accountability

Create A Gift Box — For Yourself! Part Two

In November 2013, I wrote a post called "Create a Gift Box — For Yourself!" A month later, I received a gift from a dear friend and colleague, Lynnette Rumble of Aim Coaching, who had read my blog. She told me she was so inspired that she gifted her family, friends, clients and colleagues with a personal gift box filled with blank pieces of brightly-coloured paper. And that included me!

DSCN0787
DSCN0787

Turns out that this really is a great gift! I created a tool to appreciate the present, to take steps, and to inspire personal action.

Oftentimes, taking action can feel like a long list of to-do’s and obligations resulting in, you guessed it, procrastination. No matter whether we are forced into a transition of some type - career, retirement, residential, health, relationship - or whether we are planning to make a change, taking steps forward can awaken and stir our Saboteur’s negative self-talk and self-limiting beliefs. Using tools, strategies, and supports are helpful to get us out of our own way. This is where the “gift box” comes in.

So back to my personal gift box — where and how to start?

The first step was to make a decision about how to use my gift box of notes. I played around with options and ideas, and decided to write a daily note, recording something I wanted to celebrate, acknowledge, or appreciate about that day. It might be an insight, an action I took or accomplished, or what I felt grateful for. I wanted to include my core personal values so that I could track the ones I was honouring most (and least) often.

I now had a small box with squares of blank note-paper. I needed to figure out the next steps: where was I going to put my written notes? And what would I do with them once I had handfuls and more?

Tools are important, even necessary, in helping us to take action. When they are really good, the tools themselves can inspire us to explore and learn. Why not also use tools that are fun and lighthearted too? I decided I wanted mine to be colourful and creative too.

Being a huge fan of old-school pen(s) and paper(s), I used a large canister to hold my written notes and a large sheet of bristol board to paste them on. As you can imagine, seeing the colourful notes pile grow and the board fill up is very rewarding.

Creating Your Own Gift Box - Tools
Creating Your Own Gift Box - Tools

In both life and transition coaching, taking action is important as is the reflective process that comes with taking that action step, or in the attempt to do so. This is when we deepen our self-awareness of our Saboteur and our deepest self. And this is where personal growth happens.

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~ Margaret Wheatley

After six months of writing almost-daily notes, here are some of the things I have experienced so far:

  • reconnecting to what it is that I am committed to,
  • realizing which personal core values are being honoured, and which ones are wanting more attention and focus,
  • noticing when I am and am not in integrity,
  • taking responsibility for my life, my relationships, and my dreams,
  • taking steps to make my dreams come true, for example, planning and booking my dream trip,
  • saying yes to thrilling opportunities,
  • experiencing a new fun tool that helps me coach myself,
  • learning what I need to tweak it so that it works for me, and
  • acknowledging and celebrating the baby steps that I am taking.

Wow! Reflecting on this list of what I have already gained from this process is powerful. It takes me out from the daily details and tasks to the big-picture meaningfulness, importance it has in my life.

I will return again with another update and more reflections. In the meantime, have you created a gift box for yourself yet? I'd love to hear from you if you have or if you want help getting started.

Create a gift box - for yourself!

Whether going through a challenging transition or feeling in the midst of stuckness, one idea to  stay motivated is to create a gift box as an accountability tool for yourself. It can hold you accountable to your dreams, your goals, and your Authentic Self. Create it for yourself as a personal gift that will inspire you. Here are some suggestions for your gift box. The “Letting Go box” and “Friendship box” are amazing ideas that were offered by students from my “ReDesign Your Life for Retirement” class.

* Core Values Box - After clarifying your personal core values (a life coach can help you!), write down each one on a separate piece of paper. You can write down as many as you want - 30, 50, 75! Each day, remove one from the box and honour it throughout your day.

* Celebration or Gratitude box - Every day write down (at least) one thing you feel grateful for or want to celebrate and read your collection at the end of the month or at a time when you most need it.

* Accomplishment box - Oftentimes when we are moving through a transition or making a big change in our lives, the steps we take and the work we have done can get lost amid all the movement. Creating an accomplishment box that you fill daily with one thing you have done can keep you inspired as you read your accomplishments a week or a month at a time.

* Inspiration box - Fill your inspiration box with 30 meaningful quotes, sayings, poetry, jokes. Draw one out each day to enjoy, inspire you, make you laugh or give you a moment’s pleasure.

* Letting go box - Write down things you want to let go of. For example, a book, a household item, a bathroom item, an item of clothing, an emotion, a grudge, rigidity, smallness, frustration, a situation, tension, etc. Fill your box with 30 different items. Draw one item every day from the box and practice letting go on a daily basis.

* Friendship box - Place the names of your friends in the box. Each day pull out one name and contact that person. Keep on meeting new people and making new acquaintances to add to your box. What a wonderful way to stay connected to your friends and deepen your friendships.

* Kindness Box - Lynnette Rumble of Aim Coaching and Be The Game offered this great idea for a gift box. She says, “We suggest this to our school kids as part of the 21-Day #KINDEVERYTIME Challenge. Write down kind things you have done or make note of the kindness bestowed upon you by others.” Such a great idea!

When you finish filling or emptying one box, consider whether you want to stick with the same gift box or try a new one. Each one will offer you an opportunity to learn about ourself, experience connection, resonance and aliveness, and honour that which is most important to you.

Do you have any other ideas for a gift box? I’d love to hear your suggestions or other ideas you have tried.