Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time, or read my book, “Be Kind to Yourself”, would know that I spend a lot of time discussing achieving your goals, and focusing on that to completion.
Keeping focus is vital to reaching our goals. We need to set a goal, make a (realistic) plan, and stick to it. If we don’t set ourselves milestones that we can achieve, timeframes that are concrete, then we will float around and never get to where we want to.
However, we also need to recognize that single-minded focus on achieving that goal can be damaging, especially if we try to maintain it over an extended period. It can isolate us from our loved ones, we can become mentally tired and we start to flounder.
For short periods, it’s possible to put life on hold to make that final push to reach a milestone; to maintain that for weeks and months is not.
When making our plan, we need to be conscious of the other elements of our lives. Factor in time to spend with family – not just a kiss on the way past – but real time where we let our brains rest. Play with your kids, do those things with your partner, have coffee with friends. Whatever it is you love doing, keep those in your life.
You might think that you’re wasting time, but in fact the opposite is true. Letting the pressure of your brain allows your subconscious the opportunity to work on the problem. That thing you can’t figure out might just spring into your mind once you’ve given it a chance to process it without forcing it to.
Buddhism often talks about the “middle” path – the line between debauchery and abstinence. There is a clear truth in this. We have to make space for achieving our goals, which sometimes means foregoing other things, but we also need to remember to be kind to ourselves.
By walking this middle path, we can make a sustained effort towards our goal without burning out.
Most of all, we must remember that life is for living 🙂