The facilitator was young but confident as she stood before us, a collection of noticeably older but well dressed women looking slightly uncomfortable on the first day of the self love and mindfulness workshop we’d signed up for. “Ok everyone, let’s get started”, she clapped her hands as if we were school children and I admit, I wondered right then if this group was going to be worth my time.
I had signed up for the workshop because I just didn’t felt like myself. In the last year, I seemed to have totally lost the happy go lucky attitude I’d always been known for. It wasn’t like anything was actually wrong, I just felt unfulfilled and a bit lacklustre in a way that was really hard to describe. The doctor said it was stress but I knew my girlfriends were worried too. When I looked at photos of myself I felt critical instead of proud. Something was missing, the glow I used to have wasn’t there anymore and honestly, I didn’t know what to do to get my sparkle back. Then last week I had seen a facebook event for the workshop and I figured I’d give a try. Frankly, I was ready to try anything at that stage that may give me that motivation that I needed.
I pulled myself back into the moment and focused on what was happening in this room of seemingly peaceful, normal women. In a calming voice, the facilitator welcomed us all and passed out pens and paper. Her first task for us was to write a bucket list. Of course, I’d heard of these, but with the pen in my hand and the pressure on, I felt ridiculously inadequate. We were supposed to list the things that would make us happy but I really didn’t know anymore. My goals used to be so clear, I had financial aims, a career path mapped out and even a family plan. But somehow these wants no longer seemed to have a place on the magical ‘bucket list of happiness’ she was asking for.
I looked around and was dismayed to see that the others were thoughtfully filling their pages with items. It was then I realised that I don’t really know what my goals are, let alone my passions and I have to admit, it had been so long since I was truly happy that it scared me. I couldn’t understand how this was happening to me. I was always the one who had been completely pulled together and able. I felt lost.
IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS AND GET STARTED
Sadly, the story above is more common than you’d think! At Escape Haven we run yoga retreats that focus on helping put the motivation and sparkle in women’s lives so they can reach their very best version. It’s amazing how with a busy life and juggling priorities can make our gloss slip. We’ve found time and time again that life’s challenges can be managed by connecting our minds, bodies and hearts through the practices of yoga, mindfulness, surfing and self-care. One or more of these things combined with healthy eating is like an elixir for tired minds and souls and does wonders to fill up the tank. It’s why we mix this combination of activities in our Bali Retreat programmes as we know it works and thus call them happiness holidays.
But so often, we hear stories like the one you just read. They come from women who are feeling exhausted from working too much or just lacking in the energy and inspiration they used to feel for their lives. Some of the women who come to us are looking for a specific change, and others, like the woman in her self-help seminar, others aren’t sure what they really want or what the next step is for them.
We love hearing all the shared stories and mutual learning that happens when women come together on our Bali health retreat however you don’t need to travel to get the same benefits. We thought we’d offer some tips to those who need a quick fix right now. So below are a few of the ways you can get focused on what it is you really want, and them to set goals around these. And what’s our goal? To help you to be able to write your bucket list without pause – and with the hope and joy that comes from living life to the fullest.
Imagine your ideal life
This self-project is one without limits so don’t hold back. Think big and take a moment to imagine the best possible life you’d like to be leading. First of all, if you’re single and looking for someone write down the perfect type of relationship you want. Think about the aspects your ideal partner will have. Then move onto your career, what sets your soul on fire? What motivates you – it is impacting people, solving problems, having freedom – when you discover what your why is, you will have a lot more clarity on the what and can answer what will be the best possible working situation for you? Will it be in a different industry? Do you want to help people or even work for yourself? Now, think about the type of sports or other activities you could imagine yourself doing. What will make you laugh again? When did you try something for the first time? Who do you want to surround yourself with? How much money would you be making and where would you be living if the possibilities were unlimited? What’s important to you in terms of lifestyle – is it beach, the city, tropics, somewhere cold? The key here is to really reach for the stars. It doesn’t matter if what you write does not seem realistic right now. Just get it all down on paper. The key though is to write things that really energise you and make your heart beat faster.
Define which of the wants you can achieve most easily
When you read back your list some of the things on it will be idle wants and others will have more substance. For example, you may have written that you’d love to be driving a Lamborghini while helping solve third world water shortages and living in the Bermudas. But you also may have written that you’d like to feel more peaceful in traffic, or become vegetarian. Choose three wants from your writing that you feel are within reasonable reach and make these your first three small goals. Caution: Whatever you do, don’t throw the rest away! These bigger ideas are the magic that could one day be your reality. The key with goals and the reason for choosing smaller ones first is they will give you that confidence that you can achieve them and the rest will follow.
Think about how you are showing up
Think about the type of person you need to become in order to achieve those goals – what behaviour, habits, mindset do you need to adopt and start emulating that. How will you show up?
Make a high level flight plan
We don’t recommend getting into the detail but rather a rough idea of the steps needed to start moving in the direction of your dreams. If you get too bogged down by the how, you won’t have the agility to shape shift and will feel down if the plan doesn’t roll out exactly as you have envisaged.
Add your chosen wellness practice
Now you have a few realistic steps to take – you’ll also need to support your overall health and wellness with a practice that makes you feel calm, centred and ready to take the actions you have planned. On our Bali Yoga Retreat at Escape Haven, we’ve learned that some women get this from the exhilaration of surfing, while others get it from a daily meditation routine. This commitment to regular practice is what we see lies at the core of these health transformations and put a sustained glow back into these women’s lives. You can find out more about any of these practices on our blog. It has articles and tips to help you get started and to also help keep you motivated and on track too!
WE ALL NEED GOALS, PASSIONS AND DREAMS
Inspiration is like a potion for happiness. When we feel inspired and focused on our goals everything else tends to drop into place. But we need to continue nurturing the goals and dreams that inspire us as we are today instead of as we used to be. Over time the things that used to inspire you may not feel so powerful and the reason for that is simply that you’ve changed and grown as a person. The process of constantly assessing what inspires you and setting fresh goals is one of the most powerful life stimulants you can give yourself. So good luck with your new self project and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to spend some time on the beautiful island of Bali at one of our yoga and health retreats. We’d love to nourish you.
Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul
We invite you to experience our award-winning Bali yoga retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness classes and restorative healing sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.