I was recently asked why I found having goals so important. My response was, “working towards a goal helps me monitor my self care”.
Caring for oneself should be easy, innate and a priority when we are pursuing an ambition. However, this isn’t always the case. We can find ourselves burned out or exhausted in various ways not always recognizing how it happened.
To live in congruence with our own life force energy it’s important we see the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual capacities as actual sources of energy that we apply to achieving our life goals. We can then begin to see ways we can nurture and care for our energy and recognize when we cause exhaustion. Finding balance is much easier when we understand our own energy and begin monitoring where and how we use it.
I have broken down the capacities of energy and provided an example of how each capacity is used to implement self care when working towards a goal. I have chosen to use a goal in sport and my personal experience as an athlete.
Having a goal demands that I prioritize my time and energy to put me first. This is often not the case when I have no goals as it is in my nature to nurture. It’s what I love to do and it feeds my soul to care for others. Although this is a great quality it can leave me last on my list as I pour my energy into others. The danger is I can end up feeling resentful that my investment is not reciprocated. Nurturing others can become a way to sabotage or hide my own needs, wants and desires. Having goals helps me create healthy boundaries where I can love the people in my life from afar, supporting their journey while investing in my own.
Having a training program helps me follow a regime of self care that includes nutrition, rest and fitness. By setting specific and tangible fitness goals I prioritize fitness. Eating healthy food and getting the sleep my body needs helps me rejuvenate and recover between training sessions so I can maintain my fitness. Having fitness goals and a plan that implements them in a timely and progressive manner ensures I am caring for my physical energy by; excelling and improving, lovingly recovering from injury, or maintaining a level of fitness that keeps me healthy and strong.
My mental energy is the mindset I use to approach my goals. I have found that mindset is also a form of self care that gives me a sense of personal power or feeling in control. This sense of having control over our abilities and skills is critical to an athlete. Recognizing what we cannot control such as people, places, things and situations allows us to let go of things that take away our focus. By choosing what I think about and how I perceive situations I am able to control my mindset and the use of my mental energy. This mindset has been referred to as mental toughness or, a competitive mindset.
Evolution and self actualization is a value system of mine. I want to leave this existence knowing that I fulfilled my purpose and that I lived a life that meant something to me and to those I was in relationship with. I very much care that I had a positive impact in a few peoples lives and being an athlete has led me to teach others the valuable lessons of self care, self nurturing and self confidence I have learned through sport.
I believe we all make an impact and that sport or being an athlete is not the only way but it is one of the avenues where I have learned to use my innate skills and talent in ways that nurture me and serves my community.