A few weeks ago I was sipping a fruity glass of Pinot while snuggled up on the couch with a close girlfriend. We were nibbling olives and doing as girlfriends do - dissecting and analyzing our lives and dreams down to the teeniest, tiniest detail, trying to crack them open and discover ways we could improve them in 2015.
Girlfriend was considering leaving a Perfectly Good Job that didn’t fill her up and ending things with a Perfectly Nice Guy who didn’t light her fire.
We all know these are terrifying, difficult decisions. Making the commitment to play big isn’t one to be taken lightly. Pushing our little boats away from familiar shores is down-to-the-bone scary.
But after a few more hours of talking, I think I convinced her. It was time for her to lean in + leap. I’m sure this new era in her life with have its rocky moments but I know she’ll be so, so happy she made the effort.
I myself am well-versed in the sometimes-rocky, always-rewarding road to Big Things. If you’ve watched this video, you know that I spent all of my twenties (and most of my early thirties) at war with my body, in a job I didn’t like, making terrrrrible dating choices.
But I pulled myself up + out and earned a PhD while launching my online presence, juggling a day job, and meeting the man I married this past November.
I’ve learned how to make big things happen the hard way - lots of trial and error with a heaping helping of mistakes and humility. Let me save you some of the trouble?
One of the things that helped me most was a series of questions I’d ask myself each Sunday as I prepared for the coming week. If you, too, are ready for big, exciting, important changes in the new year these will help.
How can I work with more efficiency?
Are there pockets of time you’re wasting on a daily basis? What if you quit social media? Or you gave up on your two-hour-a-night Netflix habit?
What can I get done in an extra 20 minutes a day?
You will discover that 20 minutes is enough to send that thoughtful letter, answer some emails, make that call, pay those two bills. These small efforts make for consistently BIG results.
Can I shelve criticism?
Living up to your life will require pushing boundaries, taking chances - and probably some worry about what “they” think. Stop arguing with imaginary critics. (Here’s how to stop negative thought patterns.)
Can I respond without attack and self-justification?
To have more success, you must be will be pushing yourself outside comfortable boundaries. If you want more success, you must be willing to entertain more possible failures. Failure is a part of being ambitious. Know that you will encounter it, prepare yourself to hear ‘no’ - then pivot and keep going.
Where can I fit in more time to exercise?
What exercise do you (really) enjoy the most? Your brain works better when you body is healthy + vibrant. Don’t use this time in your life as an excuse for couch potato-ry.
Do I need to launch the blog, make the call, write the proposal, quit, start?
How are you going to tell people about your big, new dream? What activities are no longer serving you? What do you need to learn + master to make this happen?
How can I complain + nag less?
Negativity is an energy drain and you need all your mojo to make shit happen. Drop the complaints and keep your eye on your prize.
I’ve actually been using these questions to help prepare for my own Very Big Thing. On November 3rd, I launched my new book ‘Soul Sessions: A 5-week guide to crafting greater joy + making big things happen in your life’ I’d love it if you downloaded the 12-page free sample + see if it’s just what you need to kick off the new year in a bright, confident and clear way!
Whatever the amount of joy or possibility you are looking for in 2015, Soul Sessions can help!
Here’s to a gorgeous holiday season + a heart-centered new year!
Dr. Danielle Dowling is a life coach and psychologist. Her book ‘Soul Sessions: A 5-Week Guide To Crafting Greater Joy + Making Big Things Happen In Life’ launched on November 3nd and she’d love it if you downloaded a free, 12-page sample here. Her goal is to motivate women to live inspiring lives; experience a life better lived and achieve their dreams whatever they may be. Connect with Danielle on Twitter and Pinterest. This post is in support of my new program for 2015, Loud Ladies.