Recap of January Pillar #1 – “Cultivate What Ignites You”

“The days are long, but the years are short.” ~ Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

On January 8th, we introduced Pillar #1 of the “Year of the Best You” – Cultivate What Ignites You. In order to explore this idea of our passion and purpose, what inspires, motivates and excites, we aimed to meditate 4+ minutes daily, journal daily and devise 3 SMART goals.

In the spirit of ‘leading by example’, I did complete the worksheet and quite enjoyed the process (in spite of unrelenting tonsillitis the last week and a half). I hope you did as well, and perhaps you will want to continue with the meditation and journaling which are fantastic stress relievers and tools for self-discovery.

If you didn’t get a chance to get started, or started but didn’t finish and wanted to, be kind to yourself and maybe you will give it another try. Whatever you decide has to feel right for you.

What do you try to hide?

After listening to a conversation between Gretchen Rubin (who coincidentally was part of my inspiration for “The Year of the Best You”) and Chase Jarvis on Chase’s podcast, I was really able to solidify one of my goals. They talked about knowing yourself and some ways to gain that self-knowledge, which isn’t always easy by the way. One question Gretchen said to ask yourself is: “What are you trying to hide?” This might be a clue that your life doesn’t reflect some of your values.

I really thought about this and I would guess most of us have something we try to hide for fear of judgment or an opinion we don’t want to hear. But it is a very useful question to motivate you. For me, I have what you might call a “side hustle” that I enjoy and will put out there when it is ready. It is now one of my SMART goals.

Another question Gretchen said was useful to pose to yourself is: “Who do you envy?” She gave the example of envying lawyers who were accomplished writers before she became one herself.

You may enjoy taking Gretchen’s personality quiz to find out if you are an Upholder, Questioner, Rebel, or Obliger. She indicates that if we want to change a habit, or set goals for ourself, it is important to know how we respond to expectations. Turns out, I fall into the Upholder category where I respond to both inner and outer expectations. I would agree, especially the part where Upholders “worry they are breaking the rules”.

Cultivating what ignites you

I truly believe that we have unique gifts we can bring to the world, in both small and big ways. Days can pass by and before you know it a year is gone by and we haven’t started to cultivate the things that really speak to us. I am sure we can all think of examples of people we know, or know of, that embraced the idea that “it is never too late”. Why can’t we follow our dreams, or at a more tame level ‘interests’, when we want to? I can tell you with sincerity that almost nothing would sound impossible or crazy to me so let’s go tackle our 3 goals we set for ourselves!

Of interest, on this topic along with the meditations we set out, you might want to check out the most recent free meditation from Chel Hamilton – #59 Finding Your Purpose. Just to give you a heads up, the actual meditation starts about 5 minutes in after some expected advertisements and intro.

Stay tuned next Sunday as we discuss Pillar #2 of the “Year of the Best You” – Self Care.


Additional Resources

MindTools – Personal Goal Setting

Greater Good Science Center – How to Journal Through Your Struggles

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