Tag: motivation

The Other Side: 5 Ways to Achieve Your Goals

Hitting a Wall

Have you ever hit a wall and thought there was no way to get around it? I know I have so many times. These walls can be in our relationships, on the job, in our own personal development, or as we work towards accomplishing different goals.

And I will admit that these walls can be downright frustrating! It’s like you’re driving (or sailing or walking) along and things are going well. You are happy, carefree, and optimistic about all that the future will bring. You can see your goal peeking just over the horizon. You’re so close. Suddenly, BAM! There’s a wall directly in front of you blocking what was supposed to be smooth sailing. As far as you look to the right and to the left and up and down all you see is a wall with no end.

So what are you going to do? Retreat? Scream for help? Cry your eyes out? The answer to this is never simple.

My Wall: My Story

What I hate most about these walls is that most of the time, at least for me, they cause fear and doubt to creep in. I begin to rationalize that the goal wasn’t that important in the first place. Or that I was crazy for even thinking that I could do it. Or that it wasn’t really worth my time.

All of this fear and doubt get in the way of my being able to see that sign that says “Heavy Door. Push Here. Keep Pushing Until It Opens.” I’m so engulfed in my own sorrow and self-defeat that I fail to see that there is a way through this obstacle. I just have to be willing to look for it, to work for it, and to never give up on it.

I’m gonna be transparent here about this. Will you allow be to be open and honest? I’ve started and stopped many things because they’ve gotten too hard or too inconvenient. I’ve allowed the wall to tell me to turn around, to give up, that I’m being unrealistic, that this dream isn’t for me. I’ve allowed others to talk me out of a vision that I’ve had for myself. (more…)

My Theme Song for the Year (and why you should have one, too)

If you’re like me (and most people), there are certain songs that will get you out on the dance floor and make you jump around until you’re exhausted. Or you have songs that completely put you at ease, soothing your mind, bringing you some peace. Or you have songs that evoke certain memories, taking you back to a certain time in your life, good or bad, the memories forever ingrained in your mind. Some people have that one special song that just speaks to them whenever and wherever they hear it.

Either way, we can all agree that music is important to us in some way, shape, or form. We may use it to lift our spirits, take our mind off things, or just to get our energy up, making us dance until we can’t dance any more.

I love music because it can do all of these things. It can connect people who have nothing else in common, not even the same language. It can change the entire mood of your day; it can keep you company when no one else is around. It can make a mundane task seem interesting and the time fly by.

That’s why this year I have adopted a “Theme Song of the Year.” It’s my own personal motivational song to keep me going and relates directly to my goals and the way I am approaching this year in my life. If you didn’t know, I just turned 40 a few days ago, and I have big goals for my life. What better way to stay motivated than to have a song playing in the background (or in my mind) as I tackle each one of my goals?

My song for this year is Andra Day’s “Cheers to the Fall.” I already loved this song, but I loved it even more after I used it for a lesson in my class. Each Monday in my class is Mindset Monday where the students have to focus on ways to have a Growth Mindset. I thought this song was a perfect fit since my students often want to fit in with others and do what’s “popular.” They also have a tendency to give up on tasks that seem too hard and are afraid of failing or looking dumb for trying.

As we analyzed this song, I grew to love it more and more. It spoke to me on a deeper level because I could relate to it so well. The past couple of years I have been stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I had already started my own photography business, Natural Soul Photography, a few years back, but I recently decided to really jump back in and work hard on making it successful.

In addition, I became a consultant with Thirty-One. I loved the products, so why not try to sell them? I also, after losing 13 pounds, decided to sell Herbalife products. Now, am I a top seller with either one of these businesses? Nope, but I am proud of the fact that I have tried, have worked hard on ways to learn more about direct sales, and have constantly looked at how to improve my marketing strategies and customer relationships. I NEVER would have thought that I would be the type to sell anything to anyone. I would have thought someone was crazy for even suggesting it.

