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Category Archives for "Accomplishing Goals"

May 16

A New Perspective That Can Change Everything

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals , Overcoming Obstacles , Perseverance

We love to learn, but we don’t like to fail. Unfortunately, most of the time the two go hand and hand. Would life be more enjoyable if we learned to embrace failure? Probably.

My husband, John, used to work in the IT field. He is very savvy with technology and enjoys staying up to date on the latest gadgets. I, on the other hand, struggle with technology. As part of any business, mine included, it is important to have a nice looking, functional website. I have opted to manage my own site, mainly so I can make changes whenever I choose. The down side to this should be obvious, I’m not good with technology! The process, from day one, has  been fraught with failure after failure and this week hasn’t been any different. I decided I was going to do a complete overhaul of my website. I started Monday hoping the changes would come smoothly. Spent two days figuring out everything not to do. Now it’s Thursday, and I hope my site is up and running so you can read this blog post. What I have come to begrudgingly realize, going through this process, is that I needed those two days of getting everything wrong so that I could learn. It was not a comfortable process, but because of those tough days, the rest of the week moved smoother. If everything would have fallen into place, I would not have the knowledge and experience that I have now.

We love to learn new things in life.

One of the most effective ways of learning is by failing.

Wouldn’t it make sense for us to change our perspective on failing and embrace it instead of fight it?

Holy Cow! Easier said than done, I know, but here are a few things to help you (and me) start to see failure in a better light.

  • Winning is great, but failing then winning is even better. Have you ever had a time when you worked towards something and it did not come easily or quickly. I think of all of the individuals who train for marathons or study for major exams. Wow, it takes so much time to train and learn, and I can guarantee that most people do not accomplish it without some setbacks. Finishing easily is great. The finish line is TRIUMPHANT when you have failed along the way and worked your tail off to get there. Whatever you are working towards, keep your eye on the prize and don’t give up.
  • Learning is great, but failing then learning is even better. Your time is never wasted when you are learning, would you agree? If you take a class or read a book, you learn alot and retain some. The way to learn and never forget is to learn by failing. You remember both what did not work, as well as what did. You tend to remember the lessons learned, and rarely forget them. Your time is never wasted by learning through failures.

I understand there are deadlines that must be met and people who are not very forgiving when it comes to mistakes. I also know we can be very hard on ourselves. As with so many areas in life, changing our perspective starts with us first. I certainly have been struggling with this perspective, just ask those around me earlier this week. I have to ask myself and I ask you “How would our lives change and become better if we could embrace learning through mistakes and failures?”

For me, I know the approach I have been taking regarding failures has not worked well. All it has done is lowered my confidence and drained me. Would you join me in working to change our perspective on making mistakes? I think we will enjoy each day more and have a party at the finish line because of it!

Failure propels us forward, it does not hold us back!

Do you have someone dear to you that has struggled with accomplishing an important goal? Have they failed and might be having a hard time getting going again? If this perspective change on failing and learning would help them, would you forward this post their way? I love living life together!

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Jan 10

Finish? We Are Just Getting Started!

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals

I believe in always learning something new and gaining new perspectives. The way I love to learn is to read books. When I come across good material, I love to share it with others. I love to talk about it to see what others think about it. This last fall, I attended a Leadership Conference called “Catalyst” in Atlanta, Georgia. I went into the conference tired and drained. As each speaker shared their message I slowly found my energy tank filling. On the second day Jon Acuff came on stage and before I knew it he had me belly laughing. He is a hoot, but along with that he has a very inspiring message (backed up by research). I bought his book Finish – Give Yourself The Gift Of Done and loved it so much I wanted to review it for you at the beginning of this new year.

“According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. Every January, people start with hope and hype, believing that this will be the New Year that does indeed deliver a New You. But though 100 percent start, only 8 percent finish. Statistically you’ve got the same shot at getting into Julliard to become a ballerina as you do at finishing your goals.”1

Wow, that puts things into perspective! The question is then, how do we finish? Here is one big insight I walked away with:

“The less that people aim for perfect, the more productive they become.”2

I have come to realize that I am a perfectionist in a lot of areas of my life. If you are too, anything less is not acceptable. Jon lays out a really good argument that our desire for perfectionism could be what is actually holding us back from reaching our goals. Chapter number one is titled “The Day After Perfect”. Here is a snippet  that makes me giggle but is painfully true, too.

