One of the most exciting things about tackling a new goal in life is the feeling of eager anticipation it gives us. We just can’t wait to get started!
Or can we?
People have very different reactions to experiencing (sometimes: drastic!) change in their lives:
- Some of us seem to live our lives literally “on the run”. There can never be enough going on to suit us!
- Others of us begin to hyperventilate if someone dares move a vase of flowers on our coffee table. The thought of going after a promotion or starting our own business is absolutely paralyzing!
Fortunately, most of us are somewhere in between.
How do we deal with a desire to improve our lives by expanding our options and horizons when that desire flies in the face of what we’ve been taught we’re supposed to want or be?
Even when we try to listen to the voice in the inside, we’re continually bombarded with subliminal messages about what Black women
- shouldn’t like
- can’t do
- aren’t good at
The world around us sometimes seems to conspire against our realizing our wildest dreams. They’re unreasonable, we’re told, as they try to steer us towards what we can “reasonably expect”. In other words: mediocrity.
One of the most effective ways to discover whether you’ve reconnected with your inner voice is the sense of joy you feel at the prospect of inviting positive change into your life!
If you want to know whether or not the goals you plan to focus on for the coming year are coming from someplace deep inside yourself, spend a few minutes on the following exercise.
- Take a moment to think about the three most important goals you have for 2011. Think about each one separately – actually visualizing what you and your life will be like once you’ve achieved that goal. In other words, really “see” yourself standing in front of your own boutique or autographing a copy of your newly published book or handing out business cards with your new job title printed under your name.
- Let yourself be quiet long enough for your body to register how the visualization of each of your scenarios affects you on a physical level. Is your heart rate constant? Do you have a spontaneous smile on your face? Or do you feel a sense of tension in your chest. Are your hand and feet suddenly cold? Your rational mind can try to convince you that this goal or that project is right for you, but your body doesn’t – can’t! – lie!
- If you have a hesitant or negative reaction to any of your goals, take a few minutes to write down what this particular goal means to you. Get to the root of why you feel it is important for you to achieve this particular goal, but also ask yourself what possible advantage(s) postponing – or forgetting! – this goal could have for you.
To help you recognize the values in life that are most important to you, have a look at this What Makes Me Tick? worksheet. It will also help you assess just how well your goals for this year are aligned with the values that govern your life.
Once you have identified the core values that are most important to you, and then chosen (or redefined) goals that honor and support those values, the joy your feel as you pursue those goals will make it easier to stay on track!