How to never give up on your dreams

I wish I had someone to encourage me especially during my early teens. I had to rebuild my confidence, my belief in myself to accomplish goals that today seem small. But my teenage self is still kicking adult me for not trying out for more basketball teams.

I had an opportunity to write poetry for the Connecticut Post but declined the chance to work closely with the editor that wanted to help me pursue a major in journalism. Teenage me wants to punch adult me in the face…HARD. I wish that I had someone at that time who would have (at least once) said here’s how to never give up on your dreams.

Life has a way of beating you down when you least expect it. You set some very specific goals. You want to lose 10 pounds before the end of summer, you want to save a certain amount for a down payment on a new car. You buy new sneakers to run, then it rains for 5 days straight.

You get a gym membership, plan to go 3 times in the following week and then your job requests that you work overtime. When? Of course during the times you have set to workout. You save your cash for that new car and then your wife suddenly is out of work. You are now the sole provider for the household indefinitely.

LIFE HAPPENS. But there are ways to complete your goals despite what is thrown your way depending on what is causing the hold up.

  1. Small Chunks. One bite at a time.

If the issue is that you are feeling overwhelmed it could be that you are just taking on too much at one time. For example, I am working to lose a few pounds and regain some muscle.

So me being me I decided that I would start a crash diet, starve myself in the mornings, go from working out once a week to five, and restart drinking protein shakes. That’s a lot to change all at once. It doesn’t matter that last year I was able to do all of the above.

With my current schedule it just isn’t going to work without me feeling a little crazy. Then I quit. Now I am starting again for the 4th time this month. This week my plan is to just hit the gym twice, celebrate and let that momentum carry me into next week.

Then I will set a new goal. Pick a small obtainable goal, hit it, then slowly pick up traction by adding a slightly bigger task. If you want to do an hour of cardio, start my running for 10 to 15 minutes.

  1. Are the bites digestible?

Evaluate where you are constantly and be real with yourself. If your dream is to write a novel and you want to complete 2 pages days make sure that it is doable.

If it is not and you have only been able to write a paragraph each day then pat yourself on the back for committing to your dream and readjust your expectations for yourself.

It’s funny how we are our own worst enemies. I torture myself regularly for not working out as long as I had planned or only writing a couple sentences of a blog post when I wanted to write a few paragraphs.

But I have to remind myself that progress is progress no matter how slow and maybe just maybe I am not being realistic with myself all the time. It’s okay to adjust your strategy if that means it is easier for you to hit your marks.

  1. What if you choke?

We never know what storm tomorrow will bring but we can pack an umbrella just in case.

If something goes wrong what will you do? Have a “if all else fails plan.”

If you cannot make it to the gym because of a flat tire, your german shepherd eats your Adidas, or the gym sudden burns down it a fiery rage…Do you have dumbbells at home to use?

What other “emergency” equipment can you keep readily available to prevent you from losing focus or giving up?

Comments

  1. There you go Jay! Hey, I feel like the “adult” you wants to punch the “teenage” you in the face though, I wouldn’t want it to be the other way around like you wrote but maybe I’m slow this morning 😀 Yes, LIFE always happens and what you’re basically discussing here are systematic ways of making progress when you’re super busy!

    Loving it man! Keep it up! Watch Jay’s video though 🙂

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