Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s an opportunity for family to get together, share a great feast and simply enjoy one another. But the day can also be a meaningful time to reflect on our blessings and share special traditions that are used to show gratitude.
In our household, Thanksgiving Day begins at the kitchen table, where we all share a special breakfast (this year, we had German apple pancakes with thick sliced bacon, courtesy of my husband, Josh). Shortly after breakfast, the dishes are cleared so the turkey can go in the oven. The kitchen table is transformed into a game table where we all gather around to play a very competitive game of Dominoes. The day is filled with cooking, tasting, laughter, and football until dinner is served.
Prior to helping ourselves to the massive feast, each family member takes a moment of reflection before sharing what they are most thankful for and what their personal accomplishments were during the year. Then we share a preview of our resolutions for the New Year. This year, I optimistically vowed to prioritize my personal goals and work harder at turning my dreams into reality.
In the past, I’ve made similar resolutions. But, no matter how sincere my intent was, life always seemed to get in the way of achieving my goals.
It always started the same, with me being super focused and stoked out. Then, about two-thirds through, I would lose interest and momentum which ultimately led to a lack of follow-through. When this occurred, I would contemplate how realistic my dreams were and often questioned whether it was even worth doing. Then, I discovered a few simple steps that helped me regain my focus and momentum.
If you’ve experienced the same type of lull as described above, follow these 3 steps:
- Determine if your dreams are something you really want
It’s been my personal experience that there are things that we really want, and things we think we want. Dig deep within and be honest with yourself to find the motivation. The key is to determine whether you are passionately committed to the idea and motivated to act, or if is it merely something you think you should be doing out of obligation.
- Swallow your fear
After establishing what you want, fear may still sneak up on you and try to prevent you from fulfilling your dreams. This is common. However, when you’ve made up your mind and decided that you truly want something, your wants will overpower that fear.
- Make time for yourself
When you’ve decided that you want something bad enough, you’ll be ready to act. Not all things can be implemented now. For those things that require more time, schedule it in your calendar, giving it the same weight you would an important meeting. Recognize that your commitments to yourself require the same level of care that commitments to others receive. Writing down the commitment will make it more concrete which is the first step to building up the momentum you’ll need. Once you’ve got momentum on your side you become an unstoppable force and success becomes imminent.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy