Have you ever noticed when you are living your dreams, things start to work out more magically than they ever did before? It is as if the universe is conspiring to help you along on your journey. It brings circumstances and people to you that help you benefit in your endeavors. They are all heavenly tools designed to help you along your journey in becoming your true self.
When you are living your dreams, you start to notice how your world is changing. You are becoming the person you always dreamed you would be.
But be careful, because you’ll feel a lot of self-doubt along the way. You’ll question yourself and if you’re doing the right thing. In religion, we say that’s the devil talking to you, trying to stop you from becoming the person that God set out for you to become. Don’t ever listen to the naysayers, the people that don’t believe in you, the dream killers, and that inner voice that seeks to sabotage you. They have no place in your future. To listen to them turns your dream into a nightmare. It turns your dream into a fear.
Listen to your heart. It is guiding you to become your own best self. Don’t let the negative forces out there stop you from becoming your true self, because God knows, the negative forces will try to stop you.
It’s similar to the Temptation of Christ. When the Devil tried to tempt Jesus, it was right before he set off to become God’s messenger that would commence a new global religion. The Devil tried again and again and again to tempt Jesus. It was by knocking the Devil to the curb that Jesus was able to focus on being true to himself. It was only when he told the Devil to go away that the angels came down to help him.
You have to push away all of the negative things that try to prevent you from seeking out your dreams. Once you’ve done that, everything is smooth sailing. It’s like the universe conspires to help you achieve your dreams, but that is only after you have decided to walk away from all of the negative influences surrounding you that are trying to say that you can’t be the person you know inside of you is the person you are meant to become.
Your Biggest Obstacle
Your biggest obstacle will always be yourself. We oftentimes have dreams of how we would like to live and then we tell ourselves that it can’t happen. We thwart our own progress and opportunities. We become afraid to become the person we want to become.
We create our own obstacles along the way. Instead of waking up early to write the next great novel, we sleep in. Instead of working out, we look for the first excuse we can find to get out of going to the gym. When we diet, we create temptations that make us succumb to cheating and then that leads us to completely failing our diets.
We can become our own greatest enemy. Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, focus on how you feel when you are making progress with your dream. Dreams don’t just come true overnight. It takes a lot of work, a lot of steps, a lot of misfires and a lot of setbacks. If you keep watching what works and follow that direction, you’ll find things work out magically. Everything becomes synchronistic. It’s the universe winking back at you saying that you are on your way.
Focus on that “I’m Doing It” Happy Feeling
There is nothing more amazing than that feeling you get while you are working away at your dream. You feel like you are accomplishing something magnificent when that feeling hits. You are actually doing something about that dream.
When you feel that “I’m Doing It” happy feeling, keep going. Remember every single time you step away from the dream to work on something else that you need to get right back to that happy feeling again. Let that happy feeling be your drive to seeing your dream to fruition.
The dream is about the journey you take, not the end result. Enjoy every single second of that dream. Become involved in every single aspect that goes into your dream, even the small stuff, because when the big stuff happens, it will mean so much more to you, but you’ll also remember what little stuff went into creating the big stuff. It’s the little stuff you’ll remember more.
Enjoy the Ride
The things you’ll love about following your dreams are the incredible moments that happen along the way. That song playing the right tune at the right moment, you’ll remember that always. That person you spent 10 minutes with that you’ll never see again, what they said in those moments will become a newfound direction. That person you meet that’s already living their dreams, shares a bit of their passion in life with you…that’s the move that inspires you to keep going.
There are incredible things that happen when you are living your dream. I’m living proof of that. One thing and then the next and then the next happens and you’re standing there thinking, “What does all this mean?” That’s just the universe winking at you, telling you…this is your life now…go forward and be prosperous.
Enjoy every moment of the ride. It’s about the journey, not the end result. The journey is what is so incredible. The end result is just a moment, and the sign of a journey’s end. You now have to go find another dream to live. It’s the journey to get there that is the incredible dream. After all, when we dream, it’s not the end result that makes the dream fantastic. It’s the story of what led up to that moment that we remember.
Living our dreams is about deciding to live in the story that we have created for ourselves. We become the author, the narrator, the actor and the director. We become the story we want to live. We stop letting everything else in the world dictate our story for us. Our story we have written for ourselves becomes our own reality.
