Nature forever inspires me, especially when spring is in the air. All the bulbs I planted in the autumn begin to push their way out of the earth, reminding me that sometimes it takes time, faith, and pushing through our resistance for things to blossom. The budding trees remind me that even when things seem dead or dormant, there is always new growth waiting for us to discover. Maybe I just get so inspired by the world around me that I can’t help but remember that even on the coldest, rainiest moments, a little love and devotion can bring anything to life.
The energy of the new year has faded, and for most folks, the resolutions they made and the goals they thought about feel as if they were made, not months ago, but an entire lifetime in the past. It’s easy to say maybe next year, but, I think that right now is a perfect time of year to take another look at what you desire to do and who you long to be.
You – your life, you desires, your dreams – deserve devotion. And that means that yes, one of the keys to achieving your goals is going to be devotion to those goals.
When I wrote my list of lessons learned in 2014, I vowed that the mantra for my journey to forty-seven was: “Be like a Monk in Devotion to Myself.” Being devoted to the quality of my daily life has been the underlying current of my deepest satisfaction. That choice of mantra began to shift my DNA. By tending my daily life, I was able to recognize what was holy about the ordinary moments.
It also showed me that a little devotion went a long way towards achieving my goals.
What if you were to make the decision that you’re done messing around with just thinking about stuff and actually start doing it? What if you were to understand that in order to create a life that feels loving and nourishing, you must become devoted to your desires? What if you were to decide that now is the time to finally usher that dream into your reality?
I believe that if you were to become devoted to that concept – breathing life into one dream, goal, desire – that you could make IT happen (or at least make significant progress towards it) before coming summer blooms begin to fade into next fall. Yes, that’s a pretty bold statement, but I’m telling you that I’ve discovered a magic ingredient to achievement: devotion.
So, play with me here and let’s talk about how to make IT happen.
Make a bold declaration and say that NOW is the time to do XXX. Yep, Choose one goal (or dream or desire) and boldly declare that you are going to be like a monk in devotion not only to breathing some life into that idea, but actively working to make it real. Yes, just one thing. No, that doesn’t negate every other area of your life. You’re choosing just one thing for now, so that you don’t distract yourself.
Get clear on your why. Why THIS dream? Why THIS goal? What is inviting you to let this particular cream of an idea rise to the top? If you aren’t clear on why this deserves your devotion now, but your gut is telling you it’s the right choice, dig into it a little more, and find your why. As I’ve shared before, this means you’ll probably need to ask that question “why” and “what would that give me” about five times to get to the core of your truth.
Remind yourself that you get to choose anything, even if it sounds or seems selfish. Because the truth is, darling, if it will make you happy and proud, than it holds value. That also means it can be a big goal, a tiny tweak, or somewhere in between.
Determine how much time a week you are going to allow your goal to have the spotlight. No, we can’t toss aside everything in our lives in hopes of focusing on this goal. We have families to feed and bills to pay. However, once you’ve decided to Make It Happen, then it’s worth the devotion of your precious time and attention. Right? So, commit to yourself that you’ll spend time on this: thirty minutes a day or an hour every other day or two hours on a Sunday.
If you need to, make appointments with yourself. Again, remind yourself that your dreams deserve a little love and devotion. Block of time on the calendar. Plan a staycation so you can have a block of time. Say no to extra obligations. Get up earlier than normal.
Set a deadline. A little bit of accountability goes a long way, and setting a deadline is one way to ensure that you actually keep the commitment you’ve made to yourself.
Make a plan. It’s hard to put your devotion and attention on a dream if you have no idea what to do to make it reality, right? So, yes, make a plan. What’s the next step? What are the milestones?
Get help if necessary. Remember that help comes in a variety of ways: hiring help, setting yourself up for success, enabling yourself for success. Remind yourself that your dreams matter, so money spent towards achieving your desires is money well spent.
Most of us are quick to devote time to our work, to our friends, and to our family’s needs. All of those things are important, and deserving of our attention and energy. However, it’s equally important, if not more so, that we honor our own dreams and desires with the same level of devotion.