Tag Archives: Goals

Slipper to Shoes

 

Watercolor background

Many of us want to be more than just a parent, spouse, friend or family member. We all have dreams that we would like to see come true someday. The question is: what are you doing to make them happen?

When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a ballet dancer. I took dance classes and my favorite out of all of the classes was ballet. I would watch the older girls in their toe shoes and dream of being just like them. When it came time to advance from the ballet slipper to toe shoes I was told that this is hard work, that you will have to practice as much as you can or the shoes would be to hard for you to dance in.

I took that information to heart and when I got my first pair of toe shoes I was in those shoes as soon as I got home from school every day. I did not walk on my feet I walked on my toes. My mom had to insist that I stop wearing them at times when we were heading to school, church or to visit family. I worked hard to break in my shoes, to be able to walk on my toes as if that was how I was taught to walk. That year I had made it so that I could dance with the ‘big’ girls in class wearing those wonderful ballet shoes. I was only ten years old at that time.

That dream was crushed soon after for me. Not because of anything I had done but because of the financial situation in my life with my parents. They couldn’t afford to pay for my classes anymore and even though my dance teachers begged my mother to do things for them in trade for my tuition it never happened. I remember them telling her that I was the youngest student they had ever had that was really good on my ballet shoes and that I had great potential to be something if she could just keep me in the classes.

I have to say I was crushed. I didn’t want to believe it so I kept walking around in my toe shoes for many months after that. I even got a Ballerina Barbie doll for Christmas the prior year and the only two things I ever had with me were those toe shoes and that doll. Family life wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in our house and eventually anger took hold and my ballet shoes and dance outfits were tossed out so that I would face the truth, then it was my doll that went. Parents mean well sometimes but they didn’t realize how they crushed my dream on those specific events in my childhood.

I turned into a child that was shy, quiet, did what I was told but didn’t ask for anything, didn’t dream of doing anything. When my parents divorced my mom got me a clarinet and put me in band classes at school. The music helped and I was good at that too but eventually I was reminded that it’s only a dream and wanting to play music for life wasn’t going to happen, just like being a ballet dancer.

When I grew up I realized that those that love you the most sometimes can’t handle the fact that you are chasing a dream and making it come true. They feel they should be chasing there own and when they aren’t and you remind them of what they would rather be doing they sabotage even those they love to keep from acknowledging the pain that comes with not chasing your dream.

So I ask again, what are you doing to make your dreams happen? Are you learning all you can about the subject in question? Are you surrounding yourself with others that are positive and go-getters, doers and dreamers? Are you taking steps even if small ones towards that goal around your life? We all have responsibilities and we have to have shelter, clothing and food for our family, and ourselves but what do you do on those off times? Do you sink into the couch watching TV and wishing for a different life? Do you pick up a book and read to get lost in those characters because your life isn’t going where you want? Or do you say I have far too much to do and am far to busy raising my children and keeping them going in all their activities? Are you using excuses like I fail at things when I try them so what’s the point?

No matter what your dreams are also important. Your dreams keep you going and alive in the grind of life. Those dreams give you a sense of accomplishment, confidence and pride in the ability to chase a dream, be an example to your family and know that anything is possible if you work hard and go after it. Do you watch a toddler go from crawling to walking without falling down? What dream are you chasing today and if you haven’t started then why? There is no better time than now. What are you waiting for?

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please share it with someone that you think it would help or touch. I’d like to hear what dreams you are chasing so leave a comment below. Have a blessed week!

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The Time is Now

the_time_is_now_by_textuts-d5i01b6

Do you have dreams you wish to achieve? Then the time is now to start working to get them. Time seems to move by so much faster now than I remember it doing when I was a child. I use to think school was going to take forever until summer break. Now, I’m trying to hold on to each day because it’s moving by so quickly.

