It was so early in the morning, the field still had that misty layer of dew clinging to the grass.
We could hear the bells as the cows made their way over to the split rail fence we were walking along on our way to the animal petting area.
My family was camping near a family farm and my daughter and I were up early, hot cocoa in hand, to see the baby lambs.
There were these two Rhode Island Reds scratching around in the pen and my daughter asked if it was okay to pet one. Not being a country girl, I had no idea, so she decided to give it a try.
There are painful consequences, but apparently you can indeed pet a chicken.
But you can’t milk one.
Not that we tried, that would be weird.
Chickens aren’t mammals.
They don’t produce any milk whatsoever.
But think about it, how many people do you know who live their life like they’re trying to milk a chicken?
As if trying harder to love the wrong life or the wrong work will somehow make them happy.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t get milk from a chicken and no matter how hard you try, work that doesn’t inspire you won’t produce the fulfillment you need either.
Living a life you’ve settled for is a trap.
It’s not “bad enough” to make a drastic change, but it leaves you feeling bland and unfulfilled, like you’re a placeholder for the real you.
Especially if things are “good enough” and other people don’t understand why you’re not happy.
So you end up sleepwalking through your days, hoping it will all just get better on its own.
One day takes over the next day, and 12 months later, another year has passed and you’re no closer to your dream than you were a year ago.
And the thing you fear most, the thing that wakes you up in the middle of the night feeling trapped and overwhelmed, is that you’re running out of time.
What’s the solution?
Making a drastic change and heading off on a grand adventure all at once isn’t really an option.
Selling all your stuff, and leaving your family to sail around the world or join the Peace Corps seems unlikely and probably ill advised.
But you’ve got to do something or you’ll end up binge watching old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on the sofa at 2 a.m. every night.
Here’s what I want you to do.
Pick one goal that interests only you.
Not something you think you should do, like run a marathon or sew quilts for blind people, but something you would like to accomplish.
Make is specific and choose a deadline.
Put it on your calendar.
These are not goals:
“I’m going to read more.” (It’s not measurable and has no deadline.)
“I’m going to lift weights three times a week.” (This is a tricky one – it’s measurable but it’s more of a habit than a goal. Where does it end and how will you know when you’re done?)
These are goals:
“I will run and finish the Valentines Day 5K on February 14th.”
“I will complete my manuscript by noon PST on March 31st.”
“I will launch a podcast by April 15th.”
Having a goal let’s your mind settle by focusing on something productive. It moves the nonsense and frustration over to the side and gives you some traction and movement.
And that feels good.
Use the margins of your life to build momentum for a new adventure. Living a bigger story takes courage, but you’re not alone, and you can absolutely do this.
I believe in you!
[If you’re ready for a success coach and you think you might like to work with me, click here to learn more about coaching with me.]