These inspirations are based in part from the concepts of Kaizen (a more individualized version), that is, taking small steps toward realizing those things in your life that are truly important to you. They are also rooted in the simple philosophical statement from Lao Tzu we’re all familiar with “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. “
In considering this, a first step that is very helpful is to “drill down” to the essential elements of your true desires, that is, what you really want (not what you don’t want – which you may have to discharge a bit first) in your life. It is easy to prematurely jump to action steps, that when examined closely, don’t necessarily bring you closer to a greater sense of fulfillment.
This preliminary step is essential in order to take the most effective actions that will fulfill our needs for a truly rich and delicious (a favorite term from one of my teachers) life. It helps to align what we truly desire for ourselves with our actions. It sounds simple, but as you know, we all get caught up in the drama of life and it can be difficult to settle down and make this connection. The remarkable clarity and focus that a simple step like this provides can make a profound effect on your ability to achieve the things you truly desire.
The process is quite simple. Use a notebook or journal and find a quiet space. Breathe deeply into your body. We need the wisdom from the deepest resources of the body to assist us. Jot down things that resonate as true desires or things you want to bring into your life. If you need to list some things first that are causing you stress and, that you don’t want, put those down – just as a means of discharging so we can get to the good stuff.
Remember you don’t have to do this perfectly here and nothing is final. You can always edit and modify with your evolving awareness of what you are wanting in your life.
As you breathe see if any ideas percolate up that might bring you a bit closer to realizing those things you have stated as your true desires. Jot down 1-3 simple action steps that feel very doable and a specific commitment of when and how long you might do that action step. Here is an example:
- Instead of saying something like “I want to exercise more.” Make it specific. If you enjoy walking, you might create an action step of “I want to walk 10 minutes 3 days of the week.” Then create reminders for yourself in a calendar (cell phone, outlook etc., or maybe even a paper calendar that hangs on the wall!) so that you can maintain awareness of your action steps.
Continue to clarify your desires and your action steps accordingly. This is great practice for self-care. It connects your true intentions with your actions. The key is, when you create your action steps make sure they fall easily within your capacity to do them. The most substantial changes overall will come about in a series of small steps, and small improvements. You are likely to experience some big leaps in your progress but these tend to less frequent.
Sometimes it is helpful to have some support in this process in order maintain consistency and “drilling down” to the true desires. We are here to help you with that if need that. Often, recruiting the support you need is essential in order to make fundamental changes in our lives.
Bringing this kind of self-care practice into your life can really bring more focus, meaning and a sense of fulfillment to one experience. It is a noble and worthy effort.