The New Year is officially under way. Did you set resolutions, goals or intentions for 2020? And if so, are you seeking any outside sources to help you achieve these goals? A motivational book, an app to help you track progress, a group (online or in person) to keep you accountable?
Before you invest in any of these types of resources, it is helpful to get extremely clear about your needs on your improvement journey.
Two Categories of Self-help
Dr. Doyle discussed this issue recently on one of our videos. As he describes it, most self-help resources (books, seminars, leaders, etc) fall into two broad categories:
- ones that aim to provide motivation
- ones that aim to provide the actual tools you may need to reach your goals
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The Doc discusses two types of self-help: the type that offers motivations when you have all the tools you need to get going, but just need the push to get going; and the type that offers you tools to be successful when you have the motivation for self-improvement but don't have the know-how. Which is it that you need?
Neither is better than the other, but which type is right for you depends on your needs.
Let’s take meditation as an example. If you resolved to adopt a regular meditation practice in 2020, what do you need to be successful?
If you have meditated in the past and already have a sense of how to meditate, what you might be lacking is the necessary motivation to get you doing it regularly. In this case, what could be helpful are things like:
- a meditation “guru” on Instagram or Facebook to offer regular motivation
- a meditation app to track your progress and keep you accountable
- a book that discusses the benefits of meditation to inspire your own practice
- arranging a special space that can be your regular meditation spot, eliminating little barriers like “setting up” that keep you from your practice
But, if you have never meditated before and don’t really know how to, what you require is the specific tools and techniques of meditation. You may benefit from things like:
- a book that discusses different styles of meditation and specific meditation practices you can follow
- an app or audio series that offers guided meditations
- a group meditation course or retreat where you can learn the basics
Some meditation resources can certainly apply to both categories of people, such as an app with guided meditations that both instruct and help you create a routine. But some of these resources really won’t benefit you if they don’t fill your need. For example, motivation and inspiration are really meaningless if what you need is to know how to meditate.
Define your Need: Motivation? Or Tools?
Defining your concrete needs is necessary whatever your self-improvement goal. You want to put your time, energy, and money behind a resource that will fill the gaps you have in reaching your goals. And this is one of the reasons we emphasize that no one single self-help resource, even really popular ones, can be The Answer for everybody (and ones that claim they are The Answer are misleading).
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There are TONS of books out there for self-help. Sometimes it can be frustrating when we read a super successful, best-selling book that just doesn't resonate. But that's totally normal. Advice that works for some people doesn't always work for others. It's also possible that the book and the advice it contains are absolutely terrible. 😂 ⠀ Sometimes these things are super successful for reasons other than their merit: a celebrity author or endorsement, slick marketing, good timing. 🤷 ⠀ Don't get down; it's not you! ✨⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #next #beyourownguru #knowyourguru #selfhelp #selfdevelopment #bestsellers #books #reading #learning #growth #mindset #seeking #spiritualjourney #thesecret #positivevibes #selfcare #sunday #motivation #advice #wellness #knowyourself #trustyourgut #happiness #success
Sometimes (maybe even a lot of the time!), we don’t always know what we need, so give it some thought before you dive in. Breaking it down along that line of motivation vs. tools is a good starting point.
We all have different goals, learning styles, needs, and starting points in our self-improvement journey. Getting clear on what you really require is an important step in making sure that your efforts are successful!
What goals have you set for yourself for 2020? How do you plan to achieve them?