Sunday, November 9, 2014

Reasonable Goal Setting Pt.2 - Clarity

When I began my series of posts on reasonable goal setting, I intended to write post a seemed like a reasonable goal, correct?

Then life kicked in...and I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean that in a wonderful way! I had a new article for The Mother Magazine to wrap up, as well as coursework for college class and all the normal things such as taking care of home, work requirements, preparing for coming winter, and football practice.

Gathering kindlin for firestarting!
So I had to reassess this goal! Is it unreasonable? Not at all! However, Saturday ends my college courses until January (whew!) and so I'll be able to stay more on task with the series. Which I'm very excited about for many reasons, including contribution by Mari of SaimaaLife.

I thought a lot about this series, and how I began it, with the story of my cards. It was a real release to write that post and admit that, in many ways, that goal was someone else's dream, or rather, a dream fueled by someone else's expectations.

There have been many times in my life I've had to 'wake up' from dreams fueled by someone else's expectations.
  • The expectations my parents had for me
  • The expectations my teachers had for me
  • The expectations my friends had for me
  • The expectations men I loved had for me
  • The expectations family members had for me
There are many reasons for why I came under the spell of other's expectations off and on over the years, but more often than not it was self-doubt - believing that others, especially my elders, knew more about what was best for me than I did.

And one of the most freeing things I ever did for myself was learn to break that unhealthy thought pattern, and be clear in my mind about what it was that I truly wanted. Mari has written about this extensively in Saimaalife.

"I think it all starts with clarifying to yourself what are the things that are the most meaningful in your life at the moment," says Mari. "After that we should carefully think are we using our precious time for those things or for some other not so meaningful things? I think this is something you have to learn and do on a daily basis, over and over again, because it's very easy to get distracted."

Like a spider weaving a web, I created situations that were good and productive, but not really what I wanted, because I got distracted by the expectations of others. It took time and living to realize that what I wanted might be different, or even polar opposite, from what I had been encouraged to believe was best for me. As Mari says, it starts with clarifying what is most meaningful in our lives at the moment.

Stop and think about that. In this moment, what is most precious, most meaningful to you? And don't be afraid to be honest with yourself! You might find this to be a difficult question to answer if you've never actually stopped and considered it. And many of us, in the desire to please our parents, families, and loved ones (a desire that begins in early childhood) have never actually stopped and thought long and hard about what we actually want, and need, for our happiness and well-being.

In Mari's series, 365 Ways to Wellbeing, she addresses this in question 3 - How can I find the things that mean the most to me? The answer is provided by a listing of posts that I encourage you to visit; there is a wealth of insight and inspiration in all.  However, she sums it up in this following phrase -  "Finding the connection to myself and spending time in a place where I´m as free as possible from all the expectations and cultural pressures that prevent me from hearing and recognizing my voice."

Finding our voice is the awakening to finding the clarity that allows us to finally focus on what we want. In our homes, in our lives, in our careers, in our daily activities, in our relations with our children, family, and loved ones. No goal is more worthy than another; a desire for more time in nature is not a lesser goal than the desire to change careers. 

Last weekend a friend dropped by to show me some yarn she had purchased at SAFF, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, held yearly in the cozy mountain town of Fletcher, NC, about 2 hours north of my home. As I held the soft, beautiful skein of alpaca fiber, hand spun and dyed, I knew that there was something about my future linked to the feeling of home it gave me. A dream I had long ago was stirring again - a genuine, authentic dream that I had stepped away from almost two decades ago. And while being in the moment is so, so important, having clear goals and a long-term ideas of  how to reach your goals are just as important.

My garden - truly one of my own, authentic dreams!
For setting reasonable goals, clarity is essential. Stay tuned for pt. 3 in this series, coming - hmmmm - let's say in two weeks!

With love, readers!

1 comment:

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife said...

Expectations of others...Yep, a familiar topic to me :) I remember how surprised I was when I started to think about that topic. HOW MUCH there are all kinds of expectations ALL THE TIME around us. When I realized that I also realized that it´s only natural to find it difficult to recognize your OWN VOICE among them. Dreams and thoughts that are really your own ones and nobody else`s. It´s not easy but it IS possible. And it´s also so so important for your own wellbeing and happiness to learn to separate other people´s expectations and your own thoughts. It needs a lot of work but it has been so rewarding to me to notice that it really is possible. And that when you´ll become more skillful in it, it also gets easier to hear your own voice and also act according to that :) Thank you Amy for your great post!