What is stopping you from living your dreams? Go after them. Live each and every single dream. Don’t be afraid to live in the unknowing. You know this is what you want, so go for it. Never be afraid to be you.
If you’re like most people, you have a dream. And then you have several other dreams of things you’d like to do in this lifetime.
Take me, for instance, I always dreamed of going to Morocco. I always wanted to see U2 from stage level. I always wanted to be a writer. I dreamed of being a hockey writer. I always wanted to get married and have a family of my own.
Four out of five isn’t bad. There’s the dream (which hasn’t happened yet), and then there are the lesser dreams (which are easier to make come true).
I always dreamed of going to Morocco. I dreamed about it for years. Then one day I realized that I had the resources to go and make that dream come true. I did a quick Google search on “Morocco Tours” and ended up booking with the first site I found. I don’t regret going by myself one bit.
The experiences I had from that trip went far above and beyond anything I could have ever expected. It was a dream worth having and one worth living. I made friends there and learned many things. Who knows? One day I may write a book about the amazing moments I had when I was there. Maybe I’ll even buy a home where displaced women and orphaned children can live some day.
As for seeing U2 at stage level, that hasn’t happened yet, but it will happen this summer. I was able to get tickets down by the stage this summer. It will be my third U2 concert in this lifetime. I had always wanted to be down by the stage. This time, I had the resources to purchase a ticket down by the stage, and actually be able to find one. The latter part is always the harder part.
Being a writer…well, that’s something I’ve been doing for years. Blogging, writing newspaper articles, freelancing, and even writing content for Fox Sports and Inside Hockey (being a hockey writer). All of those dreams came true.
I know there are many people that dream of those things and still wonder why they can’t seem to make it or (for hockey writers) get credentialed into the media. Writer (for Marie Claire, and many other magazines) and fashion blogger/stylist Nicolette Mason talked about privilegebeing one of the factors that got her foot in the door to be able to write for the big names in the fashion industry.
While it may be shocking to most, privilege is also what factors into opportunities. Privilege does help you get your foot in the door. But it also takes intelligence, drive and hard work to actually make dreams happen.
For instance, I was granted my first interview back in October 2007 by a hockey player that had seen me sitting in the front row of New York Rangers games for a few years. It wasn’t just an exclusive, it was his big ‘f you’ to the New York Rangers. I had to make a decision on how the article should be released. I opted to protect the player, which meant protecting the Rangers.
When the article was released, the Rangers breathed a sigh of relief. The player hated me for it. But I ended up making the correct choice, because eight years later, he’s retired and I’m still allowed to cover the Rangers in their press box. I was even asked to cover them while they were in Europe (both times). The reason why they asked has a lot to do with knowing that I have the resources to cover them in Europe during an age when other North American media are told to scale back their costs due to the economic landscape.
Privilege gets you in the door much easier. It gets you the jobs you want, the stepping stones you need to make a dream come true, and the fast track to making those dreams come true. It also provides you with opportunities that some people will not have access to because they do not have the resources.
Privilege is money, education, background and access to things that most people do not have access to.
How does one attain privilege?
Well, not everyone is born with privilege. You have to make it part of your dream in order to succeed.
When you graduate from high school, you may have dreams of how you plan on living your life. For the career minded, you know exactly what you’re going to do and how you’re going to get there. I’m going to tell you now that the best laid plans very rarely, if ever, get to the finish line because life happens.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a politician. I mapped out the course, the school, the city, the major, the internship, and whatever else I needed to do to get myself into the Capitol building. I told all of my plans to this guy that I’d been in love with since junior high. He was also my best friend. He said to me, “Wow. It really looks like you have your life all mapped out.”
Would you believe those were the last words he ever said to me? Two weeks before my graduation, he put a bullet into his heart. One of the things he cited (and there were many) as the reason why he was committing suicide…I had made life plans without including him in it.
He put an end to that dream and life plan.
I still followed the course I mapped out for myself, but my heart and passion were never in it. Life had happened to me.
