I’m in love with my habit tracker. Every month I discover new and interesting things to track. It’s a wonderful way to adopt new habits, keep track of work tasks that need to be done repeatedly (like posting on social media) and keep yourself moving forward towards your goals.
If you’re anything like me, I find great satisfaction tracking my progress. It feels good to color in the boxes as I complete something, knowing I’m on track and keeping my promises to myself.
Not everything needs to be done everyday (you’re the judge of that) but keeping track of your habits and tasks in this way allows you an instant visual of what you’ve been doing along with what you haven’t been doing. It can be really eye opening. You may think you’re doing something more than you are (like exercising) or may be pleasantly surprised to see that you’re really on track with something (like meditation).
What you track is up to you.
Start by looking at your goals and how you want to live your life. Is there anything you want to change (like lose weight, get more sleep, increase website traffic, etc)?
Once you know what you want to change, decide what’s the best way to make this change. Start with small easy steps.
What are some things you can track to help you achieve the change you desire? These are the things to put on your habit tracker.
To help get you started, here are 70 things to track on your habit tracker:
I have never been great at making decisions. Unless I’m really clear about something, if it’s a strong yes or no, I will usually muddle around with it for a while, put together many pro/con lists and hope clarity comes to me. Because of this indecisiveness, I’ve become an expert at making key decisions.
Today I’m going to share with you some of the top ways I’ve learned about how to make smart decisions.
As some of you may know, I moved to northern Michigan from Evanston (outside of Chicago) a little over a year ago. I came up here because I’ve always loved this area and used to vacation here as a child. My husband and I even honeymooned here so it holds many special memories.
We started our journey here strong, especially since it was summer, the best time of the year to be here. We often remarked on how much we felt like we were on vacation and how wonderful it all was. But then late fall hit then winter and we felt like we had overstayed our vacation. Over the past several months we’ve gone back and forth around whether we should stay or should we go. It’s been an excruciating process at times but I’ve learned how to come at it from many different directions.
Making decisions (especially big ones) isn’t always easy but with these tools, it will make the process a whole lot easier. You can use each one on it’s own or combine them. Do what works best for you. They each come at it a little differently which helps broaden your perspective around the decision.
The Pain/Gain Model
I learned this technique from my coaching training (iPEC) and have shared it with many clients over the years with much success. It works great when you have a decision based on things staying the same versus making a change (like my moving or not moving).
Once you have all these scenarios down, step back and ask yourself what do you think about all this information? This is all info that’s been swirling around in your mind. Now that it’s all out on paper, how does it make you feel? What jumps out at you? Which option is pulling you? Is there a clear winner?
If you could eliminate all the pain of change and find alternatives for the gains of staying the same, what would you want to do? If you could eliminate the pain of the current situation and find alternatives for the gains of the change, what would you want to do?
What I love/What I don’t love
I developed this technique while figuring out whether or not to move. It’s similar to a pro/con list however it’s more specific to what’s going on. Using this technique will help you get to the core of what’s working and what’s not working, coming from your heart versus your head. This option works best when you’re trying to decide between a current situation versus a future (unknown) situation, like whether or not to move.
This technique helped me to discover that the reasons I loved the current situation (my current house) weren’t strong enough reasons to stay. However the reasons I didn’t love my current situation were strong reasons to leave.
Fear-based vs. Growth-based
I learned this technique today and love how it cuts through the truth of why you’re making the decisions you’re making.
To start you look at whether you’re making the decision based on fear or growth. To aide you in figuring this out, list all the fears around staying the same and all the benefits/growth opportunities for staying the same. Next look at all the fears of making the change and all the benefits/growth opportunities for making the change. Once you do this, you’ll gain clarity around whether your fears are causing you to stay the same or are the ones wanting you to make the change.
I used this technique combined with the what I love/what I don’t love technique to gain greater clarity around my decision whether or not to move. I discovered by doing this that I had fears around leaving my current home and growth opportunities around moving somewhere else.
The Body/Mind/Spirit Technique
I learned this technique from one of my spiritual teachers Mark Anthony Lord recently. It’s a wonderful way to check decisions and to determine which direction to go.
Start by closing your eyes and thinking about one possibility of your decision. For me, I thought about the possibility of staying. With this possibility in mind, taking in some deep cleansing breaths and consider how your mind thinks about this possibility. Don’t force or even think about your answers but instead allow your answers to come. What does your mind have to say about this possibility?
Once you’re clear about what your mind has to say, move down to your heart and ask your heart what it says and/or feels about this possibility. Because you’re down in your heart, chances are you’ll feel the answer more than think it. That’s OK. Make a note of how your heart feels about it before moving on.
