Personal Goals

I finished my previous post with the promise of sharing a list of my own personal goals.

That was all fine and dandy to say until it came time to actually do it. I predictably became hesitant to do so because, well, when you put it out into the universe you kinda have to actually do it! You feel more obliged to follow through so you don’t feel like a complete loser if you don’t.

Which brings me to an amazing fact that numerous motivational guru’s continually point out… the first step is to make your goals known to people rather then keeping it a big ol’ secret to yourself. One then feels more ‘pressure’ to have to get the job done. Saying it verbally to others actually encourages you make the effort to work towards succeeding at your intended goal. Which is the whole point isn’t it? Motivate yourself in anyway necessary to just Do It. And I know all of this yet I still get nervous to put it out there.  Hello

So it’s not such a bad thing. If that’s what it takes to get the ball rolling in the right direction to succeed at your goals. Whatever it takes right? I find it so ironic that I totally understand this yet I still am cautious. You know what that is don’t you? Fear. Yes indeed, the dreaded curse. It’s so boggling to the mind that I want to succeed at my goals yet I fear saying them out loud! Wow. How completely backwards is that whole thing?!
Fear prevents us from accomplishments in our lives which is why mind power is paramount. People are fearful of failure and also of success oddly enough. Ultimately it’s the fear of change, fear of the unknown. This unfortunately often creates a stand still in life. Which is crazy when you think about it.
Again, mind over matter. It really truly takes effort to program our minds to overcome negative thoughts.

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Our minds are so powerful, if you think you’ll succeed you will. If you think you’ll fail, guess what? You will. Pretty simple yet so difficult at times. 

Here I go, I’m going to share my list of personal goals that are uber important to me. Drum roll please!! ha!

My first goal is to get back into shape. Better shape. I know, I know, so lame, common, boring, unimaginative and predicticable. But oddly enough it’s not for any vain reasons but more for my health and strength. With all of my medical issues it’s crucial I take better care of myself if I want to live longer. Period. Besides walking to and from work plus the walking I do at work I have really been lacking physical activity. You can read about some of my health story here.

I spoke of breaking down your goals into smaller intervals on a previous post. In order to succeed and not get discouraged at the overall intent goal it’s best to break the goal down. Also be very specific with yourself about each goal. With me stating I want to get into shape is vague and a seemingly endless goal. I could find myself getting overwhelmed and disappointed pretty easily and early on if I don’t give myself various points of victory along the way. So to get into better shape I plan to start small and build up. I know myself well enough with certain personal promises and my reality is to typically jump into whatever it is all head over heals and hyped up only to peter out sooner then later. Not good and so discouraging. Then I feel like a failure and that’s definitely counter productive. This is really more of a lifestyle maintenance change but it is obviously a goal for me to achieve this. So I am looking at it as a long term, lifestyle goal. I plan to start out with a daily mini workout of 50 situps, 50 squats and 50 arm lifts with 10lb weights. That’s it. Along with my daily walking that’s all I’m going to commit to at the start. I will build up each week and add in a new set of exercises until I get back to the level of exercise I used to do regularly. Then maintain. At the beginning of next week I will take my measurements then record them weekly. I don’t do weight as I know I have consistently maintained approximately the same weight (+/- 10lbs) for years. My goal isn’t necessarily weight loss but rather to be toned and healthy overall. If I lose a couple of pounds in the process, sweetness! 

I will celebrate my weekly successes by feeling hella better (and having a wee l’il sweet treat). Which makes no sense but I know me. If I tell myself I can’t have any I want it more. I know right! My mind is like a 2 year old when it comes to sweets. I can’t possibly live without some sweets once in awhile, let’s be real. It doesn’t matter how much Mind Power I use on this goal. A girl’s gotta live a little! Come on

My second goal is to make our blog successful. Now that couldn’t sound more overwhelming and vast! What does it mean exactly and what is it going to take for that goal to actually succeed? First I need to break this goal down in order to be accountable to myself.  A more successful blog to me means more readership. More readership requires regular posts. So to start, I will write consistently for the blog. I want to have at least 2 posts per week minimum. This means I have to allow certain time during the week to prepare and write. My work schedule is always different week to week so I already know I could fail at this goal swiftly and miserably. Instead, I will schedule specific days according to my work to prepare and write. That way if I have days scheduled on my calender I will feel more obliged to accomplish these deadlines. I have to look at the blog posts as a job that has a deadline. We (my side-kick blog partner, Natasha, aka my beautiful daughter) have a combined plan on the goals for the blog but I am just stating mine right now.

