The other day my friend Geoff sent me a challenge. He told me that every day I should set three goals for myself. They could be to try a new restaurant, make a new friend, go to the gym – whatever I wanted – but at the end of the day if I didn’t accomplish my goals I have to reflect on why. As he said “progress not perfection. ”
It got me thinking about what we do in a day and the ripple effect it has and the progress it helps us make day by day. How reflection can help us. How motivation can guide us. And in addition to setting goals, I began reflecting on what I could practice daily to help myself progress daily towards my goals. So from now on, day by day, I strive for these things:
To leave a positive impact on at least one person every day
This is my most important daily intention. And this doesn’t mean that I’ll be spending my days running around seeking out people who are upset and need a hug or that I’m constantly paying for the person behind me in lines Starbucks every day, rather I want to engage in moments that are bigger than myself. It can be that my blog post about Whole30 inspires someone to try and make a positive change for their body by going through it themselves, someone who sees a photo on my Instagram may be inspired to do something new, someone at the gym who I never meet or talk to may see me pushing myself in class and be inspired to run a little faster or lift something a little heavier. There are so many ways we can inspire, motivate and positively impact others and they don’t all need to be glorified moments that live on our social media feeds. In fact, I hope most days I don’t even know the positive impact I’ve left. I hope that one day we can create a ripple effect of positivity that makes the world a little bit brighter.
To leave something better than I found it
Like my first daily practice, this one can mean a plethora of things. It can be that I clean my room (something I should probably practice today), picking up a piece of trash that someone litters in a park, to make sure I fold a few extra things before I leave my shift at Lululemon, to put back weights that someone leaves out at the gym, to reflect in a moment of self-doubt and leave myself in a better place, to help give someone directions when they’re lost, or any one of a million things it could be on any given day – it should improve upon the state it was found in.
To not let things that are out of my control affect my well-being
This one is a huge component of self-care, which is something I’m striving to do better with this year. It is so easy to let things outside of our control affect us. Bad weather, how your significant other is acting, traffic, an accident, how someone else feels; these are all things that are out of our control. What we can control is how we feel and how we act. We can either chose to be victims of circumstance and allow our happiness to dwindle because of external factors, or we can chose to accept the things we cannot control and learn to navigate them without falling prey to them. Just because there was a thunderstorm on your wedding day doesn’t mean the marriage is ruined (in fact, that is supposed to bring good luck!), just because you got stuck in traffic on your way to meet a friend doesn’t mean your night out is doomed (though you should probably give your friend a call to let them know you’re running late), and just because someone else around you is in a negative mood doesn’t mean you need to be pulled down by their emotions (though if something is seriously wrong you should still have compassion). Admittedly, this is going to be the hardest of my daily practices to keep, but knowing it’s something I want to be more aware of is already helping me to overcome and allowing me to choose happiness.
So now I extend my this challenge to you. What is a goal you can strive for daily?