Steps in reaching your Goals & following your Passions in life…

Looking back now I started my blog just over 2 years ago. It all started with my two passions of helping people as well as my love for writing.  When I first sat down with my laptop I asked myself what I wanted to get out of this; my end goals, the appearance of my blog, what I’d write about, and how I’d grow this to a larger platform so I could really make a difference.  It continues to grow beyond what I expected.  However, it was a gigantic learning process and I still face little hurtles along the way. What started with a blog has also spread to social media and an editorial in a paper! Beyond my wildest imagination. So, I thought today that I’d share with you my steps in reaching your goals and following your passions in life….

Step 1: Acknowledge your passion!

Get your ideas out of your head and on to paper! Visualize what you want & what you’d like to see come from the goals you have in your mind. Sometimes the fear of just starting something, holds us back from all that we are capable of. Writing this down then becomes a statement of intent and forces your subconscious to accept the commitment you’ve made toward your project.

Step 2: Set a Time frame/ Deadline..

It is so important to set dates for your goals. Whether that be an end date, or multiple smaller dates for the smaller goals you have, it helps to keep you on track. Write these down as reminders on your phone, in day planners, or calender’s! These little notifications help keep you committed and on track towards your target!

Step 3: Work on your Mindset!

Sometimes the hardest step in our journeys is developing that positive mindset. This is something that you can develop far before you reach your first goal. With following your dreams, there can be many setbacks and obstacles that are placed in front of you and its important to focus on mental health as well.  Try and look at things with the “glass half full” mentality and always remember that you doing your best is all that matters. Focus on YOURSELF and not on others opinions of you or what you’re trying to accomplish.

Step 4: Develop your Skill set.

There is ALWAYS something that we can be learning! If opportunities arise where you have the chance to educate yourself further on something that has to do with what you’re passionate about.. Take it! Figuring out the knowledge, tools, and skills that you will need to develop to put your plan in action is incredibly important. Invest your time wisely and develop the assets you need!

Step 5: Take the First Step & stay Committed!

Taking that first step can sometimes be the hardest. Silence those doubts in your mind and GO FOR IT! Jump in with a full heart and mind and I promise that nothing but good will come. One of the most challenging steps however is staying committed. So make sure to keep on track and try not to procrastinate. If you are ever stuck remember that its okay to ask for help from others! Sometimes we just need someone else encouraging us to make a world of difference.

And you’re set! Those are my 5 steps towards reaching your goals and following your passions. I hope these are able to help you in some way no matter where you are in your life. I know that I still personally go over these steps as I’m constantly trying to set new goals and end products for myself.  Also just wanted to remind you all that YOU are the only one who can limit your greatness. Don’t doubt yourself because it will hold you back from so much. Be that person that decided to GO FOR IT!

 

Thank you all – Sierra xoxo

 

 

Advertisements

RETRAIN YOUR MIND

RETRAIN YOUR MIND

Today I’d like to take the time to share with you all something that I learned a year and a half ago when I was in therapy.  Thinking back to that time and still to this day, I can be quite harsh and critical on myself.  My thoughts seem to always sway drastically to one side (normally being negative) in situations were the unknown is present.  I’m the type of person that loves schedules, daily routines, and knowing whats going to happen in any situation in my life.  Giving up that control can be incredibly difficult and can sometimes leave me feeling quite anxious days before certain occasions occur.  Thankfully, I’ve learnt over time how to best deal with my anxiety and how to retrain my thoughts so I slow down and relax before I get to the point of “no return”.  Instead of saying the very common things that run through all of our heads when confronted with an obstacle, such as; I cant do this, I give up, I’m too afraid, I cant make this any better, what will they think of me?,  this won’t work, or I’m not smart enough. Its important to challenge our thoughts and think REALISTICALLY.

