Category Archives: Review

Year End Reflections Get Specific about the Sticking Points

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stuck_in_the_Mud,_Hull_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1175164.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stuck_in_the_Mud,_Hull_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1175164.jpg

 

This weekend we were thinking about the goals and resolutions that we didn’t touch this whole year.  We’ve probably had a few insights that helped us understand ourselves a little better.

If you’re anything like me, you probably discovered that some of your goals you took on because you wanted to make someone happy and yet other goals were thrust upon you.  You may have also noticed that with some of the goals, “your eyes were bigger than your stomach” meaning that these goals might be nice to strive for in a perfect world, but in your world it just ain’t happenin’.  Then there are those goals that are more about proving yourself to someone….

It’s fine to put these goals to the side right now and not expect oursleves to even think about them, much less do anything about them, for the next year or two.  Some of them–such as the ones motivated by other people–are just fine to completely, totally, and permanently cross off our list.

https://pixabay.com/en/race-aircraft-sky-clouds-92193/
https://pixabay.com/en/race-aircraft-sky-clouds-92193/

Let’s concentrate on the goals that we haven’t touched since we wrote them down last January yet we reallyreallyreally want to achieve them.

We’re intimidated (“I can’t…”), overwhelmed (“They’re too much…”), and frightened (“What if…?!”) by them.  But we can’t let them go because they won’t let us go!  And we would be really sad if we did let them go and they actually left us.

What’s holding us back?  Are we afraid of what others’ will think, whether “those others” are friends and loved ones or society in general?  Are you concerned that you don’t have the specialized knowledge or skills needed to go for your dreams?  Are you worried about leaving what’s comfortable and familiar, even though it isn’t a good fit for you, and step out into the unknown toward your dreams?

Get really clear on all the sticking points for these goals–be specific!  Tomorrow we’re going to talk a little more about them.

Good for you for hanging in there with me in doing this work.  It’s hard stuff and you’re finding your way through.  Yay!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

 

 

 

Year End Reflections: Don’t Let Fear Stop You from Asking Questions

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg

 

It’s very hard to achieve goals if you have the emergency brake on, and the emergency brake is fear. ~Tim Ferriss

 

Sometimes, when we’re doing the work of self-evaluation–asking ourselves deep questions like we’ve been doing since Friday’s post–our fears and worries can be awakened. It’s important to keep them in perspective so that we aren’t derailed and stopped in our forward progress.

When we’re fearful we pull back, slow down, and oftentimes we come to a halt. While fear can be helpful in alerting us to dangerous situations, we can’t respond to all fears in the same way.

Some fears are reasonable and it’s right to slow down, take a close look at them, and come up with a plan of how to handle them. For instance, fears of poverty can lead us to set up a savings program, pay off all our debt, and devise a plan that allows us to live within our means.

Other fears, which are most of them, are ones that we can do nothing about and they distract us from important work that will get us toward our goals. An example of an unhelpful fear is from my own life.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=33514&picture=tree-and-storm-2
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=33514&picture=tree-and-storm-2

When my daughter was a young child, it seemed to me that the world was teetering on the brink of total obliteration. I remember being so worried and upset and questioning why I brought a beautiful and innocent child into such a horrible world.

One day my fears were particularly strong and terrifying. As my daughter napped, I quickly walked to the end of the driveway to get the mail, my mind swirling and terrorizing me with fears. I remember standing at my mailbox and feeling the sun shining on my shoulders, warming me. That was enough to make me realize that the day was one of those beautiful early spring days. The sun was shining, the sky was a clear and brilliant blue. The trees were beginning to bud, birds were singing, and crocuses and other early spring flowers were blooming. It occurred to me that right then at that moment, I and my daughter and my family were okay. We were not facing any immanent threats; my husband and I worked in jobs that paid us enough to have food on the table and to have a roof over our heads each day. Overall, we were okay!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainbows.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainbows.jpg

While this technique didn’t banish all my fears, over the years it’s helped me put my worries and fears in perspective and loosen their grip on me so that I could continue moving forward.

