At the beginning of each year, our minister encourages all of our church's members to participate in a one month fast plus a recording of our dreams and visions for the year to start it off right. Dreams and Visions? That’s pretty weighty and airy fairy stuff for a left-brained introvert like myself (I surprised you didn't I, I've learned to make networking and public speaking look easy with a lot of hard work.) It makes New Year’s resolutions like finally going to the gym seem lightweight in comparison. Further, our minister asks us to categorize our Dreams and Visions into personal, marriage/family, faith and the outrageous.
I have a lot of resistance to writing down resolutions much less Dreams and Visions. There is something scary about committing such weighty topics to paper. And of course, once they're written down I feel the push to take action. Which is the point. Each year, I say I’m going to do this exercise but never seem to get around to it. Then another year flies by and I end the year with an empty feeling asking myself: what was this year about? Why was I here? What did I want to achieve? How can I know the answers to these questions if I was unwilling to make a commitment to myself?
I have no problem with fasting: which usually is simply giving up an unhealthy habit or some food that I shouldn’t be eating anyway.
I've had more success putting together Vision Boards. They can actually can be fun to do, and I've even had some pretty startling success with them. Over four years ago I had created a Vision Board that was propped up at the back of my desk and then slipped behind it. I didn't even notice. One day while doing a deep cleaning I found it back there, and guess what? Two of my big dream visions had come true! I had wanted to decrease the number of medications I needed to take to control my autoimmune disease: I started that year taking 4 and at the end the year I needed only 1. I also wanted to move my passion of bicycling into a viable business. By the end of that year I had earned my League of American Bicyclists safety instructor certification and had taught several bicycle safety classes. My business was up and running.
This year, I've finally decided that I don’t have to be afraid of having Dreams and Visions nor of committing them to paper. And taking action on them. The funny thing is that I have already taken action on my unwritten Dreams and Visions. I know that another year will slip by if I don’t hold myself accountable. But I also know I can talk myself into or out of just about anything. So now I have an accountability partner who I meet with every other week. We meet tomorrow to share our Dreams and Visions and guess what? Of course I haven’t written them down yet. I refuse to show up for coffee tomorrow with a blank piece of paper. I'll get to work and write my Dreams and Visions in ink before our meeting. Since I'm a visual person I started first with my Vision Board that will hang in my office (not sit on my desk and fall behind it). Here's my latest board.
Even though I've resisted writing my Dreams and Visions down I actually like to think about them. My favorite category is outrageous: they have the aroma of miracle. My biggest dreams for my business are to:
- Design and roll out my new website that will help each of you choose the bicycle that best fits your lifestyle and needs - in the meantime you can connect with me for classes here: https://www.facebook.com/Bikeucation/
- Become a League of American Bicyclists Master Bicycling coach. There are only three women in the U.S. that actively hold this title. We're asking the League to let Pedal Love host an "all- women" master’s class here in California later this year.
My one outrageous personal goal is to get to and maintain a healthy weight. This is outrageous for me because for most of my 62 years I have been overweight or even obese. Active yes, but obese too. So yes, it is an outrageous dream for me to finally achieve and maintain a truly healthy weight. I have taken action on this goal by hiring a personal trainer who works me out and counsels me on my healthy eating plan and the mental strength and sacrifice needed to lose weight (why did I really eat those chips?)
What are your Dreams and Visions for his year? Join me in committing them to paper and taking action. I look forward to sharing my Vision Board with you next. Send me a note and your Dreams and Visions might just appear in my next post.
About Kellie Morris
Kellie did her first multi-day, fund-raising bike ride in 2002 after a co-worker dared her to take up the challenge - the seven-day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. In 2010 Kellie was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease: Mixed Connective Tissue disease that left her so weak she could barely dress herself. Through medication, dietary changes and exercise she was able to recover much of her strength. Kellie does most of her local trips on her trike including shopping, running errands, attending fitness classes, visiting friends and even riding to church. In May 2013 Kellie became a certified bicycling instructor via The League of American Bicyclists. She now teaches both group and private bike riding classes. Contact her for class information. Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/Bikeucation/.