Like everyone else, I spent the last few days of 2018 thinking about ways to change. I took a good look at what I was doing, who I had become and what I want to happen in the new year. I spent a lot of time looking at myself and seeing all the ways that I need to change myself. All the things that I didn’t like about myself and all the shortcomings that I needed to improve. There was a lot of negative soul searching on my part. The positive thoughts and positive feelings were not flowing.
I had to come to a decision; did I want this year to be about negative things or positive things? There are a lot of things that I want to change. I want to be healthier. I want to stop procrastinating and finish things. All the ways that I had set myself up for these changes in the past were ways that would ensure that I did not succeed. I would set an amount of weight to lose, tasks that needed to be done by a particular time, all things that had a built-in way for me to fail.
I start a goal, and when things get difficult or when I feel overwhelmed by the changes that are taking place, I quit. I have discovered that within me lies a great fear. I am afraid to succeed. When I fail or when I don’t try, I am invisible. No one notices me when I don’t make any attempt to succeed. They might see me, but I hope that I am invisible. All that was good for the first fifty years. But I have nothing to really be afraid of now. I haven’t for a very long time. Instead, I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish.
There were a number of years that I lived just making it through the day. I did everything that I could to accomplish what was required of me. But I was not living. I can see that now when I look back. ANd I know the moment that I realized I was only bidding my time until life was over. That moment was very revelatory. It was a moment that I began to understand what I was missing. I was missing out on the world, life, and love.
All of this inner thought process made me realize something. I was focusing on what I wanted to change. I had a goal, and I knew what I wanted and how to accomplish the goal. And those two steps are very integral to accomplishing anything. But after watching a TED talk by Stacey Abrams I realized what component was missing. I didn’t have the Why. Why was I trying to finish my book? Why was I trying to get healthy? Just knowing that I had the goal and how to get to it was only part of the answer. The “Why” was critical.
Abrams mentions how the “Why” can help you accomplish the goal. When things are hard and I want to give up and just write that goal into the failure pile I need to look at the “why” I am doing it in the first place. Am I trying to accomplish something for someone other than myself? Am I trying to do this for me in order to grow?
As I set up my bullet journal and created pages for goals, I wrote three things down for each goal. What was the goal, Why was I doing this, How was I going to accomplish it. When I wrote the “why” it helped me to see what goal I was really trying to accomplish. Some of them were really for other people. Or I should say they were really about how other people see me. Instead of having a goal to lose weight, I set a goal for self-care, and one for healthier living. I don’t care if I ever get smaller or thinner. I just want to feel healthier and strong again.
This year I have broken things down to the large year goals, monthly goals, and weekly goals. Each entry has a place for the “What”, “Why and “How”. The “how” has become more of a daily entry in what I did to make it happen. So far, I have felt more confident in what I am doing. Everyday I write I do to combat the anxiety and fear, learnign to reintergrate myself into the world, and learning to be more compassionate with myself.