It’s that time of year where everyone is setting new goals. It’s fresh. It’s exciting. And in about a month’s time, it will be disappointing. Why? You already have too many goals to accomplish any more.
We live in a goal driven society. We are constantly pushing people to do more. Why? We have been falsely led to believe that our accomplishments somehow derive our value.
The problem with doing more is we can only do so much. Plus, you can never actually do enough to prove your value since self worth comes from within. This makes the strategy of doing more doomed for failure. You then start to beat yourself up because you fail at doing enough. You are now in a vicious cycle of unworthiness.
What if you lived in a soul driven society? What if you slowed down to really listen to what is important to you and make choices from that place? What if you did what matters the most to you instead of just doing as much as possible?
It is time to break the cycle of unworthiness by only setting one goal this year of living a soul driven life. Stop doing so much and learn how to be again – to be with nature, your loved ones, and yourself. As Scott Strachan with Equus, an organization that does transformational work with the wisdom of horses, says “We are human beings. Not human doings.”
Here are a five simple ways to help you live a soul driven life:
1. Know where your energy goes. Make a list of all the different responsibilities you have and evaluate whether they are adding or detracting from your life. If something is zapping your energy it is time to make a change. Of course, there will be responsibilities you do not have a choice about such as parenting or working to pay the bills. However, you can choose how you parent and how you create your income. And, I suspect there will be many things you can reconsider. Look at your agreements with others and update them accordingly through an authentic and loving conversation.
2. Make space. Space allows you to turn off all the muddled messages you are getting from other people and really tune in to what is important – your own heart. If you can, take a few days to schedule time to yourself for reflection. A couple of my favorite places to do this are the wild flowers on the top of Powder Mountain in Utah or being immersed in the grandness of nature’s beauty at Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado. If taking a few days for yourself is not feasible yet, start with an hour in your calendar this week. Block the time off and keep that time sacred no matter what.
3. Be with nature. Nature slows us down allowing us to make choices from a purposeful place. I recently found myself at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado where I got to be one with nature. Nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, I strolled through the tranquil forest of pinyons and junipers to reflect on my life and gain clarity on what is important to me at this time. Use the power of nature to harness your own.
4. Tighten up your “to do” list. Make a list of all your current goals. Take the top five and cross off the rest. Consider the ones you cross off complete so you can focus on your energy on the ones that matter. Don’t worry. If the ones you cross off are important they will resurface when the time is right.
5. Say no. Now that you have been intentional about clarifying and choosing how you want to use your precious time, it is critical to keep your focus. You have to say no to the things that do not matter in order to have the time and energy to do what does matter. For some of you this may be challenging. Keep practicing and I promise it will get easier.
This year I encourage you break the cycle of unworthiness by moving from a goal driven life to a soul driven life. Give yourself space to listen to your own heart. Make time to be in nature to harness the power of your life. Know what matters to you and make choices with intention. Say no to distractions. Remind yourself you are worthy and see where that shift takes you and the trajectory of your life. The irony is you may find that more actually happens in your life because you are in flow with your soul.