 

 

Another major change was leaving one school that I had taught at for eleven years to go teach at a brand new school. I needed the change in pace, a shake up and a wake up. I had gotten comfortable (although I was miserable at times) because I had been there so long. Actually, complacent was a better word for it. I wasn’t stretching or challenging myself any more. I’m so happy that I made the move.

But the thing that I am most proud of myself for is this right here: my blog! It’s always been my dream to write and to get my messages out to the world, and my blog is the perfect outlet. I have grown so much over this past year since I started this blog. For too long, I only talked about doing this, putting off for tomorrow what I could have done today. Making excuses, waiting for the right time, not wanting to step out of my zone, be different, try something new.  Now, I am living my dream, and I see myself getting better and better every day. Each day brings a new challenge that I eagerly accept. Even after a long day at work, I still can find the energy to work on my blog whether it’s typing a post or learning something about the blogging industry.

While many people have cheered me on and told me how proud they are of all that I’ve been doing, many people think that I am downright crazy.They wonder why I do what I’m doing. Why are you trying to do so much? How many jobs are you going to try to have? What do you know about blogging? Do you have time to do all of that? Who do you think you are?

 

That’s where my theme song comes into play. Have you heard it before? I mean, have you really truly listened to the lyrics and understood what she is saying? Whenever I am having a frustrating day or when someone has made me upset, I know that I can turn on this song. When I am in the midst of some hard work, something challenging, something new, I know that if I turn to this song for encouragment, I will be pumped up and ready to work, ready to take on the world.

Once you check it out, you may just want to adopt it as your theme song, too.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the song.

They say the higher that you climb
The further when you take the dive
But it’s comatose
And I can’t live that closed
‘Cause I don’t know how to never try at all
So cheers to the fall, hey

When you’ve been wrapped in your cocoon for so long and finally break free (as I did), you can’t help but want to live life to the fullest (see my poem about it here). Anything less than that is a waste. Who wants to spend their entire life looking back, thinking about all of the things that they should’ve done, should’ve try? So what if I fall down? At least I can say, “Hey, I did that before!” I can still cheer myself on because of the fact that I at least gave it my best. I will have no regrets because I would have stepped out and given myself a chance even if I fail.

And who says you can’t win them all
If you try

Again, if I fail then at least I gave it a chance. But what, oh just what, if I do succeed? What if I do win? Living in fear (something I’m determined not to do any more) will only keep me stagnant missing out on all of the potential that I have within me to achieve greatness. Imagine how great my life would be if I could add up all of the wins knowing that I had put in the hard work and that I had made it happen! But I could never get to that place if I didn’t at least give it a try. And I have to believe in myself in spite of what others may have to say which takes us to the bridge of the song.

Thanks for all your sound advice
That I didn’t ask for
I’ll take all of it in stride

The bridge is equally awesome. When I sing along with the song, this part really hits close to home. Instead of listening to the naysayers and doubters who tell me that it will never work, I can push on and try. There are so many people who want to tell you how you should live your life because they have lived their life inside of a box, afraid to do anything that may make them uncomfortable. Therefore, they feel the need to advise you on why this won’t work for you or exactly how you should be playing it safe. But tell me: is that really living? Nope, so thanks, but no thanks for all of your wonderful advice, but I think I’ll stick with my plan. You know the one I’m talking about, right? The one where I take a big leap of faith and see where it will take me? Yes, that one.

I’ve said all this to say that I think that everyone should have a theme song for the year or the month or the decade or for their life, whatever works best for them. Have that song that you can blast really loud whenever you need some inspiration to get through the day. Find that song that speaks to you and that you’ll never get tired of listening to over and over again. Find that song that speaks the words that may be hard for you to say. Find that song that forces you to sing along at the top of your lungs because it expresses the very words of your soul.

Then hit play and repeat as many times as it takes to get you in the right mindset for the task ahead of you.

And rock on!

What would be your “Theme Song of the Year” and why? Comment below!