We all have the same number of hours in a day, so what is holding you back from achieving those dreams you talk about or think about? If you work a job and come home each evening to prepare dinner and spend time with your family, what do you do with the few hours before you go to bed once the kids are put to bed? Do you watch the latest television show and just relax each evening?

What about your dream? Do you do anything towards it in the evenings? How about weekends? There is always an hour here or an hour there that you can eliminate one activity that doesn’t help you achieve your dreams for those that can. If you want to be a writer then start reading books about how to write if you aren’t sure where to start. If you want to learn to paint then take a class to learn some basics at the local college or from a local art teacher on weekends. If you want to take photographs then get out the manual to your camera and start learning what all the various knobs on the camera do and how they work together to create specific images. If you want to be a chef then practice some dishes on your family and have a little get together and see how they like them.

The only thing that is really stopping you is you. The time is the same for everyone and how you use it determines what you end up achieving in this life. Yes, things come up and you might have to skip that hour that one time but usually when something comes up its important like a sick child, a family vacation, overtime at work or even an illness you have to focus on. You can still do your dreams around the challenges.

You should start now while you can, because the next time you blink it may be five years later and you are wishing you had started because even if you did just a little bit towards that goal or dream you would have come far in five years. Let’s use weight loss as an example, you want to lose 100 pounds and it just seems so daunting of a goal, but if you focus on one to two pounds a week then that seems doable. If you don’t lose one or two pounds a week do you stop? No, of course not because even if you only lost two pounds a month it’s still 24 pounds in a year and 96 pounds in four years.

Writing a book can be the same way. You take the time to read how to get started and what you need to focus on and do. Then you sit down and take building a character as an example and doing a character sheet for the main character of a book idea that you have. Maybe next time you sit down you do another character perhaps the bad guy. Then the next time you sit down you might figure out what type of scene you want to start the book with or time period and do the research you need. Each time you sit down to work on it you get a little further and a little further. It might take you a couple years to complete the first book, but I assure you the second one won’t take nearly as long because now you know the process and you can utilize that time you have set aside better to achieve the next book.

So what is holding you back from achieving your dreams? The time is now to get started and make them a reality. You can do it!

If this post inspired you or you think would help someone else please share it or leave a comment below on how you are making the time you have now help you achieve your dreams. Have a blessed week!

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Six Months

The months passing by this year rather quickly.

The months passing by this year rather quickly.

Can you believe it, it’s already been six months in 2015. Time sure is passing by quickly and seems to do so even more as you get older. This is a good time of year to look at the previous six months and analyze if you have made progress towards your goals and dreams. If not, why? What can you do differently so the next six months will move your forward with them?

Do you need to work on scheduling your time better? Do you need to say ‘no’ to people that want all your free time for other things? Do you need to learn something before you can move forward? Do you need to purchase something first? Do you need help with motivation or encouragement? Do you need to make smaller changes to reach your dreams?

Every one of those questions can be changed or dealt with so that you will move towards your goals and dreams instead of staying the same or going backwards. Making changes in your life so that you can move forward can be small changes. Some small changes could be setting up a family night or date night on your calendar each week so your family doesn’t think you are working all the time and ignoring them.

We all want to help others but sometimes we have to say ‘no’ in order to not put our own dreams and passions on the back burner. Volunteering for every little thing at church may not be the best solution for you. Taking on projects for your family may need to be spaced out and scheduled differently. Just remember you are the one in charge of your time.

Some things take more time than you want them too in order to be done right. Writing a book for example might only take you a month to write but then you have to edit the book and do some rewrites in order to polish it up so that it’s a great read. Artwork can take time as you plan out the piece you wish to do, do the sketch of the idea, work out the details, color palette you wish to use, then doing the work of the painting itself.

