M.A.P. Out Your Destiny
Last month’s Duchess Digest featured an article on the tool of mapping as a way to reach your goals. I’ve found mapping to be a great way of breaking a big goal into smaller, accomplishable steps. One of my big goals over the past year has been to work on better establishing my personal G.P.S. I want to know where I’m headed and to have an overall direction of my path in all aspects of my life. After dabbling in different practices over the year I decided to get more focused last month. Specifically, I wanted to work on trusting my gut and taking more accountability for my thoughts and attitude. Accordingly, I came up with the idea to write affirmations, practice meditation and conduct some form of prayer daily for thirty days. I couldn’t bite off a bigger piece without feeling overwhelmed; but thirty days seemed manageable.
To help me record my daily effort I wrote the acronym “M.A.P.” down every night on my desk calendar. Meditation, Affirmation, Prayer. Next to each letter of my acronym I make a check mark if I practiced that discipline that day. It was a great way to hold myself accountable for breaking down an abstract concept into an integrated part of my daily life.
As my experiment concluded I discovered a few very interesting benefits of my M.A.P. exercise (aside from just how difficult consistency for thirty days proved to be). The first was that by the sheer act of writing down daily affirmations I forced myself to think every day where I was at the moment and where I was headed. The second was that by practicing meditation daily, no matter how poorly it seemed to go, I am able to approach my day and all of its circumstances from a better place. I found my days to be more proactive than reactive. I’m not saying all the time, but just a much better batting average for handling situations well vs. blowing up or overreacting. Third I noticed that my various forms of prayer helped to remind me of what I was grateful for because they were often small prayers of gratitude. The manner in which they happened (kneeling, spoken, thought about during a walk) seemed less important to me then making sure that they happened on the spot. That practice helped me to take pause during various moments throughout the day and really notice something or someone I was grateful for and I was able to acknowledge that gift.
With New Years fast approaching and the Holiday Season already upon us, I know many of you are taking a moment for gratitude or to set new goals for yourselves. Are any of your resolutions for 2009 about your own desire for a more balanced life? Perhaps you should try M.A.P. for yourself and see what happens.
Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California based Life Coach and Writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com