Every single decision you make moves you in a direction. Our entire lives are moving us in a direction. And the awesome thing is, we control EVERY choice we make. But, there have been many times when I have found myself in a place in life that I was unhappy with or would wonder: “How did I get here?!”
It’s not that I didn’t have control over my own life, the bigger problem was that I didn’t know WHERE I wanted to go, so my decisions were a hodge podge of whatever felt right in the moment and terribly inconsistent.
A few months ago I decided to get serious with my life and sit down and write out what I wanted out of life, what would truly make me happy. I didn’t let my doubtful brain tell me what was and wasn’t possible, I just went straight from the heart.
Some of the things that came out of my heart were not surprising – I wanted a strong marriage and a true friendship with my children, I wanted to make a REAL impact on other women’s lives. I wanted to be a giver and have the resources to leave a $100 tip on a $5 coffee bill for a struggling waitress. I wanted to use more of the creativity inside of me. I wanted to be more disciplined with my life and not have so many days where at the end I felt like I had wasted a good part of it. These are all things that I knew in my heart would bring a deeper happiness and fulfilment to my life.
SIDE NOTE: Lest you think I have fallen from my God-centered roots am only concerned with my personal happiness let’s do a little rudimentary theology. The chief end of man, after all, is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, is it not? And did God not make us to image Him? And is He not the master planner and architect? Did He not place within us gifts, desires, dreams and purpose? If He is first in my life and I am rooted in Him I should not fear digging deep into my heart and what makes me happy and making plans to chase after it. I would humbly argue, this practice is VASTLY glorifying to Him. Ok…back to the post.
So, after digging around and taking time and figuring out what makes me happy, I looked at my life and took stock of what I spent my time and energy doing to see if I was moving in that direction. I was…somewhat…but as I mentioned before, inconsistently. I would go on date nights with my husband…sometimes. I would stop what I was doing and read a book to my daughter or play legos with my son…sometimes, IF I felt like doing it in the moment. But feelings are funny things, they come and go. If you want to ACCOMPLISH something, you have to CHOSE to do it – consistently – despite feelings.
Now that I have a Vision Board (yes, it’s a physical piece of paper with my life goals on it, and because I’m me, it’s pretty and got lots of pictures and is hung where I can see it EVERY DAY) I can reference what I want out of life multiple times a day, and when I am faced with a decision to buy something frivolous that I don’t NEED, I can look at that board and see that what makes me even happier than a cute tank top from etsy, is to one day give that $100 tip. It let’s me live my life with PURPOSE. I am moving towards something. I am building something.
Saying NO to that tank top won’t let me give a $100 tip tomorrow. But saying no to 20 tank tops over the next year might. I have to be consistent, but at least now, I know WHY I am doing it, and my pesky feelings don’t run my life…I run my life.
So, what about you? Do you know what YOU want? It’s ok if it’s not all selfless and giving (like the $100 tip)…some of my goals are selfish too! I want to put my kids through college, I want to run a 1/2 marathon, I want to build a career where I get to use ALL my gifts, I want to live in a foreign country with my kids and so many more.
The important thing is to sit down and make a list – and don’t let yourself edit out things you want because you don’t think it could ever happen. Just write it down. Stop being afraid. Put it out there, and see if there’s something small you can do every day to move you closer to seeing it become a reality. And don’t give up. Dreams this big don’t happen overnight, or in a week, or a month, or even in a year, but if you are consistent and BELIEVE in the process – oh my – you just might go miles further than you ever thought possible.
If you want to make a vision board, but you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at my Chasing Dreams Pinterest Board for tons of inspiration!