Sometimes the difference between forever carrying around your dreams and actually making them come true is as simple as putting your goals into words and enlisting a little help from some great friends. Opening up and making yourself vulnerable can result in a big payoff.
There, in the evening air, we sat beneath the twinkle lights, with our faces lit by the row of candles on the patio table.
One by one, we took our turn, accepting our vulnerability and speaking from a place of raw honesty.
Eleven women with 11 different goals.
We gathered for the first time last year and shared our wishes for the coming year.
We spoke of small goals and lofty dreams.
We laughed, we choked back tears and we placed our dreams in the hands of others.
We remembered that yes, we were mothers, but we were also women, with challenges to conquer and dreams to fulfill.
In those moments, we gave ourselves permission to make ourselves a priority.
Over the course of the past year, we’ve watched each member of our group reach goals, both large and small. We’ve encouraged one another and shared information and connections.
We’ve opened doors for one another and listened as goals shifted and expanded.
Last weekend, under a canopy of twinkle lights, we set new goals, this time with the knowledge that our words carried promise and that to speak our dreams was to give them life.
Our group has proven to be one of my life’s greatest joys.
Though I love each of the women in our group, I must say that we’re not different... what we share isn’t unobtainable. A group like ours is something every woman can have in her life if she makes it a priority.
While our group was formed with blogging and social media as our common thread, any shared interest can serve as the foundation for your group, whether your bond is based in common career aspirations, parenting styles, fitness or any other shared connection.
It’s all too easy to assume that others know what you want from life, but unless you actually tell them, they can’t truly know.
Although it felt a bit awkward in those first moments of our first dinner, we found ourselves opening up as the night went on and we quickly realized that there’s something amazing about giving a voice to your dreams.
By verbalizing what you want most and sharing your words with a group, you’ll find they feel more real and your group will be there to support and encourage you.
Include friends who have dreams that they’d like to achieve and care enough about you to help you reach your own. If they don’t have their own solid goals, they won’t understand the importance you place on your own.
Trust that although it may feel awkward to take turns giving voice to your greatest wishes, it gets easier with time and it’s worth making yourself vulnerable.
Consider creating a group email or private Facebook group dedicated to supporting one another and staying in touch. When you need a favor or a bit of advice, having a place of your own is a wonderful thing.
Be patient. Your group may grow and change throughout the years. Be open to that and trust that in time, you’ll look back and know that your commitment to surrounding yourself with the right people will pay off.
Have a formal get together once a year, at the very least. Formal for us means no kids, no spouses and a commitment to spending the night listening and sharing.
Enlist one member to document your goals as you go and make that list available to all members of the group. By doing so, you’ll be reminded of your own hopes for the year ahead and you’ll remain mindful of everyone else’s so you can help in any way possible.
Lastly, give some thoughts to sitting beneath twinkle lights… I'm convinced they carry magic.
May your group be as lovely as ours.
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