It's not always easy to know how to do something. This is why I offered to answer your questions! I love sharing what has worked for me and being candid to tell you what to watch out for.
Here is part two of my, “Ask me ANYTHING” question from Emily McManus. Last week I answered, What's your biggest inspiration for how you consciously create your life? This week I answer two questions, How do I vision/plan my life? How often do I revisit this?
Here is my 5 Step Formula to Vision and Plan Your Life!
1. Dream: It’s so important to be able to get beyond the day-to-day life and to go back to dreaming about how you want your ideal life to be. I always start here in order to include all 10 areas of my life which makes sure it’s getting better each year and that my satisfaction continues to increase.
How can you Dream?
a. Use the Wheel of Life: A professional coaching tool. (Here's the link to grab mine!)
b. Ask yourself what you want and be real!
2. Create: After you know what you want, you need to know what that looks like. There are so many ways to do it. I go through my DY2 Program (Dynamic Year + Dynamic You) to be sure I am learning from the previous year. Then I get creative with markers, big paper, magazines and create my vision.
How can you Create?
a. Make a Vision Board on poster board or on a computer program.
b. Write down your vision for a year from now.
3. Plan: Once I know where to go, it’s important I know how to get there! This is the time for details and dates. Also, I need to be thinking about those who are in my life and how do they fit in. As I merge the plans together I might have to compromise or make changes to accommodate others. Most importantly I make sure to add in the Golden nuggets I captured when I reviewed my previous year.
How can you Plan?
a. Find out the plans for those close to you (life partner, business partner, parents, kids etc.).
b. Create your 1 year and 5 year business plans in a computer timeline program, Excel or in a calendar.
4. Act: Then putting one foot in front of the other I put the plan I created in place. This means meeting those deadlines and having some accountability. I have a coach to keep me on target and accountability partners to support me through the plan. To not feel overwhelmed, make sure you have broken it down into manageable parts and have some balance between work and life.
How can you Act?
a. Of course I have to say, use a coach! They keep you focused, consistent and cheer you on.
b. Join an accountability group for even more support.
5. Review: Having a plan that you act on, but is not working is the death of any vision. I have a plan in place on when I review my vision. Usually every two weeks I touch base with my coach to see how I’m doing, if the plan is working and to make any necessary adjustments. I also make sure I’m using the Guidelines I created in DY2 to ensure I have a more successful and satisfying year. If anything is not in sync anymore then REVISE it!
How can you Review?
a. Have Review dates with yourself (or others) to check with your plan and see if you’re on target.
b. Make any adjustments as you go and change a goal if it doesn’t fit anymore.
What do you do to vision and plan your life? The same things or something different? Please share because I love when a community shares with one another!
My mom has always believed in me, and usually more than I even believe in myself. It’s this trust that she has in my abilities and skills that helps me to reach for things that seem beyond me. While she never pushes me to go for more, she supports whatever I do. I’m blessed to have gone through life having the BIGGEST cheerleader.
She also gives me permission to choose my own path, as she did. Around 50 years ago while in England my parents were dating, he left to work in Canada and she stayed. Eventually after the mail strike ended, my mother got a letter from him. While on her train ride to the ballet school she taught at she read my Father’s proposal.
My dad was working in Ontario and wanted her to be his wife and for her to move to Canada. She didn’t know much about Canada with only things in print to look at and hearing whatever my father had to share, but she said she wanted to check it out for herself before she agreed. Obviously, she eventually said yes, but it wasn’t as easy as today. With no Skype, Facetime, Email or Facebook, and the phone being too expensive she could only communicate with family by snail mail.
I often think about how hard that must have been, but if she could do that then I can be on the other side of Canada and live my dream here.
There are so many well-know women out there: Oprah, Mother Teresa, Brené Brown, Marie Forleo, Madonna, and countless others who inspire my path. (Yes, Madonna! If you want to know why her and the others feel free to ask.) However, it’s also the women around me: mentors, friends, my clients and other women I’ve never even met. I see so many qualities in what they do and who they are that shape what they can accomplish. I see where they are ahead of me in their life by age or success and I use that to inspire what I want to achieve and where I want to be in the future.
