Two weeks after my 38th birthday, I retired.
I use the word retire because I haven’t found a better one. I left a career that was not a good fit with no intent to replace it with a similar j-o-b. That’s not to say I’ll never have a job. I’m open to whatever interesting opportunities come my way.
This certainly doesn’t mean I sit around crocheting at the senior center or sipping pina coladas at the beach. I stay very busy taking care of our little family, building this community, volunteering, and updating our home. We have learned to live comfortably on one income and enjoy the freedom our choices bring. But rest assured, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
It seems like it happened overnight. In reality, it took more than 10 years, with intense focus the final 3. To be honest, we’re still working on it. Our journey to freedom is only halfway through.That’s how it goes with big bold goals. First, it’s just a dream. Then when you least expect it, you’re an overnight success. Click To Tweet
That’s how it goes with big bold goals. At first, it’s just a dream. Then something in you begins to believe that it’s possible. You start to take deliberate action. You find the strength to keep at it, even when it seems to be going nowhere. And when you least expect it, you’re an overnight success.
I gained perspective on this process during a recent hiking trip.
The hike to the highest point in Minnesota started off easy. We hiked for 45 minutes and came to this beautiful lake.
The remainder of the hike was a rocky climb. I’m experienced and comfortable on these wilderness trails. However, I’m naturally a bit high-strung and somewhat clumsy. While I love hiking challenging trails, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit anxious. In those moments when I began to feel anxious, I would tell myself, “one step at a time.”
This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard this phrase. It’s just never been easy to practice.I felt my anxiety melt away as I shifted my focus from the mountain before me to the step I was taking. Click To Tweet
Something was different that day and has been since. For the first time, I was truly able to focus on one step at a time. I felt my anxiety melt away as I shifted my focus from the mountain before me to the step I was taking. Before we knew it, we had reached the summit.
That’s the way it goes with big bold goals.
- It starts with an idea. – Someday I’d like to hike to the highest point in Minnesota.
- Then you see it as an opportunity. – We’re camping 30 minutes from the trailhead.
- You create a plan. – We’ll get up on our first full day, make a big brunch, and head over there.
- Then you start. – It’s not always easy. We had to get out of our warm tent on a brisk September morning.
- You’ll encounter obstacles. – We had to climb over trees blocking the trail.
- Focus on one step at a time. – It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Stay steady and keep moving forward.
- Before you know it, your idea has become reality. – Take a moment to celebrate your accomplishment and enjoy the view.
No matter the goal, the process is the same.
We need to stop and focus on the big picture from time to time. This helps us stay motivated by remembering the why behind our big bold dreams.Our persistence to keep putting one foot in front of the other is what leads us to “success unexpected.” Click To Tweet
Never forget that our progress comes from the baby steps. Our persistence to keep putting one foot in front of the other is what leads us to “success unexpected.” Fight the urge to quit when the trail gets rocky and you’ll enjoy overnight success in the “common hours.”
When have you had to slow down and focus on one step at a time?
How did it feel?
What was it like when you achieved your goal?
Share in the comments below.