Thinking. That's what gives. Nine times out of ten when we've set out to do something and we take note of how far along we actually are versus how far along we think we should be it's because there is a gap between an Expectation and Intention. We've thought about it more than we've actually been doing anything about it. And - there's nothing wrong with that! Let me explain.
When we are taking an idea in our head and manifesting it into reality, visualization (aka thinking about it in great detail) is a great way to start. Our brains are wired to then attract to us situations that will help us create our dream into a reality. This is where I got stuck - I never moved past the visualization and into taking some action....
Let's take working out as an example. I used to put a lot of time and energy into what kind of exercise was the latest fad, how much time I should be doing it and when the schedule fit my working hours. I found this fancy membership near my job that I could go to at lunch. The club not only offered all the latest classes, but also had a pool for my son and I to swim in, spa treatments and tennis courts for the weekends. I had set myself up to reach my fitness goals by taking action to join the gym. What I wasn't doing was going on a regular basis.
It was feast or famine for me. If I'd over-indulged on the weekend, I went crazy the next week. Wore myself out and chilled the next week which lingered into another week. Then I'd indulge again and the cycle would begin again.
I spent a lot of time thinking about exercising - instead of designing an exercise program that was manageable enough to follow. I know it may sound elementary but I was driving myself nuts. Until one day I was brave enough to be honest with myself. It wasn't my gym. It wasn't my perimenopausal body (although let's face it, that didn't help much!). It wasn't the type of exercise that wasn't yielding results. It was me. I was self-sabotaging.
So how do we bridge the gap between Expectations and Intention? You take it to the next level by getting the ideas out of your head and onto some paper. Mind-mapping is when you take a larger goal and break it into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Identify a large goal.
Break it into steps and assign these steps to a month.
Each month break down this step into four weeks.
At the start of each week, break out that week's goal into days.
Then keep a journal of your progress and adjust accordingly.
The goal is to hold yourself accountable. I do this using several tools:
I use a journal to list my large yearly goals (health, career, social, financial, community).
I then take a page per month and divvy out these goals.
I use a monthly calendar on my wall to display that month's tasks.
Then I break the monthly tasks out into weekly goals.
Last, I use my phone calendar to track daily activity for that week's goal(s).
Also keep in mind - life happens! So adjust as you need to. I was crushing my goals earlier this year, having finished writing my book and had it edited, I just knew I'd be in print by spring. Then bam, I had to have surgery. Hopefully your life won't be quite as eventful as mine was but if you do need to make adjustments, it's ok. Each new day (each new minute really) is an invitation to start again.
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