Affirmation: The strongest way to empower yourself is to affirm yourself and your goals. Write 10 affirmations to encourage you on your journey to cultivate your dreams.
1. I fought for and protected my family.
2. I am very capable of making and achieving goals.
3. I smile even when life seems to be going wrong.
4. I know how to care for my family.
5. I have great family and friends to support me on this journey.
6. I practice gratitude and happiness.
7. I rest when I need it.
8. I created a list of prompts that are still incredibly relevant.
9. I gathered a group of people looking to cultivate a life worth loving.
10. I answered some very important questions for myself.
Achieve: Let’s get even deeper into planning our next steps and ways around barriers. Identify how you’d like to feel and live when you succeed with your intentions. Review your map, actions, and barriers. What other things can you do to reach your goals?
I’d like to feel relieved, nurtured, and secure when I succeed with my intentions. I want to live my life knowing that my family and I will be happy and at ease. I can really work on parring down our belongings to a much more manageable amount. I can continue reaching out for job and rental leads. I can trust the process and focus my attention on living in the moment, practicing happiness and gratitude no matter where I am in the process.
Barriers: Roadblocks always seem to pop up. How can you plan for these barriers that will inevitably thwart your plans?
I know that finding a place from afar will definitely cause an issue. I may or may not have shared this, but our time table may also be based on the foreclosure process of our current home — our landlord wasn’t paying his mortgage. It’s very tricky, but so far time has been kind. We’re mere weeks away from seeing our tax refund. Of course, the next barrier is our van. She’s been a great vehicle, but she’s had some hiccups. We own her outright and have since we bought her with our tax refund in 2011. But she may have a few issues not worth fixing. So, we’ll have to see how everything plays out. It’s going to again require patience. I have to wait and see where the pieces fit together.
Action: You’ve envisioned your map — now what’s the next step? What actions must you take to cultivate your dreams?
The next steps are to pack up, find a place, unpack, and soak it all in. I’ve been working behind the scenes to get some of these tasks rolling along, but I have to exercise some patience, too. I must be patient and realize that time will unfold as it always does.
Map: Imagine a map existed, guiding you towards your dreams. Try to envision the route. How are you going to map out your dreams for 2015?
Obviously, it’s a trip down I75 if you want to get technical. However, that 8+ hour drive is actually the easy part. Packing up our lives yet again and starting over in another home? I’m getting too old for this crap. I told myself at a young age that I wouldn’t move as much as we did when I was a child, yet I’m trapped in what seems to be a familial curse. All griping aside, I’m envisioning a smooth transition. I’m envisioning tearful goodbyes with friends who’ve become so much more than friends. I’m envisioning spur of the moment trips to the beach. I’m envisioning enough peace to focus on that which matters most. I’m envisioning opportunities to pursue my lifestyle business so I can one day see my work mold around my life — not the other way around.
Follow Your Heart: Did you follow your heart last year? Where will you follow your heart to in 2015?
Last year, I followed my heart back home — or rather, my heart was finally glued back together because my family was back together. This year, I’m following my heart back to Florida. I never thought I would move back, but the time has come for me to consider all the positives that will greet us when we move back. We’ll have my relatives. We’ll have some old friends. We’ll have better access to healthcare — and mental healthcare for our autistic son. I’ll be closer to the University of Florida again and have a better shot of relaunching my tutoring business. I may actually have an opportunity to pursue my career as an English consultant. I’m following my heart to familiar territory and old dreams I had forgotten.
Support and Connect: We need to connect with a support group in our community in case one of us falls on hard times. How strongly connected are you and your support group? How can you cultivate support and connections this year? What can you do to help your community in 2015?
I really can’t express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful group of people to call community, both on and offline. I’ve had more than my fair share of tough times, and they’ve been there to help — rides, childcare, etc. Sometimes, though, I feel like I don’t give back enough. I know a few people who are dealing with terrible woes. I’m at a crossroads in life, though, and I know that I’ll be moving to a new community later this year. I want to build a strong support network there, and I’m not really clear yet on how to do so. It’s so blurry right now. I suppose my best bet as always will be to smile and be myself.
Clients: Perhaps they’re customers. Perhaps they’re patients. Perhaps they’re clients. No matter what you call them, they are the reason you receive a paycheck. How are you nurturing the people who give you (or your employer) the money to support you? Are you cultivating a warm, welcoming environment for your clients?
As I touched upon yesterday, I’m all about the simple smile. Think about how you want to feel when interacting with a person taking your money for goods or services. You don’t want to feel like you’re paying to be mistreated. You want to feel like you’re paying for something worthwhile. I try to learn a bit about my customers to build rapport — and as a result I have my “regulars” who bring me a little joy during my work days in return for the smiling service I give to them. I also try to humanize my managers. They wake up in the morning, get dressed for work, and show up just like I do. I want them to feel like they’re a good manager, just like I want them to make me feel like a good employee. I’ve had one regular tutoring client over the last three years as he completes an undergrad degree, and I dare say we’ve forged a friendship because I feel strongly about making clients and customers feel welcomed and appreciated. Again, I feel like I just need to keep being myself — smiling and being friendly.
Co-workers: Unless you run your own business by yourself or stay at home, chances are you interact with co-workers on a regular basis. How are you cultivating camaraderie in the work place? What can you do to support your co-workers?
True story. I wore a squid hat to raise $5 for the Children’s Miracle Network this one time at work. Rather than be ashamed of the dreaded squid hat, I slapped on my typical smile and got some giggles out of co-workers and customers. When I go to work, I like to be playful and friendly. I’m there for up to 40 hours each week earning paycheck, as are all of us. I’m also a shopper when I’m in need of things like food, hygiene products, and the like. I know how I want to feel when I’m shopping in a store, and I know how to behave in order to make others feel that way. Much of the time, a simple smile makes everyone happier. Hugs and words of encouragement also make co-workers feel better. I know I sure felt better when co-workers banded together around me over the last two years. So I’ll keep smiling and being me.
Friends: We need people who nurture us. Friends provide care, support, encouragement, and enjoyment. Are you treating your friends in a nurturing, supportive manner? How can you cultivate the friendships you hold dear?
To be honest, I’ve been so physically and emotionally depleted that I haven’t really nurtured my friendships. In fact, that last two years made me realize that I don’t have a best friend right now. I have my husband, sure, but I need one of those really close friends I can call and tell anything and everything. There’s a big life change looming on the horizon, so I almost feel reluctant to cultivate that level of friendship with anyone right now. However, I want to nurture the bonds I have with a handful of really lovely people — and I want to be open to new friends that will be forged later on this year. To do that, I need to be open and reach out. I can’t sit on the bench, kicking my feet back and forth, staring off into the distance. I have to engage with others, no matter how anxiety-ridden that may be.