“While exercising, I decided to “get serious.” I remembered that in Timothy Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Body, he recommends a simple breakfast of eggs, black beans, spinach, cumin, and salsa. When my family sees me rooting around the cupboards for black beans, they all groan. “Oh no, here we go again.” They know that the next twelve days in a row I am going to eat beans. Why only twelve? Because on Day 13 I’m going to get too busy, have a meeting, or be on a business trip without my traveling beans. Upon missing one day, I will quit the whole endeavor. Once the streak is broken, I can’t pick it back up. My record is no longer perfect so I quit altogether.”3

Holy Cow! I can relate! The thing that comes to my mind with this is that working on a goal is hard work. We don’t think about it in those terms, but working towards anything good takes a lot of effort. When I hit “the day after perfect” my momentum stops and I realize how tired I am. I really have a hard time getting going again.

All of us start the new year with energy and great ambition. We want to reach our goals and increase the percentage of successful resolutions.

The rest of the book gives great tips on how to move forward successfully. As I read it, I kept thinking “I want to share this with others. This is very helpful stuff!” If you are looking for a helpful and practical book that will make you giggle at times and move you towards achieving your goals, this is a book I recommend.

Here’s to looking back on 2019 and saying “I moved forward on my goals and dreams!”

How about you? What is it about the day after perfect that stops you in your tracks? Leave your answer on Facebook, Linkedin, or right here in my blog. Me and other amazing women need to hear from you. It’s great to know we are in this together. Let’s not do this alone!

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1 J. Acuff, Finish: Give Yourself The Gift Of Done. (Portfolio/Pengium 2017), 2-3.

2 Ibid. 4.

3 Ibid. 8-9.

Dec 13

A Very Important Question to Answer

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals

Why? can be one of the most frustrating questions to hear if it comes from the sweet, little precious mouth of a three year old. Three year olds are curious about so many things, but I also believe that they learn quickly that constantly asking “why?” gets on the nerves of those around them, so they employ the question even more. As annoying as it can be, the questions “why?” is actually a very important one that gets lost in the busyness of our day to day life. The treasures we can find when answering that questions can be priceless.

It is my heart’s desire for us to live an amazing life, whatever that looks like for each of us. I don’t know about you, but I am always needing to make tweaks and adjustments in my life. Being a good wife, daughter of an amazing eighty-four year old mom, working full time, trying to eat healthy, exercise, stay on track with our budget, staying connected with family and friends, and focusing on my relationship with God is just the start of my list, and I know yours, too. Just when we think we have it all “balanced” something starts to slip. Adjustment have to be made.

What is an adjustment that you would like to make in your life right now? With the Holiday Season, I think we all have the desire to slow life down a little bit. I think we all have the desire to focus on those people who are most important to us. What one adjustment would you like to make in your life?

Now here comes the all important question to answer! WHY? Why do you want to make that adjustment in your life?

I could fill this blog post with a ton of insights on how to answer this question, but I will save that for another post. Instead of spending the next five minutes reading a long blog post, I want you to take the next five minutes and tap into your heart. In the area that you want to make a change:

  • What is it about it that makes you sad or breaks your heart?
  • What is it about it that excites you?
  • What is it about it that makes you a little scared, makes you feel immediately drained?
  • What is it about it that gets you pumped with excitement?

Answer these questions, then allow them to guide you into answering the question “why do I want to make the adjustment in your life right now?” Allow the answer to guide you in the direction you feel you need to go.

The adjustment you need to make may be big or small, but regardless, you can take one, two or three baby steps in the right direction today.

You are amazing and want to do amazing things! Here is to taking some time to think, tapping into your heart, answering important questions, and moving forward one small step at a time!

Have a great week!


