Life goes like this...
Anyone else feel that way?
You think you have it all planned out. You think you know exactly what is going to happen to you and then, bam! things change, you get sick, you change your mind for the 500th time, you learn something new, you meet someone exciting, and the list goes on and on.
A good friend once said to me, "I am always making plans, but never expect them to work out." I love that. We have to plan. We wouldn't get anywhere if we didn't, but a lot less heartache comes when we learn how to embrace the unexpected, take opportunities when they come, and accept that life is messy. It is a series of twists and turns that just makes life all the more interesting and exciting.
Sometimes it can get frustrating when you have an end goal or something in mind that you really really want to have happen, and you can see it in the distance, but it seems the road to get there keeps getting more and more long and twisty. There are several things in my life that seem this way; my business, finding a meaningful relationship, finding peace with my body, just to name a few. We are all a work in progress. :)
So... how to do we remain calm and connected to our goals and dreams when it feels like we are on a windy road of the scenic route to who knows where?
Staying Connected to our Goals and Dreams...for the long haul.
1. Begin with the End in Mind -
Start every goal or project with a vision of exactly what you want to have happen. What does it look like. What will it feel like to accomplish or attain that thing? What does it smell like? Imagine every aspect of it clearly in your mind. Write it down. Make is so real you can feel it.
2. Create a Road Map -
Nothing gets done without a plan, and although we will expect the road map to change, get longer, and have detours, without the plan we will never begin. So flex your pro-active muscles and outline the steps it will take you to reach your goal.
3. Plan for the Unexpected -
The best way to cope with unexpected set-backs is to plan for them ahead of time. While making your road map, think about the possible things that may set you back and then create a plan for how you will deal with them.
Maybe your goal is to learn how to play the guitar--so think about the things that may set you back... sore finger... no time to practice... no money to buy a guitar... now how will you cope with these? Making a practicing schedule so you make the time and don't overdo it? Making a plan to save money to buy a guitar, checking out your local thrift store for deal.
Maybe your goal is to find your dream relationship-- what are the things that may set you back? dating woes... break-ups... introducing them to family... there are so many (and I'm familiar with them all! haha)... so how do we cope with these? Knowing ourselves and how we handle break-ups, self-care, self-care, self-care, sustaining other relationships through the process.
We don't want to plan to fail, but we do want to have a strategy in place for set-backs so that we don't get completely derailed when things go wrong.
4. Concentrate on One (sometimes baby) Step at a Time -
I don't know about you, but every once in a while I catch myself laying in bed and instead of concentrating on the beautiful destination I'm working so hard to get to, I start thinking about all the things that will need to happen in the middle and that usually leads to an absolute anxiety attack. For reals.
The trick here is once you have created a plan and figured out your coping mechanisms for the unexpected, then set them aside and focus on where you are RIGHT NOW. Take one step at a time and don't even allow yourself to think about what's next until you're ready to move forward. Be unavailable to overwhelm and be present in your current situation. (easier said than done, especially if you're a planner like me, but YOU CAN DO IT!)
5. Celebrate the Little Things -
And then last, but NOT least, CELEBRATE THE SMALL VICTORIES along the way. When things do go the way you want them to, celebrate it! When things go wrong and you conquer the unexpected, celebrate it! When part of the process is taking far longer than you wanted or expected, celebrate where you are and find gratitude in all that you do have!
"Everything worth having is worth working for and waiting for."
It will work out in the end. Stay the course, no matter how long or twisty the way. Embrace the unexpected, take opportunities when they come, and accept that life is messy. It is a series of twists and turns that just makes life all the more interesting and exciting. But what is waiting at the end of that twisty road is completely worth it.