Show up: the two words that I live by.
In the first post, I talked about how showing up for your health is essential to your life. The second post was all about showing up for your soul – that ethereal part of you that can be challenging to be noticed, but so crucial to your sanity and happiness.
Today, I want to talk about showing up for our goals, big and small.
It’s December, the end of the year, so it’s our natural human tendency to be retrospective and then plan ahead. A lot of people make New Year Resolutions, full of hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. If you are like me, most of these resolutions quickly dissolve into thin air after a few weeks.
I can’t lie – even without a perfect track record, I still love making New Year Resolutions. It always brings me a sense of new beginning and challenges me to be a better person and do better things in the upcoming year.
Our family has a tradition of going around the dinner table on New Year’s Eve (at the same restaurant by a South Carolina beach, sitting next to a tired-looking Christmas tree). We review each of our resolution list from the previous year, and make new lists of three things we each hope to achieve in the coming year.
Year after year, there’s the same pattern: most of us did not meet all of our goals. We may have achieved one or two of what we had on our list, but never three. Except for my husband: he seems to be able to check his whole list off consistently, year after year.
How does he do it?
He makes SMART goals, big and small, and then he shows up for them.
It sounds simple, right? But we also know how challenging it can be to have the kind of discipline and courage to work toward our goals day in and day out. If you asked him, he will tell you that all you need to do is to SHOW UP. He would say, with an air of ease, “Just do it!”
He makes SMART goals, and then he does the showing up thing.
1. Make SMART goals.
You have probably heard it before. SMART stands for : Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Trackable. It’s the golden rule of successful goal-setting. He does not make goals that he knows he can’t achieve. He’s not as much a dreamer as I am – so he makes specific goals that he knows he can achieve… even if it’s a challenge.
2. Showing up
There again are my two favorite words. It simply means (as NIKE has done such a good job at this), JUST DO IT. Do what you say you will do. Show up for yourself as you show up for others. Work hard toward what you want to happen. It helps to have some kind of accountability, of course, like a friend, a family member, a coach, or even a dog to be there counting on your showing up.
Four years ago, we adopted Katie, a Corgi-Beagle mix. She’s our first family dog. In fact, she’s the first dog for all of us. I can’t begin to convey what Katie has brought into our lives… that’s whole other blog entry, or maybe a book. What I can say today is that Katie has been the best accountability buddy I can ask for.
She has made me SHOW UP everyday.
She’s the reason that I show up every day, for everything. Because I show up to her to walk her first thing in the morning, it also means I show up for my health (walking), my soul (quiet, meditative time) and my goals (all the above added up).
So showing up for Katie is easy: it’s SMART, and it has become non-negotiable.
The more I show up for her, the more I show up for her because she’s now expecting her walks, and my body expects the activity.
Showing up daily for something creates a habit. And habits fuel consistency which then allow us to achieve our goals effortlessly.
Showing up for Katie, even if it feels like a SMALL goal, creates a habit that allows my bigger goals to be achieved. I can perhaps check off all of my resolutions for next year if I start with: Walk Katie every day, twice a day. I can definitely do that!
So, what are you going to show up for in this new year?
And HOW are you going to show up for them?