NB – there is no audio available for this exercise
Here comes the really interesting bit – taking your aims and resourcing all of the different ways you can begin working towards your aim.
This fourth week of the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process: Choices is all about actively seeking the information you need to move you forward. Doing this step will help you to feel encouraged, solution focused and driven to achieve your goals.
Instead of feeling consumed, overwhelmed and sucked into your current problem, you have now progressed to your mindset focusing on answers. You have stepped into the learning and receiving mode and away from the ‘get your life right’ mode of thinking.
You have seen a few examples of how to use this exercise, so today you are going to use these steps to start working towards your own top three goals (one from each level of issue – minor, moderate & major). So for each of your three goals that you’ve picked, follow the instructions below:
Remember, this step is about gathering information. Next week I’m going to show you how to formulate this information into an action plan.
Create the heading – Brainstorming opportunities (just like you saw in yesterday’s lesson). Underneath this heading write all of the obvious solutions to your problem that will lead you towards your aim.
Resource other opportunities – Go ahead and research external information from any other source that talks about your problem. Seek out books, experts, websites, forums, magazines or any other form of education you can find that teaches you what other options there are out there for achieving your particular goal.
Inspiration from others:. Using similar resources as you did in step three, find someone who has overcome your problem, or who you find inspirational in regards to your aim. This person will give you hope, encouragement and motivation to keep moving forward through the ups and the downs of the journey towards your goal. You may know this person from your life, or you may not know this person (a celebrity or random mum from a forum), however she/he is someone who you draw strength from and remind yourself of when the going gets tough, or you feel yourself falling into old habits.
List all of the potential solutions that you now have for working towards your aim.
Assess your top options. Look over your list of options and make two separate lists – One list of all the options that you are going to use and one list of all the options you are not going to use. Then ask yourself the following questions about each list:
- Do all of these options align with my bigger picture aims?
- What reservations do you have about any of your aims? What are your ‘buts’ when it comes to the thought of implementing these options into your life? Does this option align with my bigger picture aim?
- What can you do to overcome this ‘but’?
- What is your payoff (motive, priority) for choosing these options?
- Do these options motivate, excite me and/or encourage me?
- What are your opinions/beliefs about why these options won’t work?
- What is the payoff (motive, priority) for not choosing these options?
Now that you have looked at all of your options and what your thoughts are about them, you are now in a position to choose what solutions best suit your circumstances (and your aims). Write a list of the solutions that you have chosen to use in your planning step (Step Five of the TRACK process: Know your plan & Action it). Remember that there is not always one solution to your problem. There could be many things that you need to incorporate and co-ordinate in order to achieve your aim, so make a list now of which options you are going to use. Keep this list handy, because in next week’s lessons I’m going to show you how to take this list and turn it into and action plan – a step by step approach to acheiving your goals.
One final word on making choices. Things change all the time. Just because you have this list of options it doesn’t mean that they are set in gold and that you must use them. Sometimes as we are applying the information that we have found, we receive new information from the experiences that we have encountered as a result of starting to work towards your goals. These experiences may teach you that the option you are using is not effective, or is not aligned with your bigger picture aims. Our life is a course of never ending twists and turns and you will always be working and reworking plans to get to what you want. This is the exciting part of life. Use this list of options that you’ve just created as a starting point for experiencing the life you want. It’s not set in stone, but it will set life in motion, which at the end of the day, is the true purpose of setting goals.