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This is the time when a lot of people’s New Year’s resolutions start to lose their luster. Maybe you’ve been thinking about your goal, and maybe you’ve even been working towards it. Now that it’s been a month, You’re thinking maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. That’s because either you’re actually too vague about it and haven’t really started anything, and it still feels like a fantasy.
Or you’ve reviewed the science and the facts and realized how much work it really is, and it still feels like a fantasy. You think that the problem is that it’s just too hard. You don’t know how to get those results. You don’t think you can. You don’t have the time, the money, the energy, the brains, the skills.
It’s pretty obvious that you’ve already failed, which is the opposite of success. You’re probably thinking that you failed because you’re not good enough. That leads to that terrible feeling of , disappointment in yourself, disappointment in the process, disappointment that goal isn’t yours already.
because of that, you do some things that don’t really get you in the right direction anyway. You run away from mean people, and in this case the mean person is yourself, as you sit in your own self loathing. You feel victimized, you lick your wounds, and you find anything to blame for the reason why you haven’t gotten farther than you have.
Like I said, you don’t have any time. You don’t have enough money to invest. You definitely don’t have energy. You might not have the brains for it. You might not know how, and you might not have the skills. And so in doing this, you think that your dream is just too big. And you wonder, who am I to have thought that I could accomplish this?
Those things cause you to do nothing to move forward. In fact, you’ve killed your own goal. The way I see it is like this. You set a goal and you dreamed big and it’s a fantasy, but then you set a plan and started doing the things, or maybe haven’t even started doing the things. That’s when reality sets in that this is a fantasy.
What exactly is a fantasy? A fantasy is something that you created in your imagination that isn’t a reality right now and that makes you feel really good. The thing with fantasies is that when you close your eyes and you imagine that fantasy and how you would be a part of it, it feels really good.
But when you start to actually try to become a part of that fantasy, that’s when your brain says, Oh no, this is not for us. You do not feel safe. You do not feel like you know what you’re doing. You don’t feel like you’ve ever accomplished something like this before. And your brain is saying, no.
This is way too much energy for you and we need to conserve your energy. Let’s just do what we know. You tell yourself that,, it’s a fantasy. It’s not who I am. Things are already good. I already have enough and I should just stay safe. Where I feel comfortable and not have to make any new structures or new workflows or new grooves in my brain.
But it’s not that it’s too hard. If you had that fantasy, if you had that goal already, you would have already done it. Chances are you can think of other people who have already done it, and they probably aren’t any smarter than you. It’s not that it’s too hard. It’s that you’ve decided that it’s too hard for you.
It’s not your identity. It’s not your reality. It’s your fantasy. It’s like this pair of fancy heels that I got when I was a fellow in pathology. I remember I was interviewing for a job at Cornell in New York. I bought these Manolo Blahniks just for the interview. It was a big stretch for me, but I was in New York.
I got them and I was so excited about them. When I put them on with my trench coat and my black turtleneck, and walked down the streets of New York, I felt like. This is what it’s like to be a hot chick in New York with my big time job at the university. It just put me in this fantasy world because of these shoes.
It made me feel so excited and so optimistic about the future. Even a part of me thought not just that I would be this hot chick in New York walking down the street like a model, but even that I was like a model walking on the runway in New York and it was like a dream come true. The thing , is that I ended up not.
Taking that job at Cornell. And after that trip, I brought my shoes home and I realized that I had scuffed them up on one side. It was a big disappointment. Those perfect shoes weren’t perfect anymore. And that perfect thought in my mind of living in New York and being a runway model wasn’t going to happen.
I could have decided to just enjoy the shoes even after they were scuffed up, but I didn’t really wear them much after that. Part of it was that they were ruined, but the other part of it was that I identified them with that fantasy person and not with the person who I already was. who already was a cool chick walking in New York.
Eventually, I gave them away to a friend. She didn’t even notice that they were ruined. The reason why is because they weren’t ruined. It was just the way that I thought of them. I just made them mean that they weren’t perfect, nor was I., of course, everybody knows that the runway models in New York are perfect.
It’s so weird because I have other shoes that I’ve had for decades. I always feel sexy in those. Some of them are expensive and some of them are cheap. It doesn’t matter how beat up they get or how old they are or how worn they are. It’s like I already decided that I’m sexy in them. Or out of them, and them being a part of my outfit makes me feel even more complete, but not that I need them in order to feel that way, they’re like a compliment in a way, as they are a part of my identity.
Your goal should feel shiny at first. It should feel like that, those new pair of Manolas that you’re wearing in New York and making you feel like you could be anything you wanted, but they should also feel like that old faithful pair and less like the scuffed up junk that you want to get out of your sight.
How do you make that happen? How do you make your new shiny goal feel shiny again, or feel like it’s that old faithful goal that you know is a part of your identity? You decide that in fact that goal is possible and that you are the person who could accomplish it and that you need to keep doing the action in order to get there.
It’s like a blend of understanding that it’s a fantasy, but also understanding that it’s part of your reality. When you feel like maybe your goal is a bad idea because the plan isn’t working, because it’s too hard, because you don’t know what to do, or you don’t have the resources, Remember, it’s because you’ve decided that goal is still a fantasy and that it isn’t part of your real identity.
But what if you decided that no matter what, you’re the type of person who’s worthy of striving for and achieving that goal and that dream. Maybe messing up and feeling scared and awkward along the way is the only way to figure it out. As I see it, if you decide that your dream really is possible for you, you have some options.
You can decide that inaction or the wrong action is a fun challenge for you to explore and then you move forward and you can’t really feel that way. You can decide that it’s okay to fail and feel scared and disappointed just so long as you just keep moving forward. Here’s how you make it so that you can actually get yourself to take the action.
You, number one, make it shiny again. You believe that fantasy is actually aligning with your identity. Maybe it’s not aligning with your identity today, but it’s aligning with the identity of your version of success, the person that you are becoming. It gives you a little bit of grace. Of course, it doesn’t feel great right now.
Of course, it feels like a fantasy right now because you are not that person yet. You still have some work to do. Here are three ways to get yourself to believe in that fan fantasy again. Number one, think of times that you’ve done similar things in