Wondering how to work toward your goals without becoming your own tyrant?

By Ann Weiser Cornell on January 5, 2017 in Blog, Tips

Focusing Tip #541

“You should exercise more… and if you don’t, you’re a lazy slob.”

How tyrants create rebels…

At the start of a new year my thoughts always go to goals and intentions and resolutions. I look at the year past and I decide what I want to keep, and what I hope to do differently. I choose a word for the year to come – this time it’s CREATE – and I set timelines for this year’s projects.

But what I don’t do: I don’t make my goals into “shoulds.” Not any more.

That used to happen. I used to start a new year determined to eat differently, exercise more, do more business outreach, read more nonfiction… and somehow those intentions got turned into tyrants inside me.

One minute I’d be saying, “I want to exercise more,” and the next minute I’d be hearing in my head, “You should exercise more… and if you don’t, you’re a lazy slob.”

Maybe not in so many words, but that was the feeling tone.

It was as if there was a part of me that didn’t trust the rest of me, and decided it had to be the one to wield the whip and become the tyrant so my nice understandable goals would actually happen.

But of course, tyrants create rebels. As soon as “you should” started happening, “No I won’t!” rose up in response. I felt defiant and bad about myself at the same time, and the exercising or whatever it was did not happen.

Now it’s different. Through the work I’ve co-created with the amazing Barbara McGavin, I learned to turn toward those would-be tyrants and get into a relationship with them before they can trigger an inner rebellion. My inner world has a lot more trust… and I get so much more done, in a relaxed way.

People tell me they are amazed at how much I get done… and if I have a secret, that’s it. I don’t tyrannize myself. I stay in touch with my intentions in a flexible way. I have so much more fun getting things done – and I also rest when I need to.

May your 2017 have all the energy and rest that you need! Happy New Year!

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Ann Weiser CornellView all posts by Ann Weiser Cornell


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