May 10

How To Get Off The Starting Line

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals , Can Do Attitiude , Overcoming Obstacles

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. It’s the time of year that we experience new-found energy. We are ready to start new things or get back on track in areas of our lives that were put on the back burner over the winter months. Getting going again should be simple, right?

I would love to tell you getting started will be easy and simple, but I have found that very few things that are important and good in our lives, are easy and simple. Getting started has its challenges, but these challenges can be overcome. When you are aware of the obstacles, you can push through them and move on to accomplish what is important to you.

Obstacle #1: It’s easy to look back at how things used to be and get discouraged with where you are today. You were younger in the past. As you grow older your body changes, which can bring discouragement. At the end of last summer you were in great shape. How is it possible that all of that progress was lost? I have found that looking back is good for the sake of learning from our past, but not good when we compare where we were to where we are today. Stand proud on the starting line today and be proud of yourself. You are starting fresh and moving forward in an area that is important to you! I am proud of you for that!

Obstacle #2: It’s hard to find the time in your busy calendars to prioritize starting fresh in this area of life that is important to you. Isn’t’ it crazy how our calendars fill up? If there is an open time slot, it is quickly filled with something. If you want to start fresh and move off of the starting line, blocking out time right now on your calendar is essential. It is always hard to hear, but if you don’t fill your time with what is most important to you, someone else will fill it with things that are important to them. Figure out a plan, block off time and make it happen!

Obstacle #3: The first few steps off the starting line can require the most amount of energy. Sometimes we want to jump right up to the line and speed off only to stumble and fall. Starting fresh on what is important to you might require some thought and planning. Do you need to plan out a menu and do some grocery shopping? Do you need to plan out and prepare the clothing or equipment you need to get started? A little bit of planning and prep will allow you to jump off of the starting line and keep moving forward more smoothly.

Obstacle #4: There will be hurdles in your path. Deal with them and keep moving. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but just when you get started, something happens to stop you in your tracks. This past week I got out on my bike for my first ride of the season. It felt great and I had a great plan to keep going. One day into my plan I came down with a cold that put me out of commission for a week. How frustrating! The reality is, it happens. Some things we have control over, some things we do not. They might keep us down for a short period of time, but don’t let them stop you for long. Get back up and get going!

Is it time for you to get started on something that is important to you? If so, push past the obstacles that get in your path and keep moving forward towards the results you desire. You can do it, and I will be right here with you, pushing ahead one step at a time! I am proud of you for getting up and getting going!

Here’s to a great week ahead and being proud of starting fresh!

Mar 29

You Will Make It!

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals , Baby Steps , Perseverance

Sometimes in the midst of life, as we work hard to take small baby steps and keep moving forward, we wonder if we will ever get to where we are going. We wonder if we will ever accomplish our goal. Will we ever see light at the end of the tunnel? Will we ever cross the finish line?

The answer is YES!

In the past few weeks, I have talked to a number of amazing women who are crossing the finish lines of big goals.

  • One is retiring after many years of hard work and savings. She is on to her next adventure!
  • One is finishing up her last class to receive her Masters degree! She sees the light at the end of the tunnel!
  • One is wrapping up all of the paperwork for a family member’s estate after they had passed away. What a relief!
  • One is making her last tuition payment for her children. How exciting!

You will cross the finish lines of your life, if you keep going and don’t give up!

I bet each one of the ladies above would share with you stories of their journey, and they would include the following.

  • Their journey did not look exactly the way they had originally envisioned it. We set out on a journey and I think most of us think we will travel from point A to point B in a straight line. Once we get on the road though, we inevitably run into delays, detours, and even distractions. These times can be challenging because we see where we need to go, but for whatever reason, we can’t get their on a straight path.
  • The time it took to travel their journey may not have been what they originally planned. This is not true for everyone, but it is true for many. Accomplishing big goals in life require time, growth, learning, and persevering. All of the delays, detours and distractions listed above require our time, and that waiting time can be hard.
  • They could not have done it alone. Thank goodness we do not have to tackle life alone! The people in our lives bring the spice to it! They also bring encouragement and, many times, real help that we need. People make our journey worthwhile and interesting!

