Goal Reaching Skills

Reaching our goals can be quite the struggle. More often getting to the goal requires us to not do certain things to get there. The aspect we don’t discuss much is the ability to deny one’s impulse in service of hitting the mark.

When you set a goal, you require a change in your behavior. Sometimes this requires sacrifice and self-regulation.

Self-regulation involves taking a pause between a feeling and an action—taking the time to think things through, without making rash decisions that might side track you from reaching a goal.

Life will throw you all sorts of curve balls to ruin your goal reaching plans.

Developing a self-regulating system – a way to manage your behavior -a strategy that involves the process of guiding one’s own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings involves impulse control over short-term desires. These systems will help you resist impulsive behaviors and improve your chances of reaching your goals.

When you self regulate you learn how to tolerate uncomfortable feelings without getting overly frustrated so you can stay on course.

Self-regulation allows us to bounce back from failure and stay calm and collected.

Featured Artist

@teresalunt on Instagram

Inner Thoughts & Outer Expressions

Our lives are just the result of the kind of thoughts we have. Thank you Emmet Fox. By Madeline Johnson

I am very, very inspired by the teachings of Emmet Fox.

“All day long the thoughts that occupy your mind, your Secret Place, as Jesus calls it, are moulding your destiny for good or evil; in fact, the truth is that the whole of our life’s experience is but the outer expression of inner thought. Now we can choose the sort of thoughts that we entertain. It will be a little difficult to break a bad habit of thought, but it can be done. We can choose how we shall think—in point of fact, we always do choose—and therefore our lives are just the result of the kind of thoughts we have
― Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life

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“Emmet Fox was one of the world’s greatest metaphysical teachers. His works have contributed profoundly to the spiritual understanding of millions of people, including myself.” (Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love)

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Featured Artist

Japanese graphic designer @t.f.gallery

Slow, Deliberate & Intentional

You can’t bring anxious energy to long lasting change. By Madeline Johnson

More than 40% of our lives are spent in habit. Habits are those things we do, mindlessly, without any thought.  Bingeing on Neflix, emotional shopping and overspending, obsessively checking your Instagram, that second glass of wine every night, working 15 hours a day, never holding eye contact, obliviously eavesdropping, eating too quickly, forgetting to floss, overpromising and under delivering, drunken raging at your partner, the list goes on. . .

Some habits are not as harmful as others, but many of them can cause some pretty big issues – like feeling drowsy at work from lack of sleep, large credit card balances that are impossible to pay down, digestive issues and early onset of gum disease and many a bad and torturous break up .

The worst approach you can take towards breaking bad habits is to rush – the race to the finish line approach. The force it in your brain with daily affirmations and ten minute meditations, this doesn’t work for long lasting change.

When you set out to be a better person than you once were, change doesn’t come easy.  Correcting parts of your personality that don’t suit you anymore requires a change in thoughts, emotions, behaviors and habits – everything that creates the foundation of who you are.

You can’t bring anxious energy to long lasting change.  Pushing, forcing and shoving your way to a new version of you doesn’t have the strong and deep energy to create that staying power.  It doesn’t carve the deep enough grooves in our neural pathways to make the change stick.

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I found what has been working best for me is the slow, deliberate and intentional approach.

 

Featured Photographer

Robert Wood Cox on Instagram

 

In Search of A More Peaceful Existence

Enough with the busy, busy, busy going nowhere fast. Let’s find the time to do some deeper work. By Madeline Johnson

Each year, the Institute for Economics and Peace releases the Global Peace Index. This is a study of 163 independent nations and territories around the world that uses indicators to determine which nations are the most dangerous, as well as which are the most peaceful. At the top of this list is Iceland. This isn’t a surprise, as this nation has taken the top spot for 10 years in a row. Features that stand out in this country that make it the most peaceful in the world is low crime rates and “non-existent” tension among the economic classes. My husband says it’s because very few people live there.

Why am I searching for the most peaceful places in the world?

I am in search of stillness, peace and more time for me. A place where I can savor the day and not feel engulfed by the competitive madness and ongoing consumption.

