Self-reflection requires time and energy to allow for honest evaluation and consideration of who you are, what you desire and what steps you need to achieve your goals.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have committed the time to do this, having recently acknowledged the feeling of being ‘stuck’ and needing further life design.
I have done this process a number of times previously so I thought I would share the system that works for me.
My ‘Life Design 101’ journey starts with a large piece of blank paper and I literally write everything down, big or small, if it’s swirling around in my thoughts then I capture it. Once these items are documented then I ask myself the following questions and repeat the process:
- What brings a smile to your face
- What makes you feel energised
- What do you most regret not doing
- If you won lotto what would you do
- What gives you satisfaction
When the brain dump is completed I use different coloured pens to highlight and group similar ideas, for example red for passions, green for things that are in progress or going well, blue for pie in the sky, basically anything goes.
Having loosely grouped the items together step two starts to take shape, using another piece of paper I capture these additional items:
- Skills – the type of things that you would put in a CV
- Personality traits – your strengths and weakness
- Existing planned events – holidays, social and sporting events
- Non negotiable items – things in your life that must be attended to
Phew time for a coffee break before I evaluate the items.
I identify the particular items that resonate with me based on desire and emotion not logic or reality. This review helps to focus the design by highlighting the possibilities, some practical and some visionary; remember ‘Dream Big’.
On yet another piece of paper I write in big bold letters “Imagination + Design = Amazing You” under which I capture my summarised themes and tasks identified and then build up the design.
The beauty of the process is that it makes you consider every opportunity whilst incorporating what brings you joy, energy and satisfaction; it is both liberating and invigorating.
By attributing the steps required to achieve each of your identified items, ensures the ultimate plan starts to emerge from the page.
Although my final design is still in progress, to date I have identified and been able to articulate my absolute must haves along with my passions and priorities.
I have also acknowledged the need for improvements including the desire to be more adventurous as aging seems to be diminishing the appetite for risk taking. ‘What would you do if you were not afraid?’; the answers are still on the drawing board and yet to be confirmed.
My ‘satisfaction’ requirements are driving me to consider future business opportunities and work on what success may look like. Challenging myself to actively promote my expertise and market my uniqueness, something that I have struggled with previously, will be step one on this journey. I guess that means finally setting up a LinkedIn profile and website!
In line with my passion for fitness, music and dance I am also on the look out for an activity that will bring me joy whilst supplementing the triathlon training and strengthening my core. My initial thoughts are outside the square on this one but yet to be confirmed; no it does not involve a pole!
Feeling motivated! Whilst I continue to review and evaluate my design plan why don’t you join me on the journey.
Further updates to come.