There are two schools of thought: (1) Take specific action and move toward a goal systematically, or (2) be grateful, breathe and move with the flow.
They are not mutually exclusive, but for me, it often seems as though they contradict each other.
Lately, I however, I've stumbled upon a comforting balance.
It began with writing down specific daily tasks that will help me reach my goals, which are to improve my running and to become a certified health and fitness professional.
I listed six in November 2012:
- Run and follow my training plan.
- Do something for my coaching studies. (Take classes, read, write, and practice.)
- Do one thing truly valuable for the company I work for.
- Drink green smoothies and eat lots of fruit
- Avoid processed food.
- Try something different every week.
For me, breaking down the big mission into baby steps, made the whole thing less daunting. It’s also calming to check off the items every evening and feel that I have lived a solid day.
Interestingly, due to these planned actions, positive things started to happen.
In 1999, I graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and journalism. I had hoped to become an advertising copywriter. Over the years, I freelanced for an ad agency, wrote for a technology news website, and worked as an in-house marketing writer. I'd occasionally submit samples to different publications too, but no one ever picked them up. A few non-response and rejections later, I stopped writing.
Many twists and turns later, and thanks to writing for my coaching training, I have rediscovered the joy of writing. My articles or blog posts likely won’t amount to anything that I can call a writing career, but that’s OK.
When I realized, in 7th grade, that I wasn’t athletic enough to become a professional athlete, that didn’t stop me from loving sports. Additionally, when readers tell me that they enjoy my writing and find my articles helpful, it’s more fulfilling than anything I’ve done for my day jobs.
I see that progress is not solely a forward motion, but circular as well. Through the daily tasks, I began to write more, which in turn created opportunities to meet like-minded people and uncover new resources that support my coaching and running journey.
Funny how things work out sometimes.
A friend said it best: When I mentioned that I wish I could turn my writing hobby into a paying gig but I’m not sure how, he pointed out that the key to writing is to keep writing.
Here is my interpretation. It’s important to have a well laid-out plan and clear goal, but don’t forget to stop, relax and appreciate the surprises. After all, the flip side of uncertainty is possibility. It’s exciting to not know and just keep taking actions.
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