A look into First Steps: our FREE self-development workbook
what is it?
First Steps is our first FREE self-development workbook. A compilation of tools and activities for self-reflection, growth, and development.
Keep reading to learn more about the journey and inspirations of this workbook and an inside look and explanation of the workbook's purpose.
what is the purpose?
The First Steps Workbook's purpose is to guide you in self-reflection of your current state of being to help you break down bad habits and dysfunctional or limiting beliefs and clear the path to become the person you've always wanted to be. (p.s. you've always been that person; they might just be a little lost on the path).
life's what YOU make it
That sounds like a big promise, I know. But the actual result isn't from any information or tools you find and absorb; it's about how much you put into it personally. Hannah Montana said it best, 'life's what you make it.'
Regardless of other influences that may be at play, you have the power and ability to impact your life simply by the decisions you choose or don't choose to make every day. If you put in the effort to practice self-reflection and gratitude, push yourself and show up for yourself, you will notice a change in time. Small changes add up. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
we want to hear from you
We can't guarantee that this workbook will be beneficial to you. We hope it is, but don't let that discourage you if it isn't. If you don't resonate with this workbook, leave a comment below or email me here with something you would like to see! We are stronger when we work together :)
how the workbook came to be?
I'm someone who likes to have a plan, process or easy-to-follow guide if I can find it. I had a hard time finding that in the vast world of wellness information available at our fingertips. It was overwhelming, and I had no idea where or how to start. So I connected and compiled some tools and exercises that have helped me into this easy-to-follow workbook for your convenience! Some of these tools I have learned through my time learning from The Center of Mind-Body Medicine, particularly from the spectacular brilliance of Dr. Rita Anita Linger, through other creators and individuals who share their wealth of knowledge, as well as my own. If you like self-help workbooks I would also check out struthless, his youtube channel and worksheets are awesome!
where it counts
I tried to make the workbook as engaging as possible, so the activities get right to the good stuff; bonus, you can also use the workbook as a calming colouring book!
This is the first workbook of what I hope to be many to come, all for free, always. As we grow, we would like to collaborate with others to make each workbook stronger, more impactful and more helpful than before.
Comment below if you would like a sequel to this workbook!
Possibly a collection of self-improvement workbooks?
self-improvement, growth and development shouldn't be confusing
Each activity in this workbook is accompanied by a quick summary and explanation of what to do. :) if you have any questions or need guidance, please don't hesitate to contact me here. I will do my best to respond within 24 hours.
before I get into more detail about the workbook, a quick but important disclaimer
I am not a professional. Please be advised that all of the information in this workbook and blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This workbook is a tool/guide for others to use at their own discretion to help them on their self-love and development journey.
The First Steps Workbook:
a beginner's guide to self-love and unlocking your badass potential
Activity 1-3: Brain Dump
The brain dump section is used to clear all thoughts, ideas and anything else floating around in your head. Nothing is off-limits; this activity intends to empty your brain of all the gunk that might distract you while working on the workbook.
This activity is also a great way of getting all your thoughts on paper which can help you visualize them better and help you make connections, reflections and realizations.
Can't think of anything to write? Write that down too! There is no correct answer; that goes for the entire workbook. Remember, this is for YOU and ONLY YOU. So be open and honest with yourself because that is the key to growth.
Activity 4: How You Are Now
This activity is the first reflection activity prompting you to take a closer look at yourself. Use whatever style feels right for you to make this reflection. Make a list, draw a web or mind-map, and/or draw a picture of yourself and your current state of being. There are no limits. The critical thing is to be completely honest with yourself.
If you haven't noticed, honesty and transparency play a vital role in self-development. You can't improve if you don't acknowledge the not so pretty parts. We all have them, but what sets you aside is your willingness to reflect upon your thoughts and actions through a kind but critical lens and actively work towards learning, growing and doing better.
You won't wake up tomorrow as a new person. We are creatures of habit, so we need to teach and train ourselves to grow into a better version of ourselves.
Activity 5: Your 'Ideal Self'
This activity contrasts the one before. While your reflection of your current self is still fresh in your mind, use that to formulate the person you aspire to be. Don't aspire to be like someone else. Look at who you are and build upon that. What are your goals or areas of improvement? Remember, this is about you and only you.
Stuck on this activity? Reference what you wrote or drew in the previous activity!
Maybe in the previous activity, you recognized you procrastinate a lot, then in the 'your ideal self' activity, you can note that your ideal self will work on being more productive. Do what works for you and speaks to you.
Activity 6: Your Strengths
This section builds off of the previous two exercises (notice a pattern?). Here you will reject and write down the first things that come to your mind when you think about your strengths. This activity then builds upon looking at your ideal self and comparing it to your list of strengths.
