Deep Stretch: Knowing Better

June is coming to an end which means we're back with another Deep Stretch Episode. If you've been following the podcast, you know that a Deep Stretch is actually a look into what self-care has looked like for Taylor over the month. On this episode, we'll take a look back at the first half of the 2022. The end of June signifies a reset for many - it's a chance to gather data, reflect, and reassess your goals. Maya Angelou once said "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” As we head into Q3, think about what information you can use to help you choose your next step.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. I'm Taylor Elyse Morrison, creator of Inner Workout and you, as always, are our expert guests. Thanks for being here. If you're new around these parts, it's the end of the month. That means it's a deep stretch episode, where I just get to be honest with you about what self-care and inner work has looked like in my own life over the past month. But because we have just crossed over into the second half of the year, we had a beautiful, well, I hope you had a beautiful summer solstice, I thought we would expand this deep stretch a little bit further into like a look back over the first half of the year. And if I'm being honest, I almost get more excited for the second half of the year than the new year itself. I could be a little bit biased because my birthday is in the second half of the year, so that always makes things exciting. And in general, I love a fresh start, like I do love sitting at the end of a year and thinking, visioning for what I want the next year to look like. But what happens in the middle of the year is that we have this chance to reconnect to our goals and to our intentions. But this time, we have more data to work with. And to quote Maya Angelou I just love this quote in general and her as a person in general. But she says "Do the best you can until you know better. And then when you know better do better." In the mid year is really a point where we've still got all of that work that we did at the end of last year, the beginning of this year. But now we have new data points. And we can make changes as needed. And honestly, I think that sometimes we get planning backwards, especially when it comes to the personal development space. It's really fun, like I said, to say "This is what I want, this is my will, this is my vision. This is what I'm trying to manifest" whatever terminology you want to use. But we try to impose our will, on our circumstances, instead of taking an honest look at our present situation. And using that to help inform our next steps. So as I was doing some of my own mid year reflection, I could see some tools and also some places where I needed to make changes of my own. One example was, I just started noticing how I felt at the end of a task or at the end of a day. And I could see oh, these kinds of tasks are taking me way longer than I have blocked out for. Or I'm consistently saying that after I do this task, I'm drained. Or when I have a day where I'm bopping between lots of different types of work, I'm saying that I feel exhausted, I probably need more heads downtime. And so what I did is I went through the end of the year, and like blocked off a bunch of days that are going to be pretty much meeting free for me or heads downtime with like Pariss, Inner Workout's Content Lead, so that we can do work together. Yeah, so that was just something that came out of noticing. I have this data of okay, I said I wanted to get all of these things done. But I'm realizing that the how of the work is not supportive. I don't want to, at the end of everyday, be saying 'I'm exhausted' or 'that was really hard.' I love a challenge. But this wasn't me saying it was hard because it was like this challenge that was helping me grow, it was just because my brain was going in a bunch of different directions. And I didn't feel like I was producing my best work because of it. So I'm actually recording this on one of my Deeper Work days where I've got no meetings. All I'm doing is I'm ideating around these podcast episodes and recording them so that you can enjoy them. Hopefully you're enjoying this. Another thing that I realized doing kind of my look back on the first half of this year is and I set quarterly goals as well. So this kind of came into this quarter, but I decided that I was going to experiment with TikTok and it was a lot of fun. And I generally felt pretty good doing it. But I consumed and bought into this idea that I needed to be posting three or four times a day so I can grow, grow, grow, grow, grow. And I realized it was, this was not a sustainable way for me to do it especially when so much of what I talk about here, what I talk about on TikTok is me and you taking care of ourselves. And so if I was feeling burned out on TikTok because I was trying to help everyone else take care, that wasn't me embodying my values, that wasn't me embodying what I say and what I know to be true. So I took a pause. Actually, after this, I'm going to be recording my first TikTok in a few weeks, because I just needed a breath. And to figure out why do I want to be on this platform, I enjoy making content here. It seems to resonate, but to what end. And I really needed to clarify that before I could go any further. So that's something, that's data that I had. I tested something out, had no idea if I would enjoy TikTok, if it would resonate or not. Now I've got some data. And I can make changes accordingly. And then another example, this isn't a an example that's specific to me. But this is an example I hear all the time is you set a goal, or you're working towards a milestone for a long time, maybe it's graduating, maybe it's getting a promotion, getting a certain amount of money in your bank account. And then you realize that having that title, or seeing that extra zero in your bank account, didn't magically fix all of your problems. Whatever you were trying to, if we were doing root cause analysis, that goal, that milestone was the surface level, but there was something underneath that wasn't being addressed. And once you have data, you can start to peel back layers. And data, I'm using this word. I know it sounds so official. Depending on what line of work that you're in, it can sound really official and like, I need to have an Apple Watch and I need to be recording all my biometric data. And I need to be tracking everything in a spreadsheet. But that's not necessarily the case. There are a lot of different ways to approach data collection in your own life. And I thought I would share three tools, three practices for your own data gathering and analysis. So the first one is called a retrospective. If you've worked in tech, retros are often used at the end of two week sprints, it's a way to look back, gather your learnings as you're moving forward, which also makes it really perfect for doing at the end of the month, or at the end of the year, or at the midway point of the year. There are a bunch of different ways that you can do retros. That's the short term of