It is the first full week of school for many of us! And with that comes joy (for those whose kids were ready to go back) and sometimes sadness (for parents sending kids off to college or even Kindergarten for the first time. But I think almost every parent regardless of the age of their children; experience a certain level of excitement when the first day of school finally arrives. This time of year is almost like another a second New Year’s Day, in the sense that it allows us to reset, rejuvenate and really think about what we want for our kids and ourselves.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”-Napoleon Hill
Goal setting is one of those non-negotiables for anyone who wants to achieve continued success in life. But the journey to living your daydream doesn’t have to be consumed with daunting tasks that stare you in the face with each rising sun. The heart of Summer is the perfect time to set some goals and create an innovative and inspiring way to reach them. The sun is still out and beating the crowds for school supplies isn’t quite at the top of the to-do list…yet.
By setting aside as little as 10 minutes a day, you can be well on your way to living your even better life!
For every goal I set for myself, I can give you 100 reasons why I can’t get there. But last week, after talking with a friend about all of the roadblocks that get seem to block the path of where I want to go, I got the best advice. Just do it. Don’t over think your life. Either begin today or don’t but when you do, go all in. I’m not sure why those words resonated so clearly to me, but perhaps it was because I am the queen of getting in my own way. I over analyze, and I tend to think of ten problems for every solution. But reversing that mentality, or simply deleting it all together, creates so much room for visioning what is possible. I literally feel lighter when I make the concerted effort to erase all of the background noise in my brain. Some days are easier than others, but with practice and persistence, keeping your eye on the prize will become easier over time.
Hold Yourself Accountable
The day I decided to go to grad school, I invited two friends over for dinner, that are very focused and goal-oriented, to tell them my plans. My application wasn’t even filled out, but I knew that if put my intentions out there public, the only choice was to follow through. Whether it’s announcing your plans to friends or family or journaling daily tasks to help you stay on track, hold yourself accountable. For journaling, two apps I love are Wonderlist and Seven. But a good ol’ fashioned pen and paper also work wonders.
Think (and see) Positive
This one can be tricky. Especially when tackling a long-term goal like a career change. Keeping a positive mindset is much like doing yoga. It takes practice. And even in spite of keeping consistent, there will be days where you just feel…stuck. This spring, when all of my thoughts were consumed with sarcasm and self-doubt, I decided to channel my inner “Hallmark” and create an actual Vision Board! Not only was it a fun creative outlet, (let’s be real; I haven’t had this much fun cutting out magazine clippings since Brad Pitt appeared on the cover of Seventeen) but also it helped me to see a pattern in where my thoughts were going when envisioning my end goal. Be fluid with the process, if your goal is to travel more, but a beautiful recipe catches your eye, print it out and add it! Positive thoughts lead to more positive thoughts. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up taking a pastry course during that dream trip to Paris!
Allow Your Goals to Grow with You
Suppose you have the dream of running a marathon. You research races, buy the right shoes, select a training program and then two months later learn that you’re expecting (hypothetically speaking…). Maybe that goal transforms into running a half-marathon by your child’s second birthday. Keep this in mind: Adapting your goals to new life events and interests is not settling! But rather, it’s allowing you to embrace life’s changes while keeping what is important to you. Nothing is wrong with allowing your dreams to grow and change with you and your circumstance. In fact, it could turn out to be an ideal situation that may lead to new paths you would have never considered otherwise. Opportunity knocks on doors that are likely to open!
As someone who always thinks “big picture”, this concept doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes, I can envision exactly where I want to go, but it’s difficult for me to break down the process into smaller pieces. Start by writing down three things you can do each day to help you reach your goal. Tasks lead to habits, which lead to living a lifestyle that is consistent with your goals. Remember to keep yourself accountable by documenting what tasks you have completed each day and how they are relevant to your goal.
Find Your Why
Here’s the thing. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, you may still get to your goal. But you will never be happy. If you set a goal that you think is right for you, make sure you know it is and be sure you’re able to explain why. Goal setting isn’t for the faint of heart, and achieving any goal comes with some lousy setbacks. If you are able to remind yourself why your goal is important in your heart and in your life, it will be a lot less tempting to give up.
We only have this one life. Remember that you are worth putting in the work it takes to living life to the fullest, whatever that means for you. Whether it’s buying a dog or earning a degree, every goal is important and worth your time and effort! Wishing you all the best for new and exciting chapters ahead!
“Two roads diverged in a wood. And I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.”-Robert Frost
A few weeks ago when I was interviewing Sarah for her latest blog post, she mentioned something that has been running over and over in m y head. She mentioned how she frequently asks her daughters “Where is your fork going today”?
There are few people who love Pinterest quotes more than I doJ (Who writes this stuff because I want to meet them, or as a writer, even be them for a day or two). But those words, “Where’s your fork going today?” struck a chord that few passages have ever touched.
If I’m being honest, my mind has been bombarded with petty roadblocks of why I can’t get to the gym this day or that day. Here are a few of my reasons. Do any of these resonate with you?
My family needs me at home today.
What will my 9-year old do?
My son has delays. Can he handle the playroom?
I’m behind on stuff at home.
Work is busy.
I could go on but I won’t waste your time, or mine for that matter. Here’s the thing: There will always be roadblocks. And there will always be an easier road to travel. Ultimately the choice is yours, and mine.
This week I had both kids at home with me and it would have been easier to throw in the towel. And then I took a moment, and stopped. I thought about where I wanted my fork to go. In that moment, I took a deep breath, threw on some yoga pants, grabbed my kids and headed to the studio. At KidFit drop off, I hastily explained my son’s situation, which was reciprocated with a smile and reassurance (which is huge, btw). Next, off to Zumba. I was the only one there. Bonus: Arturo is awesome and this girl got a Salsa lesson!
If there is one thing I hope you get from this message it’s this: You are braver than your battles. Get over your guilt and get out the door and live. Do it for you, do it for your kids, do it for your family. I promise your housework and deadlines will still be there when you come home. In the meantime, live a little-and get in a good workout while you’re at it!
*Very special thanks to Frankie Moore and Zoe Addeo who were absolutely fabulous with all the kiddos, and for watching out for Blake.
And a special thanks to Sarah for dishing your words of inspo!