With most of us experiencing unexpected changes and loss of control, it’s helpful to check-in and be sure we are prioritizing our well-being. It’s important and self-nourishing to take time out of our day and take into account our own wellness. How are we feeling at this moment? What are we looking forward to today? Self-reflecting gives us the ability to clearly recognize the path we are on. If we see room for improvement, we can simply accept where we are, or we can set goals to get us to where we want to be.
The first step in setting these goals is to specifically identify what we want for ourselves. Not having a clear idea of what we want is like aiming for a target blindfolded. Aiming at our target is working out a practical action plan. When we aim for our target, we are actively creating steps toward our goal. I knew somebody who joked that they went after their goals using the “ready, shoot, aim” method. Their inability to slow down to create a practical action plan often left them in frustration. Taking time to aim at our target—reflecting on ourselves before taking action — allows us to affectively move forward toward our goals. Sometimes we get stuck in goal planning – creating steps without ever moving forward and taking action. This inability to shoot toward our goals keeps us stuck.
Moving forward, or growth, involves creating new thoughts and habits, which establishes new behavior. When we do this, we are creating new pathways in our brain. It can take 30 to 90 days to create a new habit. It’s no wonder change is so challenging! We want instant gratification, but growth comes gradually by working toward our goals every day. Some days are easier than others, so be kind and forgiving of yourself if you falter. Tomorrow is another day!
Achieving our ultimate goals involves fulfilling smaller goals first, so celebrate each tiny victory and know you are on the right path. Having the ability to clearly articulate what we want and how we want to feel is a victory and it’s empowering; it allows us to use our creativity to maintain a joyful, fulfilling life at every age. Taking quiet contemplative time is also empowering. It gives us the space to see things as they are, not how we want them to be. Enjoy the journey of discovery and may you attain whatever is important to you.