by Wendy Keller
Today I awoke and took careful stock of my life. The things I am happy about, the things I appreciate, the people I’m grateful for and so on. It was quite a long list – I am an incredibly lucky person.
I also took stock of the things I dislike, would like to fix or know I need to change. It was quite a long list – I am an incredibly slothful person.
Many of the things on both those lists were on it a year ago.
Makes me wonder how committed I really am to change.
For at least 12 long months, I’ve complained to myself about the parts of my life I don’t like – parts of my personality, parts of my professional and personal life, things related to my health, behavior and well-being. In every single case, I’ve made a few attempts, some false starts, some month-or-two long commitments to change my behavior, my thoughts or my results. And I have in many cases made some progress, but then slipped back into old habits.
It would be easy to chide myself for my failings.
It would be possible to tell myself, “Well, you’ve had other priorities” and “Old habits die hard” and “There were so many distractions!” And all of those would be fair. But if I don’t demand more from myself, more from my life, who will?
And next year, things will likely be exactly the same.
I’ve tried Drastic Measures and Incremental Measures. But I got tired, lost focus, got distracted, got overwhelmed, gave up. Has that ever happened to you? I know better. I know my life is in my own power to change. I even know HOW to do it. So I am publicly committing to the following.
Here’s my New Plan:
1. Stay Conscious of what I’m doing during the days of my life
2. Pause before I take an action that either diffuses my intention or takes me off the path to my goal
3. Stop telling myself “I failed today, but tomorrow I’ll do better.” Because for a year, tomorrow hasn’t stuck. I have not done better tomorrow. I commit to doing better in THIS next moment, moment by moment.
4. Hang out with positive people who are consciously, positively pursuing their own goals and plans.
5. Stop giving myself permission to slip up, skip today, justify my failures, blame circumstances, and other avoidance behaviors.
6. Keep track of my steps in the right direction and celebrate progress. Just like people in AA give themselves those shiny colored metal disks; just like a kid gets gold stars on a chart. I’m going to track my progress on my 4 or 5 Big Goals starting today.
I hope that next year on my birthday, when I’m even closer to the big 5-0 number, I’ll look back on my life and say, “I finally achieved those things – inner and outer goals – and now I have a whole batch of exciting new ones.”
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. — Leo Tolstoy, author
When I pre-savor my victory, it tastes sweet.
Care to join me?
What goals, dreams, wishes, challenges and ideas are YOU working on? What’s your plan for achievement?
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