Next move down to your gut. How does your gut feel about this possibility? Really allow the answer to come. Don’t force it. Sit with it as long as it takes for you to feel how your gut responds to your possibility.
Once your gut has given you its answer, move up to your crown chakra (at the top of your head) and focus on what your spirit has to say about this possibility. Be open to whatever comes.
Once you feel complete, open your eyes and make notes of all the responses you’ll receive. Some of them might contradict each other (like the mind vs. heart) and that’s ok. This exercise is meant to give you clarity around your choice, not necessarily to give you the “right” answer. For even more clarity, repeat this exercise with the other possibilities from your choice (i.e. if you did the possibility of staying, play with the possibility of moving).
Want help? If you need further help making your decisions and/or would like to discuss it more with someone not in the situation, schedule a strategy session with me. It’s all over the phone so you don’t need to be local. I can help you gain the clarity you desire.
Mind mapping is a brilliant way to get information and ideas out of your head and down on paper. Continue reading
Do you have dreams and desires waiting around for you to take action? Continue reading
Are you one of those people who can’t seem to decide on a career? Have you struggled for months (YEARS!) trying to figure out that one career that makes the most sense? Do you cringe whenever you hear “follow your passion” and “do the work you love?” If yes, you are not alone.
I have struggled right along with you (for YEARS) trying to determine which career to focus my attention on. I was under the impression that you had to pick just one. This all started in middle school when my parents sat me down and told me I had to get serious about my academic career and needed to figure out which career path I wanted to follow. I did not take this well and subsequently suffered for years afterwards trying to figure this out.
It wasn’t until recently when I rediscovered Barbara Sher’s book Refuse to Choose! that I finally gave in to the fact that I’m a scanner. According to Barbara, a scanner is someone who loves to do a variety of things (often simultaneously) and isn’t satisfied focusing on only one thing. They CANNOT only do one thing. They are not built that way. Focusing on only one thing drives a scanner crazy and leaves them deeply dissatisfied.
I read the book back in 2006 when it came out but for some reason it’s taken rediscovering it in 2014 for it to really sink in.
You may be a scanner if…
If you’re a scanner, hello and welcome to our crazy world. Yes, we may not fit societal’s mold of picking one career for the rest of our lives, but once you get comfortable knowing that this is who you are, then you can relax and get on what you really want to do: EVERYTHING!
Not surprisingly, scanners come in all varieties ranging from cyclical scanners (who have four to five major areas of interest) to the Sybil (whose list of interest is endless and always expanding). No matter which type you are, there is a way to manage all of what you want to do with ease and grace and without losing your head.
Since graduating from college (communication major – can’t get much more broad), I’ve dabbled in marketing, publishing, writing (novels), journalism (writing boring financial articles), editing, graphic design, web design, real estate (briefly held a real estate license), life coaching, photography, and akashic readings. I’ve held full time jobs, telecommuting jobs, freelance jobs and owned my own businesses (multiple). I’ve been a managing editor, marketing coordinator, staffing sales associate, real estate agent, web designer, graphic designer, writer, proofreader, photographer, life coach and akashic records practitioner. A lot of these I’ve done simultaneously and continue to do (at least four).
So, you see, you are not alone.
the scanner toolkit
It’s one thing to know you’re a scanner, it’s another to know what to do about it.
The first tool Barbara suggests every scanner use is the SCANNER DAYBOOK. It’s a notebook dedicated to capturing all your thoughts and ideas so you have them in one place and easily accessible. You can do this in a notebook or online using Pinterest or bookmarks. Whatever works for you. I personally have a notebook where I capture everything. I call it my dream journal and it gives me comfort knowing all my great ideas are tucked away in there waiting.
The second is the WALL CALENDAR POSTER which is a six year calendar (you can make it yourself using poster board) used for marking down all the projects you want to do and giving them deadlines (times). I use this in a different way – writing out all my projects in a spreadsheet with deadlines. I break down each project (like write a new novel) down into bite size chucks (like develop a storyline) and assign deadlines to each chunk. I then sort them in order of their deadlines and waalaa – I have a workable “to do” list that helps me to manage all that I want to do.
Barbara also suggests using STICKY NOTES as a solution to capturing ideas and recommends sticking them everywhere.
I am so grateful for having found this book and to have stopped struggling with trying to nail down one career focus. As you can see from my website, I’m an intuitive life coach, akashic practitioner, photographer and writer and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’d love to hear about your experiences as a scanner. It’s helpful to know we’re not alone.