“To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.” ~Franklin Roosevelt
Sometimes as mom, we lose sight of our own personal dreams and goals. We either find we don’t have the time to work or them, or sometimes we don’t even have the time to set them.
Take a moment now to think about a dream or goal you really want. There is surely something. Set your sights set on a distant shore of whatever it is you want to create — a new job, better finances, more romance, better life balance, etc. Once you have your sight set on your goal or dream, the next step is to sail towards it.
Sometimes, we will excitedly hop in our boat and start sailing and soon discover that we are drifting with no clear direction. Sometimes we’ll find that we’ve dropped our anchor in the middle of the ocean and sometimes we have not even left shore. How can we get sailing confidently in the direction of our dreams and goals?
This is a theme that is very personal for me. I am in the process of writing a book – a time management guide for parents. Actually I am deliciously close to the end. I finished my first draft and am now working with my editor on final editing and rewrites. I can almost see the shoreline. The initial draft was relatively easy to write. I went on a four week trip to Europe and wrote like it was going out of style. I was on fire. When I returned from my trip I found myself drifting aimlessly somedays and not moving anywhere at all some other days. I find that this happens at the beginning of a journey and also when you’re very close to the end. I had to figure out how to get back on track, and decided to share the steps with you.
So here are some steps to take when you have a goal you’d like to accomplish and you want to keep yourself sailing smoothly towards it.
- Be Clear About Where You’re Going — This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people seem to skip this step. You can decide that you want to go on a boat trip to the Caribbean. You can set sail in that general direction. The more precise you are about where you’re headed though, the easier it will be to get there. The Caribbean is a fairly big area. You want to know which island(s) in particular you’re visiting. It’s even better when you know which ports you plan to sail into. Similarly, the more precisely you can figure out your goal, the easier it will be to reach it. You also want clarity about the “why” of your trip. The clearer you are about “why” you want what you want, the more motivated you will be.
- Break it Down Into Smaller Steps– Lao-tzu is quoted as saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 1000 miles is a long way. It’s such a daunting amount that the thought of it alone can be paralyzing. One step however is very doable. Similarly with your large goals, the enormity of your vision may intimidate you. If you map it out and break it down into doable smaller daily and weekly steps (ideally in checklist form), you’ll be much more likely to make it to your end goal.
- Celebrate Your Smaller Steps – When you reach intermediate stops along your journey, celebrate. Don’t wait until you have reached the end of your journey; have a party in every port! Acknowledge yourself for every step you take and find a way to celebrate your intermediate achievements. When you do this you will enjoy the journey just as much as the final destination, and it will provide you with the incentive to keep moving.
- Find an Accountability Partner — Bring someone one the journey with you who will keep you on track. Recruit an action partner or hire a coach to help you in the most supportive and accepting way. The “action partner” is someone you’ll enjoy being on the journey with, a friend you can check in with or work together with to help you accomplish your goals. A coach will help you keep focused on your goals, help you clarify your vision, help you create a plan for success, and will help hold you accountable to attain your goals.
- When You Find Yourself Stuck Rework the Steps — If you find that you’re mid-way through your journey and you’re drifting, review the previous steps to make sure you’re still on track. Are you moving towards your ultimate vision? Is this still where you want to go? Have you broken your goal down into smaller steps? Are the steps small enough? Are you celebrating your intermediate achievements (as opposed to beating yourself up)? Do you have someone along on the ride who can help keep you on track? Chances are, if you’re not sailing confidently in the direction of your dreams you won’t be able to answer Yes to all these questions. Your answers to these questions will help you figure out what’s wrong and get you back on course.
P.S. I’m very excited for my book. Like I said it’s a time management program for parents and will help parents to set their goals, dreams, and priorities and carve out time to make them a reality. Stay tuned for more information and in the meantime…
Bon Voyage as you sail towards your dreams!
Monick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom. She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers. She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor. She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms. You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.