How do you know when you're holding on to a goal that no longer serves you? Different from dreams, goals are typically short-term and easy to knock off your to-do list. Sometimes you hold on to a goal so no long it no longer makes sense for the person you are today. It can be difficult to decipher when it's time to dig deep and find the courage to move forward despite your doubts or to call out your cowardly behavior if you're just hiding behind your fears.
In this week's Sun-day design I want you to think about a goal you've held longer than a year. I know there's at least one. Now put a stake in the ground and give that goal an expiration date. Decide when it's time to thankfully gleam the life lessons that the experience of pursing the goal has given you. Unlike a carton of milk the expiration date for your goals may not be marked so clear. Here are 4 clues to identify the goal you may be ready to release:
1. You view releasing that goal as a sign of defeat. You wanted it for so long and invested so much time and energy and refuse to quit now when you should gleam your gems from this life lesson and move on. Remind yourself that sometimes the biggest value is in the journey and not the destination.
2. You worry what others will say. You desperately want to avoid the look of pity from people who view your change in direction as as sign of weakness or cowardice. Silence the noise from people around you and even the doubter in your head. Show yourself some compassion and listen to your heart.
3. You don't know what to do next. If not this goal then what? You are unsure what exactly you should focus your time and energy on so you hang on to a goal that doesn't make sense. Reasses other areas of life and invest in activities that offer you a greater physical, intellectual, spiritual or emotional return.
4. You've lost faith in yourself. Pursuing your goal takes work and no longer believe you have what it takes to achieve it. The work for you is not in the tactical steps toward the goal as much as it requires doing the inner work to build your confidence, competence and self-esteem to believe in yourself again.
Maybe your goal was to lose 20-lbs and in your heart you really don't want to lose the weight. You like your curves wish others would keep their opinions at bay. For me, the goal I've graciously let expire was to eliminate all debt by this year. It was a three-year plan I established a few years ago and with just one-third left this year, I decided to pursue two other goals that were more important to me this one - paying for my son's academic tutoring and planning a trip to celebrate a key milestone birthday. I renegotiated my time-frames so that I feel good about my long-term dreams and short-term goals.
Be willing to listen to your heart and your body. Face, flex or forgo any goal that no longer enables your greater good. Be an inspiration to others and share the goals you're releasing or giving a by when date.
Dreams and desires are put into your life to inspire, to direct and guide you, not to solely define your level of happiness. It's so easy to fall into the trap of telling yourself "I'll be happy when" I finally go on vacation, retire, marry or get my dream job. In this week's Sun-day design I want you to redesign your approach to chasing happiness inside instead of outside of you.
Happiness is a wonderful sometimes fleeting feeling. Like catching fireflies in a jar the key is to press the pause button when you feel good and cherish it. Enjoy the feeling of big and small things. Appreciate the strength, talent, and gifts born inside you. Choose to be happy for that.
Give it a try. As you navigate this week find one person, place or thing you are grateful for. Now substitute the the lens of gratitude for happiness. Here's an example, shift your thinking that I am grateful for my home to I am happy for the love that shelters and nourishes the people I live with and love. That last version makes feel good and energizing to me.
It's important to remember the experiences that will make you happy can change over time. Finding happiness inside, appreciating who you are and the gifts you're meant to share is what warms your heat and puts a smile on your face. So please a comment and share what about you makes you feel happy.
Every now and then you find yourself at an energetic low. Attempting to live your life from an authentic place, making a concerted effort to be honest and transparent with yourself and others is a wonderful, important and admirable pursuit. There are times when your chosen path doesn't illuminate light as much as a piercing laser beam.
When you meet obstacles on your path your emotions intensify and run deep as they overflow into your work and interpersonal space. You find yourself angry, edgy, irritable, sad, depressed and drained trying to manage your toxic inner tank. When you are immersed in a troublesome problem the energy vibrating from your core feels like a tsunami knocking over anyone within a five mile radius! You don't mean to run afoul and can't seem to stop the negative momentum. So in this week's Sun-day design check your internal levels and deposit your toxic energy into a purposeful passion project.
The passion project you choose should position you to take that negative energy and turn it into something good, and the best way to do that is be of service to someone else. Here are some fun, easy passion projects to pursue this week:
If I asked you to sum up who you are in a single word, what would that phrase be? That's not to say there is one word that defines all of you, though when you meet someone they have defined you in a word. That word may range from friendly, considerate, resourceful, to the not so positive rude, obnoxious or annoying. Believe me, if you're not clear on the one word that describes you best other people will easily fill in that blank.
In this week's Sun-day design I want you to find the one word that describes who you think you are.
When I was in college one of the names bestowed upon me from my Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated was "Tenacious T". Most people who knew me then and even now would agree that term is still pretty accurate. Honestly my first reaction to that name was now way! I considered the meaning as stubborn and negative. When I think about the feedback I've received throughout my life both at work and from my friends, I really have to own up to that theme. As I have matured I have leveraged my tenacity to ambition and self-assurance.
I am determined and sometimes it's difficult to sway me from my thinking, particularly when it comes to things I'm mot passionate about. Namely my career, my self-esteem, my son, my home and my money! Knowing why these five aspects of my life represent the space where I may very well in fact show up as stubborn is because they areas are central to my intention in purposefully designing me. They are my works of art and no artist wants another to valuate their expression from within, it is deep and personal.
Now I can fully OWN that name, "Tenacious T" as I channel my drive and commitment toward designing my career, my money and my relationship with my son, all of which are a reflection on my ambition.
Now it's our turn. What word best describes you?
When you think of spring cleaning you probably consider sprucing up your home, discarding old things and buying some new. This winter was cold and harsh not only on the body but on the mind and spirit. As you settle into the Spring season giving attention to your home, you'll need to scrub and scour your body and your soul too. Last year I encouraged you to Spring Clean key areas of your life. In this week's Sun-day design, I want you to dedicate two hours to a spiritual spring cleaning. The dreams you design for your life take spiritual work, and just as you need to detox your body from the junk food you eat you may also need to cleanse your spirit from negative thinking and spiritually draining environments you work in.
My go to spiritual cleanse involves some serious me time. A day at the spa, meditating, juicing, and acupuncture are all wonderful resources for reinvigorating the body and mind. For a spiritual cleanse, prayer, meditation, or yoga may be the vitamin-boost for your soul too. I would offer you another high value, low-cost option. You will need two separate hours on two different dates. Are you ready?
Day 1, Hour 1
Silence. For one hour sit in silence. No TV, no phone, no one else around. The only thing you will hear is all the noise in your head. Notice what comes up after the first ten minutes. For me it's usually anxiety - the question of what am I forgetting, what should I be doing other than THIS. As you relax your mind, notice where you still hold tension in your body. For me, it's my shoulders, locked in tight next to my ears. As your mind races resist the urge to move - just notice you. Nothing to fix or figure out. Be still.
Day 2, Hour 2
Service. One important and easy way to replenish your soul is to be of good service to another. Once you have dedicated one hour to calming you, give that gift to another. Cook dinner for someone, do their laundry, read them your favorite poem, ask them to share with your their hearts desire and let them just talk. No advice, no judgement, no detraction. Just listen, learn and offer unconditional love.
Add silence and service to your repertoire of activities that nourish your soul. Leave a comment and share your ideas for replenishing your spirit when you need to feel renewed.
The life we experience is designed to help us grow. My wish is that you learn from me as much as I learn from you. Share your life lessons and let's build together.