I’ve been thinking about promises lately and what they mean when it comes to making them to myself. We make plenty of promises to others and never ever want to be known for breaking them, right? But, what about the promises we make to ourselves? You know, those daily, weekly, short or long term goals that we lay out for ourselves and promise that WE ARE GOING TO TACKLE.
NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is going to stand in our way.
You have those, and I do too! The problem though is, we tend to completely write ourselves off and don’t hold ourselves accountable when we fall off the wagon or get sidetracked. What’s up with that? Do you ever notice how quickly you lose the wind in your sails when life gets in the way and those goals of yours get pushed to the back burner? It can happen within days or even hours if we let our minds wander into the world of fear and overwhelm. You know that place we all visit from time to time when life happens? Yeah, it’s dark, scary and downright discouraging.
Let’s dig a little deeper…
I know, for me at least, that when I set a big
hairy scary goal for myself to chase down and accomplish, I like to plan. I like to plan things out so that I’m fully prepared for any twist and turn that should happen to come up so that I’m mentally prepared for ALL of the possibilities. Sometimes, that can be a bad thing and sometimes I feel like it’s one of my strengths. Once I’m done planning, it’s time to think, think and think a little bit more. Yep, I’m a thinker. Proud member of the heavy thinker club, right here! Pour me a tall glass of heavy thoughts on the rocks and I’ve got myself a real hanger over, come tomorrow morning. The time spent in my head with those thoughts though is where I feel like most of my drive and determination really comes from. When I’m thinking about my goals and promises I’ve made for myself, I like to use my thoughts to imagine what it will feel like once I accomplish said goal/fulfill my promise.
The sticky part here is moving beyond the thinking and planning stage. That’s where I feel like we all as human beings tend to get stuck. We can stay in the thinking and planning stage for years if we let ourselves. We can even let ourselves stay there forever if we’re really honest!
What is something that you’ve been wanting to do for what feels like forever? You know we all have one (or more than a few) on our list, so don’t feel guilty or alone! Really ask yourself–what is that ONE promise you’ve made to yourself that you just haven’t followed through on?
The real kicker and way to answer that question in its entirety is that we have to dig deep and find a way to hold ourselves accountable, even when the going gets tough. Despite the “icky” feelings this step gives us, we have got to face them. The best way to move through this part is to find a way to look at ourselves through the view of others and know that we would NEVER want to be looked at as a flake, a liar, or a disappointment. We want to be seen as honest, hard-working, and someone that can be counted on, right? Here’s where the action item comes into play. Why not try those shoes on for a minute and take a look at where you measure up? Take that chip off your shoulder and step outside of yourself for a minute and look at all of the things you’ve told yourself you were going to do and never, ever did. Yikes! This is not an easy task. Remember, I didn’t say anywhere or at any time that this would be easy. However, as hard as this can be, I firmly believe in order to be able to move beyond thought and turn it into action, we cannot by any means skip this step.
This is where we move forward.
This is where the magic happens.
This is where you start to turn the corner and where the momentum starts to turn up to help push you over that mountain set before you.
We have to face the hard stuff and push through those moments of overwhelm and fear before we can get to the other side. You cannot get to point D without going through steps A, B and C first. It can be a little dirty, a little sticky and a lot scary but these are the experiences and moments that make the end result THAT much better. That sweet moment of success, accomplishment, and fulfillment at the top of our own mountain is what we’re all chasing after. It’s just a matter of taking the actionable steps to get to the very tip-top in order to see through the clouds! It really is all within reach if we stretch out our arms a little longer.
It’s all about perspective and we know deep inside us that when we change our perspective, even an inch, that we are able to see things in a whole new light. Once you’ve scooted out of your own way and peeked through the lenses outside of YOU, the light at the end of the tunnel starts to come into view. The path becomes clear, the load becomes lighter and we finally are able to get to the other side.
One of the most tangible ways that I’ve been able to see my own self move beyond thought and into action is by putting the word “just” in front of step 1. Example: If I’m aiming to run a full marathon, I tell myself that week 1’s long run is “just” 3 miles. I can do “just” 3 miles. Then, when the longer runs start falling on my plate, I tell myself they’re “just” 5, 10, 15 miles. When I see it in that light, things truly become a little easier, and LOOK! (Like magic!) It all started in my mind with my thoughts and a shiny new perspective! This is where I’m able to move beyond those thoughts of fear and overwhelm and out of the “thinking” stage. This is where the action kicks my butt into gear and I’m able to move forward making progress into my goal/promise to myself.
So, I hope that whatever it is that’s been haunting you and whatever promise it is that you’ve not followed through on (yet), that these words of encouragement can help get you a teeny tiny bit closer to the start line. I hope that you know that you’re truly capable of anything (and I mean anything!) that you set your sights on.
It’s just a matter of moving beyond thought (fears, overwhelming feelings and all of their glory) and into action, step by step, one moment at a time.
Homework: See paragraph 6. 😉
Here’s to new goals, taking action and chasing down our wildest dreams friends!
Questions for YOU:
Where do you usually go for inspiration when you’re planning your goals? Magazines? Books? Social Media?
Do you journal down your progress on goals?
What’s one word you use to describe the feeling you get when you accomplish your goals?