Musings: On Setting Goals That Inspire You To Take Action...

In a slump? Uninspired? Dragging through your days? I have great news and unpleasant news: the bad is that you are to blame for your lack of enthusiasm.  The great news? All of that can change rapidly with a small commitment from you

If you're in a dull season of life it means you're not setting ambitious goals for yourself. You've given yourself nothing fun to look forward to each day. It means you're coasting along, not steering the vehicle of life. It means you haven't filled your cells with energy that makes you leap out of bed to chase your dreams.

What dreams you say? Ahhh. Now we've hit the root of the issue. Without vision, without growth, without expansion and personal improvement you'll give yourself very few reasons to bound out of bed and get moving. Perhaps this is where you are right now. If so, let's fix that - today. 

Longtime readers know what's coming next: you need to do three things today. Here's the lowdown: 

  1. First, you need to carve out alone time. I prefer to do this while working out. It could be a big walk on a shaded trail, a stroll (or run) along the beach, perhaps a hike or a bike ride. Even a yoga class can count as "alone" time if you're able to get alone with your thoughts and finally hear yourself think. 

    What exactly do you want? What does your ideal life look like? What's bugging you? What issues are you avoiding? What keeps you up at night or holds you back all day? What "should have's" can we move over to your "musts" and "doing" lists? What, my dear friends, is the life you know you should be living but you aren't? Identify that during your alone time. Hear yourself. Uncover the idea you bury under being "too busy" to address.

    For me, this always happens while exercising. For you it might be different, but motion equals emotion and all of my good, positive moments occur while engaged in fitness activities or in water. So I honor that. 
  2. Next: WRITE IT DOWN. Get a notebook (a real one) and an ink pen (remember those) and start pouring it out. Whatever "it" is. Somewhere in this ink-filled visual flow of words you'll begin to formulate ideas. It might begin as a messy deluge of nonsensical words or finally revealed buried emotions. Maybe not. Maybe you can get right to the heart of the matter. Regardless, don't judge yourself. Just put pend to pad and set your heart free to author the story of your dreams. 

    Begin writing out what it is you DO want. Who do you want to be? What do you know you need to be doing? What does that new version of you or your life look like? Okay, now how do we make that happen? Get detailed. The more details the better. Is You 2.0 an avid gardener? Okay... what needs to happen to make that happen? Work backwards from the goal to identify those steps. Is this new improved you an innovator with their creation showcased on Kickstarter? Fantastic. What can you do to get that process going and what steps need to happen to take your product to the open market. 

    Define where you are. Establish exactly where you want to be. Connect the dots in between to see what steps to take. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 

    The key here is to set goals so truly inspiring that you are almost bursting with enthusiasm. Dream so big it scares you just a little bit. Make it outrageous. Make it worth the paper and the time. Make it set your soul on fire. 
  3. Step three is the most courageous and the most important. Do SOMETHING bold that makes those amazing plans more real. Privately wish you had a successful baking business? Stop dreaming of cupcakes and start plotting exactly where that patisserie should reside. Look online NOW or go for a quick drive and find the ideal corner location. Take it even further: See what the lease would cost you. Map out the menu. Sketch a quick logo idea. Call a friend and gush about your vision. TELL someone your ludicrous idea and hear yourself sharing your passion. MOVE In the direction of that dream REGARDLESS of whether or not you know how those macaron filled dreams might become reality. It sounds wild, right? It isn't. 

    If your dream is do learn ballroom dancing, do some research and find a few nearby studios. GO one step further and order a pair of dancing shoes. Put them on your dresser as a daily reminder of your goal. Download a few great movies (I recommend Shall We Dance with Richard Gere & Jennifer Lopez). Be BOLD and don't let yourself or this burning desire go slack. If this is important to you, NO ONE else is going to have the passion for your dreams with the same intensity that you harbor. Supporters are good. But the best goal supporter is you. Remember that. 

So let's review the steps: 1. Get alone & get clarity. Clear your head of "fluff" and let that truth rise to the forefront of your mind. 2. Start writing down in detail what those goals are and work backwards to determine the steps required to make them happen. 3. Demonstrate commitment by doing something TODAY towards the realization of that goal. Do not skip the third step. 

That new house you dream of? Go to Lowes and purchase a front door mat. That pastry chef dream? Call a real estate agent and set up dates to see potential locations. The dancer in you needs new shoes. Try a few on. Buy a pair that are so lovely and inspiring you can't wait to wear them. Download a few songs too and get that Samba, Salsa, Tango vibe pumping through your body and your house.

Set yourself free to dream. PUT yourself in motion and start creating energy around your new plans. Free yourself from judgement. Let go of "what if I can't do it?" fears and set your heart free to dream. I've learned (again and again) that when I dream HUGE and get excited about those big ridiculous ideas that things begin to move into place. The pieces begin to come together. It's as if the whole universe or God himself has been waiting for me to get off my chair and start moving in this direction. There's something to be said for boldly moving in the direction of your dreams without looking back. It's momentum, it's energy (real energy) and it has tremendous power. 

Set a course in motion TODAY towards a goal so outrageous, so amazing, so inspiring that you can't WAIT to get up every day and get closer to its realization. Do it. And be amazed. I promise it will be a small price to pay for a huge payoff. Love yourself enough to do this.