Just over one week into 2018….where are you with your goals, your intentions and your reinvention?
The first week of the year is both exciting and daunting. The energy around “grabbing the bull by the horns” and making something big happen in the year ahead is pervasive. You can feel it in the air. Yet some of us have been there, done that – set the bar (or bars) so high that in just a few weeks we start to feel early onset failure syndrome.
With that in mind, I’m doing something a little different this year. I’m neither massively reinventing NOR setting immeasurable, high-bar goals on everything from my weight to my bottom line. Instead, I’m taking the time to step into more of me.
Practicing what I preach
A few months ago, I started working with a mentor to bring more spiritual based-practices into my business building and growth. Not your typical business planning framework, for sure.
Much of my homework has been forcing me inward vs. outward. Digging deeper into myself and my soul — to dream, vision, and goal set. To project with intention a future that is part fulfilling, part joyous, and part financially prosperous.
Given that my profession is personal branding and that a big part of my own methodology is getting people to go inward to illuminate what’s already there, it’s a bit of an irony that this soul-level work has eluded me these past few years.
I go to church, and pray, and meditate and yet, as a business owner, a wife, a mom, a volunteer, and a person adamant about family dinner and home-cooked delights, I haven’t recently carved out the time to dig as deeply inward as I’ve asked my clients to.
It’s been 10 years since I launched brandiD and every dream, goal, and vision I had in 2007 has come true and been exceeded. And yet, these last few years, it’s been mostly smooth sailing with a lack of a next destination. Joyriding and window shopping is only satisfying for a small amount of time. If we don’t take the time to charter the next course, the next destination will continue to elude.
Turning inward to move forward
If you don’t know where you’re going how will you ever get there? A life of intention and empowerment is what I encourage all my friends and clients to forge.
Of course, it takes time. Digging deep inward, dissecting your deeper desires, and peeling away the layers of the structures and patterns we’ve created to live day-to-day life isn’t a few-hour process. It’s takes time — and what we prioritize, we make time for.
So often, we look for ways to improve ourselves through external devices, programs or actions. We bring things into our orbit for self improvement versus digging deeper to understand and reorganize the ingredients we already have internally.
Instead, step into yourself. Don’t REinvent yourself to be the better, fresher, slimmer version of you. Excavate and own what’s already there. Align your personality traits and your values with how you SEE yourself living life each day. Show up as more of yourself.
Living a life of “shoulds” is not fulfilling. I should do this, I should make plans with that person, I should eat that, I should save more money. Stop the shoulda life and step into the I am life. Click To TweetTo do that? Identify your internal values and arrange your life around them.
To start, here’s an exercise you can do to help illuminate your own personal path.
Sit quietly, in a comfortable, inspiring location — maybe a library, or a café. Someplace where you won’t be interrupted for at least 30 minutes. You can even set your phone timer if it helps. Answer the following questions…
- Think back to your last 3 to 5 days and write down at least three things that made you feel happy.
- Now, write down three things that you were grateful for on each of those days.
- Think back to the last month and answer those same two questions.
- Now, think ahead. What do you need to do in the next month to make sure those same activities, actions, or people that evoked happiness and you were grateful for are present?
- Project even further into the future — one year out — what do you need to do in the next year?
- And one last projection exercise — same one, just project three years out.
- Repeat this exercise (steps 1-6) once or twice a week for a few weeks. Why the repetition? Because it takes time to peel back the structures and occasional blinders we’ve built around us to focus through the day, week, and month. Each time you do this you will notice slightly different nuances to your responses. The most challenging for me personally is three years out. I tend to get so focused on the present and immediate future that I limit my ability to dream BIG.
It’s only once we turn inward that we can best plot our path forward — in our lives, and in our businesses.
I’d love to hear any personal, lightbulb moments as you discover more of what lies within.