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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!

Myra

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.)

Photo of Minnehaha Falls at a slow shutter speed so the water looks like one solid stream. Sunlight is hitting the trees which frames the photo.

Summer Road Trip – Minnehaha Falls

Summer road trip – Minnehaha Falls

Before we explore Minnehaha Falls, I must apologize. Photo of Minnehaha Falls at a slow shutter speed so the water looks like one solid stream. Sunlight is hitting the trees which frames the photo. Well technically I don’t have to; however, considering I did not send out my blog post yesterday I probably should.  As my pre-planning skills are still a little behind since chemo infused my brain with all the “forget everything before you remember them” cells, I am currently writing this while sitting in a hotel in our lovely capital of the USA.  Yesterday was our travel day, and as we were traveling with Harley the service dog for the first time, life was a little chaotic.  Being service trained in a small rural town is wayyyy different than the things we experienced yesterday… escalators, airplanes, trains, gaps between the train and sidewalk, revolving doors … he did fabulously and here we are!

Exploring your own backyard

Traveling is an important thing, both for a service dog, and for our children.  Traveling exposes us to so many things that we normally do not encounter on a given day.  When we remember that children are watching us for how they should handle situations, exposing them to as many different scenarios as we can when they are young helps prepare them for the adults they will become.

Luckily, that doesn’t mean we have to load everybody up and trek halfway across the country.  There are so many great opportunities right in our own backyard!  However, if you’re anything like we were when our daughter was young, you get so busy with everyday life and activities that exploring your own backyard keeps getting put aside.  Recently, Harley and I went on an adventure to one of my absolute favorite spots is off Highway 55 in Minneapolis … Minnehaha Falls.

Minnehaha Falls

In the early 2000’s, when hubby and I lived in the Cities, this was always a “Oh, we should really go there” type of statement.  It’s a beautiful trek through some woodsy terrain, it has a great area to stop and wade in the water, and if you walk the trail all the way to the end there’s a lovely little beach you can sit on as the creek flows into the Mississippi River. Photo at the top of the Falls with a bridge crossing the creek down below.

If you’re lucky, you can catch a fly fisherman, numerous people fishing, and maybe even a Blue Heron.  There are many different aspects to the park including a dog park, and several historical buildings including the Minnehaha Princess Station, a Victorian train depot built in the 1870’s; the John H. Stevens house built in 1849; and the Longfellow House.  Near the Falls there is an ice cream store, and a restaurant with outside seating.  Time it just right and you’ll be able to enjoy music as well as you imbibe with your favorite drink and the crescendo of the Falls in the background adding to the rhythm.

Of course, the crowing attraction are the Falls themselves; which according to Wikipedia remain one of the most photographed sites in Minnesota.

Longfellow Gardens

This trip it was also suggested that I visit the Longfellow gardens, which are across the street from the park, but easily accessible via stairs leading down to the crosswalk crossings.  The garden was a beautiful little oasis and prelude to the big park itself and to be honest, Harley and I only covered one section, which was hiking alongside the creek to the river.

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The location of Minnehaha Falls is quite easy to get to.  In fact, the light rail train runs very close, if not right across the street.   Additionally, just down the road a piece Highways 55 and 62 merges together where Historic Fort Snelling sits, making another great backyard destination – and maybe a future post!

Picnic!

The day we went to the Falls, it was close to 90 degrees outside, but walking the trail it felt much cooler.  Harley and I managed to put on 12,000 steps in two hours, and needless to say … I was beat!  (Honestly, Harley was beat, but he doesn’t like to admit that I outwalked him so I’m letting him believe it was me.)  As I already mentioned, we only made it through part of the park, so this is an adventure that can be a full day of playing outside!  Just pack a picnic basket full of goodies and go ‘esploring to find your perfect spot!

There is no cost to enter the Minnehaha Falls park; however, there is a parking fee.  There are also some different bicycle rentals if you’d rather take a surrey fringed ride on the paved trails.

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Are we missing adventures?

While taking big adventures is always fun, ever since my diagnosis I have discovered just how much I love exploring my own backyard and finding little treasures.  Minnehaha Falls isn’t so little, but the fact that I’ve never fully explored the park makes me quite sad.  How many times do we walk by something, oblivious to its (or their) existence?  Eye contact has always been iffy between people and these days its almost non-existent.

School violence is on the rise.  Depression and suicide as well.  Could it be coincidence?  Could it be that because we walk right by people, never acknowledging that they are there because we are too busy preoccupied with our own lives, that we miss the adventure of making someone feel valued?  How many other adventures do we miss because we don’t have the courage to step out of our box, our comfort zone, and be adventurous?

Cancer has done many things to me over the last two and a half years; and while you will never catch me saying it was a blessing in a disguise, I will admit that because my perspective has changed there are some things I don’t mind.  I don’t necessarily mind that I’m different than pre-cancer.  I don’t necessarily mind that post-cancer I have talked to and enjoyed talking to so many different people.  I don’t necessarily mind that I relish the small everyday things that can be turned into grand adventures. I will not go so far as to suggest that you look for the positives after being diagnosed – that’s a little grandiose even for me.

Photo of a yellow brindle lab mix, at the bottom of stairs, with his tongue hanging out.
How Harley and I felt after 12,000 steps taken in two hours!

I will suggest looking and finding, even if it’s only one, the positive.  Because deep down there is at least one – a deeper connection with your significant other or a child; a deeper connection as to who you are; a deeper desire to connect with others; a deeper desire to live life to its fullest; a deeper desire to survive.  Wallow if you need to, cry when you must.  And when the dust settles look and see if you can find an adventure waiting for you.  After all, isn’t that what life is all about?

Until next time, capture life kreatively!!

Myra

 

Some fun products for your picnic!!  (Just a reminder that I am an Amazon affiliate, and if products are purchased through these links, I will receive a small commission.)