Some things come naturally and some do not. I am the type of person who gravitates towards logic, order and science because they make sense to me. I have cultivated many habits, some of which are helpful (exercising regularly and eating well), and some less desirable (like wanting to be good at everything). As a Wellness Coach, I encourage my clients to acknowledge and celebrate the healthy behaviors that they do well. Oftentimes we forget to applaud our successes, especially when they come "easily". Applauding the healthy habits that have become routine is good - it supports our belief that we can succeed with new habits. Choosing to only attempt things that are easily achieved, however, does not ensure success. This week I had a chance to explore this for myself.
In last week's blog post, we examined our Needs Lists (if you don't have one, check out the blog post from Week 1) and chose 2 needs that, if fulfilled, would have the greatest positive impact on our ability to achieve life balance this Autumn. We then listed 3 strategies for regularly meeting each of these 2 needs. While I was working through this activity, I found myself toying with the degree of "ease" with which I could implement the various activities I was coming up with. Interestingly, I found that the activities I perceived as being "easy" were also the ones I imagined would have the least impact on my ability to succeed.
This awareness inspired me to prioritize 2 of the needs from my list that I don't often make time for: expressing myself creatively and cultivating a calm mind. Both are important needs for me, and both are regularly shuffled to the bottom of my to-do list and left unsatisfied.
How did you choose your focus for this exercise? Do you feel most comfortable focusing on needs you know you can meet, or do you prefer to work on needs that are more challenging to satisfy? Both approaches have value and our choices often reflect our current realities, including the emotional, physical and psychological resources we have at any given moment.
This week, I encourage you (and myself) to allow yourself space to consider each of the activities or strategies that you listed. Which ones are most compelling? When you imagine yourself doing each activity, how does it make you feel? Give yourself time to discover which ones will have the strongest, most positive impact, and then allow yourself to start dreaming about how you could make them a reality. Give yourself a deadline (end of the week, preferably), for choosing 2 actions that you will start planning to implement next week. Have fun!