Making a start.

iCan is an exciting process that challenges, inspires and empowers you to take control of your life, be the best you can be and make your unique difference in the world.

It will help you create a meaningful vision for your future, connect with the people who can support you and contribute to making your vision a reality by developing a series of meaningful experiences via your own personalised pathway of practical steps.

iCan contains a range of different activities which you can complete as a whole programme of support or split up the activities and use as separate standalone sections.

Each section will help you to discover more about you, and what you want for the future. It will help you develop a set of actions to work on as you begin to move closer towards your future vision.

Whether you do this by yourself or choose to do it with friends, peers, or as part of a wider group the choice is yours, but you may find it helpful to have someone to help you do this – a positive friend, family member, role model or mentor could all support you.

Make every day count

There are seven billion people on this planet with only two things in common. We are all born and we all die. The bit in between is that thing called – our life.

Imagine your life as a week with each day representing 12 years. You’re born on Monday morning and 12 by Monday night, 36 on Wednesday, 60 by Friday evening, 84 by Sunday and if you’re lucky you may get a bank holiday Monday too.

For a moment just consider what day of the week you are on now and what your journey to this point has been like so far. What have you learned? What have you celebrated in this time? Now think about Tuesday and consider the kind of decisions you may make in your life on this particular day.

A lot can happen between 13 and 24 and much of the following week can be shaped by what you decide on Tuesday.

Now imagine you’re on Sunday evening (84 years old) and looking back over the week of your life. It’s been amazing, you’ve had a great time – what kind of things do you think you would be celebrating and be thankful for?

Making a start

It doesn’t matter what day of the week you are on, however challenging yesterday has been, it’s up to you to make the most of the rest of your week. iCan is about helping you to take control and realise your potential by developing a healthy mindset, creating a meaningful vision, focusing on what you care about, playing to your strengths and making things happen. So how are you scoring on these elements at the moment? Score your responses to the following five questions as honestly as you can. (10 = highly effective, 0 = very poor) and plot your results on the chart below.

Draw a line to link each score and see what your circle looks like. Highlight those areas that you are scoring highest in and where perhaps you would like to improve your score – how could you go about doing this? The iCan Poster can be used to record your thoughts as you go through each section of iCan and can help you to keep track of any actions you may wish to take. You may wish to add your name to it and write today’s date on it too.

When the wind blows, some people build walls others build windmills.

The Windmills Foundation

Why this session is important

To help your group or individual to:

  • Learn what iCan is about – the objectives of it, process and resources including the iCan Poster and Body Parts
  • Understand and use the Days of the Week model
  • Assess where they are in Making a Start
  • Reflect on their learning and set a small action to work on

What you will need

  • Copies of Welcome Activity for all individual(s)
  • Welcome Resources
  • Large piece of paper for the icebreaker activity (optional)
  • Post-it pads and paper/pens
  • If working with a group then split the group into teams of 4-5 people
  • 30 minutes dependent on time availability

How to do it

Icebreaker activity (optional)

If working in a group consider drawing around one of the young people and using the outline to begin a conversation related to…what are all the factors ‘external’ of you that can help to move you towards your goals and aspirations? Encourage contributions from everyone and write them on the paper – no rights or wrongs.

Then ask the question ‘what are all the things you can do to take control and move yourself towards your goals and aspirations?’ Again, get contributions from the group and make a note of these within the outline of the person drawn on the paper. Stress the importance of being open and honest.

Reflect on what has been written – get the views of all the group. Are there any themes? What have they learned from this? How do they think this may influence how they are going to use iCan?

If working with one individual then, base a conversation about external and internal factors that can help them achieve their goals.

Introduce iCan


  • iCan is a process that enables you to understand yourself more and will help you choose a pathway that is personal and right for you
  • It’s not a one size fits all approach – you will all develop your own pathway based on what you think is important for you. What you decide to do as a result of the activities in iCan is your decision – nobody else’s
  • It will help you develop an inspiring, creative and motivating picture for the future that builds on the things that matter to you and you will use parts of your body – Body Graphic (Resources) to help you to do this
  • Highlight the iCan Poster (Resources) which will be used to make a note of any key points as you work your way through iCan – they can write their name on it and date it too

Days of the week

Using the graphic Days of the Week (Resources) explain we are born on Monday morning and each day of the week is 12 years of our life. On Wednesday night we are 36 years old, we have a party on Friday night to celebrate our 60th, we are 84 on Sunday night and hopefully we enjoy a Bank Holiday Monday.

Ask them where they are? What has the journey been like up to this point – what was it like for them on Monday? How have they responded to the highs and lows? What barriers are stopping them moving forward at the moment?

Whatever their journey has been like up to this point (good/bad) there are still plenty of opportunities to explore what they want the rest of the week of their life to look like. No rights/wrongs.

Ask them if they know where other people in their family are in this week? For example, they may have grandparents on the weekend, siblings on Monday or Tuesday and parents somewhere in the middle.

If working in the same physical space with individuals, consider using two chairs as a prop (representing birth and death) and explain the space between the two chairs is their life… What would you feel like if you didn’t do anything with your life – what would it feel like to be on Sunday and look back over your life feeling that you hadn’t done anything with it?

What if you went through life not seeing the opportunities around you? What if your heart wasn’t in some of what you are doing?

Think about Tuesday and how many decisions are made on this day of the week – iCan is the opportunity to explore more of what is important to them and help them explore ideas for what their Wednesday, Thursday… rest of their week may look like.

Get views from the group/individuals. This model is used throughout iCan and is made reference to within a number of the other activities, so you may find yourself referring back to this as you use other elements of iCan.

Making a start

Making a Start Chart (Resources). Explain that iCan has different sections which are represented by a different part of the body e.g. head, heart, eyes, hands, feet. Each of these will connect together to help them identify their aspirations for the future and begin to take the steps to make this happen.

Encourage them to score each dimension of the iCan process to determine where they are now. There are no prizes for high scores or low, it is more about just seeing which of these dimensions they feel they are strong at and other areas they may wish to improve. Explore this with them.

This activity can be repeated at different points to reflect on the progress made so you have the opportunity to revisit this any time to see if the scores have changed.

What other questions to ask/points to make:

Be prepared to share some of your story if it is appropriate. Perhaps identifying where you may have faced barriers and how you overcame them – what were the kind of things that helped you?

Consider using Common Obstacles to identify any barriers that may be facing them and open up discussion about what they could do about these.

As the session draws to a close discuss:

• What they may have learned, or what has surprised or puzzled them about doing these activities

• Help them to identify one key action they may wish to take as a result of doing these activities

iCanWelcome Activity preview

Welcome Activity

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iCanWelcome Enablers preview

Welcome Enablers Notes

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iCanWelcome Resources preview

Welcome Resources

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