Happy New Moon!
Today is a wonderful time to begin anew: to sit quietly, to reflect, and to set an intention. To support your intention being realized, I offer the following guide which I learned from listening to Lisa Lahey, founder of Minds at Work and co-author of Immunity to Change. (If you want to listen to Lisa Lahey’s interview, then please check out Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead podcast on November 21, 2022.)
In a study in which heart patients were told they would die if they did not change their lifestyles, researchers found that only one out of seven heart patients changed their habits. Why, especially when the stakes were so high, did people resist change? Lahey and her colleague Robert Kegan got curious and looked at the barriers to change as well as explored ways to overcome such barriers.
As Lahey shares in her interview, “Motivation is necessary but not sufficient” for change to occur. How many times have you set an intention or a goal, had a very strong desire to realize it, and then not succeed? If you are like me, then the answer is too many times to count. Clearly motivation, in and of itself, is not enough.
The missing component is the unacknowledged forces that are operating in the background, and which are preventing you from reaching your goals. Lahey calls these forces “unseen motivations” and states these forces are the default choices that you make when you are unaware they exist.
To begin the process of uncovering the unseen motivations at play, the first step is to name the goal or intention you wish to achieve.
Some pro tips for creating an intention or goal are:
- State the goal in the affirmative. Instead of, “I want to stop eating bad food.” Consider saying, “I want to eat vegetables at every meal.” Framing goals toward something opposed to moving away from something encourages change. The more specific you are the more obvious the necessary steps toward success will be.
- Create goals which are not dependent on other people. You have no control over what other people do or think. Identify goals which are completely dependent on your choices. Not only will this strategy increase the likelihood of success, it also will prevent you from putting your well-being into the hands of others.
After naming your goal or intention, rate the importance of the goal. In other words, if your goal is low on your priority list, then maybe it is not the right time for you to work toward achieving it. Get clear on why this goal is important to you. People are more likely to meet their goal if they are clear on why they want it.
The last step, for now, is to complete a self-inventory.
(My favorite gem from Lahey’s interview.) Ask yourself the following question: (The more honest your answer is the more likely you will achieve your goal.)
What are the things you do and don’t do that work against the goal you just named for yourself?
Not only does this question keep you accountable, this question also helps you identify what actions you need to take. A couple of pro tips when answering this question:
- Distinguish between behaviors you engage in and unintended consequences. In other words, focus your response on what you do opposed to what happens as a result of your actions.
- Focus on your behavior instead of your feelings. Feelings are important, and in this instance, distract you from identifying what actions prevent you from reaching your goals. (Don’t worry! You can focus on feelings later.)
After completing the self-inventory, notice how you feel.
What is it like to get clear on what is working for you and against you?
Does this practice help you make a plan for reaching your goal?
I hope you benefit from this practice. This practice is a sample of some of the tools and strategies you will find in the upcoming Shakti Stewardship Program. During the winter season, I will offer workshops that will introduce you to the three-month Shakti Stewardship Program which launches this April. Please stay tuned: more information is forthcoming.
In the meantime, I wish each and every one of you a restorative Thanksgiving holiday. I look forward to connecting with you next week during Makerspace Open Hours (December 2).
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.
Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.
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