Being able to thrive in your empty nest can be a reality with a vision, dreams and a plan.
Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I Have a Dream” echoed to the crowd gathered on Mall in Washington D.C. on that day in August 1963. It was hot. 250,000 bodies massed together with the reflecting pool in the middle. He followed his speech he had written down, until the end, when he said “I have a dream.”
At that point in the speech he began sharing his heart’s dream. He not only wanted to stir the crowd that personally had gathered that day, but to plant a dream and vision in those that would hear and read the speech later.
His vision was to awaken and spark the desire in all people for a nation of unity. His speech was concise and clear.
Our biggest challenge as empty nest moms is to also have a dream and vision for our life.
Yes, we can continue down the same old path. But I have found that many moms, when faced with the empty nest, begin to have a stirring.
A stirring in their heart that it’s time to do more.
Maybe it’s because a dream is like a small child. It must be birthed by a possibility, nurtured into a vision and tended to with care, much like our children needed while they were growing up.
I love the phrase from the book “The Art of Possibility” which reads “In the realm of possibility, there is no division between ideas and action, mind and body, dream and reality.”
Do you have a dream that is ready to become a reality?
Are you ready to use the empty nest years to move from inspiration to action?
How many of your great ideas have gone unrealized? It might have been a great idea for an invention, book, or unique business proposal.
If there’s one self-criticism that most people have, it’s the inability to take action with any consistency. For example, you might have the inspiration to finally lose weight and get in great shape. But then you’re unable to get started on your exercise routine.
Common excuses include being too tired or busy. Life just seems to get in the way.
Follow these few simple steps and you’ll be tackling those goals before you know it:
1. Create the necessary space in your life. How much time do you need each day to accomplish your objective? If you’re training for a marathon, you probably ought to be spending an hour a day, a few days a week, and a 2-3 hour block once a week. Make this time part of your routine.
2. Begin with baby steps. One of my favorite sayings is that you can’t eat the elephant in one bite. Immediately jumping into a new activity for 30 minutes can be overwhelming. Start with 5 minutes and add a little time each week.
* Getting started is frequently the most difficult task.
3. Avoid letting yourself off the hook. On those inevitable days when you don’t feel like taking action, just stop. It only takes a split second to convince yourself you have a good reason for avoiding a task.
* If you freeze and don’t do anything else for a minute, you might be able to get yourself back on track. But if you let yourself turn on the TV or get on Facebook, all is lost until the next time.
4. Generate reminders until you develop a habit. Even with the purest of intentions, it’s easy to forget something for a few days. After some time off, it’s easy to lose momentum and enthusiasm.
* Leave notes, signs, and any other type of reminder to ensure you remember to take action each day.
5. Consider where your discipline is lacking. Are you distracted by the TV or internet? If so, do your work where these distractions aren’t present. Are you less likely to be compliant in the evenings? Then, get your work done in the morning.
* Add in the necessary structure to maintain discipline.
6. Measure your progress. Quality experts are fond of saying, “When you measure something, the thing you measure changes.” Just by keeping tabs on your progress, you’re likely to make more headway.
* Measuring your progress also provides proof that the activity is important to you.
7. Focus on the end. If you think about how miserable it will be to ride your bike for 100 miles, it’s tough to get out the door. But if you focus on the feeling of crossing the finish line in the big race, training is a lot easier.
* Have a vivid picture of you reaching your goal in your mind. Then you can call on it to provide motivation at a moment’s notice.
8. Realize that conditions aren’t perfect. If you wait until all the stars align in the universe, you’ll rarely accomplish anything. Learn to work through less-than-perfect conditions and situations. There’s a saying, “The best time to plant a tree was last year. The second best time is right now.”
Avoid being someone that spends an excessive amount of time learning, planning, and thinking. Simply come up with a decent plan and work it with enthusiasm. Learning to take action is one of the most valuable skills to have in life. Think about the most successful people you know. Are they thinkers or doers?
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The ReFeathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.