About a year ago, I was in a pretty bad place. I was really struggling with the fact that my life seemed to be crumbling down around my ankles. There were so many aspects of my life that I wanted and NEEDED to change, but I had no idea how to go about it. God answered my fervored prayers in this endeavor. No sooner did everything start to go to hell in a handbasket when amazing opportunities started to pop up. One of them was access to a wellness coach.
A local woman was completing her training to become a wellness coach and was looking for folks to work with… For free! Immediately, I knew that I wanted and needed to work with her. I was pretty desperate and would grasp any helping hand put in my path. I was all too happy to be a guinea pig! Kristin was the answer to prayer in more ways than one… I will forever be grateful for her presence in my life and the skills she taught me.
Upon our first meeting, she asked me to envision the life I wanted to have. What kinds of things would I be doing? What would be different from what I’m doing now? How would I feel physically, mentally and emotionally? From there, we worked our way backward, creating long, mid and short-term goals. For me, this was crucial. After a time of any effort to address it, I had always taken one look at the overwhelming amount of weight I have to lose and think, “I just can’t do it, it’s too much, it will take too long.” Then put my head back in the sand, hoping it would go away. (-That never worked, by the way.) However, by breaking goals down into much more manageable chunks, I was able to see how ALL of my goals could and would be achieved. I committed to these goals with enthusiasm and we accessed my progress as we went along. With Kristin’s never ending encouragement, I was able to gain some pretty significant ground. This continued, past the time that she finished her certification, until my life was actually in crisis.
Now some people might think, “Wait a minute! I thought she was helping you… How did you end up in crisis?” For now, I’ll just say that the crisis was a long time in coming. My work with Kristin helped me to have the strength and courage I needed to make some very difficult and painful decisions, empowering me to take action where action was needed. She helped me through the most critical time, when I needed support the most. Fortunately for me, Kristin has taught me a life skill: How to think clearly about and set goals that are realistic. Unfortunately, I let myself get derailed during my time of crisis.
Fast forward eight months and I am grateful to be in a better place. God has shown me, through His grace and mercy, the many ways in which I am blessed. I still have a long journey ahead of me, but possess some great skills to help me along the path. I hope to continue adding to my collection of tools as I encounter hurdles. I’ve recently become aware that there is one key to success that is missing. A tool that I must have in order to reach any goal I set. Accountability!
While I was meeting with Kristin, I would almost always complete my goals for the week because I didn’t want to disappoint her. I learned that I didn’t like disappointing myself either! It was a great self-confidence builder. Regrettably, when I stopped being accountable to Kristin, I found that it was far too easy to stop completing my lists because nobody would know the difference anyway. (In my therapist’s voice, I hear: “Ah, but YOU know the difference! Why doesn’t that seem to matter as much to you? What are you telling yourself here?”) You see, it is too easy to fall back in the pattern of putting my head in the sand and hoping it will all just disappear. Eventually, I let go of my short and medium term goals, leaving my long-term goals out to flap about in the breeze by themselves.
This week, I am going to recapture my long-term goals and set some new mid and short-term goals to help me achieve them. Then I’m going to be super brave and put them out here as a way to keep MYSELF accountable. I am coming to terms with the fact that while other people’s opinions matter to some extent, my goal shouldn’t be to please them. It should ultimately be to please God. Since I am solely accountable to Him, I need to be accountable to myself . As long as my goals are in line with what He wants for me, I believe He’ll bless them.
I’d like to challenge you to ask yourself, “What does my ideal life look and feel like? (NO LIMITS!) How does it differ from the life I’m leading today? What can I do to get to that ideal life?” Perhaps you’ll be inspired to make some goals to help you take action. If it does inspire YOU, I hope you’ll share that with me!