This morning I sent my kids off with the words, “Make a difference in someone’s life today.” I don’t always say those exact words. But I do always say things with the goal of empowering them. They have the power to create the life they want, the relationships they want, and the future they want.
I got married in 2005 at twenty years old and had my first child 11-months later. Yes, it was on purpose. LOL. I was a Mormon at the time, at BYU, and hated the way birth control messed with my head. In my young, religious mind, throwing the pills away and starting our family was the logical step. From there my husband and I moved to Michigan for him to go to Law School (baby 2), Miami for a summer internship, then London (baby 3), NYC, San Diego and finally Texas. Exhausted yet? I sure was. (Photo from 2013. Me: 28-years-old)
Throughout all those moves, I had to decide what our life at home was going to look like. I chose to be proactive in building a life that I enjoyed. I was not chasing a career – but I was chasing the kiddos while my husband pursued his career. Not for everyone, but it’s the path we were on. I had 1, 2, or 3 kids in tow depending on the move. If I didn’t intentionally build the life I wanted, I was going to get lost in the chaos.
Sound relatable? Maybe your chaos is in the form of children, like mine was. Or maybe it’s a demanding career, extended family that needs your help, overwhelming financial obligations, health issues out of your control, or who knows, maybe a farm with a bunch of animals. The chaos in each of our lives is unique to our situation. Empowering ourselves to build the life that we want, that is universal.
Below I’ve linked some ways to get started. To me, knowing your WHY is the most important step. When you know WHY you do things, want things, pursue things, it makes the hard work lighter.
Getting started: check out this podcast.
Stefanie Faye studied neuroscience at NYU and has amazing content. According to her, habits and daily rituals are the way we fill most of our time. Breaking negative habits is difficult. If we can get past the uncomfortable stage and reset our behaviors, we can set ourselves on the path to build habits that lead us to our desired outcome. We have the power to do that.
Decide what matters to you the most.
Lots of things matter, of course. But there are a few things that drive your decision making, bring you joy, and give you a sense of fulfillment. These are the things that matter the MOST. I label these behavior-driving forces as my values.
Check out this PDF to help you define your values.
Make actionable & measurable goals.
Creating the life that you want is going to take effort and time. We are stubborn creatures who detest change. It makes us uncomfortable. We want to fall back into our familiar routines. But, if those habits aren’t putting us on a path that brings us fulfillment, then we will never get there.
One piece of advice I have for you is to start small! More epic advice: Be forgiving to yourself. Seriously! Stefanie Faye emphasizes that when we are shifting onto a new course, we are making micro-changes. Over time those tiny alterations evolve into the bigger change that we want.
My yoga instructor reminds us to breath into the stretch, don’t force it. Our body will evolve, will become more flexible with time. It takes consistent work!
The last piece of curriculum for you is a great fiction novel, The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig. Through a beautifully narrated story the author points out that we all have value and the act of living is our purpose. We get to decide what that living looks like. Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in there will be hard times, good times, depressing times, and moments of pure joy. It is all part of the journey and when we accept that, find peace with that, then we will be ready for whatever life brings us.
Thanks for tagging along as this blog unfolds. Be Real. Be You. Be Intentional.