“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too” – Paulo Coelho
Mark Wahlberg’s key to success involves a 2:30am start, a 95-minute workout, a Cryo Chamber session, an additional workout and a number of meetings each day. Whilst this may work for him, this simply isn’t plausible for many people with a full-time job or other commitments. The good news is that improving ourselves and our future doesn’t always require such intense methods. That next stage in our lives just might be closer than we think.
Find your Why
We need to enjoy what we do. It’s basic, yes, but in order to make a change we have to find our ‘why’. Simon Sinek, author of the book Find Your Why: A Practical Guide For Finding Purpose For You And Your Team, writes it is only when we understand our ‘why’ that we become more capable of pursuing the things that gives us fulfilment.
Some things to consider when we are finding our ‘why’ include:
- What is important?
- What are we passionate about?
- What are we good at?
- What are our goals?
Whatever our ‘why’ is, it will be the thing that we will use to justify to ourself why we do the things we do and lead the life we do. There are an endless number of ways to achieve this, we just have to find the one that works best for us.
Investing in Ourselves
In order to thrive, we have to invest in ourselves. It doesn’t mean we are selfish, it’s actually vital. It is one of the most powerful and invigorating things that we can do. By investing in ourselves, it gives us the chance to truly explore our capabilities and boundaries. To invest in ourselves effectively, we need to start by creating some SMART goals. We start by thinking about what it is exactly that we want to achieve. Vague goals result in a level of uncertainty that may hinder progress. ‘Feeling good’ as a goal may consist of going for a walk, twice a week, in our most comfortable and colourful apparel, like Brío Soul’s sustainably manufactured athletic apparel line. As a result, we know exactly what we need to do and so it’s important to find a way to evaluate this progress.
It can be difficult to see progress when we have a large goal. We can overcome this by having small and measurable milestones that allow for us to truly see progress. Rather than saying ‘I want to run far’, instead, look at potential distances, routes, or even a pace that we want to aim for (specific and measurable). That being said, ensure that what we're trying to achieve is reasonable within your given time frame (achievable and time-based). It’s cliché, but Rome wasn’t built in a day; progress may take 6 months, a year, 2 years - and that’s okay. It's important not to put too much pressure on ourselves.
When it comes to creating meaningful goals, we need to ensure that they align with our values. Make sure that what we are trying to achieve is important to us. There are many societal goals that we’re ‘supposed’ to achieve, but if they’re not the priority, don’t set those goals. ‘Running a marathon to be beach body ready’ can instead be changed to ‘I want to feel happy and content after completing a morning walk with someone I care about’. This then gives us a sense of achievement, whilst simultaneously providing you with a positive interaction that will improve mood.
It can be hard at times, but it is vital to make the choice to allocate time to achieving goals that make ourselves happy.
It is important to note that personal growth cannot always be measured empirically. Progress can be as simple as waking up in the morning and trying something new or something we’ve not done in a while! This could be completing a yoga session before we start our day, or an 80s themed fitness workout after work. With that said, it is vital that we stay committed to our progress in order to achieve fulfillment. Doing something for a few weeks and then stopping is probably not going to help us find our ‘why’. This is not to say that goals can’t change and evolve, but it is important to stay consistent, diligent and focused.
Where do we want to be in 6 months from now?
We should take a moment to consider where we want to be in 6 months from now. As humans, we like to stay within our comfort zones and have our routines remain consistent. The potential danger with this is the absence of progress. To make change we don’t have to upheave our entire life, move halfway across the world or change our name. We can, if that would make us happy, but it isn’t necessary. We may decide that 6 months from now that we want to adjust our routine so we wake up at 7am and are asleep by 10pm. This is a simple goal but could have a huge impact overall.
Alternatively, we may want to make more conscious choices in our shopping. We don’t have to change up all of our products at once, just start with doing research into businesses that we purchase from. Focus on it one product at a time; look for companies that work with local businesses and charities, or ones that ensure their materials are ethically sourced. This can then be applied to an increasing number of items in our lives. Whatever we decide to do, we need to set a plan and stick to it. If we don’t make change, a 6-month goal will always be 6 months away.
Unless you’re planning on starring in Lone Survivor or Ted, we shouldn’t be too concerned about the fact that we aren’t up at 2:30am every morning like Mark Wahlberg. The commitment to our goals and progress is what is most important. How quickly we achieve our goals, or how fast we make progress is entirely up to us! Whatever makes us happiest is what is most important - It’s our life to live!
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