Being mindful of congruence between your actions and goals is the key for a healthy life. Through my work in helping others, I have come to understand that most people know what their challenges are and even know the core source of these difficulties. People sometimes also have long-term goals and a well thought out plan to achieve them. However, I have seen these same people become “stuck” despite their awareness. Therefore, assessing your degree of congruence and working on establishing the congruence needed between your actions and goals, can prevent a feeling of being stagnant or stuck in life.
What creates this stagnant space? How does it get in the way of what you KNOW and what you want to achieve? Asking these questions is surely a start.
The Benefit of Living Congruently
Imagine living a life in which all your actions matched your intentions and goals? What would that be like? Can you imagine the emotional and physical effect of doing this? Take a moment to think about this. How do you feel right now as you visualize this? Really envision your potential life. I bet it looks much less stressful and productive! And right now, you probably feel very hopeful about your future life with this vision!
All of us have at some point become stuck in the gray space of incongruence between our words and actions, thoughts and feelings, and actions and goals. This theme of contradiction is actually quite common across these different areas of our lives. An example of this is maintaining a routine, or a series of actions that are non-conducive to your goals, yet continuing to carry them out because you feel that you “have to” e.g., getting a degree your parents want you to get, but you have no interest in it.
The Negative Effects When You Are Not Congruent
The effect of incongruence between your goals and your actions may lead to you experiencing symptoms of sadness, emptiness, frustration, disappointment and sometimes, even shame. When you start to live in harmony with your goals, these symptoms decrease because you are engaged in the activities that will get you closer to where you want to be. Consequently, there will be evidence in your environment that you are making progress toward your actual goals!
Living CONGRUENTLY with your goals entails involving yourself in activities that will get you there. Being honest with yourself is truly the number one rule!" -Dee Duran
Here are some helpful steps to check and promote CONGRUENCE in your life:
- Ask yourself: “What do I want to achieve?”
- Ask yourself: “What are the actions I need to get involved in to achieve what I want?”
- Take action and start these activities
- Track your actions by keeping a journal, notebook, calendar (whatever works for you).
- Check in and ask yourself often: “Were these activities congruent with what I want?”
- Track your progress regularly: what was your baseline (where you were when you started) and what have you achieved since you began to take the necessary steps? (Every step, no matter how small counts!)
- Reinforce yourself/treat yourself for taking action and celebrate milestones
- The steps above are cyclical, meaning you are always carrying out these processes to achieve your goals
- Check in with yourself regularly (how do I feel? what actions did I engage in? are they in line with what I want?)
- If you fall off a little, it is okay! You can always start again!
Lastly, if you are would like to work on establishing congruence between your actions and your goals feel free to contact me.