What *Can* You Do? Here Are 50 Ideas To Get You Started.

Which serves you better: Focusing on everything outside of your control, or reminding yourself of all you CAN do?
Christi Hegstad March 21st, 2020

How do you feel when you focus on all the things you cannot do, control, change, improve, or implement?

How about when you focus on all the things you actually CAN do?

Here’s a pretty accurate depiction for me: :-)

Circle of Influence Control CDH-2

In times of uncertainty, challenge yourself to focus on all the things you can do. Below I share 50 examples to get you started – some focused on personal growth, others on professional development.

Not all of them may necessarily apply to you, but feel free to choose one or two that do. Better yet, use this as a launch pad for your own list of ideas!

1. Choose your mindset. You cannot always choose what happens but you can choose your response. There is power in knowing, and reminding yourself of, this.

2. Write a thank you note. For whom are you especially grateful right now? Send a note to a teacher, healthcare provider, researcher, grocery store clerk, delivery person, or whomever comes to mind for you.

3. Read. Books, novels, industry publications – set up a comfortable nook and make reading part of your daily practice.

4. Volunteer. Reach out to your favorite nonprofit and ask what they need. Your service may look a little different at the moment, but even sharing social media posts can help raise awareness. Financial donations can make a significant difference, too.

5. Be a conscious consumer. Decide, with intention, how – and how much – information you will take in. Choose your sources of this info as well.

6. Brainstorm. Create a Breakthrough Map around new ideas, projects, services, product possibilities, systems, or anything else that needs unlocking.

7. Create a schedule. Decide a few things things you want to make a priority each day (movement, reading, or meditation, for example) and set up a new schedule for yourself.

8. Write reviews, testimonials, and endorsements. This can be a simple but powerful way to support your favorite professionals and small businesses.

9. Share helpful hints. For example, use your social media platforms to share 3 things you’re finding helpful right now. Use your voice to inspire and uplift.

Choose Mindset

10. Learn a new skill. What have you always wanted to learn but felt you haven’t had time for? Maybe now’s the time! Think personal, professional, creative, relational – any area at all.

11. Advance a current skill. Personal, professional, interpersonal, goal-related – build your reservoir of skills and strengths.

12. Meet colleagues, friends, or family members for virtual coffee dates. Using FaceTime, Zoom, or other similar technology feels almost like you’re right in the room with them! You can still see each others’ faces, catch each others’ nonverbals, and engage in meaningful discussion.

13. Start a project. That article or book you’ve been thinking about writing? That class you’ve wanted to create? That service you’ve thought about launching? Give it a kickstart!

14. Listen to podcasts. I have spent many of my driving, walking, and laundry hours over the past few years learning from – or laughing with – podcasts! Check your favorite podcast app, download a few, and discover ones you enjoy!

15. Pitch yourself to podcasts. If you already have some favorite podcasts and also have a great message to share, reach out to see if you might become a guest. You might even look into starting your own.

16. Enroll in a course. Countless classes and programs are now available online via universities, businesses, art platforms, and more. Many of them are free of charge, and some may help you fulfill continuing education requirements in your industry.

17. Begin a morning routine. Decide what will help you wake up feeling positive and purposeful, then commit to it daily. Here’s a detailed overview of my morning routine if you’re looking for ideas!

18. Begin an evening routine, too. Explore what supports your peaceful wind-down and sleep. Examples might include reading, a warm beverage, soft music, bath, putting away electronics, or myriad others.

19. Get active on LinkedInUpdate your profile, seek out groups in your industry, add ideas and solutions to conversations.

20. Laugh. Whether funny movies, comedian sketches, humorous podcasts, or sharing hilarious stories with others, experience the many benefits of a good laugh.

21. Conduct informational interviews. Is there a field, industry, leadership practice, or something else that you’d like to learn more about? Generate your questions and set up phone interviews to learn more.

22. Secure support. You don’t have to go it alone! Hire a coach, find an accountability partner, join a like-minded group, and/or obtain the support that will serve you best.

