Many of you have asked what it means to be an untamed optimist, so I’ve decided to kick off 2022 by sharing how I remain untamed. Keep reading, because it goes deeper than optimism and you may find it influences all aspects of your life.
But first, I’ve got something else to address: It’s been a hot minute since I last posted as the Untamed Optimist, and to be honest, I needed the break from social media. While work and school picked up I found it hard to find time to write blog posts. However, I’ve recently been reminded of my ability to share creatively and so that’s what I’m here to do!
Now let’s get back to the post!
How do you remain untamed?
My loose definition of the concept includes providing the necessities for allowing the positive aspects of your life to flourish. This often takes hard work and dedication so that you do not become stagnant. A key part of remaining untamed is not limiting yourself in what you believe you can do now or what you will do in the future.
There are many ways to remain untamed and you can share yours in the comments!
Tips on Setting Reasonable Goals
Setting reasonable goals is the first step to releasing your creative potential. When goals are too easy to achieve, they won’t provide a push or give a reason for you to work toward them. When goals prove unattainable, they can be seen as a roadblock that can spark self-doubt.
When considering this balance, it can be helpful to consider the following:
- Where do I see myself in a month/ six months/ a year from now?
- Why is this goal important to me?
- What are the steps I must take to reach this goal?
- What is the next step after reaching this goal?
- What do I hope to achieve while working toward this goal?
It is important to understand what steps need to be taken to achieve your goal, so setting aside time to develop this plan can be helpful.
Break your goal into parts and ask yourself is there something you can do now to work for it? What can do you do in the near future with a bit of planning? What will that planning allow you to do afterward, or in other words, how does it set you up for further success?
When you break your goal down, suddenly it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. It may even seem obvious what your next move is. Keep in mind that it must be attainable and align with your values.
Instilling Your Value
You have likely been asked to consider what your values are before, but recognizing what values are important to you is much different than instilling your own value. Nonetheless, understanding what values are a part of your character is helpful when trying to instill your value in different environments.
Where do we instill our value?
- In the workplace, to our coworkers and higher-ups.
- In school, to our classmates, instructors, and advisors.
- In public, to peers and community members.
- At home, to friends and loved ones.
Instilling your value can look different to everyone, and it doesn’t always have to feel like such a big deal. It can be as simple as taking care of something you know has needed to get done. It can also be picking up a shift no one else is available for or sticking around longer to help clean up.
It oftentimes means being there for others and showing that you offer assets to the team. Learning to work toward a common goal is also important and requires some communication, so it might mean having a conversation about how you can best present your skills for the benefit of all involved.
Work for Your Future Self
I’ve said this one a lot, and I’ll say it again!
You should be keeping your future self in mind when making decisions that pertain to your goals. Will your future self really want to rush to get gas before a morning shift? Probably not. Will your future self want to come back to a heap of laundry on their bed? Also no.
There is little to gain from leaving it to them when your current self can take a step out of their way to make things easier later. When you work for your future self you must ask and answer whether this task is easier done now than later, and how it plays into your other priorities.
I keep daily to-do lists to keep my tasks organized throughout the day, but they are never written in any particular order. When I begin crossing items off my list, it is in the order that is most convenient and efficient. If I am looking ahead in the week, I’ll try to plan around days of rest so that workdays are productive and tasks not to spill over.
Grouping tasks together is a great way to save time and energy while crossing everything off your list for the day. Planning to get all computer tasks done together is a good way to limit screen time as you stay focused and won’t find yourself mindlessly scrolling. I also group housework tasks so that I can get all my tidying up done before the laundry dings.
Focus on the Big Picture
It can be difficult trying to imagine where you will be in the future, but there is always a bigger picture to things. The funny thing about big pictures is that even though they may seem blurry up close, they are really a masterpiece waiting for you to see.
You must make sense of the blur by applying what you know. When we encounter setbacks, they teach us something. Those lessons become familiar and are what we must apply to the big picture so that it becomes recognizable again.
Be Patient Through Slow Progress
One of the ways we tame ourselves is by limiting growth. It’s easy to do so when you doubt yourself through slow progression. While you could be doubting yourself for not moving even an inch forward, someone else is wondering how you have managed not to fall down yet.
Most self-growth is hard to notice when we are actually growing. Unlike physical growth where we can see a difference or feel the pain in our muscles, self-growth can mean being vulnerable and learning where that vulnerability takes us. Often it will feel like you are stepping backward, but if you convince yourself that is the only direction you can go in, it will ultimately become the direction you steer yourself into.
When life feels like it is going agonizingly slow, it is important to know you are still on the track that takes you forward. You still have the power to get you where you are going, and you’re already on your way, so why waste time turning around now only to make the trip again another time?