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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.)

Hope Does Float

Life has been chaotic and stressful around our house the last week or so.  As my husband is self-employed, transitioning from the winter, when work is not quite as abundant, to spring, when everybody wants to start their home improvement projects, can be exhausting (very similar to the weather in Minnesota – you know… if you don’t like the weather, or you don’t think you’ll be busy, wait five minutes and it’ll change).

Add on to that somebody drove over our small trailer (yes, you read that right), and the riding lawn mower decided now that we need to use it, it’s not going to work.  Of course, it could have conked out prior to us wanting to use it – how we would know?  And, I’ve been sick – spring and fall allergies always take me down; but add in allergies bringing on a cold and I’m out for the count.  Much to hubby’s dismay.

It is so easy when all of this starts happening to rush into a tizzy, and pretty much chase your tail, because as soon as you start one thing, seven other things blow up in your face.  Which when you think about it, life pretty much resembles the game of bowling.  Well, okay, with several modifications.

In life, we get up every morning which is rolling the ball down the lane.  If we’re lucky, we will get a gutter ball – the same-o, status quo, the usual, the ordinary, every day existence.  If we’re not so lucky, we strike a pin.

On the other hand, we can strike a pin.  We may only knock one pin down, or that one pin knocks in to another pin, knocking into another pin, and so on and so on and so on – until it feels as if the whole world is crushing in on us.

Now, I can actually hear some of you tapping your feet and drumming your fingers on the table in an effort to aid me in getting to my point faster, but if you ask anybody, that’s not how a conversation with me works.  But for the sake of your sanity, and keeping you interested, I’ll see what I can do here.

In those moments, when I’m knocking down all the pins, and I start doing my little crazy dance, which is never the same dance twice I might add, it helps me to stop.  For example, the other day we were late getting back from a trip to see our daughter, and I was rushing to get to work …. annnnndddd I got pulled over.  Not something that happens very often to me.

That whole incident is another story in of itself, but while I was sitting there with my window down waiting for the Trooper to come back to my car, I saw a hawk flying above me.  Then I noticed the chorus of the frogs in the swamp across the road.  And the sun became brighter, and I realized what a gorgeous day it was and by the time the Trooper came back, I actually thanked her for stopping me.  See now, that pause, that regrouping, is that moment in the game of bowling where you stare down the lane, just prior to taking your two and a half steps and letting go of the ball.

In order to be prepared for that next knock-down, or three-seven split, or strike; I need to pause and take a deep breath.  I am a firm believer, if I don’t take that pause, it will take longer to overcome those knock-downs because all I am doing is focusing on what is happening and not on what I can control.  It’s taken me some time, but I’ve realized I can’t stress about what has happened.  All I can do is figure out how I am going to recover.

Downtown Smithville, Texas

In the movie, ‘Hope Floats’, Birdie Pruitt (played by Sandra Bullock) quotes her mother as saying, “Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too…”

Downtown Smithville, Texas

Stress, bowling, getting pulled over, and childhood – I know if you just scanned this you may not be able to see how this is pulled together; but replace the word childhood with stress or cancer or unemployment or whatever you may be going through.  For many people their lives are spent scurrying about trying to overcome, or recover from those obstacles, when maybe, perhaps, the first step should be stopping.  Just like we do when we wait for the ball to come back to us via the automatic ball returner thing-a-ma-bob; we should stop and give that peace and hope a chance to float up.  I know it works for me.

Until next time…. capture life kreatively!


The home where the movie was filmed as it is today.

P.S. Be sure to sign up for email notifications regarding new blog posts.  Next week I am going to start sharing more about the little town where ‘Hope Floats’ was filmed.  I fell in love with it!

P.P.S. Stress makes us do some pretty strange things.  What’s the strangest thing you’ve done while stressed out?  (Like thanking an officer for a ticket? LOL) Leave a comment and let me know!