One Decision Away….Today.
So it’s the middle of January. How are those resolutions working for you? Full steam ahead and making it happen no matter what? Have you already given up? Maybe you haven’t yet started. Or maybe you just plain said, “forget about it” and resolved not to resolve anything this year. Either way, it’s all good. You’re right where you are supposed to be….today. And you are only ONE decision away today from growth or stagnation….movement or no movement….one result or another. Whether you are doing something or not, you are still getting a result!
We all have some kind of desires stirring in our minds and hearts for improvement, progress, success, something new or different. These desires are driven by our dreams, goals, quests, inner secrets, or prayerful meditations. Having a desire is the first step towards doing anything, whether it’s a conscious or subconscious.
Here are 4 keys to achieving your desires, whatever they might be for you.
- Own It. Set your heart and mind on something and then assume 100% responsibility for it. The desire doesn’t belong to someone or something else. It’s not someone else’s responsibility to make it happen, to motivate you, to get you to do it. Accept 100% responsibility for 100% of your actions towards your desire. Owning it prevents you from the blame game, whether you choose to blame someone else, the weather, your financial situation, or your dog. Owning it empowers you to be fully aware of every choice and every action you take or don’t take in relation to your desire and places it 100% in your court.
- Resolve….to be resolved. Having an inner resolve and determination towards your desire will motivate you when the chips are down. It’s in the quiet corners of your mind where the battles are fought when you face the choice to take actions, to procrastinate or let it go completely. This inner resolve is most powerful when it is a firm, strong, yet peaceful resolution to act. If your emotions toward your desire and the required actions are from a state of anxiety, guilt, stress, frustration or anger, you are setting yourself up for a short-lived attempt at getting what you want. These negative emotions will discourage you and convince you to give up, it’s not worth it, what’s the point, you won’t make it. So dump the negative emotions and when they appear, replace them quickly with a peaceful, grounded, and joyful emotion that moves you in the direction of your desire.
- Accept the PROCESS. Too often we want our desire immediately, don’t we? We want it right now. We don’t want to wait. We don’t want to work for it. We want immediate gratification and a magic wand to wave to go from point A to point B at the speed of thought. We want things this way because then we don’t have to be responsible for the blood, sweat and tears that come from working for it. We want to skip the sacrifices of time and effort and bypass the growth from being in the process. We tend to love the result we are striving for but we hate the process to get there! If you can exercise the wisdom to truly understand that the process is the necessary element to achieve your desire and if you can accept the process peacefully with full awareness, you will have unlocked a secret key to success. By accepting the process from point A to point B and then deciding to be peaceful and present within the process, you will eliminate much frustration and create conditions for real success. It’s when we get frustrated and discouraged from working the process that we quickly give up.
- One decision away….TODAY. This step is one of the most important. I have no doubt we tend to psych ourselves out when we attach a timeline to our goal and then focus on how long that time actually is. I think it’s important to assign realistic dates, when appropriate, to achieve goals because it provides a framework for accomplishing steps in the process of getting from point A to point B. Typically, though, when we set out to do something that will span a long period of time, we tend to get overwhelmed at how long it will take. And this psyches us out to the point where we get discouraged about the timeframe and the amount of work we have to do to achieve success.
So here’s the secret Step 4. It’s cliche’ but true. Approach your desire one day at a time. Stay in the present moment with the choices and actions required to achieve your dream. Today, in the present moment, is the ONLY time and place that you can take any action toward your goal. Let go of any guilt if you didn’t take any actions yesterday. That’s not important anymore. Stop thinking about all the actions you have to take tomorrow or over a period of time to get you there. If you can realize that the actions you take TODAY are the only ones that ever count, you will realize a powerful key to remaining in the process that brings you gently to your goal.
I want you to try the following technique and see if it works for you. Every day I want you to say this to yourself, out loud, if possible: “The single most important thing that I can do today is ……….”(fill in the blank with the action that is required for your desire). You might fill in the blank with: get to the gym, choose healthy foods and portions, spend x amount of time with someone, choose not to smoke, or whatever. Now, we all know that it might not be the most important thing if you compare it to loving your child or going to the hospital if you are sick, or whatever. This statement of resolve, however, empowers you to put the actions required for your goal in proper perspective to staying focused and active toward what you want. It creates a priority for present moment actions. It motivates you to take action TODAY.
Since I’ve been deployed over here in Afghanistan and with my 50th birthday coming up in February, one of my desires includes improving my physical health, strength, flexibility and appearance. I want to be in the best shape I’ve been in the last 10 years. I developed an exercise program that includes working out different body parts 6 days a week. The workouts are not easy. I sweat, huff and puff, get exhausted and sore. But I know what I want and own it, knowing that only I am 100% responsible for making it happen. I have a quiet, but firm resolve to achieve my goal. I accept the process that includes the work out and dieting on a consistent basis and I am happy to be between point A and point B. And almost every day, I tell myself that the most important thing I can do on that day is to get my butt in the gym and workout. The results are already being seen and felt and I am very excited about my progress. If I start to think to myself, “Damn, I gotta do this every week for the next year, “ then my workouts start to suck! It then becomes extremely easy to make the jump to, “Nah, I’ll skip the workout today.”
So I stay in the present. I choose not to worry about what I have to do for a week or a month or a year. I know that I am only one decision away from my dream….today.