Month-in-Review Highlights: March 2019

Not a bad view for the monthly postmortem. Lausanne, Switzerland, April 2, 2019.

Not a bad view for the monthly postmortem. Lausanne, Switzerland, April 2, 2019.

In 2008, two friends and I decided to set personal objectives for 2009, share them with the group for feedback and adjustment, and then hold each other accountable via regular meetings throughout the year.

The first time I set annual objectives, I focused solely on work—as I noted in my article on goal setting. My friends encouraged me to see that my life’s multiple facets deserved the same attention. (Thank goodness they did.)

The first goal-setting process took a lot of work. Though I’ve grown speedier at it after ten years of annual goal setting, I never want to fall into habits without conscious examination, thereby setting the same goals each year, so I force myself to take my time. This year, with all the wonderful changes life brought in 2018, I started almost from scratch in assessing what I wanted in life and in the year ahead.

Pulling Key Insights

Each month, as I wrote about in my postmortems article, I revisit the goals I set for the year and review my progress over the last month, categorizing my wins and losses. (Yes, this is nerdy. Yes, it is worthwhile.)

Though I won’t pull back the hood and show all my inner workings here, this website gives me a good place to highlight an insight from each month’s postmortem.

First, a pause to note that relaunching this site had a prime position on my goals list for the year. As you can see, I achieved that one in March. I’ve explained a bit about the comeback in a previous post.

What else did I see in my monthly review, then?

Family and Friend Focus

Longtime readers and friends will remember that I value close relationships, experiences, and kindness to others over material things and appearances.

The last year has provided a few challenges on the relationships front; given all the life changes, my headspace and the time crunched. This month, finally, I could breathe long enough to refocus on my relationships with close friends and family and on building new relationships with people in my new place.

After realizing I wouldn’t attend an annual conference where I see several friends I’ve made through my business life, I went e-mailed and called each one of them to connect. I need to remember that just saying hello is having something to say; waiting until I have a specific opportunity for them or an idea to share lets friendships die on the vine. Also, I can’t take for granted that I’ll simply see people and catch up, whether I expect that encounter to happen at a conference, when I visit their cities, or during a project.

The conversations I had as a result reinforced our bonds, resulted in new business opportunities for them and for me, and allowed us to share important updates on business sectors and industries; these insights will help me as I work though my own business planning in the next few months.

Further, I’ve worked to ensure I stay connected to my family. To close family with whom I’ve never shared a metropolitan area, I made intentional outreach calls even before the move. I knew I wouldn’t catch up with them otherwise. For close family with whom I did share a town not long ago, I took for granted that we’d catch up in person—even when, in actuality, I didn’t see them that often and we didn’t truly connect and catch up when we did.

The a-ha moment with business friends applies to family and friends as well.

On the friend front, I have work to do. I’ve struggled to stay in touch with friends across the globe and to build new friendships as well. For my friends in the United States, the time zone has posed challenges. Also, as we used to live in the same town, we don’t have the habit of phone calls. We need to adjust.

I’ve made some new acquaintances in Lausanne; now, I need to foster them into friendships. I’ve joined a few groups to meet new people—and have succeeded in a few acquaintanceships—and I’ve met some new friends through my French tutor as well. So far, my language abilities (or lack thereof) limits me to other people who can speak English fluently, yet I have a goal to make one French-speaking friend this year. (Given how slowly my French progresses, this will prove a challenge. Wish me luck.)

I have work to do on all fronts, yet my postmortem for March 2019 tells me I’m getting to it. Finally.

Life, as I’ve learned and relearned, is all about the people.