This post is written primarily for coaching clients and those who show in the dog sport world. In this rapidly evolving world around us, distractions abound. Although we have grand intentions, we are constantly pulled in a million directions by text messages, glitzy advertising, and social media. Each January, many of us set New Year's resolutions with high hopes. But how many actually follow through?
We all have "squirrels", and some more than others. Some even have rabid squirrels, I swear. (The scary part is, I can actually follow some of these people in conversation.) The truth is however, that "squirrel moments" are exhausting, embarrassing, and just down right frustrating. Sure, we can all laugh, but wouldn't it be nice to start and finish a conversation and actually remember what we started talking about in the first place?
It's time we clearly identify what goals we're working on, and be honest with ourselves. Coaching clients know my "Rule of 3's". This concept identifies three important areas that need improvement in our life, and then breaks down the work three goals at a time. The Rule of 3's applies to any area you're working on, including personal facets, competition animals, and even relationships.
Start by identifying your three areas, and then making the list of three items to work on within that category. Maybe it's teamwork, speed, or contacts, for example. Maybe you're job hunting and need to stay on task with putting leads out there. No matter what, put that list where you'll see it several times each day, and make it a point to acknowledge that you're working on those things. Don't look for perfection, just progress. Acknowledge what works, because we know that what we focus on, we create more of.
The most important part of this now comes into play. When urges to zone out in front of a social media site take over, or a friend calls to invite you shopping, ask yourself: "Is this relevant, or is it a distraction?" By honestly asking yourself this question, you become aware of choices that may be delaying you from reaching your goals. It's not to say you can't have fun, but be aware of a pattern of distractions. It makes you get real with yourself. Could you be working with your dog? Doing yoga? Doing something towards your list of 3? Watch those distractions... because they come in many forms. Social media, gossip, ice cream, and... squirrels.......
The results are amazing and create dramatic shifts in many areas in our lives. Jon Kabat-Zinn, author and MD, refers to this style of thinking as "mindfulness". How could your life be different if those distractions faded into the background?
Jen Ortman, owner of Holistipet (LLC) is a Professional Animal Communicator, Animal Reiki Master Teacher, author, and speaker.