Imagine waking up January 1st with a 20-20 vision. Would you feel empowered, or would you feel burdened? Would you be motivated because you know where you’re heading, or overwhelmed because of the road ahead? What else comes to mind? Take a few minutes to dig deep. Next, allow me to help you. I want you to feel more inspired and less loaded, and this is what I want you to do. Find a pen and paper. Write down: It’s an inside job. Now is the best time!
It’s an inside job
You are unique, and by using your personality traits, you can do what you do best, and what comes naturally to you. Self-leadership inside-out means connecting what you do to why it matters to you personally, and how it aligns with your needs and desires. When you cultivate your character strengths, you are more likely to make adequate progress towards your goals. And you are true to the universal urge to be the causal agent of your own life and act in harmony with your integrated self (Deci & Ryan 2008)
Discovering and using your signature strengths, the qualities that come most naturally to you, can improve your life and help you thrive. (The VIA Institute of Character survey is available for free at viacharacter.org.)
Let’s play! Ask yourself the questions: “What do I need to do today to get what I want?” “What is the decision I have been avoiding?” Now, if you were to move deliberately forward, inside-out, taking one small step at a time, what would you do? What could help you to feel more empowered and less overwhelmed?
Now is the best time!
Someday is not in the calendar, yet we tend to procrastinate and schedule decisions and actions for a someday that don’t exist — and it becomes an energy leak. Sustainable forward momentum begs for small intentional steps, and the best time to start is now! If you break down your 2020 strategy [or lack of strategy] to a daily roadmap, you are more likely to get started. Once you get started, it’s easier to keep going.
Try this! Set aside a few minutes in the morning and get to know your day. Be intentional and decide how you want to feel by the end of the day, how you want to contribute, and how you can increase your well-being. Check-in throughout the day and ask yourself if you are doing what needs to be done and being the person you are capable of becoming.
Please keep in mind that personal growth is a moving target, thus becoming the person you are capable of becoming, is an indefinite process. If you do the inner work, own the goals you set for yourself, and think about why they are essential to you, you activate areas in your brain associated with your desires and needs (Berkman & Lieberman, 2009). I am not saying that everything we do in our life can be by choice, but research tells us we are more likely to get things done and feel happier when we think about and find a way to connect with why it matters to us personally.
Cultivating optimism as a 20-20 vision.
Change is the only constant in life, and there will be some bumpy roads. Seeing each day through the filter of hope and by being your optimal self, is a great way to cultivate optimism. Use your most significant strengths to handle stress and life challenges.
Being the person I am capable of becoming, and cultivating optimism – one day at a time – is my 2020 vision. What if you made it yours? Would it help you feel more inspired and less loaded?
Let’s go back to the piece of paper where your wrote: It’s an inside job & Now is the best time. What would you do to make every day count, taking one small step at a time? Write it down!
“When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself but the world.” (Roger Williams)