4 Ways to Find The Answer to “What Should I Do With My Life?”

What should I do with my life?

Unlike so many other questions you have about your career, this one’s not quite as easy to Google.

The good news is, you’re not alone—in fact, we guarantee that everyone has pondered their career path, finding their passion, or what they’re meant to be doing at some point. And luckily, many of them are willing to share their advice. If you’re at a loss for what steps to take next, read on for the best pieces of advice from a Quora thread on this topic.

1. Talk to People

“Meet or call at least 50 people. They can be your friends, relatives, friends of friends/references. Call them up, schedule a meeting, go see them and interact with them on what they are doing. Don’t expect anything, don’t ask them to find you a job, don’t ask them to give you a job. Just talk and meet and have a normal conversation.” – Gaurav Munjal

You’d be surprised at how much you can learn just listening to other people talk. If you take the time to really listen, you’ll get insight into people’s motivations, hopes, dreams, and ambitions. And when you piece all that together, you can learn how others got to where they are today—and if that’s a path you want to be on, too.

2. Get Started

“My suggestion is to do something. Even if it isn’t quite the right thing, it is nevertheless a movement that can give you an opportunity to experience. You can spend a lot of time taking tests and getting evaluations for what you might be suited for; ideas always sound good on paper. But words don’t match experience, so acting on something is your best choice.” – Kathleen Grace

Regardless of what you generally want to do, it never hurts to start building something. Start creating a portfolio, launch a career newsletter, or learn how content creating works. There are so many things you can do for your career—even if you don’t know what you want to do.

3. Gather Inspiration From Others

“Walk into your local bookshop and go straight to the autobiography section. Buy three books from across different industries, societies, and cultures. Focus on biographies that document great and successful people’s early lives, before they were great. Read them before bed. Wake up in the morning and write down 10 things you could do differently that day. Do some of them. Do this the next day. And then do it again.” – David Ball

What better way to get started than by learning how others reached their goals? Keep in mind as you’re reading that these people weren’t born knowing what they wanted to do either.

7. Enjoy Not Knowing

“Enjoy the meanderings, the soul-searching, the loves lost, the time wasted. All of it will add up to a complex and very unique ‘you.’ The more you appreciate right now, the more the future will become a fantastic reality. Don’t pressure yourself to be in the future.” -James Altucher

You know how math problems always seem impossible when you first look at them, but then, after taking a break, the answer feels so obvious? Figuring out what you want to do with your life is kind of like that.

By focusing on other less-pressing matters, the obvious answer will come to you when you’re least expecting it.

Just remember that you don’t have to have it all figured out. And that even when you do, you might change the course a few times. So don’t worry about having all the answers—just thinking about it is a good start.

Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you answer the age-old question, “What should I do with my life?”. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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3 Alternatives if a Career Change Is Not an Option

Just because you don’t want a total career change doesn’t mean you have to toil away in misery without getting closer to what is a good fit for you. Your Ignite Your Potential career coaches have curated three options that aren’t major career changes, but can provide an up level for your career.

  1. Keep Your Job, Change Your Industry

A smart strategy when you want to change careers is to start by pivoting either your role (what you do) or your industry (the field you work in,) rather than trying to do both at the same time. For example, if you hate your job in pharmaceutical sales, could you put your selling skills to work in a completely different field. Yes, it takes effort to network your way into a new industry and convince hiring managers you’re worth the opportunity—but it is easier than starting from scratch.

     2. Make a Move Within Your Company

If you work for a large company, look around. Are there other roles that seem more appealing than the one you are currently in? If so, start talking to these people. Learn the ins and outs of their jobs, understand the skills required to do their work, and ask for advice on breaking into their world. Ask to lend a hand on upcoming projects. This may not work everywhere, but if you show that you are interested in a different type of work and start building the transferable skills required, your employer may be willing to help you make the transition.

