What would your life be like if you actually did all the things you ‘planned on’ or ‘wanted’ to do?
Perhaps you have lofty thoughts like, “Someday I would like to clean out the garage” or “I’ve always wanted to get more proficient with Excel” or “I know I would feel better I could just stretch more”.
Or more pressing things like, “I keep forgetting to make an appointment with my doctor” or “the check engine light has been on in my car for weeks now” or “I have a presentation at work next month and I have nothing prepped yet”.
And we think – maybe this weekend I will find time to do (fill in the blank). Except the weekend comes and goes, and (as per usual) your closet still looks the same.
It’s not that we are lazy. So often it is because other things come up that feel as though you should do them right away. They feel urgent in the moment and since you don’t really have anything else specifically planned for that time, you dive in.
Making changes, improving and working towards a goal all include an unavoidable process of putting your head down and doing the work.
I heard someone the other day jokingly say that they didn’t want to lose weight, they just wanted to be thin.
I laughed too – we can all relate!
We know where we are, and we know where we want to be but far too often we get thwarted by the ‘muck in the middle’ (MSPS)
But In order to achieve our dreams, we need to get a little scrappy.
Improvement is a new effort every day.
We have all probably dreamed about winning the lottery but we have all heard about those rags to riches to rags stories that come along with instant wealth.
We look at the person who has excelled at business or at their sport or in a relationship and we want what they have for ourselves.
Happy New Year y’all!
I published my blog early this week as it felt very New Years-y and I couldn’t wait until today. No doubt you can scroll up and find it if you are so inclined.
What I did want to share today is that over the years, I have had a lot of people ask me about meditation. I was one of those people who was curious about it for a long time prior to actually beginning a practice, so I get it.
Everyone has a different path it seems, but I personally did a meditation retreat with Deepak Chopra back in 2014, and I have had a daily practice ever since. My practice has changed and transformed many times over the years, yet I cannot imagine my day without it.
I bring this all up because this last year I started listening to a new podcast. It is called Ten Percent Happier and each January, they offer a free intro class/challenge/experience. It goes on for 21 days, and you are encouraged to try to meditate for at least 15 of the 21 days.
An early New Year’s blog!
So many of us are in a state of pure excitement for the arrival of 2021. And we should be, right?!
2020 has certainly been one of the most challenging years for us collectively as a civilization.
But hey – we all know that nothing in our physical world will change as the calendar page flips. The pandemic is not going to go away overnight and a lot of 2021 will look a lot like the previous year. But we now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. At least it looks like a light.
My question is – what do you want to bring forward with you into 2021?
2020 wasn’t all bad.
What have been your highlights? Look back over your 2020 and find the moments of inspiration.
You could go back through your calendar.
You could go back through your phone and find the pictures that remind you of those moments.
What do busy, overwhelm, confusion and worry have in common?
They are all a complete waste of our time.
They pretend to be valuable, but they are merely a bunch of poser emotions.
Busy is like a dull hum in our ear, keeping us from hearing clearly. Busy happens when we step into the day without a plan.
Without a plan, we focus on things that seem urgent but are not important. We operate in reaction mode. And we are left feeling spent at the end of day but without a lot to show for our efforts.
Busy did have it’s moment though. It was when we were looking after toddlers. Remember the days you went non- stop but couldn’t really remember exactly what it was you did?
In parent mode, we called that survival. But it’s something we must pack away with the changing table.
Overwhelm is a state of mind. We hide behind it when we believe there is too much in front of us. It gives us a warped bit of relief but renders us unproductive and it always feels daunting.
My mom wrote in a journal every single night. I’m not sure when she first began, but I’m going to say for probably more than 64 of the 94 years of her life. Sometimes it seemed like a few quick notes, but I know she did it every night. It was part of her evening routine, and it was as important and regular to her as brushing her teeth.
I’m not sure if there is a gene for that (or a Jeanne) but if there is, I didn’t get her desire to journal OR her green thumb, sadly. I often thought I would journal, or maybe I should journal, but I was way too neutral on the subject to ever become motivated enough to actually do it.
Until one day, when I was coaching a client on creating habits. She had mentioned many times that she wanted to start reading regularly so I challenged her to create a framework for making it happen. And I told her I would do it with her because hey, I always wanted to start journaling.
What differentiates average lives from the extraordinary ones?
Let me first say – I am not harshing on anyone living an average life. But being a coach, I am intrigued with the unique attributes of each state.
We are all born with a brain wired for survival. But the question is, do you want to survive, or do you want to thrive?
Many people will look at their life, make an assessment of where they are, and then go forward based on what they see as an appropriate expectation.
But extraordinary lives happen when you look at where you are and then dream large about what is possible.
Perhaps you were born with that restless urge. Maybe you had a moment of inspiration along the way. But in the pursuit of our deepest desires we find our purpose and meaning in life.
Many people I coach come to me with a long list of limitations and ‘reasons why they can’t’. Reasons why they aren’t further along.
Setting big goals is not something I was ever good at. I had goals, don’t get me wrong, but I am talking BIG goals. Big goals were scary. It meant committing to something. And then all the self-help books said if you were serious about your goal, you had to tell people about it.
I still sometimes find myself setting goals based on what I believe I can accomplish. But that’s not a big goal – that’s just an acknowledgement of the work I planned on doing anyway.
Big goals are ones where we have no idea how we will do it. They are a leap of faith. And so many of us are reluctant.
But why? If we set a big goal for the next 12 months and don’t hit it, what happens? Will the ground break open and suck us in? Will we be sentenced to 6 months in solitary? Will we have to walk around for a month with a neon sign saying LOOSER on it?
Not likely. Not unless we choose to punish ourselves.
Who do we want to become?
I ask this question to many of my clients. Getting clear on where and what we are striving for always helps us make decisions in the moment.
Understanding the ‘why’ is also important because it give us something to lean into when the road gets bumpy.
I’ve sat with people who want to increase their annual income so they don’t have to worry about money anymore. But when the ‘why’ is so we can stop worrying, chances are we will never find the success we want. When we have created the habit of worrying, having more money will not magically change it or make us happy.
The same reasoning will apply If someone wants to lose 20 pounds so they can stop feeling like a ____(insert jab here). Loosing any amount of weight won’t magically make us love life if we have the habit of negative self-talk and a lack of self-appreciation.