Promises are like babies, fun to make but hard to deliver!
This is definitely a sentiment that Maryanne Forgarty shares. Maryanne is the busy mum of two young children, a school teacher as well as a professional dancer and choreographer. As one of the first Australian women to join Riverdance and nine times Australian Irish dance champion she knows that it takes hard work and commitment to achieve professional goals and maintain a comfortable work/life balance. Finding the time to juggle new dreams and the demands of a young family is something that Maryanne has struggled with – as do most of us.
Maryanne is currently developing Eireborne, a high-energy modern interpretation of Irish dance set to hits by U2 and The Script. She has had the idea brewing for some time, but it was only when she made a firm commitment to take the idea forward, and then told people around her of her idea, that her dream began to take shape.
“A goal without a plan is just a dream,” says Maryanne. “I started telling my friends and old colleagues about my idea, and by them being supportive and constructive, I finally made the commitment to myself to make it a reality.”
“As a busy mum with two young children, I found communicating my goal very inspiring. It helped me see what I really wanted to accomplish and what I could compromise on if needed.’’
Maryanne has six tips for other busy mums looking to bring their ideas to life:
1. Be determined and find your passion: what makes you feel alive and puts purpose in your day? I figured, if I was going back to work, I wanted to do something I loved that gave me a sense of purpose.
2. Have a plan and break it up into achievable chunks: build yourself a concrete, reachable plan with logical and do-able steps. Break your goal down into smaller parts and set dates for each of these so you have smaller steps to aim for.
3. State your goal and talk about it: don't keep your goal a secret. Share your goal with your friends and family so that they can help to support and motivate you. There are so many ways we can share what we’re doing with our friends, family and colleagues nowadays. When I finally decided to get Eireborne off the ground I found PromiseLocker to record my goal. I make regular progress reports on PromiseLocker and can automatically share with my friends and colleagues on Facebook. Knowing that others are providing feedback on my goal and supporting me really provides the motivation I need to keep going.
4. Reward yourself along the way: pat yourself on the back when you’ve accomplished a milestone and celebrate! Each completed part of your plan is going to get you nearer your final goal. Make the reward interesting and motivating! My husband works flexible hours so I can occasionally get some ‘me’ time to pamper myself.
5. Set reminders along the way: set up your goals and your rewards - as a schedule, to remind you every day or every week of what you’re aiming for. If I forget, PromiseLocker also sends me a reminder!
6. Persist: keep trying, push yourself, sacrifice something else, work a bit longer and persevere. Following through on a difficult goal not only gives you satisfaction, but also raises the level of respect you receive from others, particularly your kids!