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How ‘one thing’ has changed the past 6 months

Amy Throndsen for Progressive Dairy Published on 14 September 2020

When my last article, “How ‘one thing’ has changed me, my marriage and my family’s business,” published in early February 2020, little did I or anyone else know how radically different our lives would look less than 30 days later. Nor could we have foreseen the rollercoaster ride in the months that have followed.

In 2019 I had consistently worked (with the 66-Day Challenge format) to improve some key habits I’d wanted to form – flossing, drinking 100 ounces of water, eliminate cursing, eliminate sugar. My husband and I ended the year with clarity and focus for our business and in our personal life.

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Mid-March, the world simultaneously stopped and went into overdrive.

What stopped: going to school, going to church, going to the gym, going out to eat, going to sporting events, going to family or friends’ houses, getting on an airplane (and much more, too).

What went into overdrive: health reports and death counts, Zoom calls and webinars, volatility of milk pricing, dramatic demand shift, uncertainty in supply chain, childcare needs, vigilance of keeping our families safe (and much more here, too).

As I sit down to write this, the birds are chirping, the summer heat is here, the harvest is drawing closer, webinar briefings have slowed down, invitations to visit farms have picked up, although caution is still high, and milk futures have rebounded (however, no one knows where they will be by the time you read this).

Instead of being focused on 66-Day Challenges to build habits, I’ve fallen into a trap of thinking that tomorrow I’ll know more about the future than I know today, so I’ll be better equipped to adjust goals and make a plan. Tomorrow I’ll get back on track. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has felt this way.

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I haven’t been sitting at my desk eating cookies for the last five months, but – maybe you can relate – I’ve been waiting for external guidance. When is okay to go back to the office? When is it safe to go to church? When can we get together for a birthday? What is the test result trend in my area? Will the schools reopen in person? I have no control over the answers to these questions, and if I wait for someone else to set my path, that is a losing proposition.

Nearly 6 months later, I find myself wishing that I could say I was in the trap for a few weeks and then dusted myself off, got really focused and lived out a “you can do it” attitude. But it’s not quite that easy.

It’s not that easy because just like life before COVID, there are distractions and daily activities that demand your attention. There may be different distractions and daily activities now, but there have always been plenty of reasons to jump to the demands of others.

As I was patting myself on the back for spending over 300 days with great focus and attention in 2019, I’m finding myself needing to go back to the basics to start over now.

My husband and I are on a record streak of days under the same roof. Pre-COVID, one or both of us would be traveling nearly every week out of the month, and we had a routine of sitting down and talking about the week every Sunday night. Now, every night feels like a Sunday night or a Wednesday night or a Monday night. There’s not much to distinguish one day from the next. We’ve realized we need to be much more intentional about setting aside the time we used to plan. We cannot rely on our travel calendar to set our planning time like we used to. (It’s only taken us five months or 20 weeks to figure this out, but better late than never!)

Was there something on your calendar you relied on to keep your family or business connected, but without it now are missing that connection?

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What can you do to be intentional about prioritizing those connections?

For my husband and I, we relied on our Sunday evening planning session to discuss the week. Since we are working from home together every day, it’s harder to look out a week at a time. For us, we set an intention of meeting daily to prioritize what we need to accomplish in the given day. This is very different than what we are used to, and it does not feel normal. Over the course of the five months, we’ve had spurts of focus. We’re only six days into our new intention, but we have set our goal, and even though it doesn’t feel normal, we are seeing positive results. The best part is that we are better aligned. We do not chase this phone call or that email and look at each other with exhaustion at the end of the day. Rather, we have moved our business forward together.  end mark

Amy Throndsen
  • Amy Throndsen

  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Advanced Comfort Technology Inc.
  • Email Amy Throndsen

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