I didn’t start to move forward until my late twenties. It took a broken heart, an insane monthly education loan bill to get me to decide to change my life. I was getting peanuts working for the government. I could barely afford to buy food with the amount they paid me. I realized that I didn’t have to live this way. How you choose to live life is a CHOICE. I decided I was going to put myself out there and demand I get paid two times the amount I was getting paid, get a better health plan, and find a better life.
That’s how I ended up in New York. It was the only place in the world that bit when I put myself out there. I hopped on a plane. Did an interview and walked away with a job. I moved to New York two weeks later.
This is where dreams started to unfold. It was NY that gave me many opportunities. I took advantage of them as they became available. I fell in love with hockey and the New York Rangers. I decided to take two loves, writing and hockey, and put them together. Over time, I started to command higher and higher salaries, because I became good at what I do and I love doing what I do. I became passionate about the things I was doing. Passion makes you a valuable part of any team, and they will pay you well just to keep you from leaving.
My point in sharing this is that you can create your own privilege. You can make more money. You can create your own opportunities. It starts by believing in yourself and making yourself go out there and make things happen.
So how do you start?
Before I get into the numbered points below, start with a notebook. Write down every single dream you have for yourself. Consider this your bucket list. Each year, go through it so you can see what dreams you accomplished and which dreams you would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. Highlight your accomplishments so you can always go back to see what dreams you have fulfilled. It will motivate you to keep chasing after each and every single one of your dreams.
Pick a few dreams you’d like to accomplish over the next year and pursue it at all costs, no matter what the outcome may be. It’s better to know what happened instead of regretting never having done something.
1. It takes telling yourself that YOU DESERVE A BETTER LIFE. You may be getting paid peanuts. You don’t have to accept that life anymore. Work on your resumé. Don’t just list the jobs where you’ve worked. List your experiences you’ve had in life, especially the things you are passionate about. If you’re out making a difference in the world, volunteering, part of a community project or not-for-profit, LIST IT. I have always found that the most interesting things about a job candidate is in that miscellaneous area. The reason why I got hired all rests in the things I did outside of work. It told potential employers more about me than what school I went to or where I worked before.
2. If you haven’t been doing things that would make that miscellaneous part of your resumé look good, then go out and do things that you can get passionate about and DO IT FOR FREE. I refuse to take money for writing about hockey. I have turned down paying job offers to write about hockey. I just never felt right about taking money for it. I believe you lose a sense of yourself and the passion behind what you’re doing when you agree to take money for something you love so much.
I helped musicians in my twenties. The best thing they could do was put me on their VIP list so I didn’t have to pay to get in to see their show. It really helped when I was getting paid peanuts by the government. I helped startup and work for a not-for-profit FOR FREE. I chose projects to work on that I was passionate about. I did that all FOR FREE. Doing that helped boost my resumé even more because what I did for free was actually why I got hired and could command a large salary and get exactly what I was asking for and even more. It was doing these life experiences that created my work ethic and character. I know exactly what I’m worth, and I expect to be paid more than what I’m worth.
The most important thing about choosing your projects you’ll work on for free, you’re assisting people that are trying to live their dreams (or people that need help). You help them without expecting anything in return. In exchange, you are actually gaining life experiences, as well as your own job training that can be applied to other facets of your life. Choose a project based on your dreams. If you dream of doing something in music, get involved with something that has to deal with music. Always do things that are closely symbolic to your dreams. You have to pick up and learn how to live your dream. It helps if you start by learning directly from others that are out there living their dreams.
3. No matter what your dream is, you have to pay the bills. You can’t go chasing after a dream without money in tow. You still need to eat, have a roof over your head and have your bills paid. Many people work a day job so they can have their real career – their dream. It is that main job that pays for everything, including your health care. I’m sorry to say, you still have to work your main job before you can work the dream job full-time. I’d say wait until you’re making more money from your dream job before quitting the day job. Just make sure you equate in how much you really cost your employer (after all the benefits, like health care, are computed in). Don’t quit until what it costs your employer to have you employed at their office is equal to (or less than) what you are making at your dream job.
