Life

5 Steps to Reset & Live the Life You’re Called to Live!

Have you ever wanted a re-do? A fresh start? A new chapter in your life story? I’m sure you have! I think we all have! We’re always waiting for a Monday, a new month, or a new year. But guess what! I’m about to let you in on a huge secret:

There’s nothing special about those days!
The only thing “special” about those days is that
it’s the day you chose to do things differently.

You don’t have to wait another year, another month, another day, or another hour! You can reset your life and begin living the life you’re called to live right this minute. I know it sounds like a huge task, and in some ways it is, but in so many ways it isn’t.

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I had the opportunity to spend last weekend at the beach. I wanted to do this at the end of 2017 in order to prepare for 2018, but life didn’t allow it. So in November I booked the first available weekend my husband had free to watch the kids and that just happened to be on the 4th day of the new year. At first I was kind of bummed about it. I really really wanted to be able to hit the ground running on January 1st. I wanted to have all my dreams, plans, and goals well thought out and executed by the first day of the new year. I was afraid I would fall behind or appear unorganized. I was fearful that someone else might have some of the same ideas I did, but have the time to showcase them first. But I had to let it go. January 4th-6th was the time I had and that would need to be good enough.

I began the weekend off slowly. I read, prayed, did a self-inventory, worked through my powersheets and had great conversations with girlfriends that came along. As I was eating lunch I received a message from another friend in the wedding industry letting me know that she saw my IG story and that her and 6 others were also away for the weekend working on their goals and dreams for the new year. Imagine that! Seven other women in the same industry as I am also not starting on exactly the first day of the year! Maybe I would be ok after all 😉

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As I was decompressing at the end of the weekend and scrolling through some of my favorite photographers Instagram accounts for inspiration, I stopped on one of their statuses and after reading it just laughed to myself. She was talking about how overwhelming social media can be at times. She went on to explain that she had worked so hard the past few days to dream and make goals and plan the new year and finally got everything all on paper. She jumped on IG to share her excitement and was quickly deflated by what she saw as a ton of “boss babes” already turning their 2018 dreams into a reality. I assured her she wasn’t the only one, and honestly, it was comforting for me to know I wasn’t either. It was more confirmation that we’re all on different journeys, with different timelines and capacities. More confirmation that it doesn’t necessarily always matter when you start, just that you do!

So I want to share with you 5 ways I was able to reset my mind, plans, and dreams last weekend in hopes of being intentional and focused on living the life I believe I’m called to live.

{Huge disclaimer: I am no life coach! We’re all so very different and in no way do I think these are five magical steps. What worked for me may not work for you. But I do believe that if you’re just sitting there waiting for that “new day”, these steps are better than that ;)}

 

Step 1: Find your happy place

This place for me is the beach. The sound of the waves crashing back and forth stills my mind. The emptiness of the coast during the winter gives me the solitude I need. The gentle winds rushing through the dunes fills my heart with peace. The vastness of the ocean reminds me of how small I am and how big He is. It’s a place where time seems to slow down for a moment and I can reset. The beach may not be that place for you. It certainly isn’t for my husband! There is nothing peaceful or relaxing about water that burns his eyes and trillions of sand particles that stick to you and you find in weird places for days later. The beach is not his happy place and it might not be for you either. You have to find that place. It may be a weekend away at a B&B, or an afternoon in your favorite coffee shop. It might look like an hour a day by your windowsill, or a morning walk in your neighborhood. Whatever place it is, find it and go!

Step 2: Get quiet

Once you’re in your happy place, get quiet. This might be one of the hardest exercises for me! In fact, just writing this has been hard. I’ve probably been distracted by a text, notification, kid, or anything else half a dozen times already, ha! But I will say, being in my happy place makes this easier than doing it anywhere else! It will take a few minutes and that’s ok. Take a few deep breathes, bring your wandering mind back from your to-do list, and just rest. Rest in the nothing. Rest in the silence. Just rest.