3. Negotiate

If you are unhappy there may be a chance that you can figure out how to tweak a few things about your responsibilities, the projects you work on, the people you work with the most, etc. If you can figure out what you need in a role to really thrive, which is something we help clients with all the time, then there is a chance you can pitch these changes to your boss or influence these changes over time on your own. Sometimes it’s possible to make the changes you need within the role you’re currently in.

     4. Reconsider These Options

OK, this isn’t an alternative to changing careers, but you do owe it to yourself to revisit this topic and make sure your “I really can’t change careers” stance is still valid. Maybe the answer will stay the same. But what if you find that one day, this changes to a maybe. And when that day comes, you can start considering the options above or talk to an Ignite Your Potential coach to help make your dream a reality.

Consider giving career coaching a try, we have a hunch you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And remember, all of the award-winning coaches at Ignite Your Potential Centers off a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

 

5 Ways to Build a New Habit

Have you ever felt excited to try something new but then quickly lost all motivation a week into it? Don’t worry you’re not alone. Below are 5 ways you can build a new habit and actually stick with it.

1. Start Small

When starting any new habit, you will be more likely to ingrain that unfamiliar routine if you begin small. For example, if the change you’re trying to make is working out, start by going to your gym 2 or 3 days in one week. Once you get accustomed to that and it’s well rooted, then if you want to, increase the amount of days to challenge yourself.

2. Be Consistent

You may often hear that it takes 21 days to build a habit, unfortunately that is not entirely true. It takes about three months for the brain to change and to actually form a habit. Consistency is key, as you begin, do it regularly. That’s why it’s useful to start small because with a smaller commitment then you can work hard to make sure that no matter what, you will stick to it. Eventually the change you want to make will become a part of your daily routine; making it something you don’t even need to think about.

3. Tell Others About Your New Habit

Telling people or simply publishing it on your social media will increase your discipline and determination. Knowing that you have people watching you and rooting for you will give you that extra accountability you need.

4. Do It With A Partner

By having a partner to build a new habit with, you can both keep each other accountable and motivated. Keep in mind that your partner’s new habit and yours don’t have to be the same but it’s always great to check in on each other.

5. Reward Yourself

Don’t forget to reward yourself. Studies have shown that building in a reward system will tie a positive feeling to this change you are working to root. By giving yourself rewards you’ll feel like your new habit is less of a chore and more as an enjoyable hobby, a way to take care of yourself, or the route to meeting even bigger goals.

Ignite Your Potential coaches all offer complimentary 25-minute phone sessions. Read our bios and easily schedule these here and see how we can help you create new habits and have the life, health, and career you deserve. (inserting this link on “read our bios…” https://ignitepotential.com/our-coaches/

Level Up Your Note Taking: Make the Next Meeting Matter

First Things First

You likely spend time in meetings, and maybe some of you, a majority of your work life is within meetings. We’ve all experienced the draining, demoralizing feeling when a meeting is not productive. So before we begin to discuss best practices in note taking for said meetings, I want to turn you on to these useful tips by David Grady that help you attend less meetings and make sure, before you even attend, that they will be useful. Here is his hilarious TED talk called How to Save the World (or at Least Yourself) from Bad Meetings.

note taking

However, when you are in productive meetings, why might you want to make sure your note taking is masterful?

  • It will help you be more engaged and focused.
  • You will remember and capture needed information.
  • You will document proof that certain things did in fact occur.
  • Excellent note taking allows strategic thinking to emerge.

Upfront Guidelines

Your job when taking notes is to listen for and summarize key messages regarding:

  • Action Items,
  • Decisions,
  • Learnings,
  • Context, and
  • Notes relevant to you.

The whole purpose is for your learning and reference. Do not go in depth, you are not a court reporter. Less is more. Take partial notes that you can fill in after the meeting. In other words, write down enough to trigger your memory.

Preparation

Block ten minutes before the meeting for preparation. Ask yourself the follow questions and consider beginning your notes for the meeting at this stage.