4. Become involved in the things that will bring you closer to your dream. I will have to say that I fell into a lot of things that became a part of creating a dream. I didn’t get into hockey until my first New York Rangers game in 2005. After that, a hockey writer dream began. I went to as many games as I could, sitting down in the first few rows just to study the game. There were things I picked up down at ice level that I definitely would never have noticed if I sat further up (like in today’s day and age, sitting all the way up in the press box). Those days sitting in the front row was what prepared me to cover the game of hockey.
GMs of teams appreciated reading what I saw. There were things that they may not have been aware of that I would pick up. For instance, did you know that alcoholics sweat differently than regular people? I could tell a player was under the influence just by the way he sweated. I could tell which minor league player had the potential to make it to the NHL permanently. It’s that je ne sais quoi that sets them apart. Very few people can pick up on it. That’s why they’re called scouts.
These days, I attend a lot of arts related events because that is where my life is steering me. When I asked myself what I loved to do now, movies, the arts, books and theater came to mind. So that’s where my new course is heading. What do I do to make that dream happen? I throw myself right in and pursue whatever comes at me. That is usually in the form of film festivals, conferences, premieres, going to shows, meeting and speaking to the people in the industry, and developing friendships with them. There are a lot of facets involved with making a dream come true. Just go out there and put yourself directly in the middle of it all and watch it unfold.
5. Having money helps in this area. It buys you better experiences and VIP treatment. I find that it removes the wall from being an outsider to becoming an actual insider. Instead of dreaming of being one of them, you become one of them. No matter what anyone tells you, Sean Avery (former hockey player) put it best when he said that money gets you a lot further in life. It definitely helps you get to where you are going.
Money is the most important resource to have when you are pursuing a dream. It paves the way for you. It gets you into the things you need to get into without putting a wall up between you and the dream. I find that life is a lot easier when you have the money to afford your experience. Dreams, unfortunately, cost money.
Putting together a film…it costs money. Creating a book…it costs money (and a lot of times right out of the author’s pocket). Creating artwork…it costs money to make it. Becoming a professional athlete…it takes money to prepare, train and buy equipment. How are you going to become the next big basketball star without a basketball?
6. Education is crucial. No matter what field you are pursuing, you need the expertise. You need the credentials. You have to be knowledgeable in your chosen field, no matter if it’s the arts or sports, you need to have the brain to go along with the game. You need to become an expert. You need to continuously learn, because nothing stays the same. It always evolves.
Lawyers and doctors have to continually learn, because laws change, scientific breakthroughs happen. They have to attend continuing education courses all of the time in order to stay abreast of their practice, as well as change with the times. Everything is constantly evolving, you always have to evolve with the times, or lose in the game of life.
Even in hockey, players that know the game and have been playing it their entire life, they are always learning from each other, trying out new equipment, and adapting to the game as it changes. The hockey game is very different today than it was the day you were born.
As the owner of this site, I am constantly reading how to make the site better, what I need to focus on to create better content as a writer. I attend conferences. I take classes. It’s not because I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m learning how to do things better than I did before.
7. Practice makes perfect. If you’re a writer, athlete, actor, etc. you have to constantly work towards perfecting your craft. In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell’s most important message is that it takes 10,000 hours to perfect your craft. That means, no one will take you and your dream seriously until you have perfected your craft, so start practicing.
Bill Gates spent over 10,000 hours working on his dream before he could even make a penny off of it. He wasn’t just an overnight billionaire. He put in many, many hours before Microsoft came into being. It’s the same for Mozart. He wasn’t just a prodigy. He had to work many hours to perfect his craft.
For some people, they may ask how I was able to get these interviews for this site. Throw in every single factor above, including spending the last eight years writing about hockey. Writing about hockey helped prepare me for this next adventure in life. Spending all of that time interviewing, writing, and establishing the type of person I am when it comes to being a writer, that’s how I was able to perfect my craft. It’s not just the constant practice, it’s who you become after you put in all the work. You’ll find that practice does make perfect, but it also helps shape you into the person you are setting yourself out to be.
8. It’s all in the mindset. Staying positive and thinking only positive thoughts all of the time will help you achieve your goals. If you need more money to make things happen, don’t get down on yourself. Write out what you need to do to make each dream happen, every single little detail. Focus on each detail.
