We love goals. They give us purpose. Organize our actions. And extend our thinking beyond “What’s for lunch?” We also love the idea that even if we don’t reach our ideal, through practice, we get closer to it. We start out clumsy and inexpert. But push through our frustration until it gets a tiny bit easier. We keep trying, keep practicing. Keep inching toward our aspiration. On occasion, we look back and we’re amazed with how far we’ve come.
Here are 10 goals that we think are worth the practice. They could change your life, even if you don’t perfect them.
If we could recommend only one piece of advice, it would be to chunk it out. Take whatever is overwhelming you or scaring you or confusing you and break it down into pieces that you can deal with. Then you can zoom in, one piece at a time. With each that you solve or better understand, you’ll feel more confident and encouraged to take on the next one. It’s simple. And it works for so many things, like planning, sticking to your plan, procrastinating, and adapting to change.
Bad habits (and good habits) get hardwired in our brain — which makes them so hard to overcome, as Mr. Franklin points out. There is no one-size-fits-all habit-breaking solution, but here are a couple approaches to try out. Think in a new way: Instead of focusing on what you want to stop, concentrate on a new, good habit you want to start. The confidence that comes with doing something good for yourself may spill over into determination to stop doing something bad for you. Psychologists call this sublimation. Another tactic is to act in a new way by building your self-control muscle. Start with something small, like resisting the urge to get two scoops instead of one on your ice cream cone. Regularly strengthen your ability to resist, and when you feel ready, use your new superpower to obliterate that bad habit!
From an article by Deepak Chopra on CNN.com on how to deal with the aftermath of tragedy. Whether it’s yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon or the shooting in Newtown, CT, we need to help ourselves heal.
Hold each other in loving awareness.
Resist viewing negative images over and over.
Walk away when the conversation contains negativity.
Keep your life as structured as possible — This is especially true when dealing with children in the aftermath of tragedy.
Try not to be alone — Eat meals as a family, allow friends to offer consolation even when being around others is painful.
Forgive yourself when you feel like a victim, but take steps to grow out of victim thinking.
Allow for someone else’s point of view. It is difficult to express inner pain, and we all do it imperfectly. What may seem like anger and frustration from others is often the best they can do.
Because it reaches so deep, your sense of suffering may be subtle, like a gray fog rather than a sharp physical wound. To truly judge how healing is progressing, it is important to do more than regain everyday normality.
Become involved in your own healing, let time be your ally, and go as deeply as you can into the reservoir of peace that lies inside you.
It also helps to laugh, and have a little patience, when you’re working through a stuck moment. Making a lasting change takes time. And you’ll probably hit some bumps along the way. Finding the humor in those hiccups can give you the resilience you need to carry on.
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