Dana V. Adams — Founder of The Life Mapping Institute

Fear — such a small and insignificant word that often takes up a lot of space in our lives. A few years ago, fear is what was keeping Dana V. Adams from the work she wanted to pursue and also is what snapped her into action. With the practices of Life Mapping, Adams reframed her self-doubt and authored Live Your Gift: Discovering Your Authentic Life Through Life Mapping and simultaneously launched the Life Mapping Institute in May. The Kirkland resident offers in-person training, workshops, retreats, and motivational speaking to help people realize their full potential. We caught up with this single mom of four to learn more about it.

Favorite Places

To relax

A walk along the lake

For dinner

Daniel’s Broiler

To be inspired

Locally, the lake — any one of Kirkland’s fabulous waterfront parks. For a weekend, Alderbrook Resort on Hood Canal. 

To spoil yourself

Manicure and pedicure, or makeup and hair before
an event.

Inspiration Board

What are you listening to?

Look What God Gave Her by Thomas Rhett 

Quote You Live By

A line from Marianne Williamson’s poem Our Deepest Fear: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Last Thing You Googled

Directions from Long Island to University of Massachusetts. … (I am) going back East to watch my son play in a couple of lacrosse tournaments.


How would you sum up life mapping, and what does it involve?

It helps us get really clear on who we are, what we believe, and how we want to show up in life. Then, it teaches a comprehensive, yet easy-to-follow, system to integrate life mapping into our daily lives. This ensures our goals will stay top of mind while reminding us of next steps. The added structure increases our odds for success. 

What compelled you to create the Life Mapping Institute?

Life mapping was originally presented by Bill Cohen in his 1998 book, Life Mapping. What I noticed, though, is that even with decades of personal development work, leadership courses, and counseling, I was still frozen in some wicked limiting beliefs that were not addressed in Bill’s book.

As I continued to get older and was approaching the age my mom was when she took her life by suicide … I kept thinking, if something happened to me or I got sick, and God asked me, “Dana, did you do everything with the gifts I gave you?” My answer would have been, “No!” I finally got to the point where I was done living in fear. I wanted my boys to see me do something that I considered meaningful and challenging with no certainty of the outcome.

What habits or changes have you made in your daily life with the help of this technique?

The Life Mapping Process gives me tools to identify when I’m out of alignment with my ideal behaviors. An example of this would be if I notice I’m not eating as healthfully as I normally would, or I’m missing workouts, or I’m not completing priority goals on my daily “Today” tracking worksheet. Incorporating the principles of life mapping into my daily life empowers me to make course corrections much more quickly when I get off-track. It’s a lifestyle.

is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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