Aside from the beauty of this time of year; the seasonal change and Mercury retrograde is ushering in a time to rethink who we are and where we are going. This always brings up the concept of meaning in our life.
As with many of you, my sweet spot is the balance between being and doing. Too much doing and I get caught up in the world of achievements. I start adding more and more onto my plate. Too much being and I loose motivation and get bored. As balance can never be static that fine line is the one I work with walking each day.
One of the things I find works to help keep me on track and maintaining my balance is working with 3 (only) achievable goals each month. This keeps my focus but stops me from getting into overwhelm. Choosing only 3 means that I must prioritise those that relate most directly to my bigger vision for my life. One, at least, will be personal and they all will have meaning to me.
I teach this process to my business mentoring clients and inside my Life Mastery Process but there are also other tools that I recommend – and I am always on the look out for new ideas. Last year I watched ‘Best Self Journal’ move from kickstarter to one million in sales in only a few months. It looked an amazing planning system. However I already have a system that includes a gratitude and reflection planning diary, Trello (online) for my Master To Do’s and reminders and notes for stuff so I really didn’t want to add something else. But I did mention it to several clients who I thought might gel with it.
One client recently came back saying that she had a wonderful period using it – and gifted me with one. Wow! Perfect timing to try it out this quarter! I am using it and am really impressed. The psychological processes it uses to induce positivity, motivation and habit change are magic.
The ‘Best Self” process of identifying 3 quarterly projects that are part of your big picture obviously fits with my own process. In the BSJ process you next break these down into 3 actions or steps that need to be achieved this quarter. This is great as you reallly have to start thinking how you are going to make that happen. And then each action into 3 tasks, which may be an action or a habit change. In the end you have identified 9 items to focus on over over 13 weeks. Everything must be achievable and measurable, ie you know when they are done, kind of tasks (rather than an overall intention).
Next you write a commitment to doing them – double checking that they can be done in the time frame no matter what! And your why – for motivation. You then plan a celebration for when you do it. We are often not very good about celebrating our successes unless they are a major achievement. In this process you are celebrating the milestones along the way which is a good sound psychological process.
Weekly you track your tasks and changing habits and reflect on your progress. Daily you spend a few minutes in the morning (really only a few minutes) setting yourself up to ‘win the day’ (BestSelf’s big call to action!) In the evening you spend a few more minutes reflecting on your wins and lessons learnt with a bit more gratitude for balance.
I really enjoy the regular positive reflection and the tiny steps to a big goal. Mine lives on my bedside table as a journal rather than with me as a diary and I find new insights each day. Some of them are ,glaringly obvious but until I had not seen them. Using this minimalist morning and evening reflection process means they became obvious. I really like this as a process of positive personal growth and can see it is infinitely adjustable no matter if you are a super high powered exec or someone who just likes experimenting with finding your own best self and finding meaning in the everyday.
Martin Seligmen (a guru in the positive psychology area) considers that our meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond ourself and from developing the best from within ourself. Choosing this type of reflective journalling as a daily practice will really help align yourself with this concept, bringing in more meaning to your everyday and a sense of accomplishment even with day to day tasks.
… love to hear how you go …..
copyright 2018 Gay Landeta, Create The Life You Want To Live. All rights reserved.