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I deserve everything I dream. Go big. My playing small does not serve the world.
After having a very inspiring friend visit me this week, I am reminded of the above mantra. I am here, you are here, to do something BIG. What is it exactly? Well, I am not sure yet. I have some longer term goals that I can say truly light me up, but they are longer term. It’s great to have a mantra to guide and motivate you towards reaching a goal. It carries the vibration of excitement and an inspiring energy which reminds you that your dreams exist to be reached. But how? How in the short term, or in the now, can we take steps to reach our dreams? And why don’t we all just go full throttle ahead towards our dreams?
Sometimes the fear of not reaching our dreams inhibits our action. We can be paralyzed by the daunting realization of the many hurdles that stand between us and our dreams. Here is what I am doing, and I would love for you to join me.
Practice doing something this week that takes you one step closer towards reaching your dreams. These tasks are meant to be somewhat uncomfortable. You will be challenged. Finding the time to get started might mean staying up late or waking up early to get real and put words on paper about what your dream looks like and what avenues you can take to get there. It might mean a social media post on where you are headed to put the word out into the Universe. It might be a goal-focused conversation with your partner or best friend. The question is how do we begin today, if we haven’t given thought to our dreams? The answer, we set goals! Let’s move intentionally through our day, our week, to take active steps towards our goals. You can post-it note your mantras and repeat them until the cows come home, that won’t be enough. Dreams don’t work unless you do. Mental and physical sweat is a prerequisite to living your dream.
My BIG goal is to write a book, one day. I always timeline it as one day. Time stamping such a large goal is frightening. But as I say in yoga class, why not today? We never know how long our journey will be, why put anything off? There are plenty of action steps I can take today that are even more intimidating than the larger goal itself of writing a book. Nonetheless, I’ve timestamped my biggie as a 5-year goal!
I got really real this week and wrote/updated my 1-5-10-20-year goals. Today my dreams are bigger than my fears, and my actions are louder than my words. Rather than simply write and talk about my goals, I am going to be about them. I am committed to daily writing of some sort. I am committed to a daily sweat too. Enter: #autumnalgoals ...
I will chronicle my journey on my instagram account @lauramaryyoga. If you are really into vision and goals work, I have a separate instagram account dedicated to these visiongrams @lauramary_creates.
Last year, I was so singularly focused on rehabbing and healing my ankle, I lost sight of my why. Why am I here? What am I here to do? What is my purpose? I got caught up in thinking why me? I was thinking about how frustrating it was that this happened to me. I forgot that life doesn’t happen to you but for you. I keep coming back to this idea, it has been pivotal for me on the daily. When I notice myself feeling like a victim, I come back to my bigger WHY and remember that life happens for me not to me. I have definitely been challenged over the last year and I’ve grown stronger because of it. I can't lose sight of the fact that I've also reached some big goals over the last year (Wanderlust, Lululemon, Go Deeper Yoga Retreat, 200-Hour Teacher Training Curriculum, Ambassadorships). I feel inspired to continue growing.
As it turns out, my graduate school thesis was on the topic of exercise motivation and life goals. Now, in full circle, my current work life involves exercise (yoga) and life goals (my vision and goals work). It is this rocking combo of physical and mental sweat that lights me up. My thesis findings revealed that across all subgroups there was a relationship between intrinsic motivation and the perceived importance of physical fitness. Furthermore, within the subgroup of “active" participants (university athletes, club sport, and intramural) there were higher intrinsic aspirations compared to the ”non-active” participants. Intrinsic aspirations were consistent with life goals and motivation. When compared to all other motivation subgroups, the importance of physical fitness had the highest correlation to life goals.
Why does this all matter? The relationship is important as we are all seeking fulfilling lives with high levels of well-being and happiness. Higher levels of well- being are demonstrated amongst individuals who report goals related to self- acceptance, affiliation, community feeling, and physical fitness; Conversely, low levels of well-being and happiness are found for individuals whose goal orientations are focused on financial success, attractiveness, and popularity (Kasser, Ryan, & Schmuck, 2001; Sheldon et al., 2004). Go figure, it’s intuitive, we already know all of this so let’s translate it to action.
Practice working out to work in! Sweat every day, physically and mentally. The two are inextricably linked. Write your goals down. Rock your #autumnalgoals and watch this year as they begin to happen for you!
Photograph by Lululemon, Chelsea Abril
PS- The scar you see on my right ankle in the photo above reminds me...life happens for you.