They didn’t work for me.
At the start of every month I used to write a bunch of goals (well more like to-dos), maybe around 25. At the end of every month I never failed to have at least a few things left.
28-31 days is a long time to plan for and I found myself just sort of creating a random todo list of stuff for the month that I just never stuck to.
I’d write them with good intentions but my actions for the weeks that followed were somewhat half-hearted.
Now granted the solution may have been to just get more committed but I actually just switched to weekly todo lists instead.
I’ve found that making plans for myself every seven days gives me a chance to be a lot more focused.
And as a result I’m slowly but surely getting better at getting things done.
Through discovering the kind of person that I want to become I’ve learnt a lot about who I am.
It’s interesting to observe yourself and how you interact with others. Are you kind to yourself, what are your relationships like, how do you show up in different situations.
When you uncover the things you need to work on it can be hard to accept them in a loving way and not get frustrated at how much work you have to do.
But that awareness is important. Being able to see yourself as you are is important and even though you might feel like the work is too much or overwhelming you don’t have to do it all right now.
You just have to start.
Then work your way through it bit by bit, until eventually you’ll be transformed.
You’re either A, B or somewhere in-between.
Person A takes the do it now approach and gets things done as they arise or sets time aside to do it in the future.
Person B takes the do nothing approach, also known as the do it later approach, think of a procrastinator. Person B does nothing when things arise even if they know that they could do it now.
They put things off until they’re short of time and then wonder why their heart is palpitating (I’ve been Person B many times).
But there comes a time when you have to do some self-reflection to understand what is and isn’t working. Ask yourself ‘What can I do to make things in my life run smoother?’
I think reevaluating the approach you take in life is the equivalent of a keystone habit (one habit that has a domino effect where you end up changing a bunch of habits as a result of changing one).
A person that takes the do nothing approach is more likely to be overwhelmed, unorganised, tense, stressed, less productive and be achieving much less than they’re capable of.
If you’re able to identify with Person B, you might feel like it’s too hard to change your ways. But there’s a beautiful thing called neuroplasticity that allows your brain to change.
Once you make a commitment to to your own development, it just takes practice.
For some people there are aspects of themselves that were developed in childhood as coping mechanisms in order to feel comfortable or safe.
And sometimes those habits or behaviour that were developed during childhood become so familiar and comfortable to us that we carry them through into adulthood.
But the thing is how you coped at 6 might not be so useful to you 2 decades later, in fact you might find that it’s more of a hindrance.
This is why it’s important to get to know yourself and have a level of self-awareness where you can know the why behind the things that you do.
If you can identify something that is no longer working for you then you can also change it to something that does.
Just as ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ is the same way you’re not you when you’re worried.
A person that worries chronically may end up having sleep problems, self-harming and developing fidget habits like pulling at their hair.
Those kinds of behaviours often end up overshadowing a persons core self and then others fall into thinking that those things are who they are.
But when you remove worry from the equation you feel a sense of freedom. You have room to maneuver, you have room to be.
You’ll feel like a whole new you and begin experience life in a way that is so far from what you’re familiar with.
Life will feel easier or at least much more manageable but it’s not that you’ll never worry again. It’s that the worry will come and pass like the flow of water rather than being something that stays with you long term and ends up being debilitating and reducing your quality of life.
If you have a worry habit, the idea of being without it probably sounds like bliss (with a hint of fear because you’re so familiar with worrying it seems strange to think about being without it.
It might be hard to believe but it is possible to significantly reduce worry and not have it as such a dominant part of your identity, you just have to figure out how.
You don’t have to play, you can always opt out.
I used to be the sort of person who would blame other people for the misfortunes of my life. Not in an explicit way but I felt that I needed certain people in my life to change in order for me to feel better in life.
At the time I truly believed that it was because of ‘them’ that my life had gotten to be so dreadful .
It didn’t even occur to me back then that I was giving my power away, that by blaming others for the state of my life I was declaring that I was not in control.
But after doing some reading, reflecting and ruminating I realised that I’m the one in control of my life.
I also realised that sometimes we subconsciously reject the responsibility over ourselves and our lives and look to other people as ‘the bad guys’ who’ve ruined things for us.
It takes courage to decide to take responsibility and stop playing the blame game.
The problem with relying on someone else to change in order for you to be feel good is that the person may never change. By playing the blame game you just end up missing out and that’s no fun.
From a young age we start to develop an identity, a sense of self.
This is influenced by a variety of factors such as family, friends, books, music, religion, TV and film.
And so we go around living our lives with an identity of who we are. But it’s often much more complex than that.
As humans, having a sense of self is important to our development because life is easier when you know yourself.
But in a rush to reach that knowing we often end up skipping the pivotal exploration period of really delving in and asking the question of who am I?
So we settle for what influences us a combination of what we see and what people tell us to be. We end up thinking that that is who we are when their is a whole other self to be explored.