Over the last several blog entries we have all talked about the process for discovering our top 5 passions. Now what? There are a couple of immediate options.
- Discover where you have been putting your attention up to now by rating each one on a scale of 0 – 10. Zero means you are not living that passion in your life at all. Pick at least one to focus on.
- Make passion cards. (E-mail us and we’ll send you our template). Simply put, list your passions on a card from 1 – 5; make 4 – 6 copies and post them in place you’ll see them several times a day. I would suggest reading them to yourself at least twice a day at first. Here are some typical places:
- Your bathroom mirror
- Your car dashboard or visor
- In your purse or wallet
- On your computer screen
- On the refrigerator
- Create markers that will give you milestones or guideposts so that you will know if you are on the right path. For some it’s an action or goal or feeling they may have when they are fully living their passion.
For me personally back in October 2006, I scored lowest on “being at peace with myself and those I love.” I actually had one of my cards in the bathroom where I could see it when I brushed my teeth. While brushing my teeth, I couldn’t help but look in the mirror and what I saw did not bring me peace!
Now I couldn’t do anything about the old guy staring back at me – I know there is a young guy trapped inside there! But I was 30 pounds overweight AGAIN!!! I had lost 40 pounds in 1999 - 2000, kept it off for a couple of years, a new record for me, but gained most of it back by 2006. This has been a pattern since I was 20 years old! I’ve probably lost the equivalent of 3 - 4 of me over my lifetime.
Well, if I wanted peace, I had to be able to feel good about how I looked in the mirror. I made a marker of maintaining my weight at 165 – 169 pounds. I wasn’t sure how I was going to break my pattern, but I knew it was important to me.
I started with the usual things I do to lose weight – that I know how to do. But this time I did a couple of other things. I started a vision board by finding a picture of how I wanted to be. If you have ever flown on a plane there is a picture of a shirtless Dr. Jeff Life in the airline magazine. Now over 70, he looks great. So he became my after picture, I have my own now by the way – on my vision board too.
However one of the other new things I began came from a book entitled Influencer: The Power to Change Anything. The basis of the book is that there are 3 – 4 critical behaviors that can be discovered in any successful change initiative. For successful weight loss it was weigh yourself every day (I know weight watchers disagrees); eat a healthy breakfast (don’t skip meals); and do some exercise at home every day (even if you have a gym membership).
Now that I am clear about my intention, I need to be vigilant about paying attention to those critical behaviors as part of a comprehensive follow-up process. For me this included telling people, asking for their ideas and ongoing feedback, my vision board, and creating a list of daily reminders which I call my happiness list. My happiness list consists of 10 – 12 daily behaviors that focus on three general areas that I am focusing on. By definition, these behaviors are totally up to me to perform, not dependent on anyone else’s actions or behaviors, and they create positive energy. I actually write this list on the back of my passion cards and look at them at least twice a day.
It has been 5 years now that I have weighed below 170 pounds, blowing away my previous best. Now that those behaviors have become habits I have replaced them with a couple of others on my happiness list. Given my history, I might always have something on it related to maintaining my weight.
So as the Attwoods, authors of The Passion Test, would say, Intention (passions) – Attention (markers, vision board, happiness list) – No Tension (success!)