Exciting things are in store!
It’s an exciting week here at our little studio! We’re finally launching the podcast and blog in Spanish! This has been a goal of mine for over two years based on feedback I received multiple times from workshops I did that were for all Spanish-speaking community members through an interpreter. They told me that resources on self-development and mindfulness are very limited in Spanish, so I promised all of those participants that despite the fact that I don’t speak Spanish, I would find a way to make those resources available.
We have now found a fantastic translator to join our team, so if you prefer Spanish or know others who could benefit from learning mindfulness in Spanish, please have them find us on iTunes or Spotify, or they can go to the podcast page on teresamckee.com for a direct link. And visit tap2thrive.com for information about all of the contributors to our programs.
We’re also starting to conduct podcast interviews this week! We want to bring you different perspectives, real life examples and more resources for shifting your life into one of thriving, purpose and joy. We hope to begin airing these interviews within a couple of weeks and we hope you find the upcoming interviews interesting and motivational.
You may have noticed that I mentioned I’ve wanted to provide resources in Spanish for over two years. What took me so long? As with most desires in life, we’re frequently not in control of most of the factors involved. And because we’re human, we also get side-tracked and distracted. We’ve previously discussed the importance of intention-setting and a little bit on goal-setting. I set a goal (remember, goal outcomes are always in the future) of producing our programs in Spanish. I set daily intentions (intentions are now) to work toward that goal. For about a year, my intentions related to learning to speak Spanish myself so that I could provide those resources directly. I downloaded apps on my phone and software on my computer and tried to set aside some time each day to learn. My intention was to practice at least a little bit of Spanish every day.
I kept failing at those intentions. But that didn’t alter my goal. My schedule is simply too busy and I don’t have anyone to practice with on a regular basis, so I would learn a little, forget, learn a little, mangle pronunciations, get frustrated. I finally shifted my intentions to other more pressing matters, but I didn’t forget the original goal.
Running a business is full of unpredictable factors. I may want to do one thing, but circumstances force me in other directions. I mindfully accept that I can’t control everything and do my best to go with the flow. But I always have my goals somewhere in the picture. The picture gets pretty messy sometimes, but goals that are important to me don’t go away. They just sometimes have to wait a while.
I think this is why goal-setting is important, even though it’s future-oriented. Mindfulness is all about staying present, but that doesn’t mean we don’t plan for the future. Mindfulness includes that, too. And if you don’t set firm goals, your desires get lost in the shuffle.
Mindfulness also means being self-aware and sometimes that’s uncomfortable. We have to honestly assess our strengths and our weaknesses. I believe we can all do anything we set our minds to, which is both a strength and a weakness. While I sincerely believe I can do anything, and I’ve certainly achieved a lot through that belief, sometimes it takes me a while to admit there are some things that just don’t make sense for me to accomplish. That makes me slow to give them up. I don’t enjoy admitting that I fail at some things. But of course I fail. We all do! And failure is the key to success. If we don’t fail, we don’t learn, so failure is always an opportunity. But that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to admit failure.
A couple of months ago, I revisited my goal and then reviewed my daily intentions and the two weren’t in alignment. I did want the programs in Spanish, but I did not really want to put in the effort required to learn Spanish myself. At least at this point in time. That meant I had to change my daily intentions in order to achieve my goal. So my new intentions focused on finding someone else to take over the Spanish, someone native to the language. That meant more daily intentions on how to make that happen. Where to find the money to pay someone, where to find someone who could translate my materials, which are challenging in Spanish, and how to manage adding in an entirely new component to the mix of an already jam-packed business model?
So it took a while. And I think this is where a lot of people get tripped up. We have a desire to control everything – the how, what, when and where of everything we want. But that doesn’t work. I have found that if we give up the how, when and where, and just focus on the what, we’ll get there. Eventually. Sometimes it takes a lot of patience and persistence. But if you set a goal and you’re serious about it, if you set daily intentions to work toward that goal, and if you accept that you can’t necessarily control the how, when and where of the matter, it happens.
Can you think of any situations in your life where you’re frustrated with your progress? Could it be that you’re stuck on controlling aspects of the situation that aren’t within your control? That includes yourself – your own possible weaknesses – that you could let go or change? Perhaps it doesn’t make sense for you to be doing what’s required to achieve the goal? Are your intentions in alignment with your goal? Many of us cling to the idea of control because it provides us with a false sense of safety or security. All if really does is create barriers to success, whether at work, in our relationships or with ourselves.
To successfully achieve our goals, we have to write them down. We don’t have to read them every day, but the act of writing them down helps them stick in our minds. Then we need to set daily intentions that are going to move us in the direction of those goals, every day. Maybe it’s just a little shift, maybe it’s a huge leap. But intentions keep our goals in the present and that is how we stay focused on where we’re going.
An effective method for setting and achieving our goals is to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. To super-boost our goal accomplishments, we can add a stretch goal – something that may not fit right now into the SMART model. For example, my stretch goal was in reality to learn to quickly speak Spanish. Stretch goals don’t have to be believable in the moment – that’s why they are a stretch. But under that stretch goal, I ended up with the SMART goals that would lead to producing blogs and podcasts in Spanish. It’s okay that I didn’t meet my stretch goal; I still accomplished my SMART goal. The stretch goal of learning to speak Spanish is still there, waiting. And some day, when life is a little calmer, or perhaps as I spend more time with my new translator, I will reach that goal. But today is not that day. Today I accept that I can’t do everything myself and turn my attention to what I can accomplish in order to thrive in my own life and to serve my purpose which is to be of service to others.
Spend a little time this week setting or reviewing your goals. Are there any that you can delegate to someone else? Are there any that aren’t relevant or achievable at this point in time? If so, take a deep breath, congratulate yourself on being self-aware, and let them go.
At least for now.