Posts tagged self help
How to Set Goals and Keep Them

Deciding that you want to do something is one thing, doing it is another. High up on my list of flaws is the daunting truth that I am notorious for being a dreamer and not so much a doer. I hate the idea of failing so much that it has hindered me from not only completing even the smallest of goals, but also from making them in the first place. Growing up in a small town in the middle-of-nowhere, Iowa, it was easy to be content with mediocre. I always just accepted that mediocre was who I was. I was wrong. No matter what chains tie you down to the idea that you are mediocre, that you can't accomplish great things, they are a lie. Here are some steps that I started taking to break free from the chains that hindered me from dreaming and then doing.

Ask yourself why you're afraid of it. What even is failing? And what's so scary about it? Why is this particular dream or goal so scary to you? Write it out. Most of the time getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper helps you realize what your fears are and if they're rational. When I started modeling, I was terrified because I wanted it so badly and I didn't know if I could do it. When I started to express my fears, I realized they weren't worth giving up following my dream for. The first step is always the hardest. Acknowledge and overcome the things that keep you from taking that first step.

Break it down. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to accomplish everything at once. Develop a system that works for you. I like to break my goals down into difficulty level and then timelines based on that difficulty. If a goal I want to accomplish is harder, I break it down into smaller steps and give myself more time to accomplish it. It's helpful to set goals on a timeline; ten years, five years, two years, etc. Try not to set goals that are out of your control.

Two years ago I set a goal to be married by twenty-five. How ridiculous! A more achievable goal would be to take steps to become a woman who would be a good wife.

If you wake up at 10 AM every morning and don't exercise, setting a goal to wake up every morning at 6 AM and run 3 miles probably won't end in success (unless you have insane will power, and in that case, you go girl!) Setting goals that are out of reach will become too overwhelming and are easier to give up on. Don't be afraid to take your time! Think outside the box and change your perspective.

Give up the need for immediate results. We live in an instant gratification centered culture. We want and then we get and often times there is no waiting and no effort involved. If you want to do great things, it will take time. You won't get a six pack from working out once, you won't have a successful business the day after you come up with a brilliant idea. Let go of the need to be an instant success. Even Justin Bieber's "overnight stardom" wasn't so overnight. All the obstacles, time, and effort put into achieving your dreams will make them that much sweeter when accomplished.

Performance vs. outcome. Measure your performance, not the outcome. Your success isn't based on the milestones but your effort on the way. You can't control the outcome of anything, but you can control your performance. If you're happy with your consistency and hard work, thats an accomplishment in itself! Doing nothing gets you nowhere. Hard work pays off, even if it doesn't always look how you want it to. If you're diligent about working hard, you can accomplish anything.  

Don't base your happiness on milestones. My dream was to be a model. I've wanted this job since I was sixteen. I work really hard, but I'm not a supermodel. I don't think I'm a failure because I'm not walking the Victoria's Secret fashion show. If I based my happiness and the definition of my success on milestones, I would never be happy. There will always be a higher goal to reach. Reaching milestones will not fulfill you because there will always be another one to hit. There will always be something better, there will always be more. Most of your life will be spent in the stride to reach the milestones. If you're not happy until you reach one, you will be perpetually unhappy. It's the in between, the journey, that really counts. I may never be a Victoria's Secret model, but I will be something else, and I'm proud of how far I've come regardless. 

Celebrate yourself today! Don't dwell how far you have to go, but be proud of how far you've come!


How Do I Know What To Do With My Life?

When I was growing up, I always felt like everyone else had their thing. Daphne was really good at running, Stephanie was a really good vocalist, Mallory was a really good artist. Everyone had that one thing that they loved that they were really good at, or they had their whole life planned out and knew exactly what they wanted to do when they grew up. I was not one of those people. I was just kind of okay at everything. I didn't know what I liked, let alone what I wanted to do some day or who I wanted to be. I was a hermit, living in a comfy little shell, peeping my head out to get a glimpse and then snapping it back in the second something seemed scary. I was comfortable. Things were easy

My entire childhood everything stayed the same. All the same people, all the same places, nothing different- ever. I was shy, timid, and sheltered. (Legitimately zero culture. I didn't fly or see the ocean until I was 23. Yes, I'm serious.) College hit and I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was terrified at the thought of going to a state school where there would be tens of thousands of people. Things would have to be different. Things would have to be uncomfortable.

I settled for community college and then a small private school. I settled because I was scared.

I was two years in and the fact that I settled was painfully obvious. I was unhappier than I'd ever been, and I still didn't know what I was going to do. I felt like a complete failure. I was working full time to support myself and pay for tuition, taking 18 credit semesters, and sleeping two hours a night. I was exhausted and I felt like I was getting nowhere. I had the wrong perspective and a bad attitude, which my english professor so kindly kept me after class to lecture me about one day. I was angry, but he was right.

Attitude and perspective are everything. When I was younger, I just decided I wasn't good at anything, that I just couldn't have a thing. I carried that mentality all the way to my junior year in college where I was aimlessly reaching for goals that I didn't even have because I never believed I could reach any.

After I realized this, I started stepping outside of my comfort zone. I set goals with the intention of reaching them. With every step I took, my confidence grew. The steps were small, but they were successful. I wasn't scared of change anymore. In those two years of my life, I realized that it's not about where you come from or even where you're going but how you get there that matters. All of life is only how you look at it and how you look at life determines where you will go. People will live up or down to the expectations you have of them and those people include yourself.

Some of you might see this as a fail, but I dropped out of college after the fall semester that year. I moved to a big city where I knew approximately 0 people, and I pursued stepping out of my comfort zone. Those tiny first steps in college led to a bold confidence in myself which led me to pursuing things I couldn't have even dreamed of when I was younger.

I don't have all the answers or a how-to on knowing what you're supposed to do with your life, but I do know that the road to get here was not paved with rest stops and a (mostly) trusty GPS. Honestly, I'm still on the road and I'm still figuring it out every day. The journey to getting here is what has molded me into the person I am today, and what will continue to mold me as I travel it. Life isn't mapped out. It's messy. Theres no right or wrong way to do it. 

Don't put yourself in boxes. We are not confined to being defined by what we are afraid of or what we fail to do.

My name is Samantha Coyle. I live in a big city and I love it. I'm not scared of new things and easy isn't what I aim for. My things are giving, encouragement, relationships, Jesus, modeling, photography, writing, traveling, food, shopping, laughter, social media marketing, brand curation, eating dessert first, picking really bad Netflix movies, burning everything I bake- the list could go on. 

Try new things. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Whatever it may be, I encourage you to keep taking small steps. I promise you they'll lead to big ones.