Monday, April 26, 2010


We all have obstacles in our path.  Some obstacles are small and can easily be maneuvered around.  Others are giant mountains.  It's important to keep in mind that even the highest mountain can be climbed one step at a time.

Quite a few of my destinations have obstacles in the way, namely money and physical ability.  At this time I don't have the financial resources to take Tae Kwon Do classes or take 4 different music lessons.  I don't have the physical stamina to run a marathon, or up and down a soccer or football field multiple times.  Yet, there are things I can do to prepare myself for these things.  I can save money.  I can start living more frugally.  I can walk on a treadmill or around the block and build my stamina.

Life changing goals cannot be accomplished in a day.  It's important that you not get discouraged when things don't change immediately.  Each day you need to make a concentrated effort to follow your dreams.  Take it one step at a time and don't get discouraged by setbacks.  Keep a positive attitude and keep trying.  Some days will be easier than others, but don't let that keep you from doing more tomorrow.

As I briefly touched on the other day, it's difficult for me to do everything I want to do everyday. However, I feel great about everything that I am able to accomplish.  Perhaps, like me, you have many goals.  Don't try and do everything everyday, especially if you also have an issue with time.  Pick one or maybe two goals to work on each day instead of trying to do all of them every day.

Taking small steps everyday will bread down those obstacles, no matter how big they seem today.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Things I Have Learned So Far

In the past few weeks I have learned:

  • Piano is the easiest for me to practice every daily.
  • Guitar strings are not very expensive - if you get the cheap ones.
  • Violin strings are expensive - even if you get the cheap ones.
  • Waking up early to accomplish everything is difficult.
  • I do not accomplish everything every day.
  • Fingering for piano scales.  (Ok, I relearned this.)
  • I do not go in the kitchen as much as I thought.  (Apparently my husband did the dishes on Monday, I did not notice until Wednesday.)
  • 30 minutes goes by quickly when you're pursuing your dreams.
  • I can spend as much time at the music store as I can in the book store.
  • The music store closes at 6.
  • If you stay until 6:15, they are still nice about it.
  • I am happier now than I was 2 weeks ago.
  • I feel like I am already improving my life.
  • I am not a terribly great writer.  (My apologies to my readers!  I hope you stick around anyway!)
  • None of my posts have reflected my sense of humor, yet.
  • I am not so serious in real life.
Please share what you have learned in the comments!  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gathering Supplies

There sure seems to be a lot of prep work involved in following your dreams!  By now, we have a goal, a path and a plan, now we need supplies.  In order to progress, one must have the proper tools for success.  If you want to play an instrument you need to have access to the instrument, as well as accessories: a guitar pick, rosin for the bow, music books, etc.

Take a few minutes and determine what tools you need to get started.  If you don't have everything on hand to immediately get started, look for substitutions, or try your social network.  If you want to paint, you don't need canvas and oils, you can start with water colors on paper.  If you're just starting out, maybe just start with pencil and paper.  Practice shading, form, dimensions.  Save your money over time, so that when you're good at the small things, spending money on canvas and oil paints won't hurt your pocketbook, and you'll have a head start on the basics.

Above all, time is your most precious resource and the most important accessory you need to pursue your dreams.  You need to carve out time in your schedule to devote to your dream.  Sure, it's easy to come home after a long day, kick off your shoes and turn on the T.V., but is that really what you want to do with your life?  It will take some patience, but you really need to look at your day and figure out when you can focus on the things that bring you joy.  If your schedule is too full, what can you cut out?  What activities do you currently spend time on that do not reflect your goals?  Eliminate the activities that do not bring joy or enhance your quality of life.

If what you're doing isn't following your dreams, why are you doing it at all?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Making A Plan

Now that I have my destination chosen and my paths laid out for me, I need to make a plan so I can continually move forward.

To become a better musician I will need to practice each instrument 30 minutes a day, learn music theory and find resources to help teach me.  I will be teaching myself how to play these instruments in the beginning, so focusing on fundamentals, theory and technique will be important.  There are people in my life that play each instrument, so I can go to them for help so long as I don't abuse their generosity.

To be healthy and active I need to devote a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week to exercise.  Proper form and technique are very important so I do not injure myself.  There are a plethora of resources on the internet that can be used to teach myself the right way to exercise.

In addition to exercise, if I want to be truly healthy, I need to eat well.  Eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to increase nutrition without adding a ton of calories.  Also, I can make healthy substitutions to my daily meals.  For example, I can replace ground beef with ground turkey.  This is possible with almost any recipe, and I don't sacrifice flavor.  (Please consult a physician before embarking on any exercise and/or dietary changes.)

Lastly, to be more giving of myself.  I said before I don't know where I want to volunteer just yet.  Step number 1 is to write a list of organizations that I would like to give my time to.  Step number 2 is to research these organizations and find out what volunteer opportunities they have available.  If their needs meet my needs and capabilities I can then get a schedule and start.

As for being a better spouse, the first thing I think I should do is increase the frequency of housekeeping tasks when our schedules keep us apart so that when we are together we can focus on each other and not the dishes in the sink.

If you are in a situation where you are unable to finance lessons or tutors, etc to help you reach your goals, seek out your social network.  Perhaps you know someone that is talented in the area you are working on that would be willing to help you, or that would be willing to trade their talents and expertise for yours.  For example, if you are interested in writing perhaps you have a friend that is a writer or a teacher and could help edit and give pointers, in exchange for you helping them with a website, planting a garden or painting their fence.

Please share what plans and ideas you have in the comments.  We can all learn from each other!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Defining the Path: Destination 3

Destination #3:  Be More Giving Of Myself

  • I want to volunteer.  I honestly don't know where I want to volunteer yet.  There are a lot of charities and places that interest me.  What I need to do here is find out what would be the best fit for me.  I would love to volunteer in every organization that I found worthwhile, but there isn't enough time in my life.  My goal is to start slow; write a list of pros and cons; pick the organization that best fits my needs and capabilities, and provides me the the most fulfillment; then volunteer four hours a week.
  • I want to be a better spouse.  I tell my husband that I love him everyday, but there is so much more I could do for him.  I want to listen to him more, talk to him more often and spend more time being with him.  He works a lot and I'd love to spend his off hours relaxing and having fun with him instead of cleaning the house or giving him a huge "Honey-Do" List, or running errands.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Defining the Path: Destination 2

Destination #2:  Be Healthy And Active

  • I want to maintain my healthy eating habits.  I have been eating extremely well since January 4, 2010.  Some of my in-laws started a Biggest Loser Competition and that was enough motivation for me to change the way I eat.  I would like to continue eating as well as I have been since January, even after my family competition ends.
  • I want to run a marathon.  My family's Biggest Loser Competition has helped motivate me to be more active, but I definitely could be doing a lot better in this area.  I do enjoy running and would like to be able to do so for an extended distance without needing to use my inhaler. 
  • I want to join an indoor sports league.  I really like to play soccer and football, although I have never played in an organized setting before.  I think that this would be fun and interesting, as well as a great way to meet new people. 
  • I want to take Tae Kwon Do.  I took Tae Kwon Do for a while in junior high.  I really enjoyed it at the time, but I was always too shy to take the test to advance to the next belt.  As a result I never got past a high yellow belt.  As this was another activity I really enjoyed, not to mention a very active sport, I'd love to take this up again.  It also wouldn't hurt to be able to protect myself, though I hope I am never in a position where I would need to.