Friday, January 2, 2009
Ladders are handy dandy tools. I have a short version in my kitchen to make reaching the fondue pot in the upper cabinet easier. We used a long skinny version a few weeks ago to replace the dead Christmas light bulb at the very apex of the two story part of our house. (Why is it that the ones going out are at the top and not the ones over the porch that we can reach with high heels?) We have a nice collection of ladders to use in different situations. They help us reach what we desire.
I like reaching goals, too. Even ones that seem as far out of reach as that dead light bulb. There are ways you can help yourself attain success rather than accepting the status quo. Think of these as ladders that can help you reach higher and farther than you ever dreamed.
1. Set up your environment for success. If your goal is to lose weight, then stocking the pantry with Oreos is not a good thing. If your goal is to create a sewing project a week, then stashing your sewing machine and fabrics in the back of a closet is a bad idea.
Right now there is leftover chocolate cake on the counter from a New Year's bash we hosted. I hate to throw it out. It was expensive to bake (lots of pecans.) It is my favorite cake. However, I know as long as it is sitting on my counter, I'm going to be nibbling on it. That is not going to help me lose my fifteen pounds. I need to toss, purge, and restock the kitchen with healthy alternatives.
Set up your environment to support, not hinder, your goals. Organize your tools and creative area to support your dreams. Is there a tool or supplies you need? Find a way to get them or be creative and MacGyver something to use.
2. Stay Focused. I'll admit freely this is an issue with me. Being borderline ADD is not always a fun thing. If I choose some aspect of my writing career as a goal this year (and I have) then I should not volunteer to be an officer in my writing group or run a big project at church. It is a time commitment thing. Saying yes to something is also saying no to other things.
Be sure you are saying yes to the things that will help you get where you aim to go. To help me, I keep a copy of my goal poster as the background on my computer. (Digital cameras are fun!) I see it many more times a day than I would if I only had the one hanging in my closet.
3. Support systems work. Having an accountability partner for anything from exercise to Bible study helps both of you on days when you'd rather not. Having a cheering squad for your written work in progress is a motivator to type instead of veg in front of the couch. I know when I show up at the next meeting of my writer's group, two individuals are going to ask me about a short story I haven't finished. I really hate telling them I haven't worked on it.
4. Start on it. Some goals are big and scary. It is hard to know just where to begin. A friend says to swiss cheese these kinds of scary things. Start somewhere and poke holes in the to do list. Before long, the project has taken on energy and momentum.
5. Forgive yourself when you fall off the ladder. Not reaching a goal is a temporary thing. Pick yourself up, brush off the dirt, readjust your sights, and start climbing again.
Will you need a little ladder or a big one to reach your goals? I am going to need several in different shapes and sizes. Climb on up! The view is much better from up here.