You Can’t Lose
In December, we start to think about the past year, and what we have accomplished. Rather than think about what I have not achieved this year and line up the resolutions for the New Year, I thought I would think about what I am grateful for. I am posting some thoughts about what has worked this year, and the positive changes that resulted.
Good news: You can’t lose.
1. You can’t lose unless you give up.
One of the biggest changes I made this past year, was a simple one: just a small change in perspective. Maybe it’s getting older that did this, but I realized that as long as you are moving toward a goal, you can’t really fail. If you are not happy with the situation, you can make a change. As long as you don’t give up, you can keep working toward your goal.
2. You can change your goals.
Of course you can. Who’s going to stop you? The goal police? Go ahead, change your mind.
3. You can have many goals.
One way to be sure to see progress in your life is to have goals in different areas at the same time. If you are working towards health, work, creative and financial goals, you will have less chance of having everything looking bleak. For some, you will be just starting out, and for others, you will have made measurable progress. Make sure to focus on the progress at least as much as how much you have left to do!
4. You can have too many goals.
Too many things going at once can make life seem like a lot of work, and is a sure route to frustration and overwhelm. Stick with your most important values, and you will know when things are in balance. I have modeled my dog’s plan to focus on squeaky toys (fun), rest, socializing (his involves more sniffing), food, exercise and work (he’s retired, but still volunteers). This is working pretty well.
5. The end is the same for all of us, so enjoy the ride.
If you make sure you have some fun along the way, nothing is completely bad. I learned this the hard way. If you work all the time and expect happiness to flow from your job, you are at risk for some big ups and downs.
What did this perspective replace?
It’s hard to understand from where I stand today, but I once thought that if I worked hard, I would reach a state of success and happiness, and that I would then relax and coast through in this happy state for the rest of my life. It would be beautiful, like a graduation day or an award for hard work. I’m pretty sure this is what I was taught as a child. It was a direct path to stress and disappointment.