Every strong and resilient woman didn’t get that way by chance – she got there by looking inwards. In order to create a vision for your future and find a way to achieve it, a little self-reflection is required. As women, we often focus so much of our attention on the needs and wants of others that when it comes time to identify our own desires, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s nearly impossible to sever the ties between what you want and what others want, especially when it comes to family. However, by answering these 11 questions, you can confidently visualize the kind of life you want to lead and begin taking the steps to make it happen.
What are your abilities? What are you naturally good at?
Examining your natural aptitudes not only puts you in a positive mindset, but it gives you the chance to play to your strengths right off the bat. For instance, you might be naturally creative. As a child, you might have found yourself “renovating” your bedroom, making new “mud recipes” in the backyard, and coming up with games to play with your siblings. This shows that you would do well in roles that allow you to be creative and imaginative and would be stifled in rigid environments. Be honest with yourself and take the time to unashamedly appreciate all of your natural talents and how they can help you be your best self.
What is your personality? Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Are you positive or negative?
Understanding your own personality can be the key to revealing the vision for your prime life. Much like reflecting on your natural abilities, evaluating your character can help you work with your natural tendencies as you create your plan for the future, instead of working against them. Not every strong and resilient woman is the stereotypical positive extrovert; even the introvert can be successful, happy, and thriving by using her instinct to reflect to find creative solutions. Embrace who you are – your path to success and happiness depends on it!
What skills have you acquired over the years?
Think about how much knowledge you’ve acquired in your lifetime. Tons, right? Now is the time to really consider the skills you’ve learned and which of those can carry you through to the life you most want to lead. The little things you’ve learned in high school jobs all the way up to the skills you’ve sharpened throughout your career are in your toolbox and at your disposal – and I’ll bet you no one has an arsenal quite like yours.
What types of things interest you? What are you passionate about?
To visualize the life you want to lead, you have to be able to identify the things about which you care most. For instance, if you love animals and photography, your plan for the future can include fostering pets, going back to school to become a veterinarian, or combining your two loves by volunteering to take pictures of the animals at a local shelter. Maybe you could pick up a side-gig as a dog walker! Before you make big plans, you have to pinpoint exactly what it is that excites you and embrace it. Nothing is too little.
What do you value?
What means the most to you? These are the things to keep at the front of your mind. By establishing your core values, you build a road map that leads you right into your ideal future. Never lose sight of what you value and you’ll never lose your way.
What are your goals for your life, your body, your brains, and your bliss?
Create tangible, quantifiable goals for yourself and your future. Saying “I want to be fit, happy, and healthy” isn’t enough. What does that look like to you? What is your why? Getting your goals back on track might mean reevaluating or reshaping them, but when you have an endgame in place, you can start designing steps to get there.
What stage are you in life?
What does your life look like now? What stage are you in physically? Maybe you’re fresh out of college with stars in your eyes and student debt looming over your head. Or you’re well established in a career that you love, caring for a growing family, or looking forward to the free time that comes with retirement. In either scenario and state of life, your goals are likely to be very different. Take inventory of where you are in life and what sorts of challenges and opportunities you should be planning for.
What was your family like? Are they healthy?
Family medical history (both mental and physical) can provide a detailed and often eye-opening glimpse into the potential future of your own health and wellness. With that said, looking past diagnoses and medical records and into the personal lives and choices of your family members can be equally educational. See the good in your family as inspiration and take the not-so-good as an opportunity to learn and improve.
What did your last success look like?
Reflect on your past success and revel in your accomplishments. Your past successes can be a wealth of information and inspiration to bring forward into the vision of your best future. Why were you successful? How did you get there and what skills did you use? These experiences can be leveraged and add up to making you the strong and resilient woman that you are!
When was the last time you were fit?
Much like your past successes, you can glean a great deal from your own fitness history. Think of how your body and mind felt when you were at your most physically fit. How did you get there? What happened to change that? For instance, maybe you were the fittest when you were running. Now, due to aching joints and pandemic restrictions, you aren’t able to run like you used to. Not only does the activity and simple joy of running disappear, but you also start to miss out on the many different benefits it has for your overall health. Take these lessons forward as you carve a new path to find a new daily routine and live the life you envisioned.
Are you happy? When was the last time you were truly happy?
This question can be difficult, but it’s so important to answer honestly. Are you really, truly happy and, if not, when was the last time you remember feeling that way? Take that feeling and those circumstances and use them to devise a vision that makes you blissfully happy once again.
Armed with the answers to these questions and a clearer understanding of the vision you have for your best life, you can begin to forge a new, thriving path for yourself and your future.
For more ways to think and learn about unlocking your potential to live a healthy, happy, thriving life, consider attending the next Women’s Health Conversations Conference (date TBD) which will host a variety of women’s health advocates, speakers, and entertainers. In the meantime, you can also join this vital conversation on Facebook to raise awareness of women’s health concerns, empowerment, and education by registering today. You are a strong and resilient woman and your health and happiness are in your hands – so we say run with it.