Tools for maintaining a purposeful approach
From Instagram to blog posts to podcasts, the online world is filled with stories of people who set up businesses and achieve success almost overnight. And thanks to social media, we live in a world filled with other peopleshighlight reels, which can send us spinning into a state of comparison. It is all too easy to feel like we are not doing enough, or progressing quickly enough.
So how do we combat this? How do we stay in our own lane?
The free Be Purposeful workbook highlights key steps to achieving something: including making a plan and following through, working steadily towards something (being purposeful).
This sees us moving from having an intention, to being stubborn in our pursuit of it. In being purposeful we act, and we do the work. This is important, as it is purposefulness that is sustainable; it keeps us steadily moving towards our goals.
That said, we can lose momentum, no matter how committed we are to our intention. Or we can come up against obstacles, resistance and struggles. In these moments, we need tools bring us back into a purposeful state of mind.
1. REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR INTENTION
Keep your inspiration close at hand; this might mean having your intention as the wallpaper on our phone or on a post-it note by our desk – a reminder somewhere we’ll see it every day.
It can also be as simple as a single key word or a phrase stuck onto the fridge door. Or perhaps it's a few questions that we ask ourselves each morning to remind us of what we want to feel, do, or achieve. If we have multiple intentions, it might be all of these things!
The key is that our intentions remain at the front of our mind, so that we never forget what we are working towards, and what the point of everything is.
2. SHOW UP
Discipline is required to achieve any kind of goal. That doesn’t have to mean a rigid structure, with no room for flexibility in both our efforts and our intentions themselves; evolution is normal. But a loose routine, or monthly ‘non-negotiables’, will consistently move you towards your goal.
Establishments such as school or the workplace, environments in which we spend most of our lives, create discipline for us. So it can feel difficult to follow through when left to our own devices, pursuing a personal goal with little or no pressure from others, no deadlines, no external expectations. Somehow, we must each create our own discipline, whether that be through routine, or seeking an accountability buddy, coach or similar.
3. FOCUS ON FEELINGS
How frequently we set ourselves up to fail, by assigning numbers to success?
When the needle is slow to move, even if we're not at our (arguably arbitrary) deadline yet, we can feel demotivated, and forget what our intention was.
It is so easy to forget that we are playing the long game, building a life and career that will sustain us for years, maybe decades, to come. If that’s the case, it doesn’t really matter if the first few months or years see slow growth.
What is more important is that you’re doing work you love and believe in, showing up as yourself, and simply doing your best. This is what will bring you a sense of fulfillment. And this is what will motivate you to keep working, purposefully.
4. PACE YOURSELF
When it comes to stubbornly pursuing your intentions, you get to choose how it looks.
Ultimately, this work has to fit in with you and your lifestyle. In the short term, this means breaking down the work required into manageable chunks, prioritising when you need to. Doing little and often will help you to feel like you're making progress.
Remember that you're playing the long game, making yourself proud in twenty years time. You can afford to pace yourself. Avoid making yourself miserable in pursuit of your goals; that’s a surefire way to lose your determination, and the ability to feel purposeful.
Pace is important for those with multiple intentions, as they all need to fit together so that you dont feel overwhelmed. Consider writing down your intentions and goals for all areas of your life and work. Some of these might be 'ways of being', which you can begin embodying immediately. Others might relate to a specific goal. As you begin to see the bigger picture, you can consider when you would like to meet those goals, whether you're being realistic, and how everything fits together.
(p.s. The Be Active course from bestubborn.co.uk/courses might help with this!)
As well as reminding ourselves of our intention(s), we must try to maintain a patient approach, alongside realistic expectations. While it can be useful to set ourselves targets to work towards, we should also be prepared to flex these if circumstances change or if things just take a bit longer than we thought. Because when we are starting to work towards something, often we truly don’t know what it will entail; we can only assume based on what other people share, and often that is only part of the story.
Do you want to work through the free workbook?
The free Be Purposeful resource provides guidance and exercises to help you to combine intention with determination, so that you can sustainably work towards what fulfils and delights you. It will help you to stay focused, and maintain belief in your self and your work.
Click on the images to expand and see what the workbook contains.
Fill in your email address to receive the workbook via email, as well as other free resources and access to the exclusive members area.