I fully acknowledge that thinking about what life may look like in 1-3 years may feel bleak for some. We are somewhat finally getting back to normal living, post pandemic. Covid may have affected you and your loved ones in tragic ways. How do we go from having our lives turned upside down to allowing for hope again?
A practice I have put into place over the last couple of years which helps me refocus and shift my perspective is the 5 questions monthly check in. I am a huge fan of podcasts and anything business development and growth mindset. I happened to be listening to the Chase Jarvis LIVE Show with guest Benjamin Hardy back in November 2020. Benjamin Hardy shared about these 5 questions he answers and it has transformed my life.
Every month, I take a moment to answer these 5 questions. I have it scheduled for the last day of the month, and I try and take time to reflect, ponder and even give myself a moment to dream. I keep this on my phone in the Notes app under Monthly Check-Ins and at the top of the note, I have the questions written out which I copy and paste each month.
So, the 5 Q’s –
- Where am I right now? 5 bullet points
- What are my wins from the last 90 days?
- Where do I want to be in 90 days?
- Future Self 1 Year from now?
- Future Self 3 Years from now?
My first entry was on December 1, 2020, shortly after I listened to the podcast. I remember sitting on my couch, in the middle of the pandemic, completely stressed out. 3 of the 5 bullet points started with the word “Stressing” and the last bullet point started with “Worried”. Needless to say, I was filled with anxiety, almost to the point of panic.
But then came Question 2 – What are my wins from the last 90 days? I had 11 items listed and something amazing happened. I went from being acutely aware and physically feeling my stress to a peace which covered my mind and body. The anxiety I was feeling as I started this exercise went away as I reviewed those 11 items on the list. In this moment, I was able to celebrate the fact of how far I had come in just 3 months. This didn’t minimize the fact that I was still worried and stressing but there was a physiological change in my body. I physically felt the happy hormones welling up in my body and the stress and anxiety subsiding.
In this moment, I was able to have a moment of clarity as my vagus nerve was no longer death gripping my parasympathetic nervous system and I was able to answer the next question – Where do I want to be in 90 days? I wrote several items down and I felt pretty good about being able to accomplish at least one of these items on the list in the next 3 months.
90 days is a long enough time for someone to accomplish a short-term goal. A short-term goal may be something as simple as to walk 3 times in a week. Because there are around 12 weeks to 90 days, one has 12 chances to accomplish this goal. If in the 90 days we walked 3 times just for one of those weeks, we still completed this goal. We can still celebrate the win.
The 1 year and 3-year future self may take a little more work as it requires a little dreaming. For my clients who are going through divorce or recently divorced, it will be harder to think about something hopeful in the future when the present is not feeling too good. By answering the first 3 questions, you have now acknowledged where you are in the present, celebrated and recognized the recent past and can look towards the very near future in anticipation that you are making forward movement and creating a momentum into the future. Even if it is just 1 item for the 1 year and 3 years, it’s a good start.
Please remember these visions that we write out for ourselves, these are not set in stone. Going back to my very first entry, I can tell you that what I had written down for my 1 year and 3 years future self has shifted. It’s not to say what I have written will not happen but more that the timeline is now flexible. What I wrote down then has shifted because of new things that have entered my life, which I had no idea was going to happen when I first answered these questions. What I thought were priorities went on the back burner and other things moved to the front burner. This is all part of the process and the journey. We learn to acknowledge, celebrate, pivot and be kind to ourselves.
We hope you will incorporate the 5 Q’s into your life as we continue in The One Year Journey. Connect with us and share with us what some of your answers to the 5 Q’s are. We want to celebrate and acknowledge them with you!
Next week on Build Your Foundations, we dive into Our Fears & Blindspots. We hope you will join us and be a part of the conversation.
The One Year Journey is currently available for those who are at a crossroad in their lives and are ready to launch into a year-long intensive series of one-on-one coaching to help you go from not knowing what may come next to becoming your best self and living your best life.* We are also very excited to share that Group Coaching and Support will be available in the near future.
* There is no guarantee of becoming your best self and living your best life. Foundations Divorce Solutions and Foundations Coaching Group will help guide our clients through the journey, but the change will happen if and when the individual does the hard work themselves. The results will not be an overnight transformation. This process will take at least one full year and as the tools learned are implemented into a daily practice, change will happen, and growth will continue to happen.