I’ve made goals since I was a little girl. I would sit down with my dad nearly every Sunday and write a few goals down in a journal with him. That small start continued as I grew up. I’ve always had some sort of plan to help make my life better, using various programs that included traditional goals, resolutions, and mission statements.
After a certain period of time, I wanted a better program to set goals, form resolutions, and guide my life. I felt, to a certain extent, that goals weren’t getting me anywhere. I set them, I followed through, but I didn’t necessarily feel like my life was improving. Goals didn’t keep up with unforeseen life changes and my own changing interests.
I studied many programs and drew inspiration from them to create this holistic program. It includes goals, resolutions, and personal mission statements: but it’s more than that. It’s a program to guide my life and make sure my goals and routines in my daily life are leading me to the lifestyle I want. With my holistic program, I have purpose and direction that is resilient against life changes.
Holistic is a term that is not always understood correctly. Holistic means, “Relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts.” The first part of holistic thinking involves identifying the systems, or wholes: and I start with myself. I am, as an individual, a whole: a person composed of various aspects and parts. I am also part of many different wholes such as a family, a church, a home, and a business.
After identifying wholes, I look at individual parts in relation to each other and the overall whole. I am composed of my body, a spirit, a mind, and my emotions. My family is composed of my spouse, children, and myself. A business is composed of the owner, employees, product, and customers. But the individual elements when taken apart do not often adequately describe the whole: the whole is unique and more than a collection of parts.
When I start thinking holistically, I stop focusing on individual details or events and instead look at a broader pattern and how it affects the overall whole. Wholes are more than the sum of their parts. I still identify and improve on individual elements but within an overall goal and pattern for the whole. I create systems that interconnect individual elements and have a greater purpose of supporting the entire whole.
Holistic living allows us to take a step back from day to day tasks and look at the overall landscape of our life. The result of this is a greater purpose, more efficient living, and a lifestyle that brings us happiness.
Each of our holistic programs will be entirely unique. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life: only give you tools to figure out how you want to live your life. It’s a framework, and you can create whatever you want from it, or even change it to suit yourself.
It’s a common viewpoint to see careers and home life and personal life as separate entities that often compete with one another. Much of the world is striving to find “balance” between these competing forces. But they are extensions of my own whole, and by thinking holistically, I can work for the good myself and the wholes I am a part of, so that they interlock together. Much of the stress I experience is by focusing on details without realizing how they affect the overall wholes. Family, career, and self-care are all needed and are not competing with each other, but can all share the same overall goals and direction.
I went through a period of time of emotional distress. My life became lopsided as a mother of young children. I knew my role as a full-time mother was important, but I was unable to maintain the emotional health necessary to do that role. I started to more clearly identify myself, and see that rather than my children being a burden and creating stress in my life, we were part of the same whole, our family, and we were seeking the same goals. My own part in my family was not that of being submissive and unimportant: I was an integral part of the whole of our family, and my desires and interests, and emotional health mattered.
So I started to be myself, in a way that contributed to the whole of our family. My emotional health and children were not competing: but rather begin to grow together and to reinforce each other. I included my children in activities that I enjoyed, as part of the overall whole of our family. We gardened, exercised, created friendships. I allowed myself time to focus on some of my own interests, like writing and design. What was once a competing situation, started to become complementary. My children gave me new ideas and experiences: and I also shared new ideas and experiences with them. My emotional health improved as we started working together for the same things: happiness, creativity, and love.
I am learning to stop segmenting my life into little tasks and instead create a greater purpose. The greater purpose will help me combine all the segments of my life together into a united whole.
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