The New Year tends to inspire people to think of the future and what they want it to look like. It’s a time of year when we reflect, think of what was and wasn’t accomplished, and how we are going to conquer the upcoming days. Maybe you even prepare a mental to-do list each year of what you will do differently.
Then, come summer, you’ve strayed from your goals and waste time criticizing yourself for failing to stay focused.
Setting goals, making a plan, and even putting forth some resolutions can be easy. And yet, we often fall short of our “goals.” The reason might not be laziness or lack of ambition; it could be passion, or an absence of it, that is keeping you from reaching your goals.
The List of Importance
To have passion, it must be important to you. The subconscious can trick you into believing that you want or need to succeed at a task, obtain certain objects, or reach other goals. In reality, your heart and soul have little desire for these things.
For example, maybe your friends or co-workers have asked one too many times, “when are you getting a new car?” You’re content with driving a car that is paid off or isn’t the newest in the company parking lot. Your feelings may be telling you that buying a new car will create more stress, an unnecessary bill, or that you would prefer a trip to Fiji with that money. So what happens when you allow their suggestions to take over your subconscious and a list of goals are made without careful consideration? You are not happy, you have no passion, and goals fall to the side.
To determine if you have passion for your goals, follow these steps:
1. Use the soul questions often incorporated in meditation that Deepak speaks about.
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What is my Dharma?
- How can I serve?
Ask the questions without answering them. Allow them to stir around in the Universe; the answers will come back to you through various pathways. Don’t push or rush the process; it’s perfectly acceptable if you don’t know the answers to these questions by the first week of the New Year.
2. Begin a goals journal. In this journal, you can list your ideas, visions, and track accomplishments. This provides a passion boost by revisiting your own words, thoughts, and seeing how far you’ve come if feelings of doubt start to creep in. For me, writing is more powerful than typing; so if you find yourself away from the journal and take notes with your phone or laptop, handwrite them later. Handwriting is your energy; each letter is specific to the way you move and feel. I believe to "spell’ something is to create a smoother manifestation.
Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed
Passion can be choked out quickly when you become overwhelmed. You’re most likely adding these new goals to a life already in progress. Responsibilities to family, work, and activities shouldn’t suffer when you want to improve yourself. If you begin to feel that they are, you may become frustrated, resentful, and feel overwhelmed by tasks that once seemed effortless.
To avoid this, follow these tips:
- Keep your goal list to a minimum. This doesn’t mean the goal should be simple or small. Focus only on the most important one or two goals at a time. It’s easier to add one at a time than to make a long list and end up ignoring them all because you become overwhelmed at the challenge ahead.
- Manage time more strategically. Some time will be required to meet these new goals. Decide when and where you can carve out some extra time, and then communicate your plans with your spouse and children. The more the household understands your actions, the less overwhelmed you will be.
- Focus on remaining balanced and grounded. These are two important and challenging tasks. Our world is extremely Vata, which can interrupt the feeling of being grounded in mind and body. Balance can be difficult to achieve as well because we tend to take on more responsibilities, and make them more complicated than needed. Take some time to learn about achieving balance and remaining grounded and then decide how you plan to address these prior to making new goals.
Don’t Feed the Doubts
Your most important tool for goal setting is your intuition; the doubts you hear are your subconscious. Doubts and passion cannot live together. The doubts, if fed, will smother the fire of passion. Use your journal. When doubts arise, write them down. Ask yourself:
- Where did this come from?
- Was it the result of a past experience?
- Did I witness this failure at some point?
- Are these the words of a friend or family member?
Once you discover the culprit, you have a better defense. When negativity crops up, tell it to shut up, refer back to your list, and determine who is really speaking. Then, replace those negative thoughts from your subconscious with what your intuition says. Learn from these answers. For example, if you notice a lot of your thoughts come from what a friend has said about your goal, maybe you shouldn’t share your plans with this person until you’ve succeeded.
The Power of Senses
The senses invigorate and ignite passion. The senses create a stimulus externally as well as internally. Ask yourself, what your goal smells, tastes, feels, looks, and sounds like. On top of the common five senses, add the soul as well. What does your soul feel at your destination?
You may say that taste has nothing to do with your goal. Oh, but it does. For instance, imagine the type of food you’ll be eating when that goal is reached. Perhaps it will be a celebratory meal or drinks, or maybe a destination is the goal and this landmark has a traditional food.
With a little imagination you can include all of the senses and use them for motivation.
Hire a Life Coach
To keep yourself on track, hire a professional. When you want a new body, you hire a fitness trainer. Take the same approach with your goals. Working with a professional can teach you new tools, keep you focused, and help you maintain your passion.
Look for a professional in philosophy, metaphysics, or manifestation. You will find that those who coach have different titles, levels of expertise, and techniques, and have been educated at different institutions. The most important thing is to find a coach you can connect with, one who will motivate you.
If you find it hard to become or stay passionate about a particular goal, don’t beat yourself up. Just remember that you have great strength, and your goals can become your reality.