"In order to conquer, what we need is to dare, still to dare, and always to dare." - Georges Danton
Howdy friends! I wanted to start off by saying: thank you. Thanks for following along with the material I'm putting out, responding to social media updates and being patient while my little shop gets set up. I'm so excited to put some designs out there and to create memorable gifts for you guys! This wouldn't be possible without your constant support :)
In the meantime, I have a story for you that, although impossible to believe, is completely true... I became a Type A person this year. This is coming from a girl whose key phrase in high school was, "Sorry I'm late", who finished projects days before they were due and who missed opportunities because I hadn't planned ahead. It's not that I never wanted to be Type A (I think everyone wishes they could be more put together) but that I didn't put in the effort to be better. Leave it to challenging times in life to push you into the water and make you swim!
After being in a leadership position which impacted more lives than my own, I learned that who I wanted to be was now who I needed to be and I had to step up my game. I wanted to conquer, not just attempt and achieve my best mediocre, but to be in control of my future. I haven't fully reached Type A nirvana, but I've come to understand its mantra a little more through these steps.
1. No. Excuses. You are a living, breathing human being with capacity for thought and the ability to function! There is nothing that should hinder you from succeeding, especially yourself and your excuses. Life is way too short for anything less than your best. Leave your "my bus was late" line behind and push forward.
2. Arm yourself - Get a watch, a planner, whatever you need to succeed and use them all the time! Keep them updated, use them to plan ahead and strategize - be a total nerd about it. Here are a few tools I keep in my kit:
A journal - Use it to check in with yourself, where you want to be, and jot down your crazy ideas and dreams (more on my journaling methods to come)
The most beautiful planner you've ever seen - Don't settle in anything, especially with planners. You want something you'll love to write in and look at every day. Pick the one that will work best for your days and needs as well. I need a to-do list and hourly appointments in mine.
A watch - Even though most of us use our phone to check the time, a watch can be useful in different situations. I taught a freshman class last year and it was so helpful to be able to look at the time on my watch instead of looking distracted on my phone. You come across as more professional.
A big desk calendar - Write down all of your upcoming dates (I mean all - use different colors to achieve that artsy vibe and categorize events). Put it in a place you'll see it frequently throughout the day so you can stay on track with events on the horizon.
3. Put most important things first, always - Once you know how to organize, before the planning begins, take into account your family, religion, health, and what you love to do. These are non-excusably important parts of your life and you need them to succeed. They make you who you are, and you can't lost sight of them if you want to reach your fullest potential. When I forget to take care of those I love or myself, I fall behind in every other part of my life. It's not the fullest your life could be without them. Hold on tight to what matters.
4. Be honest - I have the most trouble with this one. "Know thyself" is a tried and true philosophy because we all operate differently and we need to know ourselves to succeed. Personally, I work slower on art projects because I'm a perfectionist. I know that if I need to sell a bunch of cards, I need a few weeks to finish them so I can get them right. Figure out how much time you need for you. Don't base your schedule solely on what your friends (or bloggers!) are doing. Evaluate how you operate and the time you need to do well.
5. Find your support network - Track down a friend, a church leader or a person that you trust and ask them to be your accountability partner. Share your planning systems with each other. Tell them what you need from them to stay sane and ask how you can support them in return. Check in with them at least once a week, whether through text, a call or a meet up at your favorite coffee shop. It helps to hear perspectives from another person and encourage each other along the Type A road.
6. Schedule check-ins - Go to your calendars and find the best time for you to check in with your success team. This could be your accountability partner, a school advisor or even yourself. Talk with them about where you are versus where you need to be in the long haul. This will save your butt!! It's so easy to get caught up in daily tasks and fall behind on planning for the future. Like any goal, you have to stay focused on what's ahead as well as what's in front of you.
7. You are stronger than you believe - You're a month into the Type A lifestyle, planning away and creating that awesome support network. But it's also exhausting to stay on track with your life every day, especially if you're recovering from Type B tendencies like I was. This is about when you will start to give up...but DON'T. We can so easily set our potential lower than what we can achieve! It takes some late nights, some failures as well as successes, some tears and some growth, but we are so much stronger than we think. Push yourself. See how much you can improve. You'll find that hidden strength.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This doesn't mean push yourself to a breaking point - been there, done that - but push yourself to new heights. Not breaking yourself down, but building yourself up. You want to be the best at what you do, and this requires strengthening your intellectual muscles. I believe in you!!
Like I said, I'm still growing and learning more every day. I'll never be perfect (how boring that would be!) but I'll always seek to live the fullest life possible. I hope you'll challenge yourself today and pick up a planner or two ;) Have a great Wednesday!