Do you need to make more money? How much do you need to make to make the dream happen on top of the expenses you have already? What are your options to getting more money? Do you need a better job? What would a better job be for you?
Do not discount happiness throughout this entire process. One of the reasons why I love my job so much is because of the people around me. They make me happy…even my bosses. Make sure that wherever you put yourself, you have a positive atmosphere around you. If you constantly hate everything about your job, you can’t make the dream happen. There’s no “When X happens in the dream job, then I’ll be happy.” No. Start the happiness now. Only choose a job where you will be happy. You’ll find that happiness is very much a part of making the dream happen. If you’re not happy, you’re going to be stuck.
When I found my current job, I had written out the things I wanted most. I wrote down an insane number of how much I wanted to be paid. I wrote down insane things of what kind of benefits I wanted. I reached for a pot of gold and came back with diamonds. The job I ultimately chose was the job that not only matched what I was asking for, but gave me way more than I could ever ask for. There was something else I had written down on that piece of paper. I wrote down…to have way more than I was asking for. To have way more than enough.
I got exactly that.
If you need resources on how to get into the positive mindset, I recommend starting with Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret,” moving on to Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist,” and then to Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.” It’s all about changing your mindset. Your mind is much more powerful in making the most incredulous dreams come true. Your mind calls into your universe exactly what you put out there. So if you’re thinking negative thoughts all of the time, a lot of bad things are going to happen to you. If you focus only on good things, amazing things will happen to you.
It’s not some new age quack thing. I’m living proof of that philosophy. I’ve been practicing it since 2007. How else do you think I scored that interview from a New York Ranger on my first try as being a hockey writer? Positive thinking.
I also highly recommend meditation to help you find that inner peace that will keep you happy all of the time.
As you can see, making dreams come true is multi-faceted. The most important thing is believing in yourself and your dream. Making dreams come true is a lot easier when you’ve created your own ‘privilege.’ You’ve got to put in the work (and a lot of hard work at that) to make that privilege happen. Most importantly, you have to keep your mind positive. Think negatively, and plan on everything falling apart on you. Feel free to ask questions by posting below or sending me a comment in the Contact Page. You can also ask on my Twitter account: @MichelleDoPW
Ever been mystified by the whole caviar and pâté experience?
I was. So I decided to go out and educate myself on how to buy caviar and pâté, as well as how to eat the luxury items. The best way to learn is to go to the professionals.
Petrossian is the answer in both Paris and the United States. They are not only the experts, but they offer some of the finest goods on the market.
First off, caviar is expensive. The reason lies in the process of cultivating fish eggs. It is not as easy as one would think.
Caviar is not cheap, just less expensive — more affordable. The restrictions on wild caviar made the price very high. The actual progress in the production and the number of farms all over the world created more offerings. However, one should also remember that caviar is not raised, sturgeons are, and that this process takes over ten years. This is the reason why caviar will never be an inexpensive product. Plus, the fact that to create good caviar requires a lot of work and enormous specialized knowledge. Now, if the dream becomes affordable, then it will drive caviar lovers back to caviar — those who’ve stopped their consumption because of higher prices.
There are a variety of different types of ‘caviar’ out there. Let’s start from the beginning.
What and Where to Buy
First, the term ‘Caviar’ is used only from the roe (fish eggs) that come from sturgeon fish. It only comes from sturgeon fish. You will find that other variations of roe (like salmon roe) are labeled as salmon roe, not caviar. Caviar only comes from sturgeon fish. All other fish eggs that do not come from sturgeon fish is called roe.
Caviar is black, while salmon roe is orange. Depending on the fish, roe can come in a variety of colors.
If you are starting out and need a less expensive, but highly qualitative brand of caviar, start with the Classic Transmontanus Caviar. In Petrossian stores, the smallest tin is $51. Online, a small tin will cost $53.
You can also try the less expensive roe that comes from salmon, trout, or even flying fish. The reason why the eggs from sturgeon are so expensive is because for many years, the fish were considered an endangered species. In the quote above from Petrossian, it also takes many years to cultivate sturgeon. The less expensive roe comes from fish that are more bountiful.
If you’re in a city where there’s a Petrossian store, you’ll find more variety and that the prices are considerably lower in their stores than online. For instance, online, the Salmon Roe retails at $62, but that’s for a 250g tin. You can pick up a 50g tin between $12-$14 at the store.
