A codependent has not experienced the power of setting goals for themselves. He or she may be a single person living at home, addict, abuser, or married to an addict/abuser. They have only seen his or her life as depending on the ideas and desires of their parents, their spouse and others. Life was not about where they needed to go, what they needed to have, or what they wanted. As discussed in earlier posts, reacting to others gives power to others who may not be so careful with that power. Often it’s a way of living that leads a person to depression. Unfortunately, many cultures reinforce this, by not properly allowing their young ones to fully flower before they come back to their families as interdependent adults.
When you detach from others, and learn to lovingly focus on yourself, the next step is making goals. This is the key to making the rest of your life fulfilling and exciting, full of joy and hope.
Sweep Your Mind
To find goals, think about each of your problems. It can be a goal to solve these, or if you know the solution, then it’s time to work towards it. Next, what about your needs and wants? They could be material things for your home, or places you want to visit. Furthermore, they could be things we want to do with our life. Put all these down on this list of goals.
In fact, do a “brain dump”, as coined and described by David Allen in his bestselling book Getting Things Done. This productivity hack works wonders for freeing up your conscious brain for more important tasks. Dump all your desires, passions, and problems on a piece of paper or in a note-program. When they are not floating around in your head, and when they are on paper, your goals are much more likely to be fulfilled.
You should have daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and 3-5-10 year goals. So when you write down something you want to do, give it a deadline. This will allow you to be realistic, by spacing out projects. It can help you prepare, to save money for example. A goal is a dream with a deadline, says Harvey McKay.
Goals Related to People
If we have found co-dependency in ourselves, then we know that the special area in which we need help is relationships. That’s why you are here, reading Leading To Love. That’s why I have read hundreds of pages myself, and spent hours in conversation with codependency experts.
The first relationship we need to fix is that with ourselves. So one goal that you definitely should have is to become a better companion to yourself. How will you increase in self-love, self-respect, and self-esteem? Plan to improve. Each one of us is on a different level, so that is a question you will answer by assessing yourself through on-line quizzes, books, and talking to others. This is a goal worth spending time and energy on.
As you recover from your codependent traits, you begin to see the truth of people. They are not all meant to stay in your life. Some come to teach a lesson, then leave. The ones that you wanted are not the ones you were supposed to have. This is where you must trust Him, your Higher Power. His love is always there, constant, and He will send you manifestations of His love, but it won’t come from where you expected it and it won’t look like what you expected. That’s why part of recovery is to let go of expectations.
Letting go of the outcome is important in all your goals. That’s what makes goal-setting different from obsession, manipulation, control, and other destructive thinking patterns. We must fully relax into the knowledge that things will happen that we haven’t planned for. We trust that we will end up in a better place, even so. We work without worry.
No Limits, No Shoulds
Since we have lived under the influence of other people, we already have a list of “shoulds”. You should do this, you should do that. It is time to cut these out, as much as possible. Instead, go for the upper limits of your dreams. If it is not in your fate, it will not happen, but if it is, then it will have been worth the effort. So write down each goal in its most magnificent form.
Setting and working towards goals does not guarantee you will reach them 100%. In fact, you may have to be patient for a very long period of time. But this brings us to the next tenet of goal setting…
Turn to and Trust in God
As believers, we must know that His plan is best. The answer may not come when we want it to, or in the form (or person) that we want. But we believe that the answer is always coming. This is why we should not give up on any of these goals. Rather, transfer this year’s unmet goals to next year. On His Timeframe, all your goals will be fulfilled.
It is important to turn your list of goals into a dua list, though. That is the minimum effort that is required from you. There are certain times of the day, month, and year that your duas are answered, so have your list of goals ready for those times.
Take It One Day At A Time
For each goal, you can assign a time for it to be done. Based on these deadlines, you can map out the steps towards each goal. Then you will be able to place each step on a calendar, dividing it down to manageable day-to-day tasks that will eventually take you to the fruition of your goal.
Review The List
Add to the list, and check off items as they are done. This process will keep you engaged with your goals. You might do this regularly at the beginning of each new year, or every so months. It can also be done whenever a need comes up, spontaneously.
Circle of A Life Cycle
Will setting goals make you live “happily ever after”? No one has yet found that goal that gives so much. Permanent happiness won’t come with a certain goal. It is far more freeing to see that life, as it is right now, is all that we have and it is enough. Whether we are journeying towards a goal, or if we’ve reach it, happiness should always be present in our minds. The root of such happiness is gratitude, because we become aware of the blessings we already have, including the blessing of being able to work on our goals.
Life demands we set goals, met goals, get new problems, and set new goals. It’s a cycle in which we can take comfort. We are able to tell ourselves that the low parts, the troubles, are temporary. If we are in a season of hardship, verily in it, and with it, will come much ease.
What goals do you have? Share with the community on Facebook or Twitter.
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Also in this issue:
* Wise Words: The first quote of this week’s series of quotes
* Inspiration: A beautiful short reminder to carry you through the week
* Love Tips: Two, count them two! Two tips from the wonderful Mr. Schirtzinger
* This week’s book recommmendation is the MUST HAVE “Getting Things Done” completely rewritten for a new generation to become avid followers
Jehan founded this magazine and site to help Muslim women and men learn to stay away from abusers, to strengthen their relationship with Allah SWT and to find better healthier relationships.