Before you know what you’re getting yourself into, choose one of the following:
Set a goal for yourself within your chosen category.
Do you want to take a painting class or guitar lessons or adopt a puppy? Do you want to lose weight or drink less or learn Portuguese? Do you want to spend more quality time with your spouse or take your kids camping or install that ceiling fan in your garage? Do you want to reach out to an old friend or hit the batting cages or learn to make a killer tiramisu?
For the next 30 days, try to orient your life around this goal as much as possible.
I’m not suggesting you quit your job or quit paying your bills. But I am suggesting you push yourself to try something new, and with energetic focus. And it should be something non-essential to your daily life. If you break your arm, go the doctor–but don’t count this as “fitness.” Pay your phone bill, but don’t pretend this qualifies as a “relationship” activity.
When other things try to hijack your mind, redirect.
You know the things you worry about. Your job, your finances, your marriage, your family. Over the next 30 days, these familiar worries will pop up again and again. Take any concrete actions you need to, but then let these worries go. Again and again, redirect your mental energy toward your chosen goal. If you’re going to habitually plan and worry and what-if, at least do so in the direction of your Portuguese homework or your new puppy’s crate training. Pursue guitar lessons with enough focus, and the same issues that frustrate you about your job or your spouse will arise here as well. The thing is, overcoming a “non-essential” challenge tends to provide a little breathing room. It hasn’t worn those same old tracks into your brain again and again over the years, so you may be able to see things from a fresh, les anxious perspective.
Inspire others with your journey over the next 30 days. Post your progress here to keep yourself accountable. Allow others to encourage you and help you troubleshoot. And if over the next 30 days your posts transition from English to fluent Portuguese, job well done.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.