Where You Are, and Where You're Going
Where you are is a culmination of your experiences, thoughts, beliefs, challenges and actions/inactions.
Where you’re going is full of possibility; limited only by your imagination and what you believe about yourself.
Reflect thoughtfully on one to learn and grow; move yourself powerfully forward with the other.
Here are two great practices to help you do just that!
WHERE YOU ARE
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius
There is great value in reflecting on the past. It is critical to growing and learning from our experiences, losses, wins, mistakes and regrets.
It’s not about judging or criticizing yourself for how you should have handled something differently or what you should have done instead.
It’s an opportunity to learn from your best teacher (YOU!).
It’s a chance to more fully understand the impact of previous events, thoughts and choices you have made.
What insight can you gain using self-reflection as a powerful tool to enhance self-understanding and motivate positive change and improvements in your life?
We have a different perspective on our life events once we are not so close to them; not entangled in them. When we have a little space we can view them with a fresh perspective.
What decisions, moments, thoughts, and experiences led you to where you are today?
What lessons can you learn from your past self?
Btw! If you are someone who JOURNALS, you will have access to very specific moments where you’ve been able to capture a piece of yourself, a snapshot in time. This will be a great help for this activity, and is yet another HUGE benefit of a consistent journaling practice.
The Power of 3's
Each December, think back on the past year (or even at the end of each month/quarter etc...) using The Power of 3’s.
** PRO TIP! RESEARCH (especially marketing and advertising research) points to our natural inclination toward groupings of 3’s. In an activity like this, it’s perfect. Not too few, not too many. Just right. Like Goldilocks and her 3 bears ;)
Take some time to think about how the following prompts have shown up in your life.
Which really speak to you?
Forget the ones that don’t resonate and add any that are more relevant to what you are trying to understand about yourself.
Then write out your responses. Yes, on paper. It makes all the difference.
This is a great way to relive positive memories and make sense of confusing, stressful and/or challenging situations.
The Power of 3 Prompts!
* 3 lessons learned
* 3 challenges that helped you better yourself
* 3 times you felt proud of yourself
* 3 things that seemed so important at the time that you completely forgot about until now (way easier to recall if you keep a journal!)
* 3 ways you came through for yourself
* 3 unexpected positive things that happened
* 3 ways you’ve grown as a person
* 3 really beautiful memories
Once you’ve written a few down (perhaps 3??), note what comes up.
How does it feel to review the last year?
Did your view of any of the experiences change when you looked at them again?
Did any moments of great challenge, struggle or sadness leave you stronger in some way? If yes, how might that change your perspective of challenging times moving forward?
What themes or generalizations materialized - how can they inform how you go forward into a new year?
Note: Reflection like this takes time. That’s ok! This is the kind of stuff we want to spend our time on! These are the exercises that help us grow and evolve, and ultimately help us live from that place of purposeful intention that so many of us want.
WHERE YOU'RE GOING!
Now that you’ve taken the time to thoughtfully consider the year that passed, with lessons learned, challenges overcome, and fears faced, how do you want to move into your future?
For some of us, this is tricky to answer.
We are often crystal clear on what we DON’T want to happen, but we don’t let ourselves envision, imagine and live from that place of what we DO want.
The Miracle Question is often used in Cognitive Behavioral Psychology (CBT) as a tool to help people get very clear on what they want, especially without the perceived barriers that might impede progress.
Take the time to write this out. The more effort and detail you put in, the better. This is a powerful exercise that can help you shape an incredible future for yourself.
This is how you move forward from a place of intention and purpose, not just rolling along with whatever life throws at you.
I like to think of it as going down a river in a raft.
When you are just going along the River of Life in your raft, you are at the whim of whatever happens around you. There might be beautiful sights along the way, there will be faster moments and slower times. The problem is when a large rock appears in your direct path, there's not much you can do about avoiding it. You might not even see it until you're thisclose.
The Miracle Question is like being given a set of oars.
The River of Life will continue to have obstacles (some unavoidable), but with the oars, you have purpose, direction, and the ability to steer. You can slow down the raft to see what's ahead with more clarity and course correct as needed; you are better equipped to handle the ups and downs, the changing currents and the uncertainty of The River.
You're also able to row over to the side and enjoy a nice picnic lunch in the warm sunshine ;)
When you know where you're going, it's much easier to get there.
THE MIRACLE QUESTION
If I could wave a magic wand and solve all of your problems overnight, what would your life look like when you woke up in the morning? What would be different? What would be the same? How would you MOVE + NOURISH + CONNECT (another Power of 3!)? Describe this life in as much detail as possible.
Once you’ve written this out - take some time to sit with it.
How would it feel to wake up in this life? How would you show up differently?
What would you need to think about yourself/your life in order for this to become your reality?
Your Thoughts -> create your Feelings -> which create your Actions.
We are only limited by our thoughts.
Change your thoughts, change your emotions, change your actions.
You are in charge.
Consider all the possibility that awaits when you give yourself an opportunity to imagine it.
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