“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
My goal is for the ‘someone’ in this quote to be YOU. And what I hope you care a whole awful lot about is also YOU. As women we are often in a constant state of doing for others. It’s part of the territory, right? We also love taking care of our homes, nurturing our children, and listening to the laments of our friends. I’m not suggesting we stop doing all of those things. I’m encouraging you to assess what the personal cost of all of that is to you. What is there in your life that you want to change? When I ask you to close your eyes and think about what you want to improve or explore in your own life, what comes into your mind?
Here are 5 ways for YOU to get into action. 5 ways you can take charge of what is not going well in your life, and make it better.
1) Assess: Write down the 3 aspects of your life that you know could be better. If it doesn’t come to mind right away, close your eyes. Take a moment to be alone with your thoughts. Think about what you are always talking about, what you complain about, what gets you frustrated. Quite often, those are the things that belong on this list. Don’t write down more than 3 or you’ll end up down the pity party path. And if you don’t even have 3 things, good for you and just write down the 1 or 2 you do have.
3) Determine Why: Making changes and improvements is hard work. It usually doesn’t happen unless you have a darn good reason ‘why’ you want what’s on the other side. You may not happen upon your true why right away. When you figure you what you think is your ‘why’, ask yourself ‘why’ again. For example, if you want to lose weight, your first ‘why’ could be to look better. And I would ask you ‘why’ do you want to look better? Then you might say, because what other people think of my appearance is important to me. And again, I’d ask ‘why?’. Now you may need a little time to figure out this one…… You have to really dig deep and be honest with yourself. Your answer here could be that you want to be liked and accepted and you think that looking good will help. That might be your ‘why’ or there may be more underneath….Just keep asking until you know you have the real answer.
4) Decide On Your Goal: You know what you’re going to work on and now you know why. The next step is to create a concrete goal with an end date. It will help immensely if you make your goal realistic, but also just a bit challenging. If you choose a goal that is too big to even contemplate, you risk being discouraged along the way and potentially just giving up. If you choose something that is too easily within your grasp, you’re not giving yourself enough credit for what you CAN achieve. The win won’t mean as much. To me the right goal is 75% attainable and 25% seemingly out of reach. You don’t have to rush into this step, but you do have to write it down and commit to it.
5) Take The First Step: Now it’s time to get into ACTION. You don’t have to have a perfect plan or a finalized image of what your path to this goal looks like. But you do have to get started. “Perfect is the enemy of done”. You’ll never reach your goal if you don’t decide on the first step and then take it. I suggest that the first step takes you no longer than 30 minutes. It should be the tiniest action and the initial task you will start with. Don’t belabor exactly what the perfect step is, just come up with one and do it! You’ll see that as you complete the first few small steps you will gain a more ‘can do’ attitude and the rest will fall into place more easily. Small wins will become medium wins and inevitably large wins!