While journaling on my 2017 reflections and 2018 intentions, I had an eye-opening reality check. My actions weren't aligning with my overall vision and purpose.
Most of 2017 was spent doing what I thought others wanted me to do. Following someone else's game plan, instead of my own ...which not only sucked the living life out of me but left me more confused than ever.
So, something I plan on doing more of in 2018 is checking in with myself.
Do my actions make sense? Are my daily actions bringing me closer to where I want to go and are they aligned with my overall vision and purpose?
But how does one know if their actions are aligned or not?
4 q's to guide you:
are your actions aligned with your vision and purpose?
1. What is your vision and purpose in life? Why does that drive you?
When I read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, I knew. I just knew I wanted to be a storyteller, or what she calls a truth teller. I wanted (and still want) to be someone who just tells the truth - and often the truth can be messy and uncomfortable.
Because I remember sitting in the main Powell's bookstore in Portland, OR, reading Love Warrior and how much it resonated with me. So much so I started crying right there. In the bookstore. In front of everyone. (Okay so, not literally in front of everyone because a. I sat in a secluded area and b. I had the book up to my face. But you get my point.)
So whenever I choose to do something, I always want to make sure it relates back to my vision and purpose somehow:
- Am I sharing my truth?
- Is this helping me become a better person?
- Am I getting myself out of my comfort zone?
- How can I see this fitting in to my overall vision?
And what drives me to do this is all the years I've struggled with body image and mental health.
Because what I really needed back then (and even now) was/is more people sharing their truth and their stories. Community. Connection. Knowing that you aren't alone and that you can get through anything no matter how scary and messy it feels.
2. How did you get to where you are today?
What was the build up for you? Where there a turning point where you realized, "Okay, this is what I want to do with my life."?
How does everything come together?
How everything came together for me and how it brought me where I am today:
- Since childhood, I struggled with how I looked (especially my body) and having low self-esteem.
- In high school, I struggled with depression, which only got worse after high school.
- I eventually went to therapy and a local support group which helped me start sharing my story and using my voice.
- I had this job where my mentors helped me with my mindset and getting out of my own head.
- I always knew I wanted to create, which included having my own blog. I tried blogging for a couple of months (maybe it was only like 2 or 3 months max) a few years ago and it didn't work out because I wasn't consistent with it.
- So when I finally started Wholehearted Woman, I knew I had to be all in. And even then, I was still pretty flaky with it throughout 2017.
But the fact that I'm still here showed me that I need this.
That Wholehearted Woman is part of my story - the actions I take here are in alignment with my overall vision and purpose.
3. What are you currently doing with your life?
Take an honesty inventory and audit of your life.
At the end of the day, you have to be honest with yourself about whether it's bringing you closer to where you want to be.
And if the answer is no, it's doesn't feel in alignment, don't be afraid to change directions.
I know it's scary and I know it's tiring, but if you're sailing your ship in the wrong direction, you would want to change it around so you're going in the direction you want to go in, right? Well, that ship is your life.
Wholehearted Woman started out as a digital magazine. A short-lived one, but still.
And so once I knew it wasn't right for me anymore, I shut it down. And it was scary to do so, because I didn't want to be known as the person who can't make up her mind.
But at the end of the day, it's your life. And you're the one that has to deal with how it turns out - good or bad.
4. What's next?
So where to from here?
Be honest with yourself. Will what you're currently doing help you get you closer to where you need to go?
If the answer is yes, keep going.
If the answer is no, it's time to re-evaluate and come up with a new game plan.
To give you an idea of what this could look like (and what it actually looks like for me), I wrote a few blog posts related to this question that you might find helpful:
- All Things Wholehearted: What's Coming In 2018 - Updates & Announcements
- My Word Of The Year For 2018: Becoming
- 2017 Year In Review: The Bad, The Really Ugly, And Then The Good
Reflection. It's a wonderful thing.
At the end of the day, no one knows your life better than you do.
So no one knows what you want as much as you do. And if you're like me, you're scared to say it out loud. Because... what if it doesn't come true?
But what if it does?
What if you choose to stop living the life others have planned for you? And started living the life you always wanted, but were always secretly too scared to live?
Because there's one thing I know for sure: If you're living a life that's out of alignment with your vision and purpose, it isn't going to feel good.
Something's going to be off, and you'll feel it too.
So remember to check in with yourself once in a while.
I'd love to hear from you.
Are your actions aligned with your vision and purpose?
If not, what do you need to do in order to change that?