My most vivid memory of Christmas Day 2008: Sitting on my living room floor next to the Christmas tree with my then five year old son.
We were both in tears because I had purchased a Spongebob Lego kit in a box clearly marked for 7-12 year olds, which I somehow missed during the race to finish holiday shopping at Toys "R" Us.
This was one of the gifts that delighted him the most, and in my sleep deprived, frazzled state, try as I may with assembly instructions, I could not figure out how to help him put it together.
I watched my son cry inconsolably and as a newly single mother spending Christmas alone with her little ones, the feeling of undeniable failure washed over me.
During this season of comfort and joy, when I harbored these negative feelings about myself, I couldn’t see the happiness. I only noticed the pissed off and frazzled consumers in the mall parking lots, I reciprocated the crabby commentary of colleagues that “can’t wait for this year to be over”, and I contributed to the road rage of drivers who seemed to be racing towards some million dollar giveaway.
And what I didn’t realize at the time was that these feelings would also affect my professional life. The pressure of year-end close, annual sales targets, tying up loose ends on business projects, financial reviews, client thank-you lunches and dinners and cocktail hours all felt like a weight that I could not handle, and so that year, I didn’t succeed on any of those fronts.
For a significant amount of time, I didn’t allow myself any reprieve or self-indulgences because I felt I didn’t deserve them.
At some point along the way, I had enough of feeling bad. And I realized, that if I don’t find a way to feed my soul, which in turn, feeds my happiness, self-confidence, motivation, and inspiration, then it would be a life lived feeling like constant crap, and I would be setting a terrible example for my children.
I pivoted and learned how to bring SOUL GOALS back into my world, and this has helped to re-engineer my mindset and heartset in my personal and professional life.
I encourage you to incorporate a few of these SOUL GOALS into the mix now, so that like a muscle, you can start training yourself to make SOUL GOALS an effortless part of your everyday equation in the new year.
Christine Joy Luck Sarno's definition of SOUL GOAL:
An activity that allows you to be completely PRESENT and happy (GLORIOUSLY PEACEFUL, CONTENT, AMAZED or GLEEFUL LITTLE KID HAPPY) and nourishes and refuels you so that you can share your love and happiness with others.
The time, energy, and resources for professional goal achievement will come with a renewed determination and ease with ongoing SOUL GOAL incorporation.
Some of my personal examples:
Taking off my shoes, putting my bare feet in the sand at the beach, and chasing my kids around waving a piece of smelly seaweed while we all shriek with laughter.
Joining my girlfriends at a store make-up counter where we tell the sales reps that “we’ve got it covered” and giving each other terrible mini-makeovers.
Stopping at a public park in between my client meetings, sitting on a bench with a lovely latte, and enjoying the scenery for a few minutes.
Setting the alarm thirty minutes early before the start of a hectic workday to meditate or devour at least one chapter of my new favorite book
Dancing ANYWHERE like no one is watching and feeling the beauty of this freedom
Be kind to yourself my friend. These small but powerful self-imposed love reminders keep us strong in our commitment to feeling good about ourselves AND achieving abundance – not just in business – but in ALL areas of our lives.
And they will help keep us in the holiday spirit this month, and fuel our excitement and passion for the new year ahead.