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SWAGGER 

Institute

How to Reset Your Mindset

We keep hearing that this is our “new normal.” The first couple of weeks of this craziness, I kept thinking, “Great! A couple of weeks working at home and then I’ll be back in the office!” I was planning my work as if it was the same as always, as if I was on vacation or had the flu. Never would I have thought in America in 2020 that we would not have the solution for any problem at the ready. It was just unfathomable, and yet, here we are.


Finally, after those couple of weeks, it hit me, I need to figure out how to be successful now. There was new information every day and I was being very reactive, not proactive at all. I was keeping a list of things I needed to do when I returned to the office. I was taking care of things that NEEDED to be taken care of and business was continuing, but I truly did not realize how my mindset was stuck. Y’all, many of us will NEVER work the way we did two months ago. We will never have the same routine or the same processes. I have been in the same job for 20 years. Realizing that is a heavy moment. I was reacting to what had to be done, but I wasn’t keeping up my reports, taking the initiative to move forward with things. I feel like I’m probably not alone. For me, there had to be a distinct separation in order change my mindset.


I remember the day it happened. I just felt flaky and kind of lost and realized that I wasn’t doing some of the things I would have been doing before in order to stay organized and on track. I didn’t even know how to proceed! 


First of all, I took an entire Friday to plan for the next week, month, year. Who knows what will change tomorrow and this will be my process from now on. When I feel like I am getting mired in the reactive, I will schedule a day to sit with it and plan how to move forward.


When I started that day, I went back in my notes, my calendar and my emails in order to know exactly what my reporting and follow up items needed to be. What had I let fall through the cracks? What had I not reported that needed reporting? I made a list of these things, no matter how small. Now I had direction for the next Monday for sure. 


The next thing I did was look at my immediate plan for success. The one I was following before COVID 19. How could I adapt that for success now? What needed to move to next year’s plan based on the situation. You see I am a fundraiser. This definitely affects fundraising and non-profit organizations as much as any. I took the time to think it through, to have conversations with the folks who are a part of it. Surprisingly, after tweaking this year’s plan based on the current situation, I had a great start on next year’s plan and how to proceed with it. It is not a requirement, but I went ahead and formulated a five-year plan based on conversations I had. I have so much more focus and a distinct direction after taking the time to think it through. We have to be careful not to be reactive all the time. It is important to be proactive in your approach, even if it changes daily!


I don’t know who to give credit for this, but I read something the other day that allowed me to give myself some grace and also to move forward. It said, “Those 'all over the place' feelings you’ve been having? They are symptoms of stress, not personal failures of yours. Do you feel flaky and inconsistent? That’s because your brain doesn’t know what news to brace for next, or what next month will hold.” I suggest that you allow yourself to sit with these feelings for a short time, but do not let them take over. It will be so freeing to take your control back. Make a plan. Proceed as if what is going on now is your new job and you need to make an impression!  You will not regret it!

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