• Positive psychologists have identified five essential factors that contribute to lasting wellbeing: positive emotions (P), engagement (E) in activities, positive relationships (R), a belief that life has meaning (M), and accomplishment (A). (This is known as the PERMA model.)

    This first post in Your Flourishing Life blog will introduce you to these PERMA factors and ways that they are important for a life of achievement and wellbeing. In future posts, we will go deeper in different aspects of this model, and how I apply these ideas my work with my coaching clients to energize their efforts and sustain their overall wellbeing.

    Before getting Let's begin this blog about flourishing with a brief  goal visualization exercise.

    Visualize Your Flourishing Future

    Pause for a moment, close your eyes, take a couple deep, easy breaths, and visualize:

    3 things that you would like to change within the next 12 months that would make your life significantly more satisfying. Why are those changes important now?

    3 things that you would like to achieve in the next 3 years that would be meaningful accomplishments and high points in your life

    You are more likely to persist in working toward a goal if it is really important to you. Significant goals usually take time to accomplish and involve multiple, interrelated stages. To start with, you need a vivid vision of what you want to achieve--and why you want to achieve it. You need to commit as wholeheartedly as you can to your purpose. This means being willing to invest your time, energy and resources (creativity and material) to achieve your goals.

    It’s easier to envision all the ways that your life can be great after you achieve your goals. The challenge is to nurture your physical and psychological wellbeing so you can sustain your momentum as you progress down your path of achievement.

    So if you have high aspirations, but are feeling a bit daunted by all the different parts of your life you know you will have to juggle, what can you do?

    Positive Emotions (P)
    To experience well-being, we need positive emotions in our lives. Any positive emotion such as peace, gratitude, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, or love falls into this category. While it’s important to have as many of the other elements of PERMA in place, the message here is that it's really important to enjoy yourself in the here and now.

    Why is this important to you as you work toward your goals?  You are more likely to attract and keep supportive people around you, if they see  that you are genuinely glad to meet them and grateful for the opportunities to collaborate with them. Being curious can help you discover and refine your strategies for achieving your goals.

    2. Engagement (E)
    When you are truly engaged in a situation, task, or project, you experience a state of flow: time seems to stop, you lose your sense of self, and you concentrate intensely on the present. Your regrets about the past and fears about the future drop away.

    Why is this important to you as you work toward your goals?  Being in a state of flow is intrinsically satisfying. if you can develop your skills for achieving flow states you will find that you procrastinate less in getting things done. You will also find that you are less likely to feel overwhelmed--and more likely to enjoy--mastering the myriad activities that it takes to realize your vision.

    3. Positive Relationships (R)
    As humans, we are "social beings," and good relationships are essential to our well-being. Psychologists have consistently found—and you know from your own experience-- people who have meaningful, positive relationships with others are happier than those who do not. Relationships really do matter!


    Why is this important to you as you work toward your goals?  When you are working to achieve a significant goal, you are not just working on specific content of your project, your goal is to establish positive relationships with people in your social networks so that they know, like and trust you—and, by extension, believe in the value of what you are working toward. When they do, they are much more likely to be loyal supporters and be happy to refer people they know who can help you.

    4. Meaning (M)
    Meaning comes from serving a cause bigger than ourselves. Whether this is a specific deity or religion, or a cause that helps humanity in some way, we all need meaning in our lives to have a sense of well-being.

    Why is this important to you as you work toward your goals? This is called “the big Why.”  It is compelling purpose that propels you through your life which propels you out of bed every day, and fuels your passion.

    Many high achievers start their life projects because they want to earn more money or recognition. Others are driven by the desire for greater control over and flexibility in what work they do and how they do it. Over time, however, the lure of material success becomes less compelling, and other goals and values assume greater importance. Many people who have succeeded with some major goals find that they are more interested in creating legacies for their families, communities, the country or the world. There is no “app for that.” The goals become the creation of legacies that outlast accumulated wealth or experiences. Keeping your legacy in mind from the beginning can guide your decisions and help keep the routine work on your projects meaningful.

    5. Accomplishment/Achievement (A)
    Many of us strive to better ourselves in some way, whether we're seeking to master a skill, achieve a valuable goal, or win in some competitive event. The Accomplishment/Achievement factor also includes the role of grit, the ability to persist in overcoming obstacles in pursuit of long-term goals. As such, being motivated to achieve mastery and find satisfaction in our accomplishments also contributes to your ability to flourish.

    Why is this important to you as you work toward your goals? Realistically, not all your efforts to further your aspirations will be successful, so it is important to be psychologically tough, to have grit, so you can regroup and recover quickly after failures and continue to work toward your goals.

    Bottom Line
    Keep PERMA factors in mind as you pursue your goals and you are much more likely to keep your motivation and productivity high, and sustain your wellbeing. Getting the support you need can accelerate your progress.

    Answer the Three Questions Below to Decide Whether Working with a Coach Would Be The Right Kind of Support For You.

    1.What would it be like to have a trusted partner to help you develop and implement a strategy for achieving your goals by providing ongoing encouragement and accountability?
    2. What would it be like to have an ally to help you problem-solve and strengthen your motivation so you can overcome the obstacles that inevitably arise when you work toward long term goals?
    3. What would it be like to have a non-judgemental witness who appreciates how much effort you have invested and encourages you to savor and celebrate your successes?

    If you answered “It would be great!” to one or more of these questions, consider working with me in coaching. 

    Learn More How Coaching Can Help You Flourish! 

    Click Here to Schedule Your Complimentary Consult Session.