A few months ago a friend sent me a private message seeking advice about “getting things done”. She wondered: how, in the middle of raising kids, do we go about achieving those goals and dreams we all have?
With her permission, I have included an excerpt from that message.
Hi Patty! I observed your journey last year and wanted to pick your brain. My husband repeats a quote of his coworker that keeps sticking in my mind, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard” I struggle to work hard at really anything– but sticking to a craft and honing it is somewhat maddening to me! I see you really utilizing your talent– but putting in the hard work to make it happen. Do you have succinct advice or tips that helped you or guided you to achieve your goals? I suppose I should be clear about what it is I want to achieve myself! Any advice would be appreciated!!! Thank you so much! I hope you and the fam are well!
1. Have accountability
Find someone or something that is counting on you to get your goals done. I have a friend who has tried multiple fitness avenues and finally found her sweet spot with a boot camp. She is up before her kids and husband and puts in the hard work because of this group of women working out together.
For my fitness goals, it is two precious women in my neighborhood who I walk with regularly. I am now held accountable to my fitness goals because of this commitment.
For my blog it was committing to provide 2 posts per month and provide a monthly email update. My “audience” no matter the size was counting on me/expecting this. (And yes, if you’re on my email list…you haven’t heard from me lately. Ha ha. I promise that is coming soon!)
2. Don’t be afraid to pivot.
3. Make a commitment to yourself and be proud of your accomplishments.
When you love yourself and love the thing that you long to do, the commitments become harder to break.
4. Keep your personality in mind.
5. Designate some creative space on the regular.
A Little Reality Check
I’ll be quick to admit that this is HARD with three kids. Where do I find the time to pick up my guitar or write regularly? In the verbiage of one of my favorite podcasts Hope*Writers, I work in the ‘cracks’ and ‘crevices’ of life. I snag those moments in carline to jot down an idea. I hop on my computer while the kids are watching a show. Some days, like today, I skip the nap that sounds so good in order to edit blog posts. There’s no surefire way to get it done but there is one thing that seems to be consistent in reaching goals. To steal Nike’s timeless and powerful phrase. “Just do it.” Don’t wait for perfect conditions. Just start moving. Whether that is a hairy audacious fitness goal that starts as a quick walk around the block or photography aspirations that begin with a commitment to take more pictures. Find the cracks; find the crevices. Do it.
Be a Kid in the Candy Store
In the past 18 months, I have felt like a kid in the candy store. I want it all. I want to try it all.
- playing guitar
- shooting manual with my camera
- voice lessons and I’m contemplating piano
And yes, I designed this t-shirt because why not?!
I love the excitement of children. Presently my five year old wants to be a doctor, a fireman, and then she’ll be an “ambulance” followed by her career in law enforcement. And then just today she added that she wanted to collect the trash. And she has no doubts that she will accomplish it all.
I challenge you to be like my daughter.
You, my friend, are an amazing momma, wife, friend and neighbor but you are so much more than the people you love and serve. Do you love to bake? Take a cooking class? Do you miss your high-school chorus days? Join a local community choir. Do you miss painting? Dust off that canvas and create!
There’s no age when we have to stop learning or growing or doing new things.
You are so much more than the people you love and serve.
One Last Story
About six months ago, I was practicing before a voice lesson when I overheard my daughter echoing my vocal exercises. And I was struck by a possibility I had never considered before. When I began taking lessons, I really didn’t know the end game. I just thought, “Why not? Let’s give it a go..” In that moment, however, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was more for my children than myself. Was I setting an example for them to follow?
I don’t want them to ever be afraid to try something new. May they see in my example that it is never too late.
May they have the joy and bravery to try new things. Even if they aren’t very good at it. May they always love themselves enough to “give it a whirl” without fear of the outcome.
For my wishes to come true, however, they need an example. So here goes. I’m loving myself and trying new things and sporting t-shirts I designed because…why not?!