On the 28th May 2015 my feet touched the sandy shores of Byron Bay for the first time and I was completely enchanted. My second visit, just recently on the 29th December 2018, left the same magical feeling that I felt in 2015.
In the 3 years that passed between my first and second visit, Byron Bay has not changed from its charming self that has captured the hearts of many, mine included. In saying that, I have not drastically changed either as I still look relatively the same. I have all the same body parts, hair, physique, smile, and complexion as over the course of 3 years I have not lost anything or added anything (not quite looking into the plastic surgery option) and also have not decided to outrageously change my look in anyway.
The most defining aspect of myself that has altered (besides the obvious answer of my age) is my perspective on life. When I say my perspective on life I am talking about my mindset and attitude towards It, therefore determining what I envision for my present and future.
You may ask ‘what does this has to do with Byron Bay?’. To answer this question, I reflect upon my first visit there in 2015 that led to my decision to backpack solo, change my whole career path and life in general (you can read that blog here). Part of the reason for desiring to return to Byron Bay was not only that it had quickly become one of my favorite destinations, but I also wanted to see how and if it would move me in a similar way to how it did initially after all this time.
The answer to this is ‘no Byron Bay did not move me in the same way as it did in 2015‘. Despite Byron Bay’s magical charm, I now realise that it was merely a destination that gave me the time away that I needed in 2015. Time that I needed to reach one of the biggest decisions of my life up to that point which came with such definitive clarity. The decision that I made was not one that could be ignored even though it would be taking me away from what you might call my safety blanket, and putting me in many situations that were exciting, unknown and also quite scary at times.
Now fast-forwarded 3 years to the present, over the course of this time I have experienced so many different things which have played a part in altering my perspective and needs in life, that this time arriving in Byron Bay I was able to enjoy it with a different mindset. Recognizing that while it has not had the same effect on me of wanting to pack up my bags and go backpacking again to discover what I wanted, largely due to before coming to Byron Bay I have discovered the right path for my life which came to me during my time traveling solo.
Rather this time away in Byron Bay has allowed me to see and confirm with clarity once again of the next stage of my life. Providing me with time to set my new goals for the year 2019 and appreciate what I have achieved in 2018.
When you ask someone what they want in their future this can lead to all different answers such as I want to be the next President, I want to own my own private Island in the Caribbean, I want to own a submarine, and possibly I want to cure cancer. I am not saying that someone, or collectively as a group, you can’t achieve this but in order for any of these vast dreams/goals/aspirations/ambitions/intentions to come to fruition you need to first determine your SMART Goals.
SMART Goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound which involves both your short terms goals and your longer terms goals such as curing cancer. The reason why I believe, and many other people who have written books, podcasts and held seminars/workshops on goal setting find this so vital is because this will provide you with a game plan to refer to when you start to lose sight of your end goal. It will provide you with the tangible steps to be achieved by when and how, instead of just doing things on a whim. This will keep you motivated to keep on track when other distractions come by that can detract from what is truly important to you so that you continue with unwavering concentration.
Once I know what my SMART Goals are, I personally find that creating a vision board centered around these contains such power especially when this is displayed somewhere that you look at daily. For me this is the wallpaper on my lap top as this is what I use every day now to study, blog, research extra curriculum information and for general entertainment. For you this could be the same, or even on your phone, on a poster in your bedroom, on the back of the toilet door, or even the wall of your ceiling so when you wake up it is the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night. While my vision board does not contain details about what my SMART Goals are, however, having this clear visual representation provides me with the constant reminder so that I can nearly see and feel what it would be like to achieve them. My vision boards from 2015, 2018 and even 2019 are all different which comes back to my point on changing perspectives and needs from your current and future life.
In comparing my goals that I set in 2015 to backpack solo, my goals from 2018 and my new goals in 2019, I recognize that my approach to all of them are very similar in the sense of asking myself first ‘WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT TO ME?!‘ Once I have solidly confirmed this, I reconfirm my true intention in my mind and my heart as coming back to this often has helped me in continuing to pursue what I have set out to achieve. I would be lying if I did not say how there were countless time when I was so tired (mentally, physically and emotionally), unsure about if anything will come as a result of what I have set out as my intentions, and when I have been stressed and overwhelmed that I wanted to either come back after a few months of traveling on my own, to discontinue studying my Bachelor of Nutrition Science over the past 2 years because of the amount of stress that it brings with it. Yet knowing my ‘why’ and taking a deep breath when things became just a bit too much was the real key to continuing with what I set out to accomplish.
Along with your ‘WHY’ the characteristics that will inevitably get you there to achieving your aspirations is having that true determination, focus and faith. Setting goals for yourself and not just to please someone else or to prove someone wrong. Remembering that it is perfectly OK and natural for your mindset and attitude to life to change over time and with that your goals will follow. When this occurs assess what is the best course of action for yourself and your current situation to be able to alter your goals accordingly to match this.
Change is inevitable and with it comes new opportunities and growth.