Achieve Greater Results with Smaller To-Do List
If you recall, at the end of my last article I suggested that one great way to bring yourself back to the present moment was to download and set a bell to go off randomly, at which time you take a minute or so to come back to your breathe.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that it worked extremely well for me but basically has caused my cats to have nervous breakdowns! It appears to have affected one of them so profoundly that my beloved soul-mate has threatened to permanently disable the audio volume on my speakers if I don't voluntarily turn it down at night. So, the lesson learned appears to be that not every suggestion works for everybody (or species).
This Stuff Really Works
Now that I've digressed, this month, I wanted to share with you that although hitting the proverbial wall, crashing and burning to a crisp was not high on my list of fun things to do last year, I have to tell you that taking the time off to heal and write, works!
I continue to be amazed at the huge progress I have made in my mental, physical and spiritual health as a result of listening to those around me who had been urging me to take this "time out" for a number of years. However, I remain one hundred percent cognizant that many of you simply cannot just step away from your businesses and continue to survive, much less thrive. Believe me, I couldn't do it for many years, which is how I got myself into this pickle in the first place.
Quality Versus Quantity
As the early part of the year tends to be a time when many of us are either setting goals or wondering why we can't stick to the ones we've already set, I thought this would be a good time to talk about a different approach to goal-setting.
I only had two goals going into this year. One, was to have the first draft of my manuscript ready for the 2012 Surrey Writer's Festival this October. The other was to continue taking care of my health. I am on track and seeing tangible results from both.
In the past, I've made a list of at least a dozen personal and business goals. I immediately started feeling that I was losing ground almost as soon as the end of January approached. I was very hard on myself and either drove myself to distraction by trying to achieve them or, I gave up and subsequently felt worse about myself. Neither of those alternatives brought me joy.
What Would Happen If?
I would ask you to indulge me for a moment and ask yourself, what would happen if I focused on just one or two "changes" (versus "goals") and what would that mean to my life?
Don't fall into the trap of saying you should lose weight or eat healthier. Yes, those are worthy changes but they still snap of the over-achieving goal-setter. It should be a WHY that is big enough to make you cry. In other words, making this one change would literally change your life.
For example, although this may seem like a "duh" to others, I had not internalized that without the ability to live without constant pain and fatigue, no amount of achieving my other goals would be worthwhile. So, basically everything else I wished to accomplish came secondary…or not at all.
Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It
1. Assuming that you need or want to continue working in your business and can't take an extended sabbatical, in your journal or on a piece of paper write ONE action that you can honestly see yourself doing this year and commit to it. It might be as simple as going to yoga or meditation one night a week but the benefits from it would make everything else you do, more joyful.
2. DO IT! Don't let business or family commitments get in the way. This is something for YOU that you do every day or week, that is non-negotiable. Think of it as being as fundamental as showering or brushing your teeth; you wouldn't even think of not doing it!
3. Keep track of your progress. For some, it's journaling; for others it is just taking down-time to think and reflect. Use whatever works for you that will give you honest self-feedback.
Until next time, remember to be authentically YOU and discover the magic of making ONE life-changing habit versus a tonne of often-broken goals!
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