By Lucy Higgins, ICF accredited Life and Mindset Coach @bigtalkformums
“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” Dave Hollis.
In April 2020, you may remember this quote was doing the rounds on all social media platforms. Little did we know we had another twelve months of uncertainty, change and loss on the horizon. Many of us have been grieving for loved ones and some experienced living losses- the loss of a job, money, assets, a future we had imagined, and in the case of the mothers I work with, a loss of identity as they felt forced back to the 1950s.
It’s been widely reported that women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We are more likely to have been caring for elderly relatives, taken a pay cut, lost our jobs, been on the NHS frontline and responsible for domestic duties. It’s been particularly tough for mothers who have had to cope with home-schooling, single parenting or the birth of a baby. Most Mums I speak to are mentally exhausted or on the verge of burnout with their own self-care needs being placed firmly at the bottom of the priority list.
So if you feel ready to take some time to reflect, reset and re-energise then this is for you.
By observing your thoughts and honouring your feelings you can shift your energy from the past and help free up space in your mind for new possibilities. Post-traumatic growth teaches us that it is possible to learn, grow and find meaning even in extreme adversity. So if that feels possible for you right now, here are some questions to reflect on:
- What was your happiest moment? Why?
- What was your most challenging moment? Why?
- What energised you? What drained you?
- What did you discover about yourself that you didn’t know in 2019?
- What or who is no longer serving you?
- Based on the past year, if you had to pick 5 people who are a positive influence in your life, who would they be? (not including partner and children)
- The Miracle Question: Close your eyes and take a deep breath. You go to sleep and a miracle happens. How would you know your life has suddenly got better?
The Story of your Life:
- Imagine you are writing the story of your life - it has 20 chapters, which chapter are you on right now? What’s the title of the next chapter?
- Notice how you feel in your body – is there any tension? Where is it? What is it telling you?
- What feels important to you?
- How do you want the story to end?
- What needs to change now in order to move forward?
The Wheel of Life:
- Write down 10 areas of your life that feel most important to you. e.g. Family, Love, Finances, Health, Spirituality, Work, Friendships etc. Some people find emotions or core values come up e.g. joy, freedom, connection.
- Now rank your level of satisfaction with each area. A score of 1 indicates you are not satisfied, a score of 10 means you are highly satisfied.
“Where focus goes energy flows” Tony Robbins
Now you know what you want to focus on, you can set some goals and channel some positive energy behind them.
S – Specific. The clearer you can be the more likely you are to achieve it. What, who, when and why?
M – Measurable. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? How much? How many? How often?
A – Achievable. How realistic is this goal? What might stop you? How will you overcome these barriers? What help do you need?
R – Relevant. Is this goal aligned with your core values? You will only achieve it if you are emotionally connected to your deeper “Why”.
T – Time bound. Set a realistic time frame to achieve the goal to ensure you stay motivated and not discouraged.
E – Exciting. How will you feel when you achieve it? What will it mean to you? What are the consequences of not achieving it? What opportunity will it create?
R – Reward. How can you reward yourself for all your hard work? What will motivate you other than the feeling you’ll get?
Visualisation: A dress rehearsal for success
To maximise the likelihood of achieving your goal, you now need to trick your mind into thinking you’ve already achieved it. During this exercise, your brain will create new neural pathways so when you actually come to take steps towards the goal, your brain believes you’ve done it before so it feels safer, more familiar and easier.
Close your eyes and imagine you have already achieved the goal. What’s the date? What can you see, feel, hear and smell? Who is with you? How are you celebrating? What are you saying about yourself? What have you learnt about yourself? Internalise the feelings and focus on all five senses.
Open your eyes – what one action can you take today towards your goal?
If you want to do this in more depth, go to Instagram @bigtalkformums bio on Instagram and download your free Pause & Reflect workbook and/or the Wheel of Life & Goal Setting Workbook.