So I was sitting at work today when a co-worker of mine came in to chat about gardening. It was at that point, I told her about my idea about raised bed gardens. The raised beds would be about 4 feet tall, just the right height to work the garden, but not have to bend. If you have ever spent an hour weeding, either bending over or kneeling, it can be uncomfortable if not painful. I explained how at 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide, you can be situated perfectly in terms of ergonomics. Raised bed allow you to have perfect soil for what you are growing and help reduce weeds in the process. Overall you have perfect soil, reduce strain and have a very neat looking garden. She left my office and I began to think how I really wish I could implement this idea today. But alas I am not quite settled where I am living. I opened up Sketchup and started drawing out what I would like this garden to look like. I then realized what I was doing….I was using this tool to help me visualize the future, to help cement this goal, to keep me motivated.
Then idea crossed my mind, what are the other way I make sure I stay motivated on an idea while I get to where I need to be to implement it?
Now these tools will not work for everyone and I am a particularly computer oriented, also very visual, so I find these methods work for me.
What some of you may not realize is, I don’t yet live in a Tiny House. The plans are in the works, designs being drawn, research on building codes in my area and seeking land, but no house of yet. By having a blog I am able to share my passion and connect with others that love the idea or live the dream. It is an intensely empowering tool. Now some of you are thinking, I don’t want to start a blog or I don’t know how. Of course there are really easy and free services such as wordpress.com or blogger.com that will get you up and running in under 10 minutes. But it doesn’t stop there. Journaling, plain old pen and paper, is the old school version to achieve this. The advantage of a blog over this method is that when you have an audience, you are accountable to them in a way. Some one, or in my case several thousand, will notice when you shirk on posting. Even if you don’t want to go the full blog route, consider writing a guest post for a blog, I am always happy to review and possibly post your piece.
This is a program made by google that is completely free (they do a pay for pro version) that allows you to quickly design things and create them in a 3D environment. It wasn’t until today that I realized that I have this established behavior. When I have something in mind that I have aspirations for or dream about, I have time and time again opened up google sketchup to draw it. What does this do? It creates a visual representation of my dream. It takes it from my mind into the real world, one step closer to being a reality for me. I did this with this garden idea, see below, and I have done it countless times with ideas for Tiny Houses.
This is a really interesting website, it basically makes a lists of your goals, connects you with those who have the same goals and empowers you to achieve them. What takes this to the next level is when someone achieves a goal, it has them describe how they went about getting there. People can discuss and share ideas about how to tackle roadblocks.Stop Making Excuses
A while ago I was out to dinner with several of my friends, the conversation turned to travel and a friend and I were asked how many places we have been. I responded 17 countries all before I was 23. They were floored. “How did you get to do that!?” I am not independently wealthy, I don’t have a trust fund and my parents didn’t pay for it, so how did I do it? I posed the question to them, why didn’t you travel that much? They instantly said “no time”, “no money”, etc. My other friend who had been to just as many places as I, chimed in and said “you’re making excuses”. It then dawned on me, how many times do we make excuses, stupid excuses, defeatist excuses. Now there is reality and responsibility, but at what point does that end and the excuses begin? For most, they would agree it would be unreasonable to think that a high schooler could afford a trip to Europe, but I did. I did, for a whole month, I went to 8 countries and had a blast doing it. So it brings me back to the point, stop making excuses and do it, because too often the only thing standing in our way, is ourselves.
One particular method I use for this is to take a goal that seems too out of reach. Write down your goals, then next to them write the very very first step you would have to do to achieve that goal. To get a better idea, take this example. Lets say you want to build a Tiny House, you might start by seeking out a place to purchase a trailer. You might open up excel and make a rough budget, then go price the materials at a hardware store. You might email someone who lives in a Tiny House and ask them for advice on how to start. See how these are really simple things. See how these these things take 5 minutes, 30 minutes. See how you can do any of these things right now!
This isn’t my favorite idea, but it works for many folks, so it is at least noteworthy. A vision board is basically a board where you glue photos of what you want to be. If you want to be happy, paste photos that conjure thoughts of happiness. If you want to focus more on family, put your favorite photos of your kids, your significant other etc. Take this board and place it in a prominent place that you can view it several times a day. Perhaps place it in a place that you look at it, but others can see it to. They will ask about it and by sharing your goals, you reinforce it, but then you are almost held accountable to them when they ask about it later.