Have you ever found that you set a goal, one that makes you stretch, then found yourself forgetting to chant about it or finding reasons why you don’t want it after all? You might develop doubts that you can ever achieve it. You have encountered the normal resistance we all face when we start to grow. I discussed this in my last post, “Steps to Making Personal Changes When Chanting for a Goal.”
Ask, Why Do I Want This Goal?
Ask yourself , “Do I have strong reasons for setting this goal, strong enough to make it a determination rather than just a wish?” Did something happen in your life to push you set this goal? For example:
Did you set a goal to become fit because you had a health scare?
Do you have a strong desire to contribute to the world in some way, to accomplish something important to you?
Remind yourself of all the reasons you set this goal to begin with. Write them down to remind yourself. A strong non-negotiable “why” can make all the difference when you hit your resistance to change.
Add Some Leverage
Since you wanted the goal initially, create some leverage to get yourself back on track.
Leverage can come in many forms and gives us the additional boost we need to keep us from slipping into old patterns. Leverage can help us overcome the reluctance to move forward. Some examples:
Put a list of your reasons for setting this goal on your altar.
Share your goal with a partner or your Buddhist group.
You might announce that you are setting this goal at a discussion meeting and then report back once a month on your progress or lack there of.
Ask a friend to hold you accountable for taking steps.
Set a challenge for yourself like signing up for a race or attending a class at the gym. Maybe you have to hire a trainer or an online coach to hold you accountable
Set a drop-dead date by which you will have completed your goal.
Reward yourself after taking a step that is a challenge
Before writing my first books, I had a history of loving the beginning of a project, but then losing motivation and follow through. When I wrote my first books, I had strong non-negotiable reasons for writing them. My writing critique group gave me the leverage I needed to write on a regular basis, provided regular deadlines for submitting my work, and encouraged me. My chanting practice kept me on track by giving me topic ideas. My prayer kept my end goal in front of me. Short daily Buddhist readings showed me what I had to address in myself to be successful.
All of these things gave me the boost that I needed to keep moving forward when I engaged with my resistance to the personal growth required. Leverage can help you
too and then you will experience success with that difficult goal.