If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you. ~Les Brown
As my debut novel, The Lake House hit the shelves in early May, I was overwhelmed with work and found that I had little time for social activities. In an effort to reorganize for efficiency, I tracked the time I spent on tasks. To my surprise, in one day I logged over three hours just on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, sending emails and texts.
Now total that by seven and I’ve spent almost a full day of my week online. Multiply it by fifty-two weeks and a month and a half of my year have disappeared into the Internet. Frightening!
When you couple in workloads, household tasks, taking care of those we love, commuting, and watching our favorite television programs along with other activities it’s easy to see how a life can slip away without the focus being on our dreams becoming reality.
Why Creating a Life-list is Important
Most people say, “Someday I’ll ___________.” But the truth is that someday will never come when buried under the mountain of responsibility and exhaustion from overloading stimuli.
Five years ago, I made a life-list of 101 dreams I wanted to come true and I made a promise to go after my dreams with everything I had no matter how afraid I became or what roadblock I encountered. Having made this promise, I hung the list in a prominent place in my home and made it my mission to pursue as many as possible each year. I’ve now completed 90 of my biggest dreams.
The list contained four categories:
Examples: Create an incredible group of friends who like to get the most out of life. Learn to communicate without need or expectation. Stop worrying about perfection. Fall in love with life, the world and myself.
Live in Tuscany for a month. Raft the Futaleufu River in Chile. Go to Carnival in Rio. See and photograph the slot canyons.
Write a novel and get it published. (The Lake House Gallery Books/ Simon & Schuster May 7, 2013). Start my own company (Elegant Bridal Designs).
Things I Want to Learn
Learn to Salsa and Tango. Become a competitive figure skater. Learn photography.
The incredible thing about the list was that I had no idea how I was going to accomplish any of it. Most of the items felt impossible, but something miraculous happened when I placed my intention and set these goals – I began to see doorways and I refused to quit no matter what happened. Instead of spending hours watching television I went to classes. I rearranged my schedule to write. I said, ‘yes’ to opportunities. Once I made the promise, my life became focused on making my dreams come true instead of letting life happen to me.
People make lists for the grocery store. They write down household repairs and upgrades, yet many don’t make a plan for their lives. In this world of technology, it’s too easy to lose your time in a virtual world instead of getting out and exploring this incredible playground we call life.
So how do you start? Sit down with a pen and paper and think about everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Dream bigger than you can see yourself being. Realize if you’re afraid then you’re on the right track. Fear tells you that you want it so badly it would hurt not to accomplish it.
Now I have to get off of my computer because the time I’ve allotted for work is up. Next on the list is to learn how to play on silks at an acrobatic school.