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Step 4: Assess Your Options

a main circle in the center for the goal and the mindset, then 8 spokes with a circle at the end of each - to capture all your options
Mindmap: Brainstorm all your options

We’ve named our issue, become AWARE of all the doubt-filled thoughts around it, ACCEPTED we are going to move forward, and set a decisive MINDSET. By this time in the process, you are more decisive about WHAT you want to do. Now it’s time to ASSESS your options of HOW.

If you act without first assessing your options, your habits, survival mind, and emotions will be in charge.   If you act while triggered or stressed out, your actions will reflect a fight, flight, freeze, or appease response. Rather than doing the same old thing that isn’t working, try something new.

It is important to take back your train of thought from your ‘survivor brain’, and look at all your options from a grounded and calm place, allowing the more creative, confident, and resourceful you - your Best Self - to show up. Start with slow, deep breathing, and imagine what you are trying to create. Then, use your decisive and empowered mindset (from the previous step) to make a list of all the options that might help you address your issue. Don’t say no to anything yet. The more you brainstorm, the more you might find just the right options for you.

Later, you will evaluate your list and make a decision, but for now, keep an open mind.

What are my options if:

  1.       I want to write a book, a blog, or my website

  2.       I want to keep an organized home

  3.       I want to build my business

  4.       I want to get healthy

Let’s take that last example and start brainstorming the first steps. Here is a list that I came up with in just a few minutes. What would you do to improve your health? Pick a few categories of ways you might improve your health. Then brainstorm further options for that category.

  •    I might start with a physical and stay on top of any preventative testing.

  •    I can talk with my doctor and learn how to address any health issues that are concerning me right now.

  •     Ex. See an allergist to deal with my constant symptoms

  •    I can create time each day for some calm, relaxing, downtime.

  •     Options - reading, meditation, yoga class, walking, connecting with friends

  •     Options - eat more vegetables, drink more water, control my portions,

▪   Learn new recipes - get ideas from friends, look at healthy websites

▪   Go grocery shopping with a list and don’t stray - no impulse buying!

  •    Get more exercise.

  •    Options - walking, hiking, skating, weights with a trainer, swimming…

 I find it extremely helpful to talk things through with someone, for this brainstorming exercise as well as when we incorporate it as part of the plan. (Planning is the next step).

Whatever issue you have decided to work on, be sure to start this assessment with a calm and grounded mood - not triggered or anxious. Be in your decisive Mindset. Tell your inner critic, perfectionist, naysayer, or any other negative inner part, to step back while you sit in the driver’s seat as you brainstorm. No idea is a bad idea - it could lead to a great idea!

Brainstorming Tools


A Mind Map is a helpful tool for brainstorming during the Assess step. The idea is to write down as many ideas as you can without trying to edit or judge any answers. You can write it as a list or in outline form as I showed above, or do it in a more creative way like a vision board.

Start with your topic in a central bubble, along with your chosen Mindset. Some examples:

•             Finish my book with the Mindset: One hour at a time, one page at a time

•             Get healthy with the Mindset: You can do this!

Once you have your central theme with a goal and a mindset, write lines extending outward like hands on a clock, ending with another bubble. Each line leads to an option and each option can have ideas about how or why this is a good idea. For example, each bullet in the above-mentioned healthy living ideas would be its own bubble. I've added a picture of a possible mindmap below.

Now it’s your turn. Pick your goal, name your Mindset, and start brainstorming! No idea is a bad idea. Let the thoughts flow. When you’re done, send me a picture of your Mind Map and I’ll send you a special gift.


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