Yesterday, after a private yoga class, a student of mine and I were talking and I ended up saying in Filipino, “There’s a huge difference between the quality of our decisions when we’re centered and calm and the quality of our decisions when we’re scattered and stressed.”
In my head, I laughed to myself because it’s exactly what I needed to hear for myself.
As I’m writing this, it’s been a little over a week since I got home from a two-month teaching gig in Bali. I expected to have a challenging time integrating myself back in Manila life and… let’s just say it’s a little harder than I expected. In the wake of settling back in, having a new long-term goal to reach, and going back to an expensive city technically jobless, I’ve been struggling to ground myself. It’s daily work and every day I’m feeling a little better than I did before so I’m grateful.
Yesterday’s breakthrough, talking about the quality of decisions, made me realize that I had lost my clarity. More than ever, I understand how easily clarity can be lost, and how valuable it actually is. And what did I feel like when I returned to clarity? Relieved. I felt soooo relieved. It felt like a return to my true goals, a return to a sense of purpose, a return to hope 🙂 More?
- Energy: Knowing what to do gave me a renewed boost of energy
- Letting go: Clarity helped me understand what efforts at grounding and abundance were actually unproductive. It’s a push towards acting with long-term goals in mind, in the present
- Creativity!: Clear goals means our boundless creativity has a direct object, something to pour forth into. What we want to create is clear. Figuring out how to do it is play, or it can be if we let it 🙂
- Breathing space: Here’s where I felt clarity’s gifts the most. When you’re clear, it’s easy to understand that you don’t have to do everything, you don’t have to be everything, you don’t have to have everything now, you don’t have to do something even if it seems to make sense. In fact “what makes sense,” will change once you’re clear-seeing, goal-seeing 🙂
Now, enough about clarity. How do I get there? Well. With a looooooot of work. Haha!
I’m now starting this series on my blog, #CoachYourself. I hope to share tools by which we can be our own life coach, given enough time and dedication to daily inner work. I find it fitting that our first tool will be about clarity. I’m calling it, The Goal Funnel.
A funnel is an instrument that’s wide and open up top and narrow at the bottom, used to focus and guide the direction of liquid down and safely home into a container. It makes sense to use a funnel for letting our big dreams trickle down to make our daily life purposeful and effective.
I see The Goal Funnel as us going through different filters until what we’re left with is a daily/weekly task list that makes sure we put our energy into things that match with our goals. If you’re a coffee drinker like me, imagine it like drip coffee 😉
And here goes:
FILTER 1, The Main Ingredients: The Big Goals
Some of these methods were shared to me by fellow life coach Kitty Dulay-Ferreria 🙂 If you’d like to do this in a workshop you can go to her site and see when her next Your Awesome Year session will be.
Let’s think of the main ingredients as your Big Goals. Perhaps you have one, or maybe there’s more. To make it less overwhelming, think of your Big Goals for this year and limit them to three maximum.
Dream big. Examples could be like:
- Switching jobs
- Moving to my own place
- Finding an idea for a business
- Saving money and preparing for a course or further education
- Being financially independent
For this exercise, just try one and see how it goes.
FILTER 2: The Monthly Milestones
With discipline and clarity, think of one milestone per month, for the end of the month. It won’t be a strict deadline and it’s not there to intimidate us. It’s a smaller goal, a more accessible one.
What could help is to think of your Big Goal and work back, regress positively. What step comes before the Big Goal, and before that, and before that?
Give yourself a reasonable time frame. You could have milestones for six months, 12 months and anything in between. If it helps you, make it visible and post it somewhere you can see it.
FILTER 3: The Weekly Set
Of course, after the month comes the week. What do you need to do this week to work towards that monthly milestone. Think of it as exercise 🙂
- 2 sets of speaking with entrepreneurs and people who have franchises
- 2 rounds of bringing food from home to work to save
- 3 blog posts to populate your website
- 5 rounds of reading to continue your self-learning
Do it according to your Big Goal –> Monthly Milestone and make it fun 🙂
What could help as well is having a reward for yourself every week. Put the weekly set in a checklist and if by the end of the week everything is checked, reward yourself with something for staying true 😉
FILTER 4: The Daily Three
From the Big Goal –> Monthly Milestone –> Weekly Set –> Now we’re here today, we wake up every morning.
Out of all those things you put on your Weekly Set, what do you do now? It may seem like once we’ve set up all of these lists upon lists – there’s no room to be creative, no room to flow. But there is. These lists are simply guideposts for us, to make sure we’re using our creativity wisely. On a daily basis, we have the control of what we’d like to do, where we’d like to put our energy, and what will truly work for the energy, thoughts and feelings of this certain day.
So we ask ourselves, What 3 things do I want to focus on today?
Here’s where the Weekly Set will help you. On days when you feel lost, unsure, and lacking in clarity – we look to the Weekly Set 🙂 Though it may seem like going through the motions, we understand that these are things we had put down when we were clear 🙂 And if it really truly feels wrong, then take this as a sign to re-evaluate your weekly set or your monthly milestone.
And voila! Whatever the case may be, we will be guided by clarity even if it does take a bit of manual, hard labor and heavy mind-lifting 🙂
Of course, I recommend doing this once you are calm. If you like and if you speak Filipino, you can listen to some of my Guided Meditations.
If you do this and you find, you need a little bit of help in the process or that you will need someone to keep you in check throughout your Monthly Milestones, perhaps try Life Coaching. If you’d like to try it with me, visit this page: Get Life Coaching.
Thank you for your time and namaste 🙂
Let me know if you have suggestions or questions.