A lot of people are probably taking an assessment of their health, their life, and their goals at this time of year, it is the season for it. New Years resolutions are fresh in the air. Whether you like to state what you are working towards out loud or keep it quiet to yourself and say you do not do new years resolutions. I am willing to bet, somewhere inside, you have at least given it some thought of what you want to work towards this year.
When we set goals, when we start to work towards anything, we are doing so because we believe in some way, that new goal, is going to enhance our lives. We work towards it because we think it will make us happier and make our lives more fulfilling. That is the basis of all goals, moving towards something we think is going to make us happier. Which I am in full support of, I love seeing people follow their joy.
Where I see people having trouble with this is the trap of “when this happens, then I will be happy”. It is a quite common misconception that you cannot find happiness until you have exactly what you want. Until you look exactly the way you want to, or you have the exact partner you want, the house, the finances, the job, anything can fall into this category.
Living your life with the mindset of “when this happens, then I can be happy”, will lead you to facing an exceedingly difficult internal battle with your happiness. Moving towards goals is amazing, aspiring to make things grand in your life is also amazing. However, where I would encourage people to make the shift this year is recognising, that you need to find your joy, without any external reasons for it. Like a kid who is simply happy to be and can find joy in any moment.
When you get better at harnessing this mindset, it is no longer about expecting your external environment to fix everything for you and bring you your happiness. It then becomes about, my life is great and I am happy in this moment, how can I make this even better. Like eating ice-cream, ice cream on its own is incredibly delicious, then you can add chocolate topping to make it even better, then you can add some nuts to make it even better, then you can add some fresh fruit to make it even better. At any point of building on your ice cream, you could still be happy and enjoy what you had.
So, before you go chasing your goals in hopes that they will be the magic pill to solve your dissatisfaction with life. I first want to encourage you to reflect on how can you be satisfied in this moment right now? How can you find gratitude for what you already have? If your current circumstances are less then pleasing, then how can you find ways of bringing joy into your current reality while also working towards something you know will be more fulfilling?
Do not underestimate the power of being able to let go of the resistance you feel towards where you are right now and simply find reasons to feel joy, for the sake of feeling joy and creating a sense of satisfaction in your life. Once you stop resisting and wishing things would be different because only then will you be able to feel happy, you might recognise that where you are right now is not as horrible as you originally felt it was. You might find a great deal of things you can be grateful for right now and it will start to lead you down a different path entirely.
What goals do you have right now that you are telling yourself you cannot be happy until they are achieved? How can you let go of that belief and learn to be happy with your life right now? This is a practise and can take some time to get used to. It requires you to pay attention to your thoughts and your language. Then correcting then when you notice you are falling down the rabbit hole of thinking of everything bad in your life right now.
How are you going to embrace more satisfaction within your circumstances right now?