Big Fat Juicy Goals: 20 Things to Keep In Mind While Pursuing Your Goals

Mindshifting Goals

“I can’t believe she finished!”

I said this to myself after seeing the Instagram photos of yet another smiling, happy colleague of mine clad in her cap and gown graduating with her PhD. from our university. And this particular colleague had started after me.

My next thought was , “I need to finish this dissertation now, because I’m so over this shit.”

We all set goals. Whether its losing weight, earning more money, getting out of debt, finding a life partner, writing a book, or running a marathon.  Goals are an expression of our deepest desires.

One of my life goals is getting a Ph.D.

I’ve had this goal since about the age of 15. And when I got accepted into a doctoral program, I was so excited and saw it as a fulfillment of one my life’s goals.

When I first started the program, it was with the intention of  being a professor which meant writing books and teaching classes at a university. But while finishing up my coursework in grad school and experiencing up close and personally the politics, intellectual bullying, sexism, classism, and racism, I was  turned off and I no longer wish to pursue such a career full time. But nonetheless, I am still pursuing the degree. One big reason  is just for the sake of finishing something that I started.

In pursuit of this goal,  I have pulled several all nighters this week and managed to have accomplished more in this week than I have in the past few years. Why? Because I was fed-up and made it non-negotiable. It’s amazing what you can do when failing is no longer an option.

At this point, I am determined to finish this dissertation and graduate in June 2018. Anything else is unacceptable.

It is totally easy to set a goal, but it is the showing up everyday that counts.

Here are 20 things to keep in mind while you are in pursuit of your big, fat, juicy, exciting goals:

1. In order to accomplish your goals, remember why you started

The bigger and more ambitious your goal is, the harder it is to achieve it. That is the nature of the beast. But with a continuous source of motivation, you can achieve any goal, no matter how big it is. Remembering why you started can be a huge source of motivation, especially on those days when it feels like you have no energy to do anything. If you keep something around that reminds you of why you started, you’d be surprised of how it can push you when you’re funning on fumes.

2. In order to accomplish your goals, remember who you are

Now, this one may sound arrogant or cocky, but you are a bad ass. And you have done incredible and wonderful things before. There have been times before when people have counted you out and you surprised them. You can do the same now.

3. In order to accomplish your goals,  remember that if it was easy everyone would do it

Your goals are hard to reach for a reason. The fact that they are hard to reach makes them worthwhile in the first place. Not everyone can run a marathon. Not everyone can get a PhD. Not everyone can lose 100lbs. This is what makes your goals special. And more importantly, this is what sets you apart because you are not “everyone” and you can do it.

4. In order to accomplish your goals, you must be willing to do whatever it takes

Whatever it takes means, whatever it takes. Les Brown has a saying that I really like. “You must be willing to do the things today others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have.” And that may mean spending money to invest in your future. Or foregoing sleep to pull some all-nighters.  It may mean restricting your food take or being uncompromising with your schedule so that you are using every second to get you closer to your goals. Whatever, it is. Do whatever it takes. Be uncompromising.

5. In order to accomplish your goals, remember that failure is not the final answer

The truth is that sometimes we fail. And we fail hard. Failure can bruise the hell out of our ego and make us feel like shit. I know this personally. You know this, we’ve all been there. But that is no where near the final story. Failure is just one step on the road to your goal.  DO NOT throw away your goal because you have failed a few times. Just get up, dust yourself off, and move forward. Standing still is not an option for you. And just in case you needed, extra proof. Here, here, and here are all proof that stopping after a failure should be the last thing you do.

6. In order to achieve your goals, you need accountability

Accountability happens when someone is aware of your goals and they make sure that you do what you say you are going to do. In other words, they do not let you off the hook.  We all need accountability and often times, it is the difference between success and failure. Having accountability helps to foster the “whatever it takes” mentality that is crucial to your success. Find someone who will hold you to your word, especially at the times when you feel like you don’t have the strength.

7. When achieving your goals, remember that you are your biggest obstacle

Another reason why you need accountability in order to reach your goals is because you are your biggest obstacle. There is something about where you are now that is comforting to you. And subconsciously you want to stay right where you are. Because of this you may unintentionally sabotage yourself. I’ve seen it a million times, both personally and with my therapy clients. You know what it looks like. You are making huge progress in your goal and all of a sudden, you stop. And the irony of self-sabotage is that it usually comes about right when a major breakthrough is coming. Again, if you have someone you can hold you accountable, they can point out when you are in fact sabotaging yourself.

8. When pursuing your goals, dismiss naysayers

No matter how big or small your goals are, someone is going to tell you that you cannot do it.  They will tell you that you are not being realistic and that you are foolish for wanting what you want. Do not believe them. You have the power to create your own reality and they have the power to do the same for their life. Your life is your own. And no one gets to tell you what is possible for you.

