Do you avoid setting goals because your to-do list is long enough? Do you find you set goals but then real life happens? Are your goals derailed by unexpected opportunities?
Not everyone uses goal-setting as a tool to help shape their life or business – and that’s okay! Personally, at the ending/beginning of a year, I do reflect on the year before and set goals for the year ahead. It helps remind me where the time went and focus for the year ahead. But for some people this just isn’t their modus operandi.
Whether you’re the goal setting type or not, I propose that in 2017 you challenge yourself with a different kind of resolution – a goal that doesn’t take up room on your to-do list. A goal that influences all your other goals (or non-goals!).
Decide how you want to do the things you do. That is, how you want to be, exist, interact in your day to day life. Are there areas in your life in which you would like to feel or act differently? What area(s)? Take the time to define this for yourself.
For example, it could be: I would like to change my overall stress levels by keeping things in perspective and remembering, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
The more specific you can be, the better the chance of lasting change. The next important thing is to ask yourself what it looks or feels like when you are following through and living this resolution. Take a moment to visualize. Energy follows intention; if you cannot see yourself succeeding, it is less likely to happen. What does it mean, look like and feel like to not sweat the small stuff? Perhaps your underlying desire is to be able to enjoy the present moment more, to take the time for genuine connection with the people around you as opposed to feeling distracted by the weight of all the small stuff (I know, it adds up!). Visualize yourself doing this – and beautifully. Close your eyes and see it. 5 seconds. 15 seconds. 30 seconds. See it. As long as you can, as many times as you can.
It is important to set yourself up for success. Rather than making this intention and forgetting about it after the first week of January, you’ll need to establish reminders to check in with yourself on this, frequently, over the course of the next year. Perhaps you could make “don’t sweat the small stuff” your mantra, and repeat it often enough that it becomes second nature, like breathing. Perhaps you could choose an image to print and put on display beside your bed to serve as a reminder of your resolution, or carry with you a tangible object that reminds you of your intent. Are there other tools you can think of to arm yourself? Gather your resources, like close friends (perhaps literally your close friends!), so they’re there when you need them.
Have fun with this. You are empowering yourself. Moment by moment you are enriching your quality of life, no matter what task you’re working on. Maybe you’re learning to enjoy taking out the garbage. It’s all possible. Decide now. Decide how.
If you want support with your goals, resolutions and health, I am always here for you.
Happy new year and see you soon.
There once was a woman who lived in a small town. She had five children. She was a waitress with very little money. She was married but very much alone. Some days her kids would home for lunch because all she had to eat were beets, and she didn’t want them to be made fun of at school.
Yet despite being poor, the woman was always generous. She had the biggest heart in the world. Her door was always open for any woman who needed a place to stay, who needed refuge. When you have the biggest heart in the world, this is just how it is. And people around you take notice.
One year at Christmas time, the woman was shopping for gifts for her children. In one store, she saw a small slate that she knew her children would love. But the slate would have cost all that she had: five dollars. She held it in her hand for a few minutes as the thought about it, then put the slate back on the shelf. Instead she went home with five smaller gifts. That way, each child would have something to open.
Later that night there was a knock at the woman’s door. She went to open the door, but there was no one there. It was only when she looked down that she saw, in the faint light of the front step, a small bag. She picked it up, looked inside, and there was the slate.
Again she looked around in search of who left it. She stepped out to look down there street. It was dark, but when she squinted she could see the faint ouline of someone, their back as they walked away. There was no note with the gift and the woman never found out who left it.
When you have the biggest heart in the world, people take notice. Someone had seen her looking at the slate in the store. Someone knew her situation. Someone knew she had the biggest heart in the world, and was inspired to give back.
This story is not about the presents. It is about generosity. It is about giving, within your means, in whatever ways you can - and doing so without ego. It is about paying attention in our own community.
And remembering the magic of Christmas.
I know that for some the holiday season can be an extremely difficult time. If this applies to you, feel free to reach out and I will help in any way that I can. You are not alone. We all deserve to feel loved and supported, to be well fed, and to be warm.
By the way, the woman in the story was my Grandmother.
My Grandmother is missed dearly by me and my family. Cardinals remind us of her. Through them, she sings to us now.
May your holiday season be filled with love and generosity (both practiced and received) - and a little bit of magic.
From my heart to yours,
"A study published in the journal Art Therapy found that making art reduces your blood cortisol levels and calms down your stress responses. Another study found that artistic pursuits promote neurological changes that enhance resilience and defend against the toll chronic stress can take on cognitive functioning."
Click here to read the full article
Author: Laura Burns
Healing Arts & Creative Arts. Let's inspire.