Planning is something that I love to do. I enjoy the thought process of developing a plan from beginning to end. But often time, lost in all of the thoughts and all of the hashing out of details, lies the unfortunate wake of inaction. And then the frustration of not reaching a goal.
When planning our RV journeys, I often feel that pride of accomplishment and that immediate gratification of a location or event checked off the list. Once the plan rolls into action, it’s a beautiful thing! And now being on the road, I’ve learned to roll with the crazy and not get upset when things don’t go exactly as planned. But, once the plan becomes action, it’s an amazing feeling of satisfaction.
But then there’s the desire to grow a business and work my husband out of his corporate career. The dream to own a successful online business and create something bigger than myself. A dream to create a community of passionate souls who desire to pursue More Better Days. I desire deeply to find that homeschool plan and curriculum that just fits and falls into place and I desire to become just a little more than I am today. And the goal of being super organized and not so scatter-brained.
What’s stopping all that action? The plan is in place, so just start doing something already! The end goal is there and all the steps laid out; however, the steps can seem overwhelming. The voice inside my head so often spurs me to action. And yet there is some strange opposing force that just comes in and blocks it. So often, there’s fear of failure. Maybe it’s even the fear of success. Succeeding at something bigger than what I imagined. Or it’s just that maybe there’s too many details. Too much involved in getting the plan off the ground.
Or maybe those fears are simply the voice of reason keeping me from doing something incredibly stupid. But, those fears are often what keep me from moving outside of the safe space I’ve created and into the great unknown.
“But, you’ve already sold your home and started a journey that so many are too afraid to try. So, that means you should be able to do just about anything.” Yes and No. The person I was in my home is the same person that moved into a tiny RV and still carries some of the baggage from that life left behind. The voices of the “nots” the “can nots” the “have nots” and the “do nots.” Those voices still come in and haunt me at times.
When sitting alone in a new location where there isn’t a whole lot of people our age, I’m alone with my thoughts. Many times the new Valerie comes out with great ideas and ways to solve problems and the can do attitude comes out. Then there’s social media Val who is looking for affirmation from a new post or a new video. When that immediate gratification doesn’t come, those thoughts and fears come back from suburban Val. And then the cycle of negative speak and the waves of overwhelm come crashing down on the plans and the optimism that Valerie so dearly craves to hold on to.
When cleaning our tiny home for example, I get so overwhelmed and bogged down in the minutia of everything needing to be put away perfectly, that so often the entire house is about to fall apart because of lack of action. The plan I have to accomplish just the clutter or just the kitchen table gets lost in the ADD of finding each little nit picky detail and flitting and floating into a frenzy. And then it appears as if nothing has been done.
I am that same imperfect person that moved into this RV for this amazing journey and for these opportunities for growth. The RV Adventure Fairy does not come in and magically change those issues and those deep rooted thoughts that were a part of our suburban lifestyle. Moving into an RV is not running away from problems. In fact, the magnification lens on an RV is pretty much as tiny as you can get.
However, living in an RV and creating a new safe space to try new things is what makes this life so appealing. It’s the idea that you can create the life you want to lead instead of having it dictated to you by the “suburban norm.” It opens up possibilities that you didn’t have before.
It's time to take action! Once that plan is in place, I think it’s time to simplify the plan. Much like downsizing, by simplifying the plan itself, the steps become easier to take and action is possible. And then once that first action is taken and you begin to move away from that comfort zone, it’s time to take the smallest steps and create a simplified chain of steps that continues until long-term growth and change occurs.
I have to remind myself of a goal set when I was in my late 20’s. By the time I turned 30 I wanted so desperately to be healthy and fit and active. I decided to run a marathon. A full 26.2 mile marathon! This was no easy task as I was a little overweight and was a hard-working band director with little free time. It took a year to get into shape and then it took another year to train. I lost 40 pounds and ran almost daily. I ate better, I felt better and I was more fun to be around. It all started with one action.
I “snuffy luffied“ myself (as my husband would say) to the high school track and decided to run the straights and walk the curves. At least 3 times per week, I went up to that track and ran. That first lap was seemingly impossible; and yet there was an increased determination to continue. And then, much like Forrest Gump, I just kept running! That one action at the track, led to more small actions and those small actions led to one big reward… 26.2 Miles Completed.
It's time to review those positive outcomes and remember the simplicity on one little action. The planning that I love so much shouldn’t be the means or the end; but rather a framework that encourages those smaller steps. Instead of focusing on the end goal, it’s time to look at those plans one step at a time. And it’s time to step out and take that one action that leads to momentum.