First, I’m pleased to announce that my book, “The Moose, the Murder, and the Single Malt,” is now available on Kindle!
I’m now eagerly tippy-tapping away at my follow-up, “The Clerk, the Contractor, and the Christmas Spy.” I wish I could say that it was odd for me to be thinking about Christmas in the middle of July, but I am a Christmas nut of the first order.
A Successful Plan is a Flexible Plan
Okay. I’m betting there are a few people out there who have wondered how to chase a dream like I have done. Well, I haven’t got it all figured out, but I do know that small steps in the right direction add up to a lot of ground covered. The key is consistent commitment.
If you want to write a book, you’ve got to at least buy a pen and a notebook -and WRITE! If you want to build a good habit, like exercising regularly, choose a program that piques your interest and at least try it out, even just for thirty days.
Nobody will penalize you for deciding something isn’t for you and making a course correction. Except maybe you, because sometimes that’s the dialogue on repeat in our heads. Trust me on this, that “this is nuts,” and “I’m going to look like such an idiot when things don’t work out, so why bother?” story that I know I got hung up on, it’s a LIE.
Here’s what feels really good: Moving towards what you want. Even if all you can do is squeeze fifteen little minutes of writing in every day, you’re moving!
If you feel stuck, I get it, I’ve been there. In my case it was the story I told myself that usually ended up with something about me not being x, y, or z enough. I still have to do the work to keep that in check, but I am aware of it now.
So, here are three little tips:
1: Pay attention to what catches your eye. I had been wondering about NaNoWriMo for years, it just never left me alone. Last year I signed up on a whim and look at me now! If you’re not sure about something that caught your attention, ask yourself, does this excite me? Do I feel hopeful and expansive (and maybe a teensy bit scared) when I imagine doing or having completed this? What you feel is a big old signpost from your higher/90-year-old/wiser self.
2: Get honest about your why. Once you find a few things that you want to pursue, understand why you want to do/have/be these things. For me, writing is a no-brainer, it truly is part of my make-up. I wasn’t born with a pen in my hand, but I’ve been holding one pretty much ever since. Other things require a little deeper exploration on my part. Exercising feels good when I do it, but to be honest I’m not overly concerned about my dress-size. I dress really well most of the time (some days even I think “do I really need to wear pants today?”) but I know that my body feeling good -as in not stiff and tight- is a really good reason to hit the yoga mat. I also know that I love to just go for a stroll and breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds, watch the dogs explore, these things bring me peace. You see, it’s about the feeling more than the result. Bonus points if you can find ways to cultivate that feeling for yourself before you actually have whatever it is that you truly desire.
3: Make a plan that works. Find a method that works for you. This is really the secret to living life, period. Figure out what works for you and do it every day. I personally love at home workout DVD’s -I just haven’t got the patience for gym memberships and crowded classes. I like to hit the mat first thing, and then get on with the rest of my day. I write in the mornings and pursue either other interests or research in the afternoons. That’s my process because it works for me. The flip side is that some days don’t go as planned. S*%@ happens, folks. Understand that stuff like power/internet outages, or emergencies, or even just a really tempting lunch invitation will come along. Plan ahead (as I write this our internet is down due to a big storm last night) and also, do not -let me repeat that- DO NOT beat yourself up for missing a day here and there. This is why consistent commitment is crucial, you will get back on that horse tomorrow. Don’t sweat the oops.
Think of it This Way
The Universe/God/Goddess/Spirit or whatever feels right to you, has three responses:
Suddenly going for that dream doesn’t seem so wild, does it? So get out of your own way and go for it! You don’t have to throw all caution to the wind (unless that works for you) you just have to align with the dreams your heart holds dear.