Focusing on What You Have Control Of

Rear view of young woman watching birds

By Cheryl Jones

What causes you to feel stressed or even overwhelmed?

Start by making a list of all your stressors. (This might be stressful!)

Look at your list. Take a few breaths. Put a “C” next to all of the stressors you have control of.

Pick the top five things you’d like to address in the next six months. What feels most important to address now? What’s screaming at you?

Set a goal. Determine one thing you will do today, tomorrow, and for the next week. This should be a minuscule goal – something so easy that it feels silly to even be considered a goal.

This exercise is about being aware that you’re taking a tiny step every day toward alleviating the stress or solving the problem. This awareness is critical.

When we’re overwhelmed we freeze. We don’t see clearly. We don’t access our inner or outer resources. Instead of getting overwhelmed, we can focus on the one step we are taking each day to move in the direction we wish to move in.

It is possible to create an authentic life one moment, one step, and one breath at a time.


Reprinted with permission from Cheryl Jones’ blog at

Cheryl Jones, founder of The Mindful Path, LLC, is a speaker, consultant, and coach. She believes mindfulness is the key to health for both individuals and organizations. Throughout the past decade, Cheryl has brought mindfulness to businesses, hospitals, educational institutions, and retreat centers. Cheryl will lead the retreat, The Mindful Path to Leadership, at Copper Beech Institute, November 16 – 17, 2015. The retreat is designed for all who are looking to bring mindfulness to their work life and workplace. Beginners to mindfulness are welcome. Group discounts are available.

Copper Beech Institute is the nation’s newest retreat center for mindfulness and contemplative practice offering more than 40 opportunities to help you awaken to the beauty of your life.

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