Goals and Dreams

Worthy Necklace

Goal setting is something new to me.  I never really set goals for myself before.  It is something new that I started after I read Girl, Wash Your Faceby Rachel Hollis.  It really wasn’t until I read that book that I realized that I couldn’t tell you what I wanted my life to look like in 10 years.  I didn’t know what my goals and dreams were for my future anymore.  I had never really focused on me.  It was always about my job/students, my kids, my husband, and everyone and everything but me. I had to take a long look at what I wanted and needed and began to formulate a dream.  That book came at a time in my life when I was unsure of what I wanted.  I was unsure if teaching was what I wanted to do the rest of my life.  I was at a crossroads.  Here is the excerpt from the book that really made me realize that I needed to make a change because I did have a stirring in my heart….

“If you have a stirring in your heart for something more, that is a gift and not everyone has that. It’s your potential knocking on the door. Embrace it. There is something more for you. The instinct or desire for more is not enough. You have to put in the work! Know you have the potential for more and don’t give up.”

Once I did some serious soul searching, I realized that I did have big dreams, dreams that were bigger than the way I was currently living my life. I started setting big goals for myself and attempted to make a plan on how I was going to get there.  Within those big goals came smaller goals. Goals that were easily attainable IF I put in the work.  That’s the key, though. You have to be willing to put in the hard work.  That’s something that I have had to learn to do.  Normally, I would always push things that I wanted to the side because I was always last. In my mind everyone else’s needs came before my own needs.  I have had to learn that isn’t the way to do it. There are times when I have to put my needs and wants first.  I have to take that time to put in the work if I am ever going to have a shot at reaching my dreams.   That has been a really hard lesson to learn and one that I continue to struggle with. I think most moms, and women in general, often put everyone else before their own well-being.  It is really sad that we have been taught that for years. We have been taught that women are the caregivers and that we need to put everyone else first.  Women are the ones that stay home and take care of sick kids. Women are the ones to schedule and transport the kids to appointments. Women are the ones who are made to feel bad when they choose to work and put their kids in daycare.  Women are the ones that go to work sick every single time. Women are the ones that juggle a million hats a once. Our dream is supposed to be to get married and have kids and take care of your family to the best of your ability.   That is what the majority of the world believes and what society tells us to do. You can try to argue that it is not true, but just ask any single woman how many times people ask her when she is going to get married.  Ask any newly married woman how many times people have asked her when she is going to start having kids.  Ask any working mom how many times she has been made to feel guilty about working outside the home.  I can assure you that they would all say a million times. It is no wonder that many of us don’t know what our dreams are or can’t ever attain them.  We are a product of our culture.  Yes, great strides have been made when it comes to women, but there is still such a long way to go.  We as women have a right to dream and to dream big.   We have the right to set goals and pursue them with all we’ve got.  It is okay to put yourself first sometimes.  Don’t get me wrong; I love my family.  I love being a mom and a wife.  I wouldn’t change any of that for anything, but it is okay for me to want more for my life, to do more for myself.  It is okay for me to have goals and dreams, and it is okay for me to pursue them with all I’ve got.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.  

Figuring out what my goals and dreams are was a big step in my life.  It has definitely changed me for the better. Once I figured out what I really wanted for my life, I had to come up with a plan to get me there.  I had to figure out how to become the best version of myself, the person God meant for me to be.  I now set goals for myself all the time.  Some of them I share and others I keep to myself.  These goals are going to help me reach the dreams I now have for myself, for the person that I want to be. I set goals for things like this blog and for both of my small businesses.  I set goals for small things like not drinking a Pepsi for a month. It doesn’t matter how big or small or silly it may seem, it is important to have something to motivate you. I like having something to reach for.  It really motivates me to keep pushing through. What is really hard for me now is when I fall short of my goal.   I tend to beat myself up about it. That’s when the negative self-talk comes in.  I start to tell myself that I’m not good enough. That is something I am working on now and will probably always be working on.  The one thing I have learned most of all is that it is okay to dream big and that is what I am going to continue to do.  I am going to keep setting small goals to help me get there. Even when I fail, I am going to keep going. I encourage you all to figure out what your big dreams are and know they can be as big as you can imagine.  Then figure out a plan for what is going to get you there.  Set small goals that will help you to reach that bigger goal, and go for it with everything you’ve got. 


