To be clear: I’m a goal junkie. I love setting goals; the bigger and more bad-ass the goal, the more excited it makes me. But commitment: it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. And it’s not because I think I have a problem with it- or well, maybe I do. I seem to have no problem committing to my kids, husband and other domestic things that make most people run for the hills. It’s apparently with the goal setting that really trips me up. (A conundrum as you can imagine because goals and commitment go hand in hand.) I’ve noticed in my life that I set out with great goals (put your hand up if this sounds familiar) and I really really want to achieve them. They seem attainable, do-able and so inspiring when I set them. I research them, I journal about it, I keep tabs…. But then something happens- let’s er, call it life. I get in my head, things take longer than I originally anticipate and I get discouraged. And confession time: I start working less hard, believing a little less passionately and moving towards my goals with less gusto. And dare I say it, on one or two occasions, I may have even given up. It seems to be a “thing” I do. I give up right before my goals are realized. It’s the stupidest thing ever and it has literally taken me over 38 years to figure out my pattern.
And here’s the kicker of it all, looking back on old goals through the 20/20 lens of hindsight and my new realization, all my work and dedication were getting me where I needed to go. I was doing the work, but my damn mind started playing tricks on me. Its endless barrage of: Who are you to achieve this? Who do you think you are? This taking longer than expected. This isn’t for you. The list goes on and on. The endless shit I allow my mind to tell myself is utter non-sense. It’s sad, useless and total garbage. So maybe by seeing this pattern, I can nip it in the bud.
I thought I was aware of the ways around the head trash. For years, I’ve been addicted to self-development books, Ted Talks, podcasts, you name it. I would half-joke that they were like my armor in a world of negativity, faster faster faster, go go go, want want want. So why then is it so hard for me to actually absorb the information? I can see potential in my colleagues, friends, family or even the folks on tv, BUT for myself, I am relentlessly putting myself down for not being good enough, rich enough, successful enough, calm enough- you name it, I’ve probably beat myself up over it.
And here’s another thing (wow these thoughts are coming fast and furious now), in saying goodbye to 2017 and making plans for 2018, I was ready to throw in the towel. I thought about all those big hairy scary goals I enthusiastically set out last January and was giving myself a hard time over the things I didn’t achieve: I started a blog that I didn’t post to as often as I “should” have, I didn’t drink as much water, I didn’t do yoga every single day, my business wasn’t where I wanted it to be, blah blah blah.
But as I muddled over a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle at Christmas, I let my mind wander to all the amazing things that I did do this year: I started a blog (a good one 😉), I ate healthier and drank h2o more than before, I did yoga at least 5 times a week and have been even more active since adopting our puppy in May. My husband and I paid off our debts and bought a cottage (which has been a lifelong dream of mine) and even took trips to Las Vegas and Jamaica. I tried yoga classes of all kinds and sought out far more experiences outside of my comfort zone than ever before. I gave to more charities and volunteered more, enjoyed enriching experiences and even took a singing class (which I’ve always wanted to do). Most importantly, I learned to love and appreciate my body.
So why why why do I undermine all of my hard work? I wholeheartedly believed that I would finish that daunting jigsaw puzzle. I had no problem seeing it through to the end. Thinking back after it was complete, I couldn’t even remember how all those pieces got there. Sometimes it almost seemed as though, the pieces were guiding themselves and just fell into place. Or metaphorically, the universe wanted me to complete my goal (the puzzle) and had my back the entire time. I know it’s easier said than done, but what if I treated all my goals like I did that puzzle? Knowing it would get done, dividing it into small chunks, not giving up when the going got tough, asking for help and trusting that the universe will help the pieces all fall into place. Then before you know it, and before your very eyes, it creates a big picture, your vision technically, and all your hard work comes together and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Here’s a picture of the completed puzzle- I’m sure you wanted to see it. 😉