So, if I really want to drive to California this summer to be with my sister during my 2-week vacation time I am going to need to make some plans…and stick to them. I need to start saving now for gasoline and trip expenses, check with my sister for the dates I will stay with her to be sure those will work for her, arrange for someone to take care of my house and cats while I am gone, and map out my driving route. All of these plans and dates must jibe for me to reach my goal. If my sister’s dates and mine don’t match, it won’t work. If I don’t save enough money or spend what I’ve saved on something else, I won’t have enough to get there. If I take the wrong roads or head off in the wrong direction, I won’t get there or will be very delayed…and so on and so on.
So, I am successful with all of my dates, planning, mapping and money saving. I am all set to take off and am right on schedule — hooray! But, after driving for a few hours I see this beautiful forest with several available hiking trails. I think to myself, what’s a few hours of hiking as long as I get back by dark? And I should probably buy that hiker’s GPS, as I don’t see trail maps for here. It’s only $125. I take a wonderful hike, but now I’m set back some of my saved money and almost a whole day, …but the hike was amazing, I justify.
I drive another day with only a few wrong turns. (I like to listen to music while I drive, so I don’t always notice a turn I should have made..oops!) I decide to stop to visit my high school buddy just a few hours off my route. We are SO happy to connect with each other after all these years. She is just on her way to her cabin on a lake and invites me to go. It would be quicker to take the helicopter to get there, so we do. Three days and $290 later, I’m back on my way to California.
I call my sister and tell her I will now be 4-5 days later than planned. She is disappointed as she had booked surprise tickets for us on that coral reefs cruise I had always talked about and the tickets are nonrefundable. Why hadn’t I called her sooner? Gee, I am disappointed and her feelings are hurt, not to mention the lost money she’d spent on her surprise for me. If I really get moving I can be there in 2 days, but now I will only have 2 days ( instead of the planned week) with her once I get there, leaving me just 3 days to drive home. I’m already feeling embarrassed knowing that I am going to have to ask my sister to borrow at least $300 in order to get back home. How could this have happened? I just lost track of time…lost my momentum….and my focus on the reason for the trip...to be with my sister!
Has this ever happened to you? You had the best motive or goal, made all the plans, and then didn’t end up following through? I think we’ve all been there…and usually with that same sinking feeling inside. Is it time to make a change in that department?
Where do YOU want to go…in life? Do you want to be a person whom others trust? Do you want to be able to financially support yourself? What about being able to produce the grades or obtain the experience to have lots of options for where you want to go to college? What about wanting to establish a good and lasting friendship? Would it be great to actually finish all your homework on a weekend? What about being able to build your own successful business doing something you love?
First we need to know WHERE we want to go. (Not that spontaneous trips and explorations aren’t fun ways to spend one’s time) but often there is really somewhere we want to GO…or something we’d like to BE. A compass doesn’t work if you don’t know in which direction you want to go. There isn’t a magic wand that makes our goals happen. They happen from being clear about where we want to go, making the plans, and then sticking with them, even when temptations come our way that would let our goals slide, in lieu of something else that is usually enveloped in immediate gratification.
We need to become aware of the WAYS (little traps, actually) in which we seem to lose our momentum on our way to reaching the goals we have for ourselves.
Let’s explore this together…leaving our comments here so we can dialog about this.
The desire and the planning are the easy part. But what have you found are the lures along the way that have gotten you off track?
Better yet, What works for YOU to help you redefine where you are going? What helps you to get back on track? We can share our brainstormings here, which is always helpful…but EACH of us has to complete the process ourselves and find realistic ways to follow our road map, to stay on schedule. Will you share YOUR thoughts?
written by Tien Stone Langlois, Scholars Together, Director/Lead Instructor