What action are you taking to achieve your goals?

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Last week I posed the question;

“Are you pursuing your dreams?”

This week I feel the need to focus on how you will make your goals a reality. Clear steps need to be taken in order to meet your goals. The smallest action will bring you one step closer. One step away from where you are now. 

Having a dream and goal in mind is the easy part. Ensure they do not stay somewhere up in your head; popping out every so often to remind you, you are not where you are supposed to be. 

Take out a pen and notepad, not just a standard looking notepad but one that looks like you mean business.  Write out your goals for the next year, no more than five otherwise you will only feel overwhelmed. Think about the steps you need to take to achieve them. Do you need to pick up a qualification, sign up to a class to learn a new skill, start walking more to keep fit, read a book a week? Whatever it is you can plan for it. 

Seeing your goals on paper will suddenly make them real.  They are no longer just thoughts in your head but are in written form, clear for you to see on a daily basis. 

Before we decorated and had our wardrobe taken down and reassembled, I had my goals – long and short term hung on the inside of my wardrobe. I saw them each time I opened my wardrobe, at least twice a day.  I really must rescue the laminated sheet from an old shoebox and return it to its rightful place.

Some long term goals I have not yet achieved and of the short term, several are still outstanding. Seeing my goals served as a reminder of what I was working towards. Often the daily grind can steer you away from the bigger picture – where you actually want to be as oppose to where you are now.

Challenges you face now may be part of your character building for the future.

A quick checklist;
1. Write your goals down
2. Hang somewhere visible in your home
3. Revisit your goals in six months time
4. If necessary re-assess the time frame

How are you working towards achieving your goals?

How do you stay focused?

Are you pursuing your dreams?

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The late Olympian, Jesse Owens quoted;

“We all have dreams. But in order to turn dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”

Dreaming alone is simply not enough. Action is most certainly required in order for us to see our dreams turn into reality. What we do today contributes to our life tomorrow. What we say today contributes to our life tomorrow. 

I would like to think we all have dreams (or goals if you prefer), big dreams, the kind that scare us if we give them too much thought.

Dreams are supposed to be big and out of this world. If we could pluck them out of the clouds this would then make them easily attainable.  

Our dreams ensure we continue to plough forward, despite the challenges.  They are what we reach out to even when they feel a million miles away. Take the stars in the sky; billions of miles away yet when we stand in the dark of night, we look up and feel we could somehow grab at them.  

Dreams give us hope that those things we desire; however big or small will someday be ours. Though our dreams may seem far off, the small steps we take today mean we grow closer each day.

One man’s dream may well appear ordinary to another man but it is valid and relevant to them.  

I would like to own a horse at some point in my life. To me they are the most beautiful animals on this earth. Surprisingly I am not too hot on cleaning out the stables but would happily ride the horse on a daily basis. Now, to own a horse on your own grounds you need ample land which there is not much of here in the UK as compared to say, America. I would not say no to land, my family and I could run a farm – no pigs allowed!

Do you have defined dreams or goals?

How are you working towards meeting them? 

What obstacles have you faced along the way?

Be True to Yourself

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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you be something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live in a world that has an ideal of how men and women should appear physically, behave and think.  

You only have to look in women’s magazines to see the many adverts for perfume, hair and face products. The magazines aimed at teens and the early twenties age group have countless articles on how to be fun, appealing to boys/men, the best ever forever friend. Seven years ago I made a decision to stop buying magazines. Firstly because they were costing me a fortune, secondly I was shocked at the number of adverts and thirdly I always felt a little discontent after reading them. They made me question my life and ponder on what I did not have.

Magazines for men do not fall too far behind. We are raising a generation of men who spend just as much time preening themselves in the mirror as much as the average woman.

Extroverts are more likely to be embraced than introverts whether in an organisation or amongst peer groups. This then puts pressure on the natural introverts who try to “come out of themselves” for fear of being overlooked.

As a child, I was more than happy reading a book in the corner until friends and family began questioning why I was so quiet. I suddenly felt my character was somehow wrong and I needed to change in order to be accepted.  

We all conform to a certain extent. Even those who wear extreme clothes,”out there” piercings and make up gravitate to a particular group who dress this way.  

Being comfortable in your own skin means you are more likely to come across as authentic, you will do what you do best in the way you know how. We are unique and should allow that special part of our character to shine.  The world may not understand it but this is no reason to hide it. It is part of you. 

How true are you?? 

Are you content with being yourself?

Stop worry and anxiety in its tracks

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I have a slightly different focus on my blog this week.  I felt a strong urge to touch on worrying and anxiety, something we have all faced at one stage in our lives. Some suffer from it far more than others – the reasons for this I do not know. 

Worrying does not add anything to our life yet so many of us partake in this. Perhaps it is a habit that needs to be “unlearned”. We have spent the best part of our lives leaning on worry knowing it brings no real benefit at all. 

Worrying leads to anxiety which opens all sorts of doors that we may struggle to close. A few that come to mind are depression and self doubt. Over analysing soon follows. At first you may link being analytical to being reflective when in fact you are breaking down every conversation, every action and reliving it wondering what you could have said and done differently. You then become critical of yourself and go over the scenario again and again as if you can somehow give it a different ending. I have been there and bought the t-shirt!

You notice your reaction when in situations and the triggers but have difficulty in stopping the behaviours. 

You may be thinking how do I just stop worrying, surely it will take months, even years to train my brain to think differently and react more positively when situations arise that challenge me? Of course, it will not happen overnight.

Reading the bible and praying gives me peace and hope when I am feeling downcast. Also remembering that everyone has some form of load to carry helps to put life into perspective for me. We are moved by those things that affect us. I cannot minimise what another person faces however trivial it may appear to me.

Are you relating your current situation to a painful past experience?

Are you living with regret?

Are you carrying guilt or shame?

You must first acknowledge your emotions then seek to pinpoint the root before you can overcome them.

How do you deal with anxiety?

How motivated are you?

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Do you ever have days where life seems so hectic, overwhelming even? You know exactly what you need to do in order to move forward but you have run out of zest. We all have what I would call “dry” days right?  The energy and motivation does not exist and at that moment you want to be somewhere else, anywhere else. 

Perhaps you had a challenging day at work, someone upset you or you are just tired and cranky.  I feel it is important to acknowledge your feelings as they are real and affect the way we are towards others. It is easier to move on once we know why we have particular feelings and what the triggers were. 

I am a day dreamer by nature (inherited from my mother) and when everything becomes a bit too much, I drift off in my thoughts and picture open fields, beautiful flowers, exotic holiday destinations such as The Bahamas and Hawai.   Reading the bible gives me a great sense of peace as well as taking time out to sit still and reflect. 

This week as I pondered on ideas for my next blog, I struggled to motivate myself.  A part of me, well all of me did not want to do it.   When I have these “moments”, I remind myself that the emphasis should not be on what I feel like doing but what I need to do in order to see results. Our feelings are fickle and wayward at the best of times. If I continually acted on my feelings, my life would be very much up and down.

There are other goals I have set myself and I have made myself accountable to one or two others merely by informing them of the goals. Every so often, they will ask if I am moving any further towards achieving my goals. This keeps me in check and encourages me to strive forward. I also recently sought a career coach which is of great benefit. I identify what I would like to gain from each monthly session and bring points for discussion. I am the lead for my sessions, I am responsible for finding solutions. I get out as much as I am willing to put in.

What do you do when your motivation has dwindled?