Your Dreams -a fictional or a non-fiction reality?

(fiction = imaginary/stories and non-fiction = fact/history, just saying)

The point is, nothing will ever be accomplished if you don’t start somewhere -and keep going....
Roo is now REAL in my life, because I didn't give up!
(Previous posts will explain the long drawn-out ordeal to this point)

I’m going to treat you to a confession. I’m a writing nut and have been creating stories since I was 12. Back then it was an exercise in the exploration into the life of others- mostly what I thought it might be like to be part of the ‘popular’ group of kids that I was on the edge of (but never quite part of). Like it might be comparable now to write about what it’s like to live the life of someone in the upper 1% compared to what it’s like to live on the edge of what I once thought of as ‘middle class’, (now sinking fast). I’ve no idea what it’s like to live on the upper 1% crust of society– but it’s kinda fun to explore the possibilities (you know, camping vs what it’s really like to vacation in  the Caribbean – or on Qatar's future resort?
(Qatar-- talk about a fantasy concept - with extreme goals!)

But I’m not a fantasy writer, just an explorer. It’s not only fun to explore a dream or a lifestyle, it’s enlightening.

And it could be a first step on a new path for yourself. A dream that then becomes a goal.

This is something that Larry Brooks from his site has been addressing, re: NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month challenge).  He as put up a post each day to help anyone with a writers’ dream to navigate the fast pace of a writing goal featured each November.

He shows how to overcome obstacles and not waste your time without a plan for what you will write.
I think a lot of what he says really parallels what is necessary thinking for any dream or goal. Here’s part of the last post – an encouragement:
*my words in brackets to show the parallels I’m alluding to:

“To a great extent, your fate as a writer [successful dreamer] will be determined by how you think.  By who you are, at your core.

By that I mean… how do you take coaching?  How stuck are you in your own world, how strongly do you cling to limiting beliefs?  Are you in your own way, or are you willing to stretch, to risk, to commit?  Do you remain childlike in your wonder and blank page possibilities, or do you know it all already?  What’s your comfort zone, and is it serving you?

Have you planned your story [your life]?  If the answer is less than an enthusiastic yes – at least the major arc and milestones [changes and goals]— then take a look at these questions and be honest with yourself.  Because the folks in the bookstores[successful in living their dream]… they have answered them.  And, by virtue of a beat sheet [outline of goal steps], some sticky notes or a series of drafts created in context to certain principles and expectations, they all have planned their stories [goal outcomes].

Writing is life [moving forward is life].  A mirror and a microcosm.  We author our stories [lives], but as we write them we are living one. It’s an adventure, one that takes you deep within yourself.

What’s your ending?

The story you are about to write is part of your [life] story.  Will you be different?  Be better?  Be the best you that’s inside you at this moment in time?  Or will you be… stuck… or frightened… or stubborn… or closed off?

Write [forge ahead] with courage.  Write something important [take an important step toward your goals].  Change yourself this month.  Go for it.  Reach high.... I wish you great success.  May the blood that pours from your forehead be the blood of your invested self and not that of frustration.  All greatness is paid for in blood, if not literally, then metaphorically.”

Blood –or at least calluses... yep. And maybe you’ll need to factor in the need for $ funds. Which means that any goal often creates the need for several “PRE-steps”. They all matter.

This is the 1st step of how I approach goals (after I decide they are goals):
pinecone targets (practical):
 *    Home – de-clutter, re-arrange storage spaces, so I can set up garden room, art room, pantry and animal husbandry supply areas all in the same room, but somehow make it aesthetically pleasing and useful (now called my *Farmgirl Office*)
*    Environmental -(landscaping) propagate flowering plants for bees
*    Practice indoor gardening (start peach trees, basil & tomatoes from seed, etc.)
 acorn targets  (creative):
*    Blogging - My goal will be to post weekly, create a blog signature (DONE), create a custom email signature which contains my blog’s URL (decided against that one)
*    Paint on Canvas - for next year’s art events (see “painting agenda”)
*    Handmade-  quilting, embroidery (embroider something accented with gold thread), beading,  salt-flour clay work, make mittens from thrift-store sweaters
*    Collage work- a tool to define my outlook, to catalogue my favorite things, to help motivate thru illustration– collect images and create digital collages’ and labels for my Binders
*    Photography: progress journaling (tracking with pictures) –
 1) do a month in photos (take a picture of each project being worked on every day/day of the week it’s scheduled to be worked on)
2) do a year in photos (from that progression of projects) to describe what life was like that year
3) make my own calendar for next year (using my own pictures)
*    Writing - finish the outlines/beat sheets and rough drafts of novels in the works
 juniper targets (personal):
*    Fitness – start on a regimen (bootycamp, getting fit to ride)
*    Nutrition – a better dietary practice (all natural & from scratch [NO mysterious GMO foods], better menu planning, etc.)
*    Image – start sewing my own clothes
*I don't know what's going on w/ Blogger- the spaces are weird and I've corrected them several times in the editing room...anyway, you can see it normally here:  PDF of my Overal Agenda Using Targets (contains really cute plaid bullets)

The 2nd step of course, is breaking that down into priorities and scheduling it with a calendar. (Each of these targets is something I would add to the itinerary of one of the 12 Folders –a monthly calendar system to keep moving ahead with a targeted purpose the entire year:

