Simply Sather

Instagram Challenge | Start with the End in Mind

I know, I know…

I’ve been posting about this Instagram Challenge a lot! Talking about it, telling stories, doing live videos on Instagram and guess what? I’M STILL EXCITED!!!

Instagram Challenge
my eyes, my eyes… but that view, that view – Columbia River, Washington State

You may have this kind of look on your face right now.

You know what I’m talking about…

That look when you’re squinting into the sun because you can’t really see but are still trying to smile and look cute in the general direction of the camera? Perhaps you’re even thinking, “what have I done?” or in this case, “what am I doing?” getting into this Instagram Challenge. You’re maybe having second thoughts or already figuring out why it won’t work for you or your schedule.

I get it.

And that’s why I’ll be sending you bits of encouragement and direction in your email in box these next five days, to help you leave anxiety and overwhelm behind. This challenge is not intended to invite any of that negative stuff, but is to help you stretch toward the good.

One way to get your mind and soul ready for this challenge is to start with the end in mind.

I was introduced to this concept for the first time when we were being taught the concept of Understanding by Design in my master’s degree program in education (2011).

This is my favorite definition:

Understanding by Design, or UbD, is an educational planning approach. UbD is an example of backward design, the practice of looking at the outcomes in order to design curriculum units, performance assessments, and classroom instruction.[1] UbD focuses on teaching to achieve understanding. It is advocated by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins in their Understanding by Design(1998), published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.[2][3] Understanding by Design and UbD are registered trademarks of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). | Wikepedia

What I appreciate most is that starting with the end in mind – “the practice of looking at the outcomes” – is not what most of us do on a regular basis and our results reflect it. It’s an unusual way of approaching things for many of us and it can be a bit tricky; it was for me.

I think we think we do this when we say we want to be this size before beach season or to purchase that thing if my hard-earned bonus comes. Whatever it is we want, we may not spend as much time considering the outcome and the impact on our soul to get there.

And while this may seem like just an Instagram Challenge and I really do want us all to have fun, if there is any part of you that wants to have any kind of success doing this, this is where I believe we need to start.

I knew the desired outcomes that would come from my facilitating this challenge before I put the prompts together. I have four of them.

The biggest one, my most important why, is to help people learn to pay closer attention to what is happening (or not happening) in their souls. The stuff below the surface, beneath the small talk and masks we barely know we’re wearing.

I’ve shared my biggest desired outcome, now it’s your turn.


Get someplace quiet for a few minutes and allow yourself to think about waking up on the first day of October.

Take a moment to even think about where this place might be.

While you’re in that space for 5 minutes or longer – nope, it is not selfish to take 5 whole minutes to yourself – close your eyes, if that helps, and think about what might be different on that day. Push yourself friend. What would you desire to be different as a result of your tending to your soul in September?

Be honest with yourself.

If this is your first time doing something like this, grab hold of whatever nugget, thought, or glimpse your soul may be longing for. Write it down on a post-it note, in your journal or leave yourself a voice note on your smartphone. However you can retain that seed, do it.

If you’ve done something like this before and know how it works for you to best determine what your desired end result is, do that. It hit me a bunch of years ago that I’d paid big money to learn this concept – thank you to Anna, my very patient group mate, for breaking it way down many times in multiple ways – and that I’ve used it more often in my personal life than I ever did in the classrooms.

The reason? Because my soul needed a place that I could dream and desire what I wanted separately from the schools I worked in or the companies I worked for. Strip away what you do – no matter how you feel about and dig a little deeper…

This is important y’all. And it’s another way of getting to your why.

Why would you participate in this? Become a part of this community? Call yourself a “Soul Tender”?

I get excited when I think about engaging with you via all of the avenues Instagram has to offer everyday in September. (Well, almost everyday – review Day 15.) I get pumped about having the opportunity to cheer you on, encourage you, help you question some things and seeing your creative, beautiful ideas in our hashtag – #soultendingSeptember – community. And I get most eager when I think of you digging into the why that helps you better understand your soul and what you’re tending to.

This the most important first step in preparing for this challenge. So go ahead, give your self permission to take 5 minutes or 30 if you can so we can do the work of tending to your soul and do it well.





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