It Takes Time To Be Better

You see, when you set out to improve your life, to be a better person, you take on the responsibility of owning your actions, behavior, thoughts, words and reactions to others. This process invites you to continually observe yourself and treat your life like an experiment. You are the lab rat.  This self-inventory and reflection takes time and deep thought. So most of us who claim we don’t have that extra time to focus on ourselves, are advised to get up earlier. Yes, rise up at 5:00 am so you can have an hour or so to yourself. Time to journal, meditate, pray and contemplate your existence without a flurry of text messages or email requests disrupting your concentration.

Now the rest of the day is spent showering, eating, commuting, emailing, talking, working, writing, waiting in line, food prepping, laundering, shopping, and the list goes on.  . .

I ask you, what kind of world do we live in that we are told just 10 minutes a day of meditation and a few yoga breaths and stretches is all we need to feel better?

Enough with the busy, busy, busy going nowhere fast.

Let’s find the time to do some deeper work. Some unraveling of our emotions, resting of our souls, listening to our hearts, feeling our emotions, basking in our spirit and rising to our light.

 

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Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.

-Rita Schiano

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Featured Art

Kulinovic Marko on Instagram

 

Self-Renewal

Your higher voice needs to be listened to. It is the one with the best advice.  By Madeline Johnson

This new chapter of my life is called smiling again.

The truth is, everything will be okay, as soon as you are okay with everything. 

– Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul

Reinventing yourself begins by slowing down. Being at peace. Staying calm.

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But how does one learn to chill out?  A 3-minute listen to the wisdom of Jordan Bach here.

Your higher voice needs to be listened to. It is the one with the best advice.  In the past two weeks my inner, deeper, more knowing voice told me loud and clear – do not complain and do not doubt.

Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams.

Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.

Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Pope John XXIII

 

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Featured Artwork on Instagram

 

 

Paying Attention to Your Life

You cannot fight your life and live it at the same time. It takes acceptance. By Madeline Johnson

Becoming the best version of oneself is not for the lazy and undisciplined, or those in denial.  One does not simply declare that one will be kinder, better, healthier and happier.  It takes work.

Best versions come with the act of owning one’s life while taking responsibility for everything that happens. It takes courage and humility.

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Self-reflection and self-examination takes time and trust. Trust in yourself.

If you are truly committed to transforming your life, you must ask yourself .  . .

What is the greatest expression of myself that I can present to the world today?

 

or in other words. . . .

What must I do in order not to shrink back

into mediocracy? 

Reflecting on this past week, I have noticed some habits that I must change. The habit of fighting my life. The habit of waking up in the morning and feeling overwhelmed about how much I must accomplish in a day – work, chores, family. . . I am so habitually tied to the “woe is me, I must do it all” track in my mind that I become small, resentful and victimized.

No more of that. You cannot fight your life and live it at the same time. It takes acceptance.

Of course there is so much to do. Welcome to the world of the living.

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I also notice that when I look in the mirror, I do not like what I see. This makes me incredibly sad. My body is not perfect enough, my eyes look tired, my shoulders are stressed and sore. My clothes aren’t new enough, my hair is a mess, my style isn’t up to my standards.  On and on and on.

Who is this enemy staring back at me? Why am I fighting myself?

Why do I continue to let these emotions, thoughts and experiences hold me back?

What must I undo, in order to become unstuck? What can I do, to avoid these habitual traps? How can I approach my dirty, filthy habit of self-judging?

Today, I begin by paying closer attention to my life.

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Featured Artist

Beth Hoeckel

 

The Balancing Act of Daily Living

It can’t be a go, go, go kind of day, everyday, all day.  One must leave some room for rest and relishing in the goodness. By Madeline Johnson

There is beauty in the act of staying open to life. Staying open to the organic experiences that aren’t on the calendar – that aren’t on the schedule.

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Saying yes to new opportunities is a wonderful idea. Saying yes to invitations, offers and experiences. Saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes is a solution to staying relevant and valuable in today’s uncertain times.

Saying yes can also lead to dead ends, to new problems, to over commitment and letting others down.

But there is a problem to saying yes to too much. There is struggle between how much time one has, how much you can commit to and how much sanity you need in your life to stay balanced.

