A New Decade
Starting off the new year, and decade, I am feeling so refreshed and completely on fire to start crushing goals. Naturally, with a new year, I find myself doing a lot of reflecting. Surely you have heard the saying, “evolution is life”. It’s true, we are all evolving into a new form of ourselves each day and every day. Whether your daily habits or experiences are positive or negative, it all affects our lives, who we are and who we are becoming.
If the last 11 months as an early entrepreneur has taught me anything, it’s that if you don’t have an actionable plan to get somewhere or accomplish something, the effort is nearly pointless. For me especially, if I am not working towards something specific or striving towards a new goal, I quickly find myself getting stagnant in life and very soon after, depressed. I am happiest when I feel productive and pursuing a greater purpose towards an improved me. Maintaining consistent, positive habits daily is not something that has always come easy for me. Today, I am going to share with you some simple tips or tricks that I use to help me reset, regroup and keep moving forward.
Envisioning the Future
The process of planning to get yourself from who you are now to who you want to be requires time and most importantly, intention. Begin by scheduling 30-45 minutes with no distractions. By making the effort to “schedule” time, it allows you an opportunity to slow down and focus. Think about the most peaceful time of your day. For some, it may be in the morning before the kids wake up. For others, that may be your lunch break at work. It’s important to note that the environment for this planning session directly affects the outcome. Place that phone on do not disturb and let’s get to it!
Imagine being in your favorite episode of “That’s So Raven” from the Disney Channel. The whole scene pauses right before she has a psychic vision into the future. Picture yourself there. Start to create an image in your mind of the kind of life you want to be living. What are your dreams? You can start by thinking about 1 month, 1 year, 5, maybe even 10 years into the future. The key here is to start. What does the life you want and deserve look like? What is your ideal work schedule? How much money are you making? Do you want to travel? If so, where are you going? Do you crave deeper relationships with others? What is most fulfilling to your soul? Now that you have a vision, let’s talk about the daily, actionable steps that it takes to begin manifesting that into reality.
It’s not always peaches and cream!
I, personally, find it easy to set a lot of high expectations in the beginning and the next thing I know I am feeling incredibly discouraged. If you are not used to setting goals or don’t have much of a vision to begin with, be aware of self-sabotage. Small, attainable goals, in the beginning, are perfectly okay. Some times you can go from being excited and motivated and the next day feeling frustrated and burnt out. Should we even mention the guilt and self-shaming that creeps up when we are always falling short of our own expectations? Try to remember that these feelings are only emotions, do not allow them to control your destiny.
To be 100% honest with you, there have been a few circumstances in my life that shook my vision towards a bright future. There are times when it feels like you are merely surviving the day. It doesn’t take long to lose your sense of direction. I have been there, hopeless and sad. Let me kindly remind you that it is normal. There is an amazing future ahead of you if you continued to push forward.
When life has thrown you into the dumps, goal setting tends to completely fall off your radar. Things are not going to stay the same. If you chose to press on through your struggles, I promise the reward is much, much greater. Continue to stay persistent in what you want, sooner or later you will start to believe in yourself. Once that tiny ounce of belief and confidence returns, well sister, after that it’s game over. You are capable of bouncing back.
Priorities. Schedule. Rhythm.
If you want to grow and change it is without a doubt, going to take some effort. The effort aka intention is a must! Imagine if you woke up every day with a clear mindset and being 100% intentional about all of your energy and decisions?
How do you become more intentional? Well, it’s simple, you plan to do it and you practice it. It takes action, effort, energy, discomfort, courage and all of the above but most importantly a plan.
Now that you have an idea or vision, let’s identify priorities. I like to break it down into three different categories; personal, occupational and relationships. For example, I am challenging myself to be more organized. With that, I can start considering what daily, actionable steps I need to be doing to manifest that characteristic in my life.
How are your intentions about the day going to change to meet that goal?
In my opinion, there is nothing worse than sitting through each day with no intention or purpose. We all know those crazy “list people”. I must admit, there is something extremely satisfying about being able to physically cross something off of a list indicating completion. Building a daily task “to do” list, is a trick that I always find helpful. I start with the tasks that I dread the most. I spend a lot of time and energy thinking about the things on my list that I don’t want to do. I have found that if I take care of them first, its over, I forget about it and move on.
How can you create a consistent rhythm of completing actions that get you closer to your goals?
Become super intentional about reminding yourself of where you are going and why you want to be there. I like to place visual prints of specific “dream items” and goals all over my house and office. The visual aid acts as a constant reminder of why I want to keep moving forward. I also like to write short encouraging quotes on the mirror in my bathroom with a dry erase marker. Its fun reading a little inspirational quote or saying while I get ready. These may seem like small details, but it’s also a reminder to stay persistent. Keep in mind, each day, every single action you make, is either going to take you one step further from or closer to, the person you want to be.
One other tip that helps keep me in a daily rhythm and on a persistent path, is being very careful about who I spend time with. I know you have heard this one before too, but this is real. Being around the right kind of people who are also growing and pursuing a greater purpose rubs off on you. It’s no doubt, some days are harder than others, but when you have the right support group to encourage you and push you forward, the lows don’t seem so low. We are all human, we all struggle; this is an undeniable reality of life. Have other human beings who can relate to you and lift your spirits when the hard days come because they undoubtedly will.
Re-evaluate often and celebrate wins.
Lastly, develop a habit of reviewing your progress. Find a way to track your growth. I like to do a weekly evaluation of the actionable items that have made a daily priority. How did I perform? Where did I have personal wins and where were my losses? How can I improve from the previous week? Keep in mind the goal is to grow forward, not to become a perfectionist. I can’t stress that enough. 100% perfection in all that you do is pretty unrealistic, honey so learn how to get over it. Continue making small adjustments and remember, it is okay to fall short. Try. Fail. Adjust. And then try again. Failing is an opportunity for change and growth.