It’s great to have goals, they serve as a way to hold yourself accountable for moving forward. However, the goal-obsessive society can also be damaging. Something I’ve spoken about before, this idea of goal setting to achieve constantly bigger and bigger feats is underhandedly feeding you the message that you’re not good enough as you are. While it’s a positive to move forward and hold yourself in a high regard (as in, one where you actually care about yourself and are interested in growing), this can be a double edged sword. Self acceptance can only happen in the here and now. The ‘I’ll accept myself when X happens’ or ‘when I achieve X I’ll be happy.’ In the pursuit of developmental growth on all levels, I’m not completely against goal setting, but I do suggest being wary when doing so. You do not ‘need’ to achieve anything in order to accept yourself or be accepted by others. This is something I struggle with ALL the time. But, really, once you achieve said goal, you are still you and that’s the bottom line. You will not suddenly change for better or worse now that you have a certain accolade.
I’m a ‘take the path of least resistance’ kind of person, procrastination might as well be my middle name, it’s the one art I have truly mastered (it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill - that’s a lot of procrastinating). So actually holding myself accountable for getting things done is constantly on my to do list.
Here are some things I like to do to ensure I’m growing, not striving.
Every New Moon, I write down my intentions going forward. My intentions have ranged over the years from ‘be more present’ to ‘earn more money’ to ‘use a foam roller every 2 days.’ It just depends. No matter how little or large. I write them down in the intentions and knowing they’re written down, I forget about them.
Every Full Moon, I write down my intentions to let go. So things that aren’t serving me, I intend to let go of them. For example; ‘self deprecating thoughts, hangovers, idle gossip, bad eating habits' - you get the picture.
Planning time for me:
I have always been quite bad at motivating myself to do things. I am also extremely loyal. Therefore, if I put the responsibility on someone else to motivate me, I will always do it, as I couldn’t let someone else down (but happily let myself down, go figure!) I think this is the case for a lot of people, so I book in classes which I will be penalised if I cancel, to ensure I have to go and I don’t end up procrastinating instead. Once I’ve booked and paid for something, I’ll always follow through.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by creating too much work for yourself. Make your intentions achievable , if you find after a couple of months that you’re getting everything done, then think bigger. Don’t beat yourself either if you need to downsize. Remember, you are perfect just as you are.
Radical Self Acceptance
A good way of getting the message of self acceptance into your psyche is to use affirmations. One I always ALWAYS come back to is from good old Louise Hay, ‘I approve of myself’. Say it to yourself all day, everyday. Your subconscious will get the message.
A daily practice of gratitude has always been key to the world’s biggest success stories. It teaches us to be present, to appreciate what we have and to also see how far we have come. Gratitude is such a positive practice, one that will encourage more positivity to flow through your general thought processes. With a positive mind, comes positive creation. Everything that happens in your reality was once a thought. Make them good ones.
If February comes around and you have fallen off the wagon essentially - THAT’S OK. We are human. We are not perfect magazine images of perfect bodies and Hollywood smiles. Nobody is perfect. Just pick yourself up and start again. There is no shame in it. I start things again probably more times a year than I care to mention. Forgive yourself and go again. Remember, your life is right now. Not when X, Y or Z happens.