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Setting your GPS: The North Star

December 17, 2018 // by Paula Bohland

It is that magic time of year when we reflect on what has happened during our time on this earth.

Hopefully we are taking stock of the surprises and good that came in the year, noting the many blessings and opportunities.

A few years ago, I was teaching a workshop about life transformation and goal setting. A woman attending the event was terribly upset. She told me that she wanted to participate but was afraid her dream of having a child could never come true. She and her husband had been on adoption lists for years and nothing ever happened. She noted that every year was the same story and she came to the end of each year feeling sadder and sadder.

I took this woman through a process called “Finding your North Star”. This exercise entails going DEEP into what someone wants their life to look like, getting intentional about what is desired. I asked her to tell me in depth what the baby meant to her. I assisted her to examine and answer questions like “What does a perfect day look like”, and which values and core lifestyle ideas were important to her. I also asked what daily activities she dreamt of that would make her want to jump out of bed in the morning. Then, in her perfect life I asked her to fully describe what the child she would adopt looks like and means to her.

The woman was ready for this exercise. She held all this information inside her. She told me rapidly and had deep and detailed answers to the questions I asked. She knew her North Star. All the people in the workshop were supportive of her desires and listened to her hopes and fears that her dreams would not come true.

About two weeks later this woman called me again in tears. I honestly dreaded discussing her sadness and feelings of missing what she felt was very important in her life. As we talked, I realized that she had called me in the midst of crying happy tears. She noted that she was contacted about an adoption a few days after she had participated in the North Star exercise. She was on her way to the hospital to meet her newly born adopted baby. I was truly blown away.

In the years that I have been doing this work, I have noted miraculous results similar to this story again and again.

I know you would like these results. So, what is your North Star?

Your North Star are those ideas about your life which draw you along. When completed it will answer questions like what does your best day look like? What business, career or occupation would thrill you? What are your values? What could you be doing with your time that “tickles you”? How much money do you need? Do you want to travel, if so where? Do you want own one house or many? Dive deep in telling the story of each item in your “best life” story. Think of this as a vision board exercise on steroids.

The most important part of finding your North Star is to have fun and make sure to take the time to ensure it is complete. Your answers need to be written down. It’s one thing to think about your life in passing but another to really draw it out and see it in front of you.

Getting this right is the beginning of obtaining your dreams, it is honestly programming your mental GPS. As I said, I know this because I have facilitated this process as part of lifestyle planning for hundreds of people and seen the magic that begins, often immediately.

In the next several blogs I will detail elements of the life transformation planning process that you can use. As you work on your North Star be sure to leave your comments and let me know how it’s going for you.

Paula Bohland

Paula Bohland, MSW is an award winning motivational speaker, author, blogger, consultant, and coach who specializes in personal and business development.
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