How do you know if you’re doing the right work, when you don’t know if you have the right life? Sound complicated? Well that’s how things can end up if you don’t follow this plan.
In today’s post I’ll share
- How to get to grips with who you want to be.
- My own amazing experience using the ‘Day in My Life’ exercise.
- Detailed instructions on how to design your ideal life
But first… here’s why deciding who you want to be can make a difference.
I do things differently
I’ve been working with a few coaching clients recently who are very keen to change their job.
Liza came to me for career coaching after she’d been through a really tough time when she took on a senior position, in an area outside of her expertise.
Things hadn’t gone well and looking back she’d realised that she wasn’t ready for this career move. Events had taken quite a toll on her mental and emotional health. It was while she was rebuilding her confidence that she approached me for career coaching.
It was during our first meeting that I realised that my approach to career planning is a bit different to how others do it. Liza wanted me to help her review her skills and competencies, prepare her CV and then help her understand the job market and which jobs to apply for.
But it was during this first meeting I heard myself say:
“Today I don’t want to talk about your next job. I want you to talk to me about how you want your life to be.”
As a Work & Life Coach I’m always interested in the bigger picture.
If you’ve ever been involved in any sort of strategic planning then you might have come across this concept before. But in personal terms, if your career plan doesn’t align with your life goals then where’s your motivation? How can you plan for a successful working life if it doesn’t reflect your values and aspirations?
“Decide who you want to be – before you decide what you want to do.”
Take the time to make a plan
Let’s go through a process to explore exactly how you want your life to be? It’ll take less time than planning your next holiday!
And then, with the help of coaches, books, mentors, friends and family, you’ll be ready to explore your work options.
1. If you decide to stay on the same career path; then you’ll know how your next job will fit with your life goals.
2. And if not, it’s a great time to recognise that there are other opportunities out there.
Everyone can tell you how to create a vision of the future but…
There’s lots of material available to help you with this process. If you Google search ‘vision board’, there’s more than 5 million responses. For ‘life planner’ there are 12 million responses. Over the years I’ve tried a few but the one I designed for myself proved itself when it created a huge impact on my own life.
Here’s what happened to me
In 1999, I created and completed the “Day in My Life” exercise focusing on a day in my life in 5 years’ time. I then filed that document away.
It was about 2 years’ later, when I reread it, that I discovered that amazing things had happened.
I had visualised that in 5 years’ time I would
1. Own a business
2. Have a house by the sea
At the time I wrote about these things it seemed like they might never happen – but Shazam! BOTH had become a reality. I had started my own business from scratch, and my partner and I had bought a run-down beach ‘bach’.
Why it works
Decisions make themselves once you’re clear on who you want to be and how you want to live your life. The pain out of decision-making disappears because your subconscious mind will already know the answer. Believe me, it works!
I am still shaken by the power of this exercise. And I’ve realised that the power lies in putting down lots of detail. That’s why I recommend doing this as a written exercise – rather than pasting a few pictures on a vision board. That way you can not only put in lots of detail – including how you feel!
Here’s what you do
This exercise is best done when you are relaxed, so you can allow the words to flow from your mind, through your fingers onto the page.
- Don’t over-think it
- Don’t doubt what you have written
- Don’t delete
If one idea fades out then start a new line with the next idea. You can always tidy up the text when you’ve finished writing, but only after you’ve seen all the words on the page.
You can add images, but only once you’ve captured the detail.
Today, I want you to share in my success.
I now repeat this exercise on a regular basis. And since becoming a coach I’ve also made it a core facet of my coaching practice.
Here’s where you can download the She Loves Life Over 50 ‘Day in My Life’ – Worksheet.
Follow the instructions provided on the worksheet and create the vision of your future ideal day. It’s just like journalling a day in your future but you get to decide exactly what you’re been doing that day, who with and how you feel.
Don’t stop to think too much. Just follow your heart as you write. Add lots of details. Remember to reflect on how you want to feel and who you want to be – and the content will write itself.
When you’ve finished you might be surprised. I’m often pleasantly surprised by the result, when I discovered ideas that I didn’t even know existed within my mind.
Next, file it away. You don’t need to share this document with anyone. I didn’t even show my husband. He didn’t know about my dream of a beach house, and still it became a reality!
Please give it a go. Allow yourself the luxury of having a day-dream guided by the “Day in My Life – Worksheet”. It will take less than 30 minutes. Once that’s done, then you can plan your next holiday!
I can guarantee that doing this exercise will change your life!
Here’s that link again. “Day in My Life – Worksheet”
I’d love to hear from you on how you found it. Please leave a comment below.