It doesn’t matter if your best friends are listing bigger steps toward their goals than you can. It doesn’t matter that family members can make up their goals list faster than you. The only thing that matters is that you have steps and bits that you can confidently do and, at your own pace, you write them down in a reasonably logical order.
Your homework today is to take as much time as you need to break your goals into the teeny tiny increments that make you feel sure that you can do them and easily cross them off your To Do list.
Now that you have the why of your dreams, let’s set a few goals. At this point, you may be freaked out by the size of your dreams or you may be totally overwhelmed with no clue how you’re going to get from here to there.
No problem. We’re going to take it one step at a time, just like we’ve been doing all along.
First of all, choose one dream to go for in 2015. While there may be a number of interesting and exciting dreams that you have, choose one to work on first. You can work toward the others at a later date. Studies show—and my personal experience corroborates (!!)—that multi-tasking does not work, so choose only one dream.
Don’t worry if your dream seems small and ordinary. There is no size requirement! All that matters is that the dream is firmly rooted in your heart and soul.
Your homework today is to set a few goals that seem like they’ll take you to your dream. If you’re having trouble with this, pretend you have already achieved your dream. Look back and note what things you might have done, what steps you probably took, to get you where you are.
While you want your goals to be as specific as possible, also recognize that you’ll be tweaking things as you go along. New information will come to light, you’ll strengthen skills, you’ll discover new abilities, and this will have a bearing on the steps you’ll take. Perhaps you’ll be able to take a few leaps and jumps, something you hadn’t counted on when you first started out!
So, jot down your goals and be open to the fact that you’ll refine them as you go along.
Then take those goals and break them into steps. Break those steps into parts. Break those parts into segments and those into pieces. Break those into chips and break those into fragments. Break those down until you finally get to the bits that you know for certain are easy to do. The added bonus to these tiny bits is that, generally, along with being easy to do, they are also quick so you can fit them into the little pockets of time you have in your day. This means that there will always be something you can do that will move you toward your dreams, no matter how busy your schedule or hectic your life.
When thinking about your dreams and the goals that’ll get you there, it’s important to look at them from all the angles—all the different reasons of why you want to achieve your dreams. We’ve discussed why’s that are positive, why’s that are negative, why’s that are the result of curiosity, and ones that rise out of a challenge.
Now it’s time to finalize the “why?” of your goals and dreams.
Your homework today is to devise why statements about your dreams—one for each type of why. This helps deepen the reason, making it much more personal and intimate, which will help you through the tough patches.
As an example: my friend who lost so much weight. Her negative why was that she absolutely refused to purchase a larger sized pair of jeans. Her positive why relieving the leg joint pain she was experiencing because she was overweight. Her challenge why was teaching herself to cook simple nutritious meals using fresh ingredients rather than always eating take-out. Her curiosity why was researching exercise, sleep, nutrition, exercise, fashion, visualization and meditation in order to devise a plan that worked for her.
Do this for yourself. You’ll be amazed at the energy and enthusiasm that this will generate.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
~Henry David Thoreau
So far this month we’ve talked a lot about our dreams and goals and the “why” that’s motivating them. While the “why” can be very energizing, in spite of this sometimes we can be intimidated by the dream and the goals that help us get there.
Don’t let The Facts get in your way!
The Facts can seem so rock-solid and make us feel that there’s no way we even remotely have what it takes to make our dreams come true.
That isn’t true! Don’t listen to The Facts!!
Especially now. We’re still at the beginning of the planning process. Relax and know that we’ll take this step-by-step.
Your homework today is to not think about The Facts just yet. We’re still at the beginning of the planning phase and you’ll have plenty of time later on to address and facts and/or fears.
Right now, relax and enjoy daydreaming about your goals and dreams!
There are many types of reasons for going for your dreams. There are positive reasons and negative reasons as well as reasons that result from satisfying curiosity. All of these can have in them the motivation and energy needed to get you through the discouragements and setbacks.
Meeting a challenge is another powerful reason. Here are some examples:
A friend of mine weighed nearly 300 pounds. One day she noticed her jeans were tight. Instead of purchasing a larger size, she challenged herself to lose weight. Using common sense tactics, three years later she has lost over 140 lbs.;
The Late President John F. Kennedy declared that we (the United States) would put a man on the moon in the decade of the 1960s;
Athletes who rise to the challenge of the Olympics, World Cup, Iditarod, Iron Man, and other high caliber events.
Your homework today is to think about your dreams from the point of view of rising to the challenge—or a dare.
We’ve looked at the positive “Why?” of our goals and dreams and we’ve also considered the negative “Why?” Another type of “Why?” to study is the “Why?” that’s rooted in curiosity. This, too, can be a very powerful motivator, especially during the phases when things aren’t going so smoothly on the path to our dreams.
Some examples of curiosity:
Albert Einstein who is quoted as saying about himself: I have no special talent, I am just passionately curious;
As a young boy, Earl Nightingale was insatiably curious about why it was and how it could happen that two people with similar talents and similar starts in life turned out so differently: One barely scraped by and was living way below the potential of his talents while the other enjoyed success and good fortune above the potential of their talents;
Thomas Edison as a young child was fascinated with mechanical things and chemical experiments;
Marion Donovan was always looking for a better way to do things. This curiosity led to 20 patents during her lifetime for a variety of items such as disposable diapers and Dentaloop.
Your homework today is to look at your goals and dreams and goals with curiosity. Can you look at them from a different angle? Instead of being logical and methodical about your goals and dreams, can you be offbeat and creative about them?
As you saw in yesterday’s post, positive reasons—in this case it’s love—can be a very powerful motivator. Negative reasons can be just as powerful.
Here are some examples of “negative” whys:
An iconic one is Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind when, at the end of the movie, she proclaims that with God as her witness she’ll never be hungry again. We know that statement comes from the depths of her heart and soul. We fully believe that, not only will she always be well-fed with plenty left over, but she also will have rebuilt Tara and rebuilt it in far more magnificence and splendor that in its heyday;
Candace Lightner, after the death of Cari, her 13-year old daughter, at the hands of a hit-and-run drunk driver, founded MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving;
Liz Murray, born to drug addicted and HIV positive parents, who also lived by herself on the streets of New York City for a time, dreamed that one day her life would be better. She had an epiphany shortly after her mother died from Aids that her mother had the same dream but had died with it unfulfilled. Liz vowed that would not happen to her. She went on to graduate from Harvard University, authored a bestselling memoir, and is a sought-after speaker;
Apolo Ohno, whose mother abandoned him when he was an infant, and who, in junior high school, started hanging out with gangbangers. With the guidance of his father, Apolo saw that route was a dead end. As you know, he went on to become one of the most decorated Winter Olympians in US history.
Your homework today is to think of the negative whys that can help fuel your quest to achieve your dreams. Perhaps you’re deeply embarrassed/angry/sad about something. Instead of letting that crush you, how can you use that to pull you up and to fuel you forward?
Do some research on the Internet of people who have struggled with the same things you are and yet went on to live successful and fulfilling lives.