(This post is from guest blogger, Ashley Nihart, a health and life coach. Check out her bio at the end of this post and then stop by her website www.happyhealthyandwell.com for more great tips on living your best life!)
It’s amazing how much fear can hold us back. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what others may think. Fear of failure. Fear of success even. No matter what type of fear is holding you back from achieving your goals, and living your best life, there is a way to move beyond it.
For so long I did what was safe. I went to school, graduated, and got a good job. The whole time I knew, I was not on the path I was meant to live. But fear got in the way. For me, fear was heavily associated with low self esteem and worrying about what others would think. Going out of my comfort zone meant behaving in ways I wasn’t known for. I was the nice, quiet girl. Never outspoken or daring. But going for my dreams meant I had to break this mold so many people knew of me. And it was scary.
What if people didn’t like me? What if I looked foolish? What if everyone would make fun of me? What if I tried and didn’t succeed?
For the longest time, I allowed these fears to hold me back. To keep me from living my best life. I followed the path everyone expected me to follow but never felt fulfilled. Deep down, I knew I was meant for more. I just wasn’t brave enough to go for it.
In an attempt to find meaning and purpose in my life, I read tons of self improvement books. Listened to dozens of podcasts about going for your dreams and loving your life. I found mentorship and guidance through the authors and speakers on these platforms. It was a slow process but eventually, I started to believe in myself. And with this belief I developed bravery. (more…)
Most people are familiar with a vision board. Basically, you make goals for your life (usually for that upcoming year) and create a collage that represents those goals. It’s a way to bring to life your hopes and dreams and to have them somewhere you can see them every day, a visual reminder of all that you hope to manifest in your life.
I’ve done vision boards in the past, but last year I tried something different. I wanted something that I could carry around with me so that I could see it even when I wasn’t home. In order to do this, my friend, cousin, and I decided to create vision books. Okay, we didn’t really decide but rather stumbled upon the idea. We had no idea what we were doing; we were just playing it by ear. Since we made them out of spiral-bound notebooks that we already had, clippings from old magazines, and old scrapbooking materials, this proved to be an affordable and convenient project.
Our vision books turned out to be much like vision boards. Obviously, they were inspired by the concept. However, the books gave us a lot more flexibility. I’m a visual person, but I am very much a writer (hence, the blog). I love being able to write down my ideas, work through plans on paper, and write reflections about what I’ve done or I’m currently doing, what I’ve learned, and what I still want to accomplish. Our vision books gave me the freedom to do all of this.
Here is my vision book from last year. Like I said, it’s a simple notebook that I already had in stock (taken from my boys’ school supply stash), but you can easily purchase one for about $1 from any store. We had NO idea what we were doing when we created these; we just knew that we were ready to take charge of our futures and knew that we needed to put in writing our goals and dreams in order for them to manifest. As you can see, I named this my Dream Book back then. The cover and first few pages were just ones that spoke to my overall vision for the year.
Inside, I created separate layouts for each one of my goals. Here are a couple of them. I liked that I could further explain and break down my goals on each page.
3…2…1…Happy New Year! For some people this may be a fearful, uncertain time, but for most people this time of year symbolizes hope and a fresh start. People look forward to what the new year will bring and start making plans for all that they will accomplish which is usually done by making resolutions. We all know how this goes. January 1 rolls around and everyone is getting fit, saving money, eating less, kicking bad habits, starting good ones, blah, blah, blah. By February 1 most of these resolutions have been forgotten and old habits have kicked back in. Now I’m not being judgmental or facetioius because I, too, have been guilty of making lofty goals year after year, only to declare that the next year will be different, that I will reach all of my goals, and nothing’s going to get in my way. I am eager, enthusiastic, fearless, and hopeful. I can do anything!
We all know how this ends.
I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea to make goals or resolutions for the new year; actually, I think it’s a brilliant idea. But just like the luster of any new thing can wear off after a while, so does the appeal of your goals once you have to put the work in to maintaining them. Just think of the excitement you felt when you got your first job and all you had to do was use your paycheck on whatever you wanted to buy at the mall or some junk food you could grab on the way home from school. Do you still feel the same way about your job now? Probably not.
What I’ve discovered this past year is that in order to stick with your resolutions you need to have a bit of a mind shift with how you approach the entire task. This year (2017) has been the best for me with sticking to and achieving the goals that I set out for myself, and I plan to duplicate this for the new year. I thought I’d share with you what worked for me in hopes that it can inspire you to make and achieve your own goals. Here are the steps that I took. (more…)