What you choose matters, don't feel bad about it!
What a lame title. But it's the most honest statement I want to drive home. Notice how our goals often don't match the outcome we get? What happens then? Do those negative internal voices get loud and suck all the air out of the room? Then it takes all this effort to refocus, build yourself up and start again. You know that visious cycle?
What you are choosing and doing matters, and reveals what is important to you. What you are attending to first is higher up on your list of priorities. Many of us start out the new year with a well-intended list of resolutions, only to slip back into old habits and watch new health goals die without really giving it a chance to become a habit. Or new business ventures and creative projects get put on the back-burner as more pressing day to day tasks eat up your time and focus.
Rather than feel bad about not meeting your goals, take a moment to assess what you are doing instead. What is important about that? What is the desire there, or what values are you honoring? For example, I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish last week, but we ended up with 2 snow days and a third day that was eaten up by doctor appointments. High on my priorities is being a good mom, making sure my son is healthy, and creating a strong relationship and lasting memories. Sustainability and balance matter to me. Putting too much pressure on professional output last week would have only led to frustration, and left me ignoring my kid.
Another example is "Amber" who felt like she was spending too much time on social media and procrastinating implementing her business plan. When we dug deeper, that social scrolling had to do with a feeling of loneliness and her longing for deeper friendships. She also felt a lot of fear about launching her new business and was stuck in this cycle of comparing herself to others.
When we take a minute to notice what we are focusing on and making a priority, we can learn what matters most to us. That makes it easier to course correct so that the thing we want to elevate and make a priority doesn't feel forced or lose it's joy. Don't "should" all over yourself! Instead, I like to say to myself, "I choose this because..."
So here is my invitation to you today: Take a look at this diagram of the two buckets, and get out a piece of paper. On one side, list the things that you would like less of in your life. What is eating your time, or feeling like a burden or just plain toxic and unhealthy on all levels? What would you be better off without? The next phase of learning would be to think about ways you can make incremental changes to limit or scale back these things, or find support so you can come into right relationship with these aspects of your life.
Next, what are you craving more of? What is missing in your life right now? What comes pouring out of you when you ask yourself these questions?
Lastly, what is something you can do TODAY that would be a step towards actualizing one of those items on the list of things you crave? The third and final piece has to do with accountability. Tell me or someone else in your supportive circle what you chose to do today. You can send me a short email here.
Bucket lists aren't for the old and dying. Do what brings you purpose and joy today!