We overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in three years. What do you want in three years? Are your goals about work, or relationships or health? Are you thinking big enough?
What do you want to have accomplished in three years?
Stop. What just popped into your head when you read that? What do you want to have accomplished in three years? That thought you just had. That’s it. That’s what you work on.
It doesn’t need to be particularly specific, but keep that goal in mind as we explore some ideas to make your goal a reality.
I was totally surprised to find that my three-year goal was that I wanted to recover some of my physical ability. Being a metaphysician, I don’t want to buy into the common idea that as we age our body becomes less effective. However, that’s hard because I live in a senior facility filled with walkers and stooped-over people on oxygen.
I work to see and feel my body as strong and supportive. But I have both inner and outer work to do and beliefs to change and things to learn. So I choose as my three-year goal that my body will be stronger than it is now.
What did you choose?
What would that look like?
What would that feel like?
You gotta have a plan
The first thing I realized was that I need to have a plan. A plan that I’ll stick to and improve on for three years – steps I’m willing to take, goals I truly want to achieve. I need to formulate a plan that’ll help me achieve the desired results.
You gotta have determination
You need to want this goal – a lot.
I have a friend who is sick. There’s stuff wrong with her but she is not helping. She’s not eating. She’s not moving her body. She’s not helping herself. This passiveness has been a pattern in her life. Not pushing through. Not taking charge of her own destiny.
I can’t help her. No one can. She is totally responsible for the outcome of this opportunity in her life.
As are we all.
What your life looks like now is a direct result of your choices and actions. What choices are you making in your life that are manifesting in what you see before you? What do you need to change – about yourself – about your actions? What choices will you make in order to achieve your three-year goal?
Make a plan you can follow
I gave this idea of a three-year goal a lot of thought because my natural tendency is to work my mind rather than move my body. So I had to create a plan I would follow, either through determination or trickery.
I choose the number 21. It takes 21 days to change a habit. I would do whatever form of movement I chose for 21 minutes. I don’t think I’m going to do 21 different forms of movement, but you get the picture.
Trick yourself. I can add 12 (the number 21 reversed) leg lifts every time I stand at my kitchen sink. I watch The View every day and for one 15-minute segment I will stretch and move. I walk each day but may count 210 steps or walk for 12 minutes. I could climb 21 steps 21 times. (Doubtful). There are 16 steps in the hall by my mailbox so even one trip up and down would be a positive move.
Dancing is a sneaky way to exercise. Turn on some music and sing and dance with great enthusiasm. Get creative. Sneak in small steps.
I have discovered that the most productive time to sneak in a new habit is during television commercials. When I use that time to move my body, during one hour I may get as much as 15 minutes of movement tucked in. I could also use commercial breaks to dust or put stuff away or tidy my kitchen.
Whether you sit in your chair and stretch, or get up and lift some weights, or take some other action toward your goal, look for the hidden down-time moments that are organically built into your day.
If my three-year goal was around relationship, I would work very hard on changing me.
If my three-year goal was focused on a project, I would mind-map broad steps, divide them into manageable segments and begin.
Listen to your inner voice
As I make these physical choices, I have to learn to listen to the messages of my body. I have to learn to give it what it needs in the form and amount that it needs. And I get to notice whose voice it is that says “do three more steps” and to ignore the voice that says “too hard.” They are both me, but I need to find the balance between pushing too hard so that I get discouraged and pushing just right so that I feel and see progress.
Check your progress
The only way I know to track my progress is to record my starting stats. Then I record my progress monthly. That progress may be in mental attitude, or in actual physical change. Decide upon the signals you can read that will let you become aware of your progress. Take time to reflect on this progress and make adjustments that will help you get more results.
I do a self-awareness check on my birthday. I check in with myself at the end of the year. I am also reflective at the time of the New Moon and at Full Moon. Pick what works for you but do record your progress so you can see it and you can tweak your plan.
Visualize your results every day
Each day in your quiet inner time, visualize how you will feel at the end of the three years when you have surpassed your own expectations. It’s awesome for me to remember the freedom my body used to afford me, the adventures we went on together. I want that back. When I visualize, I feel that way again and it inspires and motivates me. Your emotions are a better indicator of success than what things look like.
Allow room for change
Your goals may change as you change. As my body improves I may change my vision, my goals, even the action steps I choose.
What is your three-year vision? Will you begin working on it today? What’s your plan?
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