Taking inspired action toward your life desires doesn’t need to be difficult or feel like work for you. The steps you take can be uplifting and a simple reminder of the person inside of you that you are once again leading into the light, or, as so eloquently stated by Mary Oliver in her poem, The Journey, “…a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own…”
The vision you have for your life already exists and is a part of you, otherwise it wouldn’t be your vision. But, your day-to-day life has likely made you lose focus or completely lose sight of it. Your actions on a daily basis are simply habits, good and bad. Why not include habits or take action every day that will lead to your desired outcome? It’s been said that it takes us 21 days to form a habit. Can you think of some small thing you can do for 21 days that will lead to a great habit in the present moment and your vision in the long run?
For example, what if a vision for your health is that you are within 10 pounds of your weight when you got married, which you know will make you feel vibrant and full of energy. But, you have a habit of eating ice cream almost every day, which you realize is not at all in alignment with your vision. Can you think of something you can do that will not only make you feel great while you’re doing it but will also move you toward your vision? Maybe it’s going for a short walk in the cool evening air after supper? Maybe it’s going to your favorite room in the house to meditate for 15 minutes? If you maintain this new habit for 21 days, tune in to how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally after that time. If may well be that this new habit has quickly become second nature for you.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, has instituted what he calls, 30 day challenges, for himself. Each month, he chooses something different to work on: something that bothers him, he’s been procrastinating on, or that he has issues with. For example, his July 2012 30-day challenge was: No sending email after 9:00pm. The month before, he challenged himself to eat more mindfully, not while watching TV or surfing the web. Cutts did a TED talk around this, which is worth a watch. You can find it on his website.
Our actions steps need to be reasonable for us, even pleasant. That’s the only way they can become sustainable habits. Also keep in mind that actions steps should not be gigantic. In other words, if a vision you have for your purpose is to be a teacher, don’t make your action step be: Get a teaching degree. That will just feel too overwhelming for you to even begin to tackle. Start with baby steps, for example: research schools, look into grants or bursaries, etc.
Let the discrepancy between your vision and your currently reality inform your action steps and tune in to what feels right for you. Remember, make your action steps, S.M.A.R.T., Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.