During this time of year when the days are short but the to-do lists are a mile long, it’s easy to start living life on auto-pilot. Here are some signs you might be:
- Your “to-do” and “have-to” lists are endless.
- You feel disconnected from nature.
- You feel disconnected from other people.
- You feel disconnected from your true desires.
- You know exactly where you’ll be in 5 years – and it’s not exactly where you want to be.
- You chose your current situation (like your career, location or what you do day-to-day) to please others, not yourself.
If you’re living life on auto-pilot, you might not be living your best possible life. Stopping to set an intention can be a great way to begin to shift things.
The change you create when you decide to choose a different intention can have an impact on your life right now and actually help you have a better day. Here are some quick ways to make sure your focus, attention and intention are in the right places.
1. Who do you want to be?
Most people focus on how much weight they want to lose, what job title they want, what kind of relationships they want in their life or what material possessions they would like to have. In setting a powerful intention, ask yourself who you want to be. Step back from past efforts to reach your “goals” and decide to be different. Be gentle. Be wise. Be someone who is creating a great life or a better career or financial health. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s one that can help you make a leap from living in a “lack” mindset to living a life of abundance.
2. Paint a picture of how you will show up today.
I’m not saying you have to bust out the watercolors here, this is a metaphor. Like an artist painting a picture, you are the person who has the power to depict how you will show up each day. One of the best things you can do is to consciously depict who you choose to be each day, by consciously setting your intent and reminding yourself of your dreams and goals. Gratitude journaling, a mantra in your morning yoga class, or any practice that works for you can help connect you to something deeper than your email Inbox or the news report on TV. Instead of constantly living your life reacting to the world around you, set your intention and choose the life you want. Make it your work of art.
3. Write it out, take it with you.
If you read my post about How to Keep a Gratitude Journal, you know that starting the day by being thankful has been scientifically shown to improve people’s lives. If you already have a morning ritual like coffee, yoga, a morning run or walking the dog, try setting your intention then. You can write out your intention on an index card that you carry in your briefcase or notebook. Keep it on your dashboard or tape it to a mirror – anywhere you’ll see it during the day. Review it before walking into an important meeting, and read it aloud when you can – especially when you are tempted by old ways of thinking.
4. During the day, watch your words & thoughts.
Check in with yourself during the day. How often do you worry, become anxious, fearful, or negative? How often do you talk badly about yourself, use negative words, or complain? These thoughts and words unconsciously send you out of your intent. Just observing them can be enough. Or, you can try to spin your negatives into a positive. For example, when I walked into my first kickboxing class I had immediate fears and anxieties. I quickly replaced them with my intention: that I was going to try something new, because trying something new was of value in itself. I reminded myself that it was going to be worth it.
5. Take action now.
Self-help is great, and many have benefited from self-help books and programs of all kinds. But self-help thinking can be limiting. It says, “I have to get it all fixed before I can move on to better things.” All of the working-on-yourself can keep you from really living your life. Life Coaching thinking says, “What would happen if I acted now, in spite of how I’m feeling about my life, or my capabilities?” Rather than focusing on yourself as a project, focus on your LIFE and making it better. Take ownership, take responsibility, take pride and place value on your time – and be the “boss” of your life. If you’re curious about difference between life coaching and therapy, click here.
6. Get Outside Help: Enlist a Buddy or Life Coach
As with any change, it is so much better when you have an encouraging partner to help you in this work. I have provided these suggestions to get your started, but sticking with it is where many of my clients have stumbled. To enlist the help of a powerful ally, call Catharine Ecton Life Coaching or schedule your free Life Coaching consultation today.
Are you living a life of “have-to’s”? If so, you might find your life becomes a bit dull and predictable.
- Simplify your gift-giving with a gift swap or Secret Santa.
- Give the gift of time to someone you love.
- Swap out a tired holiday tradition with something that excites you, or that you’ve always wanted to try.
- Take a cue from nature’s hibernation: shorter days and more darkness are a signal to take it easy and rest.
- Set your mindset on giving and receiving.
- Enjoy gifts of winter beauty, holiday lights, and the joy of children.
Everything in life is a choice, even during the holiday season. A life of “have-to’s” creates more stress, overwhelm and discontent. The adventure is in swapping out our “have-to’s” with “want-to’s.” Instead of constantly living your life reacting to the world around you, set your intention and choose the life you want. Make it your work of art.
Many of my clients have told me that working with me through Life Coaching has given them the opportunity to discover their values, be intentional about their goals and to make a plan, take action to realize them. Here are some of the things my clients say they’ve gained as a result of working with me*:
- Self Confidence
- Self Awareness
- Ability to go outside their comfort zone
- A feeling of fulfillment
- An alliance with me
- New perspectives
- The ability to stay focused
- Better decision making ability
- Peace & contentment
- The ability to see themselves in a positive way
*All of the above drawn directly from my many happy client testimonials. Read all of my Life Coaching testimonials here.
Contact me for a complimentary, no-obligations life coaching consultation and we can work on setting powerful intentions together. Or use the Appointment Scheduler and pick a time that works for you. I coach 90% of my clients over the phone, and my DC-based Life Coaching clients have the option of meeting with me in person. I look forward to hearing from you.