One of the most important and most difficult decisions we face in life is determining the vocation best suited for us. Many factors come into play such as: what are my interests, abilities and aptitudes; what jobs are available in the current labor market; what type of training and education are needed for a specific position and how will I afford the necessary training for my field of interest? Continue reading
One of my favorite exercises in the substance abuse IOP group therapy sessions was Life Mapping. My supervisor used to remind our clients that the work we were doing was great work for all people, including folks with addictions. It was just plain old, good therapy! This exercise helps clients create a clear picture for what they want in their lives. It grew out of some work one of my previous supervisors had done with a Covey leadership development class.
So, how does it work? First, you identify your core values. Examples may include family, career, spirituality, integrity, health, education and sobriety. Then you identify how your current behaviors go against those values. How are the choices and decisions I make dishonoring my core values? For example, if family is your value, perhaps your current behavior is isolating you from your family or causing arguments. Or for career, perhaps your lack of follow through or completion of deadlines is inhibiting your career growth. Here is a worksheet to get you started: VALUES WORKSHEET
Next, you identify what outcomes you would like to see for each value. What do you want in your life? For family, perhaps it is a closer relationship with loved ones, for spirituality maybe it means a closer relationship with God, and for health perhaps your outcome would be feeling well, reducing risk factors or unhealthy behaviors.
Next, you identify the tasks associated with each outcome. These would be the specific behaviors or actions that are critical to accomplishing your outcomes and staying true to your core values. Examples of tasks for health may be: eat 5 small meals a day, count my calories, exercise 3 days per week for 30 minutes, practice meditation 5 minutes each day. For family, some examples might include: eat dinner together every night at 6pm, spend time as a family outside the home 2 times per month for at least 2 hours doing an activity in which we are engaged with each other (not going to a movie), implement a date night on Fridays with my spouse. For career, tasks may include: get to work 5 minutes early each day, ask for additional training, meet with my supervisor to develop a development plan. I created this worksheet: LIFE MAPPING WORKSHEET to assist you in Creating your Vision.
The next phase is consolidating your Life Map into a Vision Statement. This one can take some time, and I recommend doing a talk-through-walk-through first. Pretend I am an old friend and have not seen you for a year, and I see you at the supermarket and say, “Hey there! I haven’t seen you in such a long time. How are you? Tell me what’s new in your life?” Using the information you gathered about what outcomes you want for your life from your Life Map, speak as though you are currently living the life you have envisioned in your diagram. Use the tasks and outcomes to describe the changes that have occurred in your life. An example may be something like this:
Gosh, Missy, so much has happened! Life is great! I feel calm and peaceful, my family relationships are loving and connected and we spend time together having fun and learning. My body is strong and ready for each new day that comes. My career has moved to a new level where I feel proud and motivated each day. My relationship with God grows each day through prayer and meditation.
As I blogged about before, creating clarity is the beginning of the process of change. Iyanla Vanzant said in a speech she gave on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, “Your eyes adjust to the amount of deficiency present.” Think about that.
Read it again….Your eyes….adjust….to the amount of deficiency present.
So you get used to deciphering life through fuzzy eyes, you adapt and compensate, and inevitably miss things. If our vision for our lives is unclear, or we cannot even see an outcome that we would like or need, than we begin to believe that the possibility of our hopes and dreams are unachievable. The deficiency may be the story we tell ourselves, the doubts we allow others to speak into us, or the insecurities that stifle us. Sometimes we let others talk us into or out of what we truly want and sometimes we do not need any help setting ourselves back. We may even begin to believe that the dreams we have are unrealistic. How will you nurture and foster your dreams to create a vision for your future?
“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?” ~ Henry Ford
Thank you. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. Gracia. Many thanks. That meant a lot to me. You helped me more than you know. You rock!
These are all ways to express gratitude for the gifts large and small that come upon us in our lives. Thanksgiving is a good day to celebrate your life and revel in the blessings that you are surrounded with each day. It may be difficult to find something to be thankful for sometimes, especially for those that may be managing a tragedy such as a job loss, financial troubles, mental health concerns, illness, the death of a loved one, or other misfortunes that come around in life. Even in these most difficult times, finding the things that make you smile, that offer you even moments of joy in your life may build the momentum to bring you out of the life situation you may be in. There is a saying, “Choose your attitude” and, “live your life with intention.” Continue reading
Most days we float around in our own little world having no idea the impact we can have on others. From the passing smile to a stranger, the phone call to a customer, the angry eyes we give a loved one when they annoy us, even having a chance to vote, calling a friend or family member to catch up or giving our best effort towards activities we are a part of. These small things can make a big difference. In this big world that constantly tells us through media, politics, and consumerism that we are not enough, that we need something or someone to be of value, we may start to question how our involvement could matter. The American culture is one of individualistic mindsets. We don’t know our neighbors, we are too busy to build deep relationships with our coworkers – who may be competition, even our kids spend less time cultivating face to face relationships and instead spend time online or texting. The value of face to face connections, of a hug, smile or handshake cannot be underestimated. Continue reading
What did I learned in my last Counseling class before my field experience? I thought I knew something about Counseling Theorists, but then Dr. D had this way of showing you the theories in such a way that they really stick.
The class structure was a great format to dissect and dig into theories. The process of presentation followed by professor overview, then movement into a live role play, and finally into an activity created an environment of learning that leaves room for participation, learning and feedback. I got the most from the role plays, as these helped me see how different theories can impact individuals and problems. These experiences have helped me choose the theories that I believe in and trust will work for my style and my view of human nature and development. I have learned that theory is the second most important part of working with clients. Continue reading
Last week I wrote about finding that path to extraordinary and how my journey began when I decided to change my mind to become lighter and more agile. The specific goal? To run a half-marathon! On Sunday, I did it! We fared the cold weather and the misty rain, the hills we had not trained for, and incredibly 3 hours later we were crossing the finish line. My hubby was my wingman, and even though his pace is much faster than mine, he stayed with me till the finish line. That support cannot be overlooked. When we are doing something that requires a change of thinking, it is important to surround yourself with people who are on your side, supportive and believe in you!
During the process, I felt great, happy, and for a moment overwhelmingly proud of myself. I reflected on who I used to be, and how great it feels to make positive changes for a healthy lifestyle. Sure there were moments when I had pain in my body, or I was really cold from the weather change and rain, but not once did I ever consider giving up. That was not an option. We trained for the half, we put in the work, and we were ready. Now I wasn’t sure if i would ever do another, but then when I finished and crossed that finish line, that all changed. If I could do 13.1 in 3 hours with bad weather and hills I had not trained for, then I could blast that time under better conditions! So, next half-marathon scheduled for March! The things we can accomplish when we put away the thoughts that sabotage our excellence!