Evaluate your goals and see what you need to change in order to move them forward in the next six months of this year. Don’t get discouraged as you move forward. It’s like losing weight, when we start we have such a large goal and then we break that goal down into smaller sections in order to meet the goal. Even if you had a setback with losing weight you don’t just stop because you didn’t reach your goal, you adjust and keep going. Losing 20 pounds in a year is better than nothing if you were trying to lose 50 pounds. Now you only have to lose 30 and you can break that down into smaller amounts so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

Stay motivated, schedule your goals, focus on the small steps and the next six months will fly by and you will have accomplished more than you think. Have a blessed week.

Be sure to share this post or comment below on ways you stay on track to meeting your goals.

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Imagine the Unimaginable

"Imagine Sign" in New York Central Park, John Lennon Memorial

“Imagine Sign” in New York Central Park, John Lennon Memorial

There are times when I sit and imagine things I wish to have happen in my life and sometimes those things seem so unimaginable or out of reach that I wonder why I want such big things. We are all able to dream and have vivid imaginations. Some of us use them for creating things others can enjoy or to help them and some of us use them to manipulate situations in our favor.

What do I mean by that? Well, there are always people in your life that live in what I call ‘excuse or victim land’. They spend there time dreaming up excuses as to why they can’t do something, have something or accomplish something. They have great imaginations and can conquer up all types of excuses. All that talent of creating excuses is going to waste. The same way you can create an excuse you can create a way to make it happen.

Here are some ways to realize you are preventing your own dreams from coming true or that you are using your dreams or imagination to manipulate others so you don’t have to pursue those dreams.

  • How often do you use the word “I”; I need, I want, I must have, I can’t do it, I don’t know how, I want you to…
  • Do you use the words “I’m to…”, I’m to old, I’m to sick, I’m to short, I’m to tall, I’m to lonely, I’m to busy…?
  • Do you use phrases like, “Someday I will, I probably should but, What if…?
  • Do you talk yourself out of things? I couldn’t possibly do that because, I’m sure if that was meant for me, I’m getting old and this is to much for me?

I can tell you from experience that it is easy to live in the excuse or victim land over stepping past the fear and objections and just start doing. Bad things can happen to anyone and if you play victim it’s a choice you made. If you keep making excuses as to why your dreams cannot be reached it’s also your choice. Some bad things take a bit to overcome, but know it’s still your choice if you don’t even try.

We as humans are not meant to hit some magical age and stop doing things we love to do. We aren’t meant to sit and stare at a TV watching other people make dreams happen and then say it’s to late for me now. We are also not meant to make others feel guilty for accomplishing their dreams when we gave up on our own.

Our imaginations can run away with us and can come up with some pretty awesome and unimaginable things we want to accomplish in our life. Tell fear to get out of the way and start working towards those dreams or goals. Those excuses you come up with are just fear talking and trying to keep you from doing what you truly wish in your life. So, why not, what do you have to lose? Step out in faith that your dream is possible and see what an amazing life you can create by going after it.

I hope you have a blessed week and will share this with anyone you feel could use it. Leave a comment below if you have overcome a fear or excuse and are working towards your unimaginable dream.

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Feed the Birds

House of Blue

House of Blue

On my recent trip to see family I was told a story about feeding the local birds. My family has bird feeders out in several places in the yard that can be seen from the porch so they can enjoy the local birds chirping and enjoying the food they put out. Like with most families there is always a story of some kind that is told at least this one wasn’t embarrassing.

One of several bird feeders they have is like a house with windows on each side and the food falls down into the bin at the bottom and the sight of the food in the windows goes down as the birds eat the seed. As the food was enjoyed by the various birds the view of this food of course lowered in the windows of this feeder. When no seed could be seen by the birds even though there was a bit of food still in the bottom that they could eat, they began pecking on the windows to make noise and to remind my family that they needed to put more food in the feeder.

I tell you this story because it reminds me of current situations with people. Which situations do I refer to? Well, to those getting assistance in massive quantities throughout the U.S. You see when you offer free things to people they react just like the birds did, they are very happy to get whatever it is for free, but when things run low they complain and become very disgruntled that they are being put out because they no longer have the same amount of free items as before.