I have to be careful not to compare myself, to not let the ego beat me down or take me away from my purpose. But seeing how others live can give permission to how I will create my life. I won’t be exactly like them because I’m a curator of what I love. I collect what it is about what they’re doing and who they’re being that I love and like a pioneer I put it together in my own way. Then I hope I will continue to Blaze a Trail for other women in a similar way.
My Future Self:
In coaching I often take my clients through a guided meditation where they get to meet their Future Self. To see yourself 5, 10 or even 20 years in the future is really powerful. Thankfully I was able to go through this with another coach and meet myself in the future. Of course I didn’t actually meet her in real life, but I tell you it felt that way. I went to her house, I saw where she lived, how she lived including the 2 floors of windows and the colorful artwork. I saw what she looks like and what it felt like to be around her: she was calm, welcoming, grounded, successful, knew a lot and was having a great impact on those she connected with.
Then she gave me a gift, a key. But when I went to take it from her, it disappeared. She said, “You’re the key. The key to unlock the greatness in others.” This one statement has fueled a lot of my decisions and strongly impacted how I create my life. For that I’m grateful.
So to you reading this, to Emily and to all the amazing women out there – what inspires you? Who inspires you? And are you even consciously creating your own life? I’d love to know.
Stay tuned for next week when I'll answer Emily’s other 2 questions:
How do you vision/plan your life?
How often do you revisit this?
Last week in my “Ask me ANYTHING” blog I started to answer, Valerie Riesen’s questions:
How did you know that coaching was meant for you?
How did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I opening up with what it feels like for me to be doing what I'm meant to be doing and by asking you to reflect on if you feel you are in the right career? I shared how my journey to what I was mean to do was not a straight path.
Click here to read last week's post to find out why and see pictures from my childhood and previous career.
I promised that I’d continue to share more this week and since it’s a four day week I wanted to keep it short and simple – yet powerful.
Here are 3 ways you can easily know if you’re doing what you’re meant to do:
1. Core Competencies:
These are things that come easily for you and that you are good at. Maybe you have completed a skills test or other career assessments that tell you that you should be in a specific field. I already knew teaching, training, speaking and creating curriculum were things I could do well.
With coaching I had to go to school to learn more and after attending the first part of my certification I knew from others’ reactions that it came naturally. They kept asking me, “Have you done this before?” and “How long have you been coaching?” It seemed to come naturally: another core competency.
One thing I have to make clear though is that just because you are good at something like filing, cleaning or taking pictures this doesn’t mean that they are your core competencies. You also have to ask yourself if you enjoy doing them and if they are what will satisfy your priorities, values (see below) and life goals.
Here’s an example, I’m good at making images for social media, I enjoy doing it, but it doesn’t directly change a person’s life, pay my bills or make me feel fulfilled.
Having a career based on our core competencies will result in more success because when we’re doing what we are good at and doing what we love, it’s so much easier. So are you able to use your core competencies in what you do?
Going back to my bliss feeling I mentioned at the beginning of last week’s blog. I have to ask you, is there energy around the work you do?
Resonance is an emotion that you have when you feel strongly about something. It can be positive or negative. In this case we are looking for a positive emotion. Do you get pumped up in a positive energy of some kind? Be it excited, content, in the flow, inspired etc.
Having these feelings helps you to “jump out of bed” in the morning. If you have to drag your butt to the office and check the clock every few minutes to see when you’re day is over then maybe you have no resonance for what you do – meaning you were probably not meant to do what your doing. Even if you had it before, maintaining resonance is important, so start looking for when you get so focused on what you’re doing that you forget to eat or the hours just fly by or you continue to work (out of joy) beyond your office hours. Then ask yourself what it is about that you enjoy so much. Then replicate it!
This means asking yourself if the values you hold are in line with those of the work you do or the company you work for. In the past, this was not the case for me and it was hard for me to continue to work and feel happy about it.
Stories were told by upper management to protect the company (lack of honesty), profit was put before anything else (lack of quality), respect had to be constantly earned (lack of respect, connection), people weren’t treated equally (lack of fairness and lack of inclusion). Now I get to honor my values of honesty, quality, respect, connection, fairness, inclusion, along with others like education, efficiency, commitment, communication, positive challenge, and achievement.
When your values are not being honoured, you won’t have positive resonance. Then you’ll have no energy and even though you might be using your core competencies you won’t feel satisfied because you’ll never be in flow when you’re values are being dishonored.
