Today represents the accomplishment of a major goal for me. A bucket list item was crossed off the list. I earned my Master's degree in Business Administration. This is an ambition I've had on my mind since age 18 (I'm 32 now). What took me so long? Well, for years I doubted myself. Did I have the follow through and discipline? I felt so unsure. Instead of moving forward with my ambition, I let fear hold me back. Fear of failure.
What changed? The self-discipline I learned in fitness, competing and eating clean the last few years finally gave me the courage to apply to grad school and go for it. There was something about training for a fitness competition that made me believe I could do anything. It's amazing when you let discipline in a certain area spill into other pockets of your life.
Just like in my weight loss journey, the end results seemed so far out of reach. It's tough not to get discouraged when you only focus on the end result. You have to focus on one thing at a time. For me, sometimes one assignment at a time or one workout at a time is all I can handle without getting overwhelmed (when life is busy).
Actually WRITING the goals out on paper and seeing that degree plan set in stone pushed me each semester. Dreams are only dreams until you put them into daily action steps. That's when they become REAL. Never give up on a goal because of how long it will take to get there. Time flies! As my grandfather told me two years ago, "you're just going to waste time anyway, you might as well get your degree." The same goes for getting in shape. The time will pass anyway, regardless. Might as well make it count.
This last semester was trying on my stress levels with a new baby and a new job, but I'm grateful for a supportive husband, family and friends. Especially when I felt like a hermit and had a not-so-exciting social life. Above all, I am grateful to God who has guided this path for me. I have prayed about so many areas of my life and He always shows me His plan. #Pray
There will be tough times when you want to cry and give up....but that's when you have to roll up your sleeves and sweat a little. And then cry. Like I did today at graduation. I can't explain the emotion that came over me. I sat there crying like a silly head in the coliseum. There were many times it would have been SO easy to give up. However, I am a huge advocate of not looking back on the past with regret. If you will regret not following through with something then you should definitely go for it.
Don't think of failure and be paralyzed, not moving forward with your life. Failure just creates more opportunities to rise. Anyone who is successful has failed at one time or another. They have probably failed more than they have succeeded. But you can't expect to sit back, never try AND succeed.
Today I am just grateful for so much support and friendship from my husband. I supported him while he earned his degree and he did the same for me. Not everyone has that kind of encouragement so I am so thankful for that.
Most of all, I'm just proud to show Brinkley I followed through. I'm excited to sit down with my husband and map out new goals for 2015; family, fitness and financial. I'm also ready to focus on fitness 100% and well, work on getting in the best shape ever as a mommy. Thanks for all of your support and encouragement.
Go after your goals and CRUSH them!
Kelsey Byers, MBA
Class of 2014
Sam Houston State University
Pictures from graduation today: