Dreaming of the Tooth Fairy

Posted by Kristin Beale in Life After Paralysis on July 09, 2021 # Lifestyle

selfie of Kristin and her dogWhen I was a kid, my goal was to grow up and be the Tooth Fairy. I liked the idea of sneaking into kids’ rooms at night, taking teeth from under their pillows, and leaving a surprise for them to wake up to in the morning. To me, the Tooth Fairy was like a smaller-scale Santa Claus, except my present (money) was less breakable and took up less space on the living room floor. The “sneaking into kids’ rooms and stealing their teeth” part of the job didn’t sound quite as alarming to my 6-year-old mind as it does nowadays; truly, I was most charmed by the fairy wings and the money I got to leave for children.

Well, we all know how that vocational goal ended. I don’t recall there being a lot of heartbreak when I found out the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist, but I know one of my next moves was to be a lawyer. That originated thanks purely to my parents telling me, “You should be a lawyer because you argue so much.”

When I grew up and entered the job force, I tested my dream with a job at a law firm. After about one year, I realized how bored I was by law, and moved into my next goal of being a mortgage banker. I thought love for realty might run in my family, but, with little surprise, I didn’t fall in love with it in the way my parents have. My last, and current, goal is to be successful and live off the salary of an author/artist. Seemingly I’ve picked the most challenging goal I can think of. But that’s beside the point.

The reason we make goals is to point our lives in the direction of our dreams. Without goals, our dreams are just words we say, instead of things we reach. No matter how far off your dreams feel, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success in reaching them.

Skip to the end. Think about what you want your end game to look like, and if you’re willing to put in the effort to get there. Your goal might be to retire early, which may mean longer working hours and sacrifices along the way. Your goal might be to stay in your pajamas until lunchtime, so you’ll need to look for remote positions. My goal was to have a flexible schedule and to be my own boss, so I chose entrepreneurship. Think about where you want to be in a decade, and orient yourself toward it.

Write them down and make them visible. That way, when you’re frustrated with your Now and lose sight of your “why?” your end goal is right there to refer to and get you excited. If you’re that kind of person, get creative by using markers or colored pens when you write it down. Make it fun! Or not – either way.

Make a plans. Most importantly, figure out how to reach your goals. Your plan should include all the steps you need to take you to your goal, set out in a way that doesn’t intimidate the heck out of you. Service yourself by breaking your plan into smaller, more achievable milestones on the way to your goal. That’ll give you some encouragement along the way, instead of just reaching for a distant dream.

Create a timeline. When it comes to your goals, don’t procrastinate. A timeline creates a sense of urgency to stay on schedule for your goals. For example, if you’re trying to lose 20lbs before Christmas with 5 months to go, give yourself smaller goals of 5lbs lost every month. Then, when you lose 5lbs at the end of the month, reward yourself with an avocado smoothie.

Do it, just do it. Excuses are accessible, and life can be stressful, but you just have to go for it. Every milestone you hit should lead you to another until you reach your goals. If you took my advice with the colored pens, your milestones could be a new color or a drawing of a new jungle animal next to the “5lbs lost” marker. A lion, a tiger, a bear, whatever gets you pumped.

Setting goals is crucial to fueling your ambition and achieving success, whatever that looks like for you. If you set tangible, realistic goals and have a path to reaching them, nothing can stop you from living your best life. Except, of course, if your goal is to be the Tooth Fairy.

Kristin Beale is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She is the author of two books, Greater Things and A Million Suns, and a comic book, Date Me. Check them out and read an excerpt at https://kristinbeale.com/. Her comics can be found on Instagram @Greater.Things.Comics.

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90PRRC0002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.