7 truths on and off the trail

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As I often do while hiking, I pray. I meditate. I search my soul and ask what it longs for most. I plot my goals or a story outline. While trekking through the desert this weekend, it’s as if life made a little more sense to me on and off the trail with these truths: 1) Danger is always possible: prepare for the unexpected and proceed with caution. 2) To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. 3) Remember where you came from: embrace your roots. 4) Keep your eyes open for love: it can show up in unlikely places. 5) Obstacles [aka mountains] are inevitable: it’s our choice whether to scale or avoid them. 6) If it’s meant to be, new growth finds a way. 7) When we think we’ve made it unscathed, another obstacle looms in our path: if it’s the same one, quit going around it and tackle it head on.

Which truth(s) can you relate to everyday life?

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Breaking free: rote action is no action

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I write about change. About Someday. About setting goals, taking baby steps, chasing dreams. Extending kindness and sparkles. Eliminating toxic people from our lives; hopefulness. Perseverance. What’s next. And then I “get” busy. Push it all to the back of my closet as I flit from task to task. Pretend I’ve taken hold of life by its proverbial horns. But my tiara is tarnished and I’m tired and all I want to do is jump off the non-stop roller coaster and figure stuff out before it’s too late. I think, for me, discontent no longer points to an unrealized purpose but, rather, my own personal purgatory where life isn’t just passing me by (see “Take action…”). Instead, it’s the rotten stench of anguish and despair that almost suffocates and renders me ineffective. Rote action is no action. Busy-ness can only put off, so long, what must be accomplished to escape from the grip of fear: of failure, regret. The unknown. So, what’s next?

How will you break free?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taking stock: evaluating the process

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Taking stock

 

The goal thing seems to be working for me (see Crush your goal(s) one step at a time): I set a realistic amount of time to work on my book project each week and adjust my life around it. The first week I tallied in a bit shy of my goal, however, after a few tweaks I settled into a comfortable writing groove. But then two things happened: 1) I got stuck; i.e., I’ve forgotten most of several weekend’s worth of mountain musings where I fleshed out characters and plot points; and 2) Two new writing opportunities fell into my lap: one a contest and the other a guest blog post (both with back-to-back deadlines). Rather than view these new commitments as diversions, though, I’d like to think of them as opportunities to bend and stretch my writer’s muscles. This way, I can remain flexible so I’m ready to jump back into my book project when the time is write.

How is the goal thing working for you?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Crush your goal(s) one step at a time

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Crush your goals

Sometimes the smallest step in the right
direction ends up being the biggest step
of your life. Tiptoe if you must,
but take a step. ~ Anonymous

This past weekend I finally compiled a list of tangible steps to achieve my writing goals in 2016, which includes 1) a self-imposed weekly target of allotted time I plan/need to work on my projects and 2) a loose map of what that looks like. But now a brand new weekend is fast approaching and, while reviewing my packed schedule, I noticed I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I had hoped to accomplish. So what happens when life interrupts our attempts at crushing these goals? It just means we might not achieve an aim or desired result that day or week. This might require us to either re-evaluate our goals to ensure they are realistic, or review our schedules and clear out any time wasters. And then tiptoe if we must, but take a step. And another.

What’s your goal?

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Be a goal-getter: turn your wishes into reality

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Goal-setter

Goals that are not written down are just wishes. ~ Unknown

The other day I learned something about myself: I’m a talker. OK, I’ve known this truth ever since I got in trouble for running my mouth in the first grade and nothing much has changed. But, sometimes I’m filled with an overabundance of hot air and neglect to back up my words with action. Yet I schedule everything from reminders to take my vitamins to run a load of laundry to how I’m going to accomplish 8-10 hours of fitness each week; map out prayer time and volunteer goals and even pencil in writing time. However, the latter is only a wish—a loose suggestion—because, although written down, no goals support it. What do I want to write? How much should I write daily? And so on. Last weekend I finally carved out time, took pencil to paper and turned my writing wishes into goals. Stuff just got real.

Are you a dreamer or a goal-setter?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The secret of change, according to Socrates

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socrates

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy
not on fighting the old, but on building
the new. ~ Socrates.

In my post, ‘Things turn out best for people like this,’ I talk about experiencing the soul-wrenching disappointment when our best laid plans end up going to hell in a hand basket instead. But the more I reflected on how the circumstances of my wake-up call played through, the more convinced I became that, when it appears the bottom fell out, what might be taking shape is the formation of a safety net. Maybe that one thing I had been prepping for, anticipating with every fiber of my being, would not have been in my best interests. Perhaps it would’ve placed me further from my hopes and dreams—the goals that comprise my daily attention. Instead of focusing my energy on fighting the old—the past—however, my eyes are now fixed on the present and building the new.

How do you respond to change?

Image courtesy of mrpuen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Cut yourself a little slack

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Cut yourself slack

 

When you leave town in two days, your adult child needs her mommy; you work overtime to stock up the refrigerator, toss extra loads of laundry in the wash and get the house in order; your day job deadlines loom; health issues mean extra doctor appointments; you accept another yoga challenge and the cat vomits on your leather sofa—you might not be able to accomplish each of the steps you’ve outlined to achieve your goals. I reminded myself of this when the time I set aside to write the other night came and went (after more than a month of daily writing). If I expect to pursue my dreams guilt free, then I must also cut myself slack when I’m sidetracked by life. Instead of writing for a prescribed period, maybe I pare it to half or jot down thoughts whenever possible. Once (most) everything is under control, however, it’s important to dive right back in.

How do you know when it’s time to cut yourself slack?

Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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