During a phone conversation earlier this week a friend of mine shared the frustration she feels when she repeatedly writes her ambitious plans down, detailing her earnest intentions to change her life for the better, only to as she described – continuously fail.
Is this something you can relate to? I sure can.
A lot of the time we know exactly what we want for ourselves. We even know (in many cases) how to get there. But we get bored, tired, frustrated (fill in the blank) fairly quickly. And quit altogether.
This is all very normal, and very human.
The issue isn’t the list making. It’s fantastic to envision and write down what you’d like to create in your life. The issue isn’t even *not* sticking to the list to a T. Afterall we’re programmed in many ways to default to the path of least resistance.
The issue is giving up entirely and creating a narrative of negative self-talk if/when you don’t hit every bullet point on the list, or even when you forget about the list entirely for a day or so.
We seem to lean into a mindset of absolutism when it comes to these things. It’s all, or nothing. And we seem to use our so-called “failures” as proof as to why we’ll never be successful at our health, fitness, mental peace, among many other things. We tell ourselves we can’t do it anyway, and we abandon our goals completely.
Probably the most common occurrence of this is the goal setting we do around the end of the year. It’s full steam ahead for a few weeks, maybe a month, maybe even multiple months. For most of us though, there’s a tapering off - especially when it comes to things that present a challenge.
We do it on a smaller scale, too. This week, we tell ourselves, we’ll do A, B, and C every single day! When A ends up going off the rails because, well… life, we throw the whole plan out the window and say we’ll try again *next* Monday, or *next* week.
What if instead of in essence giving up on ourselves and giving up on our plans, we offered ourselves a bit of compassion and tried again on the next breath, the next hour, or even the next morning? There’s no rule that says if you don’t do everything on your list all is lost. What if we celebrated the little victories as much as we hyper-focused on the things we didn’t complete? These are the places and spaces where we build resilience, fortitude, and self-compassion. This is where we learn to keep standing up. Over and over and over again.
If your studio practice has gotten a little rusty, we’re here for you. Try again. Come back.
Every breath, each moment is an opportunity to begin again.