  • The person leading the meeting, what are their objectives and agenda?
  • What are your objectives or agenda for the meeting?
  • What do you need to bring: discussion points, check-in data, etc?
  • Are there questions you need answered?
  • What would success look like for this meeting?

Block ten minutes after the meeting to synthesize your notes. Organize your to do’s, next steps, and deadlines in your tools of choice (project management software, calendar, app, etc.)

note taking

What Must be Captured

  • Action Items. To do’s, tasks, action requests. Keep this as clear as possible: Person X to do (specific task details) by (due date.) Who is suppose to do, what, by when.
  • Decisions. Outcomes and decisions agreed by the group.
  • Learnings, or follow-ups to learn something.
  • Intel, Observations, Strategy in summary.

Questions to Get the Right Info

While you never want to ask questions that take the meeting off course, there are questions that help clarify, keep you engaged, and help the meeting stay productive. Here are just a few that can help:

  • “Can someone please state the decision we’re making?”
  • “Can we recap decisions and next steps?
  • Use reflective listening. “Am I hearing that Barb will own X and Ted will deliver Z by this date?”
  • Ask the speaker clarifying questions that have them state key takeaways. “What do you think are the most important takeaways?”

Best Note Taking Apps in 2019

Using the best and most appropriate tools for the job at hand is an important aspect. Here are the best note taking apps in 2019.

Conclusion

taking better notes

Becoming masterful at taking notes in meetings means that you have all the information you need to do your job well. This basic skill is one that will set you apart and have you be more effective in your role. Topics and skills just like this are part of the support you can expect from an Ignite Your Potential career coach.

Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help succeed at note taking! We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and the #1 career coaches in Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

 

7 Steps to Go Beyond the New Year’s Resolution

 

People will often ask what we at Ignite Your Potential think about a New Year’s resolution. While there are times when a firm determination about a goal can set the course for great change, we know that 92% of people will fail their resolutions.

new year's resolution
Don’t let your fiery spirit be put out!

In fact, January 12th is the day by which most people give up what they swore they would change. So how do we make sure we go beyond the New Year’s resolution?

There are three reasons people backslide. It may seem counter-intuitive but it’s not because of a lack of willpower or gritty determination.

  1. Most people don’t put a sufficient plan in place. (This strategy doesn’t have to be elaborate. The simpler the better. Break the goal down into small doable steps; include plans for obstacles and frustrations that will show up.)
  2. While folks don’t realize it, they may not be fully committed to making the change (which is to say they’re not clear about: why they want to make the change and if they’re willing to pay the cost of the change.)
  3. The key focus for most people is on changing behavior. The mistake we make is not considering the need to change who we are being. In other words, it’s equally important to envision ourselves embodying the change.

When you have a goal in mind…. be thoughtful, create a strategy that includes a deeper dive at why you want what you want. Understand what might get in your way and how to plan around obstacles. Set yourself up for success by working with one of our coaches or read the book Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.

But how does one address the BEING side of change?

One way is to ask yourself: Who Do You Want to Be? 

new year's resolution
Take time to discover who you want to be- meditation helps!

Some people will experience a tragedy or near-death experience that wakes them up…and they go on to live lives that are true and meaningful to them. Why wait for an existential epiphany? Here are 7 Steps to get you started:

1. Listen to your inner voice. We all have an ongoing internal dialogue. Begin to observe this interior conversation and you’ll find it comes from many parts of you (or many parts of your brain)… sometimes from a deeper, wiser place, other times from a place of fear, and then everything in between. By observing your inner dialogue you have a chance to cull this inner chatter and identify the inner guidance grounded in wisdom. Listen to this inner voice. Learn to identify the messages that are useful and truthful about who you want to be and what is important to you.

2. Now ask yourself: Who are you really moved to become? Who are you called to be? Are you called to be a leader? An admired executive? A healer? A teacher? A champion of a cause? A change maker? A homemaker? A rockstar mother? Someone healed and healthy who models impeccable boundaries? A defender of the masses? A person of presence who models embodiment? A person who treats her body with care? A turned-on person who follows his bliss? A funny light-hearted person who brings joy to others? Who are you really moved to become? 