Do a little values check to see if your values match your companies and that will help you to know if you’re meant to be doing what you’re doing.
I know I said 3, but then this one needed to be shared as well!
The purpose often in working a job is often so you can retire well, with benefits and a great nest egg. When I think of my “old age” I don’t see retiring. Now I’ll admit that I won’t be working really long hours, but I don’t actually see myself NOT doing what I’m doing. Like Joan Rivers, Warren Buffet, Mother Teresa, and Wayne Dyer, though all very different, their work continued well beyond the Freedom 55 or traditional retirement age of 65 because they were doing what they were meant to do.
Are you ready to be done now, counting down the years or even the days? Wishing you’re spouse would retire you or that you hit the lottery? Then maybe you’re not doing what you’re meant to be doing.
Now that I’ve gone over the four ways – where do you stand? In the profession you were meant to have?
Either way share with me! And if this brings up questions or excitement or the thought of creating a change then let’s talk. I offer Strategy Sessions along with my Coaching Sessions to bring clarity, confidence and action around whatever struggle or opportunity you have.
You know that feeling when you have your favorite people around, it’s a long weekend, you are doing something you love to do, the weather is perfect and you just experienced something really funny or touching and you wish you could freeze this moment?
That’s how I feel when I coach… complete fulfillment and bliss. I’m doing my best to not sound corny here, but I’m trying to give context to a feeling.
And that feeling is the most profound way that I know I am doing what I was meant to do.
This week is my next “Ask me ANYTHING” blog I’m called on to answer, Valerie Riesen’s questions:
How did you know that coaching was meant for you?
How did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I start by asking you to reflect on if you feel you are in the right career?
So often clients come to me wanting clarity around what kind of career they should have. They have either ended a job they didn’t like and are now in search for the “right fit” or are entering back into the work force after kids or for another reason and want to have something that fulfills them.
How do you know if you’re doing what you are meant to be doing?
I have to admit that I am pretty darn lucky to be blessed to live in a country that I can choose to work my purpose, that I’m not held back by limitations and I have a supportive husband and partnership which allow me to not work a traditional 9-5.
This means I get to live my purpose. But maybe you can’t do that depending on your priorities.
What do I mean? Well, what are your priorities for doing your career?
I wanted to bring this up because sometimes we do the “wrong” job because it meets our other needs, wants and priorities. I’m not saying this is bad, but hope it’s a temporary or short-term situation. For example, we may stay at a job because we have an immediate need for stability, a large pay cheque, or benefits. This may be true if your partner is laid off, you want to purchase a house, have debts to pay, or a family member is sick. This might also be the case if we are using it as a bridge job to carry us financially while we build a business.
If this is your current experience then I encourage you to satisfy that priority and see how you can also work at something doing what you were meant to do.
How did I know I was meant to coach? It was not a straight path though ever step has deepened my learning.
Since I was really little, I always felt I was meant to be a teacher. I helped other students in my classes, I taught my friends things like crafts when we were playing and I loved sharing and presenting. I knew that I was good at those things, but at the end of highschool something didn’t feel right about teaching. It didn’t feel like the right fit – like something was missing.
I decided that instead of a teacher’s educational degree I’d go into English and MIT (Media Information and Technoculture) in University to keep my options open as I figured it out. After graduating, Japan was calling me and I moved there to teach English for three years. In returning to Canada I continued with more ESL teacher training and taught immigrants in Toronto and after moving to Vancouver I taught Korean children in a private English immersion school.
While I was good at what I did and was quickly promoted to the Head Instructor where I would hire and train other teachers along with building curriculum and supporting high achievement in the students. I started to see one aspect that was wrong for me.
Once I excelled in teaching I could move up and be a professor, a department head and even principal, but then… I’d be taken away from my love of teaching. I’d be pulled further away from what I felt I was meant to do.In order to feel fulfilled, I needed to be able to constantly strive for more and be challenged to achieve. This would only be possible if and when I didn’t have a cap or a structured path of progression. SO how could I teach, but also use my gifts of pulling the greatness out of others with complete creative control?
Stay tuned for next week when I continue on and share the three ways you can easily know if you’re doing what you’re meant to do.
Until next time... be Dynamic!