New month is a perfect time to re-evaluate our priorities and goals. If there was something you actively worked towards, take the time to assess what worked, what didn't, what you want to keep doing, what you need to let go, or what might be something new you want to try.
Why it’s important to have goals:
1. They give us focus & direction
Our brains are like toddlers with scissors. Unless we tell our mind what to do and what to focus on, it will find worries, doubts, and fears to focus on. It will go towards worst case scenarios in no time and it will keep finding what is wrong with everything. It will focus on what we don't want. And as long as we let it focus on what we don't want, it will create more of what we don't want.
When we change the focus to our goals, we tell our brains what we do want and we give it a task to figure out how to get there. Our attention isn't scattered everywhere, but is directed towards a specific idea or accomplishment. This is how goals give us direction.
2. We grow & evolve in pursuit of our goals
When we set goals, we are required to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, and put ourselves in situations we haven't been in before. Any new goal will require of us to leave our comfort zone and challenge what we thought we were capable of. Every time we accomplish a goal, it's important to reflect on what we had to do in order to achieve it. Even if we don't achieve it, we benefit from the skills and actions we took, because no one can take away our experiences and mastery.
3. Working towards something gives us sense of competence, self-trust, and confidence is our abilities
Setting goals for ourselves always asks of us to trust ourself because no one can guarantee that we will indeed accomplish our goal. Self-trust is needed when we don't have the proof that it will work and when we are in the unknown. And from that self-trust and taking risks, we come out more confident every time.
Here's how to do it!
Write down 5 goals for this month. Writing down is important. Your brain is not mean to be your to-do list, so don't store unnecessary information in your brain and hope it will remember everything.
Now, think about and write down:
How will you need to show up in order to achieve your goals (i.e. be determined, excited, motivated, focused, persistent...)
What you will need to do to achieve them (i.e. create a plan, meet with 3 people this month, workout 5 times a week, wake up at 7, read 10 pages...)
Review your list of goals and actions every day and attempt something that will bring you closer to your goal.
Now go do it! :)
When you start creating new habits that no longer fit into your old lifestyle, you might feel as if you are pretending and faking it.
You might be worried about other people’s opinions. You might come up with reasons for why you shouldn’t follow through.
This is just your old patterns throwing a tantrum, desperately trying to pull you back to what’s familiar. Even if the familiar is disempowering and hurtful. Even if that’s not how you want to keep living. Even when it’s not supporting where you want to go.
Slow down and remind yourself:
This is who I am now.
I choose what’s good for me.
I allow myself to change.
We all have moments or even extended periods of our life we wish we can get back. Now that we are older and wiser, our past choices may seem troublesome and we believe we would now choose differently. The more we dwell on past decisions & non-decisions and the more power we give to them, the more we sleepwalk through life.
Our past decisions were based on the knowledge, resources, and experience we had at the time and in order to become who we are called to become now, we can’t keep turning around towards the past.
We must make peace with the past.
Making peace with the past doesn’t mean we condone or approve of things that were hurtful. It means we are acknowledging they were impactful and we are choosing not to be defined by them.
We chose how we show up for our life now.
Give yourself grace and an understanding that you didn't know what you know now and you did your best. Take the lessons, find the compassion for your past self, and start living in the present.
Questions to reflect on:
Am I punishing myself for past events, actions, and choices?
What do I need to let go?
What lessons have I learned?
If you find yourself struggling with this throughout the day, come up with an anchor thought that will ground you in the present moment. Below is na example.
Anchor Thought: I fully embrace all of my experiences and the choices that shaped me into the person I am today.
Living authentically and honoring yourself may involve making decisions others judge or disapprove of.
What if you let them have opinions and judgments?
What if you let them not understand your decisions?
What if you let them think whatever they are thinking?
What if you let them be confused?
Others have the right to think, judge, and believe whatever they want. You can’t change that.
The need to change people’s opinions of us and gain their approval is a futile task. And it simply doesn’t matter.
What matters is whether you will allow yourself to live your truth even if others don’t understand it or judge it.
The only person who’s permission, understanding, and approval you need, is you.