I am so happy for these women who participated in my most recent challenge, “Kickstart Your New Decade.”
These women, the ones who hung in there and did the work, got unstuck!
Life has a lot going on. If you consider all of the balls you juggle every day, combined with all of the areas of life you need to be thinking about….well, it’s a lot.
As I’ve become more and more in tune with women’s happiness, confidence and sense of purpose, I’ve noticed something:
If a woman is unhappy in one area of her life, it casts a shadow over everything. Five areas can be going perfectly well, but if one area is a struggle point, that is what she thinks about.
Below is a list of ten areas of your life. As you read through the list, pause on each one and consider your current level of fulfillment. If you’d like, you could complete an online assessment at www.aletanorris.com/women-who-spark-life-assessment/. I love the report! You receive a great visual wheel that allows you to easily see where you’re fulfilled and where you’re unfulfilled.
Okay, here are the ten areas! Remember to pause as you read each one. Think about your level of fulfillment.
- Relationship with your spouse or significant other
- Health and fitness
- Spirituality, joy, peace and contentment
- Home and space
- Hobbies and interests
- Work and professional life
- Mom role
Do you feel unfulfilled or stuck? Do you wish you felt happier about any one of these areas?
To be fair to you, and all of the women around you, there is too much going on for everything to be going well.
So, if you’re stuck, how do you get unstuck? I’d like to share 7 steps to get unstuck!
7 Steps to Get Unstuck:
#1: Choose one area to work on. From the list above, identify ONE area to give your attention to. Too often, we take on too much and set ourselves up to fail.
During the recent boot camp, many women focused on their home and space or their health and fitness. I’ll use my own personal example as I work through these steps. I chose health and fitness.
#2: Brainstorm all of your options. After you’ve identified your one area to work on, get out your journal or a blank piece of paper, and write down every idea that comes to mind for you to make progress in this one area.
My list included ideas related to food, beverages, exercise and sleep. Stop eating sugar, eat less bread, drink more water, drink less wine, exercise five days a week, sleep a minimum of seven hours, don’t eat after 7:00 pm, don’t eat before 10:00 am, eat more vegetables, eat less red meat, stop drinking Diet Coke. You get the picture.
The home and space women had a really strong focus on clutter, being overwhelmed by stuff, needing to clean out drawers and closets, cleaning off surfaces, etc. Many of them rallied around this topic and supported one another.
#3: Choose one or two things to start doing. Brainstorm lists can be overwhelming. It’s a lot. So, these next two steps are extremely important. Focus on a few things. And, listen carefully to this next statement:
Set yourself up for success! This means, choose something to start doing that you have a high likelihood of doing.
My number one really big ‘start doing!’ I chose to start drinking 64 oz. of water a day. What I REALLY want to do is stop drinking Diet Coke. But using some unscientific psychology on myself, I decided that focusing on water will be easier than focusing on Diet Coke. A funny thing happened. As soon as I set a goal to drink more water….and started doing it….I stopped drinking Diet Coke. (clap, clap, clap!)
Back to the women who were focused on home and space, a lot of their start doing lists included “Clean out one drawer or closet per day or week; or spend 15 minutes a day organizing something.”
#4: Choose one or two things to stop doing. There are a number of things I want to stop doing, but I decided to focus on only one!
I want to eat less sugar, but I also know myself well enough to know that I like sugar. Plain and simple. So, I have given up sugar in the form of candy, cake, cookies, chocolate, pie, desserts. I didn’t give up the hidden sugar in things like yogurt. If I can have yogurt….well, it helps me stay out of the chocolate.
Over the 14-day “Kickstart Your New Decade” challenge, I have not had one piece of chocolate or candy. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.
#5: Build some changes into your routines and rituals. If we can turn decisions into part of our routine, that will help set us up for success.
I’m not a huge water drinker, so I knew it needed to become a routine, almost like a planned strategy. My goal will require me to drink four thermoses of water per day. I created the following routine:
- One bottle by the time I am home from the gym – 6:30 am
- A second bottle by the time I arrive at the office – 8:30 am (I drink that one on the way)
- A third bottle before lunch – 12:00 pm. (I find that this one I often have to drink the bottle of water like it’s an assignment.)
- A final bottle by the time I arrive home from work – 5:00 pm
- Evening water becomes a bonus.
#6: Set up your environment to help you. This was a new concept to me, one that I learned when I read Atomic Habits, by James Clear. It makes so much sense. How can we set up our environment to help us succeed?
Since I want to drink a bottle of water by 6:30, I set it on my nightstand the night before. When I wake up, I start drinking water immediately.
Since I don’t want to eat sugar, I don’t buy it. However, this part gets a bit tricky. I WANT to have sugar in the house for guests, primarily chocolate. It’s a nice thing to share. To set myself up for success, I keep it in the freezer so it’s out of site, out of mind. If the bag is open, I tape it closed with packaging tape. If I remember it’s there, I also remember it will be difficult to get to!
#7: Tell someone. I confess. There are times over the years where I’ve wanted to do something…especially stop drinking Diet Coke! BUT, I didn’t tell anyone, because I want the ability to give in to myself and have the Diet Coke. We can foster accountability by informing others.
I have announced to my office team that I’ve given up sugar in the form of candy, dessert, etc. When it shows up at the office, I know everyone knows. It helps me stay true to my goal.
Your turn! What one think would you like to make progress on?
Remember….one step at a time!
Some women don’t start to take action because they’re too overwhelmed.
Focus on one step at a time.
You can also set a timer for ten minutes and begin to work through these seven steps. Then tomorrow, set your timer again for ten minutes.
Do you like accountability and the support of a group?
Consider the Spring 2020 session of Women Who Spark Boot Camp, a guided eight-week process. Learn more at www.aletanorris.com/JoinBootCamp. If you get ambitious and sign up early, you can use a code: BootCampEarlyBirdFull (if you choose to pay one time) or BootCampEarlyBird (if you prefer a three-month plan). These codes are for 50% off.
In the comments below, share the one area you chose to work on, along with something you will start doing and something you will stop doing!
Have a great day! XOXO Aleta