Good morning, Dear Reader! The Universe has heard my cries and granted me some nice 70-ish-degree weather this week. It topped out at 84* yesterday. Not bad for the New Moon in Cancer tonight, huh?
My 2022 Solo Roadtrip is right around the corner. Since it’s July, and I’ll be car-camping (as in, literally, sleeping in my car), I opted to head north instead of south. I seem to have this new fetish regarding covered bridges. So I’m hitting the road to see The Bridges of Madison County (it’s a real thing!) as I head into Minnesota. I’m using HipCamp and a community of fellow female Roadtrippers to find beautiful yet affordable places to camp out. This should be interesting: Me, my cooler and hotplate, and Anytime Fitness locations across the northern Midwest (I gotta shower, you know). Aside from gas money (fingers crossed) I believe this is a trip I can accomplish with $300 or less.
Where am I going with all this? Friends, stick with me here. Before 2020 I rarely traveled solo. In July ’20, I took a nine-day trip that was life-changing. It took a good year for the full impact of those sequestered days to settle into my psyche and become part of my core, but the changes were nothing short of dramatic – but good. Very good.
As I think of what to share with you today, Dear Reader, it isn’t lost on me that my ‘solo’ trips are not really all that ‘solo’ in terms of assistance. I have a gang of sidekicks who make these sorts of things happen.
Some cheer me on, some send me on my way with homemade goodies, a few let me ‘camp’ in their driveways or on their ranch-like land, and some clear out the guest room to give me a good night’s rest after some really great wine. Despite my INTJ/Virgo ways, I’ve always had my sidekicks along my way, trips or simply through life. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I wouldn’t be here today without them.
So, today I invite you to grab a drink and settle in. Let’s talk about how you can become a Superhero, shall we?
Newsflash: One does not become a Superhero alone (Sorry, Bruce Wayne. Gotta give Alfred some of the credit). Superheroes have sidekicks to accomplish big goals. According to Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, humans like to be of service and actually feel like better versions of themselves when they can help. She also says that people are about 50% more likely than you think they are to say yes when you ask for help!
So, today, whip out your handy-dandy little notepad/planner and write in these tips to engage your Sidekick(s). Ready?
1) Make your goals shine by creating a vision board. Get a large piece of paper, doodle, and draw and collage your dreams. I did that in January, and so far, so good.
2) Phone a friend and share one personal goal from your vision board. Ask for their help on something specific. I’m headed to Norway in 2024. I started this by pasting it on my vision board and then connecting to a fourth cousin who lives there. When I went to Massachusetts in March, my fellow road tripper showed me the most astonishing covered bridge in Ware, MA. I had no idea it was there, and I had been a resident of New England for four years.
3) Ask someone you trust to check in on your progress toward your goal. Set the check-in frequency together, so you’re both on board. This is cheaper than therapy, I promise.
4) Pick an online or social media platform and post about yourself and your goal. Share why this goal is essential to you. I joined two on Facebook: “Plant-Based for Beginners” when I wanted to cut down on the amount of animal protein I consumed and “Roadtrip Her”, an online community of female road trip fanatics. On Meet Up, I found several regular astrology groups, and I’ve enjoyed being part of these communities.
5) Think of three people who have helped or shaped who you are. Reach out to one person on your list and share how their support impacted your life. Write them a letter or a card – don’t text them. Texting is so millennial. I wanna see some old-school gratitude here.
6) Check in with a friend and ask if they need help reaching a goal. Find out how they set, take steps toward, and accomplish their goals. What did you learn from their approach?
7) Journal about what asking for help felt like. Write down two ways you plan on asking for help again.
The irony of this post isn’t lost on me. I’m not the best at asking for help. In fact, I’m pretty damn good at NOT asking for help. But, in my defense, I’ve done each of those things I listed above over the past twelve months. I invite you to do them, too! (Heck, I’ll be your freakin’ Sidekick if you want! I accept all forms of white wine and fancy whisky as appreciation gifts.)
Until you share your goals and shop for that whisky, here’s a song for you. I see that hope in your heart. I invite you to wade through those shadows and find the light that leads you home. I know you’ve been through some shit, yet I believe in you. You can prevail. You can and you will.