3. The next step involves being candid with yourself: Who are you currently being? How are you showing up in the world? If your life ended, how would you be remembered? Take a brief inventory of your day to day interactions and behaviors…what does that say about who you are actually being in your life?

4. As you go through these questions, are you in alignment between who you want to be and who you really are? If not, how will you become more congruent? How will you become who you are meant to be? You can change your behaviors… that’s definitely how we create change. But you also need to begin seeing yourself differently.

new year's resolution
Set your intention and imagine your already that person.

5. The next step has two variations depending on your preference or you could choose to do both. Create a short list of intentions for who you want to be, that resonate, meaning they don’t feel like shoulds, and then turn this list into affirmations (positive, present-tense statements, declarations that affirm this goal already having happened.) If it works better for you, you could jot down cues that prompt a visualization of you being changed. In other words, a few prompts to help you imagine, in your mind’s eye, you, already having accomplished this goal. Already being who you will be once you get there. Obviously, we’re using our imagination here, but keep in mind that Olympians have used this very technique to improve their performance. Because… it helps our brain make the change.

6. Each morning for the rest of January, take out this list. Get into a mindful space by using your mediation of choice. Then read each affirmation out loud, trying your best to get into the felt-sense that this affirmation is already achieved. Likewise, if you prefer, use mental imagery, see the change having already occurred.

7. After doing this exercise, ask yourself what simple goal you can do that day to nourish this vision. Write down what you come up with. Put it in your daily calendar as a way to track progress.

If you already had a list of goals for the New Year when you came across this post, consider adopting one or a few of these ideas to support you. Most important, trust your wisdom and be compassionate towards yourself. You’ll be surprised and thrilled with what you achieve.

2019: The Year of Your Career

At the start of a new year there’s often a refreshed outlook and a sense of renewal. Part of this process involves career.  As the year begins though, do you find yourself going back to work after holiday vacation feeling a sense of dread as though you are about to endure another year in your career? Or are you stoked to get back to the contribution you’re a part of? What is your sentiment as you begin again?

Whatever your perspective or attitude, this time of year can be a fantastic time to refresh your career, your career outlook, or refine your career goals. Our team of career coaches at Ignite Your Potential can help you do this, and we’ve started this process for you, by sharing ways you can freshen your career for the New Year.

Clean Up Your Work Tools 

The first way to freshen your career is to clean up the tools you use most each and every day. Having unanswered emails, a crowded inbox, a messy desk, or unused apps on your phone is clutter in the workflow that slows us down. Here are tasks to clean your work tools:

  • Empty or organize your worktexts, emails, cloud folders, app notifications, and workspace.
  • De-clutter your online life by getting rid of software accounts you don’t use and unsubscribe from their marketing emails.
  • Organize your files and papers.
  • Revamp your work wardrobe. Get rid of items you no longer wear, that are too big, have a hole and you have yet to fix (or fix it), overall, purge your wardrobe of clothes that no longer serve you.

Refresh Your Career Documents

Whether you’re interested in potentially changing career paths, or see no career change on your horizon, updating your resumé and revamping your cover letter is a great way to prepare yourself for what opportunities could lie in the year ahead. You may be up for a promotion, you could be scouted, or one day you may have the urge to see what’s out there.

Ignite Your Potential features a team of expert career coaches who can help you update and improve your resumé, write or revise a cover letter, set your New Year career goals, or simply offer you the career advice you didn’t know you needed. Contact us today for a career boost!

Set a Clear Vision and Actionable Goals new year

Moving into the New Year, you probably have some old items on your to-do list that you weren’t able to get done. You may have some career goals you didn’t reach or your vision for your career changed. All of these are fine, they are part of what happens for all of us, and not any reason to beat yourself up. In fact, the New Year offers an opportunity to reset our goals and create a new vision. We can think in an actionable way about what’s next. It’s time to set fresh objectives informed by what you’ve experienced in 2018 to make a stronger plan that doesn’t fizzle out. Maybe 2019 is the year you get a new planner. 

