Now that you know what is important to you, you have a foundation for creating and making your dream life happen.
I like to take the big picture (my written “dream life”) and break it down into smaller, more doable objectives. That means I first have to decide my priorities. This changes year by year, month by month, week by week. Most of your written “dream life” can probably be divided into easy to distinguish categories like physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and so on. And you will probably have these categories for both your personal dreams and also your family dreams. To start, you can pick a priority from each category as not to overwhelm yourself.
Decide your priorities right now in your life based on your “dream life”.
Maybe your written “dream life” states that you want to be a fit, active woman that is confident and able to take on the physical demands of mothering while keeping up an active family life with hiking, biking, etc. You also want your home to be peaceful, orderly, and organized so that your whole family loves being there together and it is a calm setting. And lastly, you really want to have more quality, memorable time with your children.
These are possible examples from a written, big picture “dream life”. Now lets turn these few priorities pulled from the “dream life” into plans. Dream–Plan–Act.
Planning proceeds action. So how will you consciously plan to make those three dreams happen in your life?
- Fit, active mom
- Organized, orderly house
- Meaningful, quality time with children
Start by brainstorming all possible ideas to make those dreams happen. (Sometimes it helps to get ideas from others like a spouse, kids, close friends.)
Some examples might be:
- Fit, active mom: run mornings before husband leaves for work and build up to a 5k, do aerobic DVD after baby’s morning nap while baby is in highchair eating, go to the gym 3x a week after kids are in bed to do strength training, start a weekly weekend family hike somewhere locally…
- Organized, orderly, peaceful house: make a chore chart for the kids to help tidy before dinner, get rid of half of kids toys that aren’t used, make Saturday mornings family cleaning time with a family reward afterwards, establish places for everything in your house so kids know where things go, keep peaceful music playing in the house during rush hour getting everyone out the door….
- Meaningful, quality time with children: begin one on one time with kids, make a list of things the kids ask to do with you and commit to doing one thing each week, set aside one evening a week for special reading time with each child, organize a date night with each child once a month….
As you brainstorm possible ideas for making particular priorities happen, you’ll start to feel the enthusiasm that comes from creative problem solving. Remember, you are wanting to “own your life” which means, despite frustrating circumstances you may be in now or in the future, you are accepting full ownership. “Owning your life” means you try and try and try again new solutions, new approaches, new attitudes, until you succeed. As you accept full responsibility for your life you will let go of the victim voice and passionately embrace the powerful, pro-active voice. A victim never will achieve, push themselves, stop comparing themselves, and find fulfillment in themselves. A victim can’t move beyond someone else’s successes to see the total potential they themselves have. Only the pro-active person accepts their own life, looking to others only for possible inspiration, but then refocusing on their own life, both the personal strengths and struggles, and being determined to succeed.
Your brainstorming a plan of a particular priority will look very different from someone else’s with the same priority. Maybe you have a newborn baby and you want to start exercising, maybe you have many children and want to start exercising. Maybe you don’t have a car on some days to get around or maybe you’re in the car all the time. Maybe you have a tight schedule. Maybe you have a lot of time on your hands and are needing some time management. Maybe you can’t afford something that would make your planning/action for one of your priorities easier.
You are a powerful, creative being–you can find a custom-fit solution. If you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it work. That is what will make you achieve your dream life compared to someone who spends their time just dreaming about it. It may be trading babysitting with another mom, getting up early and going to bed early to have extra personal time, sacrificing buying orange juice each week to have extra money for a date night each month, dropping a scheduled activity for your child to start up a family game night each week, setting a personal reward for reaching a fitness goal for yourself, only checking your emails a few times a day, planning out meals to ensure your family is eating well and together, establishing a family meeting to decide as a group how to keep up the house, getting rid of your noisiest toys to start maintaining more of a peaceful house, taking the baby and kids with you for a power walk or jog for exercise, organizing one part of your house or one cupboard at a time each week, saving money by sharing a service (sewing, knitting, money management, gardening) with a friend’s child in return for their services (piano lessons, guitar lessons, art lessons) for your child for free…
Are you starting to get the vision here?
With planning, you can have it all. You can plan and make your dream priorities a reality. Our culture would say the goal of “having it all” is vain, totally unrealistic, and somehow materialistic. I couldn’t disagree more. “Having it all” means dreaming up what is important to you, carefully planning, tweaking, adjusting, taking action, and ultimately seeing success. “Having it all” has essentially nothing to do with material things (unless that is part of a worthwhile goal) and everything to do with self discipline, planning, and work.
I firmly believe we can have it all in this life. There will definitely still be tough days, days when our plans and actions don’t work at all, and when we fail. But we can always step back to focus on our written “dream life” and with motivation, jump back in to the plan with determination to have an incredible life.
Putting this post into practice:
- Using your written “dream life”, pull out the most important priorities to you to start with.
- Brainstorm possible ideas for making the priorities happen based in your life and circumstances right now.
- Decide to try out the best ideas from your brainstorming.
I’d love to hear–what would your two highest priorities be right now to try and implement?
More on the homeschooling series:
the sleepy time gal