Activity #1 – Goals/dreams for the next 12 months
*Option 1 (15 minutes):
I highly recommend for your first exercise that you watch “How to gain control of your free time” Ted talk by Laura Vanderkam https://www.ted.com/talks/laura_vanderkam_how_to_gain_control_of_your_free_time
*Option 2 (5 minutes):
If you only have five minutes here is a summary:
There are 168 hours in a week, so if you spend 56 of those sleeping and say 50 working then 21 on the essentials, you (theoretically) have over 40 hours left over for free time!
Ok, so it never works out exactly like that, but like Laura says in her talk, it is all about prioritisation. So let’s prioritise you.
Take five minutes to think about what you want to have achieved by the end of the next 12 months. Give yourself no more than three areas (Laura uses professional, family, personal) and two-three goals in each.
Write/draw/illustrate these goals.
Once a week you can come back to this and see what you can plan in to make progress on your next week.
Activity #2 Goal for the month
Think about just one goal you would like to achieve by the end of the month – something simple.
We have talked about hours in a week (168), but what about hours in a month? Can you spare just one hour for a massage, a facial, a yoga class or a trip to your favourite place? Try it and see. Be open to inspired thought – for example – if you receive an offer or discount for something that you would enjoy then take the hint!
This type of mindset will take some practice, but like most things the more you practice the better you get, and before you know it prioritising a bit of time for yourself each day will become second nature to you.
Activity #3 – Write down your favourite things
Start by writing down as many things that you like as possible, regardless of whether they are your favourite things or not.
Use these techniques for inspiration:
- Look back over your photos and video clips over the past year and see what makes you smile the most.
- Think about all of the things that you have done this month that you have really enjoyed.
- Check over your diary to remind you of things that you committed to over the last year – making a note of those that inspire the happiest memories.
- Think back to the activities that you enjoyed as a child, or as a teenager/young adult – are they still things that make you happy now?
Once you have these in front of you, highlight all of the ones that really stand out to you: things that make your heart sing and make you feel light on your feet.
Activity #4 Write down the names of your favourite, soul-replenishing people
Think of all the people in your life: old friends, new friends, your family, your colleagues, even your acquaintances from certain clubs or classes if they happen to spring to mind.
Who really makes you feel great about yourself, which friends really enrich your life, which members of your family just get you but you hardly ever see? Who inspires you?
- your champions – when you have new ideas and dreams, who understands and eggs you on?
- your SOS – in an emergency who do you know that you can count on?
- your muses – who inspires you to see the world differently – maybe something simple like your style, or perhaps your reading/music list contributor!
- your shared interest friends, meaning those who you do your favourite things with.
My sister came to stay for a few days recently and having her here is just so easy, it feels like we can communicate just by being in the same room as each other. If you have someone who you are close to like that you will know just what I mean – or maybe what resonates more for you is the scenario when you finally see an old friend and you just fall back into whichever conversation you probably finished on last time you were together!
I don’t like to focus on the negative, but in this exercise it may help some people to make a separate column for the people who you know are not good for you – keep this one small and do not give it too much thought, as you predominantly need to be celebrating the good people in your life.
Take a step back and look at your diary for the next few months – how many appointments or events involve either these favourite people or your favourite things?
Activity #5 Write down all of the things you love about yourself
Write down all of the things that you love about yourself – don’t be shy! This may take longer, especially if you are a Brit, as some sort of genetic programming malfunctioned so that most of our brains do not have the capacity for such immodest behaviour.**
Watch the Tracy McMillan TED talk: ‘The Person You Really Need to Marry’ and then do the same as above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3fIZuW9P_M
In a few days, we will revisit these… and see what we can add to them. If you can, share your lists with us on instagram (or Facebook page) tagging @minutesforme using the hashtag #selflove so that we can share and help each other grow in self-confidence, and consequently happiness.
**If after 5 minutes, you are looking at an empty, or almost empty page, and are feeling upset by this then think long and hard about how you need to deal with this. Low self-esteem in its extremity is considered to be a mental health issue, and in the UK, mind are the main charity for dealing with this sort of mental health problem: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-esteem/ . There are real-life blogs on this page about how other men and women have coped with this issue. You may need to speak to your doctor, and consider whether speaking to an alternative professional will help you. My personal feeling is that there is room in all of our lives for a little bit of therapy, and you need to be confident and strong about pursuing this to help you love yourself even more. Once again, if you are embarking on a journey, take us with you. Good luck xx
Activity #6 Write down or create frequency changers
Think about what your frequency changers are, write them down and keep them in mind when you feel like you are having a bad day.
More than 5 minutes:
Create yourself a playlist full of songs that make you feel happy. Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Take That absolutely go, as well as the old crooners and anything else for that matter. You don’t have to share these just get that ‘Emergency’ playlist ready to kick you out of the black and into the gold, sparkly and irridescent.
If you are happy to, share your frequency changers with us @minutesforme on instagram and facebook, or in your posts below, hopefully they will make us laugh/smile too.