How to truly feel your goals

Zur deutschen Version geht es hier entlang – German version here

Julia Meder Dreamfinder CoachingEverybody is creating goals for the new year right now. And many goals will – again – not be reached. I have this problem every year as well and it really starts to annoy me. Therefore I started to have a hard time even beginning to think about my goals. Why bother if you don’t reach them anyway. But I might have found a better solution this year.
Last year I made a vision board. This year I couldn’t. I tried, though. I cut out many, many pieces from magazines, but at one point I realized that they were only headlines and texts, almost no pictures. And how do you make a visionboard with no pictures. Then I tried to find pictures on the internet but when I had to search for them and they didn’t come to me, they didn’t speak to me. So I decided to not make a visionboard this year even though it worked so well for me last year.

A different form of goal planning
I found something else and it might be something that you can try as well. It was more a coincidence that I listened to the audiobook The Desire Map Exercise by Danielle LaPorte. I have to admit I was sceptical at the beginning but then I realized that it came at the right moment for me. And it started out right as she talked about that she feels ambivalent towards her goals. Either she didn’t reach them and felt like a loser or she did reach and/or overexceeded them and felt like a loser because she obviously didn’t set goals that were ambitious enough.
Then she asked herself, what she would like to feel this year instead of creating goals. Those feelings she extracted though a longer process that she calls the Desire Map. After she knew her core desired feelings she checked her goals if they were a fit and knew exactly what she wanted and needed to do to feel as often as possible like she desired to.
This was a revelation for me. It was like many little puzzle pieces fell into the right place in one moment. so easy but so powerful! In the book Danielle LaPorte takes the reader through the Desire Map process and you will end up with three to five core desired feelings. You will have so much more clarity what belongs into your life and what doesn’t.
I am still in the process of letting my words sink in but they feel very right. So I checked my goals already and found that I can easily let go of some that I only put on my list out of obligation and that will never help me to feel my core desired feelings. I was chasing them out of the wrong reasons. At the same time there are goals that I wasn’t sure about and that I didn’t dare to put on my list but now they are on top of the list as they give me what I really need.

How do you want to feel?
So here is my question for you: How do you want to feel this year as often as possible?
Here are some tips:
1. Try to find words that are very specific and not too general. So not successful but a related word like propserous, blooming or triumphant. Use the thesaurus if you need help to find the right word and let it inspire you. One of my first words for example was energized but it didn’t quite ring true, but then I found radiant and this hit home. And when I am radiant I need to be full of energy anyway. So this is the perfect combination.
2. Also try to find only words that come from inside and are not dependant on your external world. THe words loved, seen, acknowledged for example are words that mean that somebody is giving it to you. But when you say you want to feel love most of the time this is different because it is on you to feel that way.
3. Additionally the words that mean that you need to take action are something you should keep an eye on. Examples are caring or loving. They seem to be good words but it means that you need to do this to somebody or yourself. So you need to do something to feel your core desired feelings. One of my first words for example was nurturing, as I really love to take care of others. But I changed it to tender (as in loving and taking care as well as soft). Because if I feel tenderness I can also include this in my work with clients as I hold them safe and take care of their feelings.
If you are interested to learn more about the Desire Map, I can only recommend Danielle’s book. And if you are able to listen to it, do it. She has such a warm and nice voice. She will guide you through the process.

Do you already know your words? Mine are radiant, explorative, tender and grounded. I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Where I was over the holidays

Zur deutschen Version geht es hier entlang – German version this way

Julia Meder word of the year necklace createYou haven’t heard from me in a while because I took a little break over the holidays. And that was really good and necessary because I needed some time to think and didn’t have to work everything that I thought about into a blog post. But that will change now!
I will blog more regularly, but maybe not every day as in October and November. But maybe I will because I found that this no-exception rule, really works for me and I will just finish it and don’t have the time to procrastinate. Let’s see.
In November I told you about my word of the year and over the holidays I did a nice e-mail-course with Susannah Conway in which I looked for my word of the year again. The same word came up and I am sticking with the word create, which really has meaning for me.
In that blogpost I also said that I wanted to have a necklace with that word again and now I have it. Brigitta von Grünberg, who is a gold- and silversmith, made it and I just love it.

The other big project
And then there was the podcast as well that kept me busy. We went online on January 1 and since yesterday we are also on iTunes. If you speak German and you are interested I would be happy if you listened to it. One of the persons we interviewed first is my sister who is a piano builder with all her heart and who was the reason why I was always looking for my life’s purpose because I knew that it existed because of her.
Other than that I spend lots of time with my family and my thoughts over the holidays. I created a vision board, celebrated our anniversary, played with the kids, enjoyed the fireworks for new year and took long walks. That was really, really nice.

