Choosing a topic for change, break out your journal we’re diving in.
Change happens, right? Except when it doesn’t, or at least not in ways that work well for us. At many stages in our life journey we find ourselves held back by not being able to make the kinds of changes that would really serve the life and work we want to create. We may have visions of how we’d like to grow, or contribute more, or take our work to a new place, and yet we often run into the ways that we are getting in our own way. We find that the very attitudes and capacities that have brought us successfully to this point are not the ones that we need for the next leg of our journey.
So one of the most foundational steps we can take to make our lives more powerfully adapted to our present and our future, is to decide what we want to work on in our own life and why making changes to ourselves would really help. This “what and why” form a foundation of motivation that underlies all our efforts to make effective change. It’s like we are taking a journey and the What is our north star, the vision of where we are headed that is so vital for our sense of direction. The Why is the basis for our motivation. Our why is like having legs, they give us the strength to keep walking forward. It’s vital to tap what is truly important for ourselves so that we have a sense of direction and a strength for the journey that can sustain us through the often difficult process of making a significant change in our lives.
So following are some questions that can help you explore the What and Why of how you want to make changes in your life. It’s also a great practice of self reflection and will help you build your capacities for self observation and self understanding, vital tools for your journey.
Okay, Time to break out your journal.
As you read through the sections below, take some time to jot down your own reflections and answers to these questions.
Diving in: Do you know what you are working on now?
No, I don’t mean right now, like processing your emails, or doing research online (or procrastinating from your other computer work) but what you’re doing in the big picture.
What’s your life about at this point?
What is most pressing in your life?
What parts of your life are asking you to learn and grow?
From what I’ve seen, we’ve all got those places where things aren’t going so well, or we want to reach for what’s next but don’t know how to get there. Take a moment and ask yourself, What’s up for me these days? What am I trying to accomplish or learn? What would making change in this part of my life do for me, those around me, and the world?”
Stepping back and seeing the patterns:
You may find you have clusters of things that are not working so well in your life, it can be powerful to jot all these things down and then stand back looking at them and ask yourself, how are all of these related? What is it about the way I’m approaching my life that contributes to these parts of my life that are causing me trouble?
Choosing What you are going to focus on:
Out of all this you can begin to formulate a topic for growth and change for the next period of your life. Think ahead on the scale of the next six months or a year. What would really make a difference for your life that you could work on over the next months? Choose a change that would be powerful for you. Can you phrase that in one simple sentence?
Exploring Why this is important:
Okay, now that you’ve got an idea of what that change goal could the next question is why? Why is this so important to you? What would really making change in this area bring to your life? How would these changes affect your self? your relationships? your work? your home? What are the big gains that making progress here would give you?
Here are some samples of topics I’ve recently as a Master Integral Coach
- To really claim my own path of work and career for myself
- To be more kind to myself as I go about my work and let go of trying to get everything perfect
- To really take on what is important to ME, and to do so with ease.
- To clearly focus my plans and projects, so I’m not spread so thin and can really be effective.
- To build nourishing relationships with friends and live a more connected life
- To get better at communicating my vision so it connects with others
- To become more adept with my emotions and not react as much when in difficulty.
One of the keys is to let your greater awareness of how you would like to make change in your life prompt you to take action. A great way to get more support and insight for yourself is to take what you have discovered and talk with a friend about this. Ask them what else they see about you that could help you understand what to work on and why that is important.
Once you are clear on your direction look for ways to support yourself in the process of change. There are a lot of resources out there. Look for articles online, talk with friends and loved ones, take a class, join a support or coaching group, and really, check out getting help from a coach or another guide for change. It’s really difficult to make significant change on your own, but the support is out there, just go look.
For more info on how the Integral Coaching approach could help you make progress on your goals for change, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. We offer free 90 minute exploratory sessions that help you clarify the support you need to make change.
All my best,