Today I want to share an exercise with you. It will help you get clear about what is really important to you. It’s a good starting point to know yourself a little bit better and to give you guidance for the future.
What you’ll need:
- Some time for yourself
- A quiet place
- Pen and paper
- Highlighters (or other pens) in different colors
- Your favorite drink!
- And some chocolate, or chips, … whatever you like … you get the idea
Take some time and find a quiet place. Make yourself comfortable. If you want, play your favorite music. Do whatever makes you feel good and relaxed. Take a journal and think about your ideal future self. Ask yourself:
- Who do you want to be?
- How do you want to feel?
- How do you want to behave?
- What do you want to work on?
- What do you want to improve or change?
- How do you want to interact with others in social situations?
- How do you want to interact with your kids, your significant other, your co-workers, your staff or your boss?
It may help you to think about moments or situations that light you up. Moments you genuinely enjoy life, and which make your soul happy. Moments you feel the most aligned with yourself.
Write it all down. No judgment and restrictions here. Just write down whatever comes to your mind.
When you’ve written down everything, look at your list. Are there any words or sentences that you can group together? That fall into the same category? Highlight everything that belongs together in the same color and find a word that describes that category.
Now you have a list of words which describe what is really important to you. What resonates with you the most? What are the three most important words to you? When you’ve found your three words, also write down why they are so meaningful to you. Have a clear vision of why these words are important to you. It will help to act, behave and live like your desired future self.
The last step is to put your three words wherever you can see them throughout the day (sticky notes, alarm on your phone, lock screen of your phone, …). Having a constant reminder throughout the day is essential.
When I did this exercise, I came up with:
Happy has already been my word for the year 2018. The last months of 2017 I was miserable and exhausted. And I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. So this word is my reminder to do the things I love and enjoy and to free myself from any situation that makes me feel bad.
Here I mean not only physical but also mental health. When I quit my job, I noticed that my lower back pain was gone within a few days. So I aim to treat my mind, body, and soul as good as I can so that I have the physical and mental energy and strength to enjoy life.
When this word came up, it was surprising to me. I always thought that I need the structure and secureness of a 9-5 job. And yes – to a certain degree, it’s true, that I need (or want) some structure in my life. But I don’t want to show up in the same place, at the same time to do the same work every day just because someone else can tell me to do so. I want to have the freedom to decide.
This exercise brought a lot of clarity for me about what is really important for me, and I hope that it will work for you too.
Click the image below to get the workbook I created for you to go along with this exercise.