Conscious Awareness Means We Agree to Live Focused and Present
12 Life Skills that can Change Your World
“What we hold dear can heal the world.” –Mark Nepo
Twelve-steps needn’t be limited to just substance-abuse recovery. Think about the number twelve in common cycles like the months in a year, weeks in a season or quantity in a dozen. This article is the tenth in a twelve-part series highlighting top life-enhancing practices that can make us feel happier, healthier and more alive. By focusing our attention on these integrated positive life skills, we begin a synergistic practice that leads to permanent proficiency by building a useful toolbox for greater self-mastery. Each of the skills in this series is well defined in order to give clarity, direction and action challenges that can help the curious and willing reader cultivate greater wellbeing and flourishing in your daily life. People who consider themselves to be most satisfied with their lives recognize that by constantly challenging themselves to learn, grow and expand they feel more alive connected, and joyful in the world. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to open your heart and mind in order to soar! Read on…practice makes permanent…
Progress Does Not Mean Perfection
Lisa Cypers Kamen, MA
How do you feel about the progress you’re making in life? Truthfully, many of us can relate to the idea of perfectionism. Have you ever heard yourself, or someone else say this: “I just wanted everything to be perfect!” However, we’ve also heard time and time again, no one is perfect. We’re human, and we make mistakes. That is part of the natural journey of life. So, let’s not debate that. In this blog, my goal is to support you, the reader, to take small steps toward a desired outcome. As an applied positive psychology and lifestyle management coach, I experience that people; in general, find it easier to work with a specific outcome rather than trying to tackle everything at once.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
-George Bernard Shaw
If we feel that we’re not making progress in life, then the process of breaking it up into smaller, more manageable steps is often a very good place to begin. This makes life much easier than taking big, giant steps which then cause us to fall backward and feel frustrated. When we take smaller steps, it affords us the time to reflect back on our experiences, and enables us to explore our thoughts and feelings.
If we take the time to examine ourselves with each step then we are also allowing ourselves to make internal shifts. Just as the quote from George Bernard Shaw said, we must change in order to see progress. This also relates to our friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. We can’t expect them to be perfect because they may also be aiming to progress themselves. I’m here to remind you that this progress takes time. Do not get down on yourself in the meantime. Be patient and kind with yourself as you make these changes.
Here are some tips that may be useful for you:
1. DETERMINE YOUR END GOAL: In order to begin with small steps toward progress, you must first have an idea of the ways in which you would like to progress within yourself. Once you have a clear picture, then you will be able to get started. Discover your internal compass and point it toward your true north. No excuses!
– Create a vision board for yourself. Find images in magazines, newspapers, and websites, that give a picture of your end goals. This can be tacked onto a bulletin board or glued onto a poster to be kept in a prominent place in your home or office reminding you of your intended actions and results.
– Alternatively, write down your specific goals, and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Make them specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and time-stamped.
2. ASSOCIATE PLEASURE WITH ACHIEVING YOUR GOAL: Whenever you move ahead a step and make progress, take a moment to see how you feel. You will notice that the feeling of success is like no other!
– As you move along the steps toward achieving your goals, keep a journal of how you feel. Note the actual reactions you have as you achieve the steps.
3. REFRAME SETBACKS AS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES: The goal is to stay on track and always move forward. But what happens if you fail at making progress or take a step backward? This is not a feeling that anyone particularly enjoys, but it can paralyze you and keep you from succeeding and making progress. Therefore, transforming disappointment into options for course correction is a positive reframing of a disappointment.
– Do the same exercise as above, but in the opposite way. Keeping track of instances where you might have gone off course, what you did about it and the new result can be a positive exercise in perseverance and resiliency. However, don’t be hard on yourself. Be gentle as you note the steps that didn’t work and why.
With BIG gratitude and HUGE support,