I dream everyday. I think I’m actually too busy dreaming. I envision a future so bright that I sometimes forget to live in the present moment which sometimes causes me to neglect the obligations I have today.
I think she made a great point.
Getting Lost In The Sauce
Dreaming without direction, without an action plan behind it and without parameters can sometimes lead to neglecting your present moment. There are a few ways you can avoid getting lost in your own dreams, but first you’ll have to realize the need to stay on course.
It may be tempting to live in your head instead of living right now. Especially if the dreams you live in your mind are more appealing to you than the reality you live when you open your eyes.
For me, its so much more appealing to think about the perfect man who lives in my vision for my future, then it is to meet, interact and go on dates with the men in real life who I may not like. But if I allow my creativity and desire to get in the way of the opportunities I have every day, then I won’t get any closer to realizing moments that may meet or even exceed my vision.
How To Plan Your Visualizations
The first thing I do to ensure I don’t get lost in my own head, is to set boundaries for my visualizations. I typically visualize at the same time each day, which is right before bed. After I turn off the lights and get under the covers, I let my mind roam until I fall asleep. If I have time when I wake up, I visualize for a few minutes then too.
I used to visualize for about 15 minutes at a specific time each night. But I found that that took the fun out of visualizing and I felt it becoming a chore.
I also tend to visualize one dream at a time. I tried to visualize what my perfect day would be – I saw myself running my own business, being affectionate with my future husband, and living in my dream home. I also saw myself enacting some of the habits I wanted to install, such as working out every day and eating healthy foods.
I found that to be too overwhelming. I concentrated so hard on trying to cram everything into my vision and make it perfect. It just seemed contrived to me and it wasn’t enjoyable.
So I took a step back and let pictures flash in my mind until I eased into a visualization habit that felt fun and pleasing to me, without any pressure.
When visualizing, I also focus on those aspects of my dream that feel the hardest to accomplish or the farthest away. Sometimes when thinking about something I desire to happen, if it feels too far away or too hard to accomplish, then I get discouraged about it ever happening.
So I use my visualization time to see how it’d feel to actually have it, to reassure myself that its not as far away as it seems, and that reassurance adds to my motivation as well.
Dream About Tomorrow, Live For Today
I think focusing on one goal allows me to stay grounded in the present. I try to work on more than one goal at a time, and usually the goal I’m visualizing is not one I’m actively working on. Its so easy to get discouraged when you’re not yet where you want to be – so I try not to give myself reasons to feel like my life isn’t as great right now as it could be.
I often remind myself that I’m doing the best that I can, and if I can’t say that to myself truthfully, then I ask myself what I can do better.
So by bridging the gap between my vision and my present moment, I find ways to take steps to get from where I am to where I want to be. By analyzing my actions against my visualizations, I can see the areas I need to improve or change. And I take steps toward that, so that my dreams will become real one day.
Do you ever get lost in your dreams? Is it easy to feel like your dreams are better than your current life? Leave me a comment and let me know how you feel about today’s topic.
So many of us were determined to ‘get it in in 2010′. In January, you could literally feel the excitement and enthusiasm for a new year and a new decade in the air. I started off this year by choosing a theme for the year and the principles I would work on. You can review that post here. Then, after 3 months, I reviewed my progress in this post. Continuing the analogy that I’m the CEO of Me, its now time for another quarterly review.
This review is even more important, because half of the year has passed. I had several intentions at the beginning of the year – namely to lose weight and incorporate healthy eating habits into my life, take my business and blog to the next level (two specific goals are to become my own boss and write an ebook for Motivated Sista), start a committed relationship, and improve my cooking skills.
How Far I’ve ComeTaking stock of exactly where you are, how far you’ve come and how far you still need to go is integral to your progress. How can you progress if you don’t know which direction you need to go in or what adjustments you need to make? I think this is one of the biggest reasons for failure, besides lack of self-confidence. We either don’t take action or continue to take the wrong action, and then wonder why we’re not where we really want to be.
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I think truth is the type of word that is easy to misconstrue. To me, truth is not just honesty from a person; its also the state of existence that something is in. You can lie to yourself and avoid the state of something in your mind, but that doesn’t mean its not true. That just means that your acceptance is an avoidance; it changes nothing.
That sounds really easy to identify but that’s the type of sleepwalking that I referred to in my last post. I think alot of us walk around dazed because we are afraid to face the truth of our existence. We’d rather pretend its not there or that whatever we’re avoiding is at its current level. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean its not true.
