We all do it. Set goals and then something happens. We get distracted. We get busy. We get a new job or new relationship and suddenly our plans get pushed aside. It could be a big goal like finally getting that degree or certificate. Or it could be a small goal like starting an herb garden in your kitchen window. You know it’s doable, yet you haven’t taken the steps to make it happen.
>Why, though? It could be fear. It could be lack of motivation. It could be self-doubt. Whatever it is, it’s holding you back from getting and doing the things you want and need to do for you. It doesn’t feel good. It feels…frustrating. You try to make light of it, but it’s sooo not funny.
If you’re ready to stop playing games and start checking off your to-do’s, these tips will help:
1. Recognize your B.S. You know when you’re on a budget but you buy the bag anyway? What about when you find yourself saying stuff like: I’ll just have one glass of wine. Or I’ll go to class tomorrow. Or it really doesn’t matter. Yeah. That’s some B.S. And you know it. It’s like chewing on a fried chicken leg while simultaneously saying you want to lose weight. Who are you kidding? Not me! Either enjoy your fried food and be quiet or put it down and start you diet. It’s really that simple and to suggest anything else is pure B.S. To change your actions you first have to acknowledge them. As Rene Couret, author of How to Recognize Your Bullshit and Get More of What You Want Out of Life says, “Anything that can come from you facing your BS can’t be worse than suffering from your BS.” You can stop your suffering by catching yourself in the act of B.S.
2. Ask friends to describe you in 10 words or less. Warning: You can’t be thin-skinned on this one. Every description is not going to be glorious. You have flaws and if you can’t see them your friends sure can. Sometimes our perception of ourselves can be skewered so you need outside help. You may see yourself as funny but others may see you as sarcastic. What you consider to be your sophisticated side may come off as aloof or even judgmental.
I took the plunge and tried this myself. People described me as smart, creative, compassionate, flaky, loud, abrasive, dynamic, funny, and generous. I wanted to concentrate on the good stuff but had to re-assess the flaky loud abrasive part of my personality. It was a wakeup call but I’m a better woman for it – with my flaky, loud abrasive self!
3. Revisit Old Journals. Journals are sort of a blueprint for the things you wanted out of your life. If you’ve kept one over the years, you will be amazed at what you will find when you go back and look at them. Some of the goals you set for yourself you might have already accomplished. You could also be disappointed as there maybe things that you did not accomplish. That’s okay. Maybe you don’t want those things anymore or they are not important to you at this stage of your life. But if you do and they are, the reminder can light a fire under you and inspire you to go for it – again!
4. Break it Down. Once you are re-inspired to tackle a goal, don’t go crazy trying to do it all at once. Take small steps. Pace yourself. Make a list and as you accomplish things, no matter how small, cross them out. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do EVERYTHING immediately. Knowing what needs to be done and that you are taking steps towards it will keep you going.
5. Let it Go. We all have dreams. When I was a little girl I dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast. Yeah. That’s probably not going to happen. But I was a cheerleader in high school and now as an adult I enjoy yoga when I need to get my flex and stretch on. Let’s be real: At this point, you’re probably not going to be a prima ballerina. You know those knees can’t take it! I don’t mean to be harsh just honest. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still take ballet classes or buy tickets to ballet when it’s in town. Letting go of a dream is really just letting go of how you thought it would manifest itself in your life and finding new ways to incorporate your interests into your reality.
6. Give Yourself Your Props. Assess the things you HAVE accomplished, no matter how menial they may seem, and celebrate them! The disappointments you have experienced, the losses you have survived, the adversities you’ve faced and overcome – -all those things count.
It’s easy to forget how fly you really are so sometimes you have to sit yourself down and tick off the list. Yup. Yup. I did that! And I did that too! It’s a perk of being a woman of a certain age-knowing all that you have survived and accomplished. Use it all to propel you forward into the next phase.
7. Seek Support. I have a newsflash for you. You are not Superwoman. You do not have all the answers. You can ask for help. People have degrees, expertise, and experience in this stuff and they are there to help you. Nutritionists. Personal Trainers. Housecleaners. Decorators. Acupuncturists. Herbalists. Dance Instructors. You get my drift. You do not have to do it all on your own. Admit you need help and seek it out.
Tell the truth about why you’re avoiding what you know you have to do. Be sincere with yourself, confront it, and move forward.