How many times has this happened to you? You’ve set an intention, or made a goal, or the most famous of all: a New Year’s Resolution. You keep with it for a while, then it fades from memory as life gets in the way. Somewhere down the line you remember this thing you told yourself you were going to do, then you beat yourself up for not keeping to that intention.
One of my favorite ways I’ve done this, and that is super common, is the gym membership. Right? You know you’ve done it, or at least seen it first hand. Especially at the beginning of every year, those gyms are packed. January you can barely find a parking spot, February it’s a little less crowded, and then by March it’s a ghost town again. So what happens here, year after year?
Clearly, you’ve lost your intended focus. You had a goal to be in a certain spot, and you had the best of intentions to get there. You were motivated, you had support, and you promised yourself this time it would be different. After all, you’re so sick of being where you are.
Then life gets in the way, as it always does. It’s easier to stay cuddled in bed in the mornings where it’s warm and soft. You’re just too tired today. And on and on you talk yourself out of it until you’ve just plain forgotten that you had even set that goal at all. But then you find yourself back where you started, wanting to change the situation.
The key here is to forgive yourself. It won’t change the past or the present, but it can help change the future. Forgive yourself because it’s your only choice. Beating yourself up does no good. In fact, it only increases the chances that you’ll be right back here again. Once you have forgiven yourself, you can find your focus again.
It’s like a ballet dancer, or one of those whirling Sufi dancers: they are constantly spinning (life) but by keeping their eyes focused on one fixed point (goal, intention) while they spin they can keep twirling around for long periods of time without getting dizzy (losing the goal). They look at their focus point, then as they spin they whip their head around so that they are almost always looking right at that point.
Life will spin you around and around, but you don’t have to get dizzy and lose focus. Keep your eye on the intention for most of the time and you’ll accomplish that goal.
One of the best ways I’ve found to actually keep the focus is by writing it all down. You’re already mentally making lists, so get it down on paper. I find this to be better than using technology, because it involves more of your body and senses to write by hand, which helps your mind to more fully incorporate the goal.
I’ve struggled with different tools on and off throughout the years, but have finally found the one that works for me. It’s the Desire Map planner by Danielle La Porte, and it combines your daily calendar, to-do list, goals, and a journal all in one. (Plus, it’s luscious and gorgeous!) So by taking a few minutes each day on something you’re already doing, you feel lighter and freer because you’re actually getting unstuck from your undesired habits.
- At the beginning of the year, set your core desired feelings. What do you want to feel?
- At the beginning of each month, revisit those core desired feelings and set a few ways you can go about feeling that way.
- Then weekly or daily, remind yourself of those feelings and structure your life around them. Set your schedule and tasks around them.
If you want to check out the planners, head over here: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/store/?dlap=58431 It is an affiliate link, but only because I truly believe in the power of the product and process. And you can still follow the process without the planners, but it’s so much easier with them.