Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HowDoILoveMeCover.jpgOne more day of 2010. One more opportunity to think about how you want your life to change next year. People are thinking about fresh starts, big dreams, new beginnings, etc. As I said in my post about New Years Resolutions, the joy of hope can carry over the first few days, but dwindle fast as life goes back to its old ways. Clients come to me saying they can’t control it, that they don’t know how to get out of their ruts or make time for the things they looked to the New Year to make happen.

You can go from hopeful to hopeless in the blink of a negative incident or someone telling you why your dream is unrealistic.

One reason is we that we look to making big or dramatic changes–lose 25 pounds, make a lot more money, get into a deep, satisfying romantic relationship. All of those are wonderful goals but, they can take time. By nature we tend to be used to instant gratification, especially in this electronic age of so much at our fingertips. The New Year stimulates excitement about life becoming better. As the calendar goes further into January, you can feel discouraged if you still can’t fit into your old jeans or you’re more unhappy than ever with your tight budget.

The key to making 2011 a better year for you is to take small baby steps toward reaching your goals and feel the joy in each one.

Each little step you take gets you closer to what you want. Many spiritual leaders say that the goal isn’t as important as enjoying the journey to achievement. I agree! Often people get what they worked hard for and then feel a big void because the journey is over. Working towards goals can be as satisfying, or more, than actually doing it. I’m in heaven when I’m writing a book. I love reworking my content to be the best I can get it. Deadlines make my adrenalin rush in ways I love. Then I turn it in, my editor approves it, and I feel a bit lost for days.

You can appreciate the path to getting what you want if you choose to open your mind and change your perspective.

•    Get realistic. It can take years to lose a lot of weight or to become healthy enough on your own to attract healthy love or to work your way into the career you want. BUT, if you don’t take small steps and keep going, you will never get there. Instead, keep in mind what you want with patience, knowing that you’ll get there if you don’t stop steppin’!

•    Recognize all the small goals as accomplishments. You may not have a new job yet but if you’ve done something to improve your resume, take pleasure in that! It’s a step forward. You don’t even have to have the resume done. If you asked someone for help or did some research or hired a service, you’re moving forward. Appreciate every little step as progress.

•    Find the joy in each step. Negative emotions attract negative results; positive emotions attract positive results. If you can find the positive in every little step, and feel joy in knowing you’re making progress, you’re more likely to attract the resources to get what you want. When you feel happy just from taking a step, the next get easier and it keeps you going.

•    Understand that small steps lead to the destination. Often it’s hard to be patient enough to continue when progress is slow. Quitting takes less effort than continuing. But quitting also doesn’t feel good and assures you won’t meet our goals. One small step means one small step closer, even if it doesn’t feel like much. You may not see a difference in your body if you only lose a half pound each week. That’s why so many folks give up on losing weight. But a half pound loss each week means 26 pounds in a year. Small steps do add up!

•    Don’t let setbacks mean it’s over. Stuff happens. The economy takes a quick downturn. A vacation blows your diet. You get the flu and can’t take steps for 10 days. Stress makes you reach for a cigarette. The person you thought was “the one” turns out to be insincere, leaving you disillusioned. That doesn’t mean you should give up on achieving what you want. Finding ways to motivate yourself to get back on track, which feels empowering, feels better than wallowing in “Woe is me!”

•    Stay faithful. True faith helps you to wait for the right time to feel like you’re making progress and continue to put one baby step in front of the other, even if you don’t see any tangible results. When you trust that you have spiritual support, you get it! Worrying works against it happening. Allowing yourself to be guided keeps you at the right pace, even if it’s not the pace you’d like. When you accept that, patience to achieve is yours!

•    Be kind and loving to yourself on the road to a joyous new year. The more loving things you do for you, the more self-love you’ll have. The more self-love you have, the more you’ll be able to conquer all the roadblocks and stay on track. Self-love makes you want to take care of you more and increase your happiness.

As you turn the page on your 2011 calendar, think about what kind act you can do for you. And do it, then another! That’s why I have my 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge beginning on January 1st for Self-Love Month. Even if you do it in January, you can take it again any time. The more self-love you have, the more you’ll do to reach our goals.

Have patience! Your goals won’t happen on your schedule. They will happen when you’re ready. I’ve been wanting to do my self-love initiative and give my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways away for years. People thought I was just talking and would never make it happen. But I did, when the time was right! I left it to God to decide the right time and just kept the faith and gave myself lots of love. That allowed me to relax and keep baby stepping through the year!

And the time came–NOW! My self-love initiative is up and running with the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways is on the site for free. Start your year happily with a baby step toward loving yourself completely by doing kind things for you and taking baby steps toward the life you want!

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