This is the way I most normally get from point A to point B in my life. It's a big zig zag of 5 steps forward, two steps back, 4 steps forward, 3 steps back, etc.
I sometimes have to take a few backwards steps to get a good running head start to make a giant forward leap. And That's OKAY!
What I have noticed is that if I keep my eye on the prize, that longer term goal, no matter how many obstacles or setbacks, I will end up making that goal.
After I left my ex, I went to counseling from June 2005 to December 2006. I remember in one session toward the end the counselor asked me to make three lists:
- Where would I like to be in ONE year?
- Where would I like to be in FIVE years?
- What would I like people to say about me, and my life, at my funeral decades from now?
It was a truly difficult task to complete. I had spent years living out someone else's plans and goals and being a "non person." But I really thought hard about it and came up with my lists. The 5 year list included things like:
- Have more education/certifications for my career
- Make more money
- Get some savings together
- Fix my credit (My FICO was at 411 post-divorce!)
- Buy my own house
- Quit smoking
- Be fit/healthy/lose weight
I think the act of writing these things down was POWERFUL. I thought them, I wrote them, I saw them. It imprinted into me and gave me some focus and direction. Later, as the days and weeks went by, one baby step at a time, I was able to look at my choices and ask, "is this in line with my goals? Does this choice get me closer to those goals?" and then choose wisely with purpose.
Here I am 4 years later and....
- I have achieved 5 major industry certifications (IT) and enrolled and started taking classes at University of Maryland University College (UMUC)
- I make more money.
- I have a little savings.
- My FICO is up at or over 700.
- I purchased my own home.
- I have quit smoking.
The only thing not done from the 5 year plan is the fit/healthy/weight. Which I am doing and should be done by Dec 2011. EXACTLY 5 YEARS FROM WHEN I MADE THE LIST!
What I am learning is you don't have to do anything perfectly. You don't have to always be moving forward, Sometimes you need to rest. Sometimes you need to coast. Sometimes you need to back up and regroup. But if you make your small, daily choices with an eye on the bigger picture, you WILL end up where you wanted to go, or someplace even better!
I had no concept of writing a blog or owning a website ( My Discussion Forums ) - these are things that came up along the path I was already on toward my goals and I just kind of went with them.
Anyway, my point is this: Set your goals. Write them down. Then just worry about the baby steps that may not feel like much progress, but when you look back 5 years from now you'll be amazed at how they added up!!!
And as far as what folks will say at my funeral? I think I want them to say "she loved us and gave her all." ♥♥♥