Mindfulness

Give Yourself Focus: How Knowing Your Purpose Will Make You Happier 

Coming into a new year is a perfect time to look at your goals. But that can seem kind of overwhelming can’t it? You might have already said to yourself, “What’s the point? It never works!”

Our life purpose, New Year’s resolution or ‘top goal at least for now’ is something we need to constantly remind ourselves in order to really be able to follow through on and see results down the road.

Otherwise, it can start off as something that is ‘well intentioned’ on January 1st, and stays on your mind probably for a few days or even weeks, but then one day we discover that we’ve forgotten the goal completely and have already slipped back into our previous routines.

Having a life purpose, or at least a ‘goal for the time being‘ gives us something to focus on and being reminded of it over time can really help to keep us on track. Knowing our reason for being (even if it’s a short term goal) reminds us of our purpose makes us happier on a day to day basis.

The Japanese have a beautiful word for this term: your ‘Ikigai‘, which means a reason for being or our reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Every day when we get out of bed, we should remind ourselves of our reason for being, our Ikigai, and let that intention guide us through our day. It should serve as the undercurrent to all of the little decisions we make, the things we say, and the way we spend our free time in some small way. When we have this constant reminder, we are happier because we remember our higher purpose that is something we have control over defining. It also helps us get out of constant ‘short term thinking’.  I think sometimes, after working in the same job, or being in the same routine, or constantly being in a mode of ‘responding’ to daily demands for many years we forget that we can (and should) set overarching goals that we do strive for, even if it’s in the background at first. 



Two
key points to remember about change:

 ⁃ Change is subtle, and tends to occur slowly over time, before we the outer world really perceives the actual shift.  

 ⁃ Change is difficult to establish as a ‘short term goal’. We have less control and less ability to alter our circumstances in the SHORT TERM. But the long term is more flexible and real transformation can only occur as a long term journey. It requires sustained focus and commitment over time.  


So my suggestion to you now, if you do really want to make a change by this time next year, is this: take some time over the next week to think about your number one goal for now, your life’s focus for now and also write it down (your Ikigai)
. Then, find a way to set up a daily reminder every morning that you know you will see and will remember this is your ‘reason for getting out of bed’. Smart phones usually have a ‘Reminders’ app that you can use to set a daily reminder and see every morning when you first pick up your phone. In the technological age that we live in, this is a great method that I have used with success.  

When you write it down, think of it as sending yourself a ‘message in a bottle’. It’s what your ‘future self’ needs to hear in order to remember this moment and the intention you are setting. Even if it’s a long, run-on sentence, that’s okay! This is YOUR unique personal reminder, your ikigai, and only has to have meaning to you alone. Write down something for yourself that you are excited about achieving and BELIEVE that you can truly accomplish this goal.

Energetically speaking when we set an intention in our mind, and when we repeat that intention to ourselves daily, we begin to unconsciously draw in the energies to assist with manifesting that intention.


Remember this is a ‘subtle shift’; it doesn’t have to be a massive change in routine today.  

Also, astrologically speaking, this week is a great time to set down (or revisit) your Ikigai for the new year, given the inwardly focused energy of the Mercury retrograde period and some other transits that are occurring in the beginning of January. For more information, check out my article Swinging into 2017: A Quiet Start to the New Year for more.  

Once you feel that you have achieved your Ikigai, you can create a new one and set up a new daily reminder. 

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