The wind feels great on your face. And the coast of California moves slowly away as you head out to sea. If all goes well, you should be in Hawaii in a couple of weeks.
But in the early evening, the wind shifts from northeast to northwest. You tighten down the sails. The hull of the boat now shudders as you crash through the oncoming waves, and you begin to feel a little seasick. After an hour or two of this misery, you change your plan.
"It’s much more comfortable to sail with the wind to your back," you think. So you shift your heading to make the sailing a bit more smooth. The logic is good. But it comes with only one slight problem. Hawaii is no longer the destination you are heading for.
It’s Even Easier To Give Up On New Year’s Resolutions
The picture may look rosy when we first make our new year’s resolutions, but things can change as the months and weeks go by.
When we stand at the the start of a new year and look forward, our vision is clear and broad. It’s easy to see the big picture, and to make plans for the new year ahead. It’s inspiring to make new year’s resolutions that we really want to reach.
But after a few weeks of easy sailing, we often find that the winds shift. The going gets more difficult. We meet resistance and distractions, both internal and external. And soon we shift away from the new year’s resolutions that we made.
Here Are Some Ideas To Keep You On Track This Year
If you want to reach a goal, there is nothing better than slow, steady progress every day. Irregularity is the surest way to kill your meditation practice, your exercise practice, your habit of doing The Work daily, or your balanced routine.
And as important as regularity may be, holding back when you have extra time is even more important.
If you outdo yourself one day when you have lots of time, you’ll probably take it easy for the next day or two after that. It’s human nature. And that’s where things begin to fall apart. Regular, even practice, day-in and day-out is the fastest way to reach long-term goals.
One great way to stay regular as you move towards your goal is to join a group of people who will travel with you. If you want to go somewhere fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a group.
A group lends accountability, and uses positive peer pressure to your advantage. That’s why I’m thinking about adding a membership forum this year to The Work As Meditation website for people who want to support each other every day to do The Work.
And Speaking Of The Work, There’s Another Great Tool To Stay On Track
You can use The Work of Byron Katie to question any points of resistance you may have in moving towards your new year’s resolutions. What are the thoughts that would prevent you from reaching your goal? Make a list, and use the four questions and turnarounds of The Work to see if they are really valid or not.
If you are new to The Work, you can learn how to do The Work here.
You might think this process will take too much time. But you can do The Work in written form in about 10-15 minutes. There’s no need to write a book. In just a few minutes, you can thoroughly examine the thoughts that are causing you resistance.
But Don’t Do This In Your Head
Take a few minutes to write down your new year’s resolutions. Then pick one. For your favorite resolution, write down all the reasons why you think you can’t do it, or might not be able to do it. And spend 10-15 minutes questioning each one of those thoughts with the four questions and turnarounds of The Work.
When the internal resistances have been questioned, you will either find that your new year’s resolution is not really an important goal for you, or you will find that there is no valid reason not to do it this year.
And who knows. You may even find yourself in Hawaii after all.
Todd Smith is a facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie. His new year’s resolution is to finish his book on The Work as written meditation this year. To do The Work with Todd by phone, please schedule an Advice-Free Facilitation session here.
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