Spring is the optimal time to get motivated, set goals and take action. From the Spring Equinox in mid-March, days become longer and warmer, nature reawakens and we emerge from our winter regeneration. In META-Health terms, it’s the beginning of the First Phase, which means more energy, greater mental clarity and get-up-and go!
We can make the most of this energy by doing some simple self-coaching activities to identify and take actions towards what we want. These activities are inspiring and fun to do individually, with a coach or with a group of friends.
Activity 1: Five steps to your goals
On the spring module of our META-Health Master Practitioner programme, we spend a couple of inspiring days teaching and practising different approaches to goal-setting for health, personal development and business. Why not take advantage of the momentum of spring and set a goal or two for yourself…
How to do it:
Follow our simple 5-step process, discussing your answers with a friend or writing them in a journal:
- Which area of life do you want to change? Health, fitness, relationships, social life, career, personal growth, spirituality, finance, personal interests, community, creativity…
- What’s your goal: what do you want to achieve? Make it specific and time-framed
- Where are you now? What progress have you already made?
- How could you achieve your goal? Think of at least 10 ways!
- What will you do to take the first step, and when? What can you do to start within the next 24 hours?
Once you’ve set your goal, making a simple change within the first day helps you to gain momentum and move forwards. Make it easy and motivating! When you’ve taken the first action, check in with your goal and repeat step 5 – taking each next baby step until you’re there!
Activity 2: Be, Do & Have
Not sure if you’re ready for setting goals? Start by uncovering all of your ideas for the future. This activity gets you thinking in terms of possibility, releasing mental restrictions and the probability of sticking to old patterns.
How to do it:
Take 3 pieces of paper, and entitle them individually ‘Be’, ‘Do’ and ‘Have’. Then let your imagination and ideas flow as you freely write, mind-map or draw everything you can think of in each category. Keep going until you have well over 100 items each, asking yourself the following questions as prompts:
- Be: Who do I want to be? What characteristics and qualities do I want to experience and express?
- Do: What do I want to do, in each area of my life? What actions do I want to take? What experiences would I like to have?
- Have: What do I want to have? What attributes, feelings and possessions would I like to have?
If at any point your creative flow gets stuck, you can ask yourself: what would I be / do / have if there were no restrictions? What would I do if money / time / commitments / geography / other barriers were no longer holding me back? Within these seemingly implausible ideas sometimes emerge quite plausible options that you wouldn’t have uncovered while thinking inside the box.
When you’ve recorded all of your ideas and are satisfied and inspired by your lists or mind-maps, you can choose the items that most appeal to you to set goals and take action.
Activity 3: Your Future Vision
If you tend to be more visually inspired, creating a Vision Board can be fun and creative as well as powerfully effective.
When we started creating ours, we couldn’t stop! What was planned as a one-or-two hour activity lasted well into the night as some of our META-Health Academy team got so motivated creating our Vision Boards! The results were great – two years on, many of our desired visions have since come true.
How to do it:
Identify topics: This activity is a great extension or alternative to the Be, Do & Have. You can choose one or all four categories of Be, Do, Have and Go (i.e. where you’d like to travel to). Create a board or quarter of a board for each area, using card or thick paper (anything from A4 to A1 depending on how big you want it to be!). Alternatively, you may choose to focus your Vision Board on a particular life goal or theme, such as career, home or family life.
Create: Collect as many old magazines, relevant brochures, photos and images as you can find. Look through them and cut out all the words and pictures that represent your desires. Stick them onto your poster or board until it’s full and looking good!
View: Place your completed Vision Board somewhere you’ll look at it regularly. Some suggest displaying your Vision Board where you’ll see it on falling sleep and waking up; if it’s private, one of our friends suggested sticking it inside your wardrobe door.
If you’re not into old-school cutting and pasting, another friend had the great idea of creating a virtual vision board from online pictures and using it as your desktop background, wallpaper or screen saver.
Be warned: Vision Boards can work literally! As one of our team shared, when she found her old Vision Board, she was surprised to see the exact fireplace and bathroom suite she had had in her subsequent two homes…
Activity 4: META-Therapy Wheel
Many people find that spring is the ideal time to focus on creating better health, as we have greater energy, motivation to move, longer days and (hopefully) better weather to support a positive mood and more activity! Yet META-Health shows us that health is more than simply diet and exercise – it’s about creating wellness at every level of our being.
Creating a META-Therapy wheel is an effective approach to generating change that covers all 5 areas of being: mind, body, spiritual, social and environmental. This activity can be used for your life generally or applied to a specific life area or issue you’d like to overcome (for example, a life area such as personal development or career or an issue such as anxiety).
How to do it:
Draw a large circle on a blank piece of paper. Draw two concentric circles inside it, and then divide the whole into 5 segments, like a pie chart.
Titles: In the inner circle, write one word in each of the 5 segments: mind, body, spirit, social, environment. This gives you your labels for each segment. If you have a goal or issue in mind, write this at the top of the page, and focus on it for the next two steps. Otherwise, just consider your life generally…
Visions: In the second circle, write or draw your answers to the following question for each of the 5 areas: How do I want my (mind / body / spirit / social life / environment) to be?
Actions: In each segment of the outer circle, write one small and simple step you can take to move towards your vision. When it’s complete, display your circle somewhere you’ll see it regularly, and update the outer circle every time you’ve taken the next action – until you achieve your vision!
To find out more about how to create effective META-Therapy plans, see our article here
Activity 5: A Jar of…
Our final activity lasts all year, and can be started on any day of the year; the first day of spring, your birthday, an anniversary – or any normal day! It’s a good option if you’d like to take a quick and simple daily action that gives you a positive focus. It takes just a minute each day and gives you a great personal record at the end of twelve months.
How to do it:
Get a large jar, decorate it and choose what you’d like want to focus on. Many people choose a Happiness Jar, as suggested by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Our META-Health Coach Roni Flatley chose to create a Gratitude Jar; another alternative would be an Inspiration Jar; choose what appeals to you!
Every day, write or draw on a tiny piece of paper or post-it note one thing that’s brought you happiness (or that you’ve been grateful for, that’s inspired you etc.), and post it in your jar. Take a look at your collection of posts whenever you feel the need for a boost, or save them for a year and enjoy reviewing and celebrating all 365 on the anniversary date! You could even make a collage of your completed notes.
However you choose to do it, defining your vision, setting your goals and making simple changes can help you to gain momentum, move forwards and make the most of the new spring energy coming in!
What coaching tools have inspired you? Share your tips and successes below or on our Facebook page