A few nights ago, the temperature had dropped dramatically, and I was feeling blue despite sitting in front of a fireplace with a good book in hand. My mind kept looking for a problem to solve. So I decided to take a drastic measure!
I started a list of everything I like about my life. My challenge: To fill an entire 8.5 X 11 page, without skipping a line.
After a few stops and starts, my list was now complete. I was feeling better already! The next step was to look for patterns and similarities. Were there some items I could group together? What items were most important to me?
After grouping and ordering, I ended up with the short list of key elements I consider most important in my life; I call it my life satisfaction list.
High on the list was setting my own pace: in my life, my work, and with my art. Next on the list came a spacious, light and inviting space to live in and do meaningful work.
Then there was the topic of conversations, where I’m inviting people to enhance relationships, awaken their potential, and affirm their boundaries with the tools of genuine conversations. My work brings me a deep sense of satisfaction.
Step 1: What are your key life satisfaction elements?
I like good old-fashioned lists because they enable you to get all ideas out of your head and onto a page, without attention to any particular order. I also do this exercise with my coaching clients, with some fun variations.
Some clients prefer mind maps where they put themselves at the center, then add spokes and meandering lines to things and people that matter most.
Other clients go on Pinterest and create a mood board where they identify what makes their heart sing with the images and sayings they discover. From there, they can strategize about what to do next to make their vision a reality.
Feel free to use your imagination as to how you can create a visual of your life satisfaction elements.
Step 2: Now that you have the information, what do you do with it?
Good question! The idea is to look at where you are now, and where you want to be in the areas most vital to you. A gap between your present reality and your aspiration can be the call to action you need to make an important change.
Now here are questions to consider:
- How satisfied are you now with each key area? – Be gentle and honest with yourself.
- What do you envision for those areas? – Have fun being as specific as you can.
- What possibility do you see to help close the gap? – It can simply start with one idea.
Many of us have bucket lists for what we want to do in the future. Why not create a life satisfaction list to discover or rediscover what you enjoy most about your life today, and from there, take steps in the direction of your dreams?
I look forward to reading your comments on what you’ve learned from your winter challenge.