Being there
While I was doing that I realized one thing and I wanted to share this with you today: I had many things in my head and was pondering some major business things and when I was sitting at the family dinner table I couldn’t stop thinking about it. But every time I realized that I did this I brought my thoughts gently back to the situation I was in.
When I bathed the kids, I really was there with them and played compared to only being there physically but being absent in my thoughts. And that was good thing, It was so much more rewarding. Being in that moment and not moving on in my head brought so much relief and brought the stress down.
Sometimes you have to remind yourself to bring your thoughts back to the present moment because we have gotten so used to just being somewhere else with our thoughts but once you get into a habit it is one you should try to keep. It will make your life better in the long run.

What was important in your life over the holidays? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Thank you – and everything else I wanted to tell you at the end of the year

160521_julia_meder_web-125-1066You haven’t heard from me in the past days and there is a reason for it. I was in Hamburg the past weekend with Sarah from mehrgutezeit.de We did some recordings for our new project. More about that later.
The whole weekend was exciting and intensive and all the discussions, especially with Sarah, made me think about a few things in my business and I realized that I needed a break now. Therefore I decided that I will not write anymore blogposts until the end of the year. Instead I will take some time and think about what I want to do next year. There is one topic in particular that I can’t get out of my head and that I will include more in my business next year.
But I want to conclude this year properly because it was so important for me. First of all I want to thank you for being here with me, reading my articles and letting me talk and think while writing. My good friend Megan once said: I am thinking outside of my head. I might be the same when I look back on all the articles I published. This is the best way to think for me. I have so many more topics on my blogpost list and I will work on the next year. So stay tuned for more articles next year. I will probably not write every day but regularly.

Something new
eigenstimmigSo, now some news about the project that keeps me occupied. Together with Sarah I am creating a podcast. It is in German therefore you probably can’t listen to it but if you do speak German, it will go live on January 1st. The name is eigenstimmig (which is a word that we created but it kind of means with your own voice). We are interviewing women who have found their passion and included it into their life – as a job, a hobby, volunteer work or as a lifestyle.
We did many recordings already to be prepared when eigenstimmig goes online and to show our listeners that we are serious about it and that there will be more. So we went to Bavaria to record there and to Hamburg. It is very important for us to meet the women in person because that changes the way you talk to each other. And I can say that it is like a dream come true. I have never had so many good conversations in my life. I learned a lot already and I am inspired and motivated every time – even though the women are very different. We have coaches, an actress, a plus-size model, a piano builder, journalists, entrepreneurs, a travel agent, a waitress and many more. I had no idea how colorful the world can be.
Last weekend we spent in Hamburg and had eight interviews in three days. That was a lot and yesterday when I came home I was done – but in a very good way. And I had lots of stuff to think about. And I will do just that. Think. I will think about my strategy, my business and prepare some more for the podcast, so it can go live on January 1st. And then there also important things like family, Christmas and in our case anniversary.
You will read longer blog posts from me again next year and you can look forward to good content about coaching, life’s purpose, storytelling and the little hacks how to find yourself and a good life.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have wonderful holidays and a successful and exciting 2017!

How you can create your own mental hiding place

wal-1632159_1920There are those magical moments in life. I am sure you know what I am talking about. If you ask people almost anybody can name one. Some can name more and a few lucky ones can name many. Often people say they don’t know but when you give them examples they remember and tell you about their special and magic moments. It is such a joy to see how their faces light up when they remember. The great thing is that you can use those magical moments on purpose to make your life easier.
Those magical moments can be very different for everybody. It can be with another person. Or a spiritual moment. When you are alone. It can be a long period of time or just a quick glance or a smile by a stranger. Those moments can sometimes shape your life because they are defining moments. And sometimes they don’t seem to relate to anything else in your life and just simply exist to bring you pleasure. One thing is for sure: You can’t force a magic moment into your life, but when it comes you will never miss it.

