Landscape Your Way to Success with a Metaphor

“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” –Edgar Allan Poe

Metaphors are great in visualizing your goals. They take you to your imagination and away from the “how.” The how can often be a goal killer. Goals are usually going after something not previously attained, hence, the unfamiliar. The unfamiliar can be very uncomfortable. Therefore, it is less painful to avoid the “how” by avoiding new goals. A metaphor will help you gain momentum. Some of my clients have used what I call, “Landscape Your Way to Success.”

Take a moment to imagine planting a garden and the garden is your life! Visualize a circular garden divided into wedges, giving each wedge a theme. Here are nine possible themes:

* Relationship w/wo partner

* Career/Vocation

* Family

* Friends

* Money

* Fun/Recreation

* Spirituality

* Self-Care

* Lifestyle

Look over the garden from a broad perspective. You notice there are numerous perennials that come back year after year. Stop to analyze if some of these blooms seem to be withering. They may have lost their ability to grow from being overly processed in the same soil. Maybe it is time to dig them up, put them in the recycle bin, and sow some new seeds and plants. Other perennials are newer and worth keeping.

From this place of observation, give each wedge a number code from 0-10. The lower number zero is assigned to plants not doing so well. A 10 is for those plants that have reached full bloom. Example:

Spring Landscape – Time to Plant New Seedlings to Harvest in the Fall (6 months):

Relationship: 5 - if single/divorced/not interested at this time/living with partner/married/dating

Career/Vocation: 3 – so, so, but not satisfied

Self-care: 2 – time to start to exercise & eat better

Money: 4 - tight squeeze

Friends: 7 - friends are supportive

You get the idea! Continue to fill in the rest to get the big picture of your garden. This is a great metaphor to examine the landscape of your life. Plus spring is the perfect time to think about planting new ideas to harvest in the fall.

Questions Hold the Answers to Your Landscape:

* What are you noticing as you look over your life landscape?

* What feelings come up?

* Which themes require more fertilization – nurturing – attention?

Picture it is six months later, time to harvest your goals. You see a beautiful garden, full of new blooms and promises for even more. You evaluate from where you started several months ago to now. For example, compare the above numbers with the numbers below. It might look like this:

Fall Landscape – Time to Harvest – 6 months after planting in Spring:

Relationship w/wo partner: 7 – happier – having more fun

Career/Vocation: 7 – on target with career objectives – enjoying vocation

Self-care: 5 – looking good! feeling better!

Money: 6 – pressure off and re-investing

Friends: 9 - are supportive, fun to be with

Questions Hold the Answers to Harvesting Your Desires:

* What seeds did you plant to reach these higher numbers?

* What difference would it make to be able to harvest the outcomes you desire?

* What did you weed out of your life that wasn’t growing?

* What coaching did you pursue to help you grow your garden?

Tips: Sow the Seedlings of Your Desires:

* You are the creator of your garden. You get to plant the seeds of what you want to attract.

* Listen to your heart, not the ego, to what you are meant to plant.

* Nourish what you plant by focusing and taking action.

* Watch your mindless chatter committed to keeping you from succeeding

* Hire an experienced professional to train you in the skills to plant, nourish and harvest beyond what you already have in your garden.

“Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes


Theresa-Maria (“TM”) Napa – of Right Track Coaching - is dedicated to helping professionals and executives increase their winning percentage while taking fewer steps and producing better results. Her career has included positions as executive assistant, vice president of operations, director of marketing & administration, and business owner with substantial experience in leadership, marketing, client development, and execut...

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