May, Spring, new starts, energy, and excitement. It is so easy to fill our calendars with all of the treasured activities we have mostly had to go without during our long winter of isolation. Even up here in the Pacific Northwest, the spring sunshine is calling and I am eager to be out of the house, doing and going. This is all good for our health, mental, physical, and spiritual. And, it is also good to take a pause, a break, to discern what is the very best thing to do, so that we don’t sacrifice our being in all of this activity, all of this doing. Taking a break from our habits and routines, especially those that no longer serve our greater good, can open space and provide the energy we need to make those important changes that will lead to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.
What is SOAR Analysis?
When we want to start something new, we first need to clear out our old patterns. And this is hard. Change is hard. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, what we don’t want in our lives anymore, we can re-frame our deficit-based thinking into strength-based aims and goals. This releases energy for the change that is needed.
SOAR is a process for strategic visioning, that helps us identify where we are already flourishing and how we can apply these abilities to creating the changes we need to be even better. SOAR looks at our Strengths (S), Opportunities (O), Aspirations (A), and Results (R) to map a way towards our preferred future.
- Strengths: What are you already doing right? Looking at your diet, your exercise habits, your financial status, relationships, career, what do you want to build on? What do you want more of?
- Opportunities: Where do you see areas in your life that you can amplify, to make even better? What do you want more of, not less of?
- Aspirations: What is your true heartfelt desire? When you think about being healthier, what is your reason behind this? Is it to be healthier? To have more energy for your family, your friends, travel? Do you want to lose weight in order to look better? Or is there another reason, such as wanting to get off certain medications? What is the motivation behind the desire to change? What is the world calling for you to be?
- Results: Once you have reflected on your Strengths, Opportunities, and identified your true Aspiration for wanting to make a change in your life, what are 3-5 results that mean success, to you. And what is success to you? If it is about losing weight, then make a small, concrete, and realistic goal to begin. Think about your ideal weight and identify an aim that will lead you there. Aim for things that you are confident you can do-small wins build confidence and help you feel successful.
Celebrate your SOAR
Now that you have created your SOAR vision, track your progress. Keep a daily diary or record of the positive changes you make. However small, celebrate them. Instead of fretting about what might not have gone right, shine the light of discovery on what did go right. And build on that.
Setbacks, relapses, and mistakes are part of the process. We fail often to succeed often.
Here’s to your Spring SOARing, may you reach new heights.
Yours in health,
Kristen Crusoe RN MN EdD, Health Coach, is a consultant with Elderwise Inc. From a health coach perspective, Kristen shares advice about holistic health and how we can live our fullest lives, now and into our preferred futures.
Stavros, Jacqueline M, & Hinrichs, Gina. (2011). The Thin Book Of SOAR: Building Strengths-Based Strategy. Bend, OR: Thin Book Publishing.