In honor of the one-year anniversary of my release of Pennies from Burger Heaven, I want to talk about achieving your goals. It took me 20 freakin’ years to become a published author, sixteen of those where I wrote every. single. day. I completed four novels like that.
What do you want?
Do you want to get out of debt? Do you want to start a business? Do you want to write a novel?
We all know the basics of goal setting:
*Write down that goal, then break it into small, actionable steps.
*Consistently work toward that goal. The more often you do, the faster you’ll achieve it. Everyday is best, but do the best you can.
*Think positive thoughts along the way.
I also want to prepare you for the dark side of trying to achieve your goals, when you truly put yourself out there. I’m talking about BIG goals, the kind that takes your breath away because you want it with everything inside you, but aren’t sure you can pull if off.
If you’re trying to make your dreams come true, then…
Fear will try to drag you into the depths of hell.
Think I’m being melodramatic? Try to change one habit — going to the gym more, or not overspending. You’ll do it a few times, then get busy or get discouraged, and maybe not follow through ‘just this once’.
Pretty soon, you’re back to the old you, but now with an extra layer of self-loathing for your displeasure.
Here are three so-called negatives that you can turn into positives to accomplish more:
1. Fear is Good
Fear is a flashing neon sign into your soul. It’s an indicator for you, so pay attention. The more frightened you are of your goal, the more you are called to do it. When this happens, you can be certain you’re really supposed to go for it.
This realization was a game-changer for me. Once I stopped seeing Fear as the enemy, I learned to not panic every time I encounter it.
Don’t get me wrong. With each new challenge I face that feels impossible, Fear kicks me in the ass. I forget everything I just told you, and find myself cowering in the corners of my mind. This can go on for days, weeks, or even months.
Then, I remember that Fear is good, and get back to work. But, you know what? My self-inflicted torture is much shorter these day, and it’s sure better than not trying at all.
GOOD NEWS: Your fear is equal to how important your goal is to you. See this as a plus.
2. Self-Doubt is Part of the Process
We’re always doubting ourselves.
Am I good enough?
Who do I think I am to even try?
Won’t the world see me as fraud, or a phony?
Every person on the planet faces self-doubt. Rather than thinking you’re a loser, or taking it as a sign from the universe you’re not supposed to grow or change, just know that’s how life works. It’s two steps forward, then three steps back.
Lastly, the closer you are to reaching your goal, the stronger doubts may hound you.
GOOD NEWS: Self-Doubt is part of the process. Ignore it, and keep going.
3. Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy
Self-sabotage is the #1 killer of dreams. It’s just Fear with a mask on, with us inflicting the pain on ourselves.
Turn off Facebook, stop binge-watching Game of Thrones, quit stuffing your face with junk food, so you’re too you’re numb to put your all into your goal.
Just do it. Shaking and afraid, doubting yourself the whole way, take one baby step toward your goal. Examine what you do to waste time, or self-sabotage (mine is social media + sugar), then decide what’s more important. Making your dreams come true, or destroying them.
GOOD NEWS: Self-sabotage is just another form of Fear, with us inflicting the pain on ourselves.
What Do You Want this Year?
You’re going to have setbacks and failures. That’s life. WHEN you do, it doesn’t mean you’re lame, or you suck, or aren’t talented or smart enough. It’s just part of the process. Obstacles make us decide how bad we really want something.
Good luck to you and me in crushing Fear in this New Year.