Streamline Areas of Your Life to Impact Your Career

Think about your daily routine throughout this past year. Really deep dive into your day to day processes, duties, personal workflow, etc. Think strategically about ways you can make certain tasks or processes easier for you. For example, if you pack your lunch every day and take home the dirty container to add to your dishes later that night, try washing them at work instead so that you can just bring them home and reuse them for the next day. Find yourself carrying a briefcase or heavy purse every day full of things you don’t necessarily use or need to tote around? Try paying attention to the different items in your purse or briefcase you use on the regular, and if you discover unnecessary items, put them in their rightful place. If you think about your routine, the patterns that make up every day, you will discover strategies to create a more efficient personal workflow.

Get Inspirednew year

One of the best parts of the New Year is that it’s a time that offers us the opportunity to purge ourselves from the tribulations of the past year, take all of our lessons, and apply them to the year ahead. Every year reveals aspects of your career and life that no longer suits you, teaches you things you needed to know, and equips you with tools for your future. It’s time to let go of baggage you no longer need. Though setting “resolutions” in your career, or in general, may seem cliché to some, and are often abandoned shortly after, it doesn’t have to be this way. Making positive change happens incrementally, and seeing it this way, helps you keep the momentum to work toward your goals. Don’t make tons of changes all at once. Start by making little tweaks to your habits so that staying aligned with your goals is sustainable for you.

Ready to Freshen Your Career in a Big Way?

Ignite Your Potential can help you discover and build your career vision, assist you to find your passion, and help create a plan that stimulates exciting and empowering change in your career and life. If you’re ready to make 2019: the year of your career, contact us by filling out the form below:

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How to Know What You Really Want: The Heart of Goal Setting

We can’t begin goal setting or plotting our course until we know what it is we really want. It seems simple enough. Sometimes though, it’s easy to feel confused about our own desires versus what’s important to our community, family, workspace, and friends. How do we decide what we really want? How do we distinctly see the best path forward when there are competing messages all around us, and sometimes, even in our own minds? The mission of this post is to help you figure out How to Know What You Really Want, which is truly The Heart of Goal Setting.

Let’s focus first on the task of getting into the right state of mind. How do you get most clear? When in your journey, does your thinking become most pure? We’re talking about the times when your thoughts are uninfected by the tangle of modern life. Is it when you:

    • Travel abroad or enjoy a road trip
    • Detox, cleanse, or fast
    • Have time alone to journal
    • Take a walk on the beach or hiking a trail
    • Have time to work on your garden, or your art, or a hobby
    • Arrive at a particular time of day or night, a time when you are most calm or grounded, before sunrise or before you fall asleep

Look back and ask yourself what behaviors, experiences, or times have brought you this clarity. When have you felt most centered and in line with your highest self? Let’s try to reverse engineer that state of mind. Don’t get caught up in the details… especially if that could have you delay. For example, if it’s been a while since traveling or vacationing…and plans to do this aren’t on the horizon… take an afternoon trip to a nearby, unexplored by you, town. Commit to this exercise, even a mini version of it…something you can do in a single afternoon.

You have an inner house, the center of your being if you will, where you are you…without outside interference. That’s the place we would ideally like to do this exercise from. If you can’t seem to get there, don’t let that deter you, move forward nonetheless.

Once you’ve had a chance to get into the right headspace or the best frame of mind, for now, get out some paper, and ask yourself the following:

You love something when you put attention on it. What do you love? What do you actually put your attention on the most and why? What is it providing you? What does that say about why you love this? Who do you love and why? Make a list and move on.

Look back over your life and consider the activities and experiences that gave you the most energy. When did you feel like you were thriving? What elements were in place? Were there people around you? Were you solving particular kinds of problems? Were you using your strategic mind? Were you getting things done? Were you acknowledged? Take down notes and move on.

