Several years ago while putting together New Year’s Resolutions, it dawned on me why they don’t work. Making a list of Do’s and Don’ts had a negative feel to it. But focusing on what I want more and less of in my life made sense. If I could get clear on what I wanted and didn’t want, then I could make decisions in line with those desires. I decided to call it a “Fearless Inventory.” Taking stock of what I truly wanted, and being specific about how I wanted to feel would bring those experiences into my life.

This journaling exercise was one of the most cathartic experiences I had ever had and left me feeling that, rather than a list of obligations and behaviors that “needed to change,” I could now create a picture of what I wanted my life to look and feel like and take action accordingly.

Six months later (when most New Year’s Resolutions are looooong forgotten), I decided to take another Fearless Inventory and compare it to the prior. Well, from there I was hooked. Taking a Fearless Inventory every six months has become a bi-annual event. Not one to keep helpful tips to myself, every client, friend, and anyone else who will listen now participates with me. I hope you will too.

Since we’ve hit the six-month mark in 2013, I thought now would be the perfect time for us, whether this is your first or umpteenth time, to gain clarity about what you really want by analyzing what in your life feels right and in line with your authentic self and what does not (what you do out of feelings of obligation or fear).

This comes at a great time. I shared with you a couple weeks ago that stress has gotten me a little tripped up, and I’m sure it has at one point or another for you too. Let’s take some self-care time and refocus our energy and intention on creating what we want in our own lives.

I challenge you to bust out of your comfort zone and actually DO this exercise with me!

– Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper.
– On the top of left side of the line, write, “What Do I Want More of in My Life?”
Then write the following categories, leaving some space between each to fill in what you want more of:

  • Career
  • Love
  • Finances
  • Spirituality
  • Health & Wellness
  • Family
  • Other

– On the top of the right-hand column, write, “What Do I Want Less of in My Life?”
Then write the same categories, leaving some space between each to fill in what you want less of:

  • Career
  • Love
  • Finances
  • Spirituality
  • Health & Wellness
  • Family
  • Other

– Take some time to fill out each category, and remember to include feelings on this list. Hang the list where you can see it on a daily basis.

Once you have completed this, do a Fearless Journaling Exercise to dig deeper.

1. What Do You Really Want?
Based off of the Fearless Inventory, write the story of how your ideal life looks. Be specific.

For example:

  • You want to work how many hours per week? What does your office look like? What type of people are your co-workers? How do you feel when you are there?
  • What does your relationship look like? How do you want to handle conflict? What do you do to keep the relationship alive? How do you feel when you are with that special person?
  • Where do you want to live? What does your living space look like? How do you feel in that space?
  • What do you want to do for fun/balance? Any new hobbies you want to explore or old ones you would like to start up again?
  • Do you want to travel? Where?

2. What Is Getting in the Way?

Without judging or blaming, list the TOP THREE things in your life right now that are preventing you from creating the lifestyle you described in #1. (Be specific and provide as much detail as possible.)

This week, allow yourself the time and space to put thoughts into words (which makes you more accountable and, therefore, more likely to act upon them). Living the life you deserve that is in line with your truth is worth the time and effort. Once you have completed the exercise, refer back to it and update your progress. Seeing how far you’ve come will motivate you to keep going!

I am interested to hear how this exercise goes for you. Were you surprised by your responses? Did you find it empowering to put your thoughts down on paper, and does it inspire you to create an action plan? Are there areas you still feel stuck and need guidance? Share your thoughts, questions, and list right here!

I hope you have an amazing week and, as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love


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  1. This may go against the exercise but I came up with money, luck and serendipity. All I can come up with is continue searching for a better job and volunteer to meet better people, but not sure how that changes my situation.

  2. Terri,
    I really like this different approach of determining your goals in life; what you want and what you don’t want, which leads to action of implementing what you do want and removing what you don’t. Journaling can be SUCH a powerful tool toward making positive change in our lives and this exercise shows that clearly. It can really activate awareness with where we actually are and where we really want to be; and what it will take to make those changes, one step and one day at a time.

    I have chosen your post, Journaling Time: Let’s Take a Fearless Inventory, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 6/3/13 for all things journaling on Twitter; a link will be posted on the social networks, on my blog and website Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in my weekly Refresh Journal:

    #JournalChat Live is every Thursday, 5 EST/2 PST, for all things journaling on Twitter; our topic this week is Your Journaling: Self Talk.

    I love the multi-dimensional approach, including all areas of our lives, to fearlessly look at where we are. Thanks for this.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    Your Refreshment Specialist
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter
    Author of The Birthday Wall: Create a Collage to Celebrate Your Child

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