As you've noticed by now the blog has taken on the new name of 'Oh the Places You'll Go'. As I set off on new goals, new journeys, new opportunities, and new challenges I've been really challenged to realize that I've got some pretty big fears to face in the next 16 months. The next 16 months are what I'm calling 'phase one' of my new life plan and I can't totally explain that but suffice to say it's going to be a year of living almost completely outside of my comfort zone.
I posted to facebook Monday morning the following quote:
Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path. - Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day
I chose my sweet friend, Auburn, as my accountability for 'phase one' because she's in a similar stage of life herself. She's the person I can talk about all the things you're never supposed to talk about...like just how much money you make, have, save, and spend. Growing up neither of us came from families that talked in length about money specifics so I think this has been a bit of an adjustment for both of us but if you're going to make lofty goals, you need accountability, right? Aubs and I took Dave Ramsey's course 'Financial Peace University' together (actually, I'd taken it and when I taught it I made her be in my group) and we know the value of laying it all on the line with someone.
We've started a weekly 'check in' e-mail to chart the progress we're making on several goals (many of them right now related to living on a budget and saving for some future goals). There are about a million things I love about my friendship with Aubs but I'll tell you what - she is one of the msot encouraging people I've ever been blessed enough to be friends with. She has been my biggest cheerleader these past 2 years in everything from my weight loss to my finances to my relationships to tough conversations with family members or friends. She really knows me and amazingly, still thinks I'm great. I continue to be blown away with how blessed I am to have her.
If you're in a 'phase one' of some big plans here's my advice - celebrate your victories. Every week Aubs and I take a time out to celebrate all the things we've done right that week to get to where we want to be. That doesn't mean I don't occasionally have to confess I cheated on my budget or skipped a workout BUT it does mean that every week I get to feel good about what I got right, even if I have to own up to a few screw ups too. Celebrate it. Life's tough and it takes hard choices and sometimes painful sacrifices to get ahead - so don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back regularly so you'll be encouraged to stick with it!
I put my big girl pants on this weekend and got a few things done I'd been leaving on the back burner. You know how that is. I sat down and really looked over my benefits and made some decisions about my dental insurance, my FSA account, mailed in some documents to my investment account peeps, changed over my card numbers for my car insurance, etc. Then I took my big girl pants back off, sat down and watched the Proposal with Ryan Reynold. Mmm, that was a reward for wading through all that adult crap.