Hobbies and Cents have been gone for quite a while. I wish I could blame my morning sickness and sleepiness on my lack of focus but that’s would be too easy. Don’t get me wrong, I had severe morning sickness that lasted all day and I was tired all the time but that’s not the entire reason. While dealing with all that I became lazy and addicted to television (Netflix and Hulu). I would lay around sick and use it as an excuse not to pick up a book, pen, paper, laptop, nothing. I found myself using my first trimester as a reason to not get anything done.
I was completely lost. I found myself sadder, blaming my husband for my unhappiness. I was becoming depressed and couldn’t understand why. I was lethargic and lost my desire to do anything. My husband had just started working a second job which magnified my loneliness and unhappiness. I couldn’t shake what was happening. I would complain and complain but yet no changes came. I thought I was expressing my feelings but he called it nagging.
Suddenly it hit me. The tube had become my addiction. I never watched as much T.V. as I did during those first three months of my pregnancy. When I was able to go to work, I’d come home and turn on the television just for background noise but would then find myself on the couch watching show after show, mostly reruns. I used to read at least one to two books per week but I had even lost my love of that! I knew I had a problem but just couldn’t figure out a way to fix it. As I sought counseling (to blame my husband’s new job on my problems), I kept receiving the same advice. Do not give power to your loneliness. Find something else to focus on.
I had plenty of things to focus on but just wouldn’t. So, I decided to go back to the goals I’d written down at the beginning of the year. One by one, my dreams came back to. Since I’m due in October, I had to pare my list down, focusing on my most important goals. I needed to focus on the ones could handle while adjusting to a new baby. One of the most important, if not the most important natural goal I have is to quit my full-time job and work for myself. I no longer wanted to be confined to a company moving away for the values I have for myself. With that said I had to develop a plan to make it happen.
- I had to get over it. My husband, family, friends, society, or employer are not to blame for my lack of fulfillment. I only have myself to blame. I could continue to sulk and wish for a better life or I could take control and create my own destiny.
- Stop changing directions every other week. I kept reading success story after success story and wanted to try everything. I wanted microwave success. Even after reading how hard they worked, I figured I could do it more quickly but realized that was one of the biggest mistakes I was making. Learning to stay focused is probably the most important lesson I had to learn. I picked one class and have been applying it and have been able to make mild progress which I’m thrilled about.
- Cut off the T.V. I can’t say this was easy for me, seeing how I had become so accustomed to a lazy routine these past few months. But I knew I had to make some drastic changes if I wanted to see real results. So, I made a BIG step, at least I’d like to think so. Although I haven’t had cable for at least 7 years, we decided to cancel our HULU and Netflix subscriptions. It’s easy to binge watch shows when you have a streaming service. I won’t say it’s going to be easy, because it’s not but it’s important to take those small steps in order to see success. Prior to me cutting the cord, I did a TV fast and read 7 books in the span of a few weeks! I knew I was on to something.
- Change my scenery. Changing your habits can be hard if you don’t make a conscious effort to do so. Our condo is surrounded by large oak trees and doesn’t get much natural light. For that reason alone, I found it easy to lounge around the house all day. I decided I would work at least two hours a day at the library. I would pack up my laptop in the morning and head straight there after work. It’s been working so far. I may change it up to Starbucks or Barnes and Nobles but I don’t want to replace one habit with another ( hello, buying coffee and books).
- Stick to my strengths. A few years back, I said I wanted to try my had a becoming a virtual assistant but then pushed it out of my mind. It would come back every now and then but I ignored it. I’ve been working in corporate America for as long as I can remember and always felt I needed to find something different to live my dream life. I realized that I can still use my strengths to start a business and I could do it on my own terms. So, I decided I wanted to focus on building a Virtual Assistant business. As of right now, I’m taking a class and making sure I implement every step to ensure success.
- Ignore the naysayers, including me. I know there will be some people that doubt my dream but that is no longer my concern. I always encourage everyone to fulfill their dreams but found it hard to take my own advice. I will only surround myself with people who support me. I will also make sure I ignore doubt that tries to creep into my head. If I don’t believe in me who will?
- Set realistic deadlines. I have set a realistic deadline to have my business up and running by a certain date. If I don’t set a deadline, I’ll never succeed. Seeing this date in writing made it real for me.
- Find an accountability partner. I am very careful about who I share my aspirations with. I knew I needed to find someone who would encourage me but also hold me accountable to what I say. This is very important when trying to change your habits. This also made the process VERY real. We agreed she’d receive a copy of my weekly calendar allowing her to ask specific questions, not just did you work on your goal today. She’s has already started checking in on me, which I love.
- Don’t be afraid of failure. This list is not exhaustive but I know the one thing I had to get over is my fear of failure. If I’m honest, this is probably one of the reasons I didn’t really follow through. I was afraid of being rejected or that people wouldn’t like my ideas. One thing I know for sure is that if I don’t fail, I will NEVER succeed.
- Enjoy the small victories. Every time I cross a task on my list, I celebrate because just a few short months ago I was lost, lonely, and had no direction. This post is a small success in itself, considering I haven’t posted since I found out I was pregnant. I’m literally dancing in my seat right now.
I love reading, writing, researching things, and learning new things. By following the steps above I’m on my way. I can honestly say I’m excited about getting down to business with my blog and budding business. I know it won’t be a piece of cake but I will tweak the recipe as many times I need to until it’s light, fluffy, and delicious. Being focused, determined, and intentional will allow me to move in the direction needed to build my dream life and be the working mother that I choose to be.