Today, Take Time to Reflect, Enjoy, Breathe, and Grow.

I know most of you don’t know me…. yet… but there are a few things I think you should know. Not that these things are necessarily important to my character or my life-dreams by any means, but since we’re just starting this new relationship with each other, I feel as though I should tell you about ME… Or more accurately, what I truly believe my friends would say about me.

1.) I have an irrational fear of having flat hair . Silly? Perchance. 110% true? Yep.

Lucky for me, I have a great hairstylist who can work magic, I have excellent genetics (thanks mom and dad), and there are approximately 46 bottles of hairspray scattered across my apartment at any point in time.

2.) I eat more Ramen noodles than anyone should. How can you expect me to pass up blocks of noodles which can be purchased for a mere 10 cents? Simple – You can’t. I will buy them and I will eat abnormal amounts of them.

3.) I’m determined.

Yes, I’m one of THOSE people who are determined to do whatever it is that they set their mind to, regardless of whether or not said activity should be done.

Of course this has gotten me into trouble once or twice in my 25 years of existence but I can’t help it. If I say I’m going to do something, well… I’m going to do it.

It’s interesting because once you make the decision to work towards a goal or a dream, then without even realizing it… something magical happens. You make the decision to overcome any obstacles you might face and you decide not give into unforeseen set backs. You have this unexplainable power behind you that says, “I can’t be stopped… I’ve got a plan.”

Sure, this IS wonderful because as a successful woman in business, you need drive, passion, and determination but today, I want to talk about how you may be missing out on the experience and journey if you aren’t careful.

Think of a project or a goal you’ve set for yourself.

Whether that’s losing 10 pounds, starting your own business, vowing to eat less ramen noodles, or whatever… you know what you want to accomplish. That’s when, in your mind, the wheels and gears start turning to figure out what the necessary steps are to achieve this goal.

Now, this is precisely when you begin to make checklists, blueprints, and spreadsheets. You begin to just see numbers and “to do” lists rather than enjoying the mere fact that you’re one of the brave ones… you’re taking the step to turn your idea into a reality. Don’t kid yourself, not everyone puts their plan into action. Some just sit and daydream but not you… you’re doing it :)

However, you also need to be careful because if you aren’t, your daily life can becomeconsumed by this one idea or project.

For example, when I decided to create my website, Live Inspired, I began to map out all steps I deemed necessary in my head which included a web presence, a frequent schedule of posts, guest bloggers, etc.

I became consumed with the idea of growing and molding my personal brand identity and no matter what, I was determined to make it work. I had the idea in my head and I wanted it

Because I was determined to create this community, I began to eat/sleep/dream about it and soon after, that’s when it happened… Live Inspired changed from an exciting venture (and one I was passionate about) to something stressful and tiring

I didn’t realize why I was stressed out and worn out until I realized that with the mindset I had, I wasn’t ever going to be satisfied with my website. I felt as though I needed more fansmore readershipmore songs for the playlist. I thought to myself, “If I could just do x,y, and z then I’ll be happy! Then I’ll have succeeded!”

But I wasn’t realizing a BIG problem… The problem was that I let this project consume me and I didn’t take time to reflect on the fact that I was doing it and even more, how far I had come… Instead, I was focused on where I wanted to go… you know, the end result.

I didn’t allow myself to stop and realize that I started my brand up from nothing and now itHAS a frequent readership, it HAS Facebook fans, it HAS become something I’m proud of. I kept pushing forward, full speed ahead, without slowing down and taking note of my accomplishments.

If you’re like me, you’re determined to do moreto be more, and to keep striving for excellence… whether that’s in the work place, in your home, or in your personal relationships. This IS important to be successful, but please don’t be afraid to stop,breathe, and enjoy the journey.

It’s important to remember every now and then, how you got to where you are today.

Chances are, it wasn’t an easy journey and it wasn’t always a fun one. You’ve sacrificed your free time, you’ve chosen paperwork over hours of sleep, and you’ve probably even worked straight through a few lunch breaks.

We’re constantly caught up in this busy, fast paced, world that refuses to slow down. We’re drivendetermined to be successful, and ready to push ourselves to our limits to get to this end goal, but what good is the end result if we’re blowing past the journey – tangling lessons and personal growth up in numbers and analytics.

We’re rushing to reach this end goal which will most likely, turn into another goal before we can even celebrate our first achievement.

Fact: There’s always going to be a new project, a new expansion, or a new plan and by getting caught up in this… game… you’re going to miss out on some pretty amazing stuff.

That was something I needed to remind myself when I began Live Inspired.

In my head, I saw the desired end result. I saw analyticsblog comments, and retweets… I didn’t congratulate myself enough when I made the decision to move from a .wordpress to a .org. I didn’t congratulate myself enough when I began receiving comments from strangers whom I’ve never met (aka people I didn’t politely encourage to comment). I was going through the motions without letting myself fully enjoy the ride that gosh darn it, I’m doing something I love. I’m doing SOMETHING of importance to me.

I didn’t give myself enough credit and there’s a decent chance, you aren’t giving yourself enough credit either. Congratulate yourself when you finish a project. Treat yourself to a healthy dessert when you lose 10 pounds. Do something for yourself to say, “Hey! Great job! I did it!”

Don’t finish one thing just to immediately begin on the next… Take time to reflectenjoy,breathe, and grow.

This world is an incredible place and we’re incredible beings.

Don’t forget that and don’t forget that you’re getting somewhere worth going. Stop selling yourself short by not enjoying the process and the journey.

For me, the determinationdrive, and passion were important… Without these things, I would’ve written a handful of blog posts then forgotten about it. I knew that Live Inspired was something I was passionate about and I was determined to make it into something I could be proud of.

The determinationdrive, and passion helped me power through failures, negative words, and set backs.

The determinationdrive, and passion got me to this point today where I’m standing in front of you, speaking from the heart, and loving every minute of it. I made it a point to realize that analytics are useful, but they aren’t everything. It’s more about meeting new people, having challenging experiences, and simply learning and growing.

And boy, am I growing.

I’m growing and learning from this process and yes, the end result will be nice but I can’t imagine it getting any better than this, Just knowing that I can achieve whatever it is that set my mind to. By sitting backrelaxing, and reflecting on the person I am today, I’ve discovered that the journey can give me more than any number, spreadsheet, or checklist can.

Stop existing and start living… Look at the person you are today in relation to the person you were last year. Chances are, you’ve grownyou’ve succeeded against the odds, and you’ve learned so much more… Enjoy it.