On Tuesday I wrote about self care and the hierarchy of needs, my original plan was to give you a resource list to help you begin to address those needs, and while I still love this idea and plan to complete a post on it, I think more work needs to be done first. So this Friday challenge is a long one but hopefully it will help you to identify areas of your life you need to shift and kick your own ass into action.
I see the act of improving your life as a four step process;
- Identify; You also need to identify what you ultimately want your life to look like and you need to know what it is you need to work on before you can fix it.
- Set goals; They need to be well written and workable. When you look at your goal there needs to be no room for interpretation about what you want
- Build a plan; The plan needs to be as specific as possible but at the same time malleable to adjustment
- Do the work!
Easy peasy right? Not quite, the process of planning and restructuring your life is absolutely overwhelming. Don’t worry though, I’ll give you some tools to help you along.
For now lets start with identify.
This is going to require some real critical thinking on your part and perhaps input from a trusted source. You will need to look at every one of the six categories of needs and be critical. You may also need to get comfortable in forgiving yourself once you identify areas of need you need to fix. As you go though the areas of need as outlined in Self Care 101, visualize exactly what you want your life too look like, analyze what your life looks like now in that area. Are you close to your ideal or is there work to be done.
Prioritize what you need to work on to achieve the life you want. These priorities will become your goals and should be ones that will have the biggest impact on your life. How can you tell if an area in need of work is one of the priorities? Usually it is the area in which you are most resistant to changing. Resistance is often an indicator that work needs to be done. We instinctually know what we need to change but we also know that change will be difficult and uncomfortable, hence the resistance. Now I want to be clear here, resistance to changing an area in your life that is positive and works is not the resistance I’m referring to, that is a protective instinct that needs to be respected. It’s the resistance to areas of your life you know deep down are not good for you, not fuelling your full potential or bringing joy to your life that is a red flag. We all find ourselves in situation we struggle with and indeed we have moments of discomfort and challenge in areas of our lives we are absolutely happy with, but if those moments become chronic or part of a destructive pattern something needs to change. These are the areas to identify as needing a goal for improvement.
Next you need to ask if you are ready to do the work in that area. If not are you willing to commit to the work anyway because you instinctively know it is the only option. Finally you need to decide what level of work do you need to do. To you need some education and skill development, a shift in approach, a complete change, or has there already been action that you now need to wait and see if is effective. Once this work is done you can move onto step two.