Do Your Dreams need Deadlines? Mine do.
What in the *actual* world is wrong with me?
Aren't our brains funny things?!
WHILE typing up a blog about goals and productivity, (AFTER a stressful day of unsuccessfully finding quiet writing time) I find myself shopping online for toilet paper, flossers and pajamas instead of doing the silly thing that has been stressing me out all day.
Tell me I’m not alone!?
These pictures will make more sense in a second... this was one year ago this week! (Insert my shocked face here)... The silo was a rusty, leaking piece of garbage with no electricity in it... only 365 (ish) days ago. Here we're trying to decide how tall the store ceiling should be and running wire for the electrical. (If you doubt what you can accomplish in a year, stop doubting... you can do WAY more than you think you can.)
You know what I super need but semi-hate? - Deadlines. Anyone else?
Sometimes I say I work well under pressure but sometimes I question if I’m actually cognitively impaired (believe me, I’ve asked my husband in candid confidence if he loved me enough to tell me if I was indeed mentally impaired in some way). Impaired, because I KNOW what has to be done and I don’t love panicked anything… and yet I often choose to live there. Why?!
Don’t worry: you’re not a camel. And I have no straw. I’m not here to break your back. I’m here to take a load off of it actually.
One year ago this week, we were putting the roof on the silo. (Check out the time lapse!!) or (the pictures here) At that time, if you would have shown me how much work the next 365 days would have been, I *may* have passed out, and then I would have been completely astonished at the amount of work we were able to accomplish.
In light of that, I’m here to share 4 growth secrets that I (semi) learned this year.
(Semi) as in… I’ve still got a long way to go…
You may not have a silo, but you do have a mom-life… which is unbelievably challenging and infinitely more important.
However, if you’re like me, your mom-mountains don’t seem to budge unless you’re faced with a deadline.
Why is that? Why do I wait until the deadline is NOW or the sink is FULL or the toilet is GROSS?? This is something I’m actively overcoming in my life right now. I want to live in proactive land. Reactive land is bad news for my emotions.
Honestly, I think reactive land is just the momurvivor mode. Yes. I’m making up words. Add it to the dictionary people.
Sometimes mom life is survivor life and there just isn’t another way to explain it. We do the things that are right in front of us because they are just that - right in front of us.
But what if we stopped having life happen TO us, and instead made our life work FOR us? Either way, the happening is inevitable.
This thought-ripple came from a conversation I had with a business coaching friend. He asks his clients where they want to be in 3 years. If they don’t know, that’s a problem. He won’t move on without them knowing where they’d like to be in 3 years. Why? Because if we don’t know where to aim, how are we going to end up somewhere great?
Unfortunately, greatness is rarely accidental.
After the 3 year goal is identified, my friend breaks it down into a “simple math equation” that identifies what needs to happen in the next 12 months and what needs to happen in the next 90 days.
If I lost you at “math equation”, it’s ok, the idea is simple…
You take your goal and you break it down into a weekly task.
For Example: Let’s use one of my goals.
I want bilingual kids.
Let’s say I want bilingual kids in the next 3 years.
Huffington post says it takes roughly 480 hours for a kid to be fluent in Spanish.
That’s a little over 3 hours a week for 3 years.
So - I could have a bilingual 11 and 9 year old if I just spent 3 hours a week starting now.
“Ok blog lady”… stop being so idealistic… my mom-brain is already on fire.
Ok - fair enough….but what if we could extinguish the blaze by articulating our goals and defining success in the TODAY-sized chunks?
Success isn’t learning a language today… Success is spending an hour today.
Doesn’t that feel better?
This same plan can be applied to just about anything.
My friend uses it for business and financial goals, but how about marriage goals?
Where do you want your marriage to be in the next three years? What would it look like to break it down into a weekly task?
How about your relationship with your kids? What does that look like in 3 Years - 12 Months - 90 Days?
How about your relationship with Jesus? What should that look like in 3 Years - 12 Months - 90 days?
How about your health goals? What do you want that to look like in 3 years - 12 Months - 90 days? Suddenly, going for a daily walk is WINNING because I can’t do 3 years of goals in 1 day, but I can do 1 day of goals in one day :)
Wouldn’t it be cool to actually DEFINE what success looked like in mom life so we KNOW that we KNOW that we KNOW we’re smashing it out of the park on a weekly basis?
So HOW DO WE GET THERE?!?!?!?!
1. Identify your “win”
Let’s get real. Have you ever found yourself caring about something you don’t actually care about? Sometimes we take our goal cues from looking at the people around us. Let’s stop doing that and figure out what exactly our goals are. Where would you like to be in 3 years? What do you want to have learned in 3 years? Let’s start there -- stop looking to someone else’s highlight reel to gauge your success and start figuring out what you actually want.
2. Break it down
Unless you want to pass out and start scrolling your troubles away on instagram (Totally guilty there)... let’s break up our goals into weekly/monthly chunks. If you’re going to climb the mountain, we have to take it one step at a time… How many steps can we take in a week? ****Celebrate that****. Feel successful because you smashed the weekly goal.
3. Go with a friend
Because we were working on this project with Jonathan’s mom and dad, there was a lot of cultural accountability. It’s not like we set up accountability partners with this project, but if you’re working together, you should (ideally) be pulling each other along as the project progresses. When there are days you don’t feel like working towards the goal, it’s a lot harder to be lazy when someone else is out working :)
I realize “going with a friend” can be difficult for mom-life because so much of it is done alone. How can we solve that? Could you do a 10 minute check-in with a mom friend once a week to help hold you accountable for a goal? Maybe find a friend who wants to go walking with you once a week and just chat about how the week has gone and what your intentions are for the week ahead. Better yet - find someone who will pray for you as you conquer your week of goals.
4. Keep it moving
Progress is better than perfection. There were many many many times when I felt like being lazy and not moving the project along this year. We will feel like that at some point with our goals too. We have to remember that moving the ball forward -even a little- is better than leaving it where it is. If you’re discouraged about an area of your life, can you spend 10 minutes helping change that? What about 15?
I don’t know about you, but I want to live purposefully.
I want to be a purposeful mom; wife; Christian, friend, daughter. I want to take the days I have and live them to their fullest potential. How can we do that? One step at a time.
An elderly friend of a friend once said,
“dream all you want, but make sure you have a deadline”.
Isn't that the truth!?
We can say we want something all day long, but until I have those deadlines and daily tasks in place, my “dreams” suddenly get lost amongst the social media scrolling.
I don’t dream of accidentally using up my time. I dream of being uncommonly intentional in all that I do.
Will you come with me?
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