When goals are backed by misguided intentions, they often feel quite laborious. Why is it, do you suppose, so many of us "fail" at keeping our New Year's resolutions? Inspired by misguided intent, lacking in structure and purpose, goals can feel like chores. Yet another obligation that closer examination likely reveals you never really wanted to accomplish in the first place!
Intentionis at the heart of everything. When the heart is right, the goals and purpose are true, and motivation to accomplish them comes with ease. The trick is not to forget the intent! We've equated intent to the hazy cloud from whichgoalsform. Sometimes it takes looking at our goals through that hazy filter to stay motivated and continue down the path.
This hazy filter on life softens our perspective. We often view our loved ones through this lens, remembering their hearts are pure, intentions are good, and that we love them. With this, it is easier to forgive when needed, to give aid with loving hands and a caring heart. We see the best, because that is what we are looking for.
Bringing a sense of romance to your goals allows you to practice treating yourself in this kind and attentive way. You are reminded that your intentions are good, you find new things to appreciate about yourself, and you sometimes learn how to change your perspective. You learn to forgive when you fall, provide relief to areas in which you find weakness, amusement in the wobbles and imperfections. It is important to look for the best in ourselves and find self-acceptance. Without this, it is easy to get hung up in our own imperfections and lose the path to reaching our goals.
The hallmarks of romance are love, compassion, attentiveness, passion and forgiveness. These are the elements that you need to infuse into your goals. Let's imagine our goal is to practice yoga three times this week, and infuse this goal with romance.
Love: when you ask yourself 'why am I doing this again?' The answer needs to be a reminder of your originalintent. If the intent is to assist your journey on a positive, nurturing path, a reminder of this is bound to help keep you motivated! 'Why am I doing this again? Because I want to feel more flexible and I love how I feel when I move through this sequence!'
Compassion: UGH! Something has come up, and you are not going to be able to fit that practice in today. Darn it! “I'm sooo.....” No. You're not. Take a breath. It's not going to happen as you planned. Smile. “That's OK, self! We can move a few things around and fit it in another time, and we'll enjoy it that much more, because we had to let it go today.” The practice in this moment, is letting go. See? You're still practicing yoga - it's justoff the mattoday.
Attentiveness: You're tired. You don't want to get up and unroll your mat. Your back hurts, you have a headache. You're worried about that deadline you may not meet. How easy it would be to skip that practice and press on with everything else! But that may not be the most loving choice you can make. Think about how you can tailor your practice to benefit you most in this moment. Whatsequencewill refresh you? What will ease the tension in yourback? What might help yourheadacheWhat will help youfocus, so that you can work more effectively to meet that deadline? When you are attentive to your needs, and strategize how your goals can assist you in meeting your needs, it becomes much easier to keep striving to attain them all.
Passion: Heat! Fire! Go for it! Remember, you are going for something you love! Ignite that passion for your goal. While it is important to be attentive along the way, keep one eye on the prize! Think about the feeling of attaining your goal, and use that to fuel your drive to keep striving for it.
Forgiveness: Oh... that practice did not go well at all. Distracted, interrupted, fell over...It's OK. It's fine! That won't be the last time you practice, right? Relax, smile! All you had to do to accomplish your goal was get on your mat, and you did! No one ever said your practice would be perfect, what would you learn if it was? Find the lesson, and be appreciative for that. It will better your journey and strengthen you as much as any other practice ever will. Maybe more.
Don't forget to romance your goals; they will love you for it.