I’ve been under the delusion from a young age, mostly due to my parents never turning down the goofy projects I cooked up, that I could do anything I wanted. I feel like I’ve achieved a lot on the 27 years I’ve been alive. I’ve gotten my BA in journalism, started a career at one of the top local TV stations, won an Emmy for my design work, trained as a competitive ballroom dancer and an aerialist, performed in a myriad of musicals, ran an award-winning feminist organization, won a local business award for up-and-coming 20-somethings, and bought a house and a car all on my own. So I figured, this being the time of year for goal setting and all I’d share a few of my secrets for going after your goals.
The first part is just plain luck or fate or whatever you want to call it. Knowing the right people or being at the right place at the right time can make great things happen. The stars align, angels sing and BAM goal achieved! If I hadn’t stumbled across the ad on CraigsList I may never have applied for my job. If I hadn’t started blogging, set up the 20SB Michigan meet-up and hung out with Miss Ginger Mandy I would have never ended up swinging from a trapeze.
The second part, at least in my case, is being incredibly stubborn. There were a number of people who looked at me like I was crazy when I was 22, single and saving for a down payment on a house. If you say there’s no way I can jump over that hill then I’m sure as hell going to shoot for a mountain just to prove you wrong.
The last and most important part is getting out of my own way. But I can’t take credit for this portion – I attribute it to a friend who is a great, ass-kicking advice giver. Generally, when I’m going after something big, this is how it goes: I lay out all my reasons excuses for why I can’t accomplish my big impressive goal and he tells me to quit whining and lists all the ways I can get past those excuses. In essence, laying out a plan for what I need to do. As much as I just wanted to be coddled and told ‘you can do it!,’ once I get over being annoyed at his response I always realize he’s right…I just needed to shut up and get to work.
I spend a whole lot of time working things out in my head, but I’ve come to realize if I start writing out an action plan, one with dates and numbers and mini-goals, it’s much easier to see how things could work out. It also takes away some of the stress and squashes the constant what-ifs gnawing at my brain.
A little inspiration always helps too. I find two things really send sparks to my brain and send me flying toward my laptop needing to write all the thoughts shooting through my head. 1.) Hanging out with accomplished, creative, positive people. People already under the crazy delusion they can do anything they put their mind to. I just feed off their energy and it fuels my own. 2.) Shows about people accomplishing things and/or helping others. See: The Buried Life, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, CNN Heroes, The Biggest Loser. (AKA shows that totally make me cry haha)
So let’s talk, what are you goals, what are you excuses, and what’s your plan? And what are your tricks for hitting big goals?
(My 2010 wrap up and goals for 2011 are coming soon!)
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