creating a purposeful year
In the last two years, I've written about making intentions over resolutions and I am still taking pages out of my own book. Again, I'm always coming from a place of I-don't-know-what-I'm-talking-about-thank-you-for-listening-anyways and learning from my mistakes and setbacks. Like now, I am overwhelmed by the goals I have created for myself despite being mindful about them. James Clear's Atomic Habits has made it super clear that we do not rise to the levels of our goals but we fall to the levels of our systems. And my systems are shot! My mindset is still in holiday mode and I'm still saddled in and riding the sleeping in, chocolate pretzels & chocolate covered cookies, movies and wine trip. And I'm doing this guilt free, of course, which is the only way to go!
I spent new years eve categorizing my goals under mental, physical, spiritual, creative and financial goals with a little footnote about why I want to start this specific goal and a positive affirmation to support my intentions. I found my deeper reasons why. This helps highlight what is important to me so I pursue my dharma and not reflecting societal expectations. I went out and bought oranges, apples (because I wanted to try eating fruit first in the morning because I honestly never eat fruit), spinach and frozen fruit for smoothies, snacks and a couple things for my room. This is partially setting up my systems for success. But I didn't plan this around when I'm going to wake up and what time I'm going to sleep. Habit stacking is soo helpful and I've done this without even thinking about with some of my habits, but neglecting to do so with others. Meditation follows yoga, journalling follows tea and walking Piper follows breakfast. These habits work together, but they fall apart when I set out to drink more greens before breakfast but wake up at noon hungry for actual food but my dog also wants to go out?! The whole structure begins to falls apart. But when I wake up at 8am or even 10am, things begin to work together again. When I forgive myself for making mistakes, sleeping in or neglecting my goals (so early in the year), I am working in alignment with my intention to be more compassionate this year. It's about coming back in alignment with your intentions when you drift away. Guilt and shame don't bring you back, they tell you are unworthy to come back. Practice being mindful of your thoughts and actions and coming back to your intention and true identity.
Habits aren't built over night and shocker part of me would like to enjoy my life and year so I'm being a little easy on myself. It's about what you do the majority of the time. If I skip pilates once it won't undo all my hard work per se and if I start an intermediate course it won't make me an expert. These things take time, grace and forgiveness like I went on and on about in my success and forgiveness post. Let go and reclaim your new identity like James Clear mentions in his book. Think of it like this, "You are no longer a person trying to be better. You are a better person. Claiming that identity makes it easier to act like the person you know to your core exists within you". I'm not trying to be organized, compassionate, attentive, productive and calm, I am all of the above. It's just time to step into that power!
So I'll leave this reminder here for the both of us in hopes of sustaining our goals, taking it a day at a time and forgiving ourselves. If you want to read 25 books this year, place it on your coffee table so you can see it, that is setting yourself up for greatness. And don't think about it as reading two dozen books, think about reading one paragraph, one page, one chapter. Break up your goals into bite size pieces to not overwhelm your brain. Washing the dishes can be seen as getting up from the couch, washing one cup, washing one spoon until the sink is empty. One step in front of the other, that's how we trick our brain into doing hard tasks. That's how you trick yourself into sticking to your goals.
good luck with everything love,
may everything you touch this year turn to gold