Updated: May 5
My love story may not seem like a perfect business blog. Still, I believe the key components of how I manifested my husband are exactly the Stuff that Goals and Achieving them are made.
Therefore, let me tell l you how I achieved the goal of finding and marrying my ideal life partner.
Planning takes many forms. Still, for me, it is a matter of writing the goal down on paper. Then writing the actionable steps it takes to achieve them. In this case creating the action steps to one very specific not to mention very important goal, my personal happiness.
My Goal: Find the person I want to marry within a year of moving to New York City (dated September 2016 ~ exactly 6 months before moving to New York City.).
Sign up onto at least 3 dating websites
Spend 20-30 min a day, messaging and engaging with each match or desired match
Go on 2 dates a week.
The List of Traits: I listed about 20 of them. I will not list it here. Still, the magic is that I was very specific. They included active, intelligent, independent, adventurous, and the list goes on and on…
I Took Action!
I actually started this dating plan before I even moved to New York. I would come to visit when it was my daughter, Belen’s father’s time to take care of her. I planned the dates during those visits. (He had been living in New York two years prior to Belen being born.).
Once I moved to New York (March 2017) I not only went on 2 dates a week, I made up for the months that I had missed. Some weeks I would go on 4 dates a week. My all-time record was 5 dates in one weekend. Saturday: brunch, coffee, and dinner. Sunday: brunch and dinner. PHEW... It was a whirlwind.
I even got creative and found new ways to date. I tried Single Cruises, Speed Dating (a personal favorite I did at least monthly,) and Meet-Up Single Groups.
I Found My Grit!
Guess what: I didn’t make my goal within a year of making my initial goal. So I would sit down next year in September (my annual tradition during my birthday is to create my personal goals) and reassess (usually as I cried that my goals were nowhere close to being achieved) and write them again.
I didn’t give up. For three years straight I would start the goals for the next year the same way. “I want exactly what I wanted a year ago..” and continue with the goals that I had already written above.
I will admit, the list of characteristics of the kind of man I wanted, did get longer. All of that dating certainly gave me a very clear idea of what kind of man I wanted to marry. And, what kind of partner I didn’t want.
I Released the Outcome!
I have to say this was the hardest step. Also, the longest to achieve (for me). I was lonely. In fact, I don’t remember a time in my life when I have ever felt lonelier. I moved to New York with one friend. I had no idea the challenge it was to meet new friends in the city. Not to mention create a sense of community. The only times I didn’t feel lonely was when I was enveloped in the world of my daughter, Belen. Or when dancing salsa or playing golf.
Still, after 3 years and OVER 312 dates, I was pretty much done. It was September 2019 and well, I had decided that maybe finding what I wanted in New York really was not possible. I had to find a way to overcome the loneliness. I had created a solid, though small group of friends and had learned to be happy with my life. Single, a virtual business owner and completely elated with my life as a mother to the most amazing child on the planet.
My goal that year… “I still want what I did the last three years before... And if it doesn't happen, I will have a happy and successful single life.”
Recognizing “My Goal” When It Happens
It was the start of the pandemic and the loneliness had set back in. Living by myself with my only human interaction being my 4-year-old 50% of the time was not a good combination for my very extroverted personality. So, back to online dating, I went. Even though I had initially started my dating break due to COVID, I decided to try again.
Ashado showed up on our first date. It was on April 4, 2020, at Grand Army Plaza. He wore a black hoodie, black sweat pants and red tennis shoes.
My first thought was, “Who is this bum who forgot that he was going on a date?… Well, at least I will get to talk to someone for a couple of hours and call it a night.”
I, on the other hand, spent an hour getting ready. Which meant meticulously choosing an outfit that would look great even though I would be riding my bike 25 min to Grand Army Plaza.
So, I started with the hardest question. I had learned this one in my 3 years of dating that most men really don’t answer well.
What are your goals? Your yearly, five-year and ten-year goals? We just learned that only 3 percent of people do this... So that is why most can’t answer those questions.
Not Ashado. He spent the next 20 minutes telling me all about his goals. PhD in quantum physics when he retires at 55 as a mechanical engineer. Travel the world, at least 1 international and 1 national trip a year, committing every minute he had with his 9-year-old daughter to her learning and growth and FUN activities… and the list continues on and on…
Um.. so yes... I think I knew right then and there I met my match!
Nurture My Goals So They Continue Flourishing!
In all the years as an athlete and coach… there is one thing I apply to everything I want to maintain. In order to maintain something, you have to commit time to it on a consistent basis.
The metaphor is easy. You can’t stop going to the gym for 3 years and then wonder why you lost all of your muscle mass, endurance and gained 20 lbs. What does it take to stay physically fit? Well experts say at least 20 min 3x a week. I apply the same principle to everything I want to maintain.
I have consistently worked out for 25 years. . . No really!
I am still fluent in Spanish even though I left Ecuador in 2020. (I lived there for 1.5 years.) I taught Spanish to Belen as her first language.
I have maintained my golf game even though I stopped competing in 2011.
I have built my entire business off networking and consistent practice on Linkedin Engagement.
So, to me, the practice is the same in my relationship with Ashado. When we first started getting serious about dating, I specifically asked for:
20 minutes a day of being fully present with each other, talking and laughing, etc. For us, that is usually over a glass of wine.
A date night once a week. We do Tuesdays. On the weekends we have the kids and Friday on the weekends we don’t!
My Goal Is Achieved!
August 14, 2021, we were married! It took 4.5 years longer than I would have liked. Still, I know fully and deeply I have married the man I wrote about in September 2016.
WE Keep Striving!
What’s next: Reassess, Align and Recommit to our next set of Goals. Only now, I get to do them with my partner. In fact: We already did. In January 2021, we wrote our first set of goals together. And guess what? We have achieved 90% of them!
Whether it is for Love, Personal Growth, or Business... I believe the 8 steps above are the key to achieving any goal or dream! Whatever you believe is POSSIBLE.
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Written by MerriLyn Gibbs