My last blog focused on the concept of “closure”, and working through the things that get in the way of our successes. Along those lines, this past year has been one of ups and downs, learning, self-discovery, and introspection for me. I have taken the time in my writing to focus on my relationship with my husband, relationships with my family and friends, and my relationship with myself. The journey has been powerful. I have learned more about myself than anything else. And somehow, through my journey, I hope to have helped someone out there begin to discover things about their own journey.
As I have gone through this journey and given some serious thought to what direction I would like my life to go, I realize that there are other areas other than here where I would like to direct my focus. So, for me, this journey has brought me to a point of closure for this blog. Although I am sad to let it go, I am also very excited about the possibilities ahead for me and the different road I am going to take.
I am an educator and have been teaching in classrooms for over 21 years. I also have now accomplished the milestone of achieving a doctorate and have studied areas of teaching that have helped me discover where my greatest strengths lie professionally as well as personally. So through this journey of self-discovery, I have decided to take a different path and focus on some educational projects that I feel are very much in line with my strengths as an education professional. This new direction will take much of my “spare” time, and will require laser-like focus to be able to make it a success.
So, my friends, I leave you now with this last blog and some final advice toward realizing your own successes.
What do you want to do? Where do you want your life to go? What direction do you want to take? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? What steps can you take now to make those things happen? Because, for most of us, life isn’t something where you blink and those dreams come true. Dreams coming true are a result of a series of small decisions created in small moments that accumulate and eventually result in big things.
Once you decide where you want to go, decide how you’re going to get there. One of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to begin with the end in mind. Some call it backward design. I call it smart planning for success. Decide where you want to be, set a deadline for when you want to be there, and then make out your timeline for how you’re going to get there. Make task lists. Make goal lists. Give yourself deadlines along the way. Literally. Write it all out.
Once you get to the dreaming and planning stage, the hard part is staying motivated. Because things will happen along the way, and you will feel like your dreams are no longer attainable. Someone may say something that may make you feel like you really aren’t as talented as you thought you were (most likely NOT true). Something may happen that may make you feel like you’re really just wasting your time because dreams really don’t come true. Stop with the negative self-talk, and keep yourself motivated. Intrinsic motivation is different for everyone, so you have to figure out for yourself what made you want to do this thing in the first place, and keep that thought in front of you at all times. Write it out and literally tape it to the wall if you have to. To that, you can add extrinsic motivators. How about choosing a trusted friend or family member to share your dream with, and ask them to help keep you on track? Their simply asking how things are going and giving you a chance to talk it out will help you on your way to making it happen.
Celebrate Milestones – Big and Small
Sometimes we think we have to wait until we reach the end goal to celebrate. Not true. Go back to that original plan you made, and each time you reach one of your goals on your timeline, celebrate in some way. Treat yourself to something you love. Celebrate with the people who have helped you along the way. It is important to celebrate the good along the way to stay motivated to keep going.
Get to Work
One of the hardest things to do once you have a plan to reach your dreams is to have the confidence to get started. Taking that first step, that potential leap off of the mountain, can be the scariest thing you do. We all have that built-in instinct to stop ourselves from entering the unknown, it is a protection instinct. The difference between the people who reach their dreams and those who don’t usually boils down to whether you are willing to push past that fear, that protection instinct, and go ahead and jump anyway. Having faith in your plan and in those who you will rely on to help you get there is crucial to your success. But get to work. And keep working. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Some days will be harder than others. Keep going. And in the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up!”
So with those final words from my heart, I wish for you the best in pursuing your dreams in life and in love, and may you truly find deep meaning in what you do. Thank you for reading my words over this past year, and for being a part of my life.