Be-It List: Build and Assess Patterns of Personal Change

In her ATTRACTOR blog in November 2015, Glenda talked about the complex patterns of personal change and how each moment is unique, carrying with it the richness of the past and the possibilities of the future. In this month’s Change the World blog posting, we discuss taking action today to create the life we want to live tomorrow. What patterns do you want to shape your life? HSD offers you ways to think about the life you seek and how your day-to-day actions shape the patterns of that life.

Shape your life2

There is a great deal of noise in the popular culture today about your “bucket list.” It seems everyone should have a magical list of things they want to do, people they want to see, and places they want to go before they are too old or too infirm to follow those dreams. I would like to propose a new tool. I invite you to build a “Be-It List.” It will reflect the patterns you want to manifest in your life and the actions to move toward them. Use the instructions here to build your own personal dashboard to assess your progress in real, tangible ways. Your Be-It List will be a reflection tool that helps you see, understand, and influence the patterns you desire in your life.

Here’s how you engage in this inquiry about yourself, using this week’s download tool: 

Create a Personal Change Dashboard

Step 1 – What? Define the patterns you want to track.

  1. Reflect on the patterns you want in various areas of your life. Here are some areas you might consider. What would you focus on, and what might you add?
    • Self and Health
    • Home and Family
    • Neighborhood and Community
    • World of Work
    • Greater Global Issues
  2. In each area consider differences you can focus on to shape the patterns you want. List them in the column next to the pattern.

As an example, in the area of “Self and Health” I want to create patterns that reflect more creative expressions of my artistic side.

In my example, some of the differences I will need to focus on include: more time for myself, increased technical skill, courage to put my work into the world. So this portion of the table then looks like this for me. 

Patterns of Change - Chart1

Step 2 – So what are ways those differences might amplify or damp the pattern you want? Use those descriptions to create your Life Pattern Dashboard.

  1. For each of differences you choose, describe three levels that indicate your engagement or involvement in that pattern currently. This is how I would describe my own levels.
  2. Consider your own “performance” by circling the star where your actions put you. If I am at a level 1, I might circle the first or second star. If I am working in the Level 2, I might circle the middle star. If I am currently working at the Level 3, I would circle the one of the last stars in the row.

For me, I considered the time I spend on my artistic pursuits and decided it’s a difference I want to explore. So I thought about what I do with time that “damps” my engagement with my artistic side, and put that as the Level 1 Difference. Then I considered what might reflect a more neutral level of activity that would hold me at a steady level of engagement, but would probably not support my growth or improvement. That was my Level 2 Difference. Then I imagined what would move me to greater engagement and skill, including that as my Level 3 Difference. Then I reflected on where I am currently “performing,” and I would circle the third star from the left as my own personal assessment. 

Patterns of Change - Chart2

Step 3Now What can I do to move to a higher level of functioning to amplify this pattern that I say is important to me?

  1. Identify specific options for action you can take to shift your performance toward the Level 3 Difference.
  2. Choose one of those options and make an action plan for changing your behavior. Be sure to include plans for continuing to reflect and look for ways to improve your “performance.”

In my example I decided to move toward more specific times for doing my art and mapped out steps I will take to move toward that. I will begin with the weekends and then later make a decision if that’s enough for me for now. Continuous reflection and adaptation. 

Patterns of Change - Chart3

Use this Personal Change Dashboard to reflect on your actions each week to track your progress toward your pattern goals.  Download today’s tool and use it to help you consider and reflect on the patterns you want and what you are doing to create them in your life.

Here are some tips and traps:

  • Be selective rather than trying to tackle everything at once. Choose one “Area of Life” and maybe just one or two patterns in that area. If you have too many patterns to consider or change, you might get overwhelmed and won’t be able to stay with the challenge.
  • Allow time for growth and movement between self-assessments and reflection. If you look at this Dashboard every day, you can lose perspective about the many ways you might be bringing these patterns to life. That can lead to a self-defeating cycle of frustration.
  • Be patient and kind to yourself as you build new patterns for the richer, fuller life you want.

The Be-It List is a way that you can focus your time and hone your self-reflection to create powerful patterns that bring you into better alignment with who you want to be in the world. Give it a try and let us all know how it feels in your own practice.


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