Congratulations to all of you who are crossing the finish line of your goals! You have persevered through many small baby steps and have won the race! We celebrate your amazing accomplishment with you!

For those of you, like me, who are smack dab in the middle of our journey, let’s try to enjoy the journey, embrace the time of learning and growth, and know that WE WILL cross the finish line if we keep taking one baby step at a time!

For those of you who are getting ready to set out on a new journey in life, set your sights on that goal, keep it before you at all times, don’t be surprised if you experience a few detours, delays or distractions. Plan your course, keep moving one step at a time, and plan your celebration when you reach your goal!

Here’s to a great journey, great people and a great celebration at the finish line!

Oct 12

You Mean There Is No Finish Line?

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals , Keep It Simple , What's Most Important

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. wrote in her book Mindset, “once a problem improves, people often stop doing what caused it to improve.Once you feel better, you stop taking your medicine.” She continues, “But change doesn’t work that way. When you’ve lost weight, the issue doesn’t go away.” “These changes have to be supported or they can go away faster than they appeared.”I AM DOING EXACTLY WHAT DR. DWECK DESCRIBED!!!…and I have done it so many times before. Wow this one is challenging!

My real life example right now is exercise. As many of you know, I have been training hard for the past year. It was challenging, but, it felt so good to be strong and vibrant. In my mind, I was determined to keep up that same level of exercise after I crossed the finish line at a recent event, but the past two weeks have not played out that way at all.

After achieving a goal, I have faced a big challenge and I wonder if you have dealt with this as well?

It has been my desire to stay “fit” after I cross the finish line, but I also want to move forward on other plans as well. Suddenly though, I realize I do not have the time or energy for both, so the fitness level I had just reached has started to slip. Another example is losing weight. Losing weight is tough stuff, but as the pounds come off, we feel better and better. Losing weight requires a tremendous amount of energy and focus. It is easy once we reach our goal to think we can move on to other things and not give our eating the same amount of attention. Unfortunately, when it does not get our focus, the scale starts creeping back up again. Yes, I think we can get into some level of “maintenance mode” with our goals, but I am having to face the fact that they will still require a lot of my energy.

This makes me sad, I’m not going to lie. Because I have a lot of things I want to accomplish and I want them all to happen NOW! But reality reminds me that I only have so much time in a day, and I only have so much energy I can put forth. Therefore, I am grappling with a truth that I do not like. If I want to put forth time and energy to stay healthy, and reach other goals in life:

  • First I have to choose which areas are most important.
  • Second, I have to limit the number of them that I pursue at one time.

It’s giving the most of my energy to a few big, important things, instead of spreading myself out trying to do a lot of little things. I still plan on accomplishing my goals, but it might just take a little bit longer to accomplish all of them. I guess it’s the bucket list concept.

Wow, the paring back continues. In the past I have talked about removing non-essentials, but I never imagined I would need to cut back this much. I will have to be honest with you, this process of paring back also brings me hope, hope that I can accomplish some things that are big and important to me. Trying to move forward on so many things at once in the past has drained some of the hope out of me. I do have a lot of great things to look forward to in life, they will simply take time and focus.

Please share with me your thoughts on this cutting back stuff. Feel free to comment below or send me an email. It is not easy stuff, and I am still trying to figure it out too. I would love to hear your thoughts, even if you do not agree. There is so much I can learn from each of you!

Here’s to a great week ahead trying to figure out this BEST life stuff!

Sep 21

And…..ACTION!

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals , Can Do Attitiude , Overcoming Obstacles , Perseverance

Is there any area of your life where you feel fear? Is there a situation at work? Do you have a big decision to make? Have you committed to something, but feel fear as the deadline approaches? Fear is a part of our everyday lives. The question then, is how do we live with fear and still live our best?

newton-s-cradle-balls-sphere-action-60582

Fear is a part of our makeup as humans. Fear keeps us aware of things that might harm us and allows us to respond to find safety. There are a lot of things that are out of our control in the world we live in, but there is a lot of fearful things that are within our control to change. That is what I want to focus on in this post. What fear is within our control to change and what is the best strategy? I believe it is ACTION!