New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!!! Can you believe it is 2019? I’ve seen the meme going around that this will be the last time we will ever see “teens” in our lifetime.  Does that make you feel old or is it just me? Maybe I am feeling extra old because my birthday is just a few days away.  Maybe it’s because I woke up this morning with everything aching and that happens more an more every day. Maybe it is from the reminiscing about the past year that I’ve been doing the last couple of days. I don’t know but I feel old!  I am sorry to say that this post may be a little sentimental and a little long today! Sorry! 

As we all rang in the New Year last night (some of us with our eyes closed in bed), I think it is only natural that we look back over the past year and all that we have or have not accomplished.  For me, 2018 brought with it many lasts and lots of changes for my family. We had our very last deployment ever, which is probably the one I am most excited about. Being a military wife for going on 19 years has taken its toll on not only me but also the family as a whole. I don’t know the number of times my husband has been deployed.  I know that it is too many to count. The relief that came with that last deployment is one that I am not sure I could ever describe.  While he will continue to take a few small “trips” here and there, he should never have to go on a deployment where he is gone months at a time ever again. That is something to surely celebrate! This news brings about change as well.  We all have to adjust to a different life where he doesn’t leave all the time. We have to figure out our new normal.  While I know there will be some growing pains, I honestly don’t care. Having him here all the time will be completely worth it. With that last deployment came another last.  It was the last time that my husband will ever serve on a submarine. He has been in the Navy and serving on submarines for over 25 years.  That is pretty much his whole adult life.  Not only will he be adjusting to not deploying every few months, he is also adjusting to a completely different job in the Navy, which also brings growing pains.  At his Change of Command Ceremony this past summer, we said goodbye to people that had become our family and to the only way of life we have known together as a family. Good things are coming!

2018 was a big real estate year for us as well.  No, we aren’t in the real estate business, we just have moved a lot and owned 2 houses. We sold our house in Georgia, got new tenants in our other house that we rent out, rented the house that we are currently living in, and began the process of purchasing the house that we will be moving into in the spring. This brought about some lasts and changes as well. I realized that 2018 was probably the last time that I will ever live in the state of Georgia, which has been my home for the majority of my life.  I was born there, lived there until I was 14 years old, went to college there, and lived there for 6 years of my married life.  If you were doing the math in your head, I have lived in Georgia for 24 years of my life. Without giving away my exact age, I will tell you that it is over half of my life. Most of my favorite life memories have been in Georgia. It is kind of sad to think that I will likely never live there again. Thankfully, I have lots of family and friends that live there so I will get to go back and visit often. The change in real estate also brought us to a new place that we will hopefully get to call home for many years.  It is our plan to at least be here until both of our girls graduate from high school. It is important to us that we not move them during the life shaping years of high school.  While starting over somewhere new is always daunting, the idea that this will be home for a long time is such an awesome feeling. Stability and no deployments has been something the whole family has craved forever. 

There are so many other highlights from 2018 such as a family trip to Disney with my parents and nephew, a great trip to NYC with my girls and some of my best friends for gymnastics, my annual beach trip with my peeps that I look forward to all year long, and so many more amazing memories. One of the biggest highlights for me personally, though, was taking the leap and starting this blog.  I cannot tell you how much joy it has already brought to my life, and I know that more greatness is to come from it in the future. Thank you to all of you that show up and read what little old me has to say each day.  It means more to me that you will ever know.  Please continue to share it with the ones you love as well! 

Now on to 2019.  I have never been one that makes New Year’s Resolutions.  However, lately I have been setting monthly goals for myself, and it seems to be working. The key to achieving your goals is to have a plan from the start on how to achieve them.  Words mean nothing if there is no plan of action in place.  We all know that all the gyms around have an influx of new members and attendance in January and that by March they are all empty again. That’s because people make huge resolutions that aren’t realistic for their lives or that they had no long-term plan of action for achieving their resolutions.  I personally think it is better to set goals that are realistic and attainable.  I think you can set big goals for the year, but the key is to make smaller goals within the bigger goal so that you have a chance of achieving it.  For example, one of my goals since November has been to choose gratitude and joy every single day.  This will be a goal that continues into the New Year.  My plan of action for achieving this is to focus daily on things in my life that I am grateful for and that bring me joy.  To help me do this, I have purchased one of Rachel Hollis’s Start Today journals, which encourages you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for each morning, 10 goals or dreams I have for myself, and the one goal I am going to focus on first.  This only takes me a few minutes each morning, which makes it feasible for me to do each day.  Having to come up with the 5 things I am grateful for each day forces me to look for moments throughout each day which in turn helps me to choose joy over negativity.   Also, writing down your goals everyday keeps them in the forefront of your mind and helps you to achieve them.  As a visual learner, this one is key for me.  Seeing my goals in writing every single day really helps me.  I even write my goals, as I have shown you before, in my planner for each month.  I have 3 goals each month that I am working towards that I write in there on top of the 10 goals that I write in my Start Today Journal.  Now, do you need a fancy journal like the one I bought? No, you can pick up any spiral notebook or pretty journal from Walmart or Target and do the exact same thing, which is what I will do when I fill up my current one. 

