February 10, 2011 - So its been a long while since my last post here...running all day in heels takes time and balance, none of which I had in excess for writing. But, now that I have decided to carve out some quality time, I'm looking forward to continuing. Recently, I've been feeling a little smothered and out of sorts...not enjoying the job (at all), depressed about lack of options to move on, and figuring out the change of being an empty-nester, have had their toll. But, 2011 holds new promise...I've decided that letting others impact my quality of life and destroy my positive outlook on the day is not worth it...I'm responsible for my own destiny (to a degree for those with strong faith based feelings). But, how did I come to this realization? I made a list...I know, sounds silly, but it works. Putting down on paper the things that you want to do, things you want to change, things that are controllable and the things that aren't, is the best way to see the light...trying to keep it all sorted out in the brain is too exhausting and something usually gets forgotten, or overtakes your ability to see it all clearly. Then you can rank, prioritize, delete, or just simply cross off...its very enlightening and liberating...you can actually see the negative things jump off the page and the importance of the positive things...if you are honest with yourself. This is not an assignment where you put down what you think you should do incase others read it...this is just for you and only works if you are 100% open, honest and straightforward...lying to yourself will not help and what's the point anyway...commit to the process and you will see a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, when you create your list...do five columns...in the first column is the issue; in the second column is what actions you have taken to resolve it or make it better; the third column is the result; the fourth column is next steps; and the fifth column is happiness quotient (or level of importance). And continue your rows down the page and fill in your columns for each until you feel you have everything on it. For example, row one, column one, for "issue" I put - Unhappy in job; in the second column next to it for "actions" I put - complain, whine, talk to friends, minor job hunting; in column three for "result" I put, two interviews and some HR connections; so now in column four for "next steps" I put - update resume, create target list and submit at least three to five applications a day; and in the fifth column for "happiness" - I currently have the number 5--as this is the level of importance for me (all ranked 1 thru 5). This way you can easily see what rises to the top and how you can determine your quality of life when these items are dealt with...the ones that are on the lower end of the spectrum, may still need to be addressed, but maybe not as critically or immediately, if at all. And be sure you put the good and the bad on your list- for instance, if you received recognition from a friend for something you did, put that on your list...under "issue" put Sent gift certificate to Beth for Kindle; under action put - start birthday club with girlfriends; under result - put share gift ideas and show you care; under next steps put - make list and send out email, start a FB page; and under happiness put your ranking...this way you will see how the positives can really take over and move the negatives off even more.
I keep my list on my laptop, always open and ready to be reviewed or edited as needed. It is a constant presence so that I always have to look at it and can't forget or put it off. I've been at this for about a month now, and have already found a sense of peace and resolve that I didn't have before...I know what I need to do and how to do it--this has given me more time and an understanding of what is truly important so I can do other things like work out, eat more healthy, sleep better and be a more fun and engaging person to be around. I feel better, I look better and I'm actually living better.
Good luck to you and feel free to share your examples of how this process worked for you.
Thanks for reading!