Monday, 9 September 2013

Start at the start.

As we all learned in school, every great story has an introduction, a plot and a fabulous conclusion. 

Today I would like you to think about the introduction to your new life. This is your story, no one else's.

 If you are a parent, a wife, a long term partner, you may be surprised at how hard it might be to write your introduction based solely upon yourself. Focus on what you want, what you need. Not what your husbands plans are, or your kids needs, or the mission statement for the business.  What do you crave for? If you could write a autobiography based on your dream life, what would it say? Think big.. You never have to show or tell anyone your story if you don't wish too. These are your dreams, your plans, your life.

I for one, found it really difficult, as I had been a single mum for such a long long time, I just couldn't imagine a life without my children, so all of my initial decisions were family focused. I wanted to save enough money to provide a safe haven for them, to never have them feel threatened, I wanted to always ensure that they felt loved and wanted and cared for... Me? I dunno... I was just so damn busy doing all the things I need to do to provide for the kids, I had no time to think of what I may have needed. 

Even when I first decided to write the plan, I struggled... I really had idea what it was that my heart wanted, nor what my soul cried out for. Every night when the kids would go to bed, I would pour a glass of wine, get my grand plan journal out and wait for inspiration. What the hell did I want?

My first plans were predominantly financially based, and those of you that lived through those crazy boom times in a mining town will understand the need for that. I just needed to be able to find enough steady income to pay the rent, and have enough to feed the family as well. I needed to know that if things went pear shaped suddenly, as they had once before, that I would be able to survive for a month without wages. I wanted to clear all my debt, and have 5k in the bank at the end of the year. 

So there it was, my first goal. 5k in the bank, clear of debt but December 31st. Heard of the SMART principle? All goals to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, something starting with R and Time Based.. Realistic! That's what the R stands for... (Phew, thought I'd lost my train of though there for a moment.)
So my plan to have 5 k met the SMART principle. It was specific 5 k, measurable, attainable, realistic and had a timeframe of Dec 31. 

I then worked backwards till I devised a plan of achieving this. Eg 20 weeks away, 5 k divided by 20 was 250. I opened another account for this saving and set up an automatic transfer for this amount every week. It went out the same day I got paid, so I didn't really ever notice it. You can imagine my elation when I saw on Dec 29, that last payment go in which took the balance to $5000. I was rich. Lol. I was so excited. And it was so easy.

Once Xmas and New Year wore off and another 2 kilos were happily balancing in my hips, I thought it time to create a plan that pertained to my health, both physical and emotional. Hmmm, another brainstorming session was in order. Happiness? Money? Fun? Steady work? Nope, too generic. BORING..... I had all of those things and none of them were anything dramatic. I needed change. I needed health, I needed fitness, I needed to be happy in my own skin, I needed someone who would keep me safe. Again and again I wrote lists and achieved them. Little by little. 

So, Start at the start. Think about what YOU need, what YOU want, what makes YOUR heart sing. And write your plan. Now. Today. Then write the steps to achieve them, little by little....

The big secret in writing a successful plan, I've found, is two things. An understanding that sometimes life gets in the way, and a need to be kind to yourself if you fall short by a little bit... You must remember that any improvement to your life, regardless of what area it fits into, is a success. Aimed for 4 kilos, only made 3.5? YAY.. Good job, you're 3.5 kg healthier! 

It is not the end of the world if you didn't quite make it. All positive change is?? Yep, you guessed it... POSITIVE CHANGE.. And what could be better than that? 

No comments:

Post a Comment