Feel free to use this technique of realizing that in this moment, you are just fine. This will help you keep your fears at bay so that you can take the next step, even a teensy tiny one.

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Year End Reflections: A Poem about the Questions We Ask Ourselves

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Twain,_New_Hampshire,_1905.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Twain,_New_Hampshire,_1905.JPG

 

In yesterday’s post we talked about asking ourselves questions. I came across this poem about this very same topic and I thought you’d be interested in it.

 

Questions Before Dark
by Jeanne Lohmann

Day ends, and before sleep
when the sky dies down, consider
your altered state: has this day
changed you? Are the corners
sharper or rounded off? Did you
live with death? Make decisions
that quieted? Find one clear word
that fit? At the sun’s midpoint
did you notice a pitch of absence,
bewilderment that invites
the possible? What did you learn
from things you dropped and picked up
and dropped again? Did you set a straw
parallel to the river, let the flow
carry you downstream?

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the poem and that it inspired you to think a little deeper about your life.

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Year End Reflections: Ask Yourself Questions!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Pipo_Think_03.svg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Pipo_Think_03.svg

 

We’ve been talking about the third category goals and resolutions all week. These are the ones that we haven’t even looked at, much less started to work on, since last January. We’re getting to the bottom of why we’ve neglected them; this work will guide us toward goals and resolutions that are more congruent with what makes us happy–what will give our life meaning and bring us joy.

The weekend is coming up and it’s the perfect time to ask yourself questions about your goals and resolutions. Mull over the questions so you can get good answers–not just the surface ones. When answers come, dig a little deeper, go below the surface to discover what’s really going on–the engine that’s driving it.

Keep asking yourself:

~Why don’t you like to do a particular thing?

~Why DO you like to do a certain thing?

~Why doesn’t that goal you put on your list no longer interest you?

~Why are you dragging your feet on beginning to work on a goal that you say you really and truly want?

~What time of day are you the most energetic, clear-headed, and enthusiastic?

~What makes you unhappy? Why? Why are you allowing it to upset you?

~What makes you happy? Why aren’t you doing more of that?

 

I’m sure you’ll think of other questions to ask yourself–go for it!

 

Keep asking, keep digging! And keep track of your answers! Either dictate them into a voice recorder or voice-to-text app, or use good old-fashioned pen and paper. Capture your thoughts so you can refer to them later on this month as well as throughout next year. They’ll keep you on track doing things that make you happy, and that’s the basis of a rich, deeply meaningful, joy-filled life.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Pipo_WIN.svg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Pipo_WIN.svg

You can do this, I know you can!

REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE YOURSELF FOR DOING THIS WORK.  WooHoo!  Go YOU!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Year End Reflections: Common Threads Throughout All Categories

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Pipo_Magnifying.svg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Pipo_Magnifying.svg

 

We’re coming to the end of evaluating our goals and resolutions for 2016. This week we’ve been focusing on the third category and taking it in little baby steps.

Yesterday we looked for common threads in goals and resolutions in the third category. Today let’s take a look at these threads in relation to the goals and resolutions in the other categories–the first category with the goals we’ve accomplished and the second category with the goals we’re still working on. Do you notice common threads running through all three categories?

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=56311&picture=woman-with-magnifying-glass
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=56311&picture=woman-with-magnifying-glass

Look for positive common threads as well as the unhelpful ones. What I mean by this is, for example, a positive common thread might be that you gravitate toward activities and projects having to do with animals. Your good at them and you complete all the task, projects, and goals associated with animals–even the toughest jobs. Or, you may notice that you do your best thinking and best work early in the morning or in the evening after your family has gone to bed.

An example of an unhelpful thread might be that drag your feet on the goals and resolutions that are influenced by others. Or, you may notice that you’re great at coming up with ideas and the plans for them but you are really bad at following through to completion.

Spend time with this work because it’s shining light on the truth about yourself. Once you understand what makes you tick, then you can alter your goals and resolutions–and the tasks needed to achieve them–so that everything is more in line with what works best for you.

