I also know you knew exactly what steps to take to achieve your goals. So did I.
But did you plan for the most unexpected, unfathomable thing to happen?
I’m not just talking about the pandemic, I’m talking about a drastic change to how we live and work.
One lesson I’ve been reminded of during the pandemic (because this is a lesson I continually have to learn) is that you can’t guarantee outcomes. And as author, Seth Godin says, “focusing on outcomes at the expense of process is a shortcut that will destroy work.” I’d add, it’s also a shortcut to destroying happiness and well-being in your life.
What this lesson reminded me of was another lesson: commit to and trust the process.
What this has meant for me is consistently asking myself the following questions to support me in feeling good and being in alignment with my values on my way to my goals:
What are my underlying intentions for the goals I have this year when it comes to my work and life? Why?
How do I want to feel as I work on my goals?
What actions can I take or what behaviours can I adopt to feel how I want to feel on the way to my goals?
What acts of kindness and compassion can I do for myself and for others?
What am I grateful for?
What will I stop doing because it doesn’t serve me?
Finally, the question I ask myself every day is:
How will I approach the day?
Because I can approach it with intense, unforgiving and ruthless focus on my goals at the cost to my mental health and well-being, being kind, clear and able to have perspective. Or, I can approach it differently – calmly, clearly, with enthusiasm, joy, lightness and acceptance instead resentment.
Now here’s the thing: I didn’t accomplish all my goals this year. And yup, I’m disappointed but I’m also grateful. Because I achieved some goals and these goals align with my vision, to make the world more peaceful and my mission, to empower people with the tools they need to transform conflict and difficulties to lead peaceful and fulfilled lives.
I also couldn’t have known what I didn’t know I needed to know until I engaged in the process towards my goals. I’m thankful I trusted the process because now I’ve learned lessons that will help me achieve what I want in the way I want – feeling present, clear and resilient.
Lastly, I’m grateful for the time I invested in my health and well-being so that I end this year feeling grateful and peaceful in spite of not achieving everything I aimed for. I’d love for you to feel the same way regardless of whether you achieve your goals or not.
If the process to reach your goals could use a tweak, take the time to answer the questions above consistently. Build a practice of responding to one, some or all, daily, weekly or in another way that is consistent.
Below are some tips on how to get the most out of answering the questions!
Write your answers on paper. Moving from your laptop to notebook and pen will engage your brain differently.
Be intentional and don’t overdo it! For example, give yourself 20 minutes to answer as many questions as you can and then stop. The questions prompt your brain to start thinking differently even after you’ve completed the exercise. Resist the urge to get it all done! Instead, notice what rises to your awareness later in the day as you carry on with life. Get curious to discover what is in your subconscious and remember, the process is just as important as the goal of answering the questions!
Ensure private time for you. This could very well mean asking not to be disturbed, getting your kids to do an activity while you do yours or letting your dog out on the balcony for 15 – 20 minutes of fresh air.
Shift from cynicism to curiosity. It’s possible you may feel cynical about responding to the questions. If you do, but still feel drawn to answering them, ask yourself: What do I stand to lose and what do I stand to gain in answering these questions? Reflect on your answer and accordingly take the action that’s best for you.
I truly hope you accomplish what you want to in 2021. I also hope you enjoy the process on the way to achieving what you want.
If you need some help with this learn about my services here and then book a free needs assessment here.
Wishing you fun, rest, relaxation and peace in your heart!