Pause & Reset


Pause & Reset

June 18, 2019 


For all intents and purposes, 2019 is half over. I am taking time to pause and reflect; How am I progressing on accomplishing my goals for the year? How are you doing on fulfilling your goals for 2019? 

In my opinion and from experience, I believe it is important to Pause before you Reset and move forward with renewed focus and energy to finish the year strong. In this newsletter we will discuss what it means to Reset your Productivity Mindset.   

In the past, a pause would mean taking about 5-10 minutes…. thinking through the 3 major objectives I laid out …. doing a mental checklist of good work here, more work to do there, and, oh cripes… I really got off track on that last one. Then I would refocus and gear-up to launch into the 2nd half of the year. 

In the last 5 years I have learned a lot about what a comprehensive assessment really entails. I have also learned a lot about myself and my mindset and resistance to “scoring” myself systematically. 

Let me explain.  There are two self-assessments we incorporate in the Certified High Performance Coaching Program

  1. The Whole Life Assessment: On a scale of 1 – 10 give yourself an overall assessment of how you would rate the quality of your life in the areas of: Health; Mental/Emotional Outlook; Partner/Love/Self; Family Connection; Friends Connections; Mission and Fulfillment; Experiences to Enjoy Life; Spirit and Presence; Finances; and Learning New Things about myself/others/the world. The actual numbers are less important than what the rankings show you about areas of strength and areas that may deserve more of your attention going forward. 
  1. The High Performance Habits Assessment: On a scale of 1-5, give yourself a rating on each of the 6 High Performance Habits of: Seek Clarity; Generate Energy; Raise Necessity; Increase Productivity; Develop Influence; and Demonstrate Courage. Add your scores and multiply by 4 to get a score out of 100%. This will allow you to focus on the levers that will have the greatest impact on leveling up your performance going forward.    

Over time, whether you do these assessments every 90 days or 2x a year, you will get a sense of the trends and the ebbs and flows of your life. 

I have found over time, as I level up my game, I sometimes score myself lower. It may appear counter-intuitive. I believe this does not imply I am going backward, although sometimes that may be the case. It usually means that I have raised the bar. So, rather than feeling discouraged, I feel energized and empowered. 

By the way, these self-assessments are public and available on Amazon at High Performance PLANNER by Brendon Burchard. Each Planner covers 90-days. 

I have a confession to make regarding "scoring" and my early reaction to these periodic self-assessments using the materials just discussed.  When I started this process over 3 years ago, I was resistant to putting down “scores.” My self-talk was … “This is too much detail.” I was simply not comfortable scoring myself. This was the little girl in me – someone who had always had very good grades – and was also resistant to authority and critique. My breakthrough came when I realized the focus was really on self-improvement and focus. This process was simply me talking to me – and being Honest with myself. 

I love the Carl Rogers quote, “The curious paradox is, that once I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” So true. 

Once I breakthrough the remaining vestiges of “I am not good enough” and I truly accept myself just as I am, then I am open to being honest and “scoring” myself. It is all about learning and growing – being more authentic, leading from my best self, being more productive, improving communication, deepening relationships, breaking through obstacles, etc. 

So, a "Pause" -- taking a deep look at where you are in your life and achieving important goals -- involves more than a 5-minute cursive once-over. However, it usually does not take more than 20-30 minutes, in my experience. 

Once I have taken the time to reflect on the bigger picture surrounding where I am in my life and in implementing the high performance habits, then I circle back to review where I am on accomplishing my 3 big goals for the year. Now I have a picture of what is helping me move forward and what may be holding me back. Now we are getting to the essence of resetting your Productivity Mindset. 

Perhaps you will want to experiment using these comprehensive self-assessments. Perhaps you have another process. All good. I simply suggest you explore and create a thorough process that works for you. 

Productivity is more than simply being organized and having a Planner.  Productivity, or Effectiveness if you prefer, is all about a Productivity Mindset.   

When you have a Productivity Mindset, you are asking yourself questions, such as: 

  • Are my goals clear and congruent with who I am?
  • Am I clear about who I am when I am most successful and am I  living those key words consistently?
  • How deep and strong is my motivation to accomplish my goals? Are the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards which deeply motivate me, strong enough for the project at hand?
  • Do I have the physical energy to be at my best?
  • Do I have the mental energy and the emotional regulation to perform at my best?
  • Am I being courageous and speaking my truth or am I holding back/backing down? 

These questions are not a matter of yes or no – it is usually a question of “how much.” That is exactly why ranking is important. And the rankings help you decide where to focus your efforts going forward. That is Productivity Mindset in action. 

There are alternative approaches to a mid-year Pause and Reset. If the approach outlined above does not fit for you, there are alternatives. 

For example, this is where I started: Create A Morning Ritual. I firmly believe how you start your day, grounds you to have the presence for how you live your day, --- and how you consistently live your day, builds to how you live your life. 

  • The first 30 minutes to 1-hour of my day is sacred – it grounds me and focuses me. 
  • I used to get up at 4:30 AM, read the Wall Street Journal, turn on CNBC, look at my emails, turn to my to-do list, then get to the trading floor by 6:30 AM. I was off to the races! 
  • I now get up at 4:30 AM and keep my 1st hour a sacred time. What you see below is the basic structure of my sacred 1st hour of the day…. my morning ritual. Do I get thrown off course… yes, occasionally. Then I regroup and recommit to start the next day grounded and with intention. 

Almost every Morning Ritual I have explored, and the outline of the one I use, has 3 components: 

  1. Movement: Get your body moving – stretching, exercising --for 10- 20 minutes;
  2. Mindset: Say your gratitudes, or meditate, or journal, or get grounded or some combination thereof and set your mental and emotional mindset for the day -- for 10-20 minutes;
  3. Focus/Your Priorities: Get focused and set your priority projects for the day/the week/the month -- for the final 10-20 minutes. 

I do this all BEFORE I check my emails and texts. Well… pretty much. My email inbox is, as Brendon Burchard says, “Other People’s Agendas.” Start your day – with YOUR Agenda! 

For additional background, see my Blog : Create Your New Morning Ritual . In this post, I survey several alternative recommendations from leading coaches and meditation teachers on how to start your day – as input for you to create your own unique morning ritual. 


In summary: The call to action is: -- Pause, Reflect and Assess. Work on your Productivity Mindset. Then Reset, whichever  levers/habits/practices need the most attention, for a strong finish in the 2nd Half of 2019! 

Good luck and have fun! 


Till next time, 

 May you be happy now and always, Alison 

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