You’re the expert on you

Sure, you can get good ideas and interesting advice all over the place, but no one knows what you need better than you do yourself.

All you have to do is listen.

Make time regularly to get back in touch with what you need and want. Keep taking care of yourself too as you take care of those other demands on your time & energy.

Be kind.

Be honest.

Be brave.

Creative Adjustment

Who are you now and how have you changed since you last asked that?
Are you doing projects based on the old you's available time, energy and interests? Do they still fit you now?

Run through your mental list of "I really ought to get better at…" goals. Do they still fit you now and the you you want to be at the end of 2007?

Me, I'm entering what I expect will be the busiest year of my professional life since I ran my own business and in which I think I'll probably travel more often than my two previous busiest years of travel combined.

So, adjustment #1: letting go of the commitment to publish to my website every day.
It's not to say I won't still post as inspiration strikes, but I don't need to come home from work to a whole other to-do list & set of deadlines. When work is a steady race against an enormous set of goals, clocking out needs to be filled with free time, flexibility, open-ended playing, easily conquered projects chosen to match my mood and energy, and the option to do nothing in particular at all.

Another major part of this work year is reminding myself of my current role which has grown increasingly strategic and focused on customer relationship building.

Thus adjustment #2: bidding farewell to that little internal voice which still worries about my XHTML, Javascript & CSS skills slipping behind the cutting edge.
I don't build web pages anymore. I create the vision for applications which use the web. My background helps me in proposing features and designs, but I don't have to put all the pieces together to make it go – and what's more that hasn't been my job for over 4 years.

How about you? Are your expectations of yourself up-to-date?

Rock & Roll With It

Gosh, are you getting swept up in seasonal social events too? Hope you're having fun and keeping a light heart as you bustle about.

Just remember to drink enough water and try to get a full night's sleep whenever you can.

Also, if you can snatch 20 or 30 minutes alone time now and then to just read some fiction or otherwise kick back without accomplishing anything, do! I find it can charge my batteries enough to get happily through the next round of putting on fancy clothes & uncomfortable shoes.

Happy holidays!

Special Early Edition Saturday Post

Sleep in this weekend.

Really, trust me on this. December is about to get really nuts with events and holidays and dealing with people who are all wound up.

For at least an extra hour each morning, opt out. Sleeeeep.


Family with small children/Morning persons edition:
Go to bed early and good luck in the morning. At least maybe you can hold off on doing anything more than puttering around in your bathrobe.

Recovery Day

Do what you need to do for yourself today (or as soon as you can if it's a travel day).

Eat lightly and blandly if your belly is weary.
Drink just water if your head is aching.
Sleep more if you're tired.
Be alone if you're tired of people.
If you're not, be with just those who give you energy rather than draining it.

Take whatever forms of rest you need. It's good for you to be good to yourself.

Anti-aggravation Week #3: Find a little breathing room

Even the best families can be annoying sometime, so I encourage you to do two things at those big gatherings:

#1 – When you need a little space, find a way to take it. Good techniques: walking the dog, washing some dishes, amusing the little kids, pleading food-induced need for a nap, showing the newest family member around the neighborhood, running a last-minute errand, having a shower.

#2 – Make space. Build some alone time into your events. Don't make a fuss over people retreating from time to time. Rescue the stressed.

Useful phrases include
"Mmm, fantastic. Who else is ready for a nap break?"
"I need a little walk before the pie, care to come along?"
"Mom, I can do that for you, but sit down for just a moment and tell me again about the trip where you got this vase. That was just after you two got married, right?"
"Okay, that's got about an hour more to cook and everything else is all ready, so you all can just relax or read or whatever and I'll let you know when we get close to dinner time."