As life shifts, so do our goals. This is a natural process, as our daily reality is full of changes and unexpected twists and turns. I don’t recall having ever worked with a client who, by the time we completed our work together, had exactly the same goals they had at the start of our sessions.
Even experienced goal setters often see their plans change. John Lennon’s famous quote “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” perfectly captures our inability to control the whole of life and to fit it into our plans, without being prepared to be flexible when circumstances change.
Further evidence for this statement is provided by the poor ratio of success when it comes to keeping promises to ourselves. According to a recent figure, less than 8% of people stick to their New Year resolutions! This is due to lack of discipline, lack of awareness of how to successfully measure goals and inability to factor in the changing environmental circumstances in one’s daily actions.
But most people don’t fail because they were not able to stick to their original plan; most people fail because they give up at the first hurdle, or failure to achieve a micro goal within their bigger goal. Success requires discipline and long-term commitment, and the ability to avoid distraction by ephemeral obstacles.
When you stay connected to your original focus and purpose, you can always pick up things where you left them off after a temporary setback. The only rule to remember is: don’t let it slide twice in a row. If you planned for something and it didn’t happen when you needed it to happen, then ensure it happens later or tomorrow.
If you got up late and didn’t have time for your morning meditation, plan to do it the evening instead or go to sleep earlier today to ensure you are up and running on time tomorrow. However, do incorporate your purpose and self-identity in your planning.
Why is it important to meditate? Do you want to lead a calmer, less anxious life? Does it help you to sharpen your focus for the day and make the best of it, so that you obtain a sense of fulfilment and happiness? Visualize and evoke that feeling you want to achieve before resetting your intentions. Connect that feeling to your self-identity. Who is likely to be consistently doing their morning meditation? A happy and fulfilled person who wishes to remain happy and fulfilled.
Regularly reminding yourself of your values and purpose, the ‘why’ you are doing what you do, as well as the ‘who’ you want to be, goes a long way towards creating the habits that will set you up for success.