Change is scary. Change is inevitable. Change is good – when we make it happen. Nothing ever stays the same. Change is a fact of life that starts the minute we’re born. The question is, do we fight it, do we become victim to it, or do we grow and learn? There are three basic types of life changes that we deal with at any given time.
Change that is thrust upon us;
Change that happens around us which we then evolve with; and
Changes that we actively create or pursue.
It is this third type that I wish to address. Changes that we make happen.
Creating a major life change is simultaneously the most intimidating and rewarding experience. To dream of a goal, set on out the daunting path towards it, and then, often against many odds, achieve it – there’s nothing more satisfying. Unfortunately, more often than not, nothing comes of those dreams. Why? In a word, fear: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection. Those fears manifest in excuses such as not enough time, not enough money, or lack of confidence.
As a Mom there’s an even bigger reason why you have not achieved certain dreams and goals. There’s already too much on your plate! Between caring for the kids, possibly working an additional full or part-time job (the kids are already a full time job), cooking, cleaning, running errands – Mom’s needs always come last.
But no matter how packed your world of responsibilities is, you must make time for yourself. Not only because you deserve it, but because actions speak louder than words. Showing your children that Mom’s time and needs are just as valuable as theirs, teaches them to do likewise when they are parents. (I’m not saying that it should become “all about you,” I’m simply advocating the personal growth and health of every individual in the household.)
Now, while you may know you need to make a change, you may not know what to change, or how to change. The what and how are easier than you might think. It starts with defining the what and then detailing the stops of the how. Then all you have to do is take baby steps of action!
1. Write down your top three goals or dreams. Don’t judge them, or label them impossible. Just word them simply, make sure they are a true goal you have passion for. Be sure to always state them with a positive outcome (i.e., I want to run my own business instead of I want to stop working for someone else, or I want to run a 10k race instead of I wish I had more time to exercise).
2. Now focus on one goal at a time. Choose the one you feel is the easiest achieve at this time, or the one that you currently have the most passion for. Then list the pros and cons of that goal. The obstacles in your way are the cons, and the enrichments/rewards to you and your life are the pros.
3. Next, place the pros list in a prominent location where you can see it on a daily basis when you need motivation. Visualize these stated “rewards” happening to you. Visualization is a powerful tool toward achievement, don’t underestimate it!
4. Finally, take the cons list and tackle one obstacle at a time. Baby steps. One obstacle, fear, or uncertainty, at a time. Just commit to that one little change until it’s no longer in your way. Then move on to the next. Might take a few days, or months. But it’s movement vs. stagnation, and it’s a positive approach to being in charge of your destiny.
Whether your goals are weight loss, improved relationships, or a change of job or career, attainment is within your grasp. There is no failure in the attempt. Failure is only in lack of trying.
If one thing that holds you back is money (or lack thereof), at the risk of sounding trite: where there’s a will there’s a way. Being cash poor is not an acceptable excuse to keep you from your dreams. Goals definitely take longer to accomplish without money, but it can be done. Just look at millionaires like Oprah Winfrey or J.K. Rowling (author Harry Potter) who all started with nary a penny.
Lastly, to all you Moms out there, be sure to involve your family in this. If your children and spouse understand your motivation behind this desired change, and see your conviction and passion, they will support you whole-heartedly. Family and friends will rally to your corner if you just reach out and communicate.
If you need more specific help, find a mentor. Someone who’s been there and done that. Or take a class at the local rec center or community college. Educate yourself. One class in your goal subject can do a lot towards boosting self-confidence and progressing you down that list of cons.
Do not be intimidated. This is your life, and it is yours to change. Just one step at a time. Make plans, set goals, take action. Remember, change is inevitable. Change is scary. But change – that we make happen – is good!