How you feel while pursuing your goals involves more than just how you're moving toward or away from them: there's a vertical dimension, too. Exploring the third dimension of your goals allows you to fine-tune your assessment of what matters to you, and maybe even discover motivations you aren't aware of.
Articles tagged with "goal-setting"
So far, we've covered how the forces of aversion and attraction affect your goal achievement. Now, we discuss why your pace of progress is incredibly important to how you feel about the process, and sets the stage for what happens next. If you think that setting a goal and then achieving it within your desired timeframe will make you happy, then you may be in for a surprise.
If you’ve ever felt bored, you know how it feels to want things to be different than they are, but not in what way, exactly. It’s an unpleasant feeling, and boredom is just a temporary state. When it comes to whole dimensions of your life—like social or career concerns, for instance—just knowing what you don’t want, but not what you do want, can cause you big problems. Free-floating aversions can scavenge energy and feelings of wellbeing in multiple ways, and tending to them can yield widespread benefits.
Setting and achieving goals seems straightforward enough in principle: figure out what you’d like to have or what kind of person you’d like to be, and then make concerted effort in that direction until you get there. But this oversimplification can set you up for self-blame when you fall short. There's more to achievement than perseverance and brute force. Here we begin to take a closer look at some of the variables that affect your ability to get where you want to be.
If aliens are studying us by monitoring the internet, then they have surely concluded two things: humans have an insatiable appetite for numbered lists and images of small animals. The prevalence of critters is no mystery: they’re cute. Lists of things you find online are meant to attract and hold your attention, and they can be fun and informative indeed. But they can also reinforce unhealthy habits of behavior and mind and otherwise impede your having long-term happiness.
Mindfulness meditation can seem full of riddles. If practicing it involves cultivating acceptance of the way things are, then why would I practice in the first place? Isn't trying to change myself diametrically opposed to mindfulness practice? And if I do practice, how am I supposed to feel better if I'm not supposed to strive for change? Read on, and we'll try to clear it up for you.
You construct your narrative identity in much the same way as you consume a movie: more or less passively assimilating each experience into your story—unless something really unexpected happens. Being knocked completely off your feet, rather than just off balance, forces you to consider fresh interpretations and provides an opportunity to create big chunks of meaning in your life.
If you avoid change altogether, you are divorcing yourself from a natural law and the rich, embodied experience of your life, as uncomfortable as it may feel sometimes. On the other hand, if you're consumed by the pursuit of the new and fresh, then it’s hard to ever feel grounded and settled enough to operate from the soft, wise, core part of yourself that emerges when you feel safe. So, how can you have it both ways? The trout thrives by embracing uncertainty and changing circumstances, but it's smart about how it approaches them. It operates from a safe place while staying alert for passing opportunities for growth and survival. How about you?
When you're trying to change a compulsive behavior, do you change your life so that the behavior doesn't fit anymore? Or do you try for as much stability as possible? Yes and no, to both.
Despite your best intentions, an attempt to let go of an addiction or change another compulsive behavior pattern often includes relapse at some point. People usually talk about relapse within the context of substance addiction, but many of the same challenges exist in any type of long-term behavior modification effort. Your compulsive behavior can take on the character of a monolithic adversary, but you'll see it's really neither of those things if you lean in for a closer look.