Tricia and I have put some pretty lofty goals out there. And it’s going to take some grit and determination from us to make these things happen.
We both have our moments when we like to just “wing it,” but it’s not that often one us doesn’t have a list double checked and cross-referenced. Here are 5 helpful hints to keep in mind when making a plan:
- Focus on the road between you and the target, not the target itself:
Life is a journey, not a destination. Ralph Waldo Emerson
After the goal is reached, it’s often the journey we remember most, not the achievement.
Tricia is taking a big leap next week as she heads off to NYC for the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference. This comfort zone bust out is not just about the conference. I can’t wait to hear every last detail!
- Break the goal down into smaller chunks:
Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. Henry Ford
Schedule mini-goals for yourself. Smaller targets reduce the pressure and ensure progress.
All three of the comfort zone bust outs I posted are huge! They are long-term goals that I’ve been carrying around with me for way too long. I tend to set myself up for failure time and again because I launch into doing something unprepared or ill equipped. Now, I have a plan. Each of my larger goals are broken down into mini-milestones.
- Reward yourself:
There are two things people want more than sex and money — recognition and praise. Mary Kay Ash
Recognize your successes, especially the smallest ones. Praise your efforts, especially the ones no one else can see.
Even the small rewards can help ease the anxiety that comes with busting out of the comfort zone. For me, it’s shoes! I’ll find a great pair online and keep the image prominently displayed on my calendar. Each day I accomplish my tasks is another day closer to the reward.
- Create new habits to replace the old ones:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle
It takes 21 days to build a new habit, the scholars say. I must have missed that memo — it takes me quite a bit longer.
A habit I once had (and must now rebuild if I’m going to run 26.2 miles) is daily running. About 5 or 6 years ago I ran at least 3 miles a day. I’ll never be a fast runner, but at least I was consistent. I had a habit. I felt like crap when I skipped a day. Now I feel like crap when I jog a mile.
My current habit is to dive back under the covers at 5:30 am. It’s going to take some major effort to reach the “excellence” Aristotle suggests. But, I have a major reward in mind!
- Be kind to yourself:
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. Confucius
Be mindful of the goals you set.
More important, be realistic about what it will take from you to achieve them.
And, most important – pay attention to your own self talk. You need to be your biggest cheerleader. Take positive action to redirect when something isn’t working well.
I believe that most people have a goal they wish to reach that’s outside their comfort zone. We’d love to hear about your goals and comfort zone bust outs!