Thursday, January 26, 2012

Take Chances to Make Advances

My husband's motto in life is, "If you don't take chances, you can't make advances". You see he's a risk-taker, he's the kind of guy that REALLY puts himself out there and isn't afraid to make mistakes. I love that about him, in fact I wish to be more like him in that regard. We're wired a bit differently. I'm the Type-A who likes to plan trips by making lists and crossing off each item as it goes into the suitcase, organize CD's alphabetically and lining all my ducks perfectly in a row while he's all about figuring it out along the way, he'll cross any bridges while he comes to them . In terms of work opportunities I like to over-analyze and plan for a whole slew of possible outcomes, obstacles and scenarios. This analytical mind of mine can be a wonderful thing sometimes but many times it is the very thing that holds me back too.

Lately, I've noticed in several areas of my life, whether it be re-decorating my office or preparing for a meeting that I spend way too much time trying to plan to have things run perfectly smooth and avoid mistakes that often times I never get the project off the ground and when I do it isn't always in the most timely manner. In life we cannot plan for everything, and dare I say that is the very JOY of life-not knowing how everything will turn out in the end!

Last week I got a call about an opportunity that was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Thinking of the possibilities made me giddy knowing that it could be potentially life-changing but taking a big step into an unknown world made me feel fearful and I caught myself trying to find a way out of it quickly as to avoid any possible failures or unpleasant outcomes. I kept thinking, "what if I'm not what they thought they were getting", "what if I don't perform in the way they had hoped for" and then I came to my senses and reminded myself that I didn't go looking for this opportunity, it came knocking on my door. All we can ever do is our best by preparing in advance and being ourselves once we're there and forget about the rest. When we live that way we can never lose in life. Two summers ago, I wrote this post, clearly I was a little more fearless at the time!

As much as I sometimes fight with my mind over taking such chances, it is when I embrace them wholeheartedly and put myself out there and try something new that I'm most proud of myself. Even if it doesn't go exactly as planned, taking a big leap in life is half the battle. These are the past successes that tend to stand out in my mind when reviewing the previous year in preparation for the next. I truly believe that the greatest rewards in life come from taking the biggest risks.

This year, although it's not going to be easy for me, my focus is to live outside of my comfort zone. I don't want another year to go by and wonder what more I could have accomplished or at least attempted had I not let fear get the best of me. It's really about mind over matter.

How about YOU? Are you with me? Any other Type-A ladies crazy enough to make such a declaration for 2012? One thing is for sure, our lives will never be the same!  :)

*images: (1), (2), (3)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Fresh Start

One of the things I enjoy most about ringing in the new year is the fresh beginning it provides. Every year on New Year's Eve day I reflect on my most proud accomplishments, the things I really enjoyed spending my time doing most as well as my goals that never came to be so I can figure out how to make them a reality the next time around. I think it's important to celebrate our successes but also learn from our mistakes so we can plan better for the future. As Oprah and Maya Angelou always say, "When we know better, we do better".

This year has been an interesting one, I've learned more about myself in this past year than I probably have in the last five. It is the first full year I spent alone in our home as my hubby pursued his Master's degree several states away at NYU. With that brought both challenges and triumphs as I realized many areas in which I was stronger than I knew myself to be. It also presented areas that I am weaker in and need to change my mindset on.

This year I also put my design business on hold and found full time work elsewhere to survive the struggling economy while still allowing myself to be creative with a few e-design jobs here and there. It hasn't been easy working for someone else again but when I prayed and asked the Lord 'why this job, why now?' of the many I interviewed with, I felt and heard the word 'discipline'. Apparently I needed discipline after years of working for myself from home. Sometimes in life, things happen not because of what we want, but rather what we need.

While I don't make resolutions, I do always create a fresh set of goals for myself. I've noticed over the past few years that I've created laundry lists of all the things I would love to accomplish and every year I fall short on many. I believe in dreaming big and shooting for the stars but sometimes when we create too many goals, we overwhelm ourselves and then instead get very little accomplished. So, this year I've made 3 key personal goals for myself that I believe are doable, but still enough of a stretch to keep me challenged. ;)

Like every classy woman, I'm constantly trying to improve myself and I've discovered some areas in my life that need the rough edges smoothed so I'll be focusing on those too to become a better me. One of those areas will be working to become a more patient person (with both myself and others, especially hubby). I also need to let Paul rub off on me a little more in the spontaneity department. I love to plan and organize, a natural born type A., however, I'm convinced that lightening up and trying more things that scare me will be key to enjoying life in a greater way. One of my downfalls is procrastination over things I don't enjoy and I want to change that this year. The time I spend thinking about how much I don't enjoy doing a particular task and distracting myself with something more interesting is the time I could have just completed the task in the first place. I'm not going to burden myself by expecting perfection, any progress is a beautiful thing!

What are your goals for the New Year?

*images: (1) (2)
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