Tools to Achieve Your Dreams in 2019
Is 2019 going to be a continuation of 2018? A new year does not guarantee a fresh start. Only you can do that. You are not a passenger riding shotgun through the twists and turns of life. You are the driver. Get out of the passenger seat and face the road head on. The unknown is scary, but it is also where you find your joy and passion. I will share with you the necessary tools to succeed and achieve a better life. To begin, start by asking questions. Where do you want to be in a year? Who do you want to be in 2019? If you dare to dream big the answer to these questions may surprise you. Next, plan and organize. Remove all the distracting clutter, and plan a strategy to get you from where you are to where you want to be. The third tool, be flexible. Approach schedules and planning with flexibility. People develop a masterplan; then at the first problem, they crumple under the weight of what needs to get done. Plans and schedules are guides not set in stone. They will change and grow as you do. The final tool is determination. Determination will push you through and fuel the fight for what you want. The prize at the end is worth the struggle. Surround yourself with reminders of your purpose. I will share with you my journey outside my comfort zone. You are invited to join me, and we can walk the path together to a better 2019.
It is the end of another year that undoubtedly has gone by too fast. So it is time to stop playing around! What is it that you want? I don’t mean what you think you SHOULD wish for, but what you ACTUALLY want. What dream is it that sparks deep inside you and is waiting to become the raging fire powering you through to its realization? It is time to brainstorm and find your passion. For example, if your dream is to lose 30 pounds, think bigger. I need to lose weight, but you will not see that on my goal list. What will be on my list? Start Scuba Diving! I love scuba diving, and it helps keep me slimmer. My goal is not to lose weight. It is to be the weight I need to be to accomplish my dreams and goals comfortably. The intention to lose weight would not get me jumping out of bed in the morning to take on the day. Clarifying your intent is a crucial part of the process. Your dreams and passions are the fuel to power you through goal setting, planning, and success. If not done correctly, it can sink you before you even get started. If you look down and see a bunch of words on a page, that means more work and more disappointment you will give up. Your words have to transcend beyond that fear and propel you to action. You can participate by joining our private facebook group Outside the Comfort Zone 2019. I have included my goal list for 2019 below:
1- Publish my first novel
2- Net the first 100k for the new business
3- See the Northern Lights in Finland, hot air balloons in New Mexico, Wombats in Australia, and bring my son to Disneyland
4- Become a better parent through consistent positive discipline
5- Adopt another child to our growing family
6- Prioritize and schedule quality family time every day
7- Get back into Scuba Diving and hiking
8- Take a trip with husband to stay in over-water huts at the end of the year.
9- Build office
10- Buy acreage to build a new house on
Organize & Plan
I enjoy organizing and planning because it feels like downloading your brain. I usually have so many things going on at once, that without this daily outlet, my mind overflows and things start flying out of control. Remove all the distracting clutter and forge a plan to get you where you want to go. Don’t worry you aren’t expected to know all the answers, but you do need a general idea. There are 101 ways to get organized. Pinterest is full of ideas. The problem can be finding which ones work best for you. For example, I like bullet journaling, but I do not have time to do it. My tools are an online planner, an online calendar, and spreadsheets. Plans Plus Online, designed on the techniques and principles from Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is my go-to planning software, and it coordinates with my Google calendar. I chose not to clutter up my current schedule with multi-year planning. Instead, I use spreadsheets to track those goals. Throughout the years, I have tried many apps, calendars, software, and paper planners, but I always come back to these. I started with the Plans Plus desktop version, but it eventually was phased out for the online version. Initially plagued with glitches, the online version is now a usable resource. Finding your best method of planning is a personal choice. Try a few options before you commit. It is worth the time to discover the one that works seamlessly with your life.
As you follow your path with your eyes and ears open, you will learn a lot. This knowledge will require adjustments to your plan. So, it has to accommodate changes. For example, I love to schedule and organize, but I hate to follow schedules. I am quirky that way. I had to learn to approach plans as suggestions, not foregone conclusions. As a foster parent, mother, biologist, entrepreneur, novelist, travel writer, blogger, and wife my schedule is not always my own. Not to mention all the bumps and roadblocks life throws at us. I am human. I don’t sit in a perfectly quiet and organized office, planning each step, and executing them with grace and perfection. I do get bills and junk mail that pile up, my kids get sick, my husband has to work late, and some days I don’t have the energy to deal with anything. We have to learn to give ourselves a break and approach our goals with flexibility and forgiveness. So you make a mistake, approach it as an opportunity to learn and do better next time. If you find a brick wall in your path, it is not the end. It is time to get creative. The solution to disruptions is flexibility and consistency. Take time every day to revisit your plans, tweak them, and try to improve tomorrow.
Fight, Fight, Fight
The final tool is determination. Your passion and dreams will only take you so far. Your determination takes you the rest of the way. It picks you up when you fall. It pushes you beyond perceived limitations. It fuels you to do what other people are not willing to do. When I was single, I had laser-like focus and the resolution to get what I wanted. When I got married, it changed. I was still able to focus while hubby was at work, but when he was home, I wanted to spend time with him. Determination pushed me to adjust, I increased my efficiency during the day, so I could relax and enjoy my husband’s company at night. Next came the kids. Focus flew out the window and gave way to multitasking. My laser-like focus splintered. It is confounding, yet a typical progression for many moms. Without my focus, I began an endless cycle of starting and stopping, but I never really gained any traction. Determination picked me up, pulled the cheerios out of my hair, wiped the throw-up off my shirt, and reminded me that I had other stuff to do. Eventually, I learned, instead of following the carrot, I had to frequently remind myself that there was a carrot. It helped compensate for the lack of focus and kept my goals forefront in my mind. I prioritize time for planning daily. Sometimes it can be as simple as daydreaming about how good it will feel when your goal is achieved, reviewing your plan, or hanging a dream board that you pass frequently. Other times it will keep you up all night while you finish a project or meet a deadline. Keep up the fight for those goals that are important to you, and learn to embrace the adage.
Where there is a will, there IS a way!
I sit here, close to the end of 2018, with my life in limbo. I have a beautiful little family whom I love, and I am thankful for every day. My husband who still loves me despite all my faults. My son who is progressing through his therapies, surviving my parenting, and making me want to be a better person every day. Another little one left two days ago, sickness is making the rounds at our house and we are struggling to make ends meet throughout the holidays. To close out this year, we need a little comfort. It is time to reflect and recover from the loss of our (foster) son in October. The new year is fast approaching, and it will bring change. It will bear its share of adventures, problems, solutions, tears, and laughter. To orchestrate this journey through 2019, I made big goals and my plan is ready. Soon I will be prepared to step outside my comfort zone, with new strength, agility, and determination. Step one towards achieving my new goals. Are you willing to join me? You have the tools you need. So let the dreaming begin!