The end of March signals the end of the first quarter of the year. This is a great time to stop and reflect on the progress you are making towards your goal for the year. My goal for this year is to cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences and so far I am progressing well.
Some of the habits I have wanted to set are starting to feel like part of my weekly routine now which is a good feeling. For example, I am reading every night before I go to sleep. Often I will tell myself that even if I only read for 5 minutes that is okay but inevitably I end up reading for longer. I have also found that I am picking up a book much more regularly during the day, at lunch or afternoon tea for example, and reading more then too.
The action of reading nightly has motivated me to read more during the day as I want to get more into the book and I also prefer the way I feel after reading a book compared to getting off my phone. I find the phenomenon of action begetting action carries across to so many things. When I am struggling to write a post or a newsletter, I just make myself start typing something. I accept it might be rubbish and I can easily delete it but I write my way through the blocker. Some days it takes longer than others but once I start taking action I pretty much always get there and complete the piece.
Setting some habits can be really hard. It takes weeks for them to begin to feel automatic or part of your regular routine. Taking the necessary action on a regular basis, even when you don’t feel like it will help you establish the habit much quicker. Action begets action!
Now on to my progress review for the habits I have set to help me achieve my goal for 2022.
Read for a minimum of 15 minutes per day
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There is so much to learn from both fiction and non fiction books. I have a huge list of books that I have wanted to read for some time, so this year to help expand my knowledge I am committing to read more. My target for the year is to read 25 books.
Quote to connect to – “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz
March performance – A little less reading in March but I still managed to finish a number of books:
- The Comfort Book – Matt Haig – this book could almost have been titled the little book of hope. If you have found the last couple of years tough and still feeling a little flat then this book is perfect for you. The book is a mix of philosophy, memoir and self-reflection and Haig builds on the wisdom of philosophers and survivors through the ages, from Marcus Aurelius to Nellie Bly, Emily Dickinson to James Baldwin. Haig shares his own personal struggles with his mental health and also a beautiful mantra he uses to help himself – “Nothing is stronger than a small hope that doesn’t give up.”. The book really does bring a feeling of comfort.
- Dark Emu – Bruce Pascoe – I found this book a fascinating read and think it is an important read. I obtained a greater understanding of how the First Nations Peoples lived on the land prior to white settlement. In this book, the author builds an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. Pascoe cites food production, housing construction and clothing amongst other activities to highlight that the daily life of the First Nation’s Peoples had much more complexity and sophistication than is noted in white Australian history. Since its publication in 2014 the book has been the centre of debate around its accuracy with a recent book Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate focusing entirely on this issue. This article published on The Conversation provides an interesting insight into this debate – How the Dark Emu debate limits representation of Aboriginal people in Australia. Regardless of the debate surrounding the book I still think Dark Emu is an important work to read.
- Life Admin Hacks – Dinah Rowe-Roberts, Mia Northrup – I was lucky enough to read chapters of this fantastic book as it was being written. It was great to read the final published version. This book is such a helpful guide to help you tame the beast of life admin. I have implemented a few changes to great effect so highly recommend the book. You can also find my podcast interview with the author Mia Northrup here.
Invest one hour a week learning about our First Nations Peoples
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Reconciliation NSW recommends learning and understanding more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ histories, Cultures, Languages, technology and land management techniques as educating yourself is the first step in the journey towards reconciliation. My knowledge and understanding are severely lacking and I want to change this.
Quote to connect to – “Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; We must do.” – Bruce Lee
March performance – I read Dark Emu this month as you can read above. I also attended an online workshop – Warndu Indigenous Education Place. Taste. Story. You needed to book a few weeks in advance for the session as they send you out small samples of indigenous foods. You can see pictured above my cup of lemon myrtle and quandong tea I had at the start of the session! Damien Coulthard and Margie Tilbrook host the session and they help you get a better understanding of the importance of food in relation to place and culture, they discuss songlines and the diversity of Aboriginal identities and experiences. The next one is in May if you are keen to attend and you can find out more and buy tickets here.
Volunteer on a weekly basis
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Volunteering is an activity where you can be of service to others and learn so much from the experience. It has been some time since I have volunteered outside of schools etc and I want to get back into it for 2022.
Quote to connect to – “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
March performance – I noted in my January review that I have signed up to be a volunteer for the independent candidate for the Federal seat of Kooyong Dr Monique Ryan. In March I spent a number of hours delivering flyers and this will be my major volunteering commitment until after the federal election. I have also still been volunteering an hour a week at my local church.
Spend one hour a week planning and visiting new attractions
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There are so many great attractions and experiences in Melbourne both free and paid and when the kids were younger we used to visit them frequently. Since the kids have stopped wanting to do this, I have stopped going too. But there is no reason why I cannot go on my own or with Phil or with friends!
While I have allocated one hour per week, this can be averaged out across the month as my overall aim is to visit two new (to me) attractions per month.
Quote to connect to – “Fill your life with experiences. Not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” Unknown
March performance – I attended lots of fun events in March including:
- Two International Women’s Day events – one with Monique Ryan and it was inspiring to hear the changes she wants to bring to the Federal Parliament for women and one at StartSpace where they served my Adapt Drinks!
- Joining StartSpace – Startspace is a startup community for people starting out on their business development journey and has a dedicated space at the State Library of Victoria. I am now a member which gives me amongst other things, access to the coworking space. While this is not necessarily an attraction per se it is getting me out of the suburbs on a weekly basis and meeting new people!
- The book launch for Life Admin Hacks – see above!
- Clare Bowditch Random Creative Adventure – this was a lot of fun and pushed me to challenge myself and do something that has been on my wish list for a while.
- A weekend away to attend a music festival – SummerSalt.
I have also spent some time planning out events for later in the year as well.
A quarter of the way through the year – how are you feeling about the year so far?
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