Let’s be honest… going after your goals is scary. Fear of failure and not knowing where to begin are reason enough to stop before ever starting. I know this firsthand. It took every ounce of courage I had to move from Minnesota to Los Angeles to chase my dream of becoming a professional dancer. This digital era is no help, either. Everyone seems to be living their best lives, fulfilling all of their dreams. So where does that leave you in this hamster wheel of life?
I have never been satisfied with the status quo.
I moved to LA without knowing a soul and went to school for business, but went the professional dancer route instead. I’ve never had a 9-to-5 or a trust fund to fall back on. When times got tough, I didn’t pull the plug or retreat back to the Midwest to get a “real job.” Instead, I carved my own path, went with my heart and eventually created my own business. I am no superhero nor am I blinded by infinite hope, but I am a realist who has learned how to strategically take chances and put myself in a position to win.
Whether you’re drumming up the courage to start a new fitness regime or dreaming of turning a passion into your profession, here are my tips to tackling seemingly impossible goals.
1. Know that you don’t have to have a clear path.
Not everyone needs a 5-year plan. What you’re trying to accomplish 5 or 10 years down the line might not exist now. Instead, focus on what you’re good at, what you’re drawn to and what is drawn to you. Dedicate your energy toward executing what’s in front of you to your fullest ability.
2. Turn big lofty goals into tangible tasks.
When you take big goals and turn them into everyday steps that point toward that goal, you can get started now. It’s overwhelming to say, “I want to lose a ton of weight.” Instead, try declaring that you won’t eat after 8pm or you’ll go for a walk 4x a week. You’ll focus on what you can do next vs how distant that finish line seems.
3. Make every move with intention.
Act with thought over impulse to prevent yourself from wasting time and money. You wouldn’t buy a house without seeing it, going through inspections or vetting the neighborhood, would you? Treat your big goal the same. Throwing money at a gym you’ve never tried or quitting your 9-to-5 without savings or a source of secondary income could set you up for failure from the jump.
4. Control the variables.
Oprah (aka God herself) once quoted Roman philosopher Seneca. “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.” There is so much in this universe you do not have power over. Focus on what you can control so that when the opportunity does come your way, you can take advantage of it.
5. Find a community.
Everything is better in company. There is someone out there trying to do what you are doing. Trade tips, learn from each other’s mistakes and share your victories big and small.
6. Know that no matter how much you prepare, there will always be a moment of free fall.
The moment between talk and action is what I call a power move. Committing to a power move can be paralyzing—and as we grow older with more responsibilities and awareness, it only gets harder. But to me, what’s worse and even more paralyzing is the thought of never trying. Trust yourself and your preparedness and go!
I have made a lot of cool things happen for myself over the years… but to be honest, there are still days when I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. Even with no clear path, we can make educated moves and intentional decisions.
One step at a time, we can chip away at the big picture.
Day by day, class by class, task by task, we have the power to put ourselves in the position to win and create change.
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