My third goal is to become (my version) of a successful artist (painter on canvas). Okay, saying it out loud scares the sh*t out of me! Yikes! My first thought is, ‘Really Laura? Lets be real…successful painter?!’ And you know what I’m going to say right back to myself? 
Hell to the yeah I want to be!’ Soooo….um, yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do. (Gulp) Really have to use that Positive Mind Power here!

The break down to this ultimate goal is to sell at least 4 large style paintings this year. To me that’s reasonable for a newbie artist. This will require more promoting online, researching, contacting gallery’s and having my paintings more visible on social media. I’m not a ‘professional painter’ by the Art Industry standards or even by MY own standards. However, I proved to myself these past months that I can indeed sell some paintings. Which I have to say, I would’ve laughed out loud at a year ago. If someone would’ve told me I’d sell some paintings in a Vancouver gallery I certainly would never have believed them in a million years. So for this goal I have a tiny little bit of confidence going for me at least. (I need all of the help confidence I can get!)

So you see, never say never. Believe and you will achieve. 

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So 3 goals for now. I definitely have many more but that’s a good start at the ones I am most desiring. I think I’m off to a fairly optimistic start since these goals are real to me. I have true intent and desire in accomplishing each of them regardless of anyone Else’s opinions or thoughts. Which for me is half the battle. I will have to be consistent with my Mind Power in order to remain driven.

Phew. Alrighty then. Lets do this.

Laura xo

Secret To Success

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We are well into the New Year and it’s time to get down to business. A New Year which means new opportunities, aspirations and goals. I’m definitely not into making any of those ‘doomed to fail’ resolutions that so many naively commit to. Year after year. Dreadful. I’m happy to say I have learnt my lesson years ago. One of the few great benefits of aging is wisdom. I’m not suggesting we should never set goals and have dreams. Of course we should! That’s the beauty of life, the reason we are here. To set goals for ourselves to learn, grow and succeed. It’s the pressure of making New Year resolutions I prefer to stay away from. Why set yourself up for failure of achieving grand unrealistic promises made to oneself? I mean, we have enough life stresses thrown upon us daily to deal with as it is! Why voluntarily add to those just because it’s a New Year? Quit smoking, lose weight, start yoga, go to the gym, write that book (this year for sure), marry Mr. Wonderful, yadda yadda. On and on. Puh-lease.

I’m more interested in making constant growth changes in life which are attainable and realistic. Baby steps. Let’s not place the weight of the world upon our shoulders and then feel like complete sh*t when we can’t achieve the goal. Instead begin with genuine intent for long term goals and work on them in short term intervals. For instance, your overall intent could be, ‘I’m going to lose 50 pounds!’  You start out extremely motivated and ready to kick ass then it all seems to fall apart. Right off the bat you could find yourself getting overwhelmed and feeling like you’ll never accomplish that. The goal seems so far away.

The key is to narrow down your goals and be very specific. So that ultimate goal of losing 50 pounds begins as a 5-10 pound goal. Suddenly your intent goal becomes more reachable and realistic with each successful interval. It’s easier to envision the steps needed to get there and it’s not so daunting. After you reach each 5 pound goal you celebrate your victory. The best reward you are recieving during the journey to your goal is really a secret reward.

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This ‘secret‘ is the power you are subconsciously gaining with every success. The power of CONFIDENCE and the proof that you can do it. Essentially we are programming our brain to succeed and to consciously be aware of how amazing it feels when we do. Celebrating your small victories gives you the strength and determination you’ll need to continue and conquer on. You begin to feel like you can achieve whatever it is you truly desire. And guess what? You can. Mind power is just that… powerful stuff. That’s where all of the actual will power and strength begins, in our minds. It’s incredible just how powerful our mind is. That saying, ‘You can do anything you put your mind to’ is so true. Most of us don’t use this power to it’s full advantage. 

I’m not exactly a pro at this whole positive mind power thing quite yet. It’s hard to constantly stay in a positive mind space when the universe is continually throwing curve balls at you. I totally get that, trust me. But I am here to say I have been giving it a real honest to goodness go the past couple of years and it does work. It takes mental effort but I think I may be onto something here! I’m living proof it’s never too late and you’re never too old to learn how to re-program your mind. To live positively and to actually achieve our goals. However small or large they are, we can do it.

