As professional working women with a to-do list longer than Santa’s we rarely stop and take our emotional temperature to find out how we are doing. How does the work we do each day make us feel? Are we being fed; spiritually, intellectually, emotionally?
In my first book The Working Woman’s GPS: When the Plan to Have it All Leads You Astray, the readers are taken through several exercises to help them determine what their best life looks like. I was inspired to write the book based on the fact that I had encountered so many women who had achieved “conventional” success and yet weren’t satisfied.
Has that happened to you? Have you reached a point in your life where you have the house with a 2-car garage, 2 children, fulltime employment and yet still don’t feel like you have achieved all you can?
Perhaps your definition of success and what brings you the most energy is different from what convention says it should be. This book helps you identify those activities and people who lift you up, bring you positive energy and help you feel impactful.
One of the exercises is to complete a Monthly Feelings Chart. The chart is a simple exercise to help you take your emotional temperature:
Column One: List the significant activities of the past month (or if you want to be more immediate, complete the form weekly). Include both work, family and community activities.
Column Two: Give a brief description of the activity and any salient notes that come to mind.
Column Three: Give the activity a rating:
- “+” means that the activity was positive and left you feeling energized, it was something you enjoyed and would like to experience more often
- “-” means that it was not the best experience, perhaps it was an obligation or a task that was challenging or required working with someone you don’t care for – it was stressful
- “/” means that while it may have been positive there was something that kept it from being a great experience
As you review your completed form ask:
- Is there a change that can be made to the negative activities that would make it a more positive experience?
- Could I delegate some of the negative tasks to someone else?
- Is there a way to make those experiences/activities that are just so-so and make them energy boosters?
- Can I include my significant other, peers, friends, or my boss in the process of helping to modify the negative activities?
- We all have to do things that are less than pleasant, but is there a reasonable balance between those activities that are negative versus those that are more positive?
- Are the negative activities in one particular area of my life? My career?
There will always be pockets of our lives that are filled with negative energy activities, like a loved one’s illness, a lost job or unexpected expense. However, as you review your activities, as you hold a mirror up to your life, what is your emotional temperature?