Today I have a wonderful bloggy friend visiting The Momma Bird. Faith from Sweet Violet is here to talk about “goals.” She has so much wisdom to share and has some pretty darn cute kids too! She also is giving away a Photography E-Course in the Group Giveaway that’s going on here. Be sure and pop over to her blog and send her some kind words.
What are your goals for 2012?
I remember a time in my life, especially when life felt totally full just with diapers and cleaning up after my toddlers, when I had no goals and no idea of what I wanted for my future.
My biggest “goals” for my life were to get to nap time without screaming at anyone.
But then I got to a point when I looked up from my mac and cheese days and my TV watching nights and realized that I needed to get off of my butt and start working for the life I wanted – instead of just hoping that it would happen, or worse still – blaming other people.
What about you? What do you want?
More importantly – what are you doing to make them happen?
So I’ve got just a couple of thoughts I wanted to share with you about making and then reaching goals.
First make a long-term goal. Not a goal you can meet in a day, or a week, or a month or even a year – this should be like a five year or ten year goal. Do you have any of those? I know when my kids were little it was hard to think ahead more than a few days much less five or ten years. I still struggle with that now. Ten years feels really far off. But it’ll be here before I know it. What do I want to have accomplished by then? Okay – how about five years? When I started teaching photography classes – that was my goal. To be able to have a full-time income while working from home in five years. That was 18 months ago. I feel pretty good about how far I’ve come in that time. It’s not where I want to be but I know where I’m going. Maybe your five-year goals have more to do with making healthier choices to loose that weight or run that marathon. Maybe your goals have to do with your education or maybe money – imagine where you want to be in ten years – in five years and then…
Next make some short term goals. My first short-term goals were to build traffic to my blog so I started posting every day, commenting more, raising the visibility and reputation of my blog and of myself as a blogger and photographer. Every time I hit a mile stone, like reaching 100 followers or getting 100 hits a day – reaching each goal felt really good and gave me something to work towards and celebrate. Those smaller goals are so important to reaching the bigger goals. Big change comes as a result from lots of smaller changes.
Just start somewhere. If you wait until everything is perfect you’ll never start anything. If you wait until everyone in your life believes in your dream -you’ll never even start. Sometimes the most important step you take is the fist one – just getting some momentum. Just do it. You don’t have to have the next ten steps mapped out – just take the first one. Save that first dollar, make that first healthy meal choice, write that first blog post, start that first conversation. Start somewhere, do something. Trust that in the long run it’ll work out and make a difference, and prove the naysayers wrong.
Come to terms with the fact that you’re going to have to give something up. You know the sayings - No pain no gain. No sacrifice no victory. It’s going to have to happen. Success comes on the heels of sacrifice. I gave up TV time and a lot of sleep to build my blog and write my classes. I gave up movies and going out for ice cream with the family to have some quiet time to write. I gave up soda now that I’m getting a little older and it’s getting harder to maintain my ideal weight. What do you need to give up to gain your goal?
Never give up. Oh my goodness there have been so many late nights when I’ve wanted to quit. Along the way I’ve felt like giving up a hundred million times. I’ve wondered if what I’m doing is making any difference at all. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve failed and had to pick myself up and start again I’ve felt totally overwhelmed. Chances are the same will happen to you. Stick with it. Work hard. I feel like 90% of the success I’ve had up to this point has been simply because I’ve refused to give up. If you just keep going, just one more day, despite how you’re feeling – you’ll make it.
One last thing – try to maintain balance in your life. If your goal is work-related – don’t forget to take a break. If your goal is weigh related – don’t forget to enjoy some chocolate, or whatever it is you enjoy, now and then. If your goal is money related – don’t forget that now and then it’s awesome to eat a nice meal out or take the family to the movies – even if it does cost an ungodly amount of money. Imbalance and taking things to extremes is the first step to burn-out.