I consider the greatest invention of my adult lifetime to be the Pause Button on my DVR. The Pause Button lets you freeze live events, stop the flow of information, images, data, manage the noise entering into your brain, and process it on your terms. 

Like it or not, the past year plus has been “The Year of the Pause Button” for all of us. We all have or know someone who has cancelled a vacation, lost a loved one, postponed a family celebration or holiday together. Celebrations have become smaller, simpler, quieter without the bustle of activity. We are all working differently or perhaps finding ourselves in the midst of a job search, or reimagining and adapting our businesses. If all of this did not challenge us enough in the U.S., we dealt with a contentious election and a wide range of issues that have tested the bonds of family and friendships.  

To use an overused expression, “It is just crazy.” How are we supposed to survive and thrive in a year like this? As I have thought about it, I come back to the Pause Button. As hard as it might be, we all could benefit by hitting that button! Freezing the action and thinking about what is important to you going forward.

But how?

Some may call the ability to step back and be aware in the moment of how to receive information and how you express yourself Self Awareness, Mindfulness, or Mental Fitness. No matter how you describe it, taking the time to Pause and reflect is a great gift that we can give ourselves as we tackle the challenges and opportunities in front of us.

It all begins by quieting the mind and challenging yourself with thoughtful questions — questions that make you pause.

  • How has your perspective changed over the past year? 
  • Are your old beliefs still your core beliefs? 
  • What are you curious about, and what do you need to learn to move forward? 
  • What resources and/or skills do you need to take those steps into your future? 
  • What gifts have you received as a result of your 2020 experience? 
  • What if anything about your career, family, personal and professional relationships do you want to build on or change? 
  • How do you hold yourself accountable for making those changes? 
  • What is a reasonable time frame for achieving the outcomes you desire? 
  • How will you prioritize all these questions?

If you are trying to better plan your future steps, my suggestion to you is to leverage the Pause Button. Make time every day or week to stop and think about your progress to date, the way forward, and the information /tools you need to get there. 

Perhaps leverage a quieter than usual holiday season to hit the Pause Button gather whatever tools you need and think about what come next. Create your plan and then press Play, always understanding that the Pause Button is a click away. 

And if the need ever arises again, don’t be afraid to Push the Pause Button once more, to regroup — and equally as important when you want to celebrate progress or success.

Happy Holidays…..

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