So you’ve got goals for this year…
How do you know you’re going to achieve them? What would support your journey?
What do you need for this goal to become impossible to miss?
Let’s see how we can apply permaculture in your life to create an ecosystem supporting your dreams.
It all starts with a dream (of sailing the world in my case)
When I was a teenage, I had a dream of sailing the world. Now, I was living inland, had sailed just a few times, and didn’t really know if that was actually doable. But I had no doubt I would do it.
So I began to read every book I could on the subject. Then I saw personal websites from families who were doing this.
I started to learn sailing. I took every chance to sail that I could. I went on boat building & repairing sites, and talked to as many people as I could, to figure out what was the best choice of boat for my needs. I researched every post of boat sale, visited harbors and so on.
I did this and a lot more, and eventually, I bought a sailing-boat and went living & traveling on it for some years.
Did I plan all of this, in chronological order? NO!
I had this dream, I observed where I was in relationship to that, and what I needed to get there.
I began to move, and adjusted my trajectory on the way.
It was pretty much an organic grow.
I was pretty much applying the principles of permaculture
And I didn’t know it at the time, but I was pretty much applying the principles of permaculture, and that is exactly what I offer you today for this next year. A new way to go after your dreams, so instead of needing external inputs to achieve them, you create an ecosystem for them to automatically grow.
The bigger idea behind all of the principles of permaculture comes from the observation that the concept of what has become traditional agriculture, relying on external inputs like fertilizers and the like, is eventually impoverishing the soil and the whole ecosystem.
And if instead we trust and respect the ecosystem we want to grow plants in, and live with, we can make it thrive, and even turn problems into solution (for example composting our waste to nourish the soil).
So in permaculture, the most important aspect of the production is that the system should be self-sustainable, and resilient.
And that is something that can totally be applied to our own productivity.
I selected the most important principles for that.
(I’m not going to go over the 12 principles. They are all interesting, but it would be too long. Look at the video below on this page, which is presenting them quite nicely. I might continue to present them over time if you’re interested though. Tell me if that is the case.)
The first permaculture principle is: “Observe and interact.”
I cannot tell you how much I love that one!
When we have a dream, a goal, often we focus most on what we want to create, forgetting to observe the current situation.
So our intention setting process is often a model of mind over body, and everything else. We impose impossible goals and exhaust the system.
Do you know your ecosystem? Your intellect is only one of your intelligences.
Your emotions also have wisdom, as does your physical body. You can listen to them all, as well as your spiritual, your energetic (your overall vitality), your relational intelligences. When creating a permaculture design, the first thing you do is take time to observe the ecosystem throughout the seasons.
You’ve spent a lifetime with yourself, so you won’t have to observe for one year to know how your personal ecosystem works. But take a moment to reflect on how you are using your different intelligences.
Do they compete, or do they cooperate?
- Do you take your physical body into account when making decisions?
- What about your emotions?
- your relationships?
- How does your intention align with them all?
- How do they all interact with each other?
- What can you do to make sure they all thrive?
Design from patterns to details
Let’s move to the actual intention setting.
What do you want to create? Often we do the mistake to focus on the “how” too early, before we really know the “why”.
For example: Is your goal really to exercise five times a week? Or do you want to become more healthy?
Because if you real goal is to become more healthy, there are many ways now you can achieve it. You are much more flexible, thus you are much more likely to get where you want. (Defining your happiness & success with flexibility will be the subject in next week’s podcast.)
So while you are contemplating your year, see the bigger picture.
Ask yourself: is it “how” I’m going to create it, the vehicle, or the “why” that will make me move throughout the year, my direction?
Catch & store energy
Now you’ve got your big Why.
You will need resources to go in this direction. We are most creative when we have energy. Sounds obvious, isn’t it?
So why so many of us still set impossible schedule to ourselves? Too short deadlines, plans that will succeed only if nothing comes in the way, and so on.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month.Matthew Kelly from the book “The Long View”
We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade.”
- How can you make sure to sustain your energy all through the journey towards your “why”?
- What do you need? (Which can be different from what you want!)
- How can you balance action and rest? (which was last week’s episode topic, so go and listen to it if you want to know more)
- And even better, how can you create and use momentum towards your goal?
Find these answers, and only then you are ready to move to the “how”, and my advice here is to use another permaculture principle: Use small & slow solutions. (Not the topic for today, but I might come back to it later if you’re interested.)
Integrate rather than segregate
Now, with this process, especially finding answers to catch & store energy, you might have come up with obstructions and / or resistances.
And this principle addresses them in a beautiful way: Integrate rather than segregate. Whatever is a problem, how can it be a solution?
I know people who have auto-immune diseases for example, and need a lot of rest. Sounds like a problem for anything you want to accomplish, right?
Well, when you cannot compensate procrastination with working harder and longer hours, you suddenly have a very strong motivation to become really efficient.
- What resistance do I, or will I , have, on the way?
- How is this resistance actually a solution?
Apply these principles and respond rather than react
When we apply these principles, then it becomes easy to Apply self-regulation and accept feedback, and also to creatively use & respond to change, which are two other principles of permaculture.
We create our design, our intentions, from these principles, but of course we keep applying the same principles all through the journey.
As a result we continuously balance the results we want, with the resources we have, and we keep flexibility to respond, rather than react. We adapt to the situation from the open mindset of integrating rather than segregating.
Now is your turn to create with your personal sustainable ecosystem
Go over the principles above and answer to the questions for yourself. Then hop on my socials and share your thoughts and / or questions on this week’s post. I will answer on the usual Thursday FB live.
All the episodes of the “Start a sustainable intentional year (and decade)” series:
- Start 2020 strong: give yourself a break! Why the first thing you should do is resting, and how to do it effectively to be in a good state when you come back to action.
- Automatically create your dreams with your optimized personal ecosystem: How to set sustainable goals using principles from permaculture.
- Define your happiness with flexibility for success: How to refine those goals to make sure we are progressing towards them.
- Beat procrastination with this simple tool to align intention and attention: Your intention is in the future, your attention in the present… How to make them work together?
- Affirmation vs reminders… Which work best? Affirmation don’t work… Unless you apply this simple tip.
- From struggling with motivation and willpower to using joy as fuel for your dreams.
Resources cited in the conversation
The 12 principles of permaculture
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Stay tuned for the next episode, à bientôt. 😉