“I’ll learn it as I go” isn’t exactly a strategy for success, but it does seem like the life motto of most millennials. We tend to go from Idea to Implementation without a full “Planning” stage in between.
It feels like every other day, a friend is announcing something on social media. I think it’s wonderful! I’m excited to constantly see new goals, business ventures, and leveling-up life changes going on all around me. Life can get stale if there isn’t some kind of goal or idea to bring to life, and of course the excitement of something new is too exciting not to publicly share. I myself have announced some new life ventures, and because I didn’t go through the full proper “Planning” stage…my announcements turned out to be pre-mature. Three months down the line, I found myself deleting any evidence of them from Instagram. Nothing is more awkward than a friend asking for an update and having to confess you quit or never started.
Last January, I announced that I was going back to school. I applied to Boise State and was accepted. I met with an advisor and enrolled in 4 courses. I bought the textbooks and a cute backpack.
(In case me and you aren’t close personal friends in real life, I already have a college degree. I graduated NAU in ’15 with a bachelors in Marketing. I also have a fulltime job in Idaho and planned on earning a second bachelors degree in kinesiology on the side.)
The excitement of making a career pivot and diving back into school filled me with energy! I dawned a bright orange mustang T-shirt and posed for photo with my backpack. I posted my photo proudly proclaiming that I had an exciting new chapter ahead of me and would be a freshman all over again. All of my internet friends congratulated me. That “Idea” phase was the fun part. When it came to “Implementation” -aka taking classes, doing homework, studying for tests, not to mention commuting to Boise from the suburbs and finding parking on campus in the middle of the day – well that was less thrilling.
It was the first day of classes that I finally started doing the math (no pun intended…). How would adding this huge undertaking work into my full time work schedule along with my gym routine and social life? Sacrifices can absolutely be made for big dreams and goals. Especially when they are temporary sacrifices. But this wasn’t what I would consider a big dream. I initially thought about going to school for kinesiology about 2 weeks prior to enrolling. I didn’t know what I would do with the degree from there; there aren’t any physical therapy doctorate programs in the valley.
Long story short, after a heart-to-heart with myself, I knew I didn’t have a long term plan for this investment. I would be taking out student loans, burning my candle at both ends for 4 more years, and hope I figured out something to do with this career afterwards.
I withdrew on the 2nd day of the semester.
Through this, I learned I can be a whimsical person. (See previous post on not moving 2,600 miles away.) thankfully my track record shows that I come to my senses before anything is irreversible. One could also argue on the opposite side that I overthink my way out of my decisions. But we’ll leave that discussion for the professionals 😉👩🏻⚕️
I’ve learned my lesson that I can’t simply rely on the whim and excitement of a new possibility alone to carry me through the actual work. This probably sounds like a no-brainer to some or most of you. You might be far ahead of me, thinking “Uh duh. It is common sense.”
To that, I would say A.) I’m not writing a how-to manul or a self-help column. I’m writing this to and for myself. And B.) I’d be surprised if there was never a time in your life you got wrapped up in the moment and had to bring yourself back down to reality later….😉
This topic came to mind this week because I’m on the verge of an Idea phase. I’m bursting with excitement of my grand new potential venture! But then suddenly I remind myself of the time I adopted and found a new home for a puppy, or the time I enrolled and withdrew from college, and that other time I moved away but then stayed in Idaho. I need to remind myself to take a pause between Idea and Implementation. I need to avoid the urge to join the social media flood of announcements and share my exciting news too until I give it sincere thought and develop an actual plan this time.
I will say, in the past week I: registered and filed for a certificate of my LLC with the state of Idaho, created a business email account, wrote a business plan including my mission statement, vision statement, company description, industry analysis, market strategy, financial plan, and organization management structure. I talked to a leasing agent, researched distribution companies in the area and started pricing capital equipment pieces. It’s been FUN! I’m enjoying this project I’ve given myself while the winter blues are in full force.
All the while, I remind myself not to get too wrapped up in the fantasy aspect. It seems like I’ve done a lot but In reality I’ve barely made 1 dent. It’s not all glamorous and I want to reserve the right to say “I’m not at the right place in my life right now” in case there are some bigger-than-expected challenges while I’m doing my homework and planning. I’ve obviously shared this new idea with my parents, boyfriend and a few close friends. They are the ones who will be helping me whenever it happens! 🙂
I’m excited about the balance I’m finding between planning for my future but taking things day by day. It’s not easy! Today I got outside and ran after work and I can’t tell you how much better my mood is afterwards. Obviously I daydreamed a little bit, mostly I just turn up my music and zone out and enjoy the run in the moment.
Tomorrow morning I have a flight at 6:15am. If I want to get my 8 hours of sleep tonight, I’ll need to go to bed….35 minutes ago. It’s only 8:15pm!
Signing off for now. Sweet dreams friends!