We all have them.

Couple goals. Health goals. Body goals. Wardrobe goals. Family goals. Career goals. Financial goals. Travel goals. Some of us may even be organized enough to have them written down with due dates written by each. "The grass is always greener", right? 

I have lots of goals. Actually, every single category above. I have this idealistic life perfectly planned out and so many aspirations I would love to achieve. That's the great part - Goals are AMAZING! It's always good to adopt a positive mindset and see the hope and beauty instead of the less appealing reality we are surrounded by.

But, the sad part - several of these goals I've had for years. A couple of them, at least a DECADE. A logical person would ask why I don't just work a little harder and chase these goals. I mean, logically, yes, I can set the alarm earlier, I can take Postmates and PrimeNow off my phone, I can swing by the grocery store for fresh produce & veggies, I can pick up a book instead of my phone. So, why don't I?

When it all boils down and I've listed the million and one excuses I have locked and loaded, the reason I don't just pick up and run is simply this...fear. Fear of making grand resolutions and getting started but failing before I reach the first milestone, fear of being mocked, fear of starting with a group and being abandoned along the way, fear of physically not being able to do it, fear of losing my introvert time, and, mostly (please hear me on this), fear of ACCOMPLISHING my goals. 

Really?...Fear of actually hitting those goals, having that body, being in love, making more than enough money, having energy in spades to help others? Why would I be afraid of that? Well, I've never been that version of myself. What if I don't like that version of me? What if I suddenly have the body I've always wanted and the energy to go with it - will a man finally see me as more than the coolest friend ever and ask me out? What if I actually utilized social media and brides started seeking me out? Would I need to get a studio or hire outside help or would shops want to include a line of my dresses - and, OMG, how would I even price myself at that point? There's no guarantee that by hitting this goals, my life would change or that I would like the change. 

See how the doubt spiral starts and my already comfy bed feels suddenly like a cloud that I never want to get off of? It's so easy to set goals and idealize in your mind, but it's probably more easy to shrug them off and return to the comforts you love. 

How do you break that terrifying cycle?  How do you set goals and actually achieve them?

I'm sure you've heard the answer. You have to change your MINDSET. Sounds simple enough, right? Personally, this idea of shifting the way you think (because thoughts do eventually promote action) has always been around. So, we have the "WHAT" - but HOW??????? The stubborn child that I was/am has finally realized (at 34 years mind you) that no one can MAKE you change your mindset. No amount of research on 'this study' or 'that study' & no amount of encouragement or pleading from others can do the trick. 

Changing your mindset is a CHOICE and, for me, it's a choice I am fighting to make. All those fears I mentioned earlier are incredibly real and I am constantly speaking to my mind & telling myself that accomplishing my goals will result in a BETTER version of me. That cutting out certain foods or comforts are worth it because I'm WORTH IT. 

I'm worth taking care of myself - physically, emotionally & spiritually. Maybe I haven't ever been that version of myself I've always pictured, but that version is Better. Growth is always good & sometimes growth means stripping some things off and away. I'm worth it.

WHEW!! Ok. I think we've got it. Goals = good. Growth = good. Fear = dumb & CAN be overcome. Mindset = choice. Future you = worth it.

All of this to say, I have set some very lofty goals for myself. And, I have a deadline. And, it's really soon. I get to go back to Paris this year & my heart is so happy. Several of these goals need to be met before I step foot on that plane, and, while I won't give away every single one of them, I will say that they all intertwine and the whole point of a blog post today was so reveal the main thing I will be changing (other than my mindset) to make sure I am a BETTER BEKAH in 4 months. 

I am 86ing SCREEN TIME. Lately, I've been fascinated by the amount of things available that can be explored by swiping, streaming and screens. There's so much to learn, so much to see, so many heartwarming stories of people seeing color for the first time & so much to explore.

For 11+ years, I've been able to nanny. Sometimes as my full time job and sometimes to fill in the gaps while working on other projects. It's only been in the past 5 or so that I've seen such a difference in behavior because of screens. 

(Before I get too deep - I'm not bashing or judging or preaching on the dangers of screens. I'm simply sharing my own observations and experiences)  I love my phone & my unlimited plan that includes a subscription to Hulu & I love that we can now stream everything instead of being prone to whatever commercial or update a station sees fit to provide during a block of time. It's cut down on the greed for sure as children aren't seeing the newest toy or thing that they "need" every commercial break. When it comes to kids, my issues aren't so much with TV or movies (I would encourage to always screen before hand to watch the way the characters interact with each other - especially brothers and sisters - because kids will mimic jokes or behaviors they see on screen). What I'm super cautious about is the use of phones or tablets with little ones. There are tons of amazing educational games that have helped children flourish and learn in so many ways & those are awesome. The problem is the instant gratification this teaches. A doctor in one of the studies I read compared the over stimulation and immediate hits of pleasure to the same brain reactions as a cocaine user. This didn't surprise me for a second - because I've seen this in myself. The second I'm bored or avoiding work, what do I do? I grab my phone and open Instagram click on the InstaStory circles - THEY NEVER END - and you can just keep tapping and it moves to the next one. Hit, hit, hit, hit, hit...

In my current part time nanny job, I've watched the baby's personality completely change when screens are removed and all but just a few toys are put out for her to play with. It's insane how quickly she will go from a scattered, upset & urgent child who is flinging toys around to get to the next toy, to a sweet, happy & laughing little angel when I pare down the stimuli. (Also, classical music stations on Amazon Prime Music - no vocals - are a game changer!! Immediately mellow for everyone)

Obviously, I'm not blacking out every single screen in my life. I will be using my computer for website updates and blogging and my phone for every day life & will stream a show or two at night before bed. (I do want to break the habit of watching Friends to go to sleep & setting a TV timer....it's just unhealthy). BUT - I won't be streaming anymore while I sew. I'm setting up an account on Audible.com and will listen to some books and some podcasts here and there. Most of the time, I will just have music going :) I want to allow my creativity and imagination to work at their highest potential and if I'm constantly drugging them with the overstimulation of streaming & my phone, I won't be able to produce the quality and quantity I know I'm capable of. 

You may be thinking that this sounds more like something I'm giving up for Lent and, what in the world does this have to do with all the GOALS talk at the start? So...

The goal is to create another line of bridal separates including pieces I will take with me to Paris and to pick up some old hobbies (and maybe a new one) to perfect before going to Monet's gardens! And to train my body to go to sleep without a stimulation aid.

THREE goals, but ONE very major change I will be implementing to achieve them. 

Change my name or L'Oreal and move me to Paris, because, honey, I'M WORTH IT!