This is something I thought I'd never say, but Ashton Kutcher seriously turned heads with his Teen Choice Awards speech. Heck, Rush Limbaugh even called it "profound." To me, it was funny how Kutcher was saying something so elemental, so common sense, yet still got people to stop and say, "What?" That's because his message is one we so often forget. He said, "You can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don't live one, build one."

 

 

Here are three keys I've found absolutely critical to building my life. And yes, I learned them in yoga class.

 

1. Have faith.

 

What's the point in starting something if you don't believe it will come true? We have to do more than “hope” we will reach our goals or “aim” to reach our goals. We have to have a true, heart-felt belief we will actually get there.

 

I've been struggling with this one lately. I was diagnosed with Graves' disease – an as yet incurable autoimmune disorder - about a year ago. I've put off having surgery or radiation because I would like for this disease to go into remission on its own. For some people, it does. I only recently realized, despite all my blogging and insisting I was going to treat this naturally and achieve remission, that I didn't actually believe it in my heart. I'm still not sure I do. So, I'm still right here on step one.

 

2. Take it day-by-day.

 

goals, yoga, meditation, goal setting, intention setting, yoga goalsWe put a lot of focus on setting goals. The more important part, though, is to have a plan for what we can do every single day to get closer to that goal. For me, sticking to a specific diet helps my symptoms. I have to do this, and take my medicine, and meditate, and practice yoga, and work on my cardiovascular strength, and take time to explore my energy, and still work and take care of my home and family, every single day. That could be overwhelming (it is overwhelming).

 

But, as one of my friends who recently went through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant reminded me, it's less overwhelming if you take it one day at a time. As a yoga teacher, I'm the one who's supposed to be giving the "stay present" advice, but it's a practice and a challenge that never ends. It takes a lot of discipline.

 

3. Release expectations.

 

We are so into controlling things. (Or is that just me? You too? Okay.) We like to not only know how it will all work out but actually create that reality. Yes, we can build a life. But, we have to be open to the possibility that life is never 100% in our control. If we are so focused on reaching a specific vision of our goal, we may not even notice when it happens. Leave a little wiggle room.

 

For me, my goal is: I am no longer medicating my Graves' disease by January 2014. Of course, I'd love for this to be because I've achieved remission. But, I'm open to the possibility something else may happen. If my goal, my true goal, is to be done with this condition, I have to know there is more than one way to get there. It may not look how I think it will look. If I'm so set on having specific results, I'll most certainly be disappointed.

 

I'd encourage you to answer the questions below for yourself in regards to your goals. If you feel comfortable, share your answers or your challenges in the comments section. Our community can help support you on your way!

 

  • Do I truly believe in my heart this will come true? If not, why?
  • What can I do today to get closer to my goal? What is most likely to take me off this course, and how can I stay on track just for the next 24 hours?
  • How can I release expectations and be open to possibilities without compromising my end game?

 

Getting really clear on the answers to these questions will help you go out and confidently crush those goals. Happy life building!

 

Note: These three keys were handed down to me by Julie Rader Wellman, also a writer for Breaking Muscle. I've rephrased them, but she's the one who gave me this profound lesson - while I held Warrior II with a block lifted over my head and cursed at her mentally the whole time. That's why she's the best.

 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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