Step 3: Reflect on the past, evaluate the present, and dream of the future.

When you’ve rested in silence for a few minutes and cleared your mind, begin a self-inventory. I always break things up into three areas: Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical. My spiritual health has to do with my faith, spiritual disciplines that I want in my life, and the community I have around me. My emotional health has to do with my mind, my relationships with my family members, and how I’m staying balanced in general. My physical health has to do with how I’m taking care of me. Am I being self disciplined in what I’m eating? Am I relieving stress in positive ways? Am I taking care of me (and sometimes that means getting a good hair wash and pedicure!)?

As I think about these three areas I reflect on where they’ve been in the past and where they are now. Have I grown in the right direction or have I been neglecting one of those areas? I dream of what I want it to look like in the future. And I really mean dream. I don’t journal (though you might find that helpful). I don’t use words. I just picture in my head what I want those areas of life to look like. I dream of what it would look like if I had balance in all three areas of my life. Where would my faith be? How would my relationships change? How would I feel about myself?

Step 4: Focus on one thing at a time

I get it! This can seem overwhelming! If you’re anything like me, when it seems like there’s so much to do, I just don’t do any of it! But that’s where I had to tell myself, “one thing at a time”. I read in Cultivate What Matters, “You can’t simultaneously do it all and do it well. But you can choose to cultivate what matters right where you are.” Don’t try to do all the things (this is me eating my own words – my mom is laughing at me right now). I suggest choosing one thing in each area to focus on. Something a little like this:

Spiritually: Join a She Reads Truth study guide.

Emotionally: Serve my husband by making the bed every day this week (#babysteps #amiright?!)

Physically: Work out twice this week …. and maybe even schedule that pedicure!

Step 5: Plan to move forward

You’re at your happy place, you’ve cleared your mind, you’ve evaluated critical areas of life, and you’re focusing on one thing at a time that can help you live a cultivated, meaningful life that you’re called to live. Now what? Now that you know where you want to move to, come up with simple, minimal steps to get there. For example, I knew that in 2018 I wanted to blog more. I wanted to share my clients and my heart with you all. So one night I devoted about two hours to figuring out how to make this easier for me and not something else that took time away from my family or took hours of sleep away from my nights. I spent the first hour brainstorming content. The second hour was spent making a blog schedule. It was exciting, productive, and has helped a ton with my time management. I’m no longer crunched for time staying up the night before writing blogs. I’m actually wrapping this up at 2:30 in the afternoon while all the kids nap/rest. This has helped keep blogging off of a dreaded to-do list and moved into something that I’m prepared to do and that has actually become a lot of fun for me! But in complete transparency, let’s jump back to 2017 when blogging was a small part of a goal I had. I had a simple goal, but no plan in place to accomplish it, therefore, nothing happened. I shot so many wonderful brides and grooms last year at gorgeous venues, and never got to share them with you. I had an incredible journey of growth last year, but never got to open my heart to you and encourage you. I had great intentions with no plan and therefore no blog! No plan means no moving forward. You made time for your happy place, you’ve done the hard work of quieting yourself and doing an honest self- inventory, now it’s your turn to reap all the benefits. You have dreams. You have goals. Now make them happen!

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I hope this has been encouraging for you. You may not be able to relate, but I have lived so many years letting life happen to me and spending too many days in pure survival mode. I had three kids in four years, a husband in full time ministry, friendships and relationship to maintain, and a small business to run. The thought of cultivating anything seemed so far away as I was trying to keep up with everything. The last several years my happy place looked more and more like a quiet bedroom the first 15 minutes my husband got home and many of my goals were to just get through the day without yelling or growing impatient. If that’s where you find yourself, that’s ok too. You can still make things happen. Those goals that may appear small now are cultivating the bigger things for later. It’s ok to grow slow, as long as you’re growing.

And here’s a little bonus step for you: Embrace the imperfections and shower yourself with grace.

Love you friends!

xoxo

 

 

 

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