I prefer the salmon roe and caviar. If the caviar wasn’t $50+ per tiny tin, this would be a staple in my home.
The are so many different grades and prices, with $50 being the cheapest and the price of caviar going upwards into the 4-to-5 digit numbers. The more expensive numbers depend on the rarity of a special harvest which produces an incredible batch of eggs that are unlike any other. For instance, one serving of Petrossian Special Reserve Ossetra Caviar costs $394. For 16-32 servings, the price goes up to $12,500. That’s one expensive dinner party right there.
Petrossian doesn’t just sell roe and caviar. They also sell baked goods (in store), chocolates, smoked fish, and other fish delicacies.
One delicacy I highly recommend is the Tarama Au Crabe Royal. It’s a mixture of créme fraiche, cod roe and crabmeat.
As for pâté, Petrossian offers some of the best pâté I’ve ever had in my life. Try the Pheasant, Pork & Duck with Figs, Pistachios and Port from Petrossian. The nice vinegary taste in each bite creates a sharpness of flavors that awakens your tastebuds. The Petrossian pâtés are far better than any other one I have ever tasted. They make all the rest taste like cheap liverwurst.
How do you eat Caviar/Roe?
There are a variety of ways you can eat caviar/roe. My favorite is definitely Deviled Eggs with caviar. You can create little stacks on top of a blini.
The varieties of ways you can eat caviar/roe are endless.
If you ask Armen Petrossian how he likes his caviar…nude. As in, by the teaspoon. You can follow it up with a glass of champagne or vodka, or a slice of blini.
It is important to serve up caviar with aMother of Pearl Sea Shell Caviar Spoonand NEVER use sterling silver. Using silver only degrades the quality of the caviar, and tarnishes the spoon. Luckily the caviar spoons range from a couple of dollars and on up.
Just remember that caviar hates metal and will instantly spoil it.
If you’re serving up caviar at a party, here is a HOW TO with pictures.
You’ll find that there are a variety of amazing ways to eat caviar. Maybe you’ll even find a certain kind of roe that you’ll love.
If you’re looking for recipes, just type in ‘caviar’ in Pinterest and you’ll find everything from appetizers to soups to main courses.
How to Eat Pâté
As you can see, I like my pâté with caviar. I’ve also eaten it alongside a baguette, some French jam, butter, fruit and cornichons on the side for an afternoon snack.
You can serve it up any which way you want. Try it on a sandwich, alongside eggs at breakfast, or with cheese and fruit. Some mousse varieties can be used to add on top of potatoes, as a dip, or even stuffed into vegetables. There are just so many ways you can eat it.
There’s something about luxury that someone out there always tries to offer a cheap imitation. Don’t bother with the cheap imitations. You won’t enjoy it. How will you know it’s fake? Armen Petrossian elaborates in his interview with The Daily Meal.
How can you detect false wild caviar, or poor quality caviar?
Would you buy the wedding present of your daughter in the flea market, or on the net? Certainly not. You will go to a reliable source, a reputable company. It is the same with caviar. You go to a well-known specialist and let him or her guide you for your party. False balls called “caviar” are easy to spot. You put an egg on a sheet of paper and press. If there is no juice, only paste, then you know this is not caviar.
For expired roe, you can take some grains on your tongue and see if it creates an effect like small needles. If so, then your product is no good. Use your nose and smell the caviar. It should not have a strong smell like herring for example. A light, agreeable smell is what you should have. If you tilt the tin and the caviar is very oily, like a heavy soup, then this is a bad sign. Note that a little oil is normal. And if the grain is hard, with practically no juice, that’s also not good.
In other words, stick to the real stuff. Only buy from the best in the business. There is no such thing as shopping around for a better deal on luxury food. You won’t enjoy the lesser quality. In other words, it would be a waste of your money. Buy only the best and don’t throw your money away on cheap imitations.
If you are ever in a city where Petrossian has a shop, I highly recommend stopping in and trying their foods. They package everything up with ice and special containers so that you can get your purchases home without spoilage.They also ship out their merchandise the same way.
Petrossian also has cafes and restaurants where you can sample a little bit of luxury. Just come prepared knowing the tab will be considerably high.
If you can’t make it to a shop, but want to try out some of their delicacies, order online. You will not regret tasting the best of the best in the business.
I’m currently redecorating my home. I felt like I needed a refresh, so I ordered new furniture, bedding, artwork, pillows…you get the picture. Along with that, comes the DIY projects. I discovered for those of us who pin and do DIY projects, we tend to be a little ADD when it comes to these projects because we have all of these things we want to do all at the same time. We start a project, put it down after we grow tired it’s taking too long to complete and then start another project. Press REPEAT many times.
What we end up with are several DIY projects that sit incomplete for years. I say ‘years’ because I spoke to a few other DIYers and we thought back to the last time we worked on our last incomplete DIY project. YEARS was the adequate term, not months.
DIYers tend to be a little ADD when it comes to their projects.
My friend pointed out that I tackle my ADD issues with DIY a little differently than most. I actually tackle the ADD issue altogether. Here’s how I do it:
Keep a journal.
Since I am organizing everything in my life, I keep a journal as I’m going through the book “One Year to an Organized Life.” Not only do I keep all of my organizational goals in this journal, but I also write down all of the DIY projects I’d like to do and decide which project comes first. As I find new projects to do, I continue to write down each one in the journal. I’ll look over the list and then decide which one to tackle next. It may take a couple of weeks to complete a project, but working on the current project and not moving onto the next one forces me to focus on the current project.
Focusing is really important, because I can start a project, start thinking about the dishes that need to be washed, the meals to prep for the blog, and other chores and errands I need to do. There are many times I catch myself walking away from the project to wash the dishes. I’ve actually stopped at the sink and made myself turn back around so that I can complete what I was doing right before that.
If I don’t FOCUS on what I am working on, then I’ll forget all about it. When your mind starts to wander and you start thinking about all of the things you need (or would like) to do, it will prevent you from finishing your task. Instead, take out a sheet of paper and write down everything you need to do. It gets those thoughts out of your head. After it is committed to paper, go back to your project. You are more likely to finish the project in front of you now that you have your TO DO list out of your head and onto a sheet of paper.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself.
The other day I picked up some materials for a DIY calendar and a few travel journals. The day before that, I started an art project for my gallery wall. I was so excited that I had all of these cool new projects to work on, I started working on ALL OF THEM all at once.
Needless to say, none of them are completed. I started them all, but then realized the ADD was taking over. I put them all neatly to the side and went back to what was supposed to be the current project: building the space saver for the bathroom.
I added the calendar and the journals to my DIY list so I would stop thinking about it. Getting excited over a new project(s) can become overwhelming when you have multiple ones already in the queue. You just want all of them to be done 10 minutes ago so you can go to the next project. You’ll never get anything done when you go from one project to the next without completing the current one. You have to take it ONE PROJECT AT A TIME.
Don’t Give Yourself Unreasonable Time Constraints.
Be realistic with yourself. When I first put the ladder for the bathroom together, I thought I’d have it done in 2-3 days. I built it in one evening, but painting it took two weeks to complete. Getting it done in 2-3 days was unreasonable because the ladder required time for the paint to dry on each side.
Be reasonable with your time. If you don’t want the project to stress you out, give yourself plenty of time to complete the project. DIY projects are supposed to be a relaxing time where YOU CAN BE CREATIVE. It’s like a hobby. You don’t rush yourself to complete your hobby. You take your time so you can enjoy every single moment of the creative process. Creativity cannot be rushed!
Keeping a journal with a list of everything I need to do has been a godsend. Without it, I would probably have 100 incomplete projects around the house and only one completed task. It’s nice to take a look at what I need to do and plan out which projects are the highest priority and which to do after I’ve completed my current project.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with all of these ideas of projects you’d like to do. ONE PROJECT AT A TIME! You don’t want to be one of those DIYers that starts a project and then never completes them for years! Try to minimize your clutter by actually finishing the project before starting a new one.
If you’ve already got 15 projects that were already abandoned, go back and finish each one before starting the latest DIY project. You’ll thank yourself in the end for completing the task at hand.