Monday, October 14, 2013

Why Your Goals Need Space

Work got you down?  Do you  need some space?
Do you need some space? (Photo credit: w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines))
by Sherry Essig

During my eight years in the Washington DC area, I lived in a cute, cozy condo with very little storage space.

Three closets: one on the low end of medium size, the other two itsy-bitsy. Six cabinets in the kitchen. A tiny linen closet. No attic or garage.

I became intimately familiar with every "space expansion" device available at The Container Store. And I became an avid reader of books on living in small spaces.

And although I got very good at re-organizing, re-arranging, and many other ways of making things fit, there was one critical thing I had to learn: when something new came in, something old had to leave the premises.

The same approach applies when adding new things to your life. You need to make room for your 2013 goals, resolutions, and intentions. Making room is a step that's often neglected when you make your plans.

Imagine this ...

It's the first week of January. You're brimming with enthusiasm about your New Year's resolutions. You've told friends, identified - and implemented - the first steps, and you're taking a few minutes each day to visualize your success. All good.

But within a month (maybe just a few weeks), you've stalled out. You had good intentions, you really did. What happened? There wasn't enough space for your resolutions to take hold. Fortunately, it's only the first week of January, so it's not too late to make room!

Look at your goals, resolutions, and intentions and ask yourself:

What do I need to let go of in order to create what I want?

Do you need to release a specific time commitment, habit, or behavior? A belief or mindset? Something in your physical space? There are all kinds of things that get in the way... which ones do you need to let go of?

Here are a few of my 2013 goals along with what "needs to leave the premises" if I want to set myself up for success:

- My goal: Expand my business to include new programs and products.
- What I need to let go of: Listening to my inner critic saying, "If you invest a bunch of time and aren't successful, you'll have wasted all that time" (it's not true but sheesh, she can get loud at times!).
- My goal: An early morning home yoga practice 3-5 times a week.
- What I need to let go of: My night-owl habits (otherwise I'll have no chance of getting up early enough to add yoga into my morning).

It would be so nice if I could just wish away my inner critic and night-owl habits. But that won't work.

You need specific action steps to move the stuff out.

A few of my night-owl habit-busting steps include:

  • Get ready for bed at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Set the alarm on my phone to remind me it's time to get ready.
  • Ask my husband to prod me if the alarm has gone off and I'm not moving in the right direction.

If that sounds like overkill, it's not. At least, not for me. I have similarly detailed steps for dealing with my inner critic, at least on the topic of investing time in new programs and products.

Once you name what you need to let go, define your action steps. Be honest with yourself and don't judge. And then take consistent action so you can create space for your goals, resolutions, and intentions to take hold.

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be" ~ George Sheehan.

Sherry Essig specializes in helping professionals get unstuck so they can expand their capacity for more ... more happiness, success, and peace of mind. Her work is built on an understanding that your professional career and your personal life are two aspects of the whole that is you.

She blends over 25 years of business experience, applied metrics, and in-depth coach training with the principles of leadership of self, positive psychology, and yoga. For additional free resources to help you get unstuck visit: http://www.flow-dynamix.com.

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