9. Celebrate small victories

Depending on how big your goal is (and I hope its really big), it may be awhile before you can finally cross it off your to-do list and count is as a complete accomplishment. Because of that, you have to be sure to celebrate the milestones along the way. In order to keep yourself on track, you have to acknowledge and celebrate when you get shit done. Decide beforehand how you will commemorate crossing certain thresholds. And do it!

10 When pursuing your goals, anticipate setbacks

Not everyday is a good day. Michael Jordan had off days and he lost a lot of games. but he is still considered the greatest. You will have bad days and somedays you may take 3 steps forward and fall 2 steps back. But the important part is that you keep moving. Knowing that it wont be a straight shot helps.

Keep Moving Toward Your Goals

11. Pursuing your goals, helps you build character

Let’s be honest. Nobody likes a wimp who melts when things get too tough. Perseverance is a very attractive quality. We like to be around people who are disciplined and who have the fortitude to show up everyday for the things that they believe in. Going after a big fat ambitious juicy goal allows you to develop these transferrable skills.

12. Always be learning while pursuing your goals

Sometimes Plan A doesn’t work. And then you try Plan B, and that isn’t much better. Plan C is a bust. And Plan D is just a hot ass mess. The point is to keep learning from each of these plans and keep fine tuning your plan until you find the right one. Do not personalize your plan failure, assess what went well and amend the part that failed. Turns out, Plan W works like a charm!

13. When working on your goals, keep everything in context

This big ambitious goal of yours is one aspect of your life. There are other areas in your life that are probably working just fine. Once you meet your goal, things will improve because you will get the results that you want, but your life will not magically transform and you will not become a magical super hero fairy. Do not fall into the trap of magical thinking that says you have to put your life on hold while you are pursuing your goals. That is false. The pursuit of your goal, is a part of your life but it should not be ALL of your life.

14. When pursuing your goal, always use positive self talk

Bullies suck. Don’t be one. And bullying yourself makes you a bully. Talk to yourself in way that encourages you to be your best and want to perform at your peak. When you talk badly to yourself, is another form of self-sabotage.  You create a hostile mental environment which pushes you further away from your goals because you are fighting against yourself. When speaking to yourself be encouraging and kind. This doesn’t mean to let yourself off the hook, but you can hold yourself accountable without all the negative talk.

15. Your goals are not the end all be all, they are merely stepping stones

I see this all the time. People fight tooth and nail to get to where they want to get. And then the experience feels a bit….anti-climactic. This happens when people forget that their goal is not the end all be all, it is a stepping stone for something else. You want to lose weight so that you can move better, be healthier and prolong your life. You want to write a book because you want to share your knowledge with the world. You want to run a marathon to build your character and sense of accomplishment. Your goal helps you live more fully. It is not your reason to live.

16. Your goals must have deadlines

Give yourself a delivery date and etch it in stone. If you are not dead-set on the end date, you will always put the work off until tomorrow. I know this personally. This is how my PhD goal has become spread out over years and years. I did not have a sense of urgency. You must have a sense of urgency that lights a fire under you and kicks that butt into gear! Create clear, specific, non-negotiable deadlines.

17. Surround yourself with visual cues/triggers that keep your goals forefront in your mind

Whatever it is that reminds you of your goal, whether its a picture, a number, a quote or a mantra, keep it close to you so that you can look at it to remind you of why you started and why you are going through all the trouble. Sensory cues and triggers can also work to remind you that you need to be doing certain activities during your daily practice.

18. Work on your goals first

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Pay yourself first.”  It means that you should put your savings on autopilot before you start paying bills and buying non-essential items. If you wait until after you pay everyone else to start saving, you will never have enough money. You can apply the same concept to your goals and your time. Set up your schedule so that you are working on your goals before anything else. Work on your goals before you leave the house in the morning. Write. Exercise. Train. Meditate. Record.  Whatever. Just work on your goal in a meaningful way before you do anything else.  This is your best energy. Use it on you. Because if you wait to have energy after you do everything else with your day, you will not be able to show up for yourself a lot of the time.

19. When you are pursuing your goals, remember that you are your own competition

It is very easy to compare yourself to people who have already achieved the goals that you aspire to. But when you compare yourself, you only create a false sense of inadequacy. Remember that you are your only source of competition. The only person that you are measuring yourself against is the person you were yesterday.

20. When pursuing your goals, you will surprise yourself

When you have a whatever it takes mindset and are relentless about getting what you want, and you begin to manifest the results you are seeking, you will surprise yourself. You will be able to do things that you have never been able to do. This will feel amazing!

 

Alright, Abundance Seeker, as always I hope this was helpful.

If you have some big fat juicy life-changing ambitious goals that you haven’t been able to accomplish but are burning with a desire to do so, check out my Goal-Getter 90 Day Individual Session Program.   We can work together to shatter them!

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I HAVE THE POWERRRRRRR!!!- How to acknowledge and use your own personal power

He-Man1

Does anybody else remember He-Man yelling at the top of his lungs that he had the POWERRRRR in every episode?

Or remember when this song was all over the airwaves?

Snap! – I’ve Got The Power from Sertaç Diler on Vimeo.

Well today I’d like to talk about how each of us could be a little more like He-Man and claim our personal power. But before we get started I’m going to tell you a few basic key things that I want you to know and remember:

  • You (yes you) possess a great deal of power.
  • Your power exists whether you acknowledge it or not.
  • You have the ability to harness and use your power.
  • You can use your power to create the type of life you imagine for yourself.
  • You can use your power to improve the overall quality of your life.
  • The way you use your power has an impact on others.

Well what exactly is power? Power is the ability to make things happen. Power is using your life energy to create things and experiences. Power is realizing your authority over your own life.

The unfortunate thing though is that most of us don’t recognize the amount of power we actually have or use it in a way that brings us closer to the things we truly want.

The paradox is that even though we have all this power, we still feel stuck. A lot of us feel like victims of the people and world around us. We look up one day and feel like we don’t know how we got into our current situations. And we have no idea how to change the situation.  Some of us may even feel like we are prisoners of our past which “makes” us behave in certain ways.

In short, we feel powerless. While some of us may not feel completely powerless in all areas of our lives, there may be one or two domains where we feel like we don’t have any options. We want things to be different, we just don’t know how to make it so.  Does any of this sound like you?

Well here are three steps we all can take to feel more powerful:

1. Take a day (or two) to observe the power that you are currently using

Whether we realize it or not, we draw on our power every single day. We get up to go to work. We prepare meals for ourselves. We buy and pick out clothes to wear. We talk to certain people. We love people and invest in them. We get into disagreements with people. These are all small and real ways in which we are powerful. Because even if we do not particularly like our jobs, for example, we are actively CHOOSING to show up to them every day because we may feel that having an income source is better for us than not having one. Even though we may not like getting into disagreements with people, we are actively CHOOSING to participate in them because we may feel like it is more meaningful for us to express our opinions and emotions aggressively when we feel them.

So take a day or so to think about all the things you actually “do” or “say” within the course of the day. It may even be helpful to write it all down. Write down everything you do in one day, even the things that don’t seem like a big deal, such as logging onto Facebook, or watching TV or eating and realize that even in these small ways you are exerting power because there were a million other choices you could have made. But you chose to do what you were doing at that very moment. That is your power.  Once you realize this, you may find that you see things very differently.

In any event, it is helpful to become aware of the ways that you currently use your power because then you can begin to make decisions about whether the way you currently exercise your power supports the type of life you want to live.

2. Be purposeful about your power (in small and big ways)

Now that you are aware of the ways you use power unconsciously, let’s try to be a bit more purposeful about using it. Every time you make a decision whether big or small, say to yourself “I have power. And this is how I’m using it.” In this small statement you are acknowledging that you are a powerful being who is actively involved in the creating the life you currently have. After saying this to yourself a few times, you may decide to exercise your power to make decisions that are more in line with how you want to live.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you want to live a life that is filled with more joy and less anger. After going through the exercise above, you  became aware of the choices you were making and realized that you were CHOOSING to get into bitter angry fights with other people pretty often. The next time you got into an argument, you might say to yourself, “I have power. And right now this is how I’m using it.” At that moment, you might also realize that using your power in that way takes your farther away from the life of joy you imagine for yourself. After you have recognized your power, you are then in a position to CHOOSE to use it differently by trying to discover ways to avoid arguments with others, and finding different ways to express your anger. Understanding your power gives you options. More options than you even realized you had.

3. Set small goals and practice using your power to obtain them

Now that you realize all of the options and power that you have, let’s try to use it to your advantage. The first step is to practice exercising your power in a meaningful way to create something you want.

Try setting a small and attainable goal. If we continue the example from above of the person who is trying to create more joy and less anger in their life, they might set a goal of an argument free day. A very worthwhile goal.

On the day that the person decides is their “argument free day”, the person might be extra aware of the thoughts that are going through their mind and CHOOSE not to express anger in the way they have previously. This person might feel the anger arise and instead of arguing CHOOSE that they will go home and hit a punching bag until they are exhausted and spent and can bask in the endorphins that the vigorous exercise just provided. Or this person may alternatively CHOOSE to write in a journal that they keep with them and say all the things they might want to say to the object of their anger instead of yelling in the person’s face. They may CHOOSE to find a peaceful place and meditate. There are any number of things that this person could CHOOSE to do.

This person may not be successful the first day or the second day that they decide to CHOOSE differently. But this person will be using their power to actively bring about change in their life. And the idea is to keep working on this goal until it is accomplished. After the first goal is obtained, there will be other goals that you can set and use your power to reach.

Sooooo, I hope by now you realize that you are more like He-Man than you previously thought.

In the comments below I’d like to hear about how you can use more power in your own life to go after the things you want.