The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.
Note: This is part two of a series that began on Friday. If you missed the beginning, you will want to go back and begin there and then come on back, we will wait for you. 🙂
Today’s goal, is learning to deal with the illusion of the PERFECT DAY. Learning how to make it work FOR us and not AGAINST us. It is always going to be there, inkling way back in the recesses of our mind so instead of ignoring it and letting it have subconscious power over us, our emotions and our actions, we are going to bring it to the forefront, shine a bright light on it and let it know who’s in charge once and for all.
The very first thing is to take out a paper, pen, markers or big poster board (for those of us who enjoy making vision boards,) use whatever works for helping you to sit quietly and meditate on what would be your ideal perfect day. Have some fun with this. Spend some time daydreaming about what your own PERFECT DAY might be. The example I gave in the beginning of the post was a tad bit far-fetched but at the same time a bet a lot of it resonated with you. We all want a bank account in the black, with money in savings. Think about the things that are floating in your subconscious causing underlying stress. Things that you may be measuring yourselves up to and drawing yourself up short. Write them all down.
The second thing to do is take a very discerning look at the list you have written down. Examine each item on the list. How many of the items on the list truly belong to you and how many have you inherited from family and friends that you have been carrying around because you have been afraid to discard them? How many are *shoulds* that make you feel like running away? Be honest with yourself. If this isn’t 100% YOUR perfect day, there isn’t very much chance of you ever getting anywhere even remotely close to success and you are setting yourself up for failure. This part of the exercise can be very enlightening if you suddenly realize that you have been carrying around someone else’s PERFECT DAY all this time. Feel free to give it back or toss it out. Time to work on getting your own!
The third thing is to take the remaining items left on your PERFECT DAY board and transfer them to an ACTIVE Goals and action steps board or paper. . Dreams are a great thing to have. They give us direction and purpose. But specific action steps are better. When you have carefully laid out action steps written into your daily planning then you are 98% more likely to do it. A written down goal has a 98% chance of happening, a verbal goal only has a 3% chance of success. That’s a big difference. Put it somewhere where you can see it daily and write down a specific time when that event will take place.
Now that you have your goals and plans written out in front of you in a more tangible format, you can create a road map for how you are going to get to that place in your life where your days look more like the life you want rather than the one you are currently having right now. Understand that you won’t reach perfection, but you have used the vision of it to get you closer to the life you want.
But here is the word of warning, don’t transfer that entire list on to your everyday plan! Each day gets a little piece, a babystep, if you will, as you walk, step by step toward your goal. Break it down into MANAGEABLE tasks that get gradually larger as time goes by. Give yourself encouragement and grace for the times that don’t go as well and celebrate the daily victories as they happen along the way. You may want to come up with a strategy for how to accomplish the items on the list. Do you need a work out buddy? A journal? A coach? Maybe there are too many items and you need to cut back. Focus on only a few at a time. Keep it simple and look for some way to hold yourself accountable. One step at a time.
BE A LOVING FRIEND.
We all want to be good friends to each other, encouraging and cheering them along their way to victory. We give our friends a big “WAY TO GO” and “TOMORROW WILL BE A BETTER DAY” and we are there for them when the chips are down. But whoa to us if the one struggling is ourselves. Where is our mercy then? Where is our measure of grace? Promise yourself that you will be as kind and loving to yourself as you would any other friend. Your own personal self-talk and attitude wields a strong weapon and will be the difference between getting you to go the distance or staying stuck in a vicious circle of self abuse. Don’t make an enemy of yourself. The price is too high.
Finally, understand that ‘unto every day a little rain must fall.’ There just isn’t going to be a Perfect day and that’s OK. Learn flexibility. Let go a little. You can’t control what happens in life, you can only control your attitudes, your choices and your reactions. You can remain faithful to your plans. You can get up every day, look at your list and follow through. You can believe- with all your heart- and you are going to increase your chances by so very much. But sometimes things happen and it wasn’t on the list. We get blown around a bit. Just hang on. Learn to bend, keep the faith.
You won’t always know just where those good things are coming from. From storms come the rainbows and the lessons of life. Don’t be afraid of the stormy days, the trying ones, the challenging ones that feel like your overwhelmed and under equipted. This is when you are growing. This is when you are building muscles. Pay attention to the lessons. Instead of moaning over the loss of another PERFECT DAY, tune in, hone in on the experience and see if you can’t just find the meaning. Your almost perfect days will get that much closer to home.