The First Step Toward Change

elaina avalos, take the first step, accomplish goals, chasing dreams, nathaniel branden

My apartment is a disaster because I’m halfway through taking down the Christmas decorations. I have a second bedroom to organize & clean out {went from a 4 bedroom house to a small 2 bedroom apartment}. I have a bunch of food to meal prep for my week and I need to write. I’ve been up since 7:00 AM, but I’ve accomplished next to nothing. Nonetheless, I am reminding myself to apply liberal helpings of grace on myself. I still need to {and will} accomplish what’s in front of me {the above mentioned items are just the tip of the iceberg}. So while the day isn’t going as planned & there’s a huge mess, I also know that this year and last, were hard and exhausting. I’m getting back to normal. But after what I’ve been through, I can’t expect perfection nor should I. I am aware of my limitations and my strengths and what I need to do, to accomplish what lies ahead. That is the first step – awareness of what I need to do to change and acknowledgement of my current limitations.

In a world where we’re constantly inundated by what everyone else is doing and accomplishing – shared online in a perfect photo – it’s overwhelming and honestly, it’s discouraging. While there are many out there I am encouraged by – it’s usually those who are real about life – in their triumphs and failures, that are most encouraging to me. But I have already taken the first steps, not only to accomplish what I want to accomplish while away from the office, but in the upcoming year, too. Those are the first two steps of change – awareness and acceptance.

If you’re anything like me and you are holding yourself to standards that are based in superficial or artificial requirements or because you’re comparing yourself to others – give yourself a break. While the goals are still ahead, the Christmas mess still needs to be cleaned up, and my healthy meals still need to be made – what good is beating myself up? What do you accomplish by beating yourself up? Usually very little except keeping yourself stalled in place.

Take the first step toward change. Then take the second step. And then give yourself some grace along the way.

How do you motivate yourself when you have a goal to accomplish?

It’s Never Too Late

If you’re one of the lucky ones that has always known what you were meant to do or be, well – congratulations to you!

I am not one of those people. Thankfully, I fully believe this quote is true – it’s never too late to be who you might have been.

If you’re still working your way through what that looks like, like I am, take heart. You are not alone.

You still have plenty of time…

Butterfly – Monday Motivation

I’ve been learning the art of giving myself some grace.

The process of becoming a butterfly isn’t exactly pretty. They start as this ugly, squirmy thing and then they’re wrapped up in an even uglier cocoon for anywhere from 5 days to 21 days!

I’m not where I want to be – but I will be. For today’s #MondayMotivation, give yourself some grace as you go through the growth process.

Attitude is Everything

Charles Swindoll, Elaina Avalos, Motivating Monday

I have spent plenty of Mondays in my life wishing it wasn’t Monday. I walked into my day unwillingly and negativity followed. It may not have been noticed beyond my own nose, but I felt it on the inside.

The negativity bubbled under the surface until I realized that my attitude impacted the course of my day, my home, and what I did or did not accomplish that day. It would be great if I could say I learned this the easy way.

But I didn’t. The good thing about learning the hard way is that maybe you can learn from my mistakes? This doesn’t just have to be about Monday, however. It works for just about everything.

Attitude is everything.

Sitting in traffic isn’t pleasant. But, I used to sit in traffic in the DC area and handled it pretty well. I wasn’t frustrated or angry or fuming the whole time. I listened to my favorite radio shows on NPR and I was pretty chill about the whole thing. There was literally not a single thing to do about the traffic {but find a way to make use of the time I had}.

There is no difference between sitting in the worst traffic in the town I live in now, on payday weekends, and the lost in a story version of myself that was trying to get back home from the District, in horrible traffic. Except my attitude.

So – let’s make a deal that we’ll go into the rest of our week working on our attitude – which is just about the only thing we can control.


Dreamers & Risk Takers

Walt Disney, Elaina Avalos, Dreamers, Chasing Dreams, Dream Chaser, Dream Catcher, Disneyland

I took this photo about 10 years ago, at Disneyland – one of my favorite places on earth. That’s probably the last time I was there. I can’t wait to take another trip (hopefully with my son) soon.

When I was growing up, Disneyland was such an inspiration to the creative dreamer in me. My favorite places in the park were of places I dreamed of visiting – the French Quarter being one. In Pirates of the Caribbean, as the ride ends, you pass by the restaurant inside the ride (the Blue Bayou) and with the Spanish moss and “star” filled sky, I just knew I had to live in the south someday. How a girl from Orange County, California comes to live on the coast of North Carolina probably has its roots in those summer trips to Disneyland as I dreamed of live oaks and Spanish moss.

I had never seen this quote by Walt Disney until last night. So much of our talk of dreams can seem so flighty and honestly . . . just downright silly.

Or so it seems. Sometimes our dreams are exactly why we were placed on this earth. I love that in this quote he mentions that he tests his dreams against his beliefs. I love this – especially for me – who tries to live a life of faith.

But after a little examination – it’s time to take risks and act. This is the stage I’m in now, on several different dreams. Once you get there, it’s not always easy. I have had doubts, even recently. But you never get anywhere in life if you let your doubts rule you.

So . . . what are your dreams? What was that thing the little you dreamed of being & doing? Chances are . . . that’s truly who you were and are, meant to be.

Do a little dreaming. Take some risks. And jump in.