Recently, when I was reading over my narrative, my mission statement and my goal on the front cover of my journal, I noticed that my goal began with the words, " By 30 June 2022..." That means that I need to set aside some time to review it.
When did you last take stock of your life? When we're feeling overwhelmed or when we're catapulted out of our normal routine by an unexpected event, we often feel despondent, because we're just not getting to those things that really matter to us. When this happens, the most effective response is to pause, take a few deep breaths and to start asking yourself some probing questions such as :
What am I grateful for right now?
What are my gifts, talents and strengths?
What am I proud of?
When you've shifted your focus onto what's right with you and your life, it provides clarity and a more balanced perspective. Then you can consider this question, "Who am I and what do I really want?" Most people have never spent sufficient time on their own to be able to respond to this question in any other way, other than to describe what they do.
"We are not what we do, what we own or where we live," said the late Dr Wayne Dyer. He was right. We are so much more than these three labels. Just take a minute to reflect on how you would describe yourself to someone whom you had just met. Now expand on that without using the three usual defaults. I hope that this exercise makes you feel good. How awe inspiring it is, to know that there is only one version of you in the whole world. What a gift to be treasured and one that we usually take for granted, as we allow ourselves to be swept up by the tsunami of life, naively believing that it will lead us to lasting happiness, inner peace and contentment.
A useful tool to use when we decide to take stock of our lives, is the Life Wheel. In my research, I found quite a few variations of the one that I use as a New Insights Life Coach. Choose a version with which you feel comfortable and rate the current quality of each area of your life. Choose one of those areas and set a goal for the next six months of this year. Make sure that your goal is clearly defined, realistically achievable and measurable, and that it inspires and motivates you.
The next most vital step, is to devise an effective system to track your daily progress. This may be recorded in your diary, your journal or using an electronic device. The next most vital step, is to break your goal down into several small steps. To really enhance your progress even further, begin each day as if it were a blank canvas. In that way, you will feel curious and might even end up surprising yourself.
" When you give yourself permission to focus on progress, not perfection, you're putting yourself in a position to be more productive than ever."
" With a system for measuring progress in place, you'll always know you're moving in the right direction." Tracking your progress is one of the most effective ways of keeping overwhelm at bay.
" Progress is baby steps in the right direction. It is the excitement and anticipation that you will eventually reach your desired outcome if you continue on this path...Progress is gradual but ultimately powerful...It requires determination regardless of the setbacks and challenges...The ability to create consistent positive habits leads to massive action which in turn leads to progress and ultimately results. And if you can create momentum by continuously progressing, you can achieve any goal you set for yourself."
The key lies in the creation of daily rituals, says Jennifer Cohen. She believes that progress is the most influential factor and the secret ingredient to any form of accomplishment.
" The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."
What I've noticed, is that the worst feeling, is when we feel all alone and that we're the only one experiencing that particular challenge. The best feeling, is when we feel supported by someone who believes in us, encourages us and can see what we can't see. We're vulnerable human beings that are more often than not, hard on ourselves.
The very next time that you encounter a mirror, look at yourself, pause and smile, knowing that you were born with unlimited potential. If you know that you're barely skimming the surface of that potential, what if you were to ask yourself these questions :
What needs to change?
What could I do right now to bring about that change?
How will I track my progress?
How will I reward myself for small wins?
Who will support me when I feel like giving up?
" It's easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action."
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