Resolutions? No. Goals? Maybe. Commitments? YES!

Because it’s the beginning of a new year, many people have recently asked me what my resolutions are.  When I tell them I don’t have any, they look at me like I’m an underachiever.   And when I don’t share what my goals are, they assume I haven’t set any.

Until I tell them why.

What I came to realize and experience (10-15 years ago) is that resolutions rarely stick.  Most people that I have known to make them, myself included, rarely followed through on them by the end of the year.  This prompted me to take a deeper look at why this was so.

To a word geek like me, the words you use need to match up with the actions you are planning to take or messages you are intending to convey.  So I went directly to the underlying meanings.

A resolution, by one definition is:

 

 

 

 

 

1) A firm decision to do or not to do something.

2) The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

In #1, we see that we’ve made a firm decision to either do or not do something.  Ok, fine, great, we’ve made a decision, and there is the option you will or will not do it.  Then what?  What is your driving force to stick with the doing or revert back to/default to the non-doing?

A decision with nothing behind it is simply that:  A decision.

I believe the bigger issue, however, really lies with #2.  Resolution has the connotation of being a problem solver:  A problem that is filled with dispute and/or contention.  When people view an issue, or desire, as being a problem, the thought process that generally follows, goes along the lines of something needing to be fixed.   Here’s what I know:

Most people do NOT want to be FIXED.

In fact, many rebel against it.  We don’t want to be seen as broken.  Nor do we want to feel that way.  This little ditty, right here, is one of the main sources of contention in interpersonal relationships.  When one person feels that the other needs to be fixed, bigger problems in the relationship arise.  Not only is it impossible to fix someone else; it is even more difficult to fix yourself, if being broken does not match the way you wish to view yourself.  After several years of buying into the victim mentality, I, for one, stopped believing I was broken.  I did agree, however, that I could use some improvements and deserved more successes.

This then led to goal setting.

A goal, aside from being a huge player in sports, is translated from various dictionaries as being “the object of a person’s ambition or effort, an aim or desired result – something you are trying to do or achieve”.  Again, so you have a desire, ambition, effort and aim… so what?  How are you going to get there and what are you going to do about it?

In 2011, when I completed my Law of Attraction Coach and Passion Test Facilitator certifications, and made the decision to start my own business, goal setting became my new vice.  I studied all the techniques of how to get clear, get organized, “chunk it down” into bite sized pieces, “find your Why”, etc…

It worked pretty well… for a while… here and there… sort of.

While I knew what my goals were and had some idea of how to get to them, I often fell short on many of them.  Unfortunately for me, and many others who have the same issue, the big ones that really mattered were the ones still left unattained.

When doing some soul searching after a few years of seeing this pattern, in myself and others in my circle, what really seemed to be missing was:  the commitment to see that goal to its fruition.

Saying you’re committed, and being committed are two very different things.

A commitment is not just an action, or a step, it is a deep down feeling and desire.  It is an act of dedication.  It’s a promise.

A promise is “a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen”.

The verb definition to “give good grounds for expecting (a particular occurrence or situation)” sounds so much more positive and promising than resolving to fix problems and set goals.  For without the good grounds to land on, or a solid foundation in which to build your intended goals upon, they will continue to evade you.  A deep seated vision AND a commitment to that vision is required.

It has to ROCK YOU to your very core.

I discovered this accidentally.  Last year.  … When I finally made a true commitment to me.

My body had gone through some major changes over the previous 7 years due to a massive health crash and I was slowly, but surely, gaining ground.  Going from a period of barely being able to walk, to being able to get out on the dance floor again was a major hurdle I had already jumped.  Since I had achieved considerable amounts of range of motion in my joints and my energy levels were such that I could sustain a few hours at a time, the only real goal I had set was to regain my long-lost “dancer’s body”.  Having earned a Fine Arts degree in art, theatre and dance in the 90s, I wanted to surpass the dance floor groove and get back to the strength, flexibility and stamina I had when I was in school.  I couldn’t remember what that looked or felt like and had no real, solid idea how I was going to get there.  All I knew was that I wanted it.  BADLY.

I made a commitment to myself to figure it out and started taking action steps to in order creating the vision.   I asked myself:  “What do I need to commit to doing to make this happen?”

A few of the things I tried, such as yoga and going to the gym were helpful, but did not excite me.  After putting my mind into “dance” mode, more ideas that “fit” the vision became clearer.

Thinking back to dance class days, I began doing “ballet barre” exercises at the kitchen stove.  (Hey, it has a bar!)   The memory in my body started coming back and it became easier bit by bit. Things in my hips began loosening up and the swivel that had been missing on the dance floor returned.   I began to feel what it was like having the dancer’s body again.

Several months later, out of the blue, I received a text from my cousin containing a photo of my son and me dancing at her wedding.  It was the same year I graduated from college.  I was wearing a dress and heels and could literally see the well-defined muscles in my legs and the joy on my face.  Now, that I had the visual of what it looked like, there was no stopping me!  I was committed to feeling that way, looking that way, and (although he is taller than me now) dancing with my son that way again.

