I woke up this morning in a planning mood. Rather than start from scratch, I decided to look back at a popular post I wrote earlier this year – 7 Questions I Asked Myself – and sit down with some paper and my favorite pen to answer the questions. I thought that you might enjoy taking a look at them, too, so here’s the post in its entirety:
Maybe you find that amusing, or even startling. But the truth is: Growth never stops.
I will never, ever be finished understanding, knowing – and surprising – myself. It’s a life’s work.
And, to be honest, sometimes all the options available in our lives are a little overwhelming. How do we decide where to focus, and what to say no to?
To figure that out, a Friday ago I sat down and asked myself some questions which served to focus and streamline my energy. Maybe you can benefit from asking yourself the same questions, too.
1. What do I no longer want to do? What no longer feels right?
Now, in my case, I made two columns – the left one was affirmative, and listed what I want to keep. The right column was a list of 14 things that no longer feel right, such as “stupid rules”, “my wardrobe” and “eating crap”. Your list might be a wee bit different. Or not.
2. What needs to be cleaned up? Literally, and figuratively?
Again, two columns: Literally and Figuratively. In “Literally”, I put down “hall closet” (tell me – how’s your hall closet, hmmn?), and “garden” – so feel free to identify those niggling areas of your world which physically could stand a good cleaning or de-cluttering. In the “Figurative” realm, I’ll bet you have a couple of areas to address. I know I certainly do.
3. What do I want that I don’t have?
Oh, boy. This is a rich area. Don’t edit yourself here – let your psyche run wild. Your inner knowing will tell you things that may suprise you – such as, “I want support” and suddenly you’ll find yourself looking for a new calendar, a cleaning crew, an assistant, and a pool boy named Paolo (even though you have no pool). It is amazing what comes up.
4. What are my beliefs around (work/love/money/life – whatever you feel is most troublesome in your day)?
This is a huge area that holds people back. We have hard and fast beliefs in the most stuck areas of our lives, and it’s really only those beliefs that hold us back. “Work must be hard”, for example. Or, “all the good ones are taken”. And, “people like us never get ahead”. Writing those beliefs down on paper is a great way to begin to examine them to see if they are at all true. And most of them…aren’t. They’re just in the way of our happiness and success, so collect them, examine them and drop ‘em like they’re hot – so you can get moving toward what you want.
5. How can I be more grateful every day?
Research shows that focusing on what is working and expressing gratitude about it creates a sense of well-being which powerfully impacts health, work and relationships. So I came up with five things I can do daily to be in the gratitude zone: set positive intentions; be mindful and notice good things; say it out loud to someone else or myself; smile; and, thank people. Easy peasy, huh? What will you come up with?
6. How can I nurture myself better?
Sleep. Feed myself well. Stretch physically and mentally. Learn daily. See doctors as needed. Stand up straight.
That last one there sounds small, but when I stand up straight I feel better. Stronger. Like I’m ready for anything.
So I’m going to try to stand up straight more often, because I like feeling like Wonder Woman. [This is the sole reason I wear bracelets, sugar.]
I had a #7, too.
7. What books need writing?
Now, this may or may not be a question you ask yourself. But asking it in this way instead of “what book can I write that will make me a ton of money?” allows real ideas to come forward. Ideas that will serve people, have an impact and allow you to write a book that’s memorable. And might just make you some money. Of course, I came up with six ideas – you know me. And now it’s time for sifting and shifting, and something great will emerge (notice the positivity? Yay, me! I am already doing #6!).
Now comes the fun part. Having asked myself these questions, and answering them honestly and openly, I came up with a set of to-dos that feel focused, efficient and purposeful.
I have a vision.
All from seven little questions.
How are you going to answer them?