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Let’s face it, we all have goals in life. Even companies and organizations have goals.  What varies is how we get to those goals.  If you have ever consulted a life coach, they would likely give you a formula that looks something like this:

  1.  Set the goal
  2. Determine the steps needed to accomplish the goal
  3. Assign timelines, an overall one for for accomplishment of the goal, and then individual timelines, for accomplishment of each task.
  4. Then said life coach becomes your “accountability partner.”

Nothing wrong with this formula.  Except that I have found it doesn’t work well.  Life happens, and it doesn’t take into account those twists and turns, nor does it take into account the extraordinary level of sheer stubbornness needed to accomplish things this way.  Accomplishing goals this way seems like a gigantic battle.  Not to mention....I’m a big girl.....if I can’t hold myself accountable for doing things in my life, no one else is going to be able to do so.

I prefer this formula:

  1.  Who are you?  Who do you be?  What are your beliefs and values?
  2. What is your purpose for being here?  This describes your reason for being.
  3. What is your mission in life?  This describes your short and mid range goals.
  4.  What is your vision for your life?  This will draw on your mission.

And just for an example, here is mine:

  1.  I am a physical manifestation of spirit.
  2. My purpose for being here is to live in peace and joy, at my best and highest levels, and to help others do the same.
  3. My mission is to design and implement workshops, classes, retreats and other things to facilitate that peace and joy in others.
  4. My vision is that everyone live lives of peace and joy.

This is my compass.  It points me in a general direction, and as long as I am going in that general direction, I’m good.  The steps, the map, might change.  After all, maps need to be changed all the time.  Global warming means water levels on earth are changing.  Earthquakes mean topography changes.  When stuff happens in our lives, the map changes.  But the compass will always point us in the right direction.  And having a formula like this in your life will accommodate the changing topography that happens in all our lives.

As for that accountability partner, well, I prefer enthusiastic supporter.  This would be someone who knows your beliefs and values, and who holds those beliefs and values upper most in their minds, and reminds you of them when you have forgotten them.  In this way, you have the dignity that comes from empowerment that comes from taking personal responsibility for your life.  No one else can do that for you.

 

 

Today is March 4.....March Fourth....FORTH!

Are you marching forth today?

I love it when dates line up like this.  It gives me a time to play with the words a bit.  And it serves as a metaphor.

To march means to walk with a regular tread, in a deliberate manner.  When I was a kid, I played clarinet in a marching band.  I remember the parades...we would prepare ourselves by rehearsing the music, then rehearsing and marching at the same time.  Then the day would come when it was time to execute what we had learned and rehearsed.  We would put on the band uniforms and proceed to the staging area.  No matter what we were feeling or what the weather was, we marched.  And we marched towards a goal, the end of the parade.   During the parade I remember I wasn't thinking too much about the end goal.  I was thinking more about keeping in step and playing the right notes along the way.  One step and one note at a time.  Sometimes a little dance might be done.  Sometimes we marched in place so we didn't run into the group in front of us.  And I had my team members to support me, so if I somehow lost step I could glance to my right or left and see which foot needed to be forward.

I've found life to be a bit like this.....preparation, execution, focus and seeking support along the way.

We prepare not so much by rehearsing, but by visioning, dreaming, figuring out who we are and what we want.  Classes and coaching services are excellent for figuring this out.  Then we execute:  there might be a timeline, written out steps to take.  We keep our focus by using affirmations and meditation, and support comes in the form of talking with others, sharing what is going on with us.  And sometimes support comes in the form of resting, taking another class, reading a new book.

For me, the important part is the focus.  I sometimes lose my focus.  I get discouraged.  This is when the support is really important.  I use a coach to remind me of what my goal is. I use classes to learn new ways to reach my goals.  And sometimes I use classes because I've realized that I need a new goal.  Or a new way to reach my goal.

And I continue to march forward, no matter what.

Are you continuing your march?  Today might be a good day to review where you are in your own personal march, and adjust your steps as needed.

 

KAL_8695"A lot of doorways are going to open for you, just don't stand behind them when they open."  Rev. Dr. Gil Linsley, www.gillinsley.com

My dad told me that just yesterday.  We were sitting there talking about endings and beginnings and possibilities and out came that beautiful quote.

I think it is awesome, and very appropriate for many of us today.

I was talking with a client the other day who was very upset because she didn't know what was going to happen in her life.  Not only that, she didn't know what she wanted to happen, but it was more important to her to know what was going to happen than to not know.

Having been in a hallway...when a door closes and the new ones haven't yet presented themselves or opened....more times than I can count, I am in a place where being in a hallway is actually quite comfortable.  I don't have to know what is going to happen.  While I plan, and set goals, and have ideas, and take action,  I can rest comfortably in the unknown, knowing that things always work out for my highest good, even if I'm not aware of it at the time.

I took an informal survey last Sunday of my congregation at the Center for Spiritual Living Carson City.   About 75% of them said they were in a hallway.  All of those said they were uncomfortable being there.  If you are in a hallway, or you have a decision to make and don't know which way to turn, here are some helpful tools to facilitate movement and transformation.

1.  Introspection.  Turn your attention away from what is happening "out there."  Trying to control the people in your life is like trying to make pigs fly, it just pisses off the pigs and doesn't work.  Turn within, ask yourself some hard questions:  what do I believe?  What do I think of myself?  Am I generally optimistic or pessimistic?  Am I full of fear?  What does fear look like to me?

2.  Write down what you would like to see happen.  Do a best case scenario, a worst case scenario, and a most likely scenario.  I've always had some fun with this exercise, even in the midst of uncertainty and sadness, because my worst case scenarios are usually so ridiculous as to be laughable.

3.  Leave some room for flexibility.  No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, I have found that leaving room for flexibility is a great way to allow for my greatest good.  If I have things planned down to the gnat's ass not only am I going to be frustrated because they don't go as planned, but I've left no room for that wonderful Force that some call the Universe, some call God, to work in my life.

4.  Talk it over.  Bouncing ideas off a friend can help, as long as that friend is strong enough to not enable you, and is confident enough to voice their observations in a kind and loving way.

5.  Don't take advice.  This stuff is yours alone, no one else can stand in your shoes, and no one else is equipped to tell you what to do.   Good friends and good therapists will not give advice, but will instead suggest ways to allow you to get to your own decisions that serve you best.

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