I recently shared my process for setting my 2021 goals and intentions. Before setting the goals, I first decided on how I want to feel in the new year and beyond.
I shared that I want to feel more joy and presence – wanting to live more in the moment and to give myself space to fully feel all the good stuff.
The present moment is all there is. 2020 helped me understand that better than any other year.
I’ve been working with the concept of “compounding joy” – building up joy in your mind and body, which essentially allows you to experience more of it.
I’d love to share an exercise with you that will allow you to find more joy in your life.
It’s 3 simple steps and you can practice it wherever and whenever.
And this exercise is especially important for my overachievers and doers. Give yourself the space and opportunity to really enjoy your successes and hard work.
Here’s the exercise.
Name a recent win.
Pick a win you’ve recently experienced, no matter how small it may seem.
The win is important, but what’s most important is giving yourself space to dissect the success.
For example, one of my clients recently shared that she stood up to her team members at work and expressed her needs and boundaries around scheduling. That’s significant.
Take a moment and think about (and maybe even write this out),
- What did it take for you to accomplish this win?
- Who did you become in that moment?
Be very specific.
My client, for example, had to work on her own self worth – to learn that her boundaries and needs matter. Then, she had to overcome the fear of speaking up. And finally, she had to detach from the outcome of how her team might respond.
All of this required work and courage.
For my job seekers who have been in the job search for a long time, I want you to break down all the little wins you’ve had along the way – each email response that you received, and each email that you sent.
For my entrepreneurs, I want you to celebrate setting boundaries and closing the laptop at 5 pm.
Really break down all the decisions you needed to make and the faith you needed to have to make these decisions and achieve these seemingly small wins. This is a great exercise to help you see what you’re capable of.
Identify the feeling.
Label the emotion that you experience when you think of your win.
Do you feel joy? Excitement? Possibility?
Labeling is really important. It gives language to what you’re experiencing.
Here’s a feelings inventory I use with my clients to help them identify what emotions they’re experiencing.
Check out the positive feelings and see which are present for you when you think about your wins.
Think about the success you experienced but then also all the little decisions you made to get you to that success.
Expand that feeling in your body.
We experience our emotions in the body. For example, similar to experiencing stress and how cortisol can wreak havoc on your health, experiencing joy can have the opposite, positive impact.
So close your eyes, sit still and ask yourself:
- How does your body feel as you experience this emotion?
- How does your heart space feel?
- What about your gut?
- What’s happening with your hands?
- Where else in your body are you experiencing the positive impact? Let it wash over you.
Give yourself space to be with this feeling even 10 seconds.
Take the time to do this this week. I promise you today is truly all we have.