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How to Achieve Big Goals in 5 Simple Steps

Post It Notes on White Board

Setting intentions is powerful. For those who’ve worked with me in one-on-one coaching sessions, you may be familiar with Wildly Improbable Goals* (aka WIGs). The process to achieving any dream is simple:

  1. Write down a WIG. (And make it a BIG, BEAUTIFUL one!)
  2. Map out the steps to get there.
  3. Plot smaller turtle-steps that support the big steps.
  4. Add turtle-steps as you learn more about what is needed to make it happen.
  5. Take turtle steps one-by-one toward your WIG.

A couple of my WIGs from a year and a half ago (August 17, 2017 to be exact) are close to becoming a reality. I wrote on a post-it note: “Publish and sell my photography.” On another one I wrote: “Publish a book.” I put these up on the right side of my wall, and three feet to the left I put a post-it with the date. In between these, I put steps two through four above on post-its.

Some initial turtle steps were simple, like:

  • Find a photographer mentor
  • Write daily (which became weekly)
  • Join a writing group
  • Take a publishing course
  • Watch post-processing how-to videos

Turtle-step by turtle-step I’ve moseyed closer to these WIGs by combining them. And guess what? I’m so close I can see the finished copy of what will be a photo-with-journal-prompt book.

Using nature as a wise teacher, I’ve captured the metaphoric lessons she teaches us paired with my photos. And I use coaching-style questions to help the reader find their inner answers through writing.

Magic unfolded as I worked toward this vision. I found a fabulous writing group, Community of Creatives, led by the Courageous Wordsmith Amy Hallberg. I met fellow coaches, who had published their own novels, that became my dear friends, editors and sounding boards. My community rose to support me by choosing their favorite photographs and encouraging my ideas and concepts. I have designers from my former career that I can call upon. It all came together beautifully in perfect timing!

Now, I’m in the final stages of self-publishing and it feels so delicious!

Achieving your WIGs is possible with perseverance, patience, seeking knowledge and turtle steps. If you’re looking for a coach to help you bring your dreams into reality, let’s talk!

*The concept of Wildy Improbable Goals, and how to get there, was developed by Martha Beck.

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Memory is Unlimited, but Storage is Costly

Jennifer Bauer taking photos in Yosemite

With the introduction of digital cameras, photo storage changed from space-consuming boxes of film to a computer’s hard drive. All of a sudden, we were not limited by the amount of film cartons we could carry because memory cards were small, lightweight, cheap and could be used repeatedly after downloading.

Rather than conserving shots, we can take as many as our fingers are capable of and now have the ability to experiment more abundantly with camera settings.

I love how this has lent me ample space to learn and grow my photographic skills. Yet, because I take so many photos now, storage is costly.

On my first trip to Africa, between my husband and I, we had 20,000 photos. It took us more than six months to go through them all, select ones we liked, post-process and then de-select so that we didn’t overwhelm our poor family members who had to endure the picture show and tell of our honeymoon.

That’s just one trip. And we travel – a lot.

You know what we don’t spend time doing? Deleting the terrible pictures. Like somehow, someday we’ll need them or regret not having them.

This got me thinking how this relates to our own mental state…our own personal memories that we hold onto.

Making memories is easy and unlimited. Storage is costly when it’s mostly made up of junk.

As a life coach, it’s my business to help clients release stored up junk. We do this by recognizing that they have a choice in whether to keep their painful stories or not.

The first step is questioning its truth. Then, I ask them probing questions to uncover the large cost of the thought on their mental and emotional health, behavior, relationships, and even the relationship they have with themselves.

Once they feel and understand the true cost, we explore what might be different without it. If they were to delete the junk photos of their past and future fears that are emblazoned on their mind, how would their behavior, emotions and interactions be different?

Oh the freedom found here!

Then we look for alternate truths…alternate photos that they hadn’t looked at before.

And like a reverse Polaroid, the belief dissolves. The memory has been released from storage.

It’s a beautiful process, if you’re open to exploring it. If not, there’s always storage in the cloud. How much are you willing to pay to keep the junk photos?

If you’re curious about how Byron Katie’s The Work™ can help you dissolve your limiting beliefs, let’s talk!