work | choices, choices



hello, hello! i've completed the fourth phase, options, of the institute of you program, and it was hard. whoa! this phase deals with identifying the actual steps you will take to align your current snapshot with your personal vision. if i had an 'ah-ha' moment in the last phase, this one was like a canon going off when i realized how far i was drifting. there are three exercises in this phase:
  1. saying no - this step was eye-opening and involves making a list of things you will say no to. they can be projects or habits like cutting back on checking your email every 5 minutes, twittering or getting your nose into everything because you need to know what’s going on everywhere like i do. they can also involve saying no to negative feelings like fear, complacency, lack of focus or worry. have you ever tried to assign a time line to your worries? it's very powerful to do so and see the opportunities that might be trickling right through your fingertips as you obsess over whether you're creative enough or if people will like your work.
  2. reprioritize projects - somehow, i have to reallocate about 20 hours a week to to projects that will be fulfilling and give me an opportunity for some financial reward. i'm very disappointed in myself for losing all concept of time management and have started to keep a daily log (love this one from muji!) and use our kitchen timer to keep me on course (i’m serious about the kitchen timer).
  3. backcasting - this is a sophisticated concept often used in corporate strategic planning and the only task that stopped me in my tracks. it involves filling out a large chart, in reverse! basically, you write down your current snapshot on one side (reality phase), your personal vision on the other (aims phase) and then work backwards to come up with a list of indicators and actions that will help you achieve your goals. then, pulling from the chart, you create a project plan of items you can work on over the next few months. some will be quick wins, which is great because when you look at everything contained in that chart it can be overwhelming.
at this point, my personal vision is very clear and i’m not surprised to see where it’s going. i'm just about ready to move on to the final stage of the program and might actually be done with all of the phases by labor day, which was my goal and symbolic. the best is yet to come!

xo, cindy

ps brandon flowers from the killers has a new album. i love the song crossfire, although i'm not sure why charlize theron doesn't save him sooner in the video. maybe she does, but he keeps getting captured? boys!

11 comments:

Line said...

this sounds like serious work, I can see that you will get a true focus in life, congratulation Cindy one more step!!!!

Clare B said...

When you last blogged about this I ended up checking out their site. It looks like such a powerful tool, I'm tempted to go back and have another look. Curious to know that if at the end of it all you think it's been worth it.

Krissy said...

wow Cindy- This step could be really useful! I think I need to give it a shot. Just last night I was explaining how I'm content. (but honestly I'm not, I think I'm just lazy!!) #2 is something I will start today. Thanks for posting about this. Can't wait to hear about your success!

**We BLOG ARTISTS** said...

this really sounds like what I should be doing...and probably shouldn't be on the computer right now!
lol...
HUGS
CHar.x

Trish said...

Great work Cindy! Very much looking forward to hearing how you do with your last, and final stage, of The Institute! Sending all my best. :)

cindy said...

it is definitely worth it even if all i do is have an idea of how i spend my time. an awareness of where it is going.

you can take away as much as you want from this program, but it is self-directed & self-motivated, which are often things we all struggle with.

but, at this point, to be honest, i'm really sick of myself ;)! i can't wait to finish it up and get on with some new things!

Jamie said...

Cindy, its been so interesting to watching you go through this process, I've learned just by checking in on your blog. Can't wait to see where it takes you.

I also can't wait to pick up Brandon Flower's album, I love him!

Line said...

hey Cindy I'm sure you can do it hang in there!!!!!!! you are worth it!!!

aimee said...

number one is huge. something tells me that most of us would be drop dead shocked if we saw in numbers the hours we spend living in our virtual worlds.

i am impressed with your commitment to this!

Julia said...

Oh my goodness, Cindy! What an eye-opening experience this must have been for you. I love the idea of backcasting. Wow, that would be pretty profound, I think!

Miles Of Style said...

wow...congratulations Cindy! this program sounds really interesting!

persis.