Our minds don’t always work with us and sometimes it is our unrealistic thoughts that can bring us down and cause us to miss out on a lot of amazing opportunities.  The key way to change this is to re frame your unhelpful thoughts. Instead of saying, “I’m afraid something bad will happen”, change the thought to, “I cant predict what the future will bring but chances are high that it will be great”. Or, instead of thinking “I cant handle this”, change that thought to, ” I’ve faced many challenges before, and I’ve conquered all of them. Not only that, but they rarely turn out to be anything significant in the grand scheme of things”.  Or instead of having the thought “I’ve been rejected, I’m worthless”, change that to, “It’s better that I tried and failed than didn’t try at all, who knows, this could open more possibilities for me. Everything happens for a reason”.  Anytime a negative thought comes to the forefront of your mind, practice this technique of reframing it to something more realistic.  From there, prove yourself wrong! Continue to challenge those negative thoughts until they become less and less frequent.  Keep a record of any negative talk that you have towards yourself, do you notice any patterns? Is there a certain area that your mind constantly wanders to? Perhaps a negative body image, or self esteem… Focus in on that and create a personal mantra that corresponds to it in a more realistic and positive light.  Repeat it every morning and night to yourself, whether that be allowed or in your head, saying it validates it in our minds and can create a huge difference! Finally, recognize certain trigger situations and prepare yourself accordingly, have those reassuring back up plans in your mind. I know that certain events create more anxiety for me than others, so I recognize that and admit it ahead of time.  Take the time to talk to a friend or loved one about whats on your mind, sometimes just opening up can make you feel a million times better and take a load off.  It takes practice, but the more we retrain our minds the better quality of life we will have.  I encourage all of you to try and incorporate this in to your lives!

 

As always, thank you to all of my amazing subscribers old and new. If you ever need anything you always know that I’m here..

Sierra 🙂

 

 

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

How many times have you heard the two letter word, NO?…. That something will never work out, that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or capable enough.  Did you then go on to believe it?

I’d like to take a bet that almost 7.3 billion people have had this thought or experience atleast once in their life. Whether you’ve heard it from an employer, peer, family member, acquaintance, or even that little negative voice in the back of your head, its always important to remember that the one in your heart is all that matters.  Never let an assumption someones made hold you back from asking yourself important questions. What do I want? Why can’t I achieve this on my own? Since when do I take no for an answer? It’s important to always challenge others opinions, as well as our pre conceived notions, or we could end up missing out on a lot of what life has to offer and what we have to provide it with.  Not one person has the ability to determine what you can achieve unless you give them the power to do so.  I encourage each and everyone of you to challenge yourself and fight for what you believe in.

As I’ve always said since day one, I really want to be able to share my inspiration and positive messages in the hopes that it can help even one person.  In order to do so, I thought of ways to be able to get my posts on a wider platform and have now ended up having a monthly write up in my local paper – Snap’d. I would have never been able to do so if I took NO for an answer and this is why I wanted to share my experience with you. Last November, I had wrote multiple papers around the area trying to get my posts put in.  After either no replies, or a “Sorry but no thanks” I chose to not listen to what they had to say. I continued to persist and get in to contact with more people before I finally ended up with the chance in Snap’d. I am so grateful for the opportunity and I’m hoping that each of you can take something away from it.  If you are passionate about something and your inner voice is telling you to keep going, no matter what others are saying, I’m telling you to listen.  My point is that no one would be where they are today, or get to where they can go, if they listened to the negativity of others or the assumptions they’ve formed.  In order to follow our dreams we must believe in ourselves even when no one does.  Throughout our entire lives we’ve been trained to doubt ourselves, however it is when we believe in our capabilities that we truly start to flourish.

You are valuable. You are worthy. You are successful. You are smart. You are creative. You are kind. You are funny. You are capable. You are Unique.

Always remember this. No matter what anyone says, you can overcome any obstacle and get to where you want to be if you simply have faith in yourself. Never give up on the amazing person that you are!