Conquering fear with action is not a Jen Regan original idea. I have read this concept in countless books and articles. The concept has been around and taught for so long because it works. All you have to do is try it once to experience its positive effects.

Recently I needed to discuss an issue and a potential solution with someone in my life. The person I needed to talk to is a wonderful person, but, because she is a person of authority in my life, I was not sure how she was going to respond.  I became very nervous about the discussion. Because she was very busy, I wanted to wait until the time was right, but as the time passed, I became more nervous. It seems silly, but as she became available, I knew the time had come to approach her and my heart started pounding out of my chest. As with fear, I wanted to run the other way, but I told myself “just do it, NOW!” So I called her and asked if she had a few minutes to discuss something. I was still nervous, but I dealt with my fear with action. The outcome of the conversation is not relevant here. What is relevant is that I felt a huge amount of relief when I took action. The fear was gone and I know that I took control of it instead of allowing it to take control of me.

Here are a few things that I have found helpful with regards to taking action against fear.

Take action as quickly as possible. The longer I hold off, the more stress I fee and there is a greater chance of me giving in to the fear and not taking action at all. Now, I do believe in taking time to think through things and not rushing into them, but once I have made a decision on how to proceed, I try to take action as soon as possible.

Don’t allow the fearful thoughts to take control. Take control of your mind and remind yourself that you are very capable of handling the situation. I feel fear frequently because I am trying to stretch myself in a lot of areas of my life. As you continue to take baby steps towards your goals and dreams, fears will crop up as well. Many times we question ourselves and our abilities. If I am confident in the direction I want to take, even though I may not know completely what the future holds, I have to fill my mind with motivating thoughts. I have to remind myself that I can do what I need to do. I have to take action in my mind to fill it with good thoughts, and in turn, push out the fearful thoughts.

I acknowledge the great feeling that action against my fears brings. After I had the nervous discussion mentioned above, I walked away, caught my breath, smiled and said “Good job Jen!” Celebrate your successes! Give yourself some positive reinforcement. It takes a lot of courage to take action against our fears. We deserve some kudos! Taking action against our fears is not easy. I do believe that the more successes we rack up, the more our mind remembers that we will make it out the other side. Regardless of the outcome, we can and should be proud of taking control and taking action.

Fear is a part of life, even our BEST life. Here’s to taking action, taking control, and being proud of ourselves as we continue to move forward in the areas that are most important to us.

Jun 29

Be Inspired!

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals , Can Do Attitiude , Overcoming Obstacles , Perseverance

Have you ever felt blah? Unmotivated? Maybe even a little depressed? You know there are things that you want to move forward on in life, but you just don’t have the energy to push forward. A trick I have used to get going again is to be inspired.

Be Inspired

If you have read my blog for long, you know that one of the goals I am working towards is to participate in a triathlon. Between my schedule changing and my body not cooperating, the progress towards this goal has not been smooth sailing. An April triathlon was my first goal, but that did not happen. I was clearly not ready, but as luck has it, they had to postpone the tri until June. Surely I could be ready by June. Nope. As the June date approached, I was losing motivation and getting discouraged. I was close to giving up, but I knew, deep down, that I wanted to do this. Even though I was not participating, I forced myself to go. I knew my will power was low, so I volunteered for the event knowing I would have chosen sleeping in over attending. My lack of willpower was confirmed the morning of the tri when I had to get up at 4:30 AM. Was it bad of me to pray that it would keep raining so it would be cancelled and I could keep sleeping? But something really cool happened when I arrived. I got to see people of all walks of life and of all fitness levels put their heart and soul into swimming, biking, running and crossing the finish line. Every single person out there inspired me to keep training. They helped me see that I needed to keep trying, that I could do this!

What is an area in life you desperately want to move forward in? Here are a few ideas to help you gain the motivation and inspiration you need to keep going.

