We are coming up to the end of the first quarter of the year. Where are you on the goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Did you know that you can let acupuncture help support goals?
In the past, each year I would make my New Year’s resolution. They might include goals around eating, exercising, working-life balance, etc. By February, all those resolutions had pretty well petered out. Then I would wonder why this was the case. Or I would fall into the category of simply feeling guilty about not keeping my goals. I would think “What’s wrong with me?” That would be followed by all the reasoning about why I wasn’t successful. Can anyone relate?
Theories on why we fail to meet our goals
After some research it appears there are several theories suggesting why this seems to be the case. One theory that resonated with me is that most resolutions are made in response to something negative. In other words, a habit or situation that the person wants to change or end. That becomes part of the problem. As humans, it’s much more difficult to develop momentum from a negative response. It is always easier to move toward something positive rather than away from something negative. My old coach wouldn’t allow me to state my intentions as something that I did NOT want to do. It was always phrased as something that I WAS going to do. Any of you that have been in my Relational Acupuncture groups will remember the same thing. I always have you create intentions that are worded in a “what you WILL do” rather than “what you WON’T do.”
It not JUST the Words
While wording is important, it’s not a magic bullet. It is not as easy as thinking, “If I get a good positive goal going, then I will be successful.” After running my Relational Acupuncture groups for 5 years now, I have found that when we get a goal and we get all excited about what we are going to accomplish and we say Let’s Go! And then what happens? You get that pit in your stomach, and you get afraid. The little thoughts come in and say, What if I can’t, what if this happens, what if the dog eats my homework… you get the point. Often these thoughts can be quite subtle, to the point that they aren’t even in our conscious thoughts.
I find that the clearer one gets on why a resolution or intention is important and when it is aligned with your heart’s desire the more successful one will be.
Questions to ask to clarify your goal
Here are some questions you might ask to establish your intention or to clarify your resolution or help you move forward if you get “derailed”:
- What do you really want?
- Is this something that you want, or is it something that you think you should want, or that other people think you should want?
- Why is this important to you?
- Why is now the right time?
- Who will it allow you to become?
Can Acupuncture Help Support Goals?
From a Chinese medicine perspective, as I let acupuncture help support goals, I would approach it like this:
- Hearts Desire: The Heart and its element Fire would include your personal beliefs and values.
- Mindfulness: The Kidney (is tied to the mind) and its element Water and one could ask what are your skills, your strengths and weaknesses and areas of expertise
- Relationship: The Liver (paired with your vision) and its element Wood. What do you truly want, now and in the future
- Alignment: The Lungs (inspiration) and its element Air. What are your dreams and your timing as well as the timing of the Universe.
- Transformation: The Spleen (digestion). Not simply your food as you eat, but how do you digest what you are confronted with and what will that turn into for you.
Setting Goals in Relational Acupuncture® Series
Previously, in my Relational Acupuncture® Series, I’ve done a lot of work with patients around setting goals and then following up to let acupuncture help support goals. We find that the important pieces to forwarding intention is Consistency, Diligence and Gratitude. Be reminded of the following practices:
- Be mindful of your intention daily;
- Use your personal practices (meditation, visualization etc. daily to forward your actions to move you forward in achieving your intention and
- Each night write down 3 things you saw or did to forward your intention and what you are grateful for on this day. If you find that your action did not support forwarding you intention then be curious and use it to see what learning you found.
- Then be grateful.
Remember we create our lives. May we do it the best we can.
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