As the winter melts away, our minds and bodies get ready to spring into action. That makes now a great time to begin moving toward our visions in a way that makes us feel joyful and excited. However, it can be easy to confuse being busy with being productive—so be sure to differentiate between working hard versus working purposefully toward your vision.
Imagine a person carrying stones across a lawn. We can tell they’re working hard, right? But we don’t admire that person as much as the person who says they’re carrying stones to build a fence or well. Just doing work, aiming randomly and letting the arrows of our efforts fly, isn’t enough—we’ll end up exhausted without making any progress!
Instead, really focus on your goals this month. Take that extra moment to get your aim just right before releasing those arrows toward success.
Keep Your Eye on the Target
I see so many military spouses out there truly building their own paths through life—it’s really amazing and inspiring! If you’re also a military spouse, think about the creations you want to build in your life. Ask yourself, “what work is required to make that dream a reality?” Then, instead of immediately shooting for the target, imagine yourself hitting it each day as you make small steps toward your goals.
Of course, there will be days when you can’t help but pick up your bow and let that arrow go—some days, we just feel inspired to make huge progress, which is awesome. However, as busy military spouses, remember that it’s also okay to go at a slower pace sometimes, being kind to ourselves on those less active days.
Think about the details of your job or entrepreneurial project. Spend as much time as you need imagining the feelings you’ll have once you’ve reached that goal. Then meditate on each task it will take to get there, imagining yourself taking aim and hitting that bullseye.
Practice Makes Perfect
As military spouses, we often get caught up caring for everyone but ourselves. In the hustle of everyday life, we forget our visions and the importance of practicing—taking at least one small action—every day that we can.
For example, I work with a military spouse who was feeling too overwhelmed with military life to really focus on her own needs and desires. In our coaching session, she committed to taking one action for herself each day to help clear her head and access her creativity. And for her, this daily step was attending a yoga class.
When she later called me up to tell me she had gone to a 10:45 am yoga class, I was excited to tell her she had actually accomplished two great things for the day, yoga and chatting with me! Just doing a few little things for ourselves while we care for everyone else is so important, keeping that target in sight even on the busiest of days.
Find a Target of Your Own
I’m always encouraging military spouses not to let military life get in the way of their goals. Even if they can’t get the exact job they want due to their remote duty station or the stress of a deployment, they can still take a step or two in the right direction. You don’t have to work eighty hours a week to make progress—just do what you can and know that you’re surrounded with a loving community that has your back!
A military spouse I’m working with recently shared her passion for social media marketing. Together, she and I came up with a plan that met her current situation and goals. While she didn’t have enough time left in her current location to land a dream job, she was still able to sign up for online classes, attend conferences, and read up on the topic. In short, she was able to begin making progress.
Even if it’s reaching out to related Facebook groups, listening to podcasts, or volunteering a few hours a week, finding a temporary target that’s more realistic can help keep that longer-term goal in mind for the future. It keeps our head in the game.
Put in the Mental Effort
It’s become a cliché in sports that achieving a goal is 10% physical and 90% mental, but this can definitely be true in goal-setting! Sometimes we know what we want to do next, but we need the support and motivation to get in the right mental space to take those necessary steps.
I recently worked with a woman who had been unsuccessfully looking for a job for a year and a half. She had just finished her undergraduate degree in early childhood development, but she wasn’t a certified teacher yet. She was frustrated that she couldn’t find a good job due to the difficulty contacting her references and her lack of previous job experience in the field.
I said, “Well, then, we need to change the channel and get you a job!”
The main issue, we soon discovered, was her lack of confidence. She would get burned out after making it to the final stage of an interview and not getting the job, causing her to doubt herself. After just a few sessions of working on building her confidence, my client landed a new job.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and give up on a job search or goal. That’s why the best thing you can do to overcome this feeling is to reach out, whether it’s to a life coach or even a friend. Support can come in a variety of forms—sometimes, just venting to another military spouse over a cup of tea can really help you reclaim your passion and keep moving forward!
Be a Trailblazer
Finding your own path and community through life requires a lot of bravery. Whether it’s signing up for my monthly ideal career webinar or picking up interesting books and listening to podcasts in your new field, building your excitement will help you fix your aim on that target. Military spouses who fight all of the obstacles and keep working toward their dream become what I call trailblazers, leaders who forge their own ways through life.
I even have a contest going on right now on just this topic. Simply email me about yourself or another spouse you know who is a trailblazer. Then, I’ll send one winner my signature trailblazer t-shirt and feature her story on this blog. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your amazing story.
I’m also hosting a free webinar later this month to help keep the spring momentum going. In this workshop, we’ll be talking about taking broader aim and falling in love with targets beyond our careers. So, don’t forget to sign up, mark your calendar, and join me for the live webinar by visiting www.militaryspousecoach.com/events.
Plus, for more tips, check out my recent AmeriForce article on successful military spouses.