  • Ask yourself “what inspires me?” Do you love reading an inspirational book or article? Do you enjoy watching an inspirational documentary or movie? Events inspire me. I love when a bunch of people get together for a great cause. I get to see people who have struggled and persevered. I get to stand alongside amazing people with amazing stories. I also love a good inspirational book. I love hearing about how others have pushed through tough times. I need to hear that I can do it too! In the past, when have you felt inspired? What was it that inspired you? Whatever it is, consider adding more of that to you life to help you continue to move forward.
  • Make a commitment. I can guarantee that I would not have gone to the triathlon if I had not signed up to volunteer. I knew my will power was low and I needed to know that someone was expecting me to be there. Whatever it is that you want to move forward in, make a commitment to do it if you can. Sign up for a race, ride, class, conference, seminar, or group. Commit to meet up with a friend or co-worker. Sign up to volunteer. A great motivator is to invest money in it. Whatever works for you, making a commitment will help you get up and get going.
  • Show up and gain momentum. I have heard it quoted that “you never regret a workout when it is over.” Man, it is hard to get going at times, but when we show up, and make something happen, it feels so good. This past week I got up and went for a run. Running is not my favorite thing to do, but I know this is what I need to do to participate and finish a triathlon. It took all of my willpower to do it, but when I was done, I was pumped. I did it, and I know I can do it again. The more we show up and do what is hard, the better we get at it, and the more momentum we gain to keep going.
  • Be inspired by others who are working toward the same goal. No matter what we are trying to accomplish, someone had gone before us, someone is in the process of learning how and someone is just starting out. Be inspired by all of them. Know how hard it is for you and realize that it is just as hard for them. We are all in this together. It is easy to think that everyone else has it all together, but none of us do. We are all plugging away, trying to do our best in life. Be inspired by those who have gone before, commiserate with those who are going through it with you, and encourage those who are just starting out.

Whatever you are wanting to move forward in, remember to keep taking baby steps to move forward. Know that one of those baby steps is to gain some much-needed inspiration for your journey ahead. All of us can use fuel to keep going strong.

Here’s to being intentional about finding inspiration in our lives and living the best we possibly can!

Jun 08

I Can’t Catch Up!

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals

Do you ever feel like you cannot get everything done that you want to get done? There is simply not enough time in a day to fit everything in. The questions I have been asking myself is “How do I live my best when I always feel behind?”

systyems

One day this week I was feeling particularly blah. Life overall was good, so I did not understand what was making me feel so stale. I think through writing, so I decided to pick up my journal and start writing. The issue behind the way I was feeling became instantly clear. I was frustrated because even though I had done so much, I was still behind. The areas that I was behind in were nagging at me. I instantly asked myself, what can I do about this that is within my control?

Believe it or not, I started with taking a deep breath and resting for a little bit. That kind of sounds like a backward approach to getting things done, in fact you are probably thinking “Jen, you need to do less resting and more doing!” I’m sure that is true at times, but for the most part, resting a little allows me to gain more motivation and productivity in the long run.

As I thought about what I could do better to stay focused and get more done in my life, I realized I needed a new system of organization. Some areas of my life have changed, and since those changes, I had not found a good system to help me stay on task and focused. I have been jumping from here to there and finding myself getting into reactionary mode instead of being on top of things and intentional.

I needed a new system, so I bought a new planner. I have been following a blog for quite some time of a gentleman that helps people who want to write and publish books. In addition, he shares a lot about productivity and prioritizing. I knew my way of thinking fell in line with his, so I invested in purchasing his planner. I talked to a good friend about what I was doing and she said that she really needed a new system as well to help her get focused. She went out and found a planner that she loved.

A new system, or planner in my case, helps me by:

    • Listing the top three things that I want to stay focused on each day. This helps me stay focused on what is most important and not get buried in everything else.
    • Staying on top of all of the tasks that need to get done and prioritizing their importance. One nice thing about this is, if I have a few minutes, I can look at my list and take care of something small off of my list. I can take care of the things that are most pressing and feel a sense of relief when they are done.
    • Creating a realistic game plan for each day. (Don’t forget to plan a little margin in too!)
    • Writing down any notes that are important for me to take away from the day.