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My beloved Oprah (Omg how I admire her!) and motivational guru, Deepak Chopra (whom I recently started paying attention to) have become incredible influences in my life. Like can we be best friends Oprah? They definitely have things figured out and know what they’re talking about. Real talk. I have taken their advice and applied it to many situations. I was super excited to have the opportunity to attend Oprah’s motivational speech tour here in Vancouver a couple of years ago. I can’t even tell you how intently I listened to every single word she said. I felt as though she was speaking just to me!  She said numerous brilliant things but what struck me most was when she talked about living your true life. Whatever your true goals in life are, you can accomplish them. Basically if you believe you can achieve. Again, mind power. I could listen to her talk all day long. 

So people, to sum this up, I want you to screw those lame New Year’s resolutions once and for all. Instead trade them in for some real goals with true intent. However big or small those goals are, just believe you can do it! Remember, baby steps, small victories while working towards your ultimate goal. There’s no reason in the whole wide world why you can’t replace self doubt thoughts with ‘why the hell can’t I’ thoughts. 

It’s time to get real and I am totally on board as well. This is the year for accomplishments, no more self doubt and giving up before even beginning. No more allowing your brain to fall back into negative thought patterns. It’s going to take some serious mental work and facing your fears head on. 

I will continue to share my journey to achieving my goals with you and I encourage you to share with us. It’s amazing how much easier it is when there is strength in numbers. Just knowing you’re not alone gives you encouragement to succeed. 

Stay tuned… I am working on my true intent goal list for this year. I’d love to hear what some of your goals are for 2015 and beyond!

Laura xo

Single At Christmas

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Well, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I started talkin’ about it again. Dating. Or in my case it would be ‘lack of dating‘.

If you’ve followed our blog you know that when we started this blog a year ago I shared a few ‘dating’ stories. Then I just kinda stopped. Here’s the thing, I stopped writing about it because I stopped dating. Completely. Initially I shared stories of dates I had experienced in the past years since my divorce. I exclaimed I had numerous tales of dating adventures left to share until new experiences should arise. Which I definitely do, and I will continue to share when the mood strikes my fancy again. But then I became bored of talking about these ‘old’ tales as well as trying to find my Mr. Right amongst endless Mr. Wrong’s. So I literally stopped dating all together. I mean, completely and totally stopped dating. Like, haven’t had a date in 2 years this month. What??!!! I know right! I’ll talk about that more in another post.

Now, I certainly didn’t plan to not date anyone for this length of time. It sorta just has happened that way. I had stopped all effort of putting myself out there, no more online dating sites (I can’t even express how over all of that sh*t I was!) no more being set up… nothing. Zero, nodda, zilcho. Funny thing is I never really even cared about dating or gave it a serious thought until recently. I’ve been busy and totally focused on changing my life. For real! And that’s a time consuming, damn big job! 

But here it is. That time of year is here… Christmas time. The time of year when you feel emotional, all reminiscent of time gone by. Then suddenly the realization that you’re completely partner-less slaps you right in the face. The time of year when you become blatantly more aware of couples seemingly everywhere holding hands and kissing under the mistletoe. Endlessly planning their holiday festivities. Where every song on the Christmas radio station is a sad, lonely, heart broken, won’t be home for the Holidays love song. What is up with sad Christmas songs anyway?
And yes, I do listen to Vancouver’s 24/7 Christmas music radio station at home! (Shout out to 103.5!) Perfect channel to put on when you’re doing your Christmas baking, wrapping or entertaining!  

Anyways, there’s no need to be sad during the Holidays. All of you single ladies, we will get through this Holiday season and prevail. Here, here!! 

So for all of my fellow solo sista’s out there I took it upon myself and made a list of things to be grateful for while being single during the holiday season. You’re welcome. ­čśë

1. You’ll save money $$$ by not having to buy him a gift. Go on. Buy yourself something extra pretty instead. You deserve it.

2. Avoid getting a migraine from racking your brain trying to think of the most perfect gift idea. The worst! Men are the hardest to buy for.

3. Merrily spend as much Holiday time with your own family. No dividing, arguing, guilt or splitting time between your family and his family. Truth be told, you’d rather be with your own friends and family. Honestly.

