Earlier this year, I wrote a blog on how to Get Exactly What You Want. Sounds awesome, right? Right! So how do you do it? You can read my previous post which walks you through value-based intention setting, but really it all boils down to living your truth.
Ummmm.... what the heck does that mean???!! Don't worry, this is not going to end in yogic chanting and the lighting of incense. I'm far from a guru.
Let me continue...
As a dreamer and a doer, I've spent a lifetime going after big outcome-based goals. To achieve said goal (insert desired outcome here), I would push harder, do more and ignore imbalances along the way, all in order to to get that next thing on my list. I'd give everything and-then-some, with reckless disregard for any intentionality, and only my eye on the prize. I'll find balance after it is over, I'd tell myself.
This year, I took my own advice and spent a solid chunk of time exploring my WHY. Then, and only then, did I set goals.
One of those goals was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This is a goal I've had for years. It is, by definition, an outcome-based goal.
This year, however, I made it not about the outcome of qualifying, but about living my truth. I kept in mind what I value and WHY this is important to me. Rather than a sole focus on the outcome of qualifying, each step along the way became an opportunity to align with my intention and live my truth. The goal was the same, the approach was brand new.
It is one of the greatest journeys I have ever been on.
On March 19th, I lined up at the start line of the LA marathon, setting out to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Let me set you straight right from the beginning. I did NOT qualify for the Boston Marathon. Not even close. In fact, I ran my slowest marathon of the 8 marathons I have run.
You must be thinking, how disappointing! Here you thought you were going to read a motivational post about how, when you let go of the outcome, you will then be able to achieve all of your goals. I know, I know, I killed your buzz. This post is about letting go of the outcome and finding your truth.
The truth is that everything you ever wanted to achieve is already within you!
You don't have to arrive at any specific outcome, do anything extraordinary, be faster, smarter, skinnier, funnier, get a better job, get married, buy the perfect house or qualify for the Boston Marathon to actually be absolutely, perfectly in your bliss, right now!
It took 6 months of some of the hardest training runs I have ever been on, pushing my physical limits but always listening and softening when my intention was becoming secondary to the goal, to really start living my truth. And, on race day, prepared as I could ever be, with 20,000+ other amazing humans running towards the same concrete finish line, I realized my finish line, my truth, was something totally and completely different then what I had originally planned.
Halfway through the marathon, I realized I was already there. In that moment, about 12 miles in, my body hurt. I knew I could do what I had always done before. I could ignore the pain and push toward the goal. But, that's no longer my truth.
Instead, I remembered my intentions and listened to my body. I let go of the outcome and enjoyed the moment.
I was living my truth by whole-heartedly honoring my intentions. Living in this space was already enough! Me, myself and I had already achieved everything I ever wanted!
Here are the values-based intentions I set for myself:
To be mindfully engaged in the present moment.
To allow myself space to simply be.
- To push my physical and mental limit while honoring what truly feels good in my body and mind.
In every traditional sense of the word achievement, I failed. I mean a total and complete face plant. I couldn't have been further from achieving my outcome-based goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
But yet, I feel such a huge sense of accomplishment for what I have learned! I say we rip up our old way of defining achievement and make more space for living our truth. Why? Because it feels damn good!
I may not have qualified for the Boston Marathon, BUT, over the last 6 months I ran for the joy of it, I had fun, I allowed gratitude to dominate my training, I started a freaking meditation practice (which I never thought I would do in a million years and it is changing my life!!!), I was compassionate towards myself, I remained balanced, I experienced SO much growth and I get to keep going on this journey.
I'm DOing less and BEing more. I hope you'll join me :)
Love & Zest,
Try this out for yourself:
Envision the happiest, healthiest, most alive and engaged version of yourself. What does it look like? How do you feel?
- Identify your values. In the vision you just created, identify the underlying values that weave through that picture.
- Set an intention rooted in your values, but not reliant on any specific outcome.
- Affirm your goals as a way to support your intention. Keep in mind, the outcome-based goals you set are fluid, and only serve you as long as they continue to support your values. Allow these goals to change as needed.
- Accept the truth that everything you need to live your values are already within you. Let go of the outcome and find the courage to live in this intentional space. This space is your truth.
Want more details on how to follow this process? Check out this blog: How to eat Perfect For You.