With the beginning of a new year, many people - myself included - make resolutions and promises to themselves about all the things they will either stop or start doing in the year to come, or about things they intend to accomplish, places they will go, and so on. This is all good, but there's a chance we'll put so many things on our list that we'll feel completely overwhelmed just a few weeks into the new year, and then - before we know it - we're "back to normal", back in the same old routines.
Setting goals is a great thing, though, as long as you make them S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. And if you write them down, there's a much bigger chance of you actually making them come true. Research has shown that people who write down their goals accomplish them to a much higher degree than those who don't write them down. So why don't you set a big, hairy goal for yourself this year, and then make sure you take S.M.A.R.T. steps towards it? Don't set yourself up for failure by just putting it out there as a WISH and then forgetting about it. Write it down, and decide when you want to accomplish it. Set smaller goals that show how you will reach your BIG goal, and write down Action Steps that you will take, little by little, to get there. And get clear on WHY you want to do this or accomplish this, because the bigger your WHY is, the more likely you are to see it through.
And remember: You are the only one who can decide what your life is going to look like. You are the only one who can take the necessary steps to reach your goals. Don't keep doing the same old things over and over again and expect things to change. You have to DECIDE to change, and you have to TAKE ACTION. YOU are the creator of your own life, and ONLY YOU.
So stop living in the past, - that's not where you're going! - and stop blaming the things that happened before, or your childhood, or your current circumstances or other people for where you are in your life right now. If you're not happy with the way things are: Change them! You're not a tree. You can move around. You can take steps towards the things you want, even if you don't know exactly where to go. Just start doing SOMETHING. Start from where you ARE, but START! The things and people and circumstances you need in order to succeed, will come to you - if only you start moving in some direction or other.
You are unique, you are great, you are wonderful, and there's nothing you can't do or be. So set some hairy goal for yourself this year and set S.M.A.R.T. goals to get there.
I'm making new rules for my life. I have lived so many years according to other people's rules, and quite frankly: They haven't served me all that well. I have always felt it deep inside, that something was wrong, and that living within the frames that either my family, the Christian community, teachers, or society in general set for me (and for everybody else), wasn't always right for me. But it took me almost 5 decades to realize it: That living by other people's rules was not what I came here to do, and that I can actually make my own. What a relief!
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that we shouldn't have rules at all. Some rules, like traffic regulations and rules that help us keep "law and order" in our society and avoid complete chaos, - some general rules for human behavior, like not stealing from others, etc. - are, of course, necessary. I'm referring more to those other rules... the unwritten ones, if you see what I mean, rules that say we "can't live like this or that", or that we must get an education, find a job, get married, buy a house, have children, not strive to get rich, - and the general belief that we must work hard most of our lives to earn money, and then we can retire when we're in our 60's and do all the things that we really want to do. What a lot of rubbish! I say: Live your life while you can! You have no guarantees about tomorrow. All you have is the here and now. So make sure you make the most of it! Don't put off until tomorrow or some time in the distant future the things you really love doing. You came here to live your life the way only you can, and you should follow your gut instinct and not just what other people think you should be doing. They don't know you like you do. Only you know what's best for YOU. So go for it! What are you waiting for?
I know, I know... There are challenges... obstacles .... other people to consider ... I've been there, too... But at least do yourself the favor of making a plan and start moving in the direction of what you really want, one small step at a time, if necessary. You don't have to make quantum leaps, - at least not to begin with. And I know: It's hard to make changes, and especially if you have to do it all alone and don't have anyone to support you or guide you in the process. But we are many who are on the same journey, and who would be happy to get to know you and walk that road together with you. I'm one of them. I hereby invite you to get in touch. Let's do this together! It's definitely more fun that way!
"Whatever you do, be YOU and not a copy of someone else." This hit me right now as I was thinking and re-thinking about what it is that I want to do with my online presence, - in fact: not only with my online presence, but with my LIFE. Yes, I want to inspire, motivate and empower women to live their life unapologetically on their own terms. But not only women, - ALL people! I want to show them that being who they are is enough. I want them to be proud of who they are and feel confident in their own skin. I want them to really understand it and feel it with all their heart and in their bones. That they are valuable. Unique. Wonderful!
The big question I'm asking myself over and over again is "HOW can I do that?" And the answer came to me, pure and simple: "Whatever you do, be YOU and not a copy of someone else."
I have tried and tested... changed my words with the hope that I would reach more people by doing so ... I have spent hours, days, weeks and months trying to learn from others who have succeeded in building an audience online... I've invested time and money in it. I've had plans. I've been persistent. I've followed other people's advice about what I should do to get through to "my specific audience".... But deep inside, I feel that all this... all my efforts... they're not showing the whole picture of who I really am. Because I'm not a strategist (even though I'm good at making plans), and if a task takes too long before I see any results, I get impatient. I get bored! I'm a creative person. I don't have ONE passion. I have many! I find it hard to focus on just ONE thing that I should share with others. I'm a social, outgoing person who loves to interact with people, and at the same time I'm a person who really appreciates some alone-time and don't have any problem with spending hours on my own... But most of all I want to be with people and talk, interact, laugh, engage in good conversations, share a good meal, inspire, motivate and help others, and also learn from them and grow, spiritually and as a person. And my passion really is in the creative field, but I've been hiding that side of me for so many years that it scares me stiff to even think that I should "go for it"... that I should "come out of the closet" and show my true self ... the XXXXX in me ... Damn! I can't even say the word...! Because I'm afraid it will back-fire on me.... that people will throw that word back in my face and say: "Ha! An XXXXXX!? Who does she think she is!?" So I'm going to spend a few more days in my "closet" now, thinking about what to do about it... How to be true to myself, - how to REALLY show myself and others that I live what I preach: That being me is enough, and that I will stand tall and not be afraid to show it .... so that they can really get my message and understand that they are enough, too. Because it's really the only way to truly live: "Whatever you do, be YOU and not a copy of someone else."
Have you ever experienced that you've had this feeling for so long, some sort of knowledge deep inside of you that there is something you're supposed to do, but you can't really get to the bottom of it ... you can't seem to figure out exactly WHAT it is that you're supposed to do? And then you search your soul inside and out, you analyze and rationalize and try to find the answer ... find out what is your purpose... And one day you think you've found the answer, and you start moving in that direction, start preparing for your "big break-through", the day when you're really going to go for it...take action... and you're scared to death by the mere thought of it, but this time you've decided that enough's enough, - you're going to do it no matter what... And you feel excited, inspired, even determined... and then something happens ... something that makes you think again... something that suddenly makes you think: Is this REALLY what I'm supposed to do? Is this really what I WANT to do? And you say to yourself: "Stop it! This is just you getting cold feet! This is just your FEAR shining through! Go for it! You've been planning for it so long, you will be a failure if you DON'T do it!" And still.... your gut feeling says: "WAIT! You've been going for something without really checking your compass... your "true North". Your inner guide or your Higher Self is trying to get through to you and ask you to think again."
And suddenly you're right back where you started: You don't know what you're supposed to do. You know where you want to END UP - what you want your life to look like when everything is going your way, but you don't know HOW to get there or what to do.
I experience this, too. A lot. But I believe that I just need to keep on doing the things I love, no matter how much I doubt myself, and I will find my way. I will find my "true North". Because I know one thing for sure: If I don't start moving, no matter what direction I start off in, I won't get ANYWHERE. I just have to do SOMETHING, and my inner compass (or God, or the Universe, or whatever word feels right for you) will guide me where I need to go. It's like when you want to go somewhere in your car and you don't know how to get to that place. You won't get anywhere unless you actually start the engine, and then - if you have a GPS, you just have to trust that it will guide you all the way to your destination. But you need to start the engine and head off in one direction or other, or you won't get anywhere. So listen to your heart and figure out what you truly want, and then take action. Again. And again. Start off in any direction, - just get off the couch and start doing the things you love. Show up in your own life. Make yourself available to people and circumstances that God / the Universe will send your way, and you will discover what you need to do. People and circumstances will appear. Opportunities will show up. Even if you've tried several times already and still haven't discovered your "true North". Things don't happen over night (at least not very often). They take time, and if you're constantly doubting yourself, or you're not even sure what it is that you truly want, God / The Universe will have a hard time arranging circumstances and opportunities that can be directed towards you so you can take advantage of them. So get clear on what it is that you want, and then forget about the HOWs and simply trust your inner compass / GPS / God / The Universe to take care of that. Relax, but keep moving in the direction of what you want, - show up, be happy and do what you love. And be GRATEFUL for what you already have. Trust. Have faith. But get clear. Be specific. And take ACTION.
Every morning when I wake up, I try to start with a positive thought. Sometimes I feel very tired and don’t want to leave my bed, but then I quickly try to turn my thoughts in a more positive direction, and I give thanks. I say: “Thank you for this new day and new opportunity. I am grateful that I’m in good health, and that this will be a good day.” I believe that if I start my day with the intention that it will be good and that I will make the best of it, I have a much better chance of actually having a good day.
I’ve done my share of worrying and thinking negatively in my life, and it has never done me any good, so I choose to pursue happiness. Every day I try to do things that make me happy, and I try to live in the moment and not worry too much about what might come next. It has been revolutionary to my life. I’m not saying that I never have worries, but if I do start worrying about something, I quickly correct myself and remind myself of the fact that 80 % of what I worry about, never happens. The only thing worrying does for you, is take away today’s joy. It doesn’t change yesterday, and it doesn’t help much for tomorrow. I’m not saying that you should walk around with your head in the clouds or think that everything will solve itself if only you think positive thoughts. You need to take positive actions to make sure you can support yourself and you need to take care of your health and look out for yourself and try to be wise about your money. But there is much to gain by a positive attitude. We tend to get what we think about, so make sure you concentrate on thinking about the things you want and not the ones you don’t want. It really makes all the difference. But don’t take my word for it. Try it out.
If you have a shitty life right now and feel an urge for a change, start out by asking yourself these 3 questions: What do I want? WHY do I want it / why is it important to me? and What do I need to do to achieve it?
Take your time and think it over properly. Write down your answers. Then write down 3 small, measureable actions that you can do right now or by this time tomorrow, to get you started. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Make sure the steps or actions you take are doable, like if you want to start singing, decide that you will sit for 10 minutes and write down songs you want to sing. That’s all. 10 minutes. Then perhaps your next action could be that you will spend 10 minutes the next day to rehearse the lyrics of one of those songs. And so on. Baby steps. That’s what you need to make if you’re going to get started at all, because if you decide to make too many changes or too big a step, you will not see it through. To change your life, or to change your habits, you need time, at least 3 months before you do your new routines automatically. But start NOW. Do something today that your future self will thank you for. Pursue happiness. Start doing more of the things that bring you joy. I intend to do the same.
Hi, I'm Else Kosberg, multi-passionate coach, motivational speaker & writer, and a firm believer in the unique value and greatness of all of us and in the freedom we all have to live our lives unapologetically on our own terms, regardless of gender or ethnic, cultural or religious background. I will forever be a warrior for peace, love and understanding across the world, and I'm on a mission to help, inspire and empower women to live according to the above mentioned principles and become financially free.