"We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” ~ Max Depree
According to Socrates, the unexamined life is not worth living.
Whilst that sounds pretty dramatic, the fact is that the first step in creating a healthier, happier life is to take stock and acknowledge where we are right now. This gives us the opportunity to celebrate and reinforce the things that are working for us, and to identify the things we need to change.
The most important part of the journey to achieving your goals is to make an accurate assessment of where you are right now, what you are doing right now, who you are doing it with, what is serving you and what is not.
Self-awareness is a great asset.
I like to run through a process I call the flower exercise with my clients.
Don't be fooled by how cute this is. My flower exercise is an incredibly powerful tool to help you understand where you are at right now, what is working, what needs improvement and any areas of imbalance in your life.
We take a drawing of a flower and label each petal with a different area of their life. ach petal represents one aspect of your life, and how happy you are with it.
We then colour each petal, from the inside outwards, according to how satisfied they are with that aspect of their life. So if you were completely satisfied with a particular area of your life, the petal corresponding with that area would be completely coloured in. For example, if you are completely happy with the amount of physical activity you are doing, then colour that petal alllll the way to the edge. But if you are not completely happy with your stress levels, then that petal will be pretty pale around the edges! Get the picture?
This exercise gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we are right now, and identify if any parts of our life are out of balance or need to be worked on.
Getting a clear picture on where we are at with each of the different areas of our lives can help us to decide what goals and action steps to focus on for throughout the year.
It is particularly helpful to identify areas of imbalance in our lives, for example if we are really happy with our career but not happy with out physical fitness or our sleep.
And one of the best things about this exercise is that you can repeat it to see where you are improving and where you can put in a little more energy!
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