Having the feeling and the vision, my body, mind and spirit were in sync and dance moves, I hadn’t been able to do in years began coming back to me.  By the end of the year, I was pirouetting across the dining room!

VISION + COMMITMENT = LOCKED IN.

Here’s the other thing that helped me:  I kept it to myself.  I shared it with only a couple people I needed advice or support from.  So many times I had talked and talked about what I was doing and expelled tons of energy in doing so, leaving not much left for actually doing the thing I was talking about.  The idea behind this concept of continuously “putting it out there” was to be kept accountable.  This might work great, if the commitment you are making is to others, but if it is to yourself, the only person you need to be accountable to and could potentially disappoint is you.  I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I don’t care as much about what others think, so this concept rarely works for me anymore.  Sadly, I am not afraid to fail in front of others.  I’ve already done it, many times.  I recognized after each of my past failures, the person I fell the most short on with my lack of commitment was me.  No one could be more disappointed in me than me.   This might very well be the same for you.

Aside from a few inspirational posts on Facebook, I stopped getting others involved and put all my energy where it belonged:  into taking action on my commitments.

As I sat down in December to do my goals for 2107, they were more specific, this time.  I did not write:  continue to work on my “dancer’s body”.  That was already in progress.  I wrote a goal that would require me to stay committed to it:  “Perform a choreographed dance solo for an audience”.  I can see the movements, hear the music, and imagine the feeling of accomplishment.  It is not the goal that drives me.  It’s the commitment.  It is the promise that when I stay focused on that commitment, my goal will be reached.   Considering how far it got me last year, I have no doubts.

My body, my mind, and my spirit were born to dance.

… And my voice was meant to sing.  (But we’ll save that goal and commitment for another blog post.  Tee hee!)

If your resolutions have already failed, and your goals have fallen short, maybe it’s time to ask yourself:  “What am I really committed to?”

Whether you were born to dance, or write a book or, or start a business, or… whatever…  get clear on what you want to accomplish and make the promise to yourself to have that, be that, do that…

Create the vision, make the commitment, keep it to yourself, and then …let your mind, body and spirit take over.

 

From all of me to all of you,

~  Jody Pogo

Posted in Body Health, Mental Health, Musings, Self Empowerment, Self Honor, Self Love, Self Respect, Self Sabotage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Step Inside You

To love others, you must first love yourself.

To know others, you must first know yourself.

To understand others, you must first understand yourself.

To be able to be patient with others, you must first learn to be patient with yourself.

Are you noticing a theme here?  …Yeah, me too.

Yourself.

It starts with you.

I have been on a spiritual, soul searching journey for the last 6 years.  Between busting wide open to falling apart to coming back together again, it’s been one heckuva ride.  And, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Among all of the chaos, pain and madness, I’ve experienced many “Aha” discoveries, blissful “Yay!”s and “Ahhhhh… peace” moments.  All of which, the good, the bad and the ugly, have made me uncover something truly amazing:  “Me”.  If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought I was amazing, I might have said “Maybe… depends on the day.”  In my teen years I would have exclaimed “Yeah!” while cringing inside in disbelief and wishing it was truly so.  In 2014, after working with my friend and fellow coach, Shayla, I finally ditched the last remaining seeds of unworthiness and declared I was beyond amazing.  In fact I deemed myself “Freakin’Awesome!”.  Of course, this was my personal opinion.  And it was still subject to change on any given day or moment based on what I was experiencing.

Fast forward to 2016:  I no longer just think I’m freakin’ awesome,  I KNOW I’m freakin’ awesome.  Why?  Because I’ve come to love me, know me, and understand me.  And, (this is key), I have learned to have patience with me.  Oh, believe me, I still have moments of “WTF was I thinking?”  Or “What the heck’s wrong with me?”  But they are far and few in between.  After all, like you, I’m human.  And life is not a perfect perception most of the time.  Unless you think it is…

Lately I have really been taking the reins to learn more about myself, my personality traits, bridging the gaps.  Where am I coming from?  Why do certain things feel comfortable for me, while other things don’t?  What are my true strengths to focus on and which weaknesses can I let go of?  It has all led me to a fascinating conclusion:  I actually knew me all along.  I just never accepted me.  Or at least parts of me…

I thought I was expected to be someone else.

Based on other people’s perceptions or nudges, we get caught in the trap of trying to become something or someone we are not.  We attempt to take on traits that are foreign to us to fit in or keep the peace in our social circles.  Often, it’s not until years later that we realize those shoes really do not fit, and never did.  And many times, when this discovery pops up, all Hell breaks loose.  Walls come tumbling down, relationships fall apart, careers no longer have meaning, and we feel lost, broken, even depressed.  Who am I?  Where did I go wrong?  Why does nothing seem to fit?  Why can’t I seem to hold it together?

I asked these questions over and over again.  It wasn’t until I actually listened for an answer that it came.

