Take One Step Closer To Your Dream In 2015

People are so rough on themselves this time of year.

Everyone feels dissatisfied and is vowing to do better. My Facebook feed hums with people making resolutions for 2015.

Luckily, our dogs set a good example for us. They know life couldn’t possibly get any better. Unless it included more treats, tennis balls, or cuddling.

Honey the golden retriever fetches a tennis ball.

Yep, more tennis balls. What the world needs now is tennis balls, sweet tennis balls.

Perfect The Way You Are

Last year, and in previous years, I sponsored a Train Your Dog Month Challenge.

I love the idea of dedicating a month to training goals that build our bonds with our dogs. I just don’t have the energy to lead. But if you do, you’ll find great resources from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers who started Train Your Dog Month.

Instead, I’m wrapped up in anxiety about getting our house ready to sell so we can move toward our dream of sailing off on new adventures with Honey.

My house is over 100 years old. And every time I turn around, something else breaks.

Besides that, I’m having trouble seeing my house’s charm. I can’t stop finding flaws in it. Things that need to be fixed.

I’m as rough on my house as I am on myself.

So I won’t spend January 2015 trying to improve myself or Honey and certainly not my husband.

Hopefully I can find my inner Zen and realize that everything is perfect just the way it is, even if it’s not perfect. And to keep making baby steps toward living my dream.

Honey the golden retriever looks like a show dog.

Look at me. I’m pretending to be a show dog.
Of course if I were a show dog, I wouldn’t be living with these people. And I probably wouldn’t have leaves stuck to my fur. And I’d be better groomed…

Move Forward

I’m reading a book about riding a bicycle across the U.S. Last night I found a great quote:

When you move forward, even slowly, things change; when you stand still, they don’t.

– Bruce Weber, Life Is A Wheel

Like taking a long bike ride, we only progress if we keep moving forward. There’s no point in lamenting how far we have to go. It does nothing to help us reach our goals.

So I’m issuing a challenge to myself. And to you too, if you want to accept it:

Move forward toward making a dream come true. But do it with as much kindness toward yourself as if you were training your own dog.

Honey the golden retriever gets her belly rubbed.

Every time you take a little step toward your goal, you should stop for a belly rub.

Take One Step Closer To Your Dream

Honey’s trainer gave us excellent advice for working with a timid dog: “If you think you’re going too slow, go slower.”

It’s not bad advice for a human trying to pursue a scary or overwhelming personal goal either.

I’d never get angry with Honey because she’s unwilling to walk on a ramp for a piece of liverwurst without some baby steps to help her get there. Why am I so impatient with myself for struggling to shrink a life lived for fourteen years in a 1300 square foot house into one that will fit into a 30+ foot sailboat?

Honey the golden retriever sits on the couch.

I think you’re pretty good at downsizing. You’re hogging my couch and you’re using me as a heater.

When Honey looked toward her scary ramp or bike cart, we gave her a treat. If she moved a foot toward the frightening item, she got another treat.

Every tiny step Honey took to doing something new and scary was a triumph.

Any step we take closer to our dreams is forward motion. And it’s better than standing still.

Emptying yet another file into the recycling bin is moving me closer to my dream. So is moving the dining room furniture into the center of the room so I can touch up the trim paint. And starting a box for things to give to the Salvation Army.

No one will make a video about my progress. But at least I’m moving one step closer to my dream.

How about you?





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  1. Our only resolution this year is not to repeat 2014. Other than that…

    I hope you have a wonderful year – it definitely sounds exciting!

    Monty and Harlow

  2. Mike Webster says:

    From the Husband:
    Just for clarification, the Husband is beyond improving. That is, trying to improve the Husband is not necessary. That is, because trying to improve the Husband is energy better spent elsewhere. That is, because it’s hopeless.

  3. I like that goal. Just move forward a little, or a lot, and everything will change and fall into place. Everything happens when it’s supposed to.

  4. Good advice, especially as those New Year’s resolutions are hard to uphold. I can’t wait to read more as your 2015 sailing adventure unfolds!

  5. Very well-rounded outlook from your dogs. It’s great to kick off a new year with a focus on optimism above all else.

  6. I’m trying! 😉 I think that is some great advice though. You aren’t the only one who’s hard on your house lol… mine has some issues too and it’s not even 100 yet! BUT I guess we can be thankful that we at least have a home to live in after all.

  7. It sounds like a real good plan, Pamela, and maybe a few yummy rewards along the way sounds like a good motivator to me. I bet when you’re done with the touch ups, and done giving away or rehoming or even selling much of your belongings, you will feel this huge sense of relief….and…the house will probably look it’s most beautiful to you when you know you will be seeing it for the last time and moving on to a new adventure in life.

  8. We try to keep things simple and attainable these days. We don’t do resolutions, but we have some decent goals for the year. Mom tries to do things that she enjoys rather than what others think she should do, and my sisters and I just enjoy having fun doing almost anything. Can’t believe the “year of your dream” is here. It will be exciting to hear how it progresses. Remember, no house is perfect, stage it nicely, get the offer, negotiate over things that are not right and then move on.

  9. Small steps forward still get you where you want to go!

    Don’t worry about the flaws in your old house. The person that wants to buy it is going to want it for its old charm anyway. I grew up in a 150 year old house and all the flaws were truly what made it unique. My current cookie-cutter developer’s house is so boring. And it still breaks. It’s almost 20 y.o. and it badly needs new windows!

    Happy 2015! I look forward to reading about your big adventure.

    PS I didn’t even come close to meeting my 2014 resolution :-(

  10. Happy New Year! The best New Years resolution I ever made was to NOT make any. I am a little like Honey-I accept liverwurst (or in my case chocolate) as motivation.
    You will sell your house even with the flaws only you see. Someone else will find them a charming challenge.

  11. I so love this Pamela! I think the blessing in living your dream is paying attention on your journey getting there. I love all the wonderful surprises and gifts I am receiving each and everyday as I “live my dream” – this was such a wonderful post. Love the bicycle analogy also.

  12. Great advice!

  13. Slow and steady. Love it! So hard to follow, but oh-so-valuable advice. (BTW, if you want help cleaning out, I’m your gal. Nothing – NOTHING – makes me happier than clearing out and touching up! And if you need things labeled, I’ll bring my P-Touch, and it’ll be a party! Seriously.)

  14. I think we are hardest on ourselves, and dogs certainly are not that way! They have such a way of just taking things as they come, and then letting them go. When Luke gets wound up over a strange person in the house, as soon as that person leaves he forgets all about it (hopefully he does remember the part where he got lots of treats though).
    What you are taking on is such a big thing, I don’t think I can even imagine how tough it must be! I’m taking on some organizing this year, but other than that I feel like we had a good 2014 and we just need to keep plugging away at the things we want to accomplish.

  15. Beautiful advice, I hope you lovingly remind yourself of it. Having sold/moved from a beat-up old house I owned for 30 years, I feel your anxiety. Be gentle on yourself, it is truly harder than all get-out to go through what you’re experiencing. When I was anguishing the most, I’d go stand under a tree in our yard. It always comforted me. Eventually it spoke to me – and you’ll never guess what it told me…”take a deep breath and go forward.”
    Your post is very wise. Best wishes in your journey forward!

  16. One thought with the house, I know you want best price but some younger people may be looking and in need of a doo-er up-er.