This COVID-19 crisis has radically changed our lives. Just a few months ago, we had no idea our ‘world’ would be confined to our homes!
This crisis is a powerful reminder of how precious freedom is – and how much we need human connection. Remember you are not alone. Everyone is impacted! Your neighbour, mom, boss and friends as well as your counterparts around the world are all going through something similar and facing similar challenges.
So, it’s important to remember:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Viktor E. Frankl
This is the opportunity that remains open to each of us – to choose our attitude and our response, to be the architect of our results.
To support you in that process, remember that every cloud has a silver lining, there is a seed of opportunity in every adversity, so we open ourselves to finding that seed, nurturing it and supporting its growth so that we can truly flourish through this experience.
Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to share with you some tools, strategies, ideas and resources to support you in using this time to grow and develop and become your best self, living your best life, starting now.
In today’s blog we’ll look at some high level strategies to open you up to the possibilities in the current situation and start crafting your vision for the outcomes you’d love to achieve.
Then over the next 4 blogs we’ll look at strategies and tools to take a holistic approach so all aspects of your life are flourishing: Health & Wellbeing; Relationships; Career and Creative Expression; Time and Money Freedom.
Here Are 4 Things You Can do to Set Your Course for Your Best Life
1) Explore your Life Vision:
Did you know, more than 90% of people don’t have a life vision or plan for their future? One of the most empowering things you can do, not least during a crisis, is to create a compelling vision for the life you’d love and the future you wish to be living. What do you want from the rest of your life? What would you be disappointed you did NOT do? Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?
When you have a life vision, it is like your North Star, providing direction, helping with decision-making, enabling prioritisation. A vision keeps us motivated and helps us work towards our goals, take action and make change. As we move out of lockdown, there’s a risk we’ll all be super-busy again – your vision might be just what you’ll need then too to stay focused!
Here are 5 questions to ponder or journal around to go deeper:
- What discontent or dissatisfaction are you feeling with life (including pre-Covid-19)?
- What do you desire or long for in your life?
- How do you want to feel?
- What would have happened in 3 years time such that your life is spectacular and you feel magnificent about yourself?
- What’s your dream for this lifetime? Imagine you’re 90 years old and looking back over your life; what did you do that made you proud and happy?
- TIP: Remember to think in terms of possibility! Don’t limit yourself and your ideas because you don’t believe something is likely. Instead imagine it’s possible – make a start and in that process you’ll set a chain of events in motion that will support you in achieving the outcomes you desire. And even if you don’t get all the way there, you may get close – or find something even better along the way!
2) Live Your Values
When we know our values, we understand what motivates and drives us. When we build our lives around our values, we create a life that is meaningful. When we align our actions with our values – we’re being truly authentic. It’s a very satisfying and fulfilling way to live.
And living your values could be the single most important thing any of us can do right now.
Here’s an exercise you can do:
- List your values on a piece of paper or in your journal.
- Give each value a score ___ / 10 as to how well you are living that value in your life now (where 0 is not at all and 10 is full-out).
- For the scores that are 8 or more – great!
- For the scores that are 7 or less out of 10, ask yourself, “How could I express this value more in my life right now?” “What could I do differently or approach differently, so that I feel good about how I live this value in my life?”
- For example: You have a value of creativity, but you’re only managing to ‘go through the motions’ right now and your score is 4/10. Ask yourself how you could be more creative during this time – whether it’s cooking, gardening, art or writing or helping your kids do something creative, or even watching a documentary about someone creative you admire… Identify something and commit to taking action on it, you will immediately feel more fulfilled, authentic and motivated.
3) Be in the moment
We spend a lot of our time worrying about the past, wishing it was different or worrying about future problems that may never happen. The truth, however, is that in THIS moment, right now, you are OK. You are safe. You are enough. You have always been, and you will always be, enough.
Take one day at a time. One hour or even one breath at a time if you need to.
This tip is about being super-present, not thinking ahead or remembering the past, but practicing BEING.
This is a PRACTICE – meaning you will have to do it over and over again – bringing yourself back to the NOW. Over time it gets easier, and it’s a great skill to have to take back to “normal” life.
So when you notice you’re worrying, feeling anxious and want to pick up your device and find out what the “latest” is about the COVID situation, say to yourself, “It’s OK. In this moment, I am safe. In this moment I am OK.” You can also add or say, some of the affirmations I shared recently on the Standing Firm programme:
- I am more than my circumstances
- I am so much more than my experiences
- That which is within me is great than my experience of […]
- I will have this experience, but I refuse to let it have me.
- EXTRA TIP: Reduce or minimise how often you watch and read the news! Make sure you’re accessing information from reliable sources and never read or watch the news (or articles about COVID-19 or similar) just before bed!
Click here if you’d like to access my short 6 minute meditation on the breath with some affirmations to support you in staying present no matter what is going on around you.
I bet you have some organizational things on your to-do list (like going through winter clothes, sorting out toys to donate or tidying the laundry closet, garage or shed) that have been on there for a while. Use this isolation period to get them done!
Getting organized and de-cluttering allows us to exert some control over our lives – and therefore feel less helpless! Plus it’ll feel amazing just to have it done.
Organize your closets, your garage, your books, your photos, office, kitchen equipment. Whatever needs organizing. Or perhaps you need to go through your receipts or file your taxes!
- If you need some inspiration (and great clothes-folding tips) you could watch the Marie Kondo series on Netflix!
- For some support closer to home why not connect with the wonderful Anne Marie Kingston, Professional Declutterer at White Sage DeCluttering here
In the meantime, here are a couple of tips that help me declutter:
- Start small, decide an area of priority that once decluttered will make you feel a whole lot better! It may be just a drawer, your desk or a particular corner of a room.
- If you’re keeping something, be sure to DECIDE where it will “live” from now on. Have a system for storing or displaying items you keep.
- If you’re not keeping it, create two piles:
- Things to DUMP
- Things to DONATE (and if relevant to pass on to specific people).
- When you’re done, put each pile into bags or boxes, and then once this crisis is over you can get rid of what you no longer need.
- TIP: You don’t need to do any of this ‘in one sitting’, do an hour a day or 30 minutes – you’ll be surprised how much you get done if you keep it up for a week!
So, these are my top 4 tips to get you started!
Which of the ideas most resonated with you?
The areas I am focusing on are connecting with my values every day and taking actions that are aligned with those values as I endeavour to best serve my clients throughout this Covid-19 experience. I remain very busy as much of my work is moving to online delivery but I also find little pockets of time to clear a surface, empty a drawer or tidy my desk – tidy surfaces help me to stay focused and productive!
As a Dream Builder coach and Life Mastery Consultant, the key starting point for all improvement that I share with all my clients, both individual and organisational is to have a vision. I can’t emphasise enough how essential it is to know where you’re going and set your direction of travel. If you don’t know where to start, I’d recommend you start with your vision.
If you would like to book a complimentary strategy session with me just follow the link here and pick a time that suits you on my online schedule and we’ll get you going, clarify your vision and identify some immediate next steps for you. We can also discuss how coaching might support you in really accelerating your results.
Believe you have the skills and power to flourish in this situation and you will! This current and strange COVID-19 situation will end. And when it does, you’ll be proud you made the effort create your vision and start moving in that direction.
As the old saying goes, if now now, then when?