HUGGING LIFE BASELINE (Action Step #3)
Look at the following domains and rate them on a scale of 1-10 in your life today. 10 represents that this area of your life is going extremely well; it means that you feel at peace in this area that you are moving in the right direction and pleased with this domain and your life choices. On the other end of the spectrum a 1 means that you are extremely disappointed with this part of your life and it weighs on you in a very painful way on an almost if not daily basis. This is a snapshot to better understand where you view yourself currently and also a tool to understand how and where you might be beating yourself up and not giving yourself the hug of forgiveness.
Below the blank ratings scale is a hypothetical example of how you might complete the list if you want a better feeling of how to proceed or to use it for reference. As in the example below, often it is valuable to give some explanation about why you chose that particular rating and to flesh out your rating for yourself. If you gave yourself a 5 or below consider writing something to explain what a 10 would look like in that domain and how you would know you were at an 8 a 9, or a10.
Below is a Hugging pre-test which is a powerful tool to understand what you will choose to focus on in your 21 day hugging journey. At the end of the journey rate these categories again and see in which areas you have had minor, major or profound shifts. Remember the 21 day hugging journey is to get you in action. You may start off with a 21 day hugging journey focused on your health and after completing that journey and learning invaluable lessons along the way you may decide to do a second journey on being closer to your mom and embracing your job. Have faith in 21 day hugging journeys unfolding organically.
I know at this point in the book it is tempting to keep reading and tell yourself that you will do the ratings later or that you are too busy to do a 21 day hugging journey at this point. As I’m writing this part currently it’s the day after Thanksgiving and it’s a busy time with lots of holiday preparations. My point, we are always busy and can easily come up with many reasons why not to pursue something. That failure to take action can keep us stuck. The challenge in this moment is to use the power of your words to commit to a 21 day hugging journey. Consider saying out loud to yourself or to a friend, spouse, or whomever you are with, “I am going to start a 21 day hugging journey today.” There really is no other time to start. Too many things that really matter to us are put off into the future. This book is a concrete game plan to live a more meaningful, loving and connected life. DON”T PUT IT OFF. Give yourself the hug of being in action to create what you want and know really matters to you. Start to “hugstorm” what you really want and take concrete steps how to create it. This doesn’t matter where you are in life. You might be a fortune 500 CEO or someone who doesn’t have their own home. You might be very ill with a terminal disease or in outstanding physical health. You might be newly happily married or feel bitter about your divorce. Wherever you are, whatever is happening in your life, this is a tool to support you, inspire you, and allow you to embrace yourself and the world around you. Let the 21 day hugging journey begin. Do these ratings NOW.
- Health Rating = ___
- Family Rating = ___
- Career Rating = ___
- Personal Development Rating = ___
- Friends Rating = ___
- Finances Rating = ___
- Spiritual Development Rating = __
- Intimacy Rating = ___
- Self Care Rating = ___
- Romance Rating = ___
- Fitness Rating = ___
- Social Rating = ___
- Life Purpose Rating = ___
- Physical Environment = ___
Health – 4.0 – I don’t like my thighs because they seem too big and out of proportion and I’m worried about my lungs because I am a smoker and my liver
because I think I may drink too much especially when I am worried about my favorite uncle and his upcoming divorce after being married (happily I thought) for 23 years.
Family – 10.0 – no brainer, I’d like to spend even more time with them and we are so close and I feel very lucky and happy.
Career– 6.5 – Blessed and fortuitous on some levels, good job, pays well, solid benefits and some flexibility with my work hours – feel good about going to work and that I am doing something meaningful although not sure it is the right career for me or my “dream job.” Have been there for 12 years now and I am not sure if I am comfortable in my job or that’s a rationalization and I am actually afraid of change.
Personal Development – 5.0 – I try to spend some time daily gaining knowledge from audio books and NPR often it gets away from me and I’d like more consistency and not to spend so much time on what feels like busy work.
Friends – 5.0 – I have lost some friends that I wouldn’t have expected to lose in the most recent years – just by growing apart – I don’t do particularly well with long distance miss some of my college and high school buddies and feel like life is moving too fast to connect and not sure if they want to as much as I do. Did go on a trip to California with a close friend and we reconnected and had a great time.
Finances – 7.0 – Room to be better and I can’t complain too much – Feel good about earning and not spending although having 3 kids and knowing that college is only a few years around the corner is pretty daunting, we have been saving and still it stresses me out a few days a week.
Spiritual dev – 7.5 – I go to church almost every Sunday. Sometimes I feel like I am just doing it because that is how I was raised. And the sermon usually is meaningful and helps me to be grateful and focus on what really matters. Not sure how I feel about God and I do feel connected to the church and I know it grounds me. I feel like I often see the spiritual side of things and this helps me to take life in stride and remember the bigger picture.
Intimacy – 7.5 – Relationships with people and connections is pretty good and kind of casual they could be deeper or more meaningful I guess. I don’t know if I really want or need that, maybe I will move this one up to an 8 or even 8.
Self-care – 5.0 I enjoy being active and I go on hikes pretty regularly- still I know that I smoke and drink too much and that it is messing with me.
Romance – 2.0 – Well for where I am at in my marriage I think we are having sex pretty regularly and we both still really enjoy it, but there really isn’t much romance it’s more like routine. I definitely want to cut down on the smoking because I don’t think it helps from the romance angle and I want to try some new and different things and surprise my partner. Wow, I had no idea I would have rated this so low considering we have really good sex.
Fitness – 4.0 – Probably rate it this way because I have always wanted to run a marathon and I never have. My son is an athlete and I’d like for us to train and run one together, but I’ve never even told him my dream and I’m not sure why. If I was in condition and training daily with him and then could actually have fun running a marathon, that would be a 10 for me. It now occurs to me that I am definitely going to talk to my son and start that conversation. In fact I know of a 1/2 marathon coming up in about 6 months and I’m going to train for it and my son can join me if he wants to. I was just reminded of how it felt to be on the track team in high school and how much I love to run, if my son wants to do it with me that would be icing on the cake.
Social – 7.0 – I’m pretty social and I think I am easy to talk to and enjoy my friends and social activities, but a lot of the time I don’t set anything up and I like my alone time as well.
Life purpose – 6.0 – Well, I go to church regularly and the sermons are meaningful to me and we give a good amount of charity and I do some volunteering. Sometimes though I just feel like whats the point am I making a difference, does any of this really matter. I guess moving towards a 10 would be aligning what I am doing at work more with what really matters to me. Or maybe I need to start to consider other job possibilities. I’m super passionate about the charity I work with helping kids who have a parent with a drug addiction. The board did have a paid opening and I was tempted by it, but I guess scared, I need to check if that is still open and even what it pays or if they would consider me. It would be a big change and yet I think it might be time for the next chapter in my life.
Physical Environment – 4.0 Home is good. I’m happy in my house and I feel at peace. I love my study and the family room. We do need to paint the outside of the house and that bugs me, because it is way overdue and on my list of things to do. The big issue is work. I am in a cubicle and I have no windows. I feel like when I am there sometimes that I am like a flower that is wilting because of the artificial lights. Supposedly it is temporary and we are going to have a state of the art facility in which I will have a window with a view, but they have been talking about that for over a year now and haven’t even broken ground on the new facility. Sometimes I just want to bang my head on my desk. I do my best to get outside and take a walk, but most of the time I am just too damn busy and I eat lunch at my desk. I can feel my blood starting to boil as I am thinking about this I think I need to move it down to a 3.0 or less. I mean I spend like 60 hours a week in that f’ing cubicle.
Great work. Now that you have completed your ratings you have a tool to help you to choose what you want to focus on in your first 21 day hugging journey. You may pick one specific domain such as JJ did in focusing on her mother and getting closer to her. You may also choose a number of domains that resonate for you and work at improving your fitness, finances and physical environment. The challenge is to choose what feels right to work on, right now, and do so in a way holding yourself accountable and steadily moving forward. In addition, when you don’t have steady movement being radically transparent about why you might have gotten stuck and putting a plan in place to support you on the next day of your hugging journey.
Each person’s journey is unique to them, and notice that forgiving yourself and forgiveness are a big part of the journey to let us each fully embrace this moment and what really matters to us most.