I also have big goals for this blog for 2019.  I could say that I want to reach 1000 followers by the end of the year, but I am not going to do that.  Instead I am going to set smaller, monthly goals of things I want to achieve. Setting monthly goals that are really attainable will actually make you achieve those bigger goals overall. Another thing that I am doing starting today is following Mel Robbin’s Mindset Reset. If you have not read her book, The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage, you should! You can purchase it here (Amazon). Anyway, she is leading a 35-day mind reset through a series of emails and videos on Facebook that starts TODAY.  You can join through her Facebook page here. I feel like this is going to really help me to achieve all of my goals for the year. Check it out! 

I encourage you all to join me and set small monthly goals for yourself. Make sure that you have a plan of action for achieving that goal.  Write them down every day. Don’t give up. Even when it gets hard, don’t give up. Keep pushing through and you will achieve your goals.  I have faith in myself, and I have faith in you! We can do this! 

Anchored in a New Year,

One Life. Just One.

Photo credit to my youngest daughter

Why aren’t we running? Isn’t it time to stop what you are doing and take a moment to think about what your goals and dreams are? Are you actively pursuing those things? If the answer is no, what are you waiting for? I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching in the last few months and I can honestly tell you that I didn’t have an answer to that question. I had no idea what my dreams or goals in life were. I was so lost in who I thought I should be to realize who I really wanted to be. I came across the quote above scrolling through Facebook one day. I don’t know the source of who said it but it really struck me.  I know I was definitely not running towards anything.  I was just getting through each day.  It was almost like I was on autopilot.  I wasn’t really LIVING. Honestly, it was more like I was just EXISTING. I was going through the motions of my life longing for each day to be over, and then I would go to bed and wake up to do it all over again.  I would tell myself that if I could just get to such and such point, things would be better. That time would come and then what? Was everything better?  No, it wasn’t.  I would just start the cycle again and it would go on and on.  Do you have those feelings? Are you even aware of them?  I really wasn’t until recently.  I just assumed that was how life went.

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This girl is on FIRE!

Through most of my childhood, teens, and young adult years, my goals and dreams were to be a teacher, a wife, and a mother, in that order. In my head that was what I was supposed to do. Once I accomplished those things, I guess I thought that was it. What more could I want?  I had achieved those dreams, so now I was just supposed to get through each day being that person.  That was what I thought my duty was. It never occurred to me before that I could have more dreams or that my dreams could change.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved being a teacher and working with those kids.  I love being a wife and mom.  I wouldn’t take those things away ever, but why can’t I have more? Do my dreams have to stop there? Why does that have to be it? Do I have to remain in those roles for the rest of my life or can I change it up? Is it wrong to want more for myself? These are questions I started asking myself and praying about daily.  At first I thought that there was no way I could be or do anything more.  That’s not what was expected of me and this is who I was supposed to be (again, thoughts in my head that I put there myself). The more and more I really thought about what I wanted in my life, and the more that I thought about the kind of person I wanted to be (especially the kind of person I wanted my girls to see), I realized that was definitely not the person that I was at that very moment.  I was actually miserable, but I just didn’t know it. Although I had reached my goals of teacher, wife, and mom, I was not doing any of those roles well.  I was too stressed out trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be.  I needed a change. Now that I have let go of that unrealistic view of who I thought I was supposed to be,  I am taking the time to think about what my new goals and dreams are and praying about God’s will in my life. I want my girls to see someone who is constantly setting huge goals and is working with all she’s got to reach those goals. Just existing is not enough.  We should ALWAYS reach for more and never settle for existing.  I can say that I finally feel like I am running towards my NEW dreams and I am on FIRE.  Before I was in a stalemate but I am not anymore.  I have broken free from the chains that were holding me back and am putting myself out there for all the world to see.  I am working my butt off to be a better version of who I was before. I am reaching for more.  I am striving to be a better mom and a better wife and the only way to do that is to be a better me.  I am running towards the person that God created me to be.  Will you join me in this race?