We are always moving through transitions.
Sometimes they’re significant transitions, like a new job, relationship, or home. But often, they’re small: a new day, a new week, or… a new hairstyle.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned about the importance of treating transitions with intention. For example, I try to transition in the morning after waking and in the evening before sleeping. A morning transition might look like a journaling session or meditation practice. An evening version might be as simple as doing a gratitude practice with my girlfriend. During significant transitions, I try to take time to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going.
For most of us, the last year has been filled with transitions. We’ve learned how to live through a global pandemic, navigating health guidelines that sometimes change daily. Many of us transitioned to working from home, learning how to work from a distance or manage remote teams. Parents took on the role of part-time teachers while trying to keep up at work. Many lost jobs, others changed careers. People bought houses, gave up homes, or relocated to new cities. Relationships ended or began. Some lost loved ones to COVID or other causes.
On my end, over the previous year, I:
- Left my workplace of nine years
- Joined a new company virtually
- Started a relationship
- Began running after a two-year hiatus
- Finished graduate school
- Took a two month trip to the east coast that turned into four months
- Packed up my life in Los Angeles and moved to New York City
- Left my company
- Started a new job in New York
As I transition to a new company and embark on this next chapter in my life, I recently carved out a week to pause, reset, and reflect on the previous year. Here’s what this looked like:
- I reflected on my time in my last job, journaling about what I learned.
- I envisioned my future, looking ahead at where I want to be in five years.
- I took a StrengthsFinder assessment and reflected on my skillset.
- I took two days off-the-grid, wandering through Central Park, reading, and writing.
I came out of this week with clarity, confidence, and feeling grounded (which helped me navigate the day-one-jitters on my new job).
It’s never too late to be intentional about a transition. Maybe you recently had one. Or maybe you have one coming up. Perhaps you’re going through one now.
Consider previous transitions you’ve experienced. What worked? What didn’t? What would you like to repeat or change this time around?
Set aside some time to let your mind settle. I recommend putting your devices away for a few hours.
Ask yourself a few questions. You could do this by journaling or reflecting on them as you go on a walk or meditate.
Where have you been? What have you learned?
Who are you now?
Where would you like to go?