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Plan Pursuing (continued post: Achieving Dreams)

Pursuing your plan.  As you’ll see it may not be as simple as you might think.  Thanks for coming back and best of luck as you continue working to make your dreams come true!!

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Working the Plan

Oh, if this was as simple as it sounded, right?  Working the plan.  In a perfect world, we would sit down the night before and create our to-do list and when we woke up we would start at the top, work our way to the bottom and that night we would say, “Wow!  Look at everything I accomplished today.”

News flash.  Life doesn’t work that way if you haven’t figured that out already.  But that’s okay.  Remember how I started this post (yeah, I know.  It was a loooonnng time ago)?  If memory serves me correctly it had something to do with chaos and craziness.  Well that isn’t going to go away just because you have a plan.  So how do we work the plan?

With a lot of diligence, a heck of a lot of patience, and a lifetime full of grace.

Diligence is spending the time each night creating your to-do list.  When you start this, just start writing everything you’ve wanted to complete down.  Do you want to weed the garden?  Write it down.  Transplant the raspberry bushes?  Write it down.  Devote an hour a day to writing?  Write it down.  Unload the dishwasher?  Yep, you got it.  Write it down.

Nothing is too mundane, too trivial, too irrelevant.  All that weeding, laundry, dishes, vacuuming out your car?  I call those ‘anchors’.  For every one of those items on our to-do list that you don’t get done (whether you write them down or not), if you start assigning a weigh to them, they start becoming heavy, very quickly.

Think of it this way.  If you gave each of your anchors an assigned weight, say 5 pounds, and then think about all the anchors you want to finish, with only a list of ten items you’re carrying around an extra 50 pounds of weight.

You could even take this a step further and assign a larger weight to items that are more of a priority, thus making your total anchorage a HUGE amount!

And before you scoff at me and start thinking what the heck am I talking about, I challenge you to try it before blowing this off.  It truly does work.  When I spend time finishing these little “mundane” tasks that I have been contemplating finishing for quite some time, I amazingly start having more energy to do other things I want to achieve.  Such as working on my social media profiles.  Or writing an E-book series (more on that to come!!).

While I would love to offer some grand prize if you try this and it works like I say it does, which it does I will repeat, but I can’t.  And if you do try it and you don’t believe it works, which I truly cannot see happening, I would love to offer some type of money back guarantee, but I can’t do that either.  This is one of those things that you need to experience for yourself.  Try it.  Explore with it.  See what happens.  You might be surprised.

After you compile the great to-do list of the century, review your calendar for the next day.  What is on the schedule?   Do the kids have soccer practice?  Is there a project for work that must be done ASAP?  Figure out a rough idea on how much time you’ll have to work on your to-do list.  Do you have an extra hour?  Two?  Ten?  Try to underestimate your time versus overestimating.  Always discovering you have more time is a wonderful thing.  Feeling like you’re under the gun to finish things is honestly?  Another anchor.

Next, compare the time you estimate with your to-do list.  Start prioritizing the things that must be done, the items that could be done, and those that are when you have time.  I like to label mine A, B, and C (which I believe is from Stephen Covey).  A, of course, is the item with the most importance; C the least important.

Once, I have assigned each of my to-do items a letter; or you can use a number, the Dewey decimal system, whatever you want truthfully, I fall asleep dreaming of all the greatness I will achieve the next day.

Ha!  I almost had you believing it was that simple, didn’t I?  It’s not.

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All that diligent planning and work putting together your list, and tomorrow your son falls on his way to school and knocks out a tooth.  In that split moment your daily events just changed and now you won’t have as much time as you thought you would.  Or maybe your mom is sick.  Your car broke down.  The job from h, e, double hockey sticks, just blew up in your face.  The point is none of us can plan out every day.  This, again, is where the chaos and craziness fits in.

You may get lucky, and finish all your must do items, and start on your could items.  Or maybe you skipped down and did some when you have time items.  Or you may have a day where nothing gets done.  This is where the patience and grace come in to play.

Patience is for when the above things happen.  When your day blows up in your face?  There’s always tomorrow.  Did you only get one thing done on your list?  First celebrate that you accomplished one thing!  Second – patience.  And third – grace for yourself because even you are not a super human who can accomplish everything all at once.  You are human.  And that involves a lot of trial and error, mistakes, and forgiving yourself.

Lastly, spend some time each night reviewing your list.  Cross off the items that were completed.  Add the items that cropped up during the day.  Revise the order if need be as to which items get done first.  Assign the new items their rankings.  And then pass out for the night after a long day’s work.

There they are.  My three “simple” tricks for achieving your dreams.  When we spend the time living authentically, after defining what that is for us, we are more in alignment with who we are.  When we a life full of authenticity, karma, the stars align, I’m not exactly sure what it is, but if nothing else it feels like you are getting back what you put out.

A piece of living authentically is living true to who we are and what we want to be (in my case when I grow up – because at almost 53 years old, I don’t believe I have grown up yet).  To live true to who we are, honoring ourselves and working towards our goals and dreams is a necessary piece of the puzzle.  However, if we don’t define what those dreams and goals are, how do we know what to do to achieve them?  Additionally, if we don’t know what our outcome is for that dream/goal, then how do we know what to do to make it come true?

Finally, we need to work the plan.  We need to devise a plan that works for us as an individual.  When that happens, and we slowly start to remove all the anchors that are in our way, it is such a relief – it’s almost like you’re walking on air.  Just remember that with all toddlers learning to walk, we need patience, guidance, and grace – because learning to walk is not an easy task.

Up until my cancer diagnosis, I spent a lot of time dreaming about things I wanted.  Things like being able to use a DSLR camera without it being on automatic mode – I wanted to be able to tell the camera what to do.  Not have the camera tell me what to do.  I wanted to work with dogs.  I wanted to touch other people’s lives and let them know that they are not alone.  That there is an entire world of people out there who are living the same, but different, life as you.  The feelings you are experiencing, the worries you have; despite it feeling like you are, you are not alone.

It was great to dream about these things, but it wasn’t until I looked at my cousin’s flower garden one day that it dawned on me that if I wanted to have a garden that looked like hers, I needed to work for it.  I couldn’t just sit here looking out the window and say, “Gee, I wish my garden looked like that.”  Because I had been doing that for years, and amazingly my garden still didn’t look like hers.

It was that day that I realized I was never going to reach my dreams, dreaming about them.  If I truly wanted those dreams to come true, I would have to work hard.  I would need to plan.  I would need to figure out what truly meant something to me and what didn’t.  That caveat to that is sometimes that changes mid-stream.  And that’s okay.  I find that when I work the plan, some things resonate with me more than others.  Those that resonate with me, are the ones I follow, because that usually means I have a passion for that, and with passion comes desire.  And when I am passionate about something, and desire to make it a reality, I find I work much harder at making it come true.  (Plus, it feels easier.  As if someone I already know what I need to do.)

So what dreams do you have?  What would you like to accomplish?  Better yet, what are you going to do to make those dreams come true?!  Leave me a comment.  I want to help you make your dreams come true!

Until next time, capture life kreatively!


P.S.  I alluded to the fact of an E-book series – yes that is true!  I am in the process of creating a series of E-books regarding Living Life Kreatively.  They are still in the planning stages and will probably take a while to finish them but if you want to be notified of their progress and when they are complete, sign up for my newsletter.  That way you’ll be one of the first to know!

P.P.S.  For a reminder on how I found the courage to start pursuing my dreams, check out my blog post:  Finding Courage When I Least Expected it

If you are interested in combining the free download with a your bullet journal – I’ve listed one of my favorites below.  (Please note, I am an affiliate and will receive a small commission from making a purchase through this link.)

Making All Your Dreams Come True Can Be Done

Dreams are often overlooked as something that we will get to.  A project for when we have time.  Something to sustain us while going through a rough time.  When life isn’t so crazy… or chaotic.

However, I had a bit of a revelation this morning as I sat down to write (and I  apologize in advance because this is a lengthy one, but if you stick with me until the end I am positive you’ll understand why and that you’ll agree it was worth your time!).  It’s been a couple of weeks, and I was going to start this out with some blasé comment about how crazy and chaotic life has been – but let’s be honest.  First – I’ve said that before.  Who hasn’t?  Second – when isn’t life crazy and chaotic?

Not that I would want it any other way.  After all, if you sit down and start analyzing why your life is crazy and chaotic, is there anything you would want to change?

When my daughter was born, life became chaotic.  Dance class, gymnastics, T-ball, swimming, play dates, birthdays – and that was all before school started.  No, not at the same time.  I believed it was my responsibility as a parent to expose my daughter to as many different things as I could when she was young, so when she became older she could make the choice herself as to what she wanted to do, and she would have the knowledge to make that decision.

Download your FREE Kreatively Finding Your Dreams guide here!

School life was a whole other chaos.  Especially middle and high school.  Regardless of the age though, there were school events, play dates, birthday parties, sporting events – oh!  Let’s not forget the ever-important aspect of having to go to work to be able to pay for all these activities and events your child/ren want to be involved in.

Photo of an older man on the left, and the author on the right.

About the time my daughter was three, my dad began to have health issues, after many years of dealing with things we didn’t know were issues.  He had his second major heart attack, a few years later he was diagnosed with COPD (which was relatively unknown at that time), and his health began going downhill from there.  Dad was a stubborn old coot, and many times I was required to assist mom in getting him to the hospital or what have you.  That became a whole other chaos and eventually led to taking over the caregiver role as it was too much for mom.

Fast forward a few years, daughter is now out of college and successful in establishing her own life three hours away.  I’m diagnosed with breast cancer and life’s chaos starts anew.  While this wasn’t the most fun chaos and craziness I’ve ever experienced, I am pleased with the direction life has gone afterwards.

But again, there is chaos and craziness.  As I begin to pursue dreams I’ve had all my life, never having the courage (for a previous post regarding how I found courage – click here!) or backbone to pursue, I find that most days are a non-stop whirlwind of activities I should complete.  And, if you didn’t know, I really hate the word “should”.  Somebody once said to me, “Why do you want to “should” all yourself” and ever since then I try very hard to reword that when it comes up.  After all, all ‘shoulding’ on yourself does is make you depressed and feeling like a failure because you haven’t reached your goals or completed your to-do list.

Despite it all, it is a good chaos and craziness.  I’m busy, I’m happy, I’m healthy (as healthy as I can be anyway – oh all right – as healthy as I can be while still enjoying ice cream, chocolate and coffee.  Geez you people are rough! And I love it!)  I still have a way to go in reaching the pinnacle of my dreams, but at this point that’s irrelevant.  What is relevant is every morning I wake up and I do something to make those dreams come true.  And isn’t that what life Is really all about?

We only have one chance at this life.  Well perhaps two for those who experience a near death event.  So, at what point are you going to begin to enjoy the life you’ve been given and do whatever you can to make it the best life ever?

Now don’t go all negative Nellie on me and say “Well I can’t do that, I can barely make enough money to pay the bills” or insert any other statement to prevent you from pursuing your dream.  Whatever that statement is, it simply is not true.  Trust me on that, I’ve been saying them all for years.

Every one of us can create a dream, to pursue that dream, and to achieve that dream.  Will there be obstacles in the way?  Absolutely.  Are there road blocks, and barriers, and detours as well?  Without a doubt.  Will there be days where you think you just don’t have the ambition, the energy, the courage, the stamina to push through another day?  Of course.  Why wouldn’t there be?

I mean honestly.  Wouldn’t there be days like that whether you were pursuing dreams or just attempting to live through the day?

So how do you overcome those road blocks?  How do you wake up each morning and find the drive to make the most of every day, and when you lay your head down on your pillow at night you fall asleep knowing a peace and contentment because you can truthfully say without a doubt that you were the best you, you could be?  And to be able to say that every night, regardless of what happened during the day?

I have developed three simple, well they will become simple with practice, ways I wake up every morning and live intentionally to achieve my dreams.  And you, my lucky reader, are going to be in the know as I am going to share them right here!  However, as with anything I ever share, or say, or suggest, these may not work the same for you as they did with me.

Download your FREE Kreatively Finding Your Dreams guide here!

Another aspect of life is learning what we can, and then we have three choices from there:  1.  We learn and do – just as it is.  2.  We learn and modify – make it yours.  Make it so it will work and be successful for you.  And 3.  We learn and move on – because that just won’t work.  Even then, if #3 is what happens, then keep digging until you find a #1 or #2 choice – because I’ll guarantee something out there will work for you.

It isn’t an easy process though. It’s hard work.  You will need to keep revising, learning, and revising some more.  Always keep this in mind though – anything worth having is worth pursuing.  Regardless of how much work it is.

So.  Without further ado here are my three simple ways to start pursuing the dreams of your lifetime!

Live Authentically

Yeah, I know. You’ve heard this or read this a bazillion times.  But here is where I differ.  It has taken me a very long time to understand what exactly that meant … for me.  There are so many resources out there on how to live authentically, but I have never found, and maybe it is out there, and I just haven’t found it, something that told me I needed to define what that meant to me.

And that, my dear friends, is the little twist.  For if we don’t define what living authentically means to us as an individual, are we living authentically?  When we wake up every morning and choose to not pursue our dream/s because we are not good enough, or talented enough, or not in a good place financially; are we living authentically?

I think not.

So, for my first suggestion I strongly encourage you to spend some time defining your life’s authenticity.  Ask yourself some questions:

What does living authentically mean to me?  Dig deep.  Go beyond the be honest, caring, kind, respectful, generous – because those, to me, are a code of ethics.  Living authentically can include standing by your code of ethics, but those in and of themselves are not living authentically.  They are just one piece of the puzzle.

What dreams do you have?  Have you had a passion for something that you’ve been pushing aside?  Did you ever look at someone and sigh saying, “I wish I could do that?”  What was it?  Write it down.  Create an authenticity list.  Include your code of ethics, your values, your beliefs – because those are what makes up being authentic.  Just don’t stop there.  Go deeper.  And take your time creating this list.  Spend a few days, maybe a week, maybe longer creating this list.  Revise it.  Change    it.  Change it back.  Modify it.  Make it your own.

Here’s a different twist.  Write down what you don’t want to be.  What defines not living authentically.  Is it when someone says one thing and does something different?  How about working in a job you hate?

The purpose of this step is to develop your authentic life.  Because without knowing what that means, without writing it down, do you really know?  And how can you live it if you don’t know what means?

Just like the adage says:  if a tree falls in the forest, can anyone hear it?  If you don’t know what living authentically means, can you live it?

Searching for Your Dream

I don’t know about you, but when I decide I want to do something, I have a pretty bad habit of jumping in with both feet, my two arms, and all the other extremities.  For some reason, I have found that if I am going to do something I am all in. Which isn’t always a bad thing.

However, I have found that usually this will triple or quadruple my work.  I find myself having to completely redo a web site because it is not compatible with a program It need to have.   Or I sign up for a web hosting plan that doesn’t do what I want it to. This list could go on and on.   The bottom line is I usually start something from the end… and that doesn’t work so well.  Nor is it efficient.

So, if you haven’t guessed yet, the second step is to define your dream.  What is it that you dream of doing?  Do you want to become a photographer?  Or maybe it is to become a CNA?  What about staying home and becoming a full-time blogger?  What is it that right before you close your eyes at night flashes through your mind?

Then spend some time defining what you want your end goal to be.  Do you want to work from home?  Or perhaps open a bakery?  A coffee house?  About this time, I begin to write things down because I have a mind swimming with so many ideas, end goals, dreams that they all start colliding into one another.  Which creates a slight attention deficit disorder in that not one idea ever seems to have a beginning, middle or end.

Once you have your list written down, your end goal defined, do your due diligence.  What I mean is start researching people who have accomplished what you want to do.  Is there a favorite blogger you like to read?  Find out their back story.  How did they reach their goals?  Do they have any suggestions on where to start?  What programs you should use?

Or if you need to go back to school, research schools.  Delve deep into their programs, the costs, their expectations of you as a student.   There are plenty of people out there who are willing to share their story.  Some do it for free.  Others charge to take their course.  Which is not a bad idea; however, make sure you spend time researching one that resonates with you.  Find that one that makes you go “ooohhh”.  Because I will guarantee once you start reading up about them, more and more will come across your news feed.

A note of caution here.  Never, ever, purchase or buy something that you cannot afford.  I am all about investing in yourself to achieve your dreams.  I am not about putting yourself into hawk to achieve that.  The first rule of thumb in a budget is making sure you have money for a roof over your head, transportation, and food on the table.  Do not cross that boundary because you found a fabulous course that will make you rich in 90 days by joining up with them – all for only $2,999!  While that might be a good deal, if you can’t afford that without taking money away from something else, then stop!  It is NOT a good deal.

After you have defined authenticity and searched for your dreams comes the fun part.  Implementation of steps to achieve those dreams!

Download your FREE Kreatively Finding Your Dreams guide here!

Post to be continued…..

Until next time, capture life kreatively!


P.S.  I alluded to the fact of an E-book series – yes that is true!  I am in the process of creating a series of E-books regarding Living Life Kreatively.  They are still in the planning stages and will probably take a while to finish them but if you want to be notified of their progress and when they are complete, sign up for my newsletter.  That way you’ll be one of the first to know!