First, thank you! I got the most wonderful emails last week in response to my “shi*ty day” letter.
Seems a lot of folks are struggling with a wide variety of issues and were happy, but not happy, but actually really happy to learn that I’m not always just riding around on a unicorn from a photoshoot to the gym to shaving truffles at Eataly with Batali.
Yes, life is pretty sweet, but sometimes it seems to suck hard. Like I said, the key is CHOOSING carefully where to put your FOCUS, regardless of what’s happening in your life: good or bad.
A lot of people also emailed to ask if I was okay. You’re beyond sweet and it made me beam to get all the thoughtful notes! 🙂
The answer is a resounding YES! I’m all good. In fact, I’m not just all good. I’m great.
That’s not some delusional pep-talk garbage. You know… the kind that makes you feel awesome and inspired for about 10 minutes, but then a little empty and lost when the motivation fades and you don’t actually know what the hell to do? That type of stuff drives me up a wall!
Here’s why I’m great: I have a plan.
And I’m going to share with you in this email how to create a plan that works for you. Why? Cause when someone asks, “How are you?” I want your answer to be an honest and enthusiastic, “I’m great!”
I like plans that give you a clear path to action and leave some room for improvisation, creativity and course-adjustment. I like them with fitness. I like them with food. I like them with career and life in general.
My plan for all things is simple. Have a big goal and then kind of forget it.
Yes, that’s right. Kiiiind of forget it.
Most people come up with a big goal (if they come up with one at all!) and then stare at it like Mt. Everest not knowing how the hell to get to the top. It overwhelms them and creates paralysis. The end result? Nada.
You don’t move off of the starting line because you get stressed out, overwhelmed and lost.
The important thing to remember is that a goal, whatever size, is simply an end point; a destination to set your compass. You need one, otherwise you have nowhere to go. But once you have it, it’s time to move on.
Step 1: Decide what you want.
Step 2: Break that desire down it down into smaller, attainable steps that you can take immediately.
It’s legitimately that easy.
You START WITH THE END clearly in mind, then BACK INTO A STARTING POINT that you can take off from, today.
What to do right now: Put a pen to paper and write down a big goal. Whatever it is that you want. It doesn’t matter what it is and you don’t need to justify it to anyone. It’s YOUR goal. But if it’s big, it should scare you a little. That’s a good thing.
Seriously, please do this now. I want you to get in the habit of taking immediate action on things, not just reading a book, blog post or email and then mentally filing it in the “I’ll do it later” cabinet.
Once you have it written down (you wrote it down, right?), open up a fresh sheet of paper and do a little brainstorming.
Ask yourself the following questions:
– What are the 3 things I can do immediately to get the ball rolling on this?
– What are the proceeding small steps I need to take to move me forward beyond those first three things?
– Are there people with whom I need to connect?
– Is there anything new I need to learn to accomplish any of this?
– Am I missing anything?
Don’t get bogged down in the super finite details of making sure this is neat and tidy just yet. Go free-form and brainstorm as many ideas as possible. Scribble furiously. Think of the baby steps that will move you along the path to your end goal.
There are no wrong answers and you’ll clean it up later. For now, just think and write.
Once you’ve gotten your ideas out of your head and onto paper, review them and see where you can clean up your thoughts into actionable statements.
BIG GOAL- pay off credit cards.
– List necessary life expenses: rent, utilities, food, etc.
– Tally up credit card debt
– Track ALL expenses for two weeks. Everything gets written down.
– Review and expose where I’m spending money mindlessly. What’s my real discretionary income? Be brutally honest!
– Open savings account
– Put the money I’m spending mindlessly into savings. Be disciplined!
– Choose the credit card with the lowest balance and start dumping all of that extra savings onto it each month
– Feel motivated by this sense of accomplishment and commit to saving a little more out of every dollar I make so I can increase my monthly pay-down amount
– Remain committed to this process until it’s fully paid off
– Once this card is paid off, move on to the next one in the same fashion. No next one? Goal achieved!
– Stay smart and continue placing all that money into savings
These are all smaller steps that you can take right away. Each of them, on their own, are simple and immediately actionable. You can simply step from task to task, without getting overwhelmed, and eventually achieve your goal. Knocking out each of the steps will keep you motivated as you move along.
How long will the whole “getting there” process take? Depends.
The size of the goal in relation to where you are right now will determine how long it may take. You may need to figure out what these actions look like on a quarter-to-quarter, month-to-month, week-to-week and then day-to-day basis.
Again, don’t let it overwhelm you. I promise that if you stay committed, you’ll get there! Again, just look at each of these steps individually as… stepping stones.
Once you have these written down, you can forget that monster, beast of an end goal because you know this path you’ve charted on paper will lead you there. Easy peasy!
You can put all of your energy and focus on the now and get over the mind-fu*k of staring down a goal like, oh, say… WRITE MY FIRST BOOK. That’s one I just went through and you’ll be hearing more about! 🙂 It goes on sale soon (AHHHHHH!!!!!)!
I’m telling you, it’s like a calming breath of fresh air when you have a simple plan. And it’s truly the “secret” to achieving all of your goals.
No more chest-crushing, head-pounding, anxiety-inducing stress and worry. You go from freaking out about how you’re going to “get in shape” or “break out of this crap-ass job” to sashay-shantay-ing your way to and probably far beyond that big finish line.
I’m speaking from experience. I’m not one of those “experts” who tells you how to do things, but has never done a damn thing myself.
I’ve walked the walk. Again and again. The tips and tricks I share with you may have taken me years to learn through study and trial and error, but my driving mission is to make them available to you in just a few short steps so you can live a strong, balanced life without losing any of the fun along the way!
So, tell me… what’s your BIG, BOLD, SCARY goal? What lights a fire in your belly, but makes your knees shake a little when you think about it? I’m dying to know and cannot wait to hear all about how you achieved it when you cross the finish line!
Onward & upward,