I look back and remember the faded placard stuck to my mother’s refrigerator door as it traveled from Elmont, Long Island to Stuyvesant Town to Battery Park, NYC. It read, “It’s not what we have done that plagues us, but rather what we’ve left undone!”
That quote always has stayed with me. Between the hundreds of people I’ve worked with over the years and the myriad of groups I’ve spoken to, not to mention a more than occasional existential chat, whether at a dinner party with a good friend or a passerby waiting next to me for the #7 train; as human beings, we often are left with something we ache to complete in our lives. Whether it’s something that when done will relieve a huge weight off our back (decluttering that filing cabinet) or a dream that we long to bring to fruition (completing that novel) stashed either in the recesses of our grey matter or our desk drawer.
So, being the human potential geek/junkie/enthusiast that I am, I thought up a community project, where I bring together my areas of passion (productivity, science metaphor, humor, among many other areas). I plan to bridge the gap between longing and doing; and as a group, support each other in satisfying our craving to complete our chosen project, goal or task.
Each week, for 90 days, I will share some powerful and practical strategies to do just that, (on occasion, in addition, I may post articles, interview other experts, and record some audio). I’ll be welcoming people to share their insights and experiences to create a cyberspace conversation on what works and doesn’t work for them. I ask you to share your Completion Initiatives as well, as I share mine. I can guarantee that if you commit to the process and stay in the conversation, you’ll be further along at the end than you were when you began.
Feel free to pass this along to others and let’s share in each other’s victories, as well as support each other in our respective challenges. The principles and suggestions that I will make are the same ones I’ve used with my coaching clients, as well as the two national life makeover campaigns I coached (SELF and FITNESS magazine). I’ve used these techniques myself, and have seen wonderful results all around.
Step I- Clarifying and Declaring Your Completion Initiative
Ok, so this week, we will start by clarifying your Completion Initiative.
I will first share mine. I call it “accessing my inner vixen.” Oh yes, I’d suggest that you give your project a name that lights you up. Mine, makes me feel like Xena Ancient Warrior Goddess! For me, what inspires me is a project that gets me feeling like a super-hero in my own life!
Step II- Moving from “What’s Wrong to What’s Next!”
Crucial to the completion process is to NOT making yourself wrong for where you’re at, but instead, focusing on how to grow into what’s next for you.. Personally, I struggled with a wicked eating disorder in my early adolescent-twenty something years, (120 lbs. to 91 to 180 lbs. in less than 2 years!) Yes, it’s true, I’ve come a long way baby (eliminating binging/self recrimination and maintaining a 30 pound weight loss for 15 years+). I stay active, (a dancing dame, and more than occasional gym rat), have a decent energy level (sans caffeine or other stimulants), and I’m sooooo much more loving towards my body than before. But I know in my heart, “I’m not complete… there’s more.” So after you clarify what your Completion Initiative is, give yourself a moment to acknowledge what progress you’ve made already (even if it’s mainly been ruminating and dreaming time, that counts!) I can guarantee you, you’re further along than you think! What’s your “What’s Next?”
Step III- What does your Completion Initiative feel like? Look like?
For me, it will feel like:
- Having boundless energy (and of course building in down time)
- Experiencing radiance and joy in my own skin, consistently
- Being well-rested
What will it look like:
- Letting go of between 10-15 lbs.
- Going down 1-2 clothing sizes
- Eating consciously in alignment with my hunger and letting go of the last vestiges of mindless and emotionally driven eating.
- Doing one loving thing for my body every day
- Consistently upping my physical strength and stamina
- Being able to do a split again!
Ok, so that’s mine, what’s yours???? I REALLY want to know! This week, I suggest you clarify and declare what your Completion Initiative is, what it will look and feel like. I really encourage you to give it a name and suggest that it meet one (or more) of these criteria:
- Relief and a sense of accomplishment if you achieve it.
- Something that YOU want to do (NOT off someone elses’s agenda or something you “should” do, out of obligation) .
- It lights you up.
- It is in line with your values and priorities
- It’s a stretch but not a break and it takes something to do it.
- It is specific enough, so that after 90 days you can know, “Hey I completed this!”
One of my favorite quotes was sent to me by my friend, QT.
“Why not?” is a slogan for a very interesting life.” –Mason Cooley
Why not make 2011 the year (and decade) that you completed………….?
Please list your Completion Initiative in the comment section, so we can cheer each other on!
I would be happy to provide the most useful strategies and solutions to support you in your respective projects.