Now to change gears a bit, when things have gone wrong in your life, in your saddest or most disappointing moments, what went wrong? When did shame ease it’s way in? What do you regret? In what ways do you see yourself having failed? Take a brief inventory and write out themes, then move on.

With these next questions, try your best to answer quickly without overthinking: Who do you want to be? What do you want to feel? What do you want the people closest to you to know about you? Who do you want to have around you? What do you want to be remembered for?

When you are complete with this inventory take a little break. Go for a walk, water your plants, air yourself out. Then when you are ready, come back to this exercise and ask yourself how these answers help you understand what you want. Treat it as if there is no wrong answer. Pay attention the answers that pop out at you or resonate. No need to cover or include everything from your inventory. Bring a lightness, as you ask yourself, what do these answers reveal about what you might want for yourself, for your family, for your community, for your career? Say yes to whatever comes up for you.

This is the beginning. It might be time now to begin a culling process where you sort and prioritize and map out your plan for 2019. It could also be the beginning of your work with a San Francisco or Los Angeles coach, if you feel inspired, read through our coaches bios and easily sign up for a complimentary 25-minute session with one of our career coaches and life coaches. We are here, to support you, in defining what you desire, and to help you achieve what you want for yourself in the New Year 2019.

How Do You Tell Your Story of Success?

I help people clarify and meet their goals but I also help people feel stronger and more confident about who they are.  Today I’m sharing a “behind the scenes” strategy I use to help my clients remember who they really are and feel more self-assured.

There are many reasons why a person might not feel as successful as they deserve to feel.

  • Maybe you’re in a job that is no longer challenging, is not aligned with your personality, or is not treating you with the respect you warrant.
  • Maybe you’ve suffered a loss such as a death of a cherished loved one, the end of a long relationship, a personal illness.
  • Maybe you’re juggling career, children, and household and it’s all just too much.

Whatever the reason, we all have times when we feel a lack of personal power. And while there is a time to get in touch with your emotional state…drawing the emotions out even…sometimes the name of the game is to transform this state.

So let me ask you…if you were to think back, way back….

How can you tell your story through the lens of success?

Whether your life has been one of challenge or ease, with a favorable attitude, search for a narrative in your life where you were successful. No matter what happened in your past, dramatic or mundane, there is something to admire.

Sit down now with a piece of paper, use a voice recording app, or just get ready to daydream and begin tell a story of a time when you made it happen.

Remember, the thing about storytelling is not how worthy the story is, it’s about the feeling the story conjures. You have already been successful…whether it was getting back in shape after putting on the college 20, landing an impossible job, mastering a sport, or getting around in a foreign country using an unfamiliar tongue. Tell this story of success and you will begin to remember, you will begin to feel successful again.

My Story

When I was very young I had fantasies of traveling. I often felt suffocated amid strip mall after strip mall in the suburbs and longed for something more fertile. I talked about it with my family but often got the message that girls didn’t go off traveling on their own.

When I became old enough I packed my bags and hit the road. I travelled with friends, and sometimes alone, for about five years. I saw most of the U.S. this way, living in my car, working at restaurants, saving up enough to keep going.

In my mind’s eye I can remember so many experiences from then…I see myself driving a late night on a curvy Appalachian mountain road while a gigantic low orange harvest moon met me as though we had a deep clandestine plan. As though it had been waiting for me all along.

Private and rich moments such as this meant so much to me, but at the same time I didn’t classify my experience of traveling across the U.S. as brave. I didn’t see myself as successful.

By the time I went back home and decided to “do something with my life” I felt rather insecure. What did I have to offer? What skills did I have? What had I even been doing all those years? My perspective was that I had to start from scratch and build something of my life. What I was lacking was confidence and the ability to tell my story of success.

I had had a dream, albeit a daydream, but nonetheless, I had a desire to travel across the country and I made that happen. That is what success is all about.

