By Marcela Owen
One of my life mentors always said to do what the heart says. When you follow your heart, you aim to pursue your true dreams and aspirations. We live in such a busy world. It’s almost foreign for us to think about pursuing our dreams and aspirations. How would we possibly fit it in when we have such a busy life? Work, kids, home, obligations, commitments, and on top of these obligations, we still try to find time to spend a few minutes a day taking care of ourselves. So how can we possibly think of switching gears and pursue our own personal dreams?
A lot of us simply don’t have the energy to go after our dreams, but even if we do, even if we make an attempt to make a move in that direction, “life” gets in the way. My formula for success started with a very important approach to “starting” any shift in the routine in my life, no matter what aspect of your life you want to modify. My starting point began with “de clutter”. De clutter from every aspect of my life, no matter how I looked at it, it meant to clean up and let go of people, commitments and material things that I simply don’t need. When we de clutter, we actually create “room” for more valuable activities and projects, and if we pay attention and choose carefully, we’ll be one step closer to fulfilling our dreams. No matter what they are – how small or how big they may seem. I started to de cutter a few years ago, and for me it’s an ongoing effort. I started my de cluttering project on the physical end. I took inventory of my life in general and I discovered that I had physical mess but also emotional clutter. I went through all material things that I own, and that I consider valuable. I realized how attached I was to material items that at the end of the day just held me back from pursuing new endeavors. I realized that discarding some of these material things would create room for intangibles that would bring me closer to my dream. Clutter and disorder make me tired. They bog me down and restrict me (consciously and sometime subconsciously) from focusing on anything new. So my first step was to donate or discard unnecessary items, things, clothes, knickknacks, anything that could potentially hold me back. I essentially made room to breathe, to see beyond my current world, to feel peace and at some extent to reinvent myself into the person that I want to become and enhance.
The next step I took was to de clutter emotionally. What this means to me is to address negativity or issues that lurk around in my mind and finally address them. There are many chances to dissect these emotions, sometimes we can get there on our own, sometimes we may consult with a friend to discover these feelings and sometimes we may seek professional help. How we get there is basically almost irrelevant, doing it, is what’s important. I had some hidden emotions and some emotions that I was very aware about. It takes some discipline and desire to shift your emotions. It also takes time and a quite a bit of effort, but the outcome can be overwhelmingly blissful. I took the time to truly analyze my emotional hindrance that was keeping me from becoming who I want to be and enhance who I am today. I’m such a creature of habit, that maintaining this way of life is a difficult endeavor. But I knew I had to come up with a system because this is an important journey that I want to embark.
I came up with a system and try to follow it as closely as possible. I have a few tips to consider when you are ready to take action on what you truly want in life. When you allow yourself to fall in love with your goals and aspirations then you are ready to start. First, make a decision that you are ready to embrace your goals and move forward. Follow the next steps,
- Make a commitment to engage in at least one activity per day that will take you closer to your goal. Read an article, sign up for a class, write down an idea. We can really make the time for what we want to focus on. Do it while you wait in line at a retail store, or while you wait in your car at a gas station or while you have a few minutes to think between tasks. Listen to educational, inspiring CDs in the car, read self-help books, find a mentor. The options are endless.
- Write down your goals and make yourself accountable for them. Throughout this book, I suggest to write your goals down several times. The more you commit to writing them down and working your list, the more likely you will follow them. Our minds are very trainable, the more we see, feel and touch, the more we’ll motivate our brains to take action.
- Give up something that takes you away from reaching your goals, even if you gain a few minutes, 30 minutes or even better an hour a day, this could be so valuable! For me, it took giving up TV. I love watching movies and a few shows here and there. However, I knew that if I stayed strong and turned the TV off and stopped watching movies, I could focus on more valuable, life changing activities.
- Join a support or networking group, even if you join a virtual online group, you will gain support and encouragement. Other options include blogs or social media. The important piece of it is to connect with others that are interested in your niche and that you could mutually benefit from.
- Keep you plan simple and don’t overload yourself with too much information or too many tasks. This approach might overwhelm you and that may cause you to stall your project and ultimately get discouraged. The goal is to stay motivated and excited instead. So address one thing at a time and follow a timeline and an outline of your goals.
- Make it fun and a life project, remember why you want to stay motivated and focused. Your passion for this project will take you there. Even if you face challenges you can turn them into a learning experience, a path, a journey that you are supposed to experience and to turn it into a “positive”. Learning from these experiences sometimes is the key to your success.