I found a notebook recently that had my written goals from 2017…and besides achieving one of them, my goals for this year were pretty much the same. In fact, exactly the same. I could have copied and pasted it year after year because that would have been easier. Every year I reflected and thought about what I wanted and wrote out new goals for the year. On the upside at least I haven’t been all over the place in terms of my wants. But year after year and the same goals with not much achieved…how is this possible?
Either the goals aren’t that important, not achievable year in and year out, or I do the same thing, in the same way, to try to achieve them.
If the goals weren’t important to me personally I surely wouldn’t remember them year in and year out. If they weren’t achievable it would make them pretty far-fetched and I promise they are very real, possible, and tangible, which means that I’ve been doing the same thing every year to try to achieve them.
Really? Now how is that possible? Do I not try to do things differently? Do I not reflect and think back and learn from the previous year? It seems like I do not. Or at a minimum, I do not follow through.
Every year I reflect, see what isn’t working, and where things can change I try something new. Or my beginning is always new. My intention is always new. My initial actions are new. But then somewhere between the beginning of the year and the end I fall into the same patterns that I always follow. I’m convinced that if I found a notebook from 2017 detailing my daily routine it would be eerily similar to now.
How do we then make the unconscious conscious? How do I recognize that exact moment of falling back into the same pattern that is not serving me? It’s almost like I burn all the lessons immediately after reflecting, do not remember anything, and have to start from the beginning, year after year. In doing the burning of lessons I feel a release of all that’s holding me back without realizing that I’m also releasing all the learning too.
Recognizing that there is a pattern may just not be enough. Or maybe it’s not just trying something new in the beginning but a continuous adaptation and change. A continuous burning, starting and ending of a fire, second after second, day after day, year after year. The creation of a routine requires elements of stagnation, and doesn’t allow for adapting but it helps settle anxiety and provides a level of comfort needed in this world. How do we find the balance then?
While I have always believed routines are useful and good, trying to force one to be created could be the issue. It might be in the continued change that the routine will then be naturally created; organic and unique. What works for me may not work for the next person. And in this way, each change could get me closer to the goal. Each little change getting closer to the routine and adapting needed to reach those goals.
The forced routine being burned but the holding on of ashes to remember the lessons.