Last year, I decided to take some time off from my corporate job so that I could re-align myself with the vision I had set for the next 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, and so on. Having hit rock bottom from utter burn out, I didn't think twice about turning in my resignation. I just knew it was time to re-calibrate, gain certain skill sets, and align with my overall goal and purpose. You see, generally we all know where we're going, but no matter how clear that vision is, we still tend to get lost along the way. Because all we really want to feel is how to be in flow - a term researchers use to describe a state that we find ourselves in when the challenge at hand matches the skill sets that we are equipped with.
So how exactly can we achieve flow when it comes to our long-term goals? What are some ways that we can reconnect with our overall purpose? Here are 3 exercises that I like to dive deep into each time I know I need to re-align:
1. Review your end goal and revisit your definitions of success. This is the easiest one in the book and we all know this, but it's still good to be reminded. What exactly is your goal? What does it look like? What will it involve? How many hours in a day will it take to achieve it? And when will you know when you have reached a level of success that will satisfy you? Paint a clear picture. Success for some people might mean being able to work twice a week and spending as much time as possible with their children. For some others, success is purely financial - the amount they see reflecting in their bank accounts and the number of places they would like to be able to travel in. What does success mean to you?
2. Break it down: what's working and what's not working? You already know you're great - DUH! Otherwise you wouldn't be considering re-assessing your goals. The fact that you know you're heading somewhere is a good starting point. And while most people like to make a list of their strengths and weaknesses, I like to make a list of what's working and what's not working.
When we take a good look at what's working and what's not working well in our lives, we break that down into the following aspects:
c) Mind and body
d) Finances / day-to-day activity
You'll be surprised how much you can learn about your tendencies by just exploring this with honesty.
3. Get it on the wheel. When you've defined your goal, broken it down into what works and what doesn't, it's time to get things going. Focus wheels are a great tool to use when you'd like to solidify the outcome. Here's how it works:
STEP 1: Draw a circle and write your goal inside it.
STEP 2: Draw rays of the sun around the circle - like bicycle spokes
STEP 3: For each of the "spokes", fill them up with statements that affirm this goal. Your statements can be - statements that affirm what you need to improve, statements that you are absolutely certain of, statements that affirm your having experienced this previously and can access again, statements on your strengths and contributions / value.
So for example, my goal is "To develop work that will open opportunities for me". My statements would be:
- I enjoy engaging clients on a regular basis and helping them problem solve
- I am absolutely certain that I know what it feels like to have opportunities open up for me
- I have all the skill sets that are required of someone in this line of work
....and so on.
Give these exercises a shot and let me know how these work for you! If you have any questions, feel free to write to firstname.lastname@example.org