Before I continue there are those that truly need assistance and it’s those people I do not refer to here. Just like the birds though the more you give someone for free the more they expect to receive unless you require other actions to help them improve the situation they are in.

What about self respect? What about being independent and the feeling you get from earning your own way? What about knowing that what you have purchased you did with your own money? There is a whole level of self-respect, confidence, independence, and overall great feeling that you get when you accomplish something yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s working a job and earning your wages or creating a piece of art and making a sale to a customer.

Working for your dreams is something you do daily and with those steps you feel accomplished, satisfied, and grateful. Your life begins to feel good in more than just a financial way. There is nothing in this life worth accomplishing that you don’t have to work for and if someone tells you different then they aren’t telling you the truth. There is no magic pill to losing weight you have to put in the work to get it off. The same is true for your dreams.

Figuring out what makes you feel motivated and have passion is how you will get those dreams in your life. If there is something you want then set some goals and take baby steps to get it. A baby step is putting time in your week around everything you have to do towards your goal or dream. You may feel like you aren’t moving forward that much but in three months you will have accomplished far more than you think. Be satisfied each week with your efforts, failures, and overall journey to a better life.

Please leave a comment if you have a story to share that could help someone else with changing life for the better by going after their dreams and goals. Have a blessed day!

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A Second Opinion

Take off your blinders and get a Second Opinion!

Take off your blinders and get a Second Opinion!

They tell you when you get diagnosed with a serious illness to go have a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis or treatment for that illness. I have found the same is true when you are struggling with life, goals, dreams, the future, the past, the present and anything else that you are stressed about with your life. That second opinion is usually a close friend, a relative or even a counselor or pastor. These opinions can also come from mentors or someone you consider a confidant.

We all make BIG decisions in our lives, what career, what home, the size of our family, health issues, and helping our parents that are elderly. Then there are the deeper passions in our lives; what is my purpose, how do I reach my goals, why does it feel like all I do is struggle without success? We all feel these questions at various times in our lives. Even with a plan sometimes things change so drastically that you aren’t sure of your real dreams any longer.

Recently, a mentorship program I am part of asked a question that I found very profound and life changing, here it is; what would you do if you won the lottery and all your financial matters were taken care of? Would you travel? Would you take photographs? Would you paint? Would you become a chef? Would you write? Would you film movies? What is the one thing you wish to do in your life if money wasn’t an issue?

For me that is writing and taking photographs. These are deep passions that I have put on the back burner telling myself I would get to it eventually when things slow down. I’d like to ask you, when does life slow down? It’s not happened for me, so I was beginning to feel that these deeper passions weren’t meant for me to accomplish. This is when that second opinion came in handy for me. It was a way to give yourself permission to be yourself and do what you really want to do.

At times I am also the close friend that gets to listen to someone else’s dreams, problems, excuses, or whatever it is at that time. I get to give advice based on what they are telling me through fresh eyes, a different viewpoint. It’s enough to allow the other person to think and refresh there own thinking and drives for their life. Don’t hesitate to ask someone for there opinion. Sometimes you are living life with blinders on. You only see what is immediately in front of you and thinking outside of the box doesn’t happen for you.

You need to take your current schedule and find a small amount of time here and there to start working towards those passions you have. You might need to give up TV shows, meeting with friends each week to just hang out, or you get convinced to do some project or participate in some event that really isn’t something you want to do because your dreams are real and worth fighting for, just for you.

We go in early and stay late for our jobs to earn the money we need to live, why not wake up early or stay up late for just an hour a couple times a week so you can work on your own dreams? When are you going to tell others ‘No’ and start saying ‘Yes’ to yourself?

Start thinking about what you truly want. What would you do if money no longer worried you? Sit down and look at your weekly schedule, how can you put in some time for your own true passions? All it takes is one step forward each day. That step can be as little as 30 minutes a day it’s still moving forward. Give it a try and see where you are in six months.

