The Coaching Minute

The to-do list for Summer's end

As summer ends each year, I like to use that special time to assess what's important to me for the coming seasons. I've found the following action tips help guide me to progress on what's meaningful to me starting in late August.

Create a conscious framework
Setting aside 15 to 30 minutes of quiet time each week lets me center myself and remember what's most important to me. I may set time aside to share these things with family and friends.

Sometimes, I imagine myself five years from today: What will I want to remember? What will I want those I love to remember?

Sometimes I'll write it down. This helps me create a broadened conscious perspective.

Focus my field of attention
I next identify seven or so broad areas of focus that are important to me based on that broadened perspective. These areas of focus could include bonding with loved ones and connecting with extended family.

This process can focus me on spiritual or character growth and action, giving back to the community through service, renewal and having fun. It also improves my general sense of well-being.

Make a written list
I keep an "Opportunities List" that is a step before my To Do lists. On this written memory, I brainstorm about activities, events and possible goals. I like to include areas for personal growth. It's important to include opportunities for renewal and self-care on this Opportunities List.

Routinely, I jot these ideas down as my external memory. Keeping a second list of problems or obstacles that come up is also helpful.
I find that a problem may carry the seeds of its own solution. It may also hold an unexpected opportunity when it's viewed at a time and space conducive to my creativity.

Turn off auto-pilot
I've found its helpful to give myself permission to let go of even my best plans if better opportunities come along. I try to double-check my choices and turn off "auto-pilot."

If I can't make the choice to let go of a plan, I miss the unexpected, serendipitous and sometimes the best opportunities to experience what's truly important in my life.

Laura Worth, MSW, is a life and business coach. She is also the publisher and editor of community-based web directories for local health and wellness arts, including, and more at Or visit[[In-content Ad]]