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The struggle between slowing and rushing, the pushing and plotting, the busyness of life and the feeling of being over committed and stuck on the wheel of progress and production. Too much work leaves one feeling depleted yet too little and you feel left out, unnecessary and irrelevant.

This is the fine balance of carving enough time out of each day to breathe and dive into the work – to produce a better quality of work.

It can’t be a go, go, go kind of day, everyday, all day.  One must leave some room for rest and relishing in the goodness. Some time self care and reflection.  It is in these small windows of time that one transforms. When you sit back at the end of the day and decide what worked and didn’t for you and then decide what you will say no to – tomorrow.

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Featured Artwork

Aykut Aydogdu was born in 1986, Ankara – Turkey. He started studying Fine Arts at high school and graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts – Graphic Design. He has various works on commercial illustrations, magazine covers, movie posters. His surreal figurative works are mainly concentrated on the dilemmas of the daily life.

Unapologetically You

There is only one decision for you to make today. Do what is true and meaningful for you. By Madeline Johnson

To be unapologetically you – at your best –

gloriously flawed.

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It’s crazy how many people inspire others just by the way they live their lives. They don’t preach, they don’t coach, they just live their lives the way they see fit  – and through that act – they become an inspiration for others.

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There is only one decision for you to make today. Do what is true and meaningful for you. Time is running out. So get to it before you let someone else decide for you.

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Welcome this brand new day.

Use it as you will.

Waste it or fill it with goodness.

You have a choice.

Tomorrow it will be a memory.

Let it be a sweet one for all.

 

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Featured Artist

Stefano Bonazzi

 

Not Knowing, Always Growing

Continue to build trust in your intuition, but let your life unfold from truth, not from fear. By Madeline Johnson

I’m letting go of my tendency to make assumptions about my life because they lead to nightmares, fairytales and made up scenarios that form my future. I don’t have a crystal ball and I am not psychic.  I continue to build trust in my intuition, but I want my life to unfold from truth, not from fear.

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I believe the practice of remaining curious and open minded will serve me well.

Learn, grow, evolve.

It’s okay not to know.

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Today is the first day of a deep dive into knowing myself better.

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What am I so-so at?
  3. What am I bad at?
  4. What makes me tired?
  5. What is the most important thing in my life?
  6. Who are the most important people in my life?
  7. How much sleep do I need?
  8. What stresses me out?
  9. What relaxes me?
  10. What’s my definition of success?
  11. What type of worker am I?
  12. How do I want others to see me?
  13. What makes me sad?
  14. What makes me happy?
  15. What makes me angry?
  16. What type of person do I want to be?
  17. What type of friend do I want to be?
  18. What do I think about myself?
  19. What things do I value in life?
  20. What makes me afraid?

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What am I happy about in my life now? …

What am I excited about in my life now? …

What am I proud about in my life now? …

What am I grateful about in my life now? …

What am I enjoying in my life right now?

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Read 

Darius Foroux process for self awareness

Featured Artist  

Mariano Peccinetti

How Much Good Can You Do In The World?

Do what you can to make things better. Find out how much good you can do in the world. By Madeline Johnson

Not my words, but definitely a great notion and something I believe is worth asking yourself.

This idea, that we have the capability to make things better with what we have is inspired by professor and clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson author of 12 Rules for Life.

His wisest advice –

Learn what you need to learn to become wise and work for the betterment of being.

Do what you can to make things better. Find out how much good you can do in the world.

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Do it in a forthright, courageous, noble, eyes-wide open, articulate and embodied manner.

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How to bake better into your every day beingness.

Not sure where to begin?  I like what Brianna Wiest recommends. . .

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Recommended Reading

101 Essays to Change The Way You Think by Brianna Wiest

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

Maps of Meaning by Jordan B. Peterson

The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton

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Featured Artwork

Borda D. Adrian is a surreal painter and lives in Reghin, Romania. He is an inner traveler, exploring the mysterious and extremely complex subconscious world. In his real life as well as in his art, I don’t care about conventions and the taboos, there are no sacred memes that cannot be touched. His paintings are deep meditations full of symbols about life and our most intimate tendencies and reactions…not necessarily to create something most people like, but to open a window to haunting images impossible to forget.