Leave a comment if you have found your passions and have begun to spend time towards them even if they are baby steps. Share this with someone else that you think is struggling with the same issues. Have a blessed day!

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A New Life

A new life awaits you if you would only START DOING to get it!

A new life awaits you if you would only START DOING to get it!

Since I have started a mentorship program and started the art of DOING, I can say a new life awaits me. I’ve been busy taking my fears and facing them head on. I’ve been scheduling time to photograph, to write and to do my blog each week. I’ve taken time to learn new things and to expand my goals and dreams.

I’m in the process of editing my first book, which will fall into the category of Romance. I’m a hopeless romantic so I had to write in this genre. I want my books to not only be romantic but, to provide hope, show love, and even some inspiration to those readers that decide to follow me.

I’m learning new things with my photography and trying new things that I had not thought of before. I’m developing my craft one step at a time with one photo shoot at a time. I’m choosing to photograph the things I love, which makes it easier to totally be passionate about what images I choose to capture.

I’m also now getting to share the knowledge I’ve learned through writers, photographers and my mentor with others that need some guidance. This has been quite fun and rewarding as it makes me see that I know more than I did even a year ago about my new passions in life. Giving to others after receiving such blessings is only going to make this life an even better experience.

Overcoming fears has allowed me to be productive in areas that I never thought were possible before due to them. Now, I look at those fears and ask myself why not now? Why wait years before I choose to step forth even if I fall on my face and have to get up and try again? It’s exciting to know that when you go through this and conquer a fear here and a fear there that you were the only one holding you back from those dreams in the first place.

I say to you, when are you going to start doing and conquer your fears? When are you going to make your dreams the priority over those fears? The only one holding you back is you! Find out what kind of new life you could have by facing one thing each day that could step you forward in your life to what you ultimately want and how you can help others in the process.

Leave a comment on how you have conquered a fear or made a dream come true. If you know this would inspire someone else then please forward this blog to others. Thank you for reading. Have a blessed day!

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Overcome and Do

Overcome & Do (ACT) Action Changes Things

Overcome & Do (ACT) Action Changes Things

I recently heard my mentor talk about what have you overcome that was holding you back from doing your goals and dreams? He also said will you be in the same place at Christmas of this year that you were last year? Well, both of those questions are quite poignant and must be answered with honesty.

To start with I have overcome a couple things in the last year that were major hurdles for me that I didn’t even realize were until I just started working towards my goals and dreams. One of those hurdles was myself. I was someone that thought positively until something went wrong and then it was ‘whoa is me’ for a while and then time would pass and nothing would have changed due to that attitude. You also tend to ask ‘why’ a lot when you are like that.

The other statement, will you be where you were last year at the end of this year? No, I will not. I have learned that the art of doing changes everything in your life. Those goals or dreams start looking within reach because you are doing things to move yourself forward towards them. These two questions caused me to reflect and I can honestly say that I won’t be where I was at the end of this year compared to last year.

Here are some steps I took to make a difference in my life.

  1. I focused on what I was truly passionate about…my photography and my writing. I didn’t allow other things to sneak in there and cause me to divert my attention to them.
  2. I wrote down a list of what I needed to do for each area and began doing tasks to move me forward. (Such as this website for my photography.)
  3. I began doing. Writing isn’t something you say I want to write a book and you just sit down and are done in one session. Writing 100,000 words for a book takes time that you have to be willing to commit to each day of each week even if it was only 500 words.
  4. I took my calendar of an already busy schedule and planned in times to take photographs and planned in my time to write. My family, were aware of these times and were helpful to keep me on task when things ran over into my time.
  5. I learned that even if I didn’t feel creative I went and worked on my goals anyway and while in the midst of starting I would find inspiration to move forward and make true progress.