4. Watching all of your favourite Holiday movies with no opposition and complaints. Love Actually, Elf and Christmas Vacation over and over. With tree lights twinkling, sipping hot cocoa with double Bailey’s and being all cozy in your flannels. Blissful. Friggin’ blissful

5. Eat & drink as much as you want. Why not! You’re single remember? What’s a few extra pounds over the holidays gonna hurt?  Enjoy yourself. Eat, drink, and be merry! Worry about it in January. Mmmmm, shortbread.

6. More time to do the Holiday things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time before. Like get together with girlfriends more often or donating your time to a worthwhile cause/charity. This is like a bonus, doing something for others while feeling better about yourself. Winning!

7. Not having to attend his work party. Hallelujah!

8. Playing Christmas music anytime you feel. All day, all night. Blue Christmas on repeat. Yes please. 

9. Splurging on and purchasing as much Holiday decor as humanly possible. And desired. That’s right. As much as our little hearts desire.

10. Doing what you want, when you want and how you want. Whatever makes you happy

What are some of the things you like to do during the Holidays? Or wish you didn’t have to do?! :)

(Currently listening to: Kelly Clarkson Christmas Album ‘Wrapped In Red’ – watch here!)

Laura xo 

Love At A Pub

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Let’s go back in time. Not necessarily a better time, just another time of days gone by in my dating journey. Let’s talk about ‘Wayne’. Not his real name. Obviously.

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne. Sigh. Where shall I begin? At the beginning? Yes. Alrighty then. Let’s do that shall we?

I’ve made mention of him on a previous post which you can see here. He was the first guy I actually had a relationship with after my marriage. I had plenty of meet and greets and dates with other men before him. But Wayne was the first guy that I ended up being in an exclusive long term relationship with. Not just once but twice. Yes, two different times during 6 years. First time we dated for a couple of years (on and off-should’ve been off) and the second time for a year. Apparently I never learnt any lessons the first time. Our relationship the first time around consisted of excessive partying, too much alcohol (way too often) and the eventual admittance of cocaine use on his part. No, I’m not perfect either. Looking back I was just a tad bit, shall we say, desperate?  Let’s not forget needy and clingy. Sounds like a perfect match doesn’t it? A real dream team.

I was out with my only single girlfriend at the time. She took me to a pub she had previously been to and she thought I’d like it and feel comfortable there. I did really enjoy it. We had been out numerous times before and I immediately noticed a problem. We found it rather tricky finding an establishment for our age group. At that time we were both in our late 30’s. I might as well of been in my late 90’s because that’s how old I felt. Completely out of place being single after spending 20 years being part of a duo.  I was so inexperienced, so green. I’m sure it was mostly in my head but it didn’t help matters when some places had patrons that were maybe a whole 21 years old or others had the complete opposite, 60+ year olds.

On this night I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go out. But, unlike what my fore mentioned friend likes to do all too often, I did not bail on her. We got to the pub a little late so it was already pretty packed and barely any seats available. We managed to find a couple stools at the end of the bar (not my preference) but close to the dance floor. However, this location was perfect because there’s nothing better then watching drunk people dance. This specific night I was grateful I had the dance crowd to keep myself entertained. My friend had gone MIA. Was off on her merry way dancing with some guy who finally got up enough liquid courage to saunter over and ask her to dance. Yea, don’t think I didn’t notice. I’m kinda like a hawk when it comes to people watching. I can usually figure out who’s fighting with who, who’s eyeing someone, who shouldn’t be eyeing someone and who gets caught by their significant other eyeing someone. Oh yea. I rock at that shit. I can read relationship dynamics just by peoples body language, mannerisms and actions. Don’t even have to be in ear’s distance to hear what they’re saying and I know what’s going on. That alone could’ve kept me quite content all night long. Well that and the various hopeful suitors who would come and ask me to dance, to which I politely declined. I know, I know!  What a big party pooper. Whatever. I just wasn’t feeling it that particular night. Trust me, this girl has no problem shaking her boot-ay when the mood strikes my fancy. Yea, I still got it.

