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What will be your legacy?

I love spending the month of March getting to know the women who made history and left us a legacy that propels us forward in every single arena. Their work, sacrifice, and tenacity inspires me to do more, and it encourages me to show up in support of other women. They remind me that most of us have no idea how truly gifted and powerful we are!

This leads me to the question I have been pondering all month:

What will be my legacy?

Though my answer is still in process, I enjoy watching it take shape. Asking myself the question has challenged me to get even more clear about what is most important to me, and it is also a fun exercise for envisioning the future. So, now, I ask you:

What will be your legacy?

If this question is a spark for you, too, read on. I want to share some ideas to explore your answer. You can pick one at a time and have fun with it!

📝Define Your Values: Start by journaling about what's most important to you. Need a prompt? Brene Brown's List of Values is a great place to start.

💖 Discover Your Passions: What are you passionate about?

Some responses might surface quickly. I invite you to take this question with you in the next days, and maybe weeks to discover the passions that might be hiding under the surface. Just notice how you feel. When do you get a jolt of excitement? When might your tone of voice become more animated, or when you find yourself on a figurative soapbox, saying far more about a topic than you had originally intended?

Passions are funny things. Some stick around through our lives, and others change with our seasons. Which passions have been consistent for you? What have you been passionate about lately?

🎨 Paint a picture. Really! This can be a fun one. Picture yourself decades from now, far into your life, your work, your family, and your full range of experiences. How might you describe or illustrate your connection to yourself, your loved ones, your community, and even the world? Enjoy creating your future self-portrait!

📊 Take a quiz. If you’re a researcher or data-gatherer, this is a good way to collect information that doesn’t just send you down a rabbit hole of reading about other people’s legacies without moving forward with your own. Complete an assessment like Clifton Strengths, Kolbe, Human Design, etc., to get a better understanding of why you do what you do and why you run into roadblocks when you try to force yourself in directions that aren’t yours. This knowledge is powerful, because it can keep you focused on building a legacy that is truly yours, instead of cobbling together approaches that are actually dictated by other people’s expectations of you.

📚 Also embrace inspiration. There are so many phenomenal women to learn from! Which of their stories light a fire under you? Which women break down your mental walls of what you believe is possible for your own life? There could be gold in understanding their stories, especially if you then ask yourself, “What does this tell me about my own legacy?” and “How might I make such a powerful impact in my own way?” 

📜 Make a statement. Brainstorm an imperfect first draft of your own legacy statement. Give yourself permission to read it, say it out loud, and continue to refine it on a regular basis. My morning routine includes the following statement, which I hone whenever even better language comes to me: I do life-changing work, because I walk with people to the center of their lives, their power, and their joy!

🗓️ Take action. Specifically, take action in these three ways:

  • Commit to regular check-ins to see how your legacy is becoming manifest in your everyday. Put these check-ins on your calendar as a repeating event.

  • Strategize with the end in mind. When you know where you want to end up, you can build a much more focused action plan. What will progress toward your legacy look like at your halfway point? What will it look like 5 years from now? One year from now? One month? One week? What will it look like at the end of today? Write these down and keep them handy. They are your roadmap!

  • Take small actions every single day. Think and plan big, but act small. Why? If everything is about the Big Moves and Ultimate Success, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. The goal is too far away, and our imperfect human selves start believing we will never get there. What is the one most important action for you to take today to get you to your legacy? 

While we make a special effort to seek out women’s stories this month, let’s keep in mind that their legacy building took a lifetime, and ours will, too. I wish you confidence, great impact, and joy along the journey toward your legacy.

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