Implementation of any system takes a little investment of time each day, but I feel it is well worth the investment in the long run. I am excited about getting back into the routine of using a system to keep me organized and focused on what is most important. I hope I can be more intentional about my time and feel less “under the gun”  and behind each day.

If you have no idea where to start with a system or planner, take a look at your local office supply store or browse the office supply aisle at your favorite place to shop. Start with something that is visually appealing to you and go from there. Over time you will find what works for you and what does not. I have even created my own throughout the years.

Long story short, creating systems are a great way to get our most important things done, stay focused, feel less behind and work towards living our best life.

Mar 09

How Do We Stay Encouraged When Change Takes Time?

By jenregan | Accomplishing Goals , Perseverance

You have probably heard the saying that “the best things in life are never free!” Well, I am going to change it up a little and share an additional truth.  “The best things in life take time.” Healthy relationships are grown and enriched over time. The health of our bodies requires a lifelong commitment. Financial investments take time to mature. The question is, how can we keep going for the long haul, and how can we stay encouraged?

long haul

I am shaking my head at myself as I think back to something that happened yesterday. Last week I shared in my blog that I was starting the process of looking for a full-time job in addition to my Life Coaching and writing. Over the weekend, I put my job search plan together and hit the ground running on Monday. I felt like I had a pretty productive day, both on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday arrived with a cloud looming over my head. I woke up that morning starting to get discouraged and dead-end after dead-end that same day brought me spiraling down hill. At one point in the day, I just started to laugh at myself. I was on DAY THREE of my job search and I was already discouraged. DAY THREE!

After I picked myself up off the floor, I asked myself, what am I going to have to do to keep myself going for the long haul? How am I going to stay encouraged when the process is so long? Here are some of the things I thought about.

I had to adjust my expectation of the time it was going to take me. Going into this job search I was told that if I worked hard I might have a job in five months. Why then did I expect immediate results? Why is it that I thought it should go faster for me? I think we all fall into this trap, don’t we? We think we should be able to lose weight faster, save up money faster, quit smoking faster. Part of this comes from the fast paced and instant gratification culture that we live in. We are used to having everything right now. I had to adjust my expectation by:

  • Stepping back to reset my thinking.
  • Removing the thought that this was going to happen fast and be at peace with the fact that the process is going to take time.
  • I will have to re-commit and remind myself of this every single day.

I fell into the trap of “I will be happy when…” I don’t know how it happened, but my mind shifted to “I will be happy when I get this new job.” On day number three when I felt down in the dumps, I remembered that I want to be happy right now. Yes, I am really excited about going back to work outside of my work at home, but the only thing that was stopping me from enjoying life right now was me. That night I picked up one of my craft projects and enjoyed my evening. I guess it also goes back to my blog on the Hokey Pokey. I want to keep pushing forward with one foot out of my comfort zone, but also enjoy life while keeping one foot in my comfort zone. Have you ever fallen over while trying to dance the Hokey Pokey? Well I figuratively got off-balance this week and toppled over.

I have to do what it takes to keep myself focused on the positives. I just got off the phone with a loved one and they said to me “I am just trying to stay positive.” This is extremely important because our lives are filled with negative things. It is unfortunate that positive feedback or a complement is a rare thing in our lives. Why is it that it is so easy for coworkers, and even loved ones, to point out everything we are not getting done or not doing things in the way they want us to. I have always said that I love to encourage others because it is so rare in our world today. Let’s ask ourselves “what do I need to do to keep myself positive?”

These are just a few things to keep in mind as we tackle the big, long changes in our lives. Remember, you and I are doing great! We are running a marathon and we will get to the point where we will win the prize as we make our desired change a reality in our life. Let’s keep taking one baby step at a time, take our eyes off the road, look up to enjoy the sunshine and keep going. You can not begin to imagine how proud I am of each of you!

Here’s to the long haul!

Don’t forget this month’s Something To Look Forward To Planning Calendar! Click the image below to get your copy.

April 2017 STLFT Planning Calendar

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