I just wasn’t into it. That is until Wayne made his way over to me. ‘You know what they say about sitting at the edge of the bar?’ he says to me out of the blue. Hmmmm? I glance over and decide, okay, he’s attractive and his aura isn’t that of being a dick so, alright, I’ll bite. ‘I don’t know. What do they say?’ I coyly respond. He smiles and extends his hand and introduces himself. ‘What? You don’t know what it means when someone sits at the edge of the bar?’ Ahhh, no I don’t. I’ve been hibrinating for the past 20 years I silently think to myself. Any new dating rules that have occurred during the past 20 years, well, I’m totally not up to date to say the least. He proceeds to tell me it’s code for letting others know you are available. Oh, well then, I’ve picked the right spot haven’t I? I still don’t even know if that’s true. I’m so gullible at times. Anyone know if that’s true or not? Please share!

So right off the bat I got a good feeling about him. No alter ego at play, no cheesy stories, no feelings that this guy was a big time player. So, I allowed him to continue conversation with me. When I’m not interested I tend to be short with conversation. Maybe even a little rude I’ve been told, but I don’t see the point in making small talk when there is zero interest. Wayne was very witty and humorous. I like that alot. The live band that was playing went on their 2nd intermission and the DJ started his show with a dance mix of the biggest hit song of that summer, Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back. Well the crowd piled onto the dance floor and everyone was totally into the party mode by this point.  Wayne takes my hand and leads me onto the dance floor. It’s weird that I even remember the exact song, because I barely even remember the band that night. Isn’t it strange when our brain just remembers certain details and specific facts? Now even after 5 years, every single time I hear that song, I think about Wayne, and that night. Music is like the sound track to our lives. A specific song can bring you right back in time instantly. Music and fragrance do the same for me. I can remember every single perfume I used to wear at different times in life. Who I was with, what was going on, specific feelings. Good and bad. Some songs I can’t even bare to listen to and some perfumes I refuse to wear. Some really great songs and fragrances have completely been ruined for me. Damn them jerks!

Song after song, we continued on the dance floor dancing, having the best time. As the night was coming to an end my girlfriend, aka lame-o wing woman, finally made her way over to me. Ahhh, how very sweet of you to remember me, I’m thinking. We make introductions to each others uh, new…’guys’ and make some small talk. ‘Do you guys want to come over for a few drinks? Some friends are all coming back to my place.’ Wayne says. Extending the invitation to my girlfriend and her new friend…guy…friend. I was actually into the invitation, especially being in a group setting, why not? Continue the laughs and good times. Until my girlfriend excuses us and grabs my arm, basically pulls me aside and says we shouldn’t go. Ah, what? Why the hell not? I haven’t been to a party, well, other then my kids birthday parties in literally aeons. And we all know that’s the truth. That night I was feeling flirty and 21 29 again! Up for some fun. My girlfriend continued telling me all of the reasons why we shouldn’t go. We don’t know them, never been to his house, what if they’re psychos? All very valid, but really? That’s why women have instinct, and mine was saying Wayne was totally fine. Her’s must’ve been telling her something different because she just wasn’t into his invite at all.  So of course, being the good friend I am, I obliged and told Wayne I unfortunately had to decline tonight but he had my number and could use it.

Turns out my girlfriend really wasn’t into her ‘friend/guy/one night only dance partner’ hence why the desperate attempt to keep us from further hanging out with them. Interesting how she vanishes to appease herself and dance the night away when it’s to her benefit. Ironic there’s no reciprocation for me when the situation arises? Pffft. Isn’t there some girlfriend being a good wing woman code of ethics thing? I’m pretty sure there was one when I used to go out way, long ago…back in the day. Oh, what do I know. I’m 38 now, ancient.

In any event, Wayne and I went our separate ways that night. I was barely home when I received a text from him. He said how great it was meeting me and if he could call me this week so we could set up a date. Why yes, I am completely into that. In fact, I am looking forward to it.

Sounds pretty promising doesn’t it? Funny how things start so great and then as time carries on shit happens. Before you know it you’ve found yourself in love (or was it love? Jury’s still out on that one) and messed up with a man who’s life includes parties, excessive drinking, an eventual admittance to a cocaine problem, head games, jealousy, co-dependancy, and just plain effed up-ness. But I knew he loved me like crazy, and me being just out of a 20 year relationship, well, I had my own issues. I just added to that craziness. Yeah, it only got worse as we went along.

Hopefully as I write through these experiences with the jumbled up mess that’s crammed in my head, I will make some sort of sense of it all. It’s all about the journey and hopefully taking lessons away from them.

This chapter (the story of Wayne) has just begun.

Laura xo