It’s been a while since I’ve focused on what I enjoy. Life seems to keep getting in the way. And I’ve had my focus in other places – growing family, life goals and work. I’ve come up with excuse after excuse and labeled them reason after reason – everything seemed valid for pushing what was important to me aside to get other things done.
But no more! I’m proud to say, I’ve made great progress this year in many areas and the goal I’ve been working toward is within my grasp. Even when you feel like you’re at the starting line, I encourage you to make a plan to make progress. Here is what I did:
Focus on small goals.
I had a baby in December and I gained a lot of weight (ok, it was a normal amount, but it felt like a lot). I’ve been working steadily since then to lose weight, build muscle and eat clean. In the last 6 months, I’ve lost all the baby weight (hooray!). It wasn’t easy, but it certainly was doable. I will write about the details later, but the short story is – I focused on a small goal to make it happen. I watched each meal and each day with a goal of losing 2 oz to 4 oz. It didn’t seem like much, but it adds up to about 6 lbs per month and over time, that makes a big difference!
When you have a major goal that you need to accomplish, break it down into tiny pieces. Seriously, tiny bite-sized (like 1 oz) pieces. The smaller your goal, the more realistic it seems and the closer you get to your overall achievement.
Think about what you really want.
I’ve wanted to come back to writing for a while. I enjoy it. I’m good at it (at least I think I’m good at it!) and I think about writing quite a bit. But, I let roadblocks and the need for perfection hinder my progress and my writing. I thought about everything except my writing, and it was slowing me down.
I realized I needed to make a plan to make this goal happen again. But I needed to get a few things in order first. So, I made a list (oh, how I love lists) and started checking off the “necessities” to get to my end goal of writing. With each task completed, it cleared my mind and got me closer to my end goal of writing again.
Write down your goal and write down the steps to get you there. If there are things you need to accomplish first, do them – but don’t let them be a distraction to your end goal. Every single thing you do should get you one step closer to what you really want.
Ask for help.
Shoot, this one is tough. I’m pretty independent and I like to do everything myself (or as I’ve been told, I like to manage things if I can’t do them myself). But I realized that I seemed to be treading water instead of making waves. So I started asking for specific help with specific things.
I asked a friend to help me with designs, I asked a co-worker to take on a large project that would help develop them (and free up my time), I asked my husband for help so I’d have time for a health-related goal (those weights aren’t going to lift themselves) and I asked my family to adjust our gatherings.
Each time I asked for help, I thought about it in advance to make my request specific and manageable for the person that would be helping. And every time, that person said yes. It made me feel better, have more time and I’ve been able to get more things done because I’m trusting others to help me get there.
I encourage you to ask someone for help today. Be specific with what you need, when you need it and how they can best help you. I promise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at those who lend a hand to help you.
I’m in a place now that I’m happy to report will leave me more organized, more mentally prepared and more excited to accomplish my writing goals and help me share my experience, ideas and process. I look forward to my progress and know that we are in this together – I encourage you to keep focused on your goals and what you really want. Even a few minutes a day carved out to make it happen is a step in the right direction. And that is something to be proud to work toward.