Recently I got an email asking about goals and when I asked for clarification it became evident time was also a factor. Anytime we are stressing about time, worried about getting things done or become totally goal oriented we are definitely not in the moment.
It is only in the present moment that we have the ability to adjust where we are going in life, to really make changes that matter.
So how DO we set goals and stay in the moment?
Seeing the future with absolute clarity when we are in the midst of some turmoil it is almost impossible. Change or the need for change often creates a sense of unease and discomfort in life. Goals when used properly can help us to begin moving toward a future that feels inviting, expansive, and out of which our dreams are made.
Using goals to help direct your choices rather than being used by your goals can be a very subtle difference but that difference is a real game changer. When your goals become more important than your actions in the moment you are lost, floating aimlessly in a sea of uncertainty having you make choices that leads to more of the same old same old.
Goals that help us make choices
I moved to Hawaii with $800, no job and no friends. Fast forward 25+ years and I own a beautiful home on the Big Island of Hawaii. I didn’t focus on a beautiful home rather I followed what I call the cosmic breadcrumbs in the moment.
I got a job as a waitress and life was good. Then the restaurant closed for renovations. I had a very strong feeling it was time to begin working for myself. I had a vision and each day I would take an action that would help that vision to become a reality. After I took the action I would relax and do something fun, like go to the beach or take my dog for a walk. I would stay in the moment step by step.
My goal would help direct the actions that I took while being in the moment. My goal didn’t consume my thoughts it gently guided them. Step by step, while I was in the moment the next step, the next cosmic breadcrumb would become evident.
One could call it ‘following your bliss.’
What about those ‘To Do’ lists?
To do lists can become a loving friend helping us create the most amazing life or they can be a harsh task master that create a knot in our stomach and keep us from sleeping well at night.
When I changed my relationship with ‘To Do Lists’ I started by limiting my list to 3 things. I would only write something on my list if it was realistic to accomplish easily and I was committed to doing it. (This is also a great way to overcome procrastination.)
Before that I would have a ‘to do list’ a mile long. When I looked at it I would immediately feel overwhelmed and never get anything done. As I changed my relationship with my lists I would break things down into manageable chunks. If my house was a mess I would put a manageable piece on my list, like clean the living room.
When I am writing a book I may put work on chapter 10 rather than write chapter 10. When I do that I often find myself finishing the chapter but if I put finish the chapter I never seem to get around to writing at all.
Making Goals and To Do Lists Your Friend
Play with it, pay attention to how your body feels when you think about your goals or to do list. If thinking of either of them cause a feeling of discomfort the best you will create is more discomfort.
As you change those relationships first think of being in a place that brings you joy and a sense of ease. Maybe standing under the moonlight on a pleasant summer’s night or sitting by the fire while the snow swirls outside your window.
Create a feeling of peace and ease then think about your what you want to create, your next task or what to write down on your to do list.
Keep it simple and doable and then allow yourself to enjoy the moment.
As always, if you have any questions or thoughts or feelings I’d love to read them in the comment section below.
Remember you are the gift, life is best savored in the moment and only the love is real.
With love, happiness and ease,