I have always been the type of person who likes to learn new things. My addiction to learning goes back as far as I can remember. As a child I LOVED to read, anything and everything I could get my hands on. From Babysitters Club, to Encyclopedias, cereal boxes, to refrigerator manuals. I craved knowledge. My favourite place to be, then and now, is the Library, The rows and rows of books make me feel so alive, and at the same time, so calm. It probably comes as no surprise to my readers that I was also an extremely shy person. Just a "hello" from a new person caused me to break out in a sweat. So naturally, I loved being alone, and would be swept away into the world of books. Sometimes retreating into these far away places for hours and hours, only to be disturbed by the loo, or to eat. And more times than not, I completely forgot the latter. While my thirst for knowledge was intense, the time spent, and the commitment to each new subject was fleeting. I would discover something new and for several weeks commit to learning all I could about that new subject and then move on to something else. I could never commit to one thing for too long because I always needed to know more.
My lack of commitment didn't stop at learning. It leaked out into all areas of my life like a virus, trying to stop me from attaching to any one thing for too long, afraid to show my true self, afraid to be vulnerable, transparent. It became my identity. People called me a "Free Spirit", like I was so noncommittal I might just float away. It also meant that for most of my life my relationships were empty, lacking true connection. It meant that while I was "a wanderer", I was also lost. I didn't feel like I fit. So I vowed to change, to make real connections with people. To live in the moment. To see the world around me instead of the ones in my books. I started making real goals. Actually committing to things. Following my passions, making plans, and then actually seeing them through. I stopped being afraid.
I started by choosing small things that I new I could finish like "cleaning one room in my house each day this week", or " running for 30 secs/walk 1 min for 10 minutes". I new that I would be able to achieve those goals and new that the feeling of accomplishment would feed me and push me to try more difficult tasks. Slowly I increased the goals to things that pushed my comfort zone like "not purchasing any new clothes for 3 months", or "eating no sugar for 1 week". Not only has the active regular goal setting made me a healthier person, it has also made me a happier person.
My current goal is to run a 10Km race. I always hated running but love being fit and strong, and athletic so when this past Fall I was unable to workout in the way I was used to following a major surgery I decided that instead of sitting on my butt watching Netflix, I would be active in any way I could. It started as walking, then progressed to jogging. Then I signed up for a race to hold myself accountable, and invited friends to join me. I am really loving it. I didn't start out that way though! I huffed and puffed my way through the first few weeks, but with each big red X I have put on my calendar and every kilometre logged on my Nike + app I have found the difficulty turn to ease, and disgust turn to enjoyment. Naturally I have also read every article, blog, and book on running I can, and even find that my time spent running is also a great time to listen to Podcasts. You never know what you might learn there! ...
MindTools.com has an article on how to set SMART goals here .
Or check out ActionForHappiness.org
And, of course there is always an App for that, like Strides, or Remente, or do it the good old fashioned way like I do and make a big red X on your actual paper calendar after completing that days goal! It is so satisfying!
Moments of Mindfulness
1. What goals or resolutions have you made in the past 6 months that you have not stuck to?
2. Write down 1 simple SMART goal for this week.
3. Journal or keep track of how you are doing.
4. Celebrate completing your goal!
5. Share your goals below. Successes and failures. We want to hear from you, support you, cheer you on!