Step inside.

Stop worrying about what is going on around you and pay attention to what is happening inside you.  Listen to YOU.  You know who you are.

Aside from the outer work I’ve done on my body to bring it back into balance, I’ve done tons of inner work too.  I’ve gone where no man or woman has gone before:  Into the depths of my own being.  I’ve listened to old fears with a compassionate heart to sooth and let them go.  When old beliefs (that maybe weren’t even mine to begin with) surfaced, I’ve called them out as bullshit and let them go.  Unless of course, they still fit, then I’ve smoothed out the edges and hugged them tight.  I’ve looked at my habits both constructive and destructive to see which were mine and which ones I had been trying on.   Which ones can I change and which ones can I let go of?  It’s all been fascinating.  What I’ve come to understand is this:

You will always feel like an outsider to others, if you feel like an outsider to yourself.  In order fit in in this world, you have to fit into your own skin.  The more you know about that skin, body, mind, heart and soul, the better you know the world and people around you.

As I have continued my self-research, I see my connections with others becoming stronger.  As I love myself, I am able to love others more deeply.  The more knowledge I gain about my own personality traits and workings, the more knowledge I gain about others in relation to that.  As I understand my own pitfalls and mountains, I am better able to see and help others climb out or keep trekking up and over theirs.

The key in all of this, however, is patience.  And the lock to go with the key is acceptance.

If you are brave enough to go on a self-quest, be sure to bring those two along.  Take your time to explore all the facets of you.  Take a personality quiz.  Be your own observer.   See how you interact with others and how they interact with you.  Try new things.  Go back to old hobbies.  Step outside the box you put yourself in.  Be aware, though, it may not be easy.  You may not like all aspects of you.

At first.

Continue to try things on.  Old feelings, old habits, old thoughts.  New feelings, new habits, new thoughts.  Let go of the ones that don’t fit.  Especially if they weren’t yours to begin with.  You will uncover the you that has been there the whole time.  Once you realize you have been you all along, and you’ve been patiently waiting for your own acceptance, I think that you may find that you too are, in fact:  Freakin’ Awesome.

freakin-awesome

Love and blessings on your journey of you,

~ Jody pogo

 

 

Posted in Emotional Healing, Love, Musings, Self Empowerment, Self Esteem, Self Honor, Self Love, Self Respect, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Blog or Not to Blog… that is the question.

old_typewriter_184617For some reason, it has taken me years to start a blog.  I did one post and stopped short.   It seemed like another chore to add to my list, yet I wanted to do it.  Worries about whether I would be able to keep up with it, would I be inspired, and finding the time to do it kept creeping in.  Plain and simple, the main thing that stopped me was fear.  Fear of not being perfect, fear of being judged, fear of not being inspiring enough.  Fear of wasting mine and others time.  Silly. Stupid.  Fear.  (False Evidence Appearing Real.)  Especially since on most days, I don’t care what others think of me.  Either they like me or they don’t.  I don’t stop being me for those who don’t; I just spend less time with them.  If people don’t like what I have to say, they don’t have to read my blog, right?  Those that do, will.  I hope…

The other thing that stopped me, was feeling that I “had” to do it.  I’ve had several people approach me with the idea over the years, telling me I “should” do it.  “People want to hear from you!” and “It’ll be great for your coaching business.”   My inner little rebel cringes and shrinks away at people who “should” on me with ideas, even if they are good ones.  I think I just dislike being told what to do.  It’s an old response and trigger I’ve had since childhood.  (Ask my parents, they’ll tell you.)  I’m sure many of you can relate.  Every once in a while I have to pull my inner child’s head out of my butt long enough to realize the ideas I’ve been given are good, and it still is always my choice on what to do with the “should”.  Those that gave me the idea were only trying to help and will be happy I finally took their advice.  For them, it’s not about controlling anyone; it’s about helping others along.  Those that give a “should”, really care.  What a relief it is to come to terms with that.

Phew!  Now that I’ve gotten that fearful and “should”y self-talk out of the way, I can now begin to write from the heart.  Have some fun.  Share little bits of me with you.  I’d like to share my insights, wisdom I’ve gained form my personal experiences and from others, humor, tips and tricks and other nonsensical and/or brilliant, inspiring things.  My online blogging journey starts today, with you, dear readers.  Please feel free to come along with me for the ride.

So, until next week (or two), much love.

~ Jody Pogo

Posted in Emotional Healing, Musings, Self Empowerment, Self Esteem, Self Honor, Self Sabotage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Where is the Love?

I remember moments in my life where I felt I had lost my love. It turns out I was looking for it in all the wrong places. When I really looked inside I found it in the purest form and I was amazed! It had been with me all the time, with no exceptions. I didn’t have to beg or plead for it or do things to make it happy, it was just there unconditionally. Since I’ve tapped into that source and built a relationship with that love, my life has been brighter and I smile bigger. I am happy for no reason, have more good days than bad and see the beauty in everything. How cool is that?

Posted in Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment