I feel like I could write a post like this every few months! I get so many ideas so frequently, and my passions for a multitude of areas flare up and I consistently have so very much that I want to do.
And I find sometimes, the more I want to do, the less I actually get done.
I'm sure I've written about this before because I've definitely felt like this before. But of course, I do tend to revisit the same old lessons (you know, to strongly cement the learning as a new pattern or something progressive like that!)
There's a lot to consider when we're passionate people feeling strongly about ten different things at once - motivation, resources, priorities, time management, etc. I know for me, I find it challenging to balance what's most important, what is calling me loudest and give it sufficient attention, without worrying about what's going to the wayside in the meantime.
So lately, I've been thinking seriously about what exactly it is that I want to do. What is it that I want to be working on right now to be where I want to be. (If you haven't had a similar brainstorm, I'd recommend it for a bit of clarity/direction/head-
It's funny how often I've projected my dreams into some future "me" thinking, nearly narrating them in a "when I grow up" manner. Realistically, there is no reason not to bring my dreams into the now. In fact, there is an abundance of reasons to do just that and have come to that realization, I got a bit overwhelmed and frustrated at my impressive lack of action towards these grandiose endeavors that ignite my inner fire.
But, I was taught before that frustration means that we really care about something. And what we can do with frustration is turn it into inspiration. Inspiration is our fuel to act; to get going on the things we want to get done and finally bring them to fruition.
This is what my action plan is looking like now, to do just that:
1. Test Your Desire
I was in the park the other day, working through all my thoughts on this subject when I found a helpful tool on how to give myself a bit of a kick up the ass. I was thinking about all that I want to do - write a book, give talks, life coach, teach meditation, speak up about sustainability/environmental/
Saying those things made me feel sick. I genuinely felt it physically. It was upsetting. Even though I knew, I was just trying to really feel how much I want those things, it still was a reality I refused to physically or mentally sit with.
Acknowledging that, I know, I will achieve each and every goal I set. But, I also know, that if I don't work towards them, that sick, uncomfortable, devastating feeling becomes my reality.
And I think for a lot of us, not listening to our dreams and not pursuing our passions, gives us a low level of that discomfort, that sick and sad feeling of not being connected to the life we really want, every single day. We get down, feel irritable, demotivated and off, and we wonder why. Maybe we need to look at how we're working to cultivate a life that makes us feel good. Maybe we need to ask ourselves, are we doing the work that our dreams ask of us? And if not, when are we going to start?
I haven’t been working full-time consistently as I’m on a working holiday visa at the moment and it's really interesting seeing how I use my spare time. I think we often delude ourselves that if only we had more time, we'd do more to work on our dreams. (Maybe it's just me?) But I really thought, that with more time off, I'd be writing more, I'd be a master of meditation, I'd stretch and handstand my days away and have read multiple books at this stage. No prizes for guessing how accurate I was!
The thing is, as Tony Robbins says and as I've written about before, it's not about resources, it's about resourcefulness. And I've actually found I've been channeling my creativity differently or making time for other things or quite honestly, wasting a lot of time on social media/procrastination. As I said, it's interesting.
Now though, having had a heart-to-heart with myself in the park, I've realized that what I want is routine. Everyday whether I have work or not, I want to assess my priorities and plan according to them. I want to wake up at the same time each day and establish how I intend to use my time to work towards my dreams. The fact is, my job right now is just to pay bills, develop new skills and enjoy myself, but the real work is what I want my future to be and if that's not part of my daily routine, then I am telling myself resoundingly that I am not going to achieve my dreams.
3. Intentions / Checklists
Clarity is a beaut of a word to me and it's at the core of how I get going on anything. If I want to write about a topic, I will define all the important words for that idea before I even try to begin. If I want to figure things out, I will get clear on all the whirling thoughts in my mind. Clear intentions make the difference in a massive way.
So obviously, we need to identify what it is that we intend to do. What do we want to get done? How are we intending to get there? What is necessary to do it? How can we work on it every single day? Do we need help? Have we got everything we need?
I write all these things down. I highlight all the ideas that need action, the ways in which I can begin and what has to happen for them to happen. Even simple things matter, if your motivation is waning, write down easy things just to get that dopamine hit of checking them off. I had a delightful checklist today because as I'll elaborate on in the next point, I've been fantastic at procrastinating since realizing how much I want to accomplish. So to kick-start my new routine, I made it very doable. And yes I still procrastinated, but I procrastinated smarter. If I was putting off something on my list, I was doing something else on the list, so everything got done and I still achieved results regardless of the order it happened in.
And I have had a very productive and satisfying day. Don't underestimate the power of getting little things done, they can be the fundamental foundation for the much bigger things.
I wrote about discipline recently. I got really enthusiastic and empowered by it at the time too. And then yesterday, having had this breakthrough about motivation and dreams and how I can get stuck right into everything, I... watched a spectacular amount of Netflix and hardly engaged with my learnings at all.
I think that happens sometimes when we realize we're at the point of pertinent change, but aren't entirely enamored with everything that encompasses. Because honestly, it requires effort. And consistency. And challenges.
And Netflix does not.
We are human and yes, we are not going to feel 100% motivated at all times, and that is okay. But it doesn't mean we need to make a habit of it. Discipline means that we show up even when we cannot be remotely bothered. It means we start. And from starting something, our energy will begin to increase, we'll get into it and we'll actually enjoy the process. For me anyway, I definitely appreciate the need for discipline to get me started in the right direction.
Just do it. Just begin. Just remind yourself why this matters to you and get your head in the game. You'll really appreciate it afterward.
5. Enjoy the Process
I guess when we look at our role models and idols doing what we want to do, we might underestimate how much work they've put into it. It all looks fun, rosy and effortless. The fact is, all good things require work. We need to continually show up and put the work in. I learned that in recovery, and now I suppose I'm remembering it for freedom. Wonderful things demand wonderful efforts. And that's not unfair or annoying, it's actually completely necessary.
But like recovery, we need to learn to enjoy the journey. Savor the lightbulb moments, celebrate the progress, laugh at the mistakes and revel in the learning. When we see a blog like this talking about routine and discipline and delivering our own ass-kicking, we might be put off. But all these things can genuinely be thoroughly enjoyable, once we put them into practice with an undercurrent of self-love and self-supporting motivation.
I hope that we can all get to live the lives we dream of, and I hope this blog helps motivate you to do just that.
We just get one shot, let's make it count!
About Yvonne Doherty
25-year-old Yvonne hails from Ireland but is currently exploring what life in the southern hemisphere has to offer. Having traveled through her own journey towards freedom and happiness, she now wants to share ideas on positive mental health, daring to live whole happy lives and overcoming anything that gets in the way of that. You can find more of these ideas in blog and poetry form over at daretolivesos.com and @daretolivesos on social media.