Dare I Say the “G” Word?

Dare I Say the “G” Word?

Anytime I start something new, I like to think about what I want from that new beginning. If I enter a new season, for example, I make a list of all the things I want to do that I can only do that season . . . pumpkin carving, spice pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins. When I move into a new home, I carefully organize each room and closet. It gives me a chance to reduce clutter and bring out favorite treasures while I decorate. When I begin a new year, I decide what I am going to accomplish and what I will spend my time on that year.

This year is the perfect opportunity to take control of your life and decide how you will spend the days to come. It is after all, the beginning of a new decade!

Now, brace yourself. I am about to say the “G” word —–> Goals!

This year is the beginning of a new decade and the chance to make your one, three, five, and ten-year goals. But first, let’s look at that word “goals” because once you break it down, it isn’t such a scary word.

  • When a person thinks about what they want to do – that is a dream.
  • When a dream is broken into steps – it becomes a task or tasks.
  • When a deadline (or due date) is attached to a task – it becomes a goal.

So, in reality, a goal is just an intentional task with a deadline.

Here is a great example of the difference between a dream and a goal. Let’s say you want to buy a house. The dream is to own your own home. As long as you keep saying to yourself and your friends that you want to buy a house, it remains a dream.

This dream becomes a task or series of tasks when you break that dream into steps. These steps may include things like:  set up a savings account, meet with a financial person about getting a loan, looking at where you would like to live, cutting things out of your budget, etc. At this point you are moving in the direction of buying your house. Too many people stop here though. These tasks could stay on your to-do list for a very long time.

The most difficult step is assigning a deadline to these tasks which is what turns them into goals. Having a deadline may feel like a commitment or a ball and chain, but it is also what will push you to make your dream a reality. How badly do you want that dream?

(You are not alone in your feelings of nervousness, extra perspiration, or jittery bugs. I confess that I am talking to myself right now as well!)

Buying a house is an example of a long-term goal. It is something that we can’t accomplish within a month. Our daily to-do lists are examples of short-term goals. It is important to have both long-term and short-term goals. (More on that later.)

This year, the beginning of a new decade, is the perfect time to set goals for 2020, as well as make our one-year, three-year, five-year, and ten-year goals. Wow, that’s a lot of planning, thinking and dreaming! But I promise you, worth it!!

How do you do it? It is really very simple. All that is required is paper, pen, and some quiet time. Write at the top of four sheets: One-year, three-year, five-year, and ten-year. Answer these questions about yourself . . .

“Where do I want to be in life in __(fill in with 1, 3, 5, or 10)__ years.”

Imagine what you could be doing in five years. You could go to college. You could have that house. You could write a book. You could have a new career. Only you can decide what you want from your life and only you can limit yourself. Right now, just dream a little. Give yourself a few moments. Explore the possibilities!

The “G” word really isn’t that scary when you realize they are just steps taken to make your dreams come true. In fact, isn’t it exciting to think that you can actually make that happen!

Look for upcoming posts about what to do next, but for now, write down your thoughts about your life and where you want to be in ten years.

Featured photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

Choose Your Motto

Choose Your Motto

“Happy New Year!” Not only is it the beginning of a new year, it is the beginning of a new decade! So it is a truly special new year!

I personally have high hopes and expectations for 2020. I am not sure why this year is different from any other New Year’s, maybe it is because 2020 has a nice ring to it. Or maybe it is because it’s a new decade. Or maybe it is because I just want more from this year.

After going through some difficult times during the last three years, I am ready to hold tightly to my dreams and goals. I am ready to create a life I LOVE! And I am determined to make 2020 everything it can be.

One of the things that keeps me going throughout the year is coming up with my personal motto for the year. My motto keeps me on track and focused. It serves as a constant reminder as the days, weeks, and months of the coming year pass by. A motto also represents a value that I am trying to strengthen. Whenever I get too busy and distracted, my motto gets me refocused.

Here are some examples of my past mottos:

  • Have integrity no matter what.
  • Discipline.
  • Be kind to everyone.

They seem like simple phrases because they are. I try not to make my mottos complicated and yet those few words really encompass so much more.

“Have integrity no matter what.” I chose this motto one year because I had read a story about Abraham Lincoln and how he got his reputation for being honest. This story may or may not be true but I wanted to earn a reputation so people would know my intentions were trustworthy. Throughout the year, little things happened, and I would recall my motto. I went to lunch and ordered a half sandwich but was served a full meal. So, I told the waiter and paid for what I received (since I was hungrier than I thought, and I ate it). Another day, I was given a lot more change than I was due. When I realized what happened, I went back to the store and returned it. My motto kept me on track all year. Bigger things happened as well but the point is I had integrity no matter what.

“Discipline.” Yikes that was a hard one and I still struggle. I know I should go to the gym or not have that sweet, but I give in. This motto is a constant battle for me.

“Be kind to everyone.” It is easy to be kind to friends. It is harder to be kind when the grocery store clerk appears to be taking their time and you have a million things to do. I decided that this motto would help me to notice how I was acting to everyone I encountered throughout the day. Wow, there are so many opportunities to be kind!

My motto for this year is “Begin now.” This motto is to help me focus on not procrastinating. I put so many things off to tomorrow or next Monday or whenever I get around to it. I decided that in 2020, there is no more room for procrastination. I am sure I will want to come up with excuses, but my motto will act as a reminder that I should begin now instead of waiting until another time. I have also come up with a plan that when I am tempted to procrastinate, I will at the very least, take the next little step (no matter how small it will be).

What will your personal motto be for 2020? Think about what you want to focus on throughout the year. What phrase or word will keep you on track with your dreams and goals? Put signs up as a reminder. Print your motto and frame it. Make some art piece with your motto like a collage or painting. Write it in your journal. Describe what your life would look like if you lived by your motto.

I would love to hear what motto you chose for 2020 and why? Please comment below. I welcome your words!

Featured photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash.

Change One Thing

Change One Thing

When I want to make changes in my life, I often get overly ambitious. Something motivates me to make a change and suddenly I have ten more things I want to do daily.

For example, eating healthier is a common goal. I make a list of what eating healthier looks like on a daily basis. Drink more water, eat three or four servings of vegetables, take a multi-vitamin. I get overwhelmed because I try to change too many things at once.

When I can’t do everything, every single day, I usually quit. It feels discouraging.

I find it is best to change one small thing at a time. Even a small change, done every day, can have a big impact on your life.

Choose one small thing to change today and do it everyday.

Featured photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash.

Never Stop Growing

Never Stop Growing

Have you ever heard the words, “You haven’t changed one bit!” If that statement is referring to your age, good for you. However, I don’t ever want to hear those words if they refer to me as a person. I hope to always be changing and growing and learning and becoming better than I was yesterday. With the internet, and websites like Lynda.com and YouTube, there is no reason we can’t all be learning new things every single day.

I like to keep a list (as I do for every thing). The list is called, “Things I Want to Learn.” Each time I realize I don’t know how to do something, I write it on the list. Technology changes so fast and I am determined not to be one of those peoples who can’t keep up, so I add to my list and look up how-to’s. There might be a skill like cooking or sewing that you want to learn. What about sports you want to try like golf or scuba diving?

Create your list today. Don’t worry about having the time or money to learn these things, just make it as long as possible. Explore every idea or interest you have and write it on your list. When you are looking for something to do, instead of turning on Netflix, search one of your items and begin to learn.

Learning leads to personal growth. Unlike the popular TV add which says, “The more you know.” I believe that the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. So keep adding to your list and keep learning and keep growing. Don’t let anyone ever say to you, “You haven’t changed one bit!”

List to Learn
NOTE: This is a high resolution printable file so it may take a few moments to load.

Featured photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash.