Monday, November 17, 2014

The First Snowfall

When my sisters and I were little, we could not wait for the first snowfall of the year. Snow meant that we got to get out our Polaris 120 snowmobile and pull each other around in a sled. Boy did we love that thing! We would spend the first two weeks of winter on our snowmobile without even stopping for lunch. The only way mom could get us to come in was to tell us she had fresh hot chocolate waiting for us. Also, the first snowfall meant that Christmas was coming! My sisters and I would continue riding snowmobiling, playing in the snow, and sipping our warm hot chocolate until about January 1st.  We loved all that winter had to offer... until Christmas that is... then we could not wait for all of the snow to melt and the weather to warm up. We would trudge through the three feet of snow and count down the days until it would all be gone; we could not wait!

About three weeks ago in my Foundations of Leadership class, my group and I were assigned a presentation on authentic leadership. This presentation had to be 30 minutes long and consist of a fun activity that involved the whole class. We had about a month to complete the project knowing it would be a huge part of our grade. At first, I was so excited for this project! I love presenting in front of people and I knew my team and I were going to do a great job. I started to brainstorm different ideas and ways we could demonstrate authentic leadership to the class. After a few days and eventually weeks, I began to put the project to the side and I completely forgot about it. Now I am rushing trying to figure out a plan on how we will get this task accomplished with as much quality as I had intended in the first place. This got me thinking about how it relates to that same feeling my sisters and I had when we were snowmobiling.

Have you ever gotten that feeling? The feeling of sheer excitement at the beginning and then the situation being a nuisance? Well, I definitely have (more than once). It began to bother me how I could be so pumped for something and then I become mad that I have to deal with it. I begin to start counting down the days until it is over rather than enjoying each day we get.

In FFA, we are given many opportunities to participate. At first, we cannot wait to get started! Maybe it is that CDE team you are starting to study for or the announcement of your new officer team. Everyone has the moments where we cannot wait to get started on the task at hand. I like to call this phase the
'honeymoon stage.' We are all happy, there is no fighting, new ideas are being tossed around, and we begin to set goals for ourselves. The honeymoon phase is great until the dreaded slump stage takes its toll. After dealing with this situation numerous times, here is a list of tips that I have came up with to stay focused:
1. Remember what you signed up for - keep in your mind the real reason you signed up for the situation and who it will impact.
2. Set goals! - Keep those goals on a piece of paper and keep them where you can see them every day.
3. Find an accountability partner - It is great to know you have a friend, teacher, or mentor who can keep you motivated to perform to the best of your ability.
4. Always remember to have fun with what you are doing!

I hope these few tips will help you keep pushing forward in whatever situation you encounter. Remember: "Don't count the days, but make the days count."

Stationed by the plow,

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