Every year, I take a vacation to a national park to get away from the rush of life. It’s the one week a year where I carve out time to reflect on my life, the direction I’m headed, and the changes I’ll need to make to get to where I want to go. This month, I slipped away to stunning Mt. Baker, a pristine national forest filled with towering evergreens, rushing rapids, and panoramic mountaintop views. One of the things I most look forward to on these trips is catching up on all podcasts I’ve been wanting to listen to and can’t seem to find time for. There’s something so grounding for me about rhythmically walking along, surrounded by nature, soaking up the words and wisdom of the people I admire most. Today, as I set out on the Pacific Crest Trail, I pressed “play” on a podcast interview with Paul C. Brunson, known for co-hosting Lovetown, USA on the OWN network with Oprah Winfrey. Paul’s mainly recognized as being an acclaimed matchmaker, but I’ve been turning to him for his incisiveness as a life coach. One of the exercises he shared during this interview stuck with me throughout my 8 mile trek and inspired me to reflect in the following way. During the interview, Paul referenced a client who was struggling with an area of her life (romance) and he asked her to work through it by envisioning a pie with 8 slices (yum!) Each slice, Paul said, was an aspect of her life: her health, her friends and family, her work, her finances, romantic life, etc. The first provocative question Paul posed to her was, “What does it feel like to be optimal in each area of your life?”
Then he asked her, “Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 on how you stack up in each area of your life.” And finally, he asked, “What changes could you make this week that’d inch you closer to your optimal self?”
This exercise struck a chord because it’s simple, revealing, and deliciously actionable. After some thought, I decided that the 8 areas that I want to focus on in the coming months are:
*Friends & Family
*Giving Back (Volunteering and Mentoring)
*Growing & Stretching Myself
*Health (My Vegan Journey)
*Physical Bliss (Dancing! Building Strength! Gettin’ Flexible! Better Balance!)
*Resting & Recharging
*Work & Career
I’m halfway through my vacation. Over the next 4 days, I plan to delve into Paul’s 3 questions and plot out one positive action step for each area that I can tackle this week.
What are the 8 areas of your life that deserve focus? How does each area stack up on a scale of 1 to 5? What’s one baby step you could take in each area that’d inch you closer to your best, most blissful self?
Care to share? Join the conversation on Twitter at @LeapCast or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.