retrospectives. I really like doing start, stop, continue. So basically, what you're just doing is outlining, 'These are the things I want to start doing. These are the things I want to stop doing. These are the things I want to continue doing.' So here's some examples for me. When I did a retro myself for this year thus far, one thing that I wanted to start doing is, I have a recent diagnosis that I'll probably talk about in another episode. But now that I know this about myself, I want to start using it as a superpower. So yeah, more to come on that. But that's something I want to start doing as I get to know this new aspect of myself that I didn't have words for before. A thing that I want to stop doing and I've said this for a long time is I really want to stop eating dairy. I'd love to like have it maybe once a week, maybe a little cheese sprinkles on something. I don't feel great when I eat dairy, it's only getting worse. But for whatever reason I'm really struggling to break up with it. So yeah, that's one thing I want to stop doing as we go into the rest of the year. And then one thing I want to continue doing for as long as it is comfortable to do so is to be outside as much as possible. We got a cute little table so I can work outside sometimes. I live really close to the lake, so I can walk there, but all the way into the fall. And even on cold days, as long as it's like, I can be outside in a coat and gloves comfortably, being outside does me a lot of good. So that's one tool that you might use a retrospective start, stop continue. And this pairs really well if you already have a journaling practice, because then you can kind of read through what you've been talking about for the past six months or so or whatever interval you're using for your retro, and notice trends. So if you are already expressing yourself via written word, or maybe you are like an audio journaler, that could be something really nice to do with what you've already written down. Another tool can be just keeping track of your energy, kind of a task energy audit, and this is something more recent that I've started doing. So every day, I write down a big three of the tasks that I want to get done in the day. I can do, if you're interested, DM me or DM Inner Workout, because I've been doing a lot with regards to organization. So if you're interested in how I like look at quarters and months and weeks and days, happy to go into that in some other forum. But basically, for my days, I have a big three for each of my days. And I look at my energy for those big three. So my top priority today is getting the podcasts done. And at the end of when I'm done with this, and I have a few more episodes to record after this, so when I'm done recording and I check that box, I also mark 'Did my energy go up while I did that? Did my energy go down while I did that?' and just jot down a couple of quick notes. Like maybe I felt really drained by writing outlines, but I felt really energized by the recording itself. So it doesn't have to be a lot of work, especially if you already have a planner or something that you use, just do like a little up or down arrow, jot some quick notes, and then again, set aside some time so that you can look back and see, I tend to be really drained by these types of tasks, what do they have in common, I tend to be really energized by these tasks, what do they have in common. And then you can make shifts to your schedule, when you're doing things, how you're doing things, if you're doing them at all, based on the information based on the data from your task energy audit. And then the last tool for, not as much gathering data, but kind of analyzing what you've learned about yourself thus far, is putting it through the filter of your mission, vision, values in metrics or measures of success. So especially the values and the measures of success, when you're looking at a period of time, those are going to come in handy. Generally, and I'm speaking with really broad brushstrokes, when I am living in a way that's not aligned to my mission or my vision, that's pretty obvious. It's the day to day, 'Oo, I'm doing this thing that actually isn't quite values aligned.' And it can almost be like a little mosquito bite, where you feel it if you even notice it. And sometimes you don't even notice that a mosquitoe's biting you. But then over time, especially if you're my husband, he's like allergic to mosquito bites, so he gets like these big, swelling bumps. It's like, he'll be fine and then hours later, there's this huge bump, there's a there's a problem there. When there's a misalignment in our values and in how we're measuring success versus what we're actually doing on a day to day basis, it might take some time. But eventually it will reveal itself. It's a lot easier speaking from personal experience, you can have those check ins with yourself. You can make day to day decisions, thinking about your values, thinking about your metrics and measures of success. And yeah, having time to reflect on 'What do I need to do? What do I need to shift so that I feel aligned in that?' If you're listening to this, and you're like, I don't have my mission, my vision, my values, I don't really have a definition of success that's mine, you're in luck, because in July, we're doing a four week workshop series called Camp Clarity. There are four one hour sessions to new view from this place where you might be feeling behind or feeling like you're kind of just doing what everyone has told you you should do, to this place where you've built your inner compass. And when you're doing these mid-year check ins, or you're doing monthly check ins, you can know whether you are aligned to the definition of success that you have built for yourself. So if that sounds interesting to you, head to the shownotes, it's going to be a really good time. I'm excited not just for the content, but also to give you space to actually do this work, and to hear from other people who are doing this work as well. So again, all of that is in the show notes for you. In general, however you decide, I really encourage you to take some time to think about what you've learned about yourself, what you've learned about your circumstances, over the past six months, and then to give yourself full permission to make changes as needed. Like I was testing on TikTok, and I realized the way that I was approaching it wasn't working. I didn't know that before, I'd never tried it. Now I know better, so I'm going to do better. I'm going to create an environment where I can do better based on that knowledge. And I want that for you too. So give yourself some time today, this week to reflect. You could do the retrospective, you could start doing an energy audit, you could join us in July to work through your mission, vision values and measures of success. However you do it, the most important thing is that you do it. Not because I'm telling you to, but for you so that you can make the rest of this year feel care filled, feel joyful and feel fulfilling. I'll leave you on that note. Thank you for your time as always and take care.