Let’s talk about achieving goals, de amiga a amiga. This week, I posted the following question on this website’s Facebook fan page: “What’s one goal you’ve been contemplating for a long, long time, but have never moved forward with it?” Here are some of the responses I received:
- Going back to school
- Live in another country
- Write a book
- Get a job
- Completing a degree
- Combining passion for writing and business
These goals have one thing in common: they are totally doable. Unfortunately, many of us get stuck as a result of small thinking, a ton of excuses and lack of passion. Let me tell you something, whether you work on your goal(s) or not, time will pass. If your goal is to go back to school, take one class per semester. You might graduate in 6 years, but the reality is that doing nothing about it will only lead to having nothing in 6 years. Don’t have the time to take one class per semester? Nonsense. Take the damn class online, or take it on the weekend, or take it in the evening. Carve out 3 hours a week from television watching, the internet, Facebook, blogging, sitting on your butt, and DO IT.
Here are a few consejitos on achieving your goals:
1. Stop being so nice. Yes, we Latinas have a thing for being nice. We want to help and rescue the whole world, but our own selves. There’s nothing wrong with being kind, but don’t do it at the expense of your goals, your time and energy. This means you’ll need to set boundaries, lots of boundaries around your time and what others expect of you, including friends and family.
2. Think BIG, really BIG. I just watched a documentary on Ted Turner, the highly successful media mogul and philanthropist. If you read about his life, you’ll realize what a BIG thinker and visionary this man has been. His businesses have ranged from bill boards, to television networks, to owning a baseball team, to owning more land than any other American in the country. If there is one theme that runs across the lifespan of this guy, it is his enthusiastic ability to think big, big, big.
You want to write a book? Think “NYT bestseller.” You want to go back to school? Think graduate school, and beyond. If your goal is to set up a business and make $40,000 a year, you’ll most likely end up making that much money if you are successful. However, my question to you is: why not set the bar at $100,000? $200,000? $500,000. It is possible.
3. Be fearless. Stop being a whimp. Whimps get no where. Be strong, be couragous. Take chances and take risks. The only thing you should be afraid of is not trying hard enough. Take the plunge and leave behind la pendejada.
4. Work hard, work really, really hard. Realize that if you want to achieve anything worthwhile, you are going to need to work hard times 10. The higher and bigger the goal, the more time, energy and effort you’ll need to invest. If you’re not up for the amount of work it will need, you might not want it that badly.
5. Lo barato sale caro. This is a Spanish proverb — cheap stuff is costly, in the long run… This applies to services, products and consultations. If you are planning to develop a fancy business with good earning potential, you’ll need to consult the best. Don’t settle for the less than, or the least expensive consultant. If you can’t afford someone’s talent, find a mentor or someone who’s willing to give you the best advice or consultation you can get. Or, learn from others who have achieved exactly what you hope to achieve.
6. Don’t waste time on the small stuff. I see a lot of people online, everywhere. How on earth are you going to develop your business, or focus on your projects if you are here, there and every where. Choose wisely how you spend your time. Keep focused, and don’t let the small stuff distract.
7. Use your network and support system. You’ll be surprised how many people you know that can help you move your plans forward. Connect to them. Tell them about your plans. Ask for help.
8. Stop worrying about el que diran. Worried about what mami’s going to say if you decide to leave your job and set up your own business? Or worried that your husband will think you’re crazy for wanting to write a book? Grow up. You’re not in middle school any more. Your mami already lived her life her way. It’s time you live your life your way. Do what you need to do.
9. It’s OK to work on multiple goals and projects. People are quick to judge those who enjoy working on multiple projects. There is nothing wrong with working hard and focusing on several goals at once. If you have the time and energy, and you’re able to fulfill your life’s obligations, more power to you. Don’t let people bring you down. Who cares?
10. Stop making excuses. Here is a list of terrible excuses you give yourself for not pursuing and achieving your goals:
- I don’t have the time
- I’m too old for that
- I don’t have the money
- I don’t have the skills
- My kids are too young
- My parents won’t approve
- I have too many ideas
- I’m tired
- I’m afraid I’ll make a bad decision
- It’s too much work
- I’m not that smart
- What if…
So, what’s one goal you’ve been contemplating for a long while?