More often than not, I get asked how did I go from being a normal housewife with a 9-5 job, a husband, a dog, a beautiful house and a comfortable life to traveling the world, freelance writing and experiencing everything life has to offer.
Simply put, I do what I want, I get things done, and I go places. I have a type A personality. While it's nice to be spontaneous, planning is key and most people can tell you I'm a planner. I can definitely act on the fly, but for long term success, creating an end goal and how to get there is so important.
I always tell people you can do whatever you want in this world, you just have to figure out your own path to get there. Here’s how you can find your own path to get where you want to be in life.
- If you want something bad enough, you can get it.
Envision your dream and begin the planning process .No matter what it is. Big goals require big steps, but they can't be taken all at once. Set up short term, achievable goals and eventually, your prize will be in front of you.
- Set your idea as a goal then create the plan you need to achieve it.
When I trained for my shirt show, my prep for my first figure competition took 4 months. I couldn’t have done it without my coach and all of her expertise and guidelines. It took months of dedication with weekly check ins and follow ups, but I achieved my goal of stepping on that stage, show ready.
- Set a date, give yourself a timeframe and a deadline, but make sure it's realistic to minimize stressors.
When I decided to quit my job to travel around SE Asia and wherever else life my take me, I needed time. I had to make sure all of my affairs were in order and I certainly needed time to save money for an adventure of an indefinite duration. Additionally, packing up and selling a house takes time. The 7 months I allowed myself was adequate and luckily, I closed on my home exactly one week before my one way flight to China.
- Take a leap of faith in life and in yourself.
Leaving your comfortable life and decent income for the unknown can be daunting. My biggest concern wasn't actually quitting my job, but landing another whenever I return to "the real world." But one day I realized I have experience in my field. Not only that, but I knew I would grow as a person on this journey and have a new perspective to offer when (if) it comes to a close. I had to trust in myself to know that I can do whatever I need to when the time comes.
- Use past positive experiences and successes to remind yourself you can overcome the next setback or obstacle.
Traveling in a new country, especially once you've grown accustomed to a certain place, can be stressful. Language, script, customs, and ways are all different. There are some places where travel is difficult because you can't read anything and few people speak English, but I tell myself, "I made it there, so I can make it here." Focus on what you can do, not on what you think you can't.
- Have faith in humanity and give people the benefit of the doubt, but always watch your back, it's important to be safe and have situational awareness.
I always want to believe people are good, and will help you, and for the most part, that's true. But, you have to keep your head on a swivel, especially when traveling. I'm always aware of what is going on around me and despite that, people still take me by surprise. I was once almost pickpocketed in the capital of Mongolia and someone riding a motorbike recently tried to steal my bag. Thank goodness I've been lucky enough to avoid these inconveniences (But, with that in mind, you can't let life worry you too much- you have to go out and live it)!
- Appreciate what you have in life.
Right down to the simple stuff that we take for granted like warm running water, electricity, flushing toilets, and the variety of healthy food we have available in the west. Many people in many countries don't have any of this.
After living in countries where I didn't have running water, a shower, or electricity, I've developed a new application for these seemingly simple things in life. Furthermore, anything I get beyond the basics is a bonus. A flushing toilet is one, and toilet paper is even better!
- Every day is an adventure and every day offers something beautiful.
I used to always run around like a chicken with my head cut off- early morning wake ups, 2 gym sessions a day, work, taking care of the house, making healthy food, the list goes on... But when you don't pause for a moment, life passes you by and before you know it, you're caught up in the grind. Now, I look at stuff, I see things, I pay attention to my surroundings and see the beauty they hold. It's nice sometimes to just breathe.
- Things in life may get difficult, but they will pass, and you'll get through them. Look for the silver lining and recreate yourself.
When my marriage failed, I thought I had failed. My life was over, or so it seemed- to me anyway. Sometimes it may take a while, but the tough times will pass. Somewhere held within is a silver lining and once you see it, you can make great things happen too.
- It may be a cliché, but don't wish for things, work for them.
Apply yourself and go after what you want in life. If you don't try, you'll never know what you can get or achieve.
So many people tell me they are afraid. They'd be afraid to try to compete in a bodybuilding competition because what if they don't make it, or they tell me they are afraid to quit their jobs and go after their real passions, but if you don't do it, you'll never know and you'll spend your life wondering about the "what ifs."
I don't wonder about my "what ifs" because I live them and the ones that didn't work out, (like my marriage), well, at least I know I tried and gave it my all. So at the end of the day, I have no regrets, no what ifs, no worries that I've made the wrong decisions. Everyday I wake up and say,
MS, RD, LD