Encouragement: When Your Goals Seem So Far Away

posted by Andrea | 02/22/2019

Over the past several years of sharing my life, my home, my family, my menu plan, and my schedule on the internet, I have (understandably) gotten numerous emails and comments from readers asking for more specific details on how exactly I/we…

renovated our farmhouse… 

decided what plants and trees to add to our landscape

paid off our mortgage

started my business and blog

became a Virtual Assistant

work from home with no childcare for our children

integrated more vegetables into our daily meals

lost my baby weight

keep our home relatively clutter-free and organized

simplify my/our schedules

wake up so early

create more time at home with family

get my family on-board with decluttering and organizing

stay on top of my digital photo books

The list goes on. 

.

Since I write from the perspective of “this is what works for me…” I usually don’t share anything online until I know it’s successful — until I finish the project, until I “perfect” my recipe, until I accomplish my goals, or until I cross off all my to-dos. 

I do this for authenticity’s sake as I’m assuming you don’t want me sharing ideas, recipes, tips, and tools I’ve never actually used or tried in my own life! 

And since my goal for blog content is to be simple to understand and easy to digest, I try my best to quickly summarize the process, neatly outline the various steps needed to achieve the end results, and show a handful of pictures to help readers SEE as much of the process as possible. 

HOWEVER, in this process, one thing that doesn’t always get spotlighted is the fact that most of the projects, ideas, recipes, tips, tools, skills, goals, etc. I write about are YEARS in the making! 

Take the list I shared earlier in this post…

We’ve been continually plugging away at house projects for over 8 years now and are just finally to the point where we can sit back, relax, and thoroughly enjoy living in our house without part of it being under construction. 

Our landscape is also to the point (after 6 summers of HARD WORK) that we can focus primarily on general maintenance versus hugely expensive, time-consuming projects every summer. 

Our goal to pay off our mortgage before our children started school was one I had way before I even met Dave, and certainly before I had a mortgage. We made many financial “sacrifices” and continued to work diligently towards this goal for 10 years before we eventually accomplished it

When I first started my business, I had no idea what I was doing and I made virtually ZERO income. It took 5 years of VERY LONG hours for almost no profit to finally turn a corner and start earning a decent income. 

Our family’s healthier eating journey has been on-going since 2010. We’ve made little changes every year and stick with them until they become new habits. Then we integrate another small healthier habit.

Losing my baby weight was a full year-long process of slow-but-steady progress. No fad diets or gimmicks — just watching what I ate, trying to move more regularly throughout the day, and making more nutritious choices. 

Keeping our home clutter-free and allowing breathing room in my daily schedule are things I work at every single day of my life — they do come more naturally for me, but they definitely do NOT just magically happen

When Dave and I were first married, I often resented the fact that he didn’t help out around the house all that often… meanwhile, he assumed I didn’t want his help because I never asked (I assumed it was obvious that he should help)! It took a few conversations, several “reminders”, and lots of time… but 13 years later, Dave is extremely helpful around the house — to the point where I almost never even need to ask for his help anymore!

Dave and I did not instantly start waking up a 4am after a lifetime of sleeping in… no, we gradually bumped our alarm up a little each month and now our bodies are used to a very early alarm (and a very early bedtime!) 

My digital photo books are something I enjoy doing, but also something I must diligently devote time to every month in order to keep all my books current. Of course, I enjoy doing this in my free time, but I still have to make a conscious effort to work this time into my schedule.

.

I know many of you are working towards similar goals as the ones listed above — good for you! 

I also wouldn’t be surprised if some of you are becoming impatient with the time it’s taking to make progress towards these goals — let me encourage you to just keep moving forward! 

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

Change often happens SLOWLY.

Any progress is good progress. 

Don’t get discouraged!

Anything worth working towards often takes time… so give yourself some time (more time than you think it will take) and don’t let yourself give up.