23. Research. Delve into topics from industry trends to findings in sales psychology to how to grow your subscriber list and beyond.

24. Learn a new technology. Canva, Google Analytics, Facebook Live – pick one and see how you can use it for personal or professional growth.

25. Engage in self-discovery. Journaling can be a great place to start! Click here for some prompts if you want to start a journal but aren’t sure what to write.

26. Spiritually connect. Pray, read spiritual texts, seek out daily devotionals, and/or otherwise engage in the spiritual practices that best serve you.

27. Walk. In nature if you can, otherwise on the treadmill or even a few brisk laps around your living room. Movement can get your creative juices flowing in addition to providing numerous other benefits.

28. Take virtual tours. You can find many online for national parks, cities you plan to visit in the future, and more.

29. Mentor someone. Offer to share your time and expertise with an emerging leader in your organization, industry, or community.

30. Plan a goal. What is something you want to accomplish in the next few years? Begin mapping out your possible action steps.

31. Organize your photos. Maybe not alllll your photos :-) but choose a segment of them to sort, arrange, and/or display.

Bridge Path Field Sunrise w website

32. Practice a craft. Doodle, sew, paint, play an instrument. Engage different parts of your body and your brain.

33. Watch TED Talks. You can enter a subject (ie, leadership), author, or other criteria into the search function and find any number of succinct and inspiring lessons.

34. Write inspiring chalk messages on your sidewalk. (Thank you, neighbor, for this added delight to my walk today!) If you can’t get outside, pull out your crayons, colored pencils, or markers and make some inspiring posters instead.

35. Declutter. A closet, home office, junk drawer, kitchen cabinet… Clear away the excess and see if it renews your energy!

36. Write a ‘tips sheet’ in your area of expertise. You could even create a list of funny movies, inspiring books, or other helpful resources. Share with people who could benefit.

37. Do a jigsaw puzzle. If you don’t have one (or if you’re not a fan), consider crossword puzzles, sudoku, or other funtivities that engage your mind in different ways.

38. Be a pen pal. Write and mail a fun, uplifting note to a friend. Knowing that you’re boosting someone else’s spirits will likely boost yours, too.

39. Complete a satisfying task. And maybe choose one you’ve been procrastinating on. My ceiling fans are in dire need of a wipe-down – not my favorite chore but one that will feel good to complete!

40. Create a vision board. Consider your dreams and goals, find or create pictures to represent them, and glue them to a board that you can look at every day for inspiration.

Vision Board

41. Try a new recipe. Or pull out an old favorite. Or create your own!

42. Meditate. It took me a while (a long while!) to get into meditation, but I’m so grateful I finally did. You can learn my experience and resources here.

43. Get your in-box to zero. If not zero, pick a number that feels good and reasonable to you and go for that.

44. Clean up your digital space. While you’re at #43, think of other things you could minimize or delete on your computer or phone: unnecessary apps, unused icons, or email subscriptions you never read, to name a few.

45. Seek support. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Connect with a professional, accountability partner, supervisor, or whomever may best meet your needs. Counselors and therapists, too!

46. Tend to your plants. If you don’t have any, look at a gardening catalog or website and decide which plants ‘speak’ to you the most.

47. Start a blog. Then share learnings, experiences, fashion trends, craft ideas, or other info that might help uplift others.

48. Organize one area. Maybe your utensil drawer, your books, or your notes from the various trainings you’ve attended. Choose a realistic-sized area and get it straightened up.

49. Just be. This does not always come easily for achievers, but encourage yourself to be, feel, relax. Even just slowly savoring a cup of coffee can become a soothing act in and of itself.

50. Ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do in this moment?”

Which one speaks to you most right away? What others would you add? Share your ideas below, or on Instagram or Facebook!

Christi Hegstad, PhD, PCC is the Certified Executive + Personal Coach for difference-making achievers! Clarify your vision, free up time, and confidently reach bold goals with meaning and purpose! Contact us today for coaching, speaking, and Mastermind opportunities, or click here and fill in the blue box to join our email community.


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