Know What You Know, Start Where You Are
How do I get from where I am right now to where I want to be? There are several times in life this question is looming over you. It can be like a swirling tornado with no definition to the components; or it can be clearly laid out, with pieces that just need to be situated into each other methodically. For the most part, when you are faced with this dilemma, it is somewhere in between. When life circumstances have seemed to work against you, it may be easier to see that the desire to be in a different situation is stronger than ever yet may seem unattainable. The most important thing for you to do is to develop daily habits that keep you moving and satisfied.
In most of my days of raising my offspring, guiding other young people and single moms, it reminded me that many of us did not have effective instruction growing up and were left to our own devices of learning by making mistakes. There is no doubt that humans will always make mistakes and will learn something from them. However, with very little guidance, we may inadvertently be learning from the downside instead of the good. This brings us to the reason many people get jaded or fearful, eventually losing hope in themselves and their dreams. This is also why I eventually learned to over-explain everything to my kids so they would have options to choose from rather than allowing them to “find out for themselves”. This is what led me to be part of a peer counseling program in the 90’s, becoming a high school group leader and co-founder of a single mom group in the 2010’s, and which contributed to being compelled to mentor women to discover themselves and create a joyful, satisfying life in alignment with their spirit.
How can you reach your heartfelt goals for your life? One of the ways one can start the process is to make a list. Whether there is a specific goal in mind, or the outcome is still a bit vague, you don’t want the lack of a system to paralyze you. This is something that can be done daily, or whenever necessary, as things begin to change. At times I may begin my week by writing on Monday of my planner: What do I have right now to use today to make any progress toward my goal? Here are the different categories that might make up your list:
- 3 personal/family things I must do today
- 3 things that I know right now that I can do/use to work toward my personal or business goal
- 3 things I can accomplish today or eliminate today to help me focus on reaching my goal
Once you begin this process, you might want to break it up into separate areas of your life: self-care, family, finances, work/business, spiritual, etc.
Where you are right now, today, and what you can do to make steps forward only depends on what you know right now and what tools you possess to use. Much of the time, as you begin to write you will discover that you have many more resources than previously thought.
One key to getting on board with a new goal is to not forget about yourself. You must take care of your needs and even desires before tackling a new venture feels comfortable. This is a large part of being in alignment within oneself that creates a stronger foundation from which to work. You do not ever want to forget that you are doing this to make your life better in some way, so why not start by accomplishing something that brings joy to yourself and your loved ones. When you make your current situation better through raising your mindset, you are essentially renewing your mind, breaking down the walls of limitations. This leads to transforming your life as well as inspiring and caring for those around you.
Second, writing down what you know and what you have at the moment gives you confidence, eventually overcoming the overwhelm of ‘where to begin’. These seemingly small steps eventually become the giant leaps of change.
Thirdly, you need to know that you are accomplishing something, however small, in your new direction. Time management, organizing, and getting rid of clutter may help you think more clearly and focus on the tasks ahead. Beginning your list-making is an accomplishment, reading an article or book, watching a video, or gathering information is another way you take a meaningful step toward your goals. Another part of this component is to eliminate something that does not fit into your intended target. Sometimes, it’s the amount of time spent on a distraction: you can give yourself a time limit or eliminate it altogether. Unfortunately, there are also people in our lives that need a time limit or eviction from our lives. These are usually people who bring us down with negativity or demand too much of our time and energy when they are fully capable of taking care of themselves. It is better to have a few encouraging people who can help you focus on the reality of the steps to your goals and keep you accountable.
When beginning to make changes in your life, it’s best to take small steps and practice daily so that they become your new habits. Also, this way if you need to change something, it’s not a complete upheaval. Every small victory becomes part of the bigger triumph. Therefore, I begin by using 3, it’s small enough, doable and doesn’t add to the overwhelming feeling of doing something new. You do not need to stay at that number, and it may fluctuate from time to time. Remember not to compare your journey to anyone else’s, they are NOT you, they don’t know what you know, and no one has the same exact ambition or objective as you do. You are uniquely and individually made and your experiences up until this point have prepared you exclusively to do what you are called to do. Be assured of what you know and begin right where you are now. In taking small steps toward your objective, you will see results in the course of time.
“If you are eager to give, then it isn’t important how much you have to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have.” 2 Corinthians 2:12 TLB