personal practice: my shadow calendar

for the last couple of years for the first few days of january i’ve taken some time to do a personal retreat. the purpose of the retreat is to keep me on track with my own goals and vision. this feels necessary because, without knowing where i’m going, the forces of the world will take me everywhere else. and, having died once, i’m not tryna wait until i turn 40 to have a crisis where i get my life in order.

i do many things on this retreat (which you can read about above), but this year i upgraded a process i came up with last year. last year, i took a ruthless look at the difference between how i wanted to be spending my time (based on my own priorities and values) and how i was actually spending my time. then, as i started planning for the next year, i sketched out what my week would have to roughly look like in order for me to spend time in alignment with my values (note to self: try to find a photo of my sketches of figuring out how to make everything fit).

it worked out really well and, having how much of a different a little thoughtfulness could bring, i wanted to put even more intention into how i think about my time. i also found that there were times where i got off track and didn’t have built in any time, tools, or structures to check in on that before the next annual retreat.

so i decided to take my sketch (which i will try to find an image of if i can) and turn it into an actual google calendar. i wanted to do this because it would allow me to toggle it on and off, even daily if i wanted, to see how on or off track i was with my intentions.

(insert screenshot here of a good week versus a bad week)

of course, it’s really just a guideline but i think it helps me to have this as opposed to waiting another 20 years and then looking back and realizing i’ve spent a bunch of time doing something i didn’t actually want to do.

tomorrow i’ll write about what i’ve learned so far from this experiment, how i deal with changing/moving friends, and why i might try to organize a reflection retreat with a small group of friends this january (and what that might have to do with my life coaching practice)…

p.s. - shoutout to julian for encouraging me to think about how important this practice is and also for pushing me to write this up so that heather could see it.

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