Random New Year Ramblings

Some more personal retrospective 2016 bits & thoughts for the new year 2017

New Year’s Eve 2016 has been special for me as I deliberately spent it on my own. Just on my own. For the first time ever.

Looking back on yesterday it was kind of ‘slack time’ for me. Nothing to do, nothing to achive, no FOMO (fear of missing out). Just spending a quiet evening with nice food and some pen & paper for reflecting. So somehow I continued with my personal retrospective 2016. In December I already gave you an insight into that when I shared my loveletter to running with you.

Today I wish you, me & all of us beings a bright start into 2017. Let’s all contribute our shares to wonderful moments in life, let’s keep our body & mind healthy, let’s bring & keep peace in our lives and on earth. Big words, right?

Some retrospective 2016 bits & pieces

Big visions & small steps

One thing I learned for me in 2016: if I do not make my target visions big & bright enough (so that they really are worth stretching for them) I sometimes lack energy to actually go for them. After committing yourself to a visionary goal: take small(er) steps than you normally would take.

One example: We kicked off the Agile Table Friedrichshafen Area in 2016. I was really passionate about that vision I had together with a former colleague. Then we started with small steps, smaller than usual (for me). A kind of “minimum viable first ScrumTisch”. Nothing had to be ‘perfect’. It just evolved with some guidance and organisation, meeting exciting & engaged people and having passionate participants.

(picture taken by Daniel Hommel during his Sustainable Retrospectives Workshop at Agile Table FN)

One learning on creativity

In my first semester of psychology I learned something about “bed and bicycle fostering creativity”. Imagine you have a conference talk to prepare or a difficult task at work and you (desperately) need a creative idea or an insight… and it j u s t won’t come to your mind. Then the gist of this “bed & bicycle” thing is when relaxing and/or doing stuff in different area, it is very likely that a bright create idea pops up at any time – just when you expected it the least.

Now, five years after this theoretical input I actually experienced it practically. For sure I had smaller “aha” creativity moments before…. I may not have reflected them thoroughly. So what I want to share with you is how my playpplication for Play4Agile 2017 was initiated. First I thought “I’ll never ever have a good idea in time” or “I don’t have time to think about a nice playpplication”. So I put it aside for some days. Then while sitting at my desk and working for my studies (and maybe some mental procrastination in between ;-)) I had the idea for my playpplication. I exchanged my desk for a place to be creative… and that is how it looked like:

Random thoughts for 2017

Three big goals a ‘side railing’

Yesterday I also formulated & wrote down my three goals for 2017. Two of them are: Finishing my studies in psychology and running a healthy marathon. The third one is still secret and will be blogged about later. The goals are all big ones, more like some side railing for this year, guiding me when in need to prioritize, and helping me to set a focus.

Finishing my psychology studies will – for sure – get some room here in spring as I got my Bachelor Thesis topic as a Christmas present. It’ll be a systematic literature review on Mindful leadership, i.e. how mindfulness affects leaders (and their followers), how leadership development can make use of current mindfulness research, how it can be trained, etc. It’s way too early to blog more about it, but as you know, I’ve been passionate about mindfulness practises and the stance itself for quite some time.

Setting focus applied

For doing sports these big goals already helped me. Problem is: I never ever have enough time for doing all the interesting stuff. Maybe you know that feeling also with sports, music or any other activity that you’re passionate about and which helps you to recharge your batteries?

What did I do? If I take the vision of ‘doing the marathon in autumn 2017’ my sporting priorities look like these:

  1. RUNNING (of course still for fun & meditation)
  2. all sports that support running (regarding strength and/or endurance)
  3. other stuff “just” for active stress reduction (e.g. some Karate… but just some, no need to go three times a week… this was a tough nut to crack!)

Working with personal (outdated or unwholesome) core beliefs

Inspired by one of Udo Wiegärtner’s wake-up questions on Twitter I came up with the metaphor that a person might be able to do a mental ‘factory reset’. Udo then suggested that one could try thought experiments with that picture e.g. when working on prejudices or when having had bad experience in life.

No sooner said than done: I used that metaphor for working with some of my outdated or unwholesome core beliefs. Those sentences you say to yourself like e.g. “no, I cannot paint/sing/dance/…”. Or “I must (always) …”. You know such sentences, do you?

I asked myself questions like:

  • What if you could reset yourself to factory settings?
  • What would happen to this special core belief/sentence when doing a mental ‘factory reset’?
  • Imagine that you already did this factory reset: Who are you then? How do you act? What do you think?

And you? How do you like this mental experiment? What would you add? Please share your thougts & experiences with us.