Who has ever put together a jigsaw puzzle? You have all the pieces you need and you know what the finished product looks like. It takes time and there are many steps to take before the picture is complete. The complex ones? They take perseverance and patience; but each piece that locks into place is a step towards that masterpiece. If you are like me, you sometimes get anxious to get it done! Sometimes those pieces don’t come together quickly enough and sometimes you even put together some pieces that don’t fit..gasp! Well, doesn’t that just throw you for a loop?! Then it takes a little longer to come together as you fix it. Putting each piece together is challenging and is part of the fun. When that last piece falls into place..Ta Da! Your accomplishment!
In 2014, I continue my pursuit to be a be a better version of myself.. as if putting together a very large puzzle. For this one, I have not been given the picture of the end product however. Therefore, I have broken it down to several different visions and each feeds into this evolution of a “masterpiece”.
1. Give Back: If I am to be very frank, I would say that I am not a very giving person and can be somewhat self-centered. I may give things that are easy for me to give but I am pretty darn stingy with what is most difficult for me to give..my time and attention. I can vow to be a better daughter, friend, and member of society but to do so, I must define the steps to get there. For this, I have a difficult time determining those. Which beg the questions…1) ”Why did I start with this one??” and 2) “Could this be why? Maybe because I don’t know HOW?”
I asked recently, how one becomes a more giving person. I was told to start with giving what is most difficult to give, whether it is time or money; give to the point of being uncomfortable..you must feel it as a sacrifice; and try it for 90 days.
The steps: I do believe, in my case, it is time. I will start first with my friends and family. This month I will ask what it is that I can do to be a better daughter or friend. The next step will be to find a place to volunteer and commit to do so for a yet-to-be-determined number of hours per month.
2. Emotional: Continue to grow into the person I want to be; which includes facing some fears. It seems as though, the older I got and the more experiences I had, the more fears I developed. Oddest thing is, they center so much around what people think and a sick need for approval. How junior high is that?! I plan to break more barriers this year. I don’t think I can be the complete person I wish to be, live the fulfilling life I seek, and love as generously as I am meant to love and give without continuing to conquer these.
John Lennon once said, “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
The steps: Re-read Courage and complete all the exercises in the book. Continue to read books; seek information from others; and intentionally put into practice those teachings.
3. Physical: My eating and training ebb and flow in intensity, as do all things in life. What I found is when I had a specific goal in November, once I had the plan and the date looming, I became laser-focused on what I needed to do. This included cardio (gasp!) and a fairly restrictive eating plan but nothing seemed more important than meeting that goal. I’m doing this again. And although difficult to quantify, I have the visual of what I intend to achieve in May. I am over 40 and I will not give up the booty short dream…It lives!!
The steps for this one: I cheat because the plan will be provided to me…my job will be to follow it.
4. THE BIGGIE: This one is not to be shared except in concept. I believe everyone should have one goal that scares the absolute hell out of them. That one that leaves them wondering, “How could I possibly accomplish that”. The answer is that you can’t today or tomorrow. It takes all the pieces and all the steps to lead up to becoming that person. The person that is a stronger and wiser version is the one that will tackle such a lofty achievement.
Take a moment and reflect on your life and see how much you accomplished. Isn’t it astonishing?! Sometimes I am amazed at what a different person I am than I was 10 years ago, 1 year ago, and possibly even 1 month ago. Time will pass..PERIOD..end of story. 1/1/15 will come in exactly 365 days. What you do with those days is up to you. Each step counts. Take those steps.. and enjoy each one along the way.