It seems like a simple question, but the fact of the matter is, “what do you want?” is an intimidating question. It can feel overwhelming, daunting. Leave you confused, unsure, tired, hopeless, or with more questions than answers. For some, the question of “what do you want?” IS the problem. You feel stuck without an answer.
I have good news! There are a few solutions & strategies to resolving this conundrum. One of my favorites is W.D.E.P.
- What do I Want?
- What am I Doing?
- Evaluate behaviors.
- Make a Plan!
So to utilize the tool effectively, if you did happen to know what you want, your ideal goal would be a S.M.A.R.T. (that’s a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, & timely) goal. Plug that in and apply the next steps specifically to your goal.
For those of you feeling stuck and overwhelmed by the question of “what do I want?” we’re going to skip that part for now! Just ignore it completely and go to question two… what am I doing?
Write down your recent behaviors. Literally – what do you do every day? Who do you talk to? Where do you go? What’s the first thing you do in the morning? The last thing at night? As many actions as you can – especially the ones that are emotionally charged or different recently.
Moving on to the key step: evaluation. What have you done recently that’s brought joy and excitement into your life? What activities cause stress, anxiety, or doubt? Who makes you smile and laugh? And then who makes your smile fade when they walk in the door? Have you done something different recently that has had an impact on your life? Maybe you started eating breakfast, are trying out a new cologne, or reconnected with an old friend? What impact did those changes have on your day?
Ready for this game changer?? After you’ve evaluated your recent actions, we’re going to make a plan! It’s pretty straightforward and simple… looking at the positive and negative, you just need two steps:
Increase the positive and decrease the negative!
It really is that simple, ladies & gentlemen!
So many clients tell me that their goal is to decrease stress, depression, and anxiety in their lives, but when I ask what they do to bring joy into their lives there’s often a struggle for an answer.
Be intentional about creating moments – and habits! – that bring you happiness. Surround yourself with people who energize you, who validate you, who make you laugh, who are fun to talk to & who you can connect with easily. Rid yourself of any “should statements” and their resulting obligation, guilt, & fear and focus on what you want!!
If you look at what you’re currently doing that brings you joy & makes you smile, it’ll become very obvious what you want.