6 Week Encouraging Class Lesson 1: Preparing For What To Do

Hello, Cynthia Ann Leighton here.

Welcome to Lesson 1 of the 6 Week Encouraging class, How to Encourage Yourself to Keep Moving Forward.

It’s front loaded! More work at the beginning…

Recently, you started with the preliminary session. This is Lesson 1 and will be followed by Lesson 2 exactly a week after you signed up, then followed exactly a week later with Lesson 3, then 4 through 6 on a weekly basis.

These arrive by email and I’m here to help! If you have questions or miss a lesson, simply reply to one of my emails to you.

How can I prepare myself for what I need to do?

Prepare to Start [23 minutes, 57 seconds]

This will show you encouraging ways to start that help you do whatever’s next a little bit better.

Including silly little things that work like the 2-minute (ancient-original) Wonder Woman stance.

Then? I start. Sometimes it’s a ready or not here we go kind of thing despite preparing. This is how I allow myself to prepare in ways that lead to my enthusiastic persistent, consistent doing of what needs to be done that fits today as it is.


How can I overcome the bad stuff that pops up?

Finding your enthusiasm [17 minutes, 21 seconds]

This will show you how to dig for what’s going to move you to do what you need to do.


What about that (Original!) Wonder Woman stance as a power pose?

Your body language shapes who you are | Amy Cuddy, PhD. (TED talk) [21 minutes, 2 seconds]

This will show you how the (original)  Wonder Woman power pose can shape who you are. Hey, you might want to do that for 2 minutes now to prove it to yourself. Hands on hips, feet apart! I flip a 2-minute old fashioned green-sand-flowing timer from the Dollar Tree. Dr. Amy Cuddy’s research as a social psychologist focuses on competence and warmth. She’s changing lives. Including mine. If you’re a reader, I recommend reading her book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.


Homework Assignment:

Keep doing the jottings assignment.

Getting a month’s worth of your patterns recorded is going to make a difference in encouraging yourself to keep moving forward.


This week, let’s look for good stuff that fits you where you are in this phase of your life.

Clues to what will prepare you for what you need to do…


Step 1. Look

Look within you from time to time during interactions with people as you go through each day for the next few days.

Make an effort to become a bit more aware of what’s going within yourself when you interact with each person.


Instead of going out specifically to people watch as you did in your homework the last few days, gently return to your everyday routines.

Because we’re looking to find ways of encouraging yourself to keep moving forward.

Especially for those ways that will lead to your most important dreams becoming real!

So we need to look in your everyday life.


Your everyday life experiences will now feel a wee bit more fresh.

Because of the exercises the last few days!

Because of the attention you put into people watching.

By this, I mean that you’ll naturally have a little bit of a heightened awareness of your everyday routines.


You’ll be a little more attuned to the people around you because of the increased focus on people watching that you did last week.

Let’s use that heightened awareness to become aware of yourself and what might have prepared you for your day.


You’ll find clues as you look within!

Allow your awareness of situations to include how you feel and how you react internally to the people in your life.

Look at what’s going on inside you as each person crosses your path.

This will naturally increase your awareness of what’s most effective in encouraging you to keep moving forward.


As you do, allow yourself to begin to notice the tiny kindnesses and quirky but brilliant little things the people of your life are up to, doing, being, becoming…

This will show you insights into your connections with people and events that give meaning to your life.


Step 2. Read and Write

Hang onto that bedside page of paper and pen from your preliminary lesson!


(a) Do this once:

At the end of the day today, read over what you wrote these past days.

Give yourself two or three minutes to review.

The idea is to briefly remember what you meant for each entry.

This will show you insights into what’s lifting you up, and what’s not so much…


(b) Do this daily:

At the end of each day, keep doing the writing of the up arrow and down arrow!

Beside each, jot down a handful of words for what felt uplifting that day, and another handful for what had more of a distressing feel to it.

Keep it simple!

Definitely less than 25 words. Keep it closer to 5 + 5 = 10 words.

Yep, if you only need 1 word for each, that works!

I’ve found patterns as I go.

Those patterns help me choose to make the effort for what uplifts me.

This will show you your patterns and lead you naturally to how to encourage yourself based on who you really are.


Step 3: Ponder

Ponder your own little habits this week.

Catch yourself doing good stuff!

Be on the hunt to find one little thing you do daily that provides an uplifting joy to the people around you.

Because I’ve found that there are things I do that lift others…

And? Because I’ve also noticed that when I focus on my own gifts that lift others, I lift myself up in a way that prepares me to encourage myself to keep moving forward with what’s next for me that fits in this moment, no matter what happens.

What if you get stuck?

Hey, if after a couple days you can’t figure out what to choose, pick your smile!

Then catch yourself smiling at people and notice their responses to you.

This will show you a teeny tiny insight into how being vulnerable brings you the joy and peace that inspires you to keep moving forward no matter what happens.


Step 4. Pose (2 minutes; behind closed doors)

You knew this was coming right? Do the Wonder Woman pose for two minutes every morning this week.

Do an extra pose before each time you know you’re entering a particularly difficult or stressful situation.

Here’s the thing: it works!

Warning – remember to do it privately, as in behind closed doors, in the bathroom stall if that’s what’s available.

This will show you how to allow yourself to do your next steps to the best of your ability and keep doing them until you become the you who can do them well.


Step 5: Reading

Read these:


Developing Your Self-Care Plan | Lisa D. Butler, PhD

This will show you how to create a plan for self-care.


Fact Sheet: Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers

This will show you how to take care of yourself. This PDF is on the website of the USA State of California’s Department of Social Services, crediting that it’s used by permission of  Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving. Yes, the link is on helping the aged, blind and disabled, but it’s basic care to take care of you!


Step 6. And Now

Watch these YouTubes:


Oprah Winfrey: Take Care of Yourself | Stanford Graduate School of Business [3 minutes, 18 seconds]

This will show you that your life is bigger than you realize and how to honor yourself and offer your whole self to the world.


What to do Before a Game | Jared Montz Online Soccer Academy [2 minutes, 41 seconds]

This will show you how to prepare your mind and body as a top athlete does.


Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves? | Lissa Rankin, MD | TEDxAmericanRiviera [18 minutes, 50 seconds]

This will show you how to use your mind to heal your body in a way that encourages you to keep moving forward. Dr. Lissa Rankin talks about the placebo effect as evidence that the body holds within it innate self-repair mechanisms. She shares stories, turning a dry database of spontaneous remissions into real life help… and real warnings. If you’re a reader, I recommend reading her book, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.


Additional Resources

How To Focus Your Attention  [5 minutes, 9 seconds]

Procrastination vs Self Care of Nurturing YOU [7 minutes, 17 seconds]


About The Author

Cynthia Ann Leighton

Cynthia gives an inspirational lift. If your challenges put you out of action or into feeling stuck, prepare yourself here. Learn to put into practice what you need.