Redefine Success

In order to keep my Sustainable Sue hat on I need to redefine success this season. This fall is very different from last year when I was planning fun outings and such (link). These days are all about transitions. I did a couple podcast episodes about it as I was heading into the season (Managing Transitions and Sustainable Sue Takes a Sabbatical). These served as more of a pep talk for Future Sue because I know my patterns. I often fall into overwhelm because I don’t give myself the grace to let things fall by the wayside. 

While I am figuring out a revised Sustainable Sue routine to work around my new day job, hobbies are falling away. While I visit my dad for a few weeks, my exercise routine drops off. It is really obvious when I look at my habit tracker for a month or two. But I have been tracking my habits for over six years and have learned some lessons that help redefine success. 

Widen the Time Period

Lesson one is that success happens over longer periods of time than today’s culture defaults to. I may not average 10 miles of walking each week during October 2023. But if I look back at the whole year of 2023, I likely will meet or exceed that target. 

“The years teach much which the days never know.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you start to feel the hours and days closing in around you, take a few deep breaths and zoom out your perspective of time. If you don’t see or feel any white space in the next foreseeable future, you might need to make some hard decisions. Last month when I was feeling that constricted feeling I had to cancel two volunteer commitments. Guess what – no one cared. Except for me who had a couple hours back to restore. That was everything. And in the scope of a year, those couple hours did not matter one bit to the volunteer agency.

Long Haul

Lesson two is that life will ebb and flow like the tides. To a certain extent, you have control over your to do list and calendar, but the fact of life is there are seasons that are busier than others. Allow yourself to balance work and rest today and more importantly – over long haul.

It seems counterintuitive to schedule rest in a hectic time. If you have a free hour you should accomplish a task while you have a free second. Consider that the task should be to restore yourself to sanity. Because running on empty is insane, non-productive, and not sustainable. Ask me how I know.

Defining Worthiness

Lesson three is that your worth as a person is not defined by miles on a treadmill, hours in your office or emails in your inbox. Each of us has the ability to let go of the messages we are clinging to that tell us we need to earn worthiness and love. 

By definition, habits that are Sustainably Productive need to have well-defined time parameters that take the current season into account. Shift your mindset to accept that there will be seasons of life that are busier than others, knowing that over time it balances out. 

Sustainable You Reflections

  1. Which of these three lessons resonated most with you? What action item can you consider to enforce that lesson?
  2. Which of these three lessons felt most prickly to you? Why do you think that is?

Until next time remember to create productive results in a way that you can sustain and that work for you. 

By |2023-09-12T10:10:07-04:00October 17th, 2023|Habit Change|0 Comments

Episode 34: What is Making Life Sustainably Productive This Fall

Basically this whole episode is an SPM – a Sustainable Productivity Moment. We have spent a couple weeks talking about change and transitions. Learn what people, places, products and things are helping Susan create a sustainably productive life. The goal is to highlight small things or adjustments that create a life we don’t feel like running away from. While each Sustainable Productivity Moment may seem small, together they create powerful change.

Here is what you can expect in this episode:

  1. Why it is important to identify what is making life sustainable and productive – in any season.
  2. Three major things helping Susan survive thrive this fall – one in each Sustainable Productivity (SusPro) dimension.
  3. Rapid fire round of small things helping to move the SusPro needle forward.

Listen at the link below or search for “Sustainable Productivity with Susan Sanders” everywhere podcasts are available.

Links to Learn More

Links mentioned in this episode of the Sustainable Productivity podcast:

  • Listen to Episode 31: Sustainable Sue Takes a Sabbatical at this link

We would love to hear from you. Send your feedback on the episode, suggestions for future show topics or guests, and anything else to or in a DM on Instagram.

By |2023-09-25T08:12:44-04:00September 25th, 2023|Show Notes|0 Comments

Seasonal Transition – Fall 2022

Whether you call is the start of quarter 4, the autumnal equinox, or back to school, we are smack in the middle of a seasonal transition. I want to share what that looks like for me as I hope it will inspire you to think differently about planning.

Goodbye Summer

Seasonal transitions are not just about planning for what is coming up. It is putting an end cap on what just happened. For me this means practical things like cleaning out the pool bag I used all summer and Sustainable Productivity things like reviewing the quarter 3 habit tracker.

Take note of the sandwich bags of varying sizes. One for my iPad, one for my Kindle, one for a paperback book, and one for phone. I am ready to read ANYTHING at the pool – especially with those easy reader sunglasses in the middle. Not pictured: Bixby’s goggles that I stole to have as backup. I put them back before he noticed.

I would like to say I put some kind of ceremony around it or do something special, but I don’t. That would just be one more hurdle to getting it done. But if that brings you joy, please consider doing it. I know some people who love a trip to the coffee shop alone to do their habit check in. Or others who buy a new pool bag each year. They fine significant closure to throwing this year’s pool bag in the trash after thanking it for its service.

Find what works for you do the wrap up portion of the seasonal transition before looking ahead.

Hello Fall

Looking ahead in seasonal transitions seems more intuitive for most people. You may set quarterly goals or draft a list of fun things to do in the coming months. The biggest impact for me going from summer to fall is the change in weather. It was 48 degrees when I walked the dog this morning and I am still freezing. So part of our seasonal transition is getting the fire place ready to use and digging out the space heater for my office. I try to put this off as long as I can, but I think I have hit my limit.

One new thing I am doing for the 2022 seasonal transition is to make a fall fun list. This feels very out of character for me as I rarely whimsical. I am not the family fun planner. But now that I am 48 perhaps I don’t need to be a curmudgeon anymore!

I have no idea what to put on this list, but by putting it out into the world, I am inviting accountability to this new add to my seasonal transition checklist.

Your Turn

Help a sister out and let me know what is on your fall fun list!

By |2022-09-27T09:08:17-04:00September 29th, 2022|Mental Well-being|2 Comments
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