These are my focus topics:
1) January –WELLNESS: all Health improvement categories ( muscle conditioning and flexibility exercises, etc. Dietary: add to diet/ remove from diet/ foods and recipes to try, etc.)
2) February – IMAGE & APPEARANCE – self care & improvement (hair/ style/ clothing & make-up/ colors/ etc.)
3) March –WORK-Business: time management, business direction, customer relations improvements: streamlining office paperwork and general efficiency, incorporating policies and protocols, marketing tools and ideas (personal marketing is very effective)
4) April --HOMESTEADING: practical self-sustenance practices and endeavors (canning, sewing, etc.)
5) May-- LEARNING: personal endeavors (not art), like horse training and riding
6) June –MARRIAGE/ RELATIONSHIPS: improvement tactics/problem resolutions, etc. (our anniversary month)
7) July –GETTING OUT: life enrichment and entertainment (expanding quality of life: picnics, camping out/ vacation time/ socializing/town events, etc.)
8) August-- FINANCIAL: deal with bills, budgeting, long-term goals, etc. (it's too hot to do a lot outside)
9) September-- HOME: management & improvement efforts, actual work on the house
10) October –NOTEBOOKS: revamp and reorganize master lists, tune-up household binders, etc. (getting prepared to cocoon for winter)
11) November --ARTS & CREATIVITY: try new techniques and projects, finish up gifts for giving in Dec.
12) December --GIFTING/SOCIAL: be involved, show appreciation and give back

For keeping on top of household maintenance and tasks, insert any areas or rooms into one the 12 Folders - synchronize one room of the house with each month to focus on that room (or area), utilizing the four weeks of the month to finish each area like this:

Week 1 – De-Clutter
Week 2 –Deep Clean
Week 3 –Re-Organize/Repair
Week 4—Decorate

1) Master Bath
2) Art Room now: Farmgirl Office
3) Theater/Game Room   now, Exercise (and dog romp) Room
4) Guest Bedroom
5) Main Living Room
6) Master Bedroom
7) Storage & Utility room, Storage shed (this is now the Hen House) 
8) Back Yard & Hen House 
9) Deck & porch under the deck /Vehicle (we’re down to ONE)
10) Kitchen & Pantry (now the Farmgirl Office houses my pantry items)
11) Closets, Stairs and Hallway/Entry & Front of the house
12) Office (for our service business)

*Each month has a designated folder to hold information and those things pertaining to the goals set. The folders can be decorated with a collage on the cover related to the topic it covers, and inside is a calendar - or the calendar can be on the cover (I like to add a few graphics or a fun font).

This is how you fill up your monthly calendars with goals:

Under the acorn targets, is a list of photographic journaling goals. Each of the numbered items is really part of one goal – simply to take photo evidence of project progress or process. It’s a way of holding myself accountable – a motivation to get to it and not quit. I’ll end up with something to share with others, as well as an inspirational calendar for myself, should I really wish to create one. (Of course I will).

There needs to be a schedule of photo opps created, because I cannot carry the camera around all the time. (That might be a bit too obsessive!) 
Depending upon what my current projects might be to determine the photos I take of the progress or process.
A painting? Well, I usually do about 6 photos, but it’s hard to know exactly what day I’d get to a specific place in the progression, unless I only paint on Wednesdays (or whatever day)- then simply take a shot after each painting session on Wednesdays- right? 
Sometimes I start a painting and don’t paint on it for a week. It doesn’t matter at all, I just keep the photos organized and accessible in one place for this kind of documentation when the painting/paintings is/are done. (I might work on more than one at a time).
(This was my first sighting of Cherihuka, the day before I got him)

I traded a painting for him - although I gave him back to his previous owner, I didn't take back the painting, because it was as much the previous owner's non-disclosure as my own fault- and after almost 2 years, I loved Cherihuka and was grateful for our time together, even if he could never be ridden:
(it's a little light here to see details - click to enlarge)

 (framed with glass and a real feather inserted)
Most people wouldn’t/don't care a whit about the progression of a painting unless it is a how-to tutorial. 
Or it might be fun to do a time-lapse video... fast-motion is a bit comedic. (Well you and I can both just forget that!)

Under the juniper targets is "Image- start sewing my own clothes". Well that’s a huge year-long endeavor just to get up to speed you know? First I have to redefine what my style is. It’s not as easy as one might think! I discussed this before (HERE).
That definitely could use a calendar though. First make time to define what style I want to try sewing. Then schedule a day to find patterns, then a day dedicated to finding materials, and a day to purchase needed items (buttons?), then a day to cut material, and a day to start sewing, etc... 

Under acorn targets, after a bit of consideration, I now intend to COMBINE both the “embroidery (embroider something accented with gold thread)”,and “make mittens from thrift-store sweaters”. That way I know I will actually have time to do it. Those mittens will come with either embroidery already done, or some kind of 3-D appliqué’ work that I can easily add some gold thread embellishment to.
*If I get any of these done during cold months, another goal might be to include them in a filled-shoebox charity drive (where you fill the shoebox with things that would be gifted to a needy child). THAT would have a deadline and need to be scheduled too.

With most projects, when you have a routine down, you know the days you’ll have time to work on them- just pencil in a reminder on your calendar and take a picture at the end of that day on that project. You might never use that picture, but it’s always a motivational tool for your personal use- just in case you are or might, share it with others. It’s proof that you’re being productive and following thru, right?

Nothing will ever be accomplished if you don’t start somewhere -and keep going.

Please share! How do you keep yourself motivated toward your goals? Does the motivation change with each type of goal or not?

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