The start of a New Year puts many in the mood for a lifestyle inventory. Looking back on the past year and looking forward to the future. Making resolutions. Some people make impossibly unobtainable goals, many fueled my Madison Avenue’s fire. The message? Be the perfect consumer. However, being the perfect consumer hardly fires me up. What does fire me up however is feeling happy, healthy and empowered as an individual. And that got me thinking of the word DREAM because the word dream is thrown around a lot. Do your dream! Live your dream! The American Dream. But what is a dream? It seems so ethereal, so… out there. That is why I do not prefer that word. I want the thought to be grounded. I want to bring it to the here and now. Bring it down to goals. Goals reached by answering the following questions:
- What do I want to show up in my life?
- What actions do I need to take to get me there?
- What action can I accomplish now?
- If my goal is bigger than me, who do I need to have on my team to help me reach my goal?
That is how you reach a goal and live a dream. That is what successful people do. Here is where the voice of doubt says “But there are outside influences on my life that I cannot control!” and that is perfectly true. I think this is where many people get lost. Because things don’t happen on the timeline they expected and because of that the feeling is that they have somehow failed. This is where the cliche KEEP TRYING comes in. Because in my experience, nothing happened in the time frame I wished or expected. But it happened or is in the process of happening. To achieve a goal it is important to set deadlines, however it is just as important if a deadline is not met to set another deadline and keep working. Perfectionists that think it needs to be perfect the first time if it is meant to be have got to let go of that notion and must allow steps toward progress to count for something or else there is the risk of becoming paralyzed as any task can become overwhelming when a person doesn’t take joy in the little successes on the way to the larger goal.
So in these sometimes self-critical moments of resolution making remember to choose obtainable goals that mean something to you, create a to-do map of action items that you can accomplish in one day and get to it. It feels great on the other side. Success is addictive!
Happy New Year!
A goal is a dream with a deadline ~Napoleon Hill
Many people have great ideas and very few do anything with them. Ideas are an energy, but like electricity, energy doesn’t do anything useful unless it has a conduit to focus it to complete a task. Unless dreams/ideas are wrapped in the conduit of a to-do list, not much happens with them because the energy is scattered- not focused.
This becomes even more vital for those who are doing work at home, or are attempting to balance parenthood and a career as a freelancer or other home-based business. It’s easy to get distracted by chores, kids, partners and their need to be loved, entertained, and cared for. However, without balance nothing gets done. Enter the to do list.
Write out all that comes to mind when you ask “What needs to be done today?”. It can become an extensive list. Now go through the list again asking “What are the consequences of this item?” Meaning, if it doesn’t get done today what would happen? Some things hold little consequence like a chore that doesn’t happen, some holds great consequence like not making an important business call when the client is expecting you to. Write these high consequence items on a small magnetic dry erase board and place them somewhere you go to get distracted–say the refrigerator–if it is a work environment, place it in line of sight. Write the top five things that need to happen on the dry erase board and remove each task as it is done. Make sure this top five happens every day. If it absolutely can’t happen –extenuating circumstances–add it to the top of tomorrow’s list and get it done. This feeling of accomplishment encourages more accomplishment. Especially for long projects and for chores like dishes and laundry that are eternal, it feels good to be done, at least for now 🙂
By structuring the day into the conduit of a to-do list, with consequences and deadlines things get done. There will still be occasion to look back at the end of the week and say “Where the heck did that week go?” Only with a to-do list done, that feeling comes with a sense of satisfaction about all that was accomplished during that time.
Twenty-third installment in the A-Z series. W is for Waiting.
Like the song says, “The waiting is the hardest part.” It seems so with life. Waiting for the good stuff to happen, waiting for the bad stuff to be over, waiting in transition from one stage of life to another. The waiting is most definitely the hardest part.
Patience is a virtue. Knowing there is a time and place for everything. How much pain is caused by rushed decisions. I have made many. Some turned out rather well, while others cause a lot of extra work and heartache. Patience is certainly not one of my strengths, so I can hardly talk about it. I just know it is a good idea. I wish I had more of it.
The thing that is tricky about many things in life is that it’s not just about us. We have to wait for other people to be in line with the game plan as well. People with their own thoughts, free will, perspectives and game plans. There is a time when that comes in to alignment and we have an opportunity.
But its the waiting. Often I think of kids jumping rope, double-dutch two ropes swinging. You have to listen to the rhythm of the ropes to know just the perfect time to jump in. If you don’t listen you end up tripping or getting smacked in the face with the rope, and that HURTS! Much the same with life. Being prepared and being open to that perfect opening in life for career, love, family, or whatever one wishes to attract into their world. We must be prepared and patiently wait.
When the synchronicity of life aligns for us it is such an exquisitely magical time. When everything seems to flow the way we’d like. Gratitude for the blessings in life. I am reminded of another song lyric as well with Sheryl Crow that says “It’s not getting what you want. It’s wanting what you’ve got” this is also a good sentiment to keep in mind. Sometimes waiting through a tough time is the right choice as with time things sort themselves out and one finds no action was needed.
Other times the time spent waiting reveals without a doubt what the next step in life’s journey should be. There is a lot to be said for waiting for the Universe to catch up with our desires. To manifest them in its own perfect time.
Yet without a doubt the waiting is the hardest part.
Twenty-first part of the A-Z series. U is for Unlimited.
To be truly Unlimited. What would that even look like? Can you picture it? What an experiment like a child just learning to walk that huge beaming smile that comes from finally having a taste of being in control of ones destiny. I can go there. I can move over there what joy sparkles in the eye of a new toddler.
Are we able to be much the same way? To take a moment to breathe to free up the personal schedule enough, to be out in an open field and just be? What are the possibilities of being Unlimited? The movie Limitless addresses this question. One thing I find in my personal experience is a disappointment at times in the lack of creativity of my thoughts. These are the materials for which to build my dreams and many times they feel so restricted. For example this question…
What would you do with 24 hours if money were no object and you could manifest any reality?
What is your answer to this question? I go over it time and time again starting from my own limited reality and expanding my mind to encompass larger and more outlandish outcomes. Just to do it. Just to explore what is possible. It’s a great big universe out there who knows what is able to be tapped into. What great adventures there are to be had.
So often it is easy especially in the state the Earth is in now to consider that which is not so great about humanity. Yet now I strive to ask questions about the best tastes, the greatest pleasures, the most mind blowing beauty. Unlimited happiness and joy. What does that look like? How can I manifest that? If only in my imagination where all great visions start? This is my great goal for my remaining time in this life. To create and enjoy as many of these moments, these memories of the future as I can.
To live an Unlimited existence. To live to my ultimate potential. This is a worthy goal for anyone. What does this picture look like in your life? What obstacles are in the way of this ultimate existence and where do they come from? Some are self inflicted when trying to fit a mold we say “Oh I can’t do that, that’s silly I need to be…(a grown up, serious, a career person, just fill in the blank with appropriate excuse). Sometimes it is an outside source you are a mother/father, of a certain religion, you are a male/female or whatever label makes it not ok to be what you would be if all the rules and labels were removed, all the shoulds taken away.
Oh how glorious. I just want to bask in that possibility for a moment. If all the barriers and restrictions were taken away. What a weight lifted off! Often times this is why many people dream of that uber rich lifestyle. What they are really craving is this Unlimited possibility that comes with being able to afford to do anything. It is Freedom that humans crave though many are afraid to embrace it. I would like to know what it is like to embrace it.
To truly be Unlimited. What does that reality look like to you?