As the anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK falls this week, I wanted to explore the past year, and what it might mean for your future....
It might be one of those things that we talk about in years to come- 'where were you when they announced the lockdown in 2020?'
I distinctly remember sitting with my kids, waiting to hear what was going to happen- that schools would be closing at the end of the week and hoping to reopen by Easter. My daughter was devastated. My son not so much. As a Mum, I didn't really know what to say- as this had never happened in our lifetime.
But, that first lockdown (that meant for my kids not returning to school until September) led us to slow down. For my business, it meant prioritising homeschooling and as my husband is a teacher and was teaching live lessons from home, losing my office space.
We have since had two further lockdowns, one where we as a family all tested positive for COVID, and most recently a lockdown that marked the beginning of its gradual ease with the children returning to school last week.
Like many Mum's with a small business- the relief was immense. However, the transition back into another new routine made me feel like I was on autopilot last week. Balancing the kid's anxiety and getting back to 'normal' played its toll, and as the later part of the week loomed, I realised that I had forgotten EVERYTHING that I had learned over the past year. All those gems that I have discovered about myself, my business and my family.
So, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on this point in time- right here- where we have an opportunity. To assess and to use this chance to make changes- for the good of us all.
Assessment of me- and who I am
I have learned a lot about who I am in the past year. I took the opportunity to do some deeper work on myself- getting support for previous issues and trauma. It made me reflect that as a Mum it is easy to put myself at the bottom of the pile. But as life slowed down- it meant I had more opportunity to take time for myself. Reading for pleasure, exercising, meditation and journalling all helped me relax- and slow down for me. For my family, it meant that I was less snappy and more present- really embracing the principles of minimalism that I love.
So my new normal- getting up a little earlier and starting my day with meditating (thanks to the Calm App) and journalling. I can get this done in 20 minutes and it starts my day well. I then get our morning started, with a quick 15 min Pilates session just before I take the kids to school. Starting the day knowing I have already looked after myself, makes the day ahead feel more do-able!
Assessment of my business- and fine-tuning it
Interestingly, at the beginning of 2020, I signed up on an 11-month course to 'find' my TedX Talk. It was just what I needed to explore what I truly wanted in my business further. I already knew that the business that I had built as an OBM had been built through necessity. As I had eased into the online space, I have used the past year to discover what I REALLY wanted. So, I used the time to transition my business to one that was truly in alignment with what I wanted- to simplify it.
This is still a work in progress, but it means a business that doesn't have big launches, that isn't pressured, that means I can work when the kids aren't home. It also means building my business with what I truly believe- that I want to make an impact over income and help women lead and scale their business with simplicity too. I have rediscovered my mission and put it first and foremost as my work compass.
It means getting rid of the things that no longer serve me- and that's ok too. To not fall back into toxic work patterns that burn me out and don't serve my clients.
So, my new normal- only having 3 offers that light me up that actually work for my clients - my low ticket workshop, my program and my VIP day. Now just to get it all on my website.....
Assessment of our family
Our family is precious. Prioritising our family time- even if it is just our walk on a Saturday to collect our library books, or watching a film on a Sunday doesn't need to be extravagant. Our kids at the moment need routine as it makes them feel safe amid the uncertainty. But we don't need massive days out, they are happy to be at home and do things like 'make your own pizza night'. They just want the reassurance of us. So rather than worry about the big fancy holidays, we can fix up our home to make it a more enjoyable space.
Our new normal: I won't be signing them back up for all the extracurricular activities. They like the space, the time and the chance to be free- to do what they choose. Treat Friday and Saturday family night are all firmly here to stay.
And most importantly...
To make sure, that as time goes by, that we check in with ourselves. Are we doing things because we feel we should? Rather than because we want to. That everything we do serves us- and our needs. That having time and space to BE is the most precious thing of all. As so many people say- we are Human BEINGS not DOINGS.
This is OUR new normal.
What does yours look like??
Rachel Aiken is an educator, former Certified Online Business Manager, turned Minimalist Business Strategist for ambitious women who are looking to simplify their online business.
She has worked with some of the most successful female coaches around the world shaping their business in alignment with their vision for success.
As a speaker, she has shared her story with small private audiences, to podcasts with audiences of hundreds.
Rachel is known for simplifying business. Because keeping it simple means more time, money and freedom to do the things you love.
As the Minimalist Business Strategist, she supports ambitious women to move from
1: many with her unique EASE system.
Get started on your Minimalist business journey by signing up for one of her amazing free resources here.