By: Angie Ketcham
As I put on my cap and gown and stepped in line to join the nearly 500 students who would be receiving their Associate of Arts certificate, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. Many of the young people in line with me probably didn’t even think of it as a big deal, just the first step to getting where they wanted to be in life. But for me, it was a huge accomplishment. I was a 36 year old woman with 6 kids, working full time, and searching for what I wanted to be when I grew up. It had been an extremely rough year in my family. We had been through some very devastating events that year, yet here I was, standing in line, done with my degree with a 4.0 GPA. At that moment in time, I was so glad I had made the decision to go back to school. More importantly, I was glad I had just started somewhere!
Getting started is the key to accomplishing dreams and goals in our lives and in our family’s lives. Whether it’s taking that family vacation you’ve wanted to take, starting your own business so you can be at home with your kids, getting in shape physically, building a strong spiritual foundation for your family, or whatever you want to accomplish, there are steps you can take to see those things accomplished for your family:
1. Pray about it… Seek God in the direction you should go. Where is God leading you? What season does God have you in? What season does God want you in that you’ve been putting off? When we put God in the forefront of every decision we make, He is faithful to give us direction for the future.
2. Make a plan… Every dream or goal needs a plan to how it’s going to be accomplished. How does this dream look in the future? What steps do you need to take to get to the end results? What is the timeline you would like to see this happen? When we take into consideration what is going to happen, what might happen, and how we can be ready for those things, we will be more successful in getting to our destination.
3. Write it down… Sometimes times get tough when you’re trying to accomplish a goal. Write down your plans and objectives so when times get tough, you can look back on those things and stay focused. Lists can help remind you what still needs to be done. Also, keeping your reminders in one place will allow for easy retrieval for phone numbers, names, and other important information.
4. Do one thing… Even if it’s a small step, take that first step to accomplishing your goal. When I went back to school, it seemed so daunting to go through all the process. But, one day I just drove to the college and went to admissions. I spoke with a counselor. That was it! It really was that simple! It can be something as simple as getting brochures or doing some searches online regarding your topic. Make a file for your papers and get back to it as soon as you can.
5. Think positive… Sometimes the only thing that holds us back is ourselves. Fear, lack of confidence, negative talkers, the lack of knowledge, or other negatives, will always try to stop your efforts of accomplishing our goals. Don’t allow these things to take hold in your thoughts. The Word of God tells us to take captive every thought and renew your mind with the Word of God. By doing so, you will put out those negatives and create an environment that is going to get you where you need to be.
6. Don’t give up….Life is always changing and rearranging. There may be times that your dream has to be put on the back burner for a while. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick it back up when the time is right. Don’t put it down for so long that you forget to get back to it. Refresh your mind once in a while with an assessment of where you’re at and what you want to accomplish. Assess whether the time is right for you and get back to business as soon as you can!
I chose to write on this topic today because I am so blessed to be able to say this article is my “Just get started” moment. I knew long ago God wanted me to share my words with others. I had a dream that I would be able to use my words to encourage and challenge others on their journey in life. I too, followed these same steps and now I’m here to share these words with you. I’m excited to share the things I’ve learned along the way. Happy adventures!