At the start of the year, I put together a plan to help me improve my productivity and my mental wellbeing. Last year, I had read “Why You Should Start Your New Year’s Resolutions on March 4th” in Fast Company, and this year I finally took that essay to heart.
Using a bunch of articles I had stashed in Pocket, a selection of Google tools, a notepad and a pen, I compiled a list of goals I wanted to achieve and good habits I wanted to pick up. I grouped my goals based on the Six Dimensions of Wellness Model. To wit:
- Occupational – Learn coding
- Physical – Improve diet based on doctor’s recommendations
- Intellectual – Improve blog writing by planning out series and recurring topics
- Social – Make plans with people I haven’t seen in a while
- Emotional – Find time to process dark emotions regularly instead of letting them build up
- Spiritual – Focus on positive energy instead of defaulting to cynicism
Not all of these goals have obvious completion points (and one of them can’t be accomplished right now in the way I originally intended it), so within those goals are tasks that help me measure my progress. I can adjust those tasks as needed, drop what isn’t working, and reframe as I hit targets.
One of the ways I am tracking it all is through Google Keep. Each day I jot down different beats as I hit them each day. Did I exercise? Noted. Did I work on my next post for the blog? Noted. What is my mood like right now? Noted.
On Sundays, I review my notes from the week. I have a template in Google Docs that shows all of the goals I had written down, and I can note my progress on them all. I pull from the Google Keep notes, health tracking apps, what page I am on the book I have on my nightstand (still page 25!), or anything else that can inform my review. I also note the highlights and the lowlights of the week as well so that I acknowledge how the outside world affects my mood and my progress.
So far, it all has been going well. But I also recognize that whatever I work do during an abnormal situation still needs to work once things like a commute to the office are reincorporated into my routine. A return to normalcy is actually going to be a disruption, and I don’t want to unravel whatever good I am weaving together now. My hope is that if I can manage my mental health in a time like this, then I should be able to take care of myself in less stressful times. Fingers crossed!