I just listened to a TED talk where the speaker said the following: “we would rather chase meaning than avoid discomfort.” Is that true for you? Are you interested in having more meaning in your life?
This time of year always marks a time of re-evaluation of how far you’ve come this past year. Did you accomplish what you had hoped to? Did you get more done or did you fall short? Did you get off track? Out of control or worse yet – felt paralyzed and nothing much happened at all?
Like a wish list a yearly goals list can merely be a hoped for outcome. Whether it’s realistic or not – it sets you up and gives you a roadmap to hopefully follow for a 12 month period. Whatever occurred was most likely not exactly what was on your list. I’ve always said you know what kind of year you’re having usually by the time the last month of that year rolls around – it’s just too difficult to predict otherwise. Life happens – changes and course corrections are made and you move forward one day at a time.
I heard author Danielle la Porte in a recent interview use the term “Soul Goals” to categorize her goals. A soul goal is one that comes from a deeper place within you. It’s more about feeling good rather than checking things off your list based on the outside world’s view of what should be important and what success should look like.
I’m sure you, just like me, get caught in a cycle of trying to be something that isn’t quite you and isn’t quite right for you. Striving for goals that neither fill you up or give you what you need are rather meaningless in the end. As I mentioned, this is time of year to re-evaluate what’s most important. Give yourself time this holiday season to go inside and truly be with yourself.
When I look at my past year at what I’ve accomplished I am happy to say that one of my life-long dreams has, in fact, been fulfilled – completing my first book “Skinny Jeans Lifestyle”. There were many times over the last year I wasn’t sure if it would happen. I set up some unrealistic goals for my book’s completion especially when it came to the time available to write it. I thought since I’m a seasoned article writer surely a book would be a similar experience and take me very little time to complete. Wrong! It’s a very different thing altogether. It’s more like building a house versus painting a bedroom. It takes a lot longer, you need a lot more help getting it done and it requires many, many hours and days of review, rewrites and re-edits.
You, too may have some life-long goals or “soul goals” that may need some edits or rewrites as well. Whether you have relationships, career or healthy living goals – an ongoing assessment of them is always required. Once you embark on your goal know that you’re done until you’re done – especially when it comes to healthy eating, weight maintenance or exercise. Sometimes you just need to take a break and sit with your goal for awhile. For example – say you’ve been successful at losing 20 of the 40 lbs. you want to lose. Getting comfortable at that weight for a period of time may be a good idea. For whatever reason you may not be able to fully focus on what’s needed like portion control, eliminating grains or sugar from your diet. For now staying at your 20lbs. loss is good enough. The thing is you can always return to getting more results later on. That’s what I did with my book – I wrote, I took a break, wrote some more forgave myself when other things took my focus away from writing. But I never gave up and nor should you.
Soon January will be here along with a mad race to lose weight and get into shape. I recommend you not view the beginning of the year as being the only time weight loss and healthy eating is important. It’s best to consider a long-term approach that may actually take a full year or two to fully cement into your life. By making a commitment to your well-being you will feel a deeper sense of accomplishment and meaning in your life as well.
Here are 5 Ways to Bring More Meaning into Your Life Today:
1. Ask Yourself First. When you begin your year-end review ask yourself what you learned this year. Think of all the challenges and successes you had in the last 365 days. Did you fall behind and feel like a failure because of it? Let go of any judgment you might have – just note what comes up. And ask yourself a 2nd question, What do you think you missed out on this last year and how can you include it in next year?
2. Three Goals Only. Don’t pile on a bunch of stuff into your projections for the New Year. Only three that’s it! Impossible? Well just try it. If it helps pick 3 categories if that’s easier to do. You can try health, relationship and career categories to start.
3. Feel Your Way Through it. Slowly check in to the “goals and/or categories of goals” you’ve written down so far. Close your eyes for each one of your goals and imagine it coming to be. How are you feeling? Do you feel light and joyful or full of dread and anxiety? Of course, how you feel will give you a good clue as to whether it’s a “soul goal” or a “should goal”.
4. Let Your Heart Sing. Your meaningful goal should make you feel light and make your heart sing. Yes, this can be possible. Does imagining looking great in your clothes make you happy? Does staying in your sweat pants all winter long make you feel happy? I know it’s not as simple as all that – is it? After all you may find that looking great in your clothes may cause some initial anxiety because you wonder how you can possibly make that happen. Well, stay with it – go beyond feeling the doubts and suspend reality a little bit more. Close your eyes again and envision yourself being at your best. At your best weight, level of health, or what have you. Somewhere in the recesses of your mind answers about the HOW will come to you. They really will!
5. Practice Kindness. Always practice being kind towards yourself. Moving forward on your meaningful “soul goals” requires patience. Go ahead practice. Remember it’s not about getting the weight off and eating nutritiously until…It’s about making a commitment to your health for life. Take it one year at a time or one day at time. Maintaining good health and a weight you feel emotionally, physically and mentally comfortable with is not a race but a well-lit path you can certainly choose to take.
In these colder, darker days of winter it’s a perfect time to go inside and discover what’s right for you. What are the right goals for you, the right things you want to put your focus, energy and love into?