Does goal setting work for YOU?


Over the weekend I’ve been pondering the nature of goal setting.  As I’m teaching others to be mindful around eating so they can heal their lives, I’m taking this on myself and what’s come up for me is a struggle around setting goals (wanting things I don’t have!).   Goal setting is great!  BUT, there’s a pitfall.  For me it’s the challenge of desiring wealth or a wildly successful business or my own home while at the same time, being able to stay present and grateful for what I do, have and am right now. This can leave me feeling very discontent and irritable.

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One of the ways I escape unhappy thoughts racing through my head is to live in the future.  I spend hours daydreaming of the garden I’d like to tend, the successful practice I’m running with the interviews from the media and the huge bank balance.  I can dream of a wardrobe full of designer clothes that make me look stunning and wealthy and successful, gourmet meals on the table and a stunning figure that a 17 year old would envy!  Now, I know this is one of the ways we create our future – by imagining and sensing things.  The trouble is I start getting worried about not being able to achieve that ideal future and beat myself up for being a failure.  I’m no longer present or grateful for what I have now. I’ve done enough personal development to know that in this state I will never achieve my goals or if I do, I’ll simply move on to the next one, never appreciating the amazing things I’ve achieved.

One little variation on this, which is another source of self flagellation, is that I’m taking too long, being too slow, not doing enough to achieve my goals.  I should be achieving my goals faster and that I’m not only proves that I’m not quite up to the task.  Quite a little self-destructive conversation that one!  It makes me impatient and in the past has caused me to quit what I was doing.

The tragedy of all of this I see daily in the people who come to see me. I see pain and suffering reflected in the their eyes (well I am an iridologist!).  I see the great lengths we go to escape the relentless negativity in our heads and the additional pain that too much alcohol or too much food creates.  I see the bewilderment when people try to achieve something that should be so easy, a balanced body weight, but at which people fail over and over again. I hear the “tyranny of the shoulds” and how miserable it makes people feel.  I should be doing this and I should be doing that!

What’s missing is great tenderness and compassion for ourselves.  Beating ourselves up will never work.  Kindness, acceptance and forgiveness will.

As I grow as a human being, more and more i am observing my negative thoughts and paying attention to the “yukky” feelings they evoke.  And with curiosity and non judgement I notice what I then want to do to escape these yukky feelings.  Sometimes I want to eat, sometimes I need a drink, sometimes I can’t escape them at all and I just take it out on someone I love.  None of this is acceptable in the end.  Not if we want an extraordinary life.

I love working with people to help them create that.  I’m astounded at how well good nutrition, herbs, homeopathy and coaching strategies (like gratitude journals or gratitude walks and other exercises) can awaken the body, clear the mind, overcome apathy and confusion and help get the person going.  It is so rich and rewarding to see light bulbs go off; people start breaking out of the vicious cycle, open up and deal with their demons and start to create the life they dream of.

Thank you for reading.  [subscribe2]

Brenda Rogers

With over 25 years experience as a corporate trainer, naturopath, yoga teacher and wise woman educator, Brenda is the head clinician and coach at Quintessence Health.

"A healthy mind and body simply ensures you have the time and energy to fully express and manifest your life’s purpose – it facilitates the unfolding of joy."

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