This past year has been an absolute whirlwind of amazing moments for me. As a blogger, my career totally picked up, I travelled to a dozen different destinations, I started really getting paid for my craft, I created beautiful images and memories, but best of all, I am making my dreams come true. If you have always wanted to do something else with your life, felt like you were meant for something bigger and better, I feel ya! Having heard many people talk about New Year Resolutions, I wanted to give you a little pep talk that will help make 2018 the year you. Stop settling and start making your dreams come true.
STOP SETTLING AND COMMIT TO YOURSELF
I have been listening to a lot of Ted Talks lately and have heard stories and ideas from so many smart, successful people. What I noticed about them is that they have all committed to themselves. Instead of living a ‘fine’ or ‘okay’ life they stopped settling for mediocre and committed to their dreams and themselves. I know many people find it hard to commit to themselves or to take that first step into making their dreams come true. Some become so paralyzed with fears of whether they are capable or will be able to succeed, that they give up before they even start. Don’t press that inner snooze button that lets you take the easy road. Although making your dreams come true can be challenging, and requires forceful action at times, it always brings with it the greatest payoffs.
CHANGES TAKE FORCE
In a recent Ted Talk, I watched psychiatrist Judson Brewer say that with any self-taught behaviour there is always a three step process – the trigger, the behaviour, and the reward. When you feel depressed, you eat chocolate and the sugar helps you feel better. Depressive eating is a self-taught behaviour that, if you acknowledge and force yourself to stop, you can change for healthier choices. Instead of eating the chocolate, maybe go for a run, release some endorphins and let that make you feel better. Anything you want to change about yourself or your life is going to take force. You need to consciously be aware you are making a change so you can commit to yourself, stop settling for mediocre achievements, and see your goal through.
RESEARCH, ENVISION AND PLAN OUT YOUR GOAL
One of the best ways to get yourself over that first hurtle of paralysis that stops you from taking action and control over your life is research. You are alive during the best time in human history when it comes to access to vast knowledge. Go to the library and grab some books or pop your goals and aspirations into Google and you will probably find a dozen blogs talking about how someone else has done it. Even I, before I started my blog, went to Indigo and bought some books and did my research!
Although research may not be the sexiest part of making your dreams come true, it definitely helps you define a clearer path through the ‘fog of overwhelming fear’ you may be feeling. Another thing that I like to do is create a vision board. This is a great way to get you excited to start dreaming again. Cut out images from magazines and build a collage or change your desktop image to an image of something you aspire to achieve.
Now that you have researched your goal and have envisioned your success you can now start planning. You have found things you need to change or do through your research, and now have to create steps to making your dreams or vision board come true. A great way to connect A to C is with a mind map. Write down your goals, or better yet, break it up into many smaller goals and then write down how you are going to achieve each and every smaller goal.
DON’T SET A DEADLINE, SET A SCHEDULE
Most people have a goal, set a deadline to reach it, and then half way in realize that they aren’t going to make it and give up. What you have to realize is that in life there will always be things that are in your control and things that aren’t. You are going to face obstacles no matter what, but some, like getting sick, are completely out of your control. Instead of focusing on a deadline which inevitably you will have to change or adjust anyways, build a schedule. Refer back to your mind map and set a schedule to complete smaller tasks. This will help you monitor your progress, which will keep you motivated, and will keep your goal less daunting.
MAKE YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
There are things you can do to help you maintain a commitment to yourself and the energy you need to make a change. Sometimes, holding yourself accountable is not enough to keep you chasing your dreams for an extended period of time. Talk to people in the field you want to work in and express your desires. Or, tell friends your intentions and make them also hold you accountable. You no longer will let yourself get away with not trying and being fine with mediocrity if you have people watching you. We often are ‘fine’ with letting ourselves fail but when we think others are watching it’s not as easy of a pill to swallow/accept.
My friend Jess and I talk a lot about this. One thing about being an entrepreneur, or even just achieving anything in addition to what you are already doing, is being a self-starter and making an effort. Although I may have a schedule, have already done my research, and have a mind map that helps me outline my direction, you have to ask yourself are you trying hard enough? Is there more you can be doing to speed up the process? Even I am guilty of not always taking full advantage of my work day. I get distracted easily, I have depressive episodes, and I get uninspired. When you feel like you aren’t making as much progress as you once were, ask yourself, are you trying hard enough? Are you doing all that you can do? Have you committed to yourself enough? If the answer is no, to any of these questions – you are not trying hard enough plain and simple. Get focused, work harder and try again!
I hope you are feeling motivated and ready to start making your dreams come true in 2018. Nobody said it would be easy, but it will definitely be worth it. Remember there are no such things as failures, only lessons. In the words of Seneca “We suffer more often in imagination then we do in reality.” Don’t let your fears stop you from achieving your goals. Don’t waste another five years only to look back in regret at what you didn’t achieve. 2018 is your year to commit to yourself and make those changes.
If you have any questions or comments about my blog post today I would love to hear from you and can always be reached at Soheila@SoheilaOnline.com. If you liked my blog post today on Sheblogs you can also check out my personal blog at www.SoheilaOnline.com! Until next time! CIAO!