I eventually found my way past that sense of insecurity and moved on to the next phase of my life. Still, when I look back now, I realize I was quite bold and brave. During those years, I had moments of fear and doubt, and I put one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward. I learned a lot about people, about thinking outside the box, about living with ambiguity, creative problem solving, and following my gut. Now, taking the time to tell this story, I feel rather grounded and strong. And that’s really the point here.

If you’re still uncertain where to begin your story of success, here are a few questions that might get you recognizing and telling it:

Was there a time when you felt stuck and you did something to change that?

Was there a time when you were very scared but you moved forward anyway?

What would you consider one of the biggest challenges of your life? What happened?

Can you think of an obstacle you overcame?

Can you think of something you didn’t know but then learned?

Can you think of a time when you had a profound realization? What came of that?

Has something ever happened in your life that changed you? What was it? How were you changed?

Please inspire us and tell us your story of success in the comments.

How Are You Living?

If you know a smart chiropractor, naturopathic doctor, fitness trainer, nutritionist, or pilates expert, if they are helping you lose weight or get healthier, they will ask you to do a food journal. Many of you may have tried this as a way to increase your awareness about what you are putting into your body. In fact, several studies have shown that people who keep a food diary are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.

But have you ever considered using a similar method to increase your awareness about yourself in general? In other words, instead of a food journal…what about a How Are You Living Journal?

Sometimes it’s hard to observe ourselves…like fish observing water. But there are ways we can gather this information.

Play the Researcher

Researchers are trained not to judge their findings: whatever they uncover, they observe it, sit with it, document it, come to know it. When you do this for yourself, the information can help you achieve your goals.

Sometimes observation alone can produce change. Sometimes it’s the beginning of a process. Whatever the case, I have consistently witnessed that…awareness rules.

Record the Moment

In the directions below, I detail how to start, and keep, your Living Journal.

1. Program an alert into your phone so that several times a day you are reminded to ask yourself these questions.
2. Jot down small notes about what you see. It’s best to do this in a given moment, rather than noting some things at the end of your day. What we think is going on with us and what is actually going on with us can be slightly different. We all have blind spots.
3. If you’re doing this alone, remember to look it over each week – just writing it down is not enough to bring it into your awareness.
When we’re working together, I ask my clients to bring the journal to our check-in.
4. Consider these questions. There’s no need to answer them all, but let them jog your thoughts to record what you’re feeling in the moment…

Mind
What is running through your mind?
What is going on with your internal dialog?
What’s the emotional tone? Mellow? Kind? Grumpy? Silly?
How might you describe the atmosphere of your head space?

Body
What is your body language saying in this moment?
Are you breathing deeply or shallowly?
Do you feel tired?
Are you hydrated enough?
How would you classify what you’ve eaten today? Vibrant? Fine? Call the health department?
Take a moment to notice your body. Any tension areas? How do you feel?

Connection
Are you alone or with others?
Would you say you’re present or off in the world of thoughts?
What’s happening around you? What do you notice?

Actions
Any particular behaviors you’d like to note? Going to the gym? Moving your body in some way? Are you meditating? Are you in a bar with your buddies? Anything self-care related going on?

Assess How You Are Living

All of these questions give you information about the states-of-mind you hang out in, how you may be dragging yourself down or draining yourself of energy, how you are supporting yourself, how certain foods may be affecting you. It gives a snap shot of how you are really living.

After a week, take a look at your journal and take note: Has anything surprised you? What patterns have you noticed? What do you make of it all?

If we were in session, we would go over your journal together…

Broken Resolution? Try Something New for 30 Days

When Matt Cutts, the head of the web spam team at Google, realized he was in a rut, he decided to try an experiment to mix his life up a bit. He began trying something new for 30 days at a time. Then he began doing this every 30 days. He’s written about these fun challenges on his blog. And inspires with this TED talk:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnfBXjWm7hc&rel=0&showinfo=0&theme=light&&w=760&h=428]