In a blink of an eye, we are already in February of the new year. By this time, some of you are in full swing implementing your resolution (go you!).
Some of you may have given up or perhaps didn’t start at all. Perhaps it was so overwhelming to have so many different resolutions to work on, that it’s hard to know where to even begin. Do we help ourselves or focus on others? Our priorities can pull in different directions, and feel very conflicting especially in a pandemic when the demands of work and family life are extremely high.
If we reflect on what 2020 really taught us, it’s the importance of resilience. And resilience is not something that we can acquire overnight, it’s a muscle that we build on a regular basis. So, it is especially important during this time that we focus on ourselves and build our inner strength.
It starts with self-compassion; you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first so that you can then help others get theirs on. From a place of self-compassion, ask yourself what are your deepest needs e.g. connection, rest, creativity.
What will truly fill your cup?
Self-compassion leads to self-care, and then we can begin to take steps to honor those needs.
Actionable Steps to Take for Self Care
If you’ve made it this far you’ve already taken the first step. Here are some tips to help:
Step 1: Name It. Have a vision for what you want to strive towards this year.
Here are some creative and fun ways to craft it:
- Make a vision board using inspiring phrases or pictures that inspire you.
- Make a list of what you want – be specific so you are “naming it”. Is it a vision for more self-care built into your schedule? Is it a vision for a new career or career transition? Is it a new leadership role or upping your game as a leader? Be clear and intentional.
- Tell yourself a new story using journaling – tell the story you want to be told about you at the end of the year. Pretend you are writing that end of the year/holiday newsletter to your friends and family, what do you want it to say?
Step 2: Feel It – What will it feel like to actually achieve your vision?
Once you have visualized the goals you want to achieve, imagine how you will feel once you have achieved them because that “feeling” is really our guide to what we want. Is it a feeling of peace, joy, relief, ease, self-fulfilled, or empowerment?
Visualize achieving your goal and how you feel once you have reached your goal. Anchor to that positive feeling. If however, you realize that the feeling is not what you want, then remove it from your list and keep the ones that feel wonderful to you.
Step 3: Take Action.
Now that you have visualized what your life would look like and feel like if you achieve those goals you can start breaking it down into small steps that you can take action on.
If you need a tangible representation of your steps to your goal you can use your favorite online project management tool to list and track each one of your steps to your goal.
Alternatively, if you want to tap into some sensory creativity, you can get a poster board or recycled piece of cardboard and colorful post-it notes.
Set a timer for 15 minutes, and write down one step of the way to the goal on a different post-it note and put it on the board. For example, if one of your goals was to find a more fulfilling career, one of your tasks might be to hire a coach, another might be to revise your resume, a third might be to research companies to work for.
Don’t worry about the order. Just think of each task, and break it down into a small task that will lead to the ultimate goal.
Then when the timer goes off, organize your post-it notes in an order in which you would take these steps, and now you have your tasks that are visually broken down into step by step. Each post-it you take off the board will bring you one step closer to your goal.
Wherever you are in the process, know that you don’t need to take all of the steps, just the next one.
Sending you encouragement as you take that next step,
Cheryl Murdock (Coaching 4 Good Client Relations Manager) & Sharanya Rao (Coaching 4 Good Chief People and Culture Officer & Coach)
If you’re looking for some next steps to take for yourself, here are some additional resources: