Three Goals to Launch Your 2013 from the Inside Out
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart …Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. ~ Carl Jung
As I contemplate my goals for the upcoming year, I am awestruck at how many of them are internally focused. Most of us center goals around external factors like losing weight, making money, or gaining possessions. These are very worthy achievements that can provide some level of satisfaction. There are also many benefits to externally focused goal setting that can bring spectacular results throughout the year.
But what if you could create a better person on the inside that would translate powerfully to your external life? What if your overall internal status is directly related to how you critically perform in the world? Hmmmm. Well then, you better get going from the inside out!
That’s precisely what I plan to do in 2013. Here are three things I am focusing on to develop my emotional landscape:
1. Identify, process, and dissipate my emotions while I’m having them – This is priority #1 for people of high emotional intelligence. They become aware of their emotion while they are in it and identify it out loud. For example, from time to time I might get upset or emotional at something my wife says. So, as I’m participating in the upset, I suddenly realize I’m angry. I say, “I think I’m angry. Yes, I am!”
Identifying anger gives me the ability to choose in the moment whether I am going to continue to be angry or choose a different neutral emotion like understanding. If I choose to continue in anger, well then you know the rest. I’ll steam, be mad for awhile, and then talk it out much later. I might even hold a resentment on top of that. However, if I choose understanding in the throw of anger, I can now allow the anger to die down, process, and dissipate while also getting a grip around why I reacted the way I did. I can now change my internal reaction because I have knowledge of it.
Identifying, processing, and dissipating emotions are a key to participating in high quality relationships at home and at the office. Getting good at this one exercise could raise your overall job performance as much as 58%.
2. Forgive 100 people and / or things in 2013 – that’s a lot of forgiveness! Well, not so fast my friend. If I forgave just one little thing in my life every three days, I would make the 100 goal with little problem.
Forgiveness is the practice of releasing an expectation of someone or something.
We internally get caught up in the “should bes” based on our learning and belief systems that keeps us in a state of flux and worry.
For example, “my child should have taken the trash out when I told him too and I’m upset with him because he didn’t!” The expectation of should have taken the trash out is not reality. The child didn’t do it. That is reality. So, instead of staying centered in should have, you can work to understand why he didn’t take the trash out immediately. More importantly, what would motivate him to act quicker?
Furthermore, if you can cancel the expectation that he would take the trash out when you said to, you provide yourself a slice of freedom and peace inside even in the midst of a “trash can crisis.” Forgive the one expectation of the moment and move on.
3. Be grateful for 5 things every morning – we have so many blessings in our lives that hold us up and keep us moving towards our dreams. The practice of continuously cultivating gratitude works miracles from the inside out. Not only does gratitude put you in a positive frame of mind, but it also sets you automatically into a higher state of awareness of what you have around you right now rather than what you don’t!
Here are five small things I am grateful for right now:
1. The ability to breathe
2. My family in all their craziness and goodness
3. Warm socks
4. Giving kindness to another
5. A beautiful and loving wife
I could go on and on, but it doesn’t take much to invoke gratitude. It just takes practice to become aware of what is good in your life right now and continually celebrate it.
Practicing gratitude in the morning sets your day up to find more gratitude in the hours ahead. (Read Enrich Your Sunrise for more on practicing gratitude.)
Consider incorporating one or all of these three internal exercises in your goal setting for 2013.
Work to improve yourself on the inside first and watch your external circumstances match exactly to your internal focuses and desires.
If you are serious about developing your emotional intelligence this year, send me an email at ttagg@TheEvolvingHeart.com and I will provide you with a small internally focused plan for 2013 free of charge. I am always happy to assist!
All the best to you in 2013!