I read this great post over at ideapod about ten essential truths to teach one's children, and a few of them resonated with me as important not just for children, but for law students, job seekers, and really anyone who is trying to figure out what to do with their life. And isn't that everyone, at some point or other? Here's one such tip:
Rituals Matter, More Than Goals
My favorite tool of this year has been the Vision Book from the Dragontree Apothecary. It's a pretty half journal-half daily planner, and its layout practically requires you to create a ritual around planning. It encourages you to have one, five, ten-year and lifetime goals. I do believe that being honest about what you really want in different areas of your life- and saying those things OUT LOUD and WRITING THEM DOWN- are critical first steps towards accomplishing those goals. But what's going to get you there?
Call them habits, call it ritual: what's going to help you accomplish your goals are the daily small steps forward. If you're a list-maker, it's taking that quiet ten minutes each morning and reviewing what was left undone from yesterday, deciding what should be done today, prioritizing those things and creating a plan to accomplish those tasks. If you're not a list-maker, are you a visualizer? Can you build a daily ritual around envisioning what your day might hold? How else can you build in a daily practice that builds towards your larger goals?
When I first sat down with the Vision Book and saw the page that asked me to write down my lifetime goals, I almost gave up on the spot (and I'm 44 years old, so well on my way). But over the next few days I shyly started doodling some big dreams on that page. Some of those goals are far in the future, but they will only be accomplished by making small steps every day. The big goals can seem overwhelming, but the daily steps to get there shouldn't be. Create a ritual you love, and stick with it!