With holiday season upon us, top ten lists abound! So here is my contribution of the Top Ten Gifts that you can give to yourself to help you take charge of your life and begin to experience authentic success.
1. 1. Put your life in balance.
Life balance is a matter of knowing what is important to you in your life and taking actions so that you are living those important areas in a meaningful way. Draw a circle and divide it into eight parts. Then, label each section with an area of your life that is important to you, i.e. Relationships, Family, Career, Personal Development, Spirituality, Fun, Health and Wellness, Personal Finance. Then, rate each area in terms of its importance to you using a scale of 1-10 (1 means “not important” and 10 means “vitally important”). After that, rate how well you are living each of these areas. What do you see? How well is your life in balance? If there is a discrepancy of 2 or more points in an area that is important to you, what can you do to close the gap? Keep reading for some ideas on how to do that!
2. Live your core values.
Values are the core principles that govern your life and are the essence of who you are. Once you know your values and begin to make decisions that honor those values, you will experience the power of living in accordance with your own authentic choices. For suggestions on how to find your values, I invite you to read my two articles:
How to Discover Your Core Values – Tap Into Joy and Experience Success
How to Discover Your Core Values I – What the Mad Men Can Teach Us
How do your values relate to the areas that you found to be vitally important on your Wheel of Life? The more your values are tied to your goals, the more inspiring your goals will be and the more motivated you will be to pursue those goals.
3. Tap into your passions.
Imagine jumping out of bed every day and pursuing the thing that you love best. Even if you cannot do this full time, find ways to incorporate passion into all aspects of your life, whether it is your career, your relationships, your activities and your fun time. How do you discover your passions? Think about the things that you loved doing as a child. Imagine what you would do if you had 5 lifetimes. Consider what you would do if time or money were not an object. Those should give you some clues as to what you love. Now, how can you start living those passions?
4. Play to your favorite strengths.
We all have things that we are naturally good at. Find ways to use your natural strengths in whatever you do. And better yet, chose the strengths that you like and not just the ones that other people tell you are good for you! To find your strengths,I recommend the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. Get the book Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath and take the assessment by logging onto the following website:
Then look for ways to start playing to your strengths!
5. Set an intention for yourself.
What do you dream of achieving? One powerful step that you can take is to set an intention for yourself about that dream. All you do is pick a period of time down the road and state what you are dong in that future time. The trick is to write this in the present tense, as though you were already doing it:
In ____years, I am a ________doing___________.
Set this down in writing and be sure to date your entry. Now look for ways to start making that dream a reality! You will be amazed by the results.
You can read about my experience with setting an intention in my recent blog entry:
6. Set inspiring goals.
Once you know your big dream and have set your intention, think about what you want to accomplish a year from now to start making that dream a reality. into all aspects of your life, whether it is your career, your relationships, your activities and your fun time. How do you discover your passions? Think about the things that you loved doing as a child. Imagine what you would do if you had 5 lifetimes. Consider what you would do if time or money were not an object. Those should give you some clues as to what you love. Now, how can you start living those passions?
That is your one-year goal. How well does it incorporate your values? How does it relate to your passions? The more your goals are tied to your values and your passions, the more inspired you will be to pursue your goals.
7. Take action!
To accomplish your goals, they have to be doable. The trick is to break them down into manageable chunks. What strategies can you think of to help you achieve your goals? Once you know the strategies, think about the first action that you can take to making that strategy a reality. Every week, set some actions that will take you to your goal. Before you know it, you will be there!
8. Tackle the obstacles to your success.
Goal achievement would be a no-brainer if only those “things” did not get in the way: e.g., time, money, knowledge gaps, fear, perfectionism, inherited belief systems that no longer work for us. Figure out the main obstacles that are holding you back and set goals around eliminating these challenges. Then take daily actions so that you can overcome the obstacles to your success. Still stuck? Get to know your Ideal Self, the person you are when you are totally in the flow, doing what you do best, feeling incredibly confident and joyful. To find out more about how to discover your Ideal Self, read my article:
Then, whenever you get stuck, ask your Ideal Self for guidance and trust your inner wisdom to lead you on the right path.
9. Take time for yourself
Take time to be very good to yourself so that you can be your best, authentic self. Create a nourishment menu of fun, free things to do that make you feel great. Keep a success journal documenting all the things that you do well. If negative self-talk is holding you back, come up with a mantra or affirmation that can remind you of yourself at your best. Make these practices a habit throughout your life!
10. Surround yourself with people who support you.
Seek out the people who support your vision. Create your personal board of directors of people whom you trust to guide you. Know which friends you can count on. It takes a village so do not hesitate to reach out and ask for help when you need it! And last but not least, eliminate the crazy-makers from your life. These are the people who drag you down. By distancing yourself from your crazy-makers, you can minimize the effects of their negative energy on you.
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Life is a journey and if you can immerse yourself in the process without worrying about the end results, you will know what it is like to live in the moment. There are no mistakes on this journey since everything presents an opportunity to learn and grow. Here’s to your authentic success!
© Astrid Baumgardner 2010
I would be delighted if you should wish to reprint (for free) any part of this article in your newsletters, blogs, websites, and message boards. Please include the following attribution:
Astrid Baumgardner, JD, PCC is a professional life coach and lawyer, Coordinator of Career Strategies and Lecturer at the Yale School of Music and the founder and President of Astrid Baumgardner Coaching + Training, which is dedicated to helping musicians, lawyers and creative professionals take charge of their lives and experience authentic success. In addition to her work at YSM and her individual coaching practice, Astrid presents workshops at leading conservatories and law firms on topics including Career Planning, Goal-Setting, Time Management, Dynamic Communication, Conflict Management and Personal Branding and Networking. She is the author of numerous articles on the various aspects of how to achieve and live authentic success.