How to Actually Reach Your Goal - Four Straightforward Action Steps
If you have a dream, an idea, something you want to achieve... whether it's owning your own business or a personal goal, but just don't know how to get there or even where to start; this one's for you! You're not alone in this and it's so easy to get discouraged and distracted when you're in the early stages of trying to realize a dream! Let me tell you about my journey, what I have learned along the way, and how I went from a job I despised to working from home, spending more time doing the things I enjoy, and owning a business I love!
I also have a vlog on this topic, you can watch it here! This post is talking about the same thing but in a bit more depth. Let's dive in!
Knowing when it's time for change
I've always been one to enjoy change. To me, being stagnant is unhealthy. I'm constantly on the move. As soon as I achieve something I was working towards, I'm on the lookout for what's next (after celebrating, of course. We'll get into that in a moment). But change is a necessity for me. And not because I get bored with the life I have, no, it's because I know there's more out there for me, I can feel that I was meant to do more, and I'm on a mission to build my best life - a life I love.
I'm sure you know the tingles you get when you're super excited about something, something you REALLY want! But all too often, we shut that feeling down with 'that's not gonna happen, silly dreamer' and carry on with our unsatisfactory lives. Have you been there and done that before? I know I have!
The job that 'pushed me over the edge' to start my own business was a call center job. Every day I'd leave work feeling like a flower that has not been watered in a LONG time. I wasn't growing in that job; I became bored... I became stagnant. We all have talents, things we're really good at, but that job didn't ask for any of those things from me. There was no need or use for my excitable personality, my love for supporting people on their journeys, helping them get closer to their dreams, or for my incredible imagination.
And you may be thinking, okay, girl, calm down. Too many pats on the back aren't good for you, ya know! But this has nothing to do with bragging. I need you to hear me here. We are all good at something. We all have a unique set of talents, and I, for one, don't believe we were just born with them or acquired them through hard work to let them go to waste.
And the dreams you have, those tingles you get thinking about the life you could have and the job you could be doing - aka living out your passion - they are not to be pushed aside and disregarded. They are to be heard and taken seriously.
So I took notice of all the things I'm really good at, my passions, and the things people compliment me on and thought about how I could monetize them. And may I just insert here that for a LONG time I was incredibly insecure and one of those people who would never admit when they're good at something. I was always just 'ok'. That's something I'll be talking about a lot more on this blog. I want to change your mindset as mine has changed. Okay, insert over. A friend of mine had told me about being a Virtual Assistant and working from home a while ago, and honestly, I thought it sounded 'too good to be true' so I didn't give it too much thought.
But I woke up one day to go to work and realized that this was going to be my life for the next forty years if I didn't change something; working a job I don't like just to pay bills. We spend most of our day at our work, and to hate half of your day and count the hours till you can go home is not the way life should look like. So with that realization vividly in my head - I may or may not have bawled my eyes out at the thought of being stuck in a job like that for the next forty years - I knew it was time for a change.
I wouldn't live a life that was mediocre and to only enjoy the 12h a day I didn't spend at work. No way.
The plan and the beginning
So I came up with a plan. I wasn't in the financial position to just quit my job and start my own thing. I knew there would be sacrifices, early mornings, and joggling my job to pay bills and my passion for a while until that passion would start bringing in income.
And you guys, it was not a walk in the park. It can feel very lonely to start something big like this. Especially because you have no clue yet if it's gonna work. So here I was, building my website that I didn't know anyone would ever look at. Spending hours and hours doing research that I had no idea if anyone would ever find useful. It's a scary and often lonely time, as nobody can feel the passion and excitement like you can. And while your family may be incredibly supportive, it's still always gonna be YOUR thing. You'll have to be the one to hold yourself accountable; you'll have to be the one to tell people that you can't go out because you're in the process of building an empire.
But let me tell you, it's also one of the most exciting things you'll ever do. Your creative juices are flowing, and you start to believe that you really can. You're finally doing it! You listened to your instinct, the tingles, your gut... That feeling is oh so sweet and second to only the feeling you get when your business makes its first dollar.
It's all about the journey
Here's an important point that I have to tell you about. This one's crucial, guys! While you may hate your job and you can't wait to get out of there, it is important not to live in a mindset of: Once I own my own business, I will be happy. Once I achieve this goal, my life will be fulfilled. It all depends on this. I'll be so confident when I finally can say that I have a job that rocks. It's easy to think that way, isn't it? I did it in the very beginning. I disliked my job so much and was sure that everything would be better once I'm out of there, off doing my own thing. And of course, my job situation has much improved and while I love what I do now, the way I felt about myself, confidence, and happiness did not change.
If you base your happiness, your confidence, or your self-worth on this one goal, you will truly never find happiness.
Your worth, your confidence, your happiness, contentment, and your life should not and does not depend on where you work or the place in life you're in right now.
