I just listened to a TED talk where the presenter 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 during the past year. Although this was a year that our way of life upside down. What were you able to accomplish? There must have been some things that you did get around to. What were they? For me I started actively writing blog posts again and developed an online course called “The New Normal Diet”, I created new programs and partnered with my good friend Dr. Christopher Vogelmann where we collaborated and brought you weekly Total Health Live Facebook broadcast (we did a total of 44 in 2020). I was able to take better care of myself and did an intense 6 week Cleansing Program this past November and December. My cleansing program required a lot of cooking. I ate mostly vegetarian and felt incredible by the time the holidays rolled around. No more Quarantine 15 for me.
How about you – there must have been something you accomplished that you feel proud of. With all the downside 2020 brought it also brought with it some great learning. Slowing down can do that. You begin to realize what is truly important in your life. So when you started 2020 – what did you hope for? Did you get more done or did you fall short?
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.
Of course, we know that what occurred this past year was definitely not on yours or anyone’s 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 – again witness 2020.
So instead of making New Year’s Resolutions how about making goals aligned with your soul or a Soul Goal, a term once coined by author Danielle LaPorte. 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 and are rather meaningless in the end. As I mentioned, this is time of year is a time to re- evaluate what’s most important. Give yourself time to go inside and truly be with yourself.
When I look at accomplishments of past years I am happy to say that some of my life-long dreams have been fulfilled – completing my first book “Skinny Jeans Lifestyle”, for example. There were many times when 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 I had available to write it. I thought since I was a seasoned article writer surely a book would be a similar experience and would take me very little time to complete. Wrong! Writing a book is 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 recommended. Once you embark on a path know that you’re never 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 and/or your accomplishments for a while. For example – say you’ve been successful at losing the 20 or 40 lbs. you wanted to lose. Getting comfortable at that weight for a period of time may be a good idea. For whatever reason you may not want to completely focus on portion control or eliminating processed foods or sugar from your diet. For now staying at your 20lbs. loss is good enough. You can always return and lose more weight later on if you’d like. That’s what I did with my book – I wrote, I took a break, wrote some more and forgave myself when others things took my focus away from writing. But I never gave up and nor should you.
January is here which may trigger 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 year or two to be fully cemented 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:
- Ask Yourself First. When creating a yearly plan it’s a good idea to do a year-end review as well – ask yourself what you learned in 2020. Think of all the challenges, and there were many for everyone and the 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 did you miss out on this last year and how can you include it next year?
- 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. For example, why not try choosing health, relationships, and career as possible categories to start.
- Feel Your Way Through it. Slowly evaluate 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 feel full of dread and anxiety? How you feel will give you a good clue as to whether it’s a “soul goal” or a “should goal”.
- Let Your Heart Sing. Your meaningful goal should make you feel light and make your heart sing. Does imagining looking and feeling 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 your 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!
- 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 (you fill in the blank) …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?
Stay Healthy & Hopeful! © 2021