it’s time for a check-in:

You

How are you doing?

How’s 2017 treating you so far?

Did you accomplish all of the things you set out to do in Q1?

How are those New Year’s Resolutions going?

Me

Me?

I’m on the cusp.

The first quarter of 2017 was one of “rebuilding” – assessing where I was and where I wanted to be by year’s end.

Then, I spent necessary time figuring discerning the steps I needed to take to get there.

This is the quiet work, that deep work done alone, at home, in secret.

My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions?

Unspectacular. Or, perhaps I should say “unoriginal.”

They were:

  • Health – Get back in shape for summer.
  • Money – Get on more stable financial footing.
  • Job – Feel more fulfilled at work.
  • Romance – Work toward a serious relationship by year’s end.
  • Hobbies – Find some new, fulfilling ones.
  • Writing  – Continue to write – via this blog and other outlets – to find my voice, and slowly build a body of work.

Status Report

Forgive the diary-like nature of this post, but it goes to accountability, honesty, and authenticity – the progress I’ve made (or not) in the six areas listed above.

The whole theme of this blog is “Branding” – including “Personal Branding.”

I can’t very well write with authority on either if I don’t occasionally reflect on my own progress against my goals.

So here’s the Q1 Review – my status report of how I’ve done with my 2017 goals as of April 15th:

Job – After more than 2.5 years with Dale Curtis Communications, I will return to a global PR firm in a new position that starts in May.

It will be challenging, but it’s time for a change.

The lesson?

It’s never too late to make a change if you’re feeling at all stagnant.

Money – Over the past month, I’ve stopped using credit cards, refinanced some debt and been cooking at home more. All baby steps that collectively are building momentum toward  greater long-term financial independence.

Health – I’m proud to have completed my first 5k run and my first 4-miler in February.

For someone who had childhood asthma and was never able to run more than 2 miles at at time even in college, working up to and completing these stand as among my top accomplishments so far this year.

While my workouts fell by the wayside in March, I’m back on track – eating better, running consistently, and back on a weight-lifting and pull-ups routine.

As with writing, working out is more about consistency and discipline than immediate results.

For me, exercise is also a key sign of balance – I only lift (or run) when everything else in my life is going fairly smoothly.

So if it’s been more than 5 days or so since I’ve done either, it means something else in my life has to change.

Romance – Rather than dating, Q1 2017 was about the inner work, the self work.

Today, I’m far more content, happy, and balanced than I’ve been in awhile, and it shows on my face and in my body language. That’s naturally attractive.

While I’m open to a new relationship, I’m perfectly content to stay single.

And that, my friends, is a truly freeing feeling.

Hobbies – Having been introduced to Story District – a local storytelling group – last fall, I’ve enjoyed becoming a true part of the community this spring.

I took a class in storytelling and told two stories on stage in February, with another one coming up shortly.

In addition, I’ve learned the components of a good story, and made some great friends.

Writing – This is another area where I’ve had only mixed results so far this year.

In January, I published a record 15 posts to this blog, and achieved more than 1,400 page views that month for my efforts.

In addition, I began contributing to Thought Catalog and Quora.

But – as with last year – the writing fell off in March and April as work became busy and other parts of life beckoned.

I have no regrets, but – as with exercise – days when I write generally leave me feeling far happier and satisfied when my head hits the pillow at night than days when I don’t.

Momentum

momentum-snowball

James Altucher urges his readers to try to improve just “1% a day.”

Nearly 1/3 of the way through the year, I’d couch it a little differently – take small steps each day toward your goals.

Because momentum is cumulative, and leads to exponential growth.

As of Easter Sunday 2017, I may still be on the cusp of where I want to be.

But I’ve spent several months building a strong foundation.

I have momentum.

And I wish you the same.

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