I want you to think of something you’ve always wanted to be, have or do – ‘one day.’ Maybe you can think of more than one thing and that’s even better, but try and think of at least one. Now I want you to think about what you’re doing to work towards having, being or doing it at this time in your life?! What are you doing regularly and consistently to progress towards that goal or desire? And when do you actually plan to achieve being, having or doing it? The problem so many of us make with goals is that we have a vague idea of where we want to be at some point in the future but don’t connect the dots backwards from there to where we are now. As a result, we have no roadmap or timescale for the journey to our goals and so days, months and even years pass by with very little progress.
When asked to think of something you want to be, have or do, there’s a huge range of things that could come to mind for you – from taking a trip or holiday to a certain place, starting a business or changing your job, dyeing your hair a different colour, losing weight, going vegetarian, getting jobs done on the house, running a marathon, learning to swim, catching up with an old friend or even just organising that box of paperwork you’ve had in your spare room for the last year and a half (ok, that might just be me?!) Your goal might even be to feel a certain way – happy, calm, organised and so on. The truth is, we all have these things that we want or intend to do ‘one day’ and we also all have reasons as to why now is definitely not the ‘right time’ to get around to them. Some people would use the word ‘excuses’ here, however there’s something conceited about that word when used in relation to achieving goals which I really dislike, after all, we all have different obstacles and priorities in life and this can genuinely hold us back from things at times. Very few people are immune from this ‘one day’ way of thinking, because the moment just hasn’t arrived yet when we have enough money, time, confidence, space, qualifications, support/approval from others (insert any other desirable asset for achieving goals here) to actually be, have, or do the thing that we really want. I know that there may be times when it’s not a good idea (or not even possible) to quit your job, plan a holiday of a lifetime or sign up to a course of exercise classes (in the middle of a global pandemic, perhaps?) However with lockdown lifting and opportunities becoming far more available, now is a great time to get started on working towards whatever future we envision for ourselves.
The last year has changed many of our perspectives and priorities and forced us to think about things we may never have before. We’ve seen the uncertainty of many things and how much can change in so little time and let’s use that to mould what we want our ‘new normal’ to look like. Have we missed friends, the gym, or have we enjoyed having more time at home? Some reflection here can help you to identify any goals or priorities for moving forwards. However, if we are waiting for the ‘right time’ to start working towards our goals and dreams then it’s highly likely that time will never arrive. Life is always busy, our attention can always be stolen by other things and time passes whether we like it or not so we may aswell be making the best possible use of that time whenever we can. If we wait – hours can turn to days, days to months and months to years and before we know it those dreams are still dreams, our obstacles are still there and we still don’t have enough money in the bank or enough time in the day or whatever else we’re wishing for to grab our dreams by the hands and run with them.
Many of us, myself included, spend so much time trying to plan for every eventuality, trying to answer every ‘what if?!’, waiting for the fear to go away or for money or time to be more abundant or for other people to give us the space or permission or freedom we feel we ‘need’ to take control of our own lives. Imagine what we could be achieving with this time if we just stopped WAITING?! What if we simply accepted that we’ll never really have any of those things because all we’ll ever really have guaranteed is what WE choose to do, RIGHT NOW?! I once read in a book that working towards your future is like driving somewhere in the middle of the night with your headlights on. You can’t see the entire journey in front of you – in fact quite often you can only see the few metres in front of you. Yet somehow, by navigating and controlling the car in each given moment, you can travel hundreds of miles and arrive at your destination as planned. In a similar way, you don’t need to see a whole staircase to climb to the top – just one step at a time.
So now, I want you to think back to the start of this blog and the thing(s) you wanted for your future, and consider again what you’re currently doing to work towards it? If the answer is ‘not much,’ then what could you start doing this week and stop waiting for to get things moving in the direction of the very best life you can picture for yourself? Could you start saving, researching, walking, protecting some time for yourself each day or week or anything bigger or even smaller than these steps? I hope that you don’t spend your life waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ to live your dreams because chances are you’ll never get it and you deserve to be living your best life right now.
See my ABC’s below for some tips to get started 😊
Accountability – Tell somebody what you’re working towards and better yet, make it someone who you will check in with regularly. It could be someone with knowledge or skills to support you such as a personal trainer or business mentor or simply a friend or family member who will support your dreams but hold you to your word! If you still don’t know where to turn, look for a local club or group where you might meet people who share similar goals or interests whatever they happen to be.
Break It Down – If your goal is to run a race over a certain distance but you’ve never ran before or to go vegetarian when you currently eat meat most days or to work for yourself but you haven’t got a business idea or anything else that’s seems like a big task, it can be overwhelming looking at it all in one go. Try dedicating just 10-15 minutes at a time towards your goal and working on one smaller task at first. You’re more likely to progress this way rather than trying to take huge leaps that you never actually get round to because they demand so much time, energy and other resources.
Create A Plan – This isn’t just something vague in your head but something physical – either written down in words or using images such as a vision board. Put this somewhere you will see it daily such as stuck up at home or in your diary. The more you see the goals and visions you have for yourself, the harder they are to forget or avoid and this can help to boost motivation when it’s lacking and again help with keeping you accountable to yourself. For more tips on motivation check out my previous blog 😊
Dot Method – Like a to do list, but arguably far more satisfying! Decide what you want to do over a certain timescale (I find a week works well) and write these actions in a list, drawing dots for how many times you wish to do each one. Each time you manage one, colour in a dot. You can make this look pretty and colourful but it’s such a simple way to see how you’re progressing towards your goals and trust me, you will want to get all those dots filled in!
Enjoy It – After all, whatever it is you’re working towards, it’s something you WANT, it’s something you’re CHOOSING and it’s part of living your best life. Make time for it and prioritise it because it’s moving your life in the direction of your best future and shouldn’t be treated as or thought of as a chore.
As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and found it useful and if you have any questions, comments or feedback then find me on Instagram @bevs_life .
Bev Meakin – Personal Trainer/ Exercise Referral Officer and Complementary Therapist.