Women that sip dreams: Melanie Bowen

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

After starting this series with Etta James, to inspire with music and poetry the rest of us, I plan to start featuring in the "Women that sip dreams series", women like you and I, that deal with bills to pay, house to clean or dog to walk, and yet keep dreaming about something bigger, beyond the daily routine. Women like you that want to achieve something, make a difference to someone or build a different future for themselves or their families.

Today, writing to us as a guest, I introduce you to Melanie Bowen, an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies for cancer patients. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics. She is one of the writers for The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog and has a personal blog too.

Here, she will be writing about the benefits of tracking your thoughts and goals - because thoughts are merely thoughts but writing is the first step to taking action, organizing oneself and being proactive.

So if you have a dream, Melanie explains why writing may be the great first step to take. To go from looking at the dream, to sipping it! I leave you now with Melanie Bowen. Enjoy.

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Writing and Blogging Can Help You Achieve Goals, Stay Positive

by Melanie Bowen

When life hits a major snag, like a forced job change, a cross-country move or being diagnosed with a disease that carries a difficult prognosis, such as multiple sclerosis or mesothelioma, it can be hard to stay focused on larger goals in life. The important life-affirming achievements we set for ourselves, the ones that put us apart from the rest of the rats in the race, can often be forgotten when we feel like we're going as hard as we can just to stay in place.

Recording those long-term desires in a journal or online with a blog can help us define our goals concretely, keep them in the forefront of our daily thinking and offer a forum for exploring ways we can meet them despite the worst life can throw at us. Writing about your goals and how you'll achieve them can also prepare you to overcome the hurdles you're sure to hit along the way, says Leo Babauta, founder of Zen Habits, one of Time Magazine's top 25 blogs.

When we're attempting anything, whether it's taking the trip of a lifetime or quitting smoking, there are sure to be problems that arise, and if we take a few moments to decide what we'll do about them before they happen, we'll be ahead of the game, Babauta says.

“Write out a plan, before you get the urges, with strategies to beat them.” He writes in a guest blog: “We all have urges to quit. How will you overcome it?”

Writing about your goals can also help map the pathway you're taking to achieve them, giving you a clear record of how far you've come and how far you have yet to go.

“Keep a log or journal or chart so that you can see your progress over time,” Babauta writes. “I used a running log for my marathon training, and a quit meter when I quit smoking. It's very motivating to see how far you've come.”

Finally, keeping a positive mindset is key to success, and by recording your feelings as you go for your goal, you'll be able to take a measure of your mood, keeping an eye out for negativity as it's creeping in, and giving you the opportunity to get rid of it before it takes over and strangles motivation. By putting your goals in words and tracking your progress in a way that lets you get an overview of your success, you'll be much closer to doing the things you've always wanted to do.

For more of Babauta's advice on setting and achieving goals no matter what obstacles might stand in the way, visit his blog.

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