2022 started with a lot of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s Dec 2022 and I don’t even remember 1 resolution of this year.Why? Life happened. A lot of things have changed. And, yes, I’ll go through my notebook to check what I wrote at the time and to see what I accomplished. Just because “why not”.
1 year ago I was about to become a Team Leader: I was facing a big challenge and a lot of things were about that damn topic.
Today I’m leaving that job to start everything from scratch in another country. And that’s great, even if it sounds crazy.
During the process I learned a lot, and I’m still. Here are 5 things life made me work on and that are big gems that I’ll keep in my mind for as much as possible.
1. Trust the process and don’t rush.
During the second semester of 2022, I learned that I can’t control everything: some things are someone else’s task and everyone has his or her rhythm.
I started planning my move to the US and I needed the help of a bunch of people: a legal for the VISA, for example. And I knew nothing about working VISAs, so I really needed that help. I still don’t know anything about working VISAs, by the way.I had two options: choosing anxiety or trusting the process. If I had chosen the first option my mind would have been in a constant rush («I need to do that follow up» «What if person x doesn’t complete that task» «I have to do so many things that I can delegate but I won’t have control of the process»); I chose to trust the process and stick to it: it was hard, but I enjoyed every single step and a slower rhythm allowed me to think, a lot.
My first approach was choosing unconsciously the first option: the legal that supported me had a very unclear way to cooperate. At least for me. Frustration came with this, and I felt in a rush. A couple days after I stopped.
Then the process started: the process to enjoy the process.
It is not easy everyday. I got nervous sometimes until I got the VISA. I found out an administrative thing that the lawyer should have told me (from my unaware point of view) and I started thinking that it would have been better if I had done it on my own. But it wasn’t. I got the VISA and learned to trust others, delegate, and enjoy the free time I have while I pay someone else to do something I’m not able to do.
This is just an example (probably uncommon). But think about it: when you stress because you’re mom is still deciding what to cook for Christmas and you you want to plan; when a colleague is late with something and you get crazy because you can’t go on with the project; when you keep thinking “I can’t wait to be there”…and in the end you’re not here in the present. Well, I experimented on my own: I wrote that I enjoyed every step and got the chance to think a lot. About what? About the present. About how I live in the present if my mind is somewhere else. About how I enjoy a good book..and then I find my mind following that VISA thought and *fuck* I need to go back with the book because I wasn’t paying attention.
This is just a personal experiment and this approach helped me, but I’m not an expert so feel free to add your opinions in the comment. I’d like to go deeper on this point with you!
2. Success comes from habits.
And thinking about the present I found a connection.
«Atomic Habits» is a book that stayed on my wishlist for a thousand years (you can find it here). I finally read it and it gave so much value, in that specific moment, for the person that I was.
I used to struggle with consistency for most of my life: I’m an enthusiast that has a billion ideas and wants to take action and see results. But, yes, the best results come with time. And yes, I needed a (really great) book to learn how to make this sentence come true.
I tried for years to “get fit”, “have great relationships”, “have better grades”. And for a lot of time it worked: I gave my 100% during the Bachelor Degree, but I wasn’t able to do everything.
I used to wake up at 7, study, go to work in the bookshop with my bike (fitness task accomplished), have a fast lunch (healthy lifestyle task not accomplished), go to the University for some lessons, meet some friends for the italian aperitivo and go to sleep by 10 p.m.
Some days were reversed: University in the morning and working as an artist’s assistant in the evening and then yoga classes.
During the weekend I just worked 8 hours/day and studied while eating. Or traveled.
It was great: I graduated on time with the best grades (just some grades, in the end. I never found a job thanks to them), had 2 jobs on my CV, a group of really great people and friends around me (I don’t even talk with them anymore), an – apparently – good relationship (that’s not part of my life anymore), good sleep time. I wanted to accomplish a lot, giving my 100% in a little time.
But I also had the worst relationship with health and lifestyle in general.
It was a balance for at the time “you can’t have everything” I thought. I loved that time. I got obsessed with so many things, I got to try, I was in my early twenties, it was ok. Today I measure my little steps (my 1% a day) and I try to do my best with the energy that I have. I don’t need to give 100% for 1 day every week and 3% for 6 days. I got rid of some bad habits too. I put myself before the things I want to get done. Sometimes I judge my old self for being that much goal oriented. But let me say that: it’s my nature and I have to deal with it. I don’t judge myself for what I don’t do. Let me say that: It’s human nature.
What do I measure?
-The time that I spend with myself without rushing.
-How much water I drink every day
-I try to don’t eat sugar for 1 day/week
-I try to workout at least 3 times/week, at least for 10 min
-Eat 1 fruit every morning
Easy tasks. Not too challenging. I accomplish them most of the time, and I’m happy with the result. I have a better relationship with a healthy lifestyle and with myself, without giving up on the goals that I want to achieve. I’m still a person that wants to see results, tries her best to get that goal checked but living the day step by step, not waiting for the goal to be marked as done on the To-do-list. It’s balanced. It’s trusting the process, doing 1% better every day.
3. Concentration is the key.
Working in an open space is so much fun. But there’s always a distraction. Working from home is the best. But someone’s screaming outside.
Having a side hustle is great, but you never find the time to do it.
Thanks to the book «Deep Work» I started scheduling my tasks to be fully concentrated on the most important ones. I found out I’m faster, I’m more effective and I get more things done. It’s so crazy damn hard, but give it a try. I won’t go deeper on this point, read the book and you’ll tell me (here’s the link to Amazon. Yes, it’s an affiliation, I’d love you to help me with this project by buying really valuable stuff).
4. Be aware of what you consume.
Books, podcasts, social media, magazines, tv, radio, whatever. We consume so much content that sticks somehow and somewhere in our minds. I worked in digital marketing for years and I have a lot of images and content in my mind that can change the way I think. A specific podcast made me think about that (it’s in Italian, but it’s really great and you can find it here): the way we think makes the way we act and vice versa. While trusting the process I started looking at how I spend my free time and with the 1% habit idea decided to change some little habits.
Today I’m more aware of what I consume and how much I consume: I cut my Instagram time and decided to listen to more podcasts, finding more time to read. Being more concentrated. That’s illuminating for me and I’m still learning how to approach this point: if you have any suggestion, please let me know in the comments!
5. Don’t wait, take action.
This one was easy for me this year, but it’s not for so many people (and it wasn’t for the past 2 years). In 2022 I challenged myself to do all the things that “I’ll probably do in the future, because now is not the right time”. It was. The truth was that I was freaking afraid of others’ judgment. And to fail.
Well, I failed. I’m happy I did.
The first thing that I did and that I was thinking about for 2 years was: being a freelancer while working a full time job, just to try. I decided to invest in this side hustle in March, opened my “little personal enterprise” in June and today I closed it. I learned a lot: how much should I be paid is a question that goes deeper and makes us think about how much we value our time and skills, for example. It was a great failure.
Aaaand: I took action and found a new blog. This is the first time that I dare to say «Yes, there’s me behind». It is not the first project that I launch (I had 3 websites in the past and only a few people knew about them!), but this is the first project where I give myself the space to share my passions. I was so afraid. Sometimes I still am (“So let me raise a toast to the trauma I love the most in the whooooole world” “Please don’t say my name, please don’t say my name” “Others judgment”).
So here we are, with a place where you’ll see me try, fail, experiment, and learn.
I don’t know what made me change, what made me think “ok let’s go, let’s put my face on this thing”. I think that’s a natural way to grow up.
That’s all for today! Ciao belli!