So I'm one of those people that don't ever fulfill my New Year's Resolutions. I might make one or two and just like your typical person, I do well for the first quarter of the year and then life gets to busy or I make unrealistic goals that I can never fulfill in a year.
I had the opportunity to learn a new method of creating goals in class one night and wanted to share it! This is what I plan on doing from here out until I come up with something else.
This exercise is only an excerpt of a life planning and career exercise for those that are struggling with career and life changes. The first part of it is to list one goal in each of the following areas: health, career, leisure, spirituality, and relationships. Below are mine for 2012.
HEALTH: Have our third child and begin to lose the baby weight.
CAREER: Graduate with honors with the dual Master's and obtain approval from the licensing boards to practice counseling.
LEISURE: READ A BOOK THAT IS NOT A TEXT BOOK!!!
SPIRITUALITY: Meditate 5 days out of the week.
RELATIONSHIPS: Nurture my neglected friendships.
Ok, so after you've written down the goals, pick ONE and create an action plan to make the goal happen. For myself, I need an action plan for the relationships goal. I also seriously need the social interaction that friends bring. Lately my relationships have been with text books, colleagues and family. I long for the ability to cut loose, be silly, and share life with someone my age. So here's the plan....
1. Write to my pen pal at least once a month. If I can get more in, YAY!
2. Set up play dates for my kids and the moms I know.
3. Invite a couple over once a month for dinner.
4. Do something nice for a friend once a month because the giving is what nourishs my heart.
5. Contact old friends and catch up!
6. If I sense a connection with someone new, reach out to them.
I'm sure I'll come up with some others but that's a good start. Now, the new year's resolutions don't seem so overwhelming.
The next part of the exercise is a meditation exercise. The idea is to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and find that place that is calm. For some of us it takes a few minutes to shut off the thoughts in our brains...the ones that consist of what you have to do in an hour, a week, a year, how you're feeling about something, etc.
Now, think of a day 3 years from now that is the PERFECT day. Don't put any stipulations into the exercise. Allow yourself to be free of all the obligations you put on yourself and imagine if you could have the most perfect day. If the three years puts restrictions on you, take it out. Imagine where you would wake up. What is around you? Where are you? Who are you with? Feel your feet hit the floor as you get up from the bed and start your morning routine. What are you having for breakfast? Are you at a restaurant? You're eating your most favorite food; you're with your most favorite company, you're surrounded by what is perfect to you. Imagine the rest of your day in this manner...leading yourself into the afternoon, the evening and into your bed.
What does your perfect day consist of? What is that something that you love that you are not putting into daily practice? What are you longing for.
After reflecting on your perfect day, pick one thing about it and make a commitment to do it for yourself. This is how we create what brings joy to us in our lives. I found that sharing your experience with someone is helpful and can make you accountable for it. This is something Jeff and I done together and help each other by making sure we do our task that we picked.
For myself, I woke up in a charming little house on the beach. I could hear the waves, see the ocean and smell the salt in the air. The bedroom was wide open with french doors and windows that made the bedroom transparent. The bed I was in was filled with my children and my husband and I got up before them, giving them each a kiss, close enough to smell them because I adore how all three of them smell. I looked out across from me and there sat my beloved white desk with paper and pen and a Ken Follet book. I got up and went to the desk...somehow coffee had magically appeared and I got the urge to walk so I took my coffee cup and did something I haven't done since 2001 in Pensacola, Florida. I sat on that beach and looked out in the ocean soaking up what the ocean does for me.
My goal this year is to do just that....take my three (now four loves) to a beach and while they are peacefully sleeping, go out and sit on that beach with coffee cup in hand.
That's IT! Two goals for 2012....
Nurture my friendships and take a trip to the beach!