Like I said, you already are your ideal self. You already have many of the thoughts or qualities you need. It's just a matter of identifying them and clearing a path to come to the front.
Activity 7: Areas of Improvement
This activity is to help you identify the things about yourself that could use improvement. What areas of your life, habit or individuals holding you back? Be honest with yourself.
The activity prompts you to write down a minimum of three but feel free to expand as much as you see fit. Just a reminder to be kind to yourself when doing this activity!
This workbook is rooted in self-love; there is no room for self-degradation.
there is a difference between self-degradation and self-evaluation
You don't need to tear yourself down or make yourself smaller to acknowledge areas of your life that could use improvement. Nobody is perfect; perfect doesn't exist. So cut yourself some slack. We all have room to grow.
Activity 8: Breaking Down Dysfunctional Beliefs
This activity is one of the more difficult in this workbook. It asks you to reflect and list any dysfunctional beliefs and challenge them by changing them to functional beliefs.
what is a dysfunctional belief?
A dysfunctional belief is any negative idea, thought, saying or construct that is not based on fact, limiting us and preventing us from growing.
'I'm not good enough", "I don't deserve this," "I'm stupid," "I'm lazy," etc.
take those dysfunctional beliefs and break them down
If you wrote down "I'm lazy" as one of your dysfunctional beliefs, challenge it. Are you lazy or just unmotivated and not stimulated by what you need to do? How can you make the tasks you have been putting off more enjoyable for yourself?
The easiest way to help you through this activity and see if your dysfunctional beliefs indeed are dysfunctional, is to ask yourself why? "I'm lazy" - why? why are you lazy? "I'm stupid" - why? why are you stupid? "I don't deserve this or that"- why don't you deserve it?
By asking yourself why, you challenge these beliefs, and most times, your reason probably won't be a real reason. And if you're still not convinced, pretend a friend of a loved one said those dysfunctional beliefs about themselves. Would you agree with them, or would you challenge them on their negative and dysfunctional thoughts?
This is a wonderful technique I learned from Sarah Bickle, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), MPs, RP(Q).
Activity 9: Next Steps: Goals
This activity is what will motivate you to move forward.
goals can help give us purpose, regardless of their size or magnitude
They provide us a map of what we need to do to reach those goals (tasks). The point behind this workbook is to use honest self-reflection to help you create goals for yourself based on the areas in your life you need improvement on.
If you still can't think of goals start small and simple.
Clean your room or home, read a new book every month, drink 1 gallon of water a day, go for a daily walk are easy simple goals you can intergrate into your routine. Small things add up. These tasks might not transform your state of being but it will get the ball rolling making working towards bigger goals easier.
Make your tasks simple, specific and actionable (list it as an action you can do)
When writing your goals think:What do you want to accomplish?
What kind of outcome and you looking for?
What do you want/where do you want to be in 5 years?
What do you want/where do you want to be in 10 years?
and always ask yourself why!
Activity 10: How to get there
Create the roadmap to your ideal self. You have written your goals now what do you need to do to accomplish those goals?
In this activity you can draw or describe how you're going to get to your ideal self? Reflect on the steps you need to take, what you need to do, what needs to change, etc. Is there something you need to work on, let go of, begin etc? Make this section as simple or complex as you wish. Essentially use this as your guide to helping you take your next steps based on all the previous activities. Transformation is a process and requires patience. So be kind to yourself. Give yourself the love and patience you deserve to grow.
This exercise shows what needs be done to achieve your goal. It also ensures you didn't shortcut to your goal. As great as a shortcut may be (example: spontaneously buying a dog without properly preparing for it) you will only be cheating yourself (expensive vet bill you didn't prepare for, house in ruins). Goals can take time. Embrace it, it will be worth the wait. Use the tasks and subtasks as a roadmap and motivation.
Final Activity: Why do you deserve this?
Finally, list all the reasons you deserve to reach your goals! List why you deserve your goals, love, kindness, abundance etc.! Keep your reason simple or make it even more powerful by giving it a "why."
For example "I deserve to reach my goal of ____. Why? Because I am putting in the effort to honestly reflect and work on myself."
I like to call this part 'universe meet me at the middle'.
Meet the universe in the middle. Manifest the goals you have written down for yourself and meet the universe in the middle by accomplishing the tasks and subtasks you have layed out for yourself. Think of that as your shortcut to becoming your ideal self and you created it all yourself! It was always within you. Hopefully this blog post was insightful and I hope that the workbook will very beneficial to you.
If you download our workbook please leave us a review! It helps us know what you liked, what you didn't and what you may be looking for, all allowing us to improve!
Comment below if you'd like to see more free workbooks in the future!
Together, let's grow!
Emil - Creator of Valeo Vitality