Goals, aspirations, dreams, resolutions or “what I want to be when I grow up”. Whatever you choose to call them, it’s always good to have a dream or goal to aim for. But once you know what you want to do, how do you begin the process of achieving it?
That’s the question. Everyone has hopes, a wish, goals, dreams. But how do we make them a reality? Not claiming to be the expert in the area of goal setting or achievement. I’m merely here to share what has helped me over the years as I’ve worked toward reaching mine. No matter who we are, where we come from or where we stand in this very moment, there’s something to learn from one another.
Personally, my goals and dreams have changed off and on over the last few years. And they vary quite a bit. This is due to being a stay at home mom for a long amount of time. I’ve been in the stage of either pregnancy, mothering or handling a highly dependent child for the last 8 years. Therefore, most of my goals have been in the area of mothering or something family-related. However, as my youngest gets a bit older (she turned 3 last week), I’ve started thinking about me. Which for me (and I’m sure many of you too) is a hard idea. It’s hard to think about yourself, especially when the main focus for years on end has been that of your children and family.
A long-time goal that has been waaaay off in the distance was starting my own professional organization business. Yes, that goal is still out there. Since I’m 100% dedicated to my children as a stay at home mom, it’s not possible to put together a business plan and dig in on that one. This is how the blog was born.
How did I get simply organized off the ground? For a long time I privately shared my tips and ideas with friends. Then, a few years ago, my friend (kelley!) e-mailed and suggested I start a blog. She had recently found a blogger that featured an idea I shared with her and other friends just a few weeks prior. Her encouragement along with a little research on my part into what a writing a blog was about, is what gave me the push to start the online side of simply organized.
At first, it was uncomfortable – where do I begin, I don’t think I’m a great writer, how am I going to find the time to blog while taking care of a home and mothering 3 children, what would my family and friends think, would anyone even read the blog or find my ideas/voice interesting enough to continue reading….the list goes on. But this blog is really a great stepping stone into bigger goals of one day owning an organization business.
And it also satisfied my itch to do something “me-focused” while still being a mom.
BUT it had to start somewhere…and I had a dream and goal in mind. Just because the blog has been up and running for over a year, doesn’t mean the dreams have ended. It only makes me want to reach for more. My dreams and goals are not only blog related….if you didn’t know I’m sorta in transition here and getting ready to make a big move across the country to my home state of California. Soooo, there is a lot of dreaming (and money saving) going on over here!
If you’re struggling to get started on your own dreams and goals, or feel lost – I’m sharing what keeps me motivated. Just as a way to encourage you! Here are some of my personal tips….
* Don’t let age stop you: This one goes hand in hand with my first point, but think it’s worth it’s own spot here on the list. Age stops many of us from making changes in our lives. When it comes to goals, age doesn’t matter. It’s a mute point. Just look in a magazine or newspaper or on tv. Look even closer – people you work with, older family members, neighbors. People of all ages are achieving dreams and age isn’t stopping them. Countless people have a career change at various points in their lives. While I was in college, my classes were full of older students making a career change. The fact they were in a college classroom with students half their age didn’t phase them. They were there to focus on those goals with pin-point accuracy. They were doing it…reaching toward their dreams by starting at the ground level … re-education. No matter what stage of life you’re in…even if you already have a well-established career…if you aren’t happy, don’t let age keep you from exploring options.
* Find out why you aren’t happy where you are today: If you’re thinking about a major career or life change, just for funzies, let’s figure out why you aren’t happy. For example, maybe you love what you do, but you don’t like the company you work for? Or maybe it’s your depressing boss? If you had a change of companies, maybe things would turn up and, in turn, so would your passion about that career choice. Sometimes when you’re unhappy it makes everything else seem gray and cloudy. But if able to see a clear picture into your life from 35,000 feet, you may see that it’s just that company or boss that is making you miserable.
This idea could be carried over into a lot of areas – maybe even toxic relationships you’re staying in. Maybe your weight. Maybe where you live. I think it’s important to take a deeper look into why you are feeling unhappy. Maybe if some of the excess baggage was removed, you’d find you are just where you wanted to be.
But, if through the process of writing down what you aren’t happy with you realize change is a must – then great! Let’s write down what does make you happy! Which brings me to my next point…
* Write them down: Did you know your dreams and goals are more likely to become reality if you have them written down? It’s true! What are you waiting for? Write them down now!!! And then when you do, take it a step further by breaking them down into bite-size pieces. Start with small goals and you’ll see how quickly you’re moving in the direction of achievement.
* Share your goals with someone else: Writing goals is an important step, but when you share them with the loving people in your life….you’ll automatically have cheerleaders motivating you along the way. Maybe this is true for you, but for me, it kinda keeps me personally accountable to someone other than myself. When I know my friend is going to ask me “how are you doing on that goal topic you were working on for the blog?”, it keeps me walking toward my end game….which here on the blog is to provide inspiring content.
Have a group of people, or just one, that you know will stay positive and keep you motivated without tearing you down.
* Stay true to yourself: This has been truth (and a struggle) in my life forever, but especially since starting this blog. When it comes to the blogging world, sometimes it’s hard not to take a look at those around us and compare. The fact is you can’t worry about what everyone else is doing – whether you’re blogging or preparing to run a marathon or starting your own company. Everyone is different. The only one who knows you the best is…you guessed it…YOU! You are the only one that can do you really well. Not even the best comedian on SNL can imitate you. You have your own voice and passion and your own set of core values. And your own personality. When it comes to setting a goal, make sure it’s a mirror image of YOU…and you won’t have anything else to worry about.
* Don’t be afraid to try: When you set a goal and then step outside your comfort zone to work toward it, you may be surprised when you’re first feelings are not that of excitement. Instead, it may actually feel uncomfortable. Maybe you’re even afraid. The first few steps might add up to nothing, but everyone has to start with that decision and word = try. Don’t be afraid of trying. I have a feeling once you have tried and failed a few times, suddenly you’ll discover a different feeling….determination!
* Don’t be afraid of failure: Yes, failure means you actually made progress by moving toward a goal in the first place. Good for you! Now, don’t let one little failure keep you from trudging on. Even the most successful people in the world experience failure. Ummmm, hellooooo – Steve Jobs. Guy is genius and am so happy (as are millions of other people) that he kept moving forward with his dreams. He faced numerous failures but kept going…and while not here with us in the flesh, many of his goals and dreams continue to live on with his company. He is just one example in a thousand others I could share. It’s not going to be easy and there may be missteps along the way, but this is life. Keep your goal in mind as you move forward.
* No matter what happens, keep your positive attitude: When you’re working toward something new and different, there will be letdowns and frustrations. Don’t let that overshadow everything else. You’re more than welcome to have a bad day (maybe more than one) along the way, but remember there’s always a reason it will work…so keep that idea close to heart. If you’re working particularly hard, be kind to yourself and do something to re-invigorate your spirit – a night out with friends, a long walk on the beach, a yoga class. keep a list of things near your computer that detail your “happy place”. Even if you can’t physically go there (Hawaii, for example), maybe try some meditation to get you back to a positive place.
I hope I’ve motivated you in a small way by sharing my tips. Would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment for all of us to read and gain inspiration!