I can say, without a doubt, that the time, effort, and sacrifices we made to realize so many of our goals was definitely worth it in the end. It may not have been super fun WHILE we were in the middle of things, wondering when/if we would ever reach our goals, but I’m so happy we stuck with it and kept pushing on! 

What goals are YOU working towards right now? 

7Shares

Filed under: WorkGoals

Leave a comment

18 comments

  1. Michele

    03/14/2019

    Love this post! You certainly are an inspiration! Honestly though, I felt a bit anxious and I got a hot flash reading it. Lol!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh no– what made you so anxious???

    [Reply]

  2. Sarah Clews

    02/25/2019

    We have the goal of getting debt free this year. That’s been a long hard road and we just have to keep persisting. I also have the goal of selling my art. That’s slow since we’re busy with our small business but I keep telling myself if I do a little bit of work on it every day, I”ll be closer than I was the day before.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, just keep moving forward. Every little bit of progress will (eventually) add up into something big. It’s just hard waiting for ‘eventually’ to finally arrive!

    [Reply]

  3. Erin

    02/23/2019

    Andrea, I LOVE posts like these. They are encouraging without being the usual “You can do it!”
    I try to remind myself of things that I have already accomplished and how long it took me to get there.
    My current goal right now is to really get my business going! I sell kids books and the fall was awesome! It was busy, a lot of hard work and persistence, especially while working full time and taking graduate classes, but I did it! Of course, now that the holidays are over, sales have slowed way down and I’m scrambling to find customers. I know that it will pick up again, I just need to put in the hard work and time to get it back where it was.
    Thanks again for sharing! I would love to see you post about going through a whole process – the ups and downs, how your thought process changes, how you modify things to get toward your goal. ❤

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — I was just talking with Nora’s teacher about children’s book authors. Good for you for pursuing your goals and dreams!

    [Reply]

  4. Jenny

    02/22/2019

    Great post- thanks- and wow, that sure is a beautiful photo of your house!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome Jenny… and thank YOU 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Marva

    02/22/2019

    Andrea, I love the wisdom you share. You are an encouragement and inspiration to me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Marva!

    [Reply]

  6. Kellie

    02/22/2019

    This was SUCH a helpful post! Andrea I’ve been reading your blog for almost 10 years and I’ve been so encouraged by your transparency. Y’all have worked HARD towards these goals!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow! — thanks for your long-time readership Kellie. You must have been here since the beginning!

    [Reply]

  7. Kim

    02/22/2019

    I need to lose 15 lbs. At age 63, this is a slow process. I have really denied myself a lot of carbs and desserts. I was discouraged about only losing 3.5 pounds in a month. But, then, your article today really encouraged me. For one thing, a pound a week is a safe, healthy rate. For another, I am doing the right thing, eating more vegetables as you did. Surely, doing the right thing will pay off over the long haul. Plus, if I never lose another pound (which I am sure I will) at least I am putting better nutrition into my body.
    Andrea, when you say something, I really listen. You are a reasonable, trusted, down-to-earth voice of reason. I appreciate you.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Kim, I think 1 pound per week is a super normal and healthy goal to lose weight — in fact, most weight-loss plans encourage 1 pound per week. You are right on track and doing well.
    When you lose it slowly over time, you will be much more likely to keep it off (which is probably your long-term goal anyway).
    And YES, I agree fully with what you said about better nutrition. Even if you never lose another pound, you will be healthier! Good for you!

    [Reply]

  8. Ashley Orfe

    02/22/2019

    I’m working toward growing a business from home while still working outside the home full-time. I hope that one day when we have kids, I’ll be able to stay home with them and work from home. And it’s definitely a process, not a sprint!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    this is an awesome goal — enjoy the journey!

    [Reply]

  9. Ann

    02/22/2019

    Great post! It wasn’t magic, but hard WORK, perseverance & commitment enabled you to meet your goals! Good for you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Ann!

    [Reply]