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Last Updated on January 19, 2021

How to Free Yourself from Unfinished Goals in 2021

How to Free Yourself from Unfinished Goals in 2021

“Ugh! I can’t believe that I gained 30 pounds in one month! That is it. I am going to finally hit the gym this month and take care of myself. No more sitting around the house and eating junk food. No more making excuses and continuing bad habits!”

*Purchases $100 worth of new gym clothes, a fancy gym membership, then proceeds to never use either*

Then 2 weeks later…

“HOW THE HECK DID I MANAGE TO EAT TWO SLEEVES OF OREOS IN 5 MINUTES?!”

Falling short of our own expectations is arguably one of the worst parts of being a human being. One week, we’re telling ourselves that we are going to make the type of money we deserve and meet our soulmate. The next, we’re working a job that we despise and swearing off love until we kick the bucket.

It seems to you like that’s the natural cycle of life. That’s perfect, if you enjoy missing out on the type of life that you could be living. But if you want to get out of this cycle, I will let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to engage in this type of self-sabotage at all.

Will it be difficult? Yes.

Will you wake up some days, wishing that you had absolutely no expectations for yourself? Definitely.

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Will it be worth it? Hell yes!

Meeting your own goals is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1: What Do You Want?

Goals are the least complicated part of this process. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish! That being said, all you have to do to begin moving towards your ideal life is to figure out what you want.

Are you not getting paid enough at work? Do you spend more time talking to the walls than you do your friends? Is there anything that you wish you could be doing in the world?

Great! Look at these issues and find a solution for them. Whatever it is that you feel you need to do to improve your life, write it down. In fact, let’s tackle it together right now. Grab a piece of paper and a writing utensil.

Do you have them? Perfect! Put a fun name at the top of the paper such as “Reaching my dreams” and add a couple of bullet points below the title. Now, I want you to clear your mind.

Imagine that, one day, you woke up without any time, monetary, or distance restrictions. Where are you going? Who are you seeing? What are you doing? More importantly, does every action in your vision feel absolutely exhilarating?

Come back to reality and think over everything that you just envisioned. What did you see? For example, my ideal day would consist of wandering every street throughout the world, spending my time with my loved ones, and performing in front of millions of people.

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What can I add to my bullet list that may reflect my vision? Here is a short example:

  • I want to be able to travel throughout the world with ease.
  • I want to become a musician.
  • I want to spend more time with the people who are important to me.

Of course, your own goals don’t have to be as extravagant as the ones listed above. It could be as simple as raising your annual salary from $30,000 to $40,000. Whatever goal you have, just make sure that it aligns with your desires. This is vital to the goal-setting and planning process.

Step 2: Analyze!

It’s great that you want to start making $40,000 a year. However, there is a big difference between dreaming about a $10,000 increase and actually working for it.

Motivation is the first thing you need to identify in your goals. If you know that you are going to give up on your goals a couple of months in, scrap your goal now. It is a waste of time to work towards something you are not going to complete.

The second thing that you need to make sure your goal has is specificity. How are you going to manifest that extra $10,000?

You’ve heard of SMART goals right? Specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timebound. Find out more about SMART goal here.

  • Is there anything that you could do around your place of employment to get a pay raise?
  • Do you have a side hustle that might be lucrative if you put more time and effort in?
  • How much will you have to earn per month to reach this goal?

It certainly seems like a lot of questions at first but you will thank yourself later. A good example of a specific goal related to the above might be, I want to earn an extra $10,000 this year by making $834/month through my t-shirt business. It’s specific, it’s actionable, and it is hopefully something that you are truly motivated to accomplish.

While it certainly seems easy because of the way I’ve mapped it out, it may be hard to create an actionable, specific goal when it finally comes time to do so.

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Set a “theme” for the upcoming year, manifest daily success, and be intentional about where you truly want to be. For now though, let’s go through the third and final step of successful goal-setting and planning.

Step 3: Map It Out

In order to reach your goals, you have to have a plan.  But you don’t need to have it all figured out straight away. Let’s continue with the goal that I wrote in the previous section.

You want to make an extra $10,000 by earning $834 each month through your t-shirt business. This is a start but this is definitely not a plan.

There are plenty of variables that you need to look into if you plan on making this happen. For example, what is the monthly amount that you are currently earning with your t-shirt business?

  • How can you increase that amount?
  • How many t-shirts do you need to sell per month in order to reach $834?
  • How can you better market your business so that you are successful in selling that amount of t-shirts each month?

Let’s imagine that you are selling t-shirts for $20 each. Let’s also imagine that you are currently making around $60 each month with your business.

To reach your goal, you will have to sell around 39 shirts each month in addition to the three shirts that you are currently selling.

To sell that many shirts, you can start selling to people around your workplace, in your community, and start a Facebook Ads campaign to target your exact audience.

This may not apply to you specifically but you can see how well you need to develop your plan in order to reach your goals.

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Evaluate each step that needs to be taken, figure out what you have at your disposal to make it happen, and figure out what it is that you need in order to be successful.

Once you’ve reached that success using this method, you will never go back to your old habits. After all, losing that extra 30 pounds or hustling for that extra $10,000 will make you feel as though you’ve transcended your previous self, why would you want to return to the way that you were feeling before? Exactly. Success and accomplishment are the two biggest motivators that will drive you into this new stage of your life.

The most important part of this process, however, is to remember that everything is negotiable.

Goals are as ever-changing as we humans are. If you change your mind on what it is that you truly want, go back to the first step and work your way through them again.

In fact, this is highly recommended. The worst thing that you could possibly do to yourself is follow through on a goal that no longer speaks to you. It’ll put you farther away from your life path and create more work to do in the future.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

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Natalie Sisson

Best Selling Author of The Suitcase Entrepreneur, CEO, Speaker, Global Adventurer

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Last Updated on April 8, 2021

How to Start Taking Action on Your Goals and Dreams Now

How to Start Taking Action on Your Goals and Dreams Now

I’m going to tell you the secrets on how to start taking action on your dreams. When you decide to turn thoughts into action, there are specific, actionable steps you can take to move forward.

The first thing I want you to do is think back to when you were a child. Our childhood selves hold many of the secrets to realizing our real life dreams. Think about what you loved to do most and how you told yourself it was possible without worrying about what might get in the way. I’d like you to reconnect to your imagination and playfulness.

By taking the following steps, you’ll do some playing and storytelling to reveal your dreams and start making them come true.

1. Tell Your Story

Your life story is unique and has brought you here today. The next chapter of your life is in your power to write and to realize by taking action. Not everything that happens to you is in your control[1], but the actions you take and how you choose to feel about what happens are in your control.

Finding out what our future lives and dream lives might look like can be done effectively through the eyes of our childhood selves.

Can you remember what you loved to do most as a child? Maybe you enjoyed collecting things like me–I always had a collection of pebbles in a carrier bag that smelled of seawater nestled under my bed. Perhaps you loved taking care of your pets: I had a dog, a tortoise, and many guinea pigs. Or maybe you were really great at making stuff.

You can use the instincts, passions, and skills you had as a child to fuel your progress toward your adult dreams.

I’m inviting you to really think about what you wanted to be when you grew up[2] and the memorable activities you enjoyed as a child, the ones that gave you a real sense of freedom and excitement, or the pursuits that you truly lost yourself in.

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What we call getting into our flow state[3] as an adult is what came naturally to us as children. So, go back there now and think about how that felt. It may clue you in to what still remains true and important to you today.

2. Define Your Dream

The first secret when you want to start taking action on your dreams is to know what they are. This sounds obvious, but so many people only have a loose definition, such as: “more free time,” or “more money.” Busy people know there is something else to life apart from slaving away for a job, or a boss they don’t like, but if you’re too busy to even know what your dream looks like, how can you make it come true?

Once again, I’d invite you to connect to the optimism and playfulness of your childhood self. Go back to thinking about what your dreams involved at age seven or eight. Some of those may still be what you want today.

Now, write down what it is that you want and when you want to achieve it. Note down how you’ll know when you’ve got there and made this dream come true. How will you measure your success? Be as specific about your goals as you can.

A study at the Dominican University in California[4] proved that writing down your goals, accountability, and commitment are three key ingredients to successfully achieving our goals and learning how to take action.

This step also involves building motivation for the steps to come. If you need help in that area, check out Lifehack’s free Ultimate Worksheet for an Instant Motivation Boost.

3. Picture Your Dream Coming True

Think about exactly how it will feel when you start taking action and ultimately achieve your dream, the sense of freedom and excitement. Imagine it in as much detail as you can with all five senses. If you’re finding it hard to imagine a different life, imagine a childhood memory with all its sensations.

As a little girl, I loved to ice-skate, making huge swirly patterns across clean expanses of beautiful glistening ice. The feeling of freedom, of trust in myself to balance, of speed. It felt very immersive, the coldness and my breath turning into little clouds in front of my face.

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Imagine a childhood memory like this, and then imagine the future you want, with as much detail and attention paid to how it looks, feels, tastes, smells, and sounds.

Draw, paint, speak, or write your future story.

If you loved to create pictures like I did as a child, or write stories, or play on the computer, use your natural creative skills and what you love doing to map out your exciting future. You could create a picture, vision board, written story, or audio file.

Then, let’s put that future story somewhere you can easily access it. Make sure that you include a timescale for when you want to achieve this dream by, how you will measure your success, and what you need to get there. If possible, start breaking your dream down into small, manageable steps.

4. What Part Do You Play?

You can’t control everything, so you need to be realistic about your role in taking action and making your future dreams come true. Think about where you need help. During childhood, we were not afraid to ask for help from a parent, friend, or sibling to realize our dreams and plans.

Whatever we needed, our eager and enthusiastic childhood selves would reach out for support. We’d be resourceful with whatever we had to make our creative ideas a reality.

As adults we also need to ask for support and help, and at the same time to notice what is in our control and what we can do to take action today towards our dreams.

5. Who Can Support You?

If you’ve noticed you need a bit of help, then get your tribe together. Which friends can cheer you on, and which can connect you? Who in your family will indulge in your dreams with you? What about the pragmatic ones who might help you work out what you need to get there?

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Whether you need someone to check in on you and see how you’re progressing, or need a buddy to brainstorm with to help the ideas flow, bring a few of your friends into the plan to help you move forward. Successful people know that the habit of taking action is best built with help.

6. Ensure Your Dream Is Realistic

Maybe the dream you’ve outlined just feels impossible. It costs too much or will take too much time to achieve. Instead of telling yourself “no, but,” try the “yes, and” approach. This is much more representative of how a child’s mind works.

When we were little, we weren’t scared to fail, as failing was not a concept to us back then. Let’s harness some of that kid energy and see how “yes, and” can move us forward when our dream feels unrealistic.

Let’s look at an example: maybe your dream is to have a hit record, and you think you can’t sing, or you don’t believe you have any musical talent. Instead of closing that down, if we “yes, and” it, we can say: “I want to have a hit record. Yes, and there are so many ways to achieve that. Some people have a hit record by working for a music business, and others might design the cover art. Some people speak on records instead of singing… yes, and someone has to write the lyrics or have the idea for the song. Yes, and I know someone who organizes a choir every Christmas at their local bar, and everyone in the bar is on the record. That amateur choir even got on TV as it was so much fun and all the money went to charity.”

So, before you decide your idea is unrealistic, try “yes, and-ing” it to see how you can start taking action on your dreams, even if you think it sounds impossible!

7. Use Small Wins and Rewards

On your journey toward achieving your dream, there will be small wins and important milestones; it’s not just about going straight to the destination. Measuring your progress is important and can be a chance to celebrate.

Finding a way to measure it that is visible can really help. Whether it’s a chart or an app, whatever you choose, following and celebrating your progress is key, and celebrating that win is part of the joy. Being in the process and on the journey is just as important as reaching your target. Celebrate with the happiness of a small child: do a dance, take a photo, tell your friends.

8. Update the Map

You might find the plan you made isn’t working for some reason. Things have changed, and your goals and targets are not working out for you . Let’s look at how you can change things up and put new life and energy into the project.

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Take it apart and put it back together again, but start small. Define the new plan and the new goals, and start on the next phase of the journey, equipped with the knowledge and learning from what didn’t work last time you tried to put your thoughts into action.

9. Make Space

Achieving our dreams might mean losing something else, and that’s ok. It could be a literal swap, such as giving up wine to save money towards the goal. Or it could be something more ideological, like giving up saying yes to everything to make more time to focus on your pursuits. Think about what you can give up to make space for taking action on your dreams.

10. Use Your Superpower

What’s your superpower? Use this to take action on your dreams today! Perhaps you’re awesome at using your network to find solutions to problems. If that sounds like you, then consider picking up the phone and start asking for some ideas and connections.

If you prefer to research, get reading or watching TED talks and presentations to find practical ways to achieve your particular dream. Who else has overcome a similar problem? How did they do it? What can you borrow from what they learned, and what can you learn from how they won or lost along the way?

11. Keep Your Energy up

Remember to take a rest and recharge on the journey towards taking action on your dreams. Take breaks, eat and sleep well, exercise, and listen to and tune in to what your body and mind needs to thrive.

Final Thoughts

Achieving your dreams is unlikely to be an overnight task. It’s more likely to be a winding road with setbacks, lessons, obstacles, and new discoveries. It might take years, but every step, no matter how tiny, can be enjoyed, even the struggles. Maintaining a mindset around enjoying the journey will really equip you to thrive and see those ambitious dreams become a reality.

More to Get You to Take Action Towards Your Dreams

Featured photo credit: Tom Rogerson via unsplash.com

Reference

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