I really wish I had some formulaic wisdom to share on the subject of goal setting but in my many years I’ve yet to find any tried and true method that works a 100% of the time for 100% of people. There are however, a few approaches that have worked well for me.
September has typically been a transition month for me, perhaps it comes down to conditioning with the beginning of school being the starting point of a new cycle that included a mixing up of daily pattern but by the time the end of October rolled around finding a new equilibrium and routine.
This September is no different.
My Goals for September
1.) Write everyday.
2.) Meditate 4 times a week at a scheduled time.
3.) Go to the gym 5 days a week.
4.) Fast for 40 days.
5.) Wildcraft at least once this month.
These are not the only goals that I’ve set for myself this month but, they are what I’m willing share at this point with a public audience. I’m aware that some folks might look at this list and balk for one reason or another but, I assure you, all of these goals are possible even for one person.
Where to start?
Like in Magick, I do believe that achieving any goal lies mostly in the preparation and when I fail to prepare, my tasks are less likely to get accomplished. Therefore, a majority of the work I do is long before I take that first practical action in my goals.
For me, the very first place I begin is with, myself. I’m fairly aware of my flaws and foibles; what works is for me and what doesn’t and the traps that I have a tendency to fall in to. It took years of trial and error, experimentation, personal inventory and Shadow Work to get to this place. There are a number of Occult techniques out there to guide a seeker in taking stock of oneself and, I’ll be specific on another post. For now, I’ll assume the reader has already done this personal work.
With that said, a major flaw I find that is pretty typical when folks do identify their personal limitations is the tendency to vilify them which triggers shame, guilt and fear. Magickal practitioners of any variety should regularly engage in Shadow Work, the simplest form of that work being an acceptance of those things about ourselves that we dislike the most.
Now that we know what our limitations are and we aren’t beating ourselves up about it we can get down to what strategies to implement to counter those foibles. For example, I have a tendency to procrastinate and get sidetracked, it’s part of my make up and it isn’t going to change anytime soon, if ever. When I used to work for other people, one strategy I employed was doing a task immediately when asked to do so even if it didn’t require to be done immediately. Sometimes my employers would be taken aback by my immediacy and try to assure me that I had plenty of time. Knowing that if I didn’t do it right now, I might forget to get it done because a million other things sidetracked me or I would be stressed out because I waited to the last possible minute to get it done. Neither one of those scenarios I wanted to experience so it was easier to temporarily drop whatever I was doing and return to it knowing that I didn’t have a Sword of Damocles hanging over my head. This is something that worked for me, it won’t work for everyone.
Looking at my goal of going to the gym five days a week, again I’m a procrastinator, I also really dislike exercising and if it’s something I don’t want to do I have a tendency to make an excuse for not doing it especially if I have to do too much work for me get there, basically I lack the motivation to do things I don’t like. Pretty common I suspect. Strategies I’ve implemented include renting a locker that has few different sets of workout clothes, toiletries and anything that I would need to make me “decent” in a professional setting. Why did I do this? Because I know, that if I had to schlep a workout bag everyday, I wouldn’t do it. I also know that if I ever “forgot” that bag that I would not be motivated enough to go all the way home to pick it up and then backtrack to the gym. Lastly, I wouldn’t ever manage to get myself to the gym and back home to get ready for work or a meeting. Now that all my possible excuses have been removed I have no other reason than, “I don’t wanna.”
I will continue with part two tomorrow.