Accomplishing a goal or dream doesn’t take just thinking about it, you have to actually do something. Decide what you wish to do and create a list of what it will take and begin doing. You will be excited with your progress, you will be doing instead of talking about it, you will inspire others that are close to you to know that these dreams are coming true for you. Turn your 80% of dreaming into 80% of doing and only 20% of dreaming and life will become what you have always wanted it to be.

If you found this blog helpful then please share it with your friends or loved ones that could use similar inspiration. Leave a comment below if you have a method you use that helps you reach your goals and dreams.

Have a blessed day!

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It’s A Wonderful Life

A scene from the movie It's a Wonderful Life.

A scene from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.

Like many of us during the holidays I watch several of the Christmas movies that are shown or that I have purchased over the years in the month of December. This year was no exception to watching various movies that made you Believe and that made you think about your life and how you were living.

It’s a Wonderful Life is one movie that truly makes you review your life and the choices that you were either forced into making due to circumstances or that you chose to do because you didn’t have a plan for much else. George Bailey in this movie was a man that had big dreams of traveling to various places and countries, then returning to go to college for four years so that he could build wonderful things in the future. Life happens and he ends up taking over for his father when he passes away unexpectedly doing a job he really didn’t like or want to do.

During that time he gets married, has four children and has the weight of this business upon his shoulders and those in the town that depend on him. Circumstances happen out of his control and he is feeling like no one cares, life is over and it would be better if he no longer existed within it.

Have you ever felt that life is this mundane existence where you never get to enjoy your life, your friends, your dreams fall away one by one and you are just doing the grind each day? Many of us are like that when we fall into our jobs or careers more out of responsibility than choice. We forget that we have a wonderful life with a shelter over our heads, food in our bellies and family and friends that love us. It’s easy to get caught up in the trappings of losing our selves and our dreams.

After being married nearly 30 years and doing what was expected of me due to my responsibilities of having a family, I can tell you it’s never to late to chase after those dreams you had when you were younger. If you want to be a great artist then find time to do that art. If you want to be a writer then find time to write several times a week and at the end of a year you would have a rough draft of a book ready. Same with photography or film making, owning your own business or restaurant or whatever your dream may be.

Your dreams never left. You just chose to push them aside for other things. Now it’s time to pick them back up again. Dedicate in this New Year time for your dreams. Spend time writing, drawing, cooking, sewing, sculpting, filming, photography or whatever your true desires are in this next year. Start out finding time around your job and family obligations. A few hours each week can make a difference and it is a step forward to what you wish to achieve. Realize that taking no steps means you have given up, taking even small baby steps means you can achieve anything.

Don’t be a George Bailey see what you have right in front of you before you lose it. Make 2015 the year that your dreams can come true. One small baby step at a time is all it takes and a commitment to do them each week.

Step 1: Write out a list of goals or dreams as if there is nothing holding you back from any of them.

Step 2: Take that list and break it down into steps. (Example: Losing 100 pounds is a large number to focus on, but if you took that number and divided it by 12 it ends up being 8.333 pounds a month or 2.125 a week. When you focus on the smaller steps it seems far more attainable.)

Step 3: Get out your calendar and schedule in time to work on that goal or dream. Even a couple hours a week is better than no hours at all. By the end of the year you will accomplish something if you put it in your schedule and stick to that.

Step 4: Create a plan of small steps to achieve those goals. If you want to lose weight you can’t just focus on the number you have to have a change in lifestyle with eating and exercise to help you reach those goals.

Step 5: Re-evaluate your goals monthly. How did you do? What do you need to change? How can you improve your allocated time to your dream?

Step 6: Find a friend or family member that will support you through this time and the struggles you may encounter. Let them keep you accountable to your goals, tell them what you wish to accomplish each month then check in with updates. It will keep you moving forward.

I wish for your dreams to come true one baby step at a time. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Years surrounded by wonderful friends and your loving family. May God bless you and your family during this Christmas and in the year 2015.

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