Find a way to remind yourself of your self-worth in this very moment, in this very stage of life you're in right now, find happiness and contentment where you are.
Because here's the thing, team, the one crucial question I need you to think about before you even start playing with the thought of your own business: Would you still do it if you knew you'd never achieve the goal of being a successful business owner? Would you love the journey?
Ouch, right? That's a tough one and I struuuuggled big time. Thoughts like: well, wouldn't it be a waste of time? Why do it if I never get there? What's the point?
But then I realized that I LOVE what I do, all the preparation that went into starting my business, the lessons learned, all the knowledge acquired during my hours of research... It. Was. Awesome.
And to get you out of that 'once I get there all will be well' mindset I prescribe the following medicine:
It's called Celebrate The Little Things. This may sound like a cliche, I know. Enjoy the journey, celebrate the little wins... We've heard it a thousand times. But oh, is it necessary! I LOVE celebrating the little wins. It makes the journey exciting and enjoyable. Hitting the goal at that point isn't the ultimate happy-maker, it's simply the whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate. The chutney to go with that cheese board... (can you tell I don't like cake icing and maraschino cherries? Otherwise I would have just told you it's the icing on the cake and the cherry on top. But I'm all about keeping it honest here!)
So if you take away anything from what I'm writing here, take away this. You're not suddenly gonna love who you are as a person and be super confident and happy by reaching that goal. If you're not feeling it now, you're not gonna feel it then.
Happiness and confidence are things that you build on your own, they don't just happen, and they do not depend on the circumstances. Think of it this way; it's enjoying the process vs. waiting to arrive.
Definitely keep your heart set on your goal, there's nothing wrong with wanting change, as I said, it's necessary. But don't put EVERYTHING on that one card.
It's a little bit like finding a partner. I hate the expression people use when describing their partner as 'my other half.' You should not be a half. You should be a whole, and your partner should complement you, not complete you! It's the same thing with your business or your dream in general. Fulfilling that dream is not going to complete you if you're not content now.
Okay, so now that we have established all of the above, it's time for some serious action steps. I don't just want to tell you about it all; I want you to get there! That's the ultimate goal. Here's what I'd like you to do: Grab a pen and paper and answer the following questions:
1. What's your dream?
I want you to write it down as though no one is looking. Because no one is. Write down the things that seem 'too good to be true,' the things that feel like they'll always be dreams that won't come true. Write down the ridiculous and preposterous thoughts and dreams without feeling ashamed and without limiting yourself - because these are the things that you essentially want deep down. That's where the tingles come from. We often don't admit what we really want because we are afraid of the judgment of others and what they may think. But honey, this is your life. Are you really gonna keep your dreams hidden, just because someone may think it's stupid? No way. If you are reading this, you have already taken the first step to realizing your goals and dreams and I know you're not gonna stop here.
Stand behind that dream and promote it loud and proud. That's what you need to get the ball rolling.
2. Where are you right now?
Secondly, look at your current situation. Not in a negative way, but just look around you and check out your surroundings. Where are you right now? What are your routines, and essentially, what does your life look like at this very moment? What are the things you wish to change? Be honest, don't sugar coat it, just put it out there. Also write down what's good, what do you value?
3. Who are you?
Now, write down five things that you're really good at or are super passionate about, and things people compliment you on. Those are your amazing talents, your unique skillset. You have either been given these talents when you were born, or they are skills earned through hard work and determination. Either way, it would be a real shame to let them go to waste.
Looking at the talents you just wrote down and the dream you have, you'll notice that the things you want and your talents and skills align, don't they? They make sense. Most likely, you don't wanna be a professional athlete if you absolutely detest sports. Most likely, you don't want to be a master chef if you hate cooking and enjoy getting fast food every day. Most likely, your talents align with your dream. Why?
Because you were meant to live your dream! You are equipped with a unique skill set that enables you to do something only you can do.
4. How will I get there?
Now it's time to figure out how you're gonna get where you wanna go. What do you need to do? What do you need to cut out and say no to? This is the hard part, the action plan. Here's where some sacrifice will come in. But here's also where the excuses will come in. The 'yes but...'
'I don't have the funds.' 'I don't have the education.' 'I don't have the time...' I want to stop you right there. Yes, there are things that you need, but if this is your dream, if this is what you want, you will find the time, you will find the funds and get the education you need. Here's the deal; your dream isn't gonna fall from the sky. You may have to juggle two jobs for a while until you can go full-time with your business. There'll be early mornings and late nights, but always remember the feeling you got when you thought of reaching that dream. When you have crushed your goal and are celebrating that win.
Whenever excuses come up, replace them with truths. There'll be a whole blog post about replacing the lies you tell yourself with truths, as it has helped me big time, not just within my business, but in life in general.
I genuinely hope you are motivated and ready to start taking these action steps and get the ball rolling on your dream. Don't let it go to waste because sister, it feels so good to thrive.