 

Thank you:) As always, if you ever need anyone I’m here… Sierra xo

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT

 

In today’s idealistic world we constantly get a glimpse in to others lives.  Social media, being one of the biggest ways to do so, often covers up what people are actually going through in order to put on a facade that everything is “perfect”. I know for me personally, seeing all of these pictures on Instagram of models with the “perfect” stereotypical body on the yachts in beautiful destinations, definitely took a hit at my own self esteem.  It really plays on young women, even men’s, mental health and truly makes you question if you are good enough in a world that is constantly demanding more. Even in other aspects of life, I know I like doing my work and writing to what I consider “perfect”.  I’m sure I’m not alone. I’ll sit there and do it over multiple times until I have enough control over what I’m doing that I can say I’m finished and content with it.  However, I’ve come to the realization that this is really not how I should be living my life and neither should you.  Going about our day to day lives with the need to feel and have perfection is sometimes that actually holds us back.  Look at how we spend so much time trying to take and find that “perfect” photo to share, spending so much time at work perfecting something that you wouldn’t expect of another, feeling like you aren’t enough – over a silly situation or body image that’s stuck in your head, and even blaming yourself over nothing. We spend so much time seeking perfection and acknowledgement from others that we sometimes miss the most imperfect and meaningful things right in front of us. Let me ask you this, if you spent less time looking for your version of the perfect life, how much more time would you have to spend for the amazing things right in front of you?

Being unapologetically ourselves is one of the most significant things we can do in our lifetime.  Realizing that everyone is imperfect and that you’re wired for struggle, makes you aware of the fact that you are no less worthy of love, happiness, and belonging than the person right next to you.  We are all equal and not one of us is perfect.  It is our imperfections that make us beautiful and place us in the position to fall in love with someone else’s character, to have passions and to invent incredible new things, to have empathy and relate to someone else, and to enjoy every moment that comes our way.  For being happy is looking past what some would consider “imperfect” and enjoying everything and everyone that is right in front of you.  My goal and message to all of you is to slow down, stop, and to enjoy every moment.  Whether that be with family, friends, loved ones, or even in the quiet time spent alone.  Reflect on the amazingly imperfect person that you are and have gratitude for all of the things given to you and for those surrounding you.  Our sense of belonging and validation from others should never be greater than our level of self acceptance.  Let go of the need for perfection and you will fall in love with yourself, starting a journey of amazing happenings that will not disappoint.

This is what I can leave you all with.  As always, if you ever need anything don’t be afraid to reach out or shoot me an email.  Thank you everyone!

-Sierra xoxo

 

GIVING & RECEIVING

GIVING & RECEIVING

 

Every time I sit down to write a post I try and think of a personal experience so that I can share something that is truly relevant and that sends out an important message to all of you.  With Christmas Eve only a month away and with it being the time of “giving and receiving”, I thought I’d take the time to share with you a specific memory and message that coordinates with this special time.

It was November the 24th (this day) of last year, when I headed in to Toronto with my boyfriend to do some Christmas shopping at the Eaton Center.  We walked around the mall for hours thinking of all the ways we each had to spend our money.  Who was left on the checklist for Christmas gifts? Would this be enough of a present for someone? Would they like it? Should I get something for myself? …. A million questions ran through my mind but I think in those moments I forgot about what was truly important.  I forgot about the people that really needed help, not just on the day to day basis but also when the holiday season comes around.  After leaving the mall that day we had walked around the little neighborhoods and had taken a corner, when I looked ahead and saw a couple in their mid 30’s laying on the cold ground next to one another with only a few blankets to keep them warm.  It was heartbreaking.  I didn’t even hesitate to pull the twenty dollar bill out of my wallet and hand it to them.  They were some of the most grateful people I have probably ever seen, I can’t even count the number of times they had said thank you and as we were leaving they said, “God bless you, have a Merry Christmas”.  That moment had made my entire day and I realized how important it is to give kindness not only during the holiday season, but as often as you can, as I have never once lost anything by giving to someone else. I have only received more.

When it comes to the homeless in particular, too many people think that the money you give them goes to drugs/ alcohol or that they are just regular people trying to scam you. People may call me naive for believing otherwise but I like to always think the best of people.  The twenty dollars I gave them could’ve in fact gone to something negative but it also could have gone to a warm meal, a new blanket, or hats/scarfs. I think in today’s society its so important to remember that as human beings we have the ability to spread kindness and good and that it is always what people want and need.  Even just a simple hello, goodbye, or smile, could make someones day as they just simply would love to be recognized and feel as though they aren’t alone.  I also know that if I were to ever end up  in that position I would hope someone would do the same for me.  When you spread kindness it may seem as though you are giving without receiving, but that is entirely untrue.  When you commit a kind act it gives even more reason for that person to be appreciative and give that kindness on to another.  Its a domino effect with more people being reached because of your one small deed than you could ever imagine.  Whether its paying it forward, so that the little girl with her father sitting in the car behind you can witness kindness first hand and learn to do the same kinds of good deeds as she grows, to buying someone a coffee or lunch, to giving away an old jacket you never wear, to saying hello and giving a smile to that person in the grocery store.  There are so many ways no matter how big or small that by giving even a drop of kindness can make a whole world of difference.  It truly is love in disguise and with never knowing the struggles people face, why not give a little today, tomorrow, and always…  If everyone where to give more kindness I think the world would be a far better place, with the ending of my post I hope each and everyone of you can take something away from this message and try and commit an act of kindness, no matter how big or small, yourself.  With that end note, I’d like to leave you with a quote.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being SHARED.” ~Buddha

 

Thank you and as always if you ever need someone, I’m here.

~Sierra xo

 

What am I going to do with my life?

What am I going to do with my life?

I’m 18 years old sitting on the chair in my kitchen table taking the time to write to all of you, my readers, about my plans and goals in life.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve been asked about what my plans for school are, what I want to be when I grow up, and where I want to go to accomplish that.  They are intimidating questions in which I feel I can never speak the truth, for the feeling of judgement of others constantly creeps down my spine.  In our society, too often we feel the need to follow the “norms” and live the lifestyle of another in order to compete and seem accomplished/ successful to the people around us, when this shouldn’t be the case.  We each live our own lives and go through certain milestones at different points as we all do things in our own time.  No two people are the same.  In a world where we only get one shot at life I think it is such a waste to throw away your passions and do something you aren’t happy doing, just to make money or seem worthy in the eyes of another.  If I could send a message out to anyone, it would be to go experience the world and follow your passions because your talent is something unique to you that no one else has and can get you so far.  It would be a waste to do nothing with it.  I know for me personally, I’ve always loved helping others because it fills up a certain spot inside of me and just has always made me feel so good. Nothing has ever really been able to replace it. That’s why I decided this past summer to take a solo journey to volunteer in Costa Rica with people I didn’t even know.  Helping so many people on a variety of projects from organic farms, to working with kids in schools, to a sea turtle conservation, and beach cleanups, it really opened my eyes to what makes me happy.  It further deepened my belief that in life my purpose is to help others.  I now have the idea that I want to go to school to become a social worker and I’d still get out and see the world and volunteer in my free time.  I know for a fact it is something I will continue to do.  Even with this blog, it is a passion of mine to share my experiences and life journeys in the hopes that it can touch one person and make their life better in some way.  That’s always been the ultimate goal of mine. Without going on the trip I don’t know that I would’ve realized that and that’s why I think going out and experiencing the world is so important.  So many people today rush in to post secondary school not knowing what they want to do and end up not liking it before, or when they finish, or years down the road.  That’s why I cant stress enough that it is really never too late to start doing what you love.  Yes, money is important but at the end of your life sitting back knowing you followed your goals and passions is a far greater takeaway.  Anything that you try hard enough for you can achieve as long as you stay positive, believe in yourself, and have supportive people around you.  So speaking now directly to the people who ask these “intimidating” questions, I encourage you to instead ask young adults what they’re passionate about and I believe you will get a far greater response.  Realize how lucky you are to wake up every morning and start to think about accomplishing things that make you happy.  Don’t be afraid to take risks because when you do so, I think you will find out how much you are truly capable of.  All you really need is faith in yourself and your beliefs, for they can take you to extraordinary places.

 

Thank you and as always, if you need to talk I’m here.

*Reach for the stars!*

-Sierra xoxo