Everyone needs truth
The hardest part of facing the truth is accepting what it is. Once you acecpt that something is the way it is, you can either work to improve what you don’t like or learn to live with the status quo. But its more painful, in my opinion, to mask the truth and deny it than to cope with your disappointment.
For example, I’ve noticed that alot of big women will say things like “I’m phat in all the right places”, “no one wants a bone” and Mo’nique even had that whole “skinny b*tches are evil” thing going on a few years back. Notice a few things though: a segment of the population attempted to find ways to validate themselves and the negative criticism they faced, but ended up criticizing another group of women in order to make themselves feel better.
So the truth of their situation was that they wanted to feel better – facing the truth that they either didn’t like where they were, or they didn’t like the negative judgement of others for where they were. Either way, their truth was dissatisfaction. If they had faced that truth then addressed the real reason for the dissatisfaction this group would probably experience the relief that they truly desire. Instead, by masking their truth, they caused conflict with another group, all while their weight problems or their self-esteem suffered from not disconnecting the negative criticism. (Also notice that Mo’nique went on a weight loss journey herself and discovered that she desires to live a healthy lifestyle; the adherents of “skinny b*tches are evil” had to find another cloak for the truth, since that one had been abruptly removed from them. After all it wasn’t their truth but one someone else gave to them).
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So who’s with me?
But that reluctance also means that I’m not falling in love with new things either. Playing it safe is definitely something I don’t advocate, and I’ve been telling you guys to choose your dreams over security. I don’t think good health should be a dream – it should be a natural state of existence for all of us. Yet we’re one of the fattest nations in the world, and since we’re a ‘developed’ country we should know better.
One Foot In Front Of The OtherI am in no way saying that I’ve fully transformed my habits of eating after just one week. What I am saying is that, after putting forth effort, I am pleasantly surprised that making healthy choices not only feels good, but tastes much better than I expected.
The catalyst for this blog post was today’s mini-epiphany. I’ve been following a meal plan I got from Oxygen Magazine, and honestly I wasn’t thrilled by some of the suggestions. I’m a mac & cheese, cheeseburgers and fast food kinda gal, so you can understand why couscous, frozen berry smoothies, pita bread and mixed greens didn’t appeal to me. This extra weight doesn’t appeal to me either, so I was willing to give their way a shot.
I told myself that I’d just try each new suggestion and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t eat it again. Let me tell you how surprised I was that I’d like peanut butter, banana and honey on whole grain bread; melted cheese and tomato in a pita; key lime and strawberry cheesecake yogurt; and friggin’ couscous… yes I’m still surprised but I had a very yummy day today. When I had couscous with my dinner I just knew I had to blog about it. Yes its that serious (lol).
But that’s how change happens. You accept one change, then another, and once it sinks in that change is not always bad, then making big changes isn’t so daunting. It also helps to be open to new suggestions and to stick to your resolve when you know that old ways of doing things are no longer working for you.
Another important aspect of saying yes to change is recognizing that change takes time. You’re making a conscious effort to allow changes into your life, but your mind is not with the program. Your mind likes routine, craves familiarity even at the detriment of your body, career and even self-esteem. So also allow for the time it takes your changes to become habitual to your mind. Your mind will probably fight you at every turn, reminding you how comfortable your old routines are. Just stick with it and before you know it, your changes will be an integral part of your life.
Speaking for myself, my mind flashed on alot of my old habits – taking the elevator when the stairs are available, skipping workouts, and flashbacks of the cookies n’ cream ice cream in the freezer keep popping up. During those times, I just think about how good a new discovery tastes, or that my mind is out to get me and the ice cream (or whatever inappropriate suggestion) will not be as good to me as my memory is leading me to believe.
Have you implemented some new changes lately? What were some of the ways you said yes and accepted them into your life? What changes are you anticipating in the future?
My personal progressI had several intentions at the beginning of the year – namely to lose weight and incorporate healthy eating habits into my life, take my business and blog to the next level – become my own boss, write an ebook for Motivated Sista, start a committed relationship, and improve my cooking skills. I was supposed to focus on weight loss first, but that was the goal that fell by the wayside. I feel that I’m in a good place with growing my blog audience and learning effective ways to generate enough income from other online ventures to become my own boss. I made several Sunday dinners to improve my cooking skills. And I’ve been slowly and surely working on my ebook.
But I didn’t make much headway with regard to changing my eating habits, working out more or dating. It was easy to make excuses for not going to the gym, blaming my lack of progress on having issues with my car, or not knowing what to eat to be healthy, on and on. The excuses don’t really matter, its how I react to the realization that I’ve been making them that’s important.
One huge setback I had was during the snow storm we had back in February. I indulged myself in vacation-mode thinking during that time, to my detriment. The difference between a vacation and those days we had off is that when you’re planning a vacation, you plan for your absence and know the precise duration that you’ll be away from your tasks. What I did, however, was immerse myself with unproductive habits for an indefinite period of time. As a result, I derailed my fitness and healthy eating habits, my sleep pattern and even my writing flow for Motivated Sista. Even though it was only a week and a half, that mindset definitely wreaked havoc on my goals. Now it’s time to get back on track.
Faith, Focus, Persistence and Determination.
Since I felt uninspired to change my eating habits, I relied on meal plans from Oxygen Magazine. There is a 3-month series that promises to change your body and the way you eat. This is the end of my first week on the plan, and so far I’ve been doing great. This shows me the importance of not only relying on the expertise of others, being open to ideas that don’t sound appealing, but also to make things easier for myself – in essence, ‘work smarter not harder’.
Multi-tasking doesn’t work for me. I need to fully focus on one goal at a time. Because what ends up happening is distraction – the goals that are not currently in front of me get forgotten as I’m fully absorbed in the tasks that are before me. And I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with that, I just need to work with my unique personality and habits to get to where I’m trying to go.
As far as dating, that’s a goal that has a few layers for me. I’m not timid about going out by myself, but I feel anxiety when among a group of people. It doesn’t matter if I know the people around me or not, group settings rattle my nerves. But I have to get over it if I’m going to succeed in meeting new people. The advice I constantly hear is “do what you love and you’ll meet people that way”, so I’m planning to attend new events to not only participate in activities that I’ve been dying to participate in, but also to meet new people outside of the circles I’m already in.
So how is 2010 shaping up for you? Take an opportunity to review your progress on your goals, improve the areas that need improvement, and pat yourself on the back for the progress you’ve made so far. How will you revise your approach to reach your goals, based on your self-reflection?
On the flipside, I’m writing this post using the WordPress iPhone app. I installed this app a while ago, but never used it. @IndieBusiness mentioned the app on Twitter, so I thought I might as well give it a shot. So there’s one example of how technology can make your life more difficult, and one where it can simplify your tasks. How do you feel about technology? Has it made your life easier or more difficult?
Anyway, I digress….
I write alot here about goals, dreams, and goal-setting. I figured it’s as good a time as any to share with you what my dreams and goals are.
I started Black Girl Tees as a way to combine my love of t-shirts with a way to promote black women, while uplifting our self-esteem and standard of beauty. My overall goal is to generate a full-time income from my online endeavors, including this blog. Specifically, for Black Girl Tees my goal is to generate at least 30% of my online income from t-shirt sales. I was immensely inspired by Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Workweek, and my business model is based on his recommendation of a business that you can run remotely and live anywhere in the world.
That anywhere for me is Paris. I love the city (who doesn’t?) and my vision is that I spend at least half of the year there.
While I’m busy blogging and promoting my t-shirts, I’m also studying to pass the bar exam. The next accomplishment I want to make is acceptance in an International Law LLM program. I have a school in mind (that I won’t mention) so please cross your fingers for me. I also want to attend conferences given by the American Bar Association’s section of International Law. Eventually I plan to pursue licensure abroad.
I am very proud and happy to be 30 years old and I think this is the perfect time to improve my health. My goal is to lose 30 pounds. Whenever I share that goal with someone, frequently I’ll receive the reply, “you don’t need to lose that much” or “you look fine how you are”. These replies are flattering but sometimes can be exasperating. I know that people mean well but the last thing a person wants is criticism of their goal. And sometimes these kinds of statements can derail you. After hearing “you look fine how you are” and “girl, you don’t need to lose weight”, you start believing that.
It’s not about vanity for me, but about attaining a healthy, active lifestyle. When I’m not active and I get winded easily, I’m embarrased and a bit disappointed in myself. This is perhaps the hardest goal for me to attain, because of the learning and constant motivation necessary to reach the finish line. But I know that I can do it!
I also want to learn French, be in a long-term relationship and improve my credit scores. Talk about having my work cut out for me!!
I would love for you guys to comment and share your goals with me. Even if you think it’s something small (I don’t think in terms of size with goals; what matters is that we’re moving forward), it serves as motivation and inspiration for me and the other readers of this blog. So go ahead, don’t be shy!