This post is a sneak peek into my course – 30 Day Redesign.
When I first came across the concept of letting go of my goals I thought “Isn’t the whole purpose of goals to be very attached to them in order to achieve them?”
Let’s say that one of your intentions is to reduce your debt because you want to start saving up for a holiday. Your goal could be to reduce your debt by half in time for your birthday in 3 month’s time.
What do you think will happen if you got to your birthday and had only reduced your debt by 40%? Do you think you would be thrilled at having achieved so much or would you be disappointed with yourself for having failed to reach your goal? Human nature being what it is, we tend to focus on the negative so it’s more than likely that you would be concentrating on the failed goal.
You are doing yourself a dis-service.
To reduce your debt by 40% is a fantastic result! Sure there might be some adjustments to be made to get to the final 50% but it’s important to recognise the success that has occurred. If you are too hard on yourself you can end up giving up on your goals because you start to see them as being “too hard”. You then miss the opportunity to take a step back and look at what happened.
Perhaps the goal was too ambitious for the time frame allowed; in which case the time frame can be lengthen to achieve the next 10%.
Perhaps an unexpected medical expense came up; in which case we need to accept that is life sometimes.
Perhaps you overspent on your budget; in which case you need to take a look at why this occurred and adjust what happens next month.
Life doesn’t always go to plan.
If you give up on your goals because they didn’t work out quite how you planned then you miss the opportunity to consider and adjust.
Your attachment to a certain idea (I must cut my debt by 50%, I must lose 10kg) can cause a lot of suffering. At the moment when you feel stress or anxiety when you are working on your goal it maybe that you are clinging onto an idea. Take a moment to ask yourself, “What idea am I hanging onto?”
I must lose 10kg to feel good about myself.
Then ask yourself, “Is it worth the stress and frustration that I am feeling?” The vast majority of the time, it won’t be, and you can let the idea go. This does not mean that you give up your goals rather it’s a case of recognising that clinging to an idea doesn’t always assist you.
I feel good about myself because each day I’m eating healthy food and exercising.
The race that wasn’t to be
I had a goal once to enter a 5km road race by Christmas. Two weeks away from the race I realised I wasn’t going to be able to enter as I had a commitment out of town. I was annoyed with the timing and considered driving 2 hours each way to be there for the race. I stopped enjoying my runs and was feeling angry and frustrated.
I asked myself “What idea am I hanging onto?” That was simple. I wanted to be back to my previous level of fitness as soon as possible. My next question was “Is it worth the stress and frustration that I’m feeling?” It wasn’t. Feeling that way certainly wasn’t helping my fitness levels.
The reason that I had set my goal was to keep myself motivated to increase my fitness. I had to laugh at myself getting so serious about a race as it was only 18 months ago that walking for 5 minutes had been very painful due to an injury. I focused instead on the fact that I had achieved a great deal since I had started running again.
Once I separated myself from the idea that I had to run a race to get my fitness back things shifted for me. I was able to concentrate on the “why” behind my goal and began to enjoy running again.
When you change your idea about something this changes the way that you feel about it.
If you’d like to join The 30 Day Redesign course you can register here>>>>. The course will provide you with practical resources to create a tailor made plan that integrates the goals you want to achieve, the values you live your life by and the roles that make up your life. You’ll also learn to recognise what might be holding you back from achieving your goals.
Registration closes on Saturday 4 April.