THERE’S NO JUDGEMENT WITH DOING THIS WORK!! There is no right or wrong; no good or bad. It’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for you so that you can live a meaningful, happy, and fulfilling life.

Keep going; you’re doing GREAT!

And remember to treat yourself TODAY for doing this work!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Year End Reflections: Common Threads in the Third Category

https://pixabay.com/en/rope-knitting-dew-cord-986616/
https://pixabay.com/en/rope-knitting-dew-cord-986616/

 

Yesterday we separated our Third Category goals and resolutions–the ones that are not only undone but untouched–into three groups. The first group has those goals and resolutions that might have seemed like a good idea when you wrote them but, on second thought, you realize you have absolutely no desire to achieve them. The second group contains those goals and resolutions that were inspired by someone else, whether it was a loved one or friend, or even society or the daily advertising messages we’re subjected to. The third group has those goals and resolutions that we really and truly want to achieve but yet we can’t seem to find the energy, time, or nerve to get going on them.

Today, let’s take another look at these groupings and determine if there are any common threads running through them. For instance, perhaps you absolutely love the outdoors and enjoy being physically active but most of the goals in the third group deal with working in an office.

Try to find as many threads as you can. For instance, using the example above, not only are your goals in this group centered around working in an office but also working alone–and you happen to be a people person who’s energized and invigorated by interchanging with others!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_Party_Dancing_Girl_Silhouette.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_Party_Dancing_Girl_Silhouette.jpg

Okay, that’s it for today! Remember, we’re taking this in baby steps so we don’t become overwhelmed or discouraged. We want to make sure we keep going with this work. We need to find that bread crumb trail to our true selves!

Take time today to celebrate yourself for doing this work. It can be tough so we need to reward ourselves for taking even the teeniest tiniest steps.

WooHoo! You’re doing it! You ROCK!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Year End Reflections: Why Did We Ignore the Third Category Goals?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fernglas(alt).JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fernglas(alt).JPG

 

Yesterday we did a quick look at our third category goals and resolutions and gathered them all together on one list.

Today, let’s take a closer look at each goal and resolution and figure out why we ignored them.

Are they things that seemed like a good idea at the time but now that you think about it, you really have no interest in them at all? For instance, perhaps you joined a garden club because you love flowers and trees but yet the thought of digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, and the like, has absolutely no appeal to you at all.

Are they goals and resolutions that you wrote down because you were influenced by someone else’s choices, desires, and goals? For instance, perhaps you wanted to please a loved one or a teacher, coach, or mentor? Or maybe they’re goals and resolutions that you think you’re “supposed to” want. As an example, perhaps you’ve been living in an apartment and you’re doing well in your job so you think it’s high time you buy a house or a condo. You see that others of your age group and income level are doing it so you think you should, too. But yet you travel a lot for business and you want your weekends free for getting together with friends or for pursuing activities and interests you enjoy.

Or perhaps you find that these are goals and resolutions that you truly want but yet you just can’t seem to get going on them. I’ll use my example of the landscaping at my home. I need to redo it and I work on it a little bit each year, but it isn’t enough. I need to do more and I know I need to do more–make this more of a priority. But yet I keep dragging my feet over it!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mirepoix_on_cutting_board.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mirepoix_on_cutting_board.jpg

Put each of your goals and resolutions into a group: the first is for those that seemed like a good idea but, really, you honestly have no interest in them; the second group is for those goals and resolutions that were influenced by someone else–family, friends, mentors, society, advertising, etc.; the third group is for those that you really want to achieve but yet you just can’t seem to get going on.

That’s it for today!

We’ll take a closer look at each group in the upcoming days.

Now, though, let’s celebrate! This can be tough work emotionally and we need to celebrate ourselves for looking at and thinking about these goals and resolutions. As I’ve said before, this work is essential in helping us find the breadcrumb trail to our heart’s desires.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VanesaMallory.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VanesaMallory.jpg

WooHoo! You’re doing GREAT!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren