Stream of Consciousness

Making Goals You’ll Keep: Step One

So you have a goal or a dream or a vision of a goal or there’s SOMETHING you’re wanting to do, become, or learn. But you’re inundated with mocking laughter, failure stories, and all the talk of how no one ever keeps their goals.

With all this fuss about goals being pointless – what’s a person to do? Not bother? Live a goalless existence where nothing we want to achieve is ever achieved? Stay the way we are forever in the hopes that life will someone change something for us?

Yeah, no.

That sounds terrible.

A lot of people don’t want to try to change their life or habits because of how much pain it will cause. But what we don’t realize is that NOT changing is painful as well.

Meaning our options are really to:

1 – hurt and never achieve anything we want, everything remains the same

or,

2 – hurt and make the changes in our lives that we desire.

 

It’s like the difference between being punched in the face and going to the dentist. Both are going to hurt, but one is bad for you and the other is healthy.

I’d suggest option two. And if that sounds good to you, here’s step one of how to start on that path.

 

STEP ONE

1A) What do you want?
No, really. It’s kinda the whole point. If you can’t name what it is that you want, your goal is not going to work. What’s your dream, your hope, your absolute deepest desire? What’s the one thing you want, right now? And it has to be something you have the power to change.
And FYI – We can’t control other people, can’t fix them or convince them of anything. Pick something that you want for yourself.

 

1B) Get precise.
What exactly do you want? You can’t have it if you can’t really put your thumb on it.
Pretend you have a genie that’s just asked you for one wish. He will give you 100% precisely what you ask for. So be careful how you word it. And make sure its something you really want in this specific way. If you ask for a new job, he might give you a job you’ll loathe.

 

1C) Why do you want it?
What’s your reason for wanting this? Are you doing it to impress someone, get someone to like or respect you, get revenge, or because its what someone else wants you to do?
NOT a good reason. Your goal will fail. Sometimes the whole revenge thing works but there’s only a slight chance of succeeding and you might not end up liking how you end up achieving your goal. Or how you’ve changed as a person at the end of it.
If you want to achieve a goal, make certain its something you really want and for a good reason. That doesn’t mean you have to have some mind blowing, television show worthy reason. We are all about silly, small, melodramatic, vulnerable, and embarrassing reasons. We’re human and that’s beautifully okay. But things will go easier if you know why you want your goal.

 

1D) Form your goal in a positive way.
Here’s the same goal said in two different ways.
One – I want to stop eating food that makes me feel gross and fat.
Two – I want to eat to be healthy and feel good.
Guess which one is going to be easier and funner to reach for?

 

1E) Plan for unexpected issues, mistakes, adaptation.
It’s going to happen. And there’s nothing wrong or bad about that. Things are going to happen that you couldn’t possibly plan for. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to find that your plan isn’t working and you need to change things in order to continue to reach for your goal in a healthy way. All of these things are good. They mean you’re working hard, putting in effort. Simply acknowledge that these things will happen and you can handle it, while treating yourself with kindness and respect, will help immensely.

 

1F) Believe.
In yourself. In your ability, your capability. You can do this. But if you don’t believe you can, you won’t. So take the chance. Make the leap, have faith, believe, trust.

 

Stream of Consciousness

The Secret to Stories

If I give it claws, we’ll talk about the monster in us.

If I give it fangs, we won’t look away from what society tells us is too uncomfortable to linger on.

If I make it a world we don’t live in, we can look at the things we don’t want to talk about. Perhaps we can find the strength to do something about it the next time we see it.

If I make its eyes glow, we’ll think about the pain we want to hide. Maybe we will find a way to deal with it too.

If we have to suspend disbelief, we can poke at our childhood programming, our insecurities, our secrets.

 

Stories don’t judge us. They open us up to the possibility of change, connection, hope, and purpose. They give us new perspectives on things society labels for us (as if we don’t have brains or hearts to decide for ourselves). Stories give us the option to define our own life, our own self, and realize we’re not that different after all.

A black grandpa can read the same story as a white single mom. They can both recognize love when it’s being denied, the pain of a child dying, the need for someone in this world to see us for who we truly are.

 

Stories show us what’s broken and what’s beautiful. They give us a safe place to peel back the layers of this life without anyone mocking us or telling us we’re wrong or bad.

Stories give us heroes with fantastic abilities, somehow making it easier for us to love them when they mess up, hurt, and prove they aren’t perfect. It gives us a little more leeway to be imperfect ourselves.

 

There’s a certain magic to a story, whether there’s anything fantastical or whimsical in it or not.

If we read a story about a monster with a heart, it doesn’t hurt so much to look at the monster within ourselves. Only then can we do something about it.

Stream of Consciousness

Keep Going

If there is something you know you need to do – there is a way.

People might laugh, might mock, but the fact of the matter is this… If you know this is the right thing for you, this is your purpose, this is your path? Then you are 100% correct.

There might not be a clear step by step guide as to how to accomplish it. The odds may very well be against you. There might not be a single person on planet earth that believes in you.

That doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you do it. You work toward it, you keep picking yourself up after each mistake and road block and unseen complication – and you keep striving.

Keep going.

If it’s right, it’s right. That doesn’t mean easy or predictable. It means you’re meant for it. Go get it.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

Stream of Consciousness

Ideas for New Year’s Questions and Lists for Personal Growth and Change

A new year is coming. You know this. I know this.

We seem obsessed with starting over, having a clean slate, making changes, and making new goals at the end and beginning of a year.

I believe we can do this any moment of any day or night. But I honor every single person in this life that decides to try any of this at any time. Including those of us who go about the same newness at new year’s.

So here we go.

 

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I’d like to make some lists and ask myself some questions this new year. If you’re wanting to do the same thing but don’t know where to start – here’s what I’m going to do. Maybe it can give you some ideas or spark a similar desire in you.

  • Blame. Who do I blame for what? If I blame someone for all the bad stuff, I better blame them for the good stuff too. (Tony Robbins gave me this idea.)
  • Bucket List. Of sorts. I’m terrified to want anything. And so I don’t know what I want any longer. This year, I want to make a bucket list. I want to figure out what I want.
  • A goals list for this coming year (2020).
  • A goals list for the next 3 years.
  • A goals list for the next 5 years.
  • This year, I want to go through all of my old journals and read them. I’m terrified but I think it’s important. Then decide if I want to keep them or burn them.
  • I want to organize and de-clutter my half of the bedroom (my sister and I share a room) before January 1st 2020. This is the only one on this list I want to do before the new year arrives.
  • What do I blame myself for? How am I unkind to myself? How am I kind to myself?
  • Types of books I’d like to read. Books on body language, dogs, different culture’s mythology, books by Tony Robbins, gut books, psychology books, etc.
  • What have I done that’s working this year? What have I done that’s not worked this past year?
  • Habits I want to let go of. Habits I want to begin.
  • Use a daily check in journal so I can do a sort of emotional check in. I’m uncomfortable doing this because my emotional state is so messy and deeply negative sometimes and I feel ashamed of that.
  • I want to create some sort of mini-crate thingy to hold index cards with quotes on them. As well as getting my quotes off of my bookmarks and Pinterest.
  • I want to get back into meditation. It feels good.
  • What I’m afraid of. What would happen if those fears came true. What I would do. Worst case scenario. What if the absolute best thing happened?
  • What are the things that I allow to cause me to feel stress, anxiety, worry, depression, panic, and fear? Are those things actively causing me harm? What can I do that’s healthy to stop these things? In what ways can I cope in a healthy way with the things I cannot control?
  • How am I doing physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, mentally? How do I want to be doing?
  • If I wasn’t afraid of hurting other’s feelings what would I do? What would I say?
  • What have I learned about myself this year?
  • What challenges have I faced and overcome? I never linger on this. I always hear that it would be a great idea and helps with depression. Do I do this? Nope.
  • What would I love to have finished by the year 2021 if I didn’t put realistic expectations on myself?
  • What is fun for me? What can I do for fun? I am not good at having fun – I don’t do it even though I know its what I need and is healthy. What do I want to do for fun? What can I realistically do to get myself to have fun?
  • What is my purpose?
  • If “real job” or “self-worth attached to job” didn’t exist – what would I be doing?
  • What would I like to spend most of my time on?
  • Is there any social media I can get rid of?
  • What can I make my morning routine? My nightly routine?
  • What does self-care mean for me?
  • How can I do something to stop giving into this character flaw: when I’m around people, I tend to take on their energy level and emotional state regardless of what I feel or think.
  • How can I do something to stop giving into this character flaw: I feel extreme physical and emotional pain when I say “no” or when I don’t do, feel, or want what people want me to do, feel, or want. I feel like I’m an evil, bad person and am doing the wrong thing.
  • And the one question I’ve never even bothered to try answering (because I feel it’s impossible) – what would I do if money was not an issue?
  • LASTLY – I’d like to print this out and actually pay attention to this blog post I just wrote. Instead of simply shaping the chaos inside me into words and letting it go. I’d like to actually act on this. All the knowledge in the world is useless without acting on it, integrating it into my life and habits.
  • Then (yes, I know, I said lastly but I wrote it, I get to break my own rules – writers kinda do that all the time), I want to write a blog post titled, “A Year of Learning” and be honest with myself and you.
  • Am I going to spend my life trying to survive or am I going to live intentionally, aware, and awake, consciously going in the direction of who I am to become and what I have to give?

 

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I don’t want to make these lists and answer all of these questions in the next few days before the next year begins. Oh no. That’d be impossible and pointless.

I want to answer these questions and create these lists over the next year. By year 2021 I want to have answers. I want to learn something about myself. I want to live my own life, instead of spend my days and nights in a distraction haze, trying to survive.

I’ve been a little lifeless this year here on my blog. It’s not because I don’t have a desire to write or be expressive. The reasoning is a little more depressing. I’m afraid. I’m swamped by stress to the point I can’t think straight or cope with anything in a healthy way. I’ve spent this year falling apart.

I want more. I want 2020 to be a year of rebuilding. Only, I get to choose the building blocks and I get to choose what I’m creating.

What are some questions and lists you want to make this upcoming year? What do you want?

Stream of Consciousness

Wish Me Luck

I have begun working on ANOTHER work in progress story. I really enjoy this one so far and I feel like it can blossom into a story I will continue to enjoy.

This is the 5th WIP I have begun since I realized I wasn’t writing for me or the stories I wanted to write. Since then I have decided that I am going to simply keep beginning stories until I find one that is truly MY STORY to tell, instead of something I know will be “acceptable”.

I don’t think the purpose of a writer is to tell the safe stories. I think we are meant to poke at what people don’t want to but know they need. To make a safe place to deal with emotions, fears, questions, doubts. To hold a mirror up to the reader, to community, to society as a whole. To create a home where we want to live with characters who treat us with respect, kindness, and dignity while being honest and candid. A story is an escape from all the ugliness this world can throw at us. It’s a way to recharge, reconnect with ourselves, our dreams, and with others.

A story can not be any of these things if I am playing it safe. If I am afraid to be who I am as a writer.

No, I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But no one is EVERYONES cup of tea and that’s kind of the point.

So wish me safe travels, will you?

I’m packing my bags, putting on sturdy shoes, and jumping off the cliff, into the unknown.

(A novel is 80,000 to 100,000 words.)

Stream of Consciousness

Soul Under Construction

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.

– Sade Andria Zabala

I used to think I understood this quote. On some level my soul recognized its truth, and I knew it meant something for me. A blurry old friend I never remembered making but KNEW I was intimate with even if I didn’t recognize their face.

I get it now.

Stream of Consciousness

RePaint Your Lips

Why do we hedge ourselves in? Trapping ourselves in teeny little boxes until we cannot even lift our heads to grow toward the sun, see the sky, or feel our own soul?

Why do we believe the lies swarming in our faces, plugging our ears until we cannot hear our own voices?

The way to know life is to love many things. – Vincent Van Gogh

We are more than one thing, one emotion, one desire, one purpose, one joy.

We don’t need to wonder why we are hollow. Why we are suffocating.

Pick up your own paintbrush, pen, instrument, keyboard, whatever – and repaint, rewrite your own vision.

Stand up. Throw your box in the recycling bin. Live.