I really hope I don't have to carry on with the importance of having goals and dreams and ideas of what you'd like to be — society has probably beat you over the head with it to a sufficient degree. But what we do need to talk about is how the goals we're encouraged to have, the ones we're ultimately told to be inspired by, are the ones that have us striving to be anywhere but where we are, and to be people that we're not. We're encouraged to pursue happiness as long as happiness looks a certain way that everyone agrees is "good." We're encouraged to pursue our dreams as long as those dreams also facilitate money and status. We're encouraged to pursue the relationships and careers and bodies we want, so long as they are ideal and lucrative and perfect.
Most people struggle with the idea that to accept who they are is to give up who they want to be. When this is the case, it's just a matter of realizing who you "want to be" is someone inherently disconnected from "who you truly are," and the problem isn't that you aren't going to actualize yourself or live up to your potential — rather that you've left some major insecurity completely unchecked, so you think you have to transcend yourself in some grandiose way to be "OK." But this way of thinking is really detrimental, for a good number of reasons. Here, a few sample goals you could make within the next year that aren't about being better on the outside, but feeling good on the inside, regardless.
Base Your Ideal Life On What You Want To Do Each Day, Not What You Think You Want To Achieve In A General Sense
The only thing your life will truly amass to is what you do each day. That's it. There's nothing but the present, and all the ideas of past and future that we ultimately get distracted by.
Change The Media You Consume
Follow/unfollow accounts on Facebook and Twitter that either subtly condition you to the negative or support you toward what you want to achieve. Follow body positive blogs or self-help writers or the kind of news you want to consume each day. Do not underestimate the power of suggestion, and certainly don't underestimate how your daily media intake could be creating and affecting your mood overall.
Every Time You Go To Judge Someone, Apply The Statement To Yourself
Most of the time, if you're willing to really think about it, you'll find that it rings uncomfortably true (hence the desire to project it on someone else). Whatever issue you keep coming back to judging people for, take a long hard look at how you can fully address it in your own life, once and for all.
Physically Write Down Three Things You Are Grateful For Every Single Day
Force yourself to be present, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. Eventually you'll teach yourself that every day matters, and every moment is a gateway to happiness if you just let go of what happiness is supposed to mean. Keep a journal by the side of your bed and write down the previous day's gratitude as soon as you wake up. Read it again before you go to bed. What this will do is infuse yesterday's grounded-ness in today. It will keep you aware of how things carry over, and will inspire you to create more moments of gratitude as you go.
Make Your Space, And Your Life, Look Like A More Genuine Reflection Of Who You Are, Not Who You Want To Be
The opposite advice is usually given, but I find that this works better: I recently created a meditation corner on the side of my room, with a circular rug and a big peace lily and stones and candles and the works. It was funny, as a self-proclaimed "spiritual" person, that my space more resembled the room of a businesswoman than it did someone trying to ground and sustain their own peace. The thing about "dressing for the job you want" is that it disregards how much joy you can find in the job you have. Creating the outside of the life you want leaves the inside misaligned and empty-feeling. Focus on who you are, not what you think you should be.
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