My personal magic moment
st-lawrence-653073_1920I am lucky and I have several magical moments. One of them was on a cold September morning on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Canada. We were too early for the ferry and waited for almost two hours. The sun had risen into a blue, cloudless sky and to pass the time I was exploring the huge rocks on the shore. Up there in Canada are not that many cars anymore and it was almost silent, the only thing I heard were the small, gentle waves that hit the pebbles on the peach. The air smelled fresh and crisp and like the ocean. And then I heard it: it was the sound of a whale coming up to the surface. I looked over the water that was still like a mirror and reflecting the rising sun. And then I saw it. The whale was huge and about 300 meters away from the shore. It was a blue whale and it was feeding. Going down, coming up, blowing water and air, going down again. I watched him for a long time and was mesmerized by its beauty and the serenity.
Why am I telling you this? Because I use this moment as my hiding place. Every time I am stressed, nervous, panicky, anxious or whatever negative feeling you can think of and I know I need to calm down, I go back to the shores of St. Lawrence River and watch the blue whale in my head. Immediately I get still and relax.
I have other moments, too, that I like to remember. Some of them have to do with my children or my husband or my childhood. Most of them are connected to nature, mostly water and trees. Those moments are my hiding places where I can reconnect with myself.

Create your own hiding place
So today I dare you to dive deep into your memory and think about magical moments in your life. When did you feel totally relaxed? When did you surrender to the beauty around you? Which situation energized you? When were you completely yourself? When did something big happen that changed your life for the better? When did you feel at peace?
And when you have found those moments, remember them. Think about the sounds, the smells, the feeling you had. What did you see? What did you taste? Who was with you?
Try to think about this moment as often as you can in all the details that you can, so you will engrave it in your brain. Like this you will also remember it when you start to feel anxious. Create your own hiding place by using your magical moments.

What are your magical moments? I would love to hear about them.

The pictures are not from but pixabay, but the water one is actually the St.-Lawrence River and it looks a lot like the situation I was in.

You are what you consume

omxprcahxre-storyteller-supplyYou are the sum of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Do you know this sentence? I think it is true, because we are often affected by the moods and thoughts of the people around us. So we should pick the people we spend time with carefully.
But there is another thing that we should think about. You should also be careful with what you consume. And by that I don’t necessarily mean food, tabac or alcohol but also works and thoughts. Because everything that you let into your mind will affect you as well. May it be books, music, internet stuff, news, gossip and so on. When you consume positive things, you will be happier and if you consume negative stuff, you will perceive the world as darker and scarier than it actually is.

Good news?
I stopped reading or watching the news. Most of it is negative and I can feel myself responding to it also in a negative way. As I was a journalist for a long time in my life I was reading several newspapers and news on the internet and tried to get all the information I could. But to be honest: most of the stuff scared me.
Now I live in a happy bubble, I might have no idea about what is going on in the world, but at least I am happier. And big news normally always make it to me anyway. And sometimes even the not so big news. Some time ago some horses broke out of their stable and ran onto the autobahn. Eight of them died. Many people told me about this even though I told them I didn’t want to hear about it.
Because what good is this doing in my life? Who does it help if I know this? What can I learn from it? How does it help me with my life? Not at all. The only thing that came out of that was that I was sad for the horses and for their owners, sorry for the drivers of the car, and scared next time I drove on the autobahn. But it didn’t do me any good.

Take care of your mind
So I can only encourage you to vet the things that you let into your mind. If you like to hear the news, fine, hear them. But don’t do it because you have always done it. If it doesn’t help you in anyway, think about, if you can ban it from your life.
Also be careful with the kind of books you are reading, the kind of music you are listening to and so on. You will become what you consume. And believe me, there is lots of good stuff out there, that will help you with your personal development and help you grow. The good thing is, it is within reach – you just have to make a conscious choice.

What do you consume that is not good for you and what do you take in that is good for your mind? I would love to hear about it.

 

Picture from www.unsplash.com by Storyteller Supply

Why a yes is always a no as well

160521_julia_meder_web-006-9373Some time ago one sentence blew through me like a hurricane. It almost knocked me off my feet. I was in the car and listened to an audiobook. I had to stop when I heard this sentence because it made me think so much.
That episode of the podcast was about boundaries and why it is so important to install them. I realized that I had done major things wrong in the past years.
The sentence was: „When you say yes to one thing, it means that you are saying no to many other things.“
I literally had a hard time breathing. Because I am a people pleaser – a recovering one but I am still a people pleaser. I never want anybody to be mad at me. I try to be nice to everybody and I want harmony all around.

Are you a people pleaser, too?
I always thought that this was good for me, that I was trying to build my own little world in which everything was perfect and cozy. I don’t like conflict and I thought if I say yes to everything, everybody will like me and I can live in my perfect little bubble.
When I heard this sentence I realized how wrong I have been. All those year, totally wrong. Because when you say yes to something you always say no as well but just not to the things that you are aware of in that moment.
Let’s take an example: If a colleague asks me to go out at night because she has had a fight with her boyfriend and wants to talk about it and I say yes to that question, I will say no to the following things:

  • Having dinner with my family
  • Read to my children and bring them to bed
  • Watch some tv show with my husband
  • Read in my novel and prepare for the next day
  • Talk to my sister on the phone

And the worst thing is, that I don’t really want to meet that colleague. I don’t even know her that well. But in that moment, when she asks, she is there and it seems to be urgent and I think I can help her and make her feel better. If I am honest, I would like to say no, but I am not honest, I am a people pleaser. So I say yes. And I think: It is only one night. But that’s not true, it is so much more. Maybe this is the evening my husband wanted to talk about something important, or the children needed to tell me what happened in Kindergarten, or my sister needs my support or I really needed the time to reconnect with myself.

Be clear about your priorities
All the relationships in my life that should be my priority would suffer and only because I said yes to somebody because I didn’t want to say no.
So in that moment when I heard the sentence: “When you say yes to one thing, it means that you are saying no to many other things“, I realized that I said no to too many things, just because I didn’t know for sure where my priorities lie.
And with that I didn’t create a cozy and harmonious life but I endangered the relationships and things in my life that are most important for me and the basis for a happy and fulfilled life.
I have to say though: If it hadn’t been a colleague but my best friend, it would have been totally different. Because by saying yes to her I would have invested in a relationship that I need to survive as well.
But only saying yes, because you don’t like to say no, is really nothing you should do.
In the future I will do it differently. I will say no more often. No, to the things that I don’t really want to do, that I only do to be polite or because the other person is putting emotional pressure on me. I will say no, so I can say yes, to the really important things in life, that I have taken for granted to long.

What are the things that you are saying no to when you say yes? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Powerful Coaching Questions: No. 5

question5This week I will cheat a little bit. So, I will be on vacation this week – this was kind of not planned and you know that you need to seize the opportunities as they come. And as my husband has some vacation days left he needs to use, we decided to drive up North to Hamburg.
But as this came as a pleasant little surprise I didn’t prepare my blog for that and now I have nothing in the pipeline. So I will cheat a little bit this week. I will only post smaller posts. But they still might be useful for you. Because the content will be one question. And the questions are some of the best coaching questions I ever got or asked myself.

When you feel something is holding you back to live your fullest potential, then this question is for you.

Think about one or a few people whose work you admire.
How would your life look life if they had hold themselves back?

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Powerful Coaching Questions: No. 3

question4This week I will cheat a little bit. So, I will be on vacation this week – this was kind of not planned and you know that you need to seize the opportunities as they come. And as my husband has some vacation days left he needs to use, we decided to drive up North to Hamburg.
But as this came as a pleasant little surprise I didn’t prepare my blog for that and now I have nothing in the pipeline. So I will cheat a little bit this week. I will only post smaller posts. But they still might be useful for you. Because the content will be one question. And the questions are some of the best coaching questions I ever got or asked myself.

Think about people in your life whose action or who themselves annoy you. How can you apply the following statement to the situation and the feelings you have towards them:
“Everybody is doing the best they can“?

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Powerful Coaching Questions: No. 4

question3This week I will cheat a little bit. So, I will be on vacation this week – this was kind of not planned and you know that you need to seize the opportunities as they come. And as my husband has some vacation days left he needs to use, we decided to drive up North to Hamburg.
But as this came as a pleasant little surprise I didn’t prepare my blog for that and now I have nothing in the pipeline. So I will cheat a little bit this week. I will only post smaller posts. But they still might be useful for you. Because the content will be one question. And the questions are some of the best coaching questions I ever got or asked myself.

Imagine your are old and at the end of your life and you look back.
What is the thing that you most regret not having done?

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Powerful Coaching Questions: No. 2

question2This week I will cheat a little bit. So, I will be on vacation this week – this was kind of not planned and you know that you need to seize the opportunities as they come. And as my husband has some vacation days left he needs to use, we decided to drive up North to Hamburg.
But as this came as a pleasant little surprise I didn’t prepare my blog for that and now I have nothing in the pipeline. So I will cheat a little bit this week. I will only post smaller posts. But they still might be useful for you. Because the content will be one question. And the questions are some of the best coaching questions I ever got or asked myself.

What’s holding you back?