Crossing the bridge
In one of my therapy sessions the specialist asked me to envision my goal as a specific point in space and pinpoint what stands in the way. In that moment I saw the beautiful things and situations, the beautiful life that was waiting for me on the other side, if I dared to cross the take the leap and cross the bridge to them.
And the image of a bridge is a great analogy, because sometimes we don’t want to cross it. Sometimes, it looks like it’s not going to support us all the way through or that lots of challenges will show up before we get to the other side. And the truth is that sometimes our patience and limits will be tested. But our goals are worth taking one more step forward, crossing the bridge and getting to know the jungle of possibilities.
I don’t know about you, but I often used to get shivers whenever I heard about New Year’s resolutions and what great goals other people had. I’d be thinking that I don’t have anything as worthy as their goals or, on the contrary, that what I had in mind is not achievable or realistic. And that made me feel small and annoyed that I’m not like the others. So I started to import some of their goals and lose sight of what was truly important to me.
Obviously, I ended up even more disappointed as my new goals were nowhere near what I really wanted for myself, even if they seemed like it.
Setting a goal seems simple – you just define what you want, you work for it, and you achieve it. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. No matter what the type of goal you want to accomplish – in Career, Finance, Relationships, Health or other areas of life – you need to make sure the objective is yours. The second step is to gain clarity over the process. How are you going to achieve your goal? This is where we break down goals into smaller milestones, so that we can focus on one step at a time and not feel overwhelmed.
Then, it’s time to implement the plan and take action. And this is when usually things get complicated for those who are disappointed with themselves for not “being able” to follow through their actions. The truth is that no matter who you are or where you are in life, the reality is always going to differ from the plan that you set. And this is why I am here to help and guide you through both good and hard times.
Often times, when we look at our past, we analyse the decisions that we made. If you think you’ve made impulsive, short-sighted or accidental decisions, you’re not alone. This is what happens when we don’t have clear long-term goals or the ones that we have are not ours to begin with. Usually, people set goals by referring to the current situation and what they want in or out of their lives right now. I want to lose weight, earn more, or change my job. Then, they stop the planning and either expect things to change as time goes by, or they start taking random actions that they think help them get there.
But the truth is you’re not going to lose 10 kg if you do not change your diet and become more active. You will not earn more if you don’t start working smarter, put in more hours or ask your boss for a raise. There are things you will need to give up and habits you will need to replace. But all that will come naturally to you, once you have clarity over your goal.
So have you thought the goal through? How are you going to feel and what is going to be different in your life once you achieved it? Describe it in as much detail as you can, so that you feel your goal is yours. What will you do when things aren’t going smoothly and you get discouraged?
Sometimes, you’ll take steps that will make you feel like shouting from the rooftops about your progress or you won’t be able to sleep at night from all the excitement. Other times, the bridge you want to cross will require repairs or adjustments. They are all a part of the process, and the sooner you get to embrace both success and failure as normal, the sooner you’ll get to where you wanted.
But keep in mind that each of us respond to different work methods. Maybe you are more responsive to visual exercises and piercing goals into images. Or maybe you need to close your eyes and feel what it’s like when you’re there. Each of us has a personal system and algorithm in which the subconscious accepts our path and pushes us to follow it. Honour it and do not force yourself into exercises or ways of work that you simply don’t resonate with.
One last important aspect about setting a goal is considering our values and priorities in the process. Where are you now? What resources do you have available? Where do you want to be? What resources do you need to invest in this goal, on the short and long term? And, finally, is this what I truly want for myself or is it something I’m doing to please or prove something to someone? If it’s a goal I’m setting for someone else, how is it going to impact my life?
Answer these questions and look precisely at the current and future situation. At times, the hardest thing will be to be honest with yourself, but this is what builds you. This is what makes you cross the bridge. If you want more details on how to get started with your goals, check out the materials below.
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