Welcome to the first Enroute Blog!
We can probably all identify with those rare epiphanies we experience that highlight our need for change. When we’re not quite sure what to do, these moments can slip away from us. If this is you, here’s a suggestion for a starting point. All you need is pen, paper, a watch and three consecutive evenings:
- At some point during the first evening, write for 20 minutes on ‘What I don’t want’. Don’t worry about structure, grammar and spelling. No one else is going to see this. Write in whatever order things occur to you. Most people have much more clarity about what they don’t want than what they do, so it’s important to express this on paper. It can be about anything – any area of your life or all of it. Acknowledge your feelings too. This is a good opportunity for a cathartic rant if needed.
- On the second evening, write for 20 minutes on ‘What I do want’. Again, write down things as they occur – the combination of thinking and reflecting, together with the physicality of writing on the page will do its own work. Allow yourself to think small and big thoughts, short and long term dreams, what and who you’d like to become, things you’d like to do and achieve, including things you’d like to acquire that might help along the way.
- On the third consecutive evening, you have a choice. Still writing for 20 minutes, write on either, ‘What could I do as a starting point, to get from where I am to where I want to be?’ or alternatively imagine a time in the future where everything that you hope for has come to fruition. For 20 minutes write on ‘A day in my future life’. Describe not only about what you’re doing but also how it makes you feel. Write in the present tense (‘I am’ rather than I will).
- Take some action in the following 24 hours.
This expressive writing exercise was inspired by two books that I have read recently. Firstly Philip Hensher in his, ‘The Missing Ink’ (Macmillan 2012) reflects on the significance of handwriting and its loss in the light of the keyboard technologies. And secondly, Mark Cropley’s ‘The Off-Switch’ (Virgin Books 2015) draws on the work of James Pennebaker, an American psychologist, to devise an expressive writing tool for use with dealing with stressful work issues.
I hope this exercise changes things for you. Let me know how you get on! If you want to talk through your plans and think coaching might help, ring me for a free informal discussion on 07580479452 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.