Over the winter, I spun my wheels a lot. So much so that by early spring I had no tread left on the tires. I thought I was doing everything right. I had a ton of motivation, I worked really hard, I’m naturally very organized, but I was always exhausted and felt frustrated about everything. I just thought I needed to work harder. Be better. Something was wrong with me because I wasn’t getting there.
Finally with the help of two books, “Peace Broken Pieces” by Iyanla Vanzant as well as, “The Ecstasy of Surrender” by Judith Orloff, MD and finally shutting my mouth for a second and opening my ears to the smart and awesome people in my life, I finally figured out that it wasn’t motivation or the ability to achieve that I lacked…
I had no clear vision. I was dealing with abstract vagueness. Sure I knew what I wanted, we all do, but in a very abstract way. They’re kind of like bubbles of wishes that float over our heads that we see from time to time, sometimes we get one, sometimes they drift away, pop, or you run around like a crazy person trying to flail your arms to catch them as they blow away in the wind. I was the last example which is why I felt like I was on a perpetual treadmill to nowhere all the time.
It was a long process that took over a month to put into a linear focus. A lot of it had to do with listening to those whispers of intuition, surrendering my need for constant control, and simply believing in myself. It seems simple, because it is on paper, but think about what’s in your mind right now. Sure you think you can run a 5k, but what if you fail? What if you look stupid in running shorts? What if your muscles hurt for a full month? At the end of the day, our inertia is fear based.
So back in April, I came up with my plan. Five goals a month. Real goals. Scary goals. Things that require daily frog eating that I could achieve because I believed I could achieve them. There’s something about putting that abstract goal floating in a bubble outside your mind that makes it a true reality. It’s on paper now, so I HAVE to do it.
I did it. I wrote those things down and it was HARD. April started out pretty crappy…but then it ended and I was bursting with happiness that I had accomplished what I had set out to do and great things came my way.
Now goals need to be actual goals, not things you’re supposed to be doing anyway. This is stuff that’s supposed to inspire you and put a fire in your belly, not make you roll your eyes, shrug your shoulders, and take up camp on the couch. 5 things you’ve been meaning to do, give yourself 8 weeks to do them. You can do ANYTHING for 8 weeks. Put it on some bright construction paper, either hang it up or put it somewhere it will haunt you and make you take action, and just do it.
For example I put ‘Dean’s List at School’ on my goal sheet because I don’t just want to complete my assignments and get a decent grade. I did that when I was 20. I know I can do that. I want to see my name on the list when it’s posted. For whatever reason, that motivates me to crack open a text book late at night instead of falling into a deep coma after a couple glasses of wine. You want people to call you, “Doctor Jenn” when this is over? You better work, girl. The wine can wait for your celebratory dinner when you see your name posted, then it’ll mean something.
That kind of stuff. It should be something that makes you jazzy and something you really want to do. Not something that makes you hate your life. You want to finally write that book you were putting off? Write 500 words a day for 8 weeks. Boom, you just wrote it and it wasn’t even painful.
Basically, you have to find out what it is you really want and draw that map to get there. Slumps happen because we grind our gears and get tired. Find your inner beast and get there.
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