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In this episode, Kathy and Michael discuss specific tools and exercises to envision the intentional life you want. Here are some key ideas and tools from the episode.
Airport Exercise: Michael first learned about the Airport Exercise from a blog and podcast by Pat Flynn called Smart Passive Income. Here’s how to do the Airport Exercise: Imagine you are five years in the future and you run into a friend, a good friend, at the airport whom you haven’t seen in the past five years. What will you say to bring your friend up to date about your life in a brief conversation – not too long because you both have planes to catch!
First step: Take a piece of paper and draw lines to divide it in four quadrants. Give a name to each quadrant that identifies an area of life that is important to you. Examples: Health, Creativity, Travel, Family, Adventure, Connections, Love, Relationships. Don’t anguish over what you write; just put down what floats to the top of your mind.
Second step: Under each category, list a few things, in the present tense, that characterize that part of your life that you will be excited to share with your friend at the airport. Examples: I published my book! I’m married and have 2 kids! I’m a yoga teacher at a wonderful studio I love!
What’s the point? The Airport Exercise supports your vision of your desired future by getting you to speak, from a future vantage point, about the life you want to live. Using the present tense empowers that vision so that you can feel what it is like to have that life.
Five Year Plan: The Airport Exercise is an imagination exercise, and Five Year Plan is a planning and goal setting exercise.
First step: Write down where you want to be in five years. Examples: I am a successful yoga teacher. I am free of credit card debt. I have published my book.
Second step: Break down the five year goal into year by year goals to establish benchmarks. Examples: In year one, I will take the courses required to become certified by Yoga Alliance as a yoga teacher. In year two, I will research the studios in my area and offer to do workshops or substitute teaching so that I can get a feel for the sudio. In year three, I will fortify my reputation in the local yoga community by leading regional workshops. You get the idea. Third step: Keep going; break each year into monthly benchmarks. Michael uses his forthcoming new book on Prehab Exercises as an example of how to establish daily practices that support a five year goal, such as working every day on illustrations and learning via You Tube about what other people in his field are doing.
Inner Critic: Most people have an inner critic, a voice that spools out negative, limiting messages. Your Inner Critic may hijack your voice to sound like you, but often is a voice borrowed from a parent or other authority who’s had commentary on your life and actions.
Ideal Home: Take a sheet of paper and sketch out and/or write out what your Ideal Home looks and how it feels. Draw a floor plan! Design the landscape! Sketch out what your most lived in rooms look like. Describe how you feel when you arrive at home and when you spend time there. Who lives there in addition to you? Pets? Kids? Spouse? How does the space flow?
Ideal Day: Take a sheet of paper and walk yourself through an ideal day. When do you wake up? How do you feel when you get out of bed? What is your morning routine? Where do you go when you leave your home? What do you do? With whom do you collaborate during the day? What happens during your day? How is your life balanced among work, play, creative and movement activities.
Vision Board: This is a visual projection of your brain, mind and spirit. Gather a bunch of old magazines, grab a pair of scissors and a poster board. Identify three things that you want, three things that you want to do and three things you want to feel. Browse through the magazines and collect what you see that aligns with these three categories. Affix the images to your board and revisit it from time to time to see how you move toward it. Put it where you will see it often. Alternatives: Do the same thing digitally, collecting images from the web.
Dragontree Apothecary Dreambook – This is a beautiful interview format journal that encourages you to explore how you want to experience different parts of your existence and relationships – how you want to feel in those parts of your life. It explores topics such as your relationship with money. You can buy the journal on line from Dragontree Apothecary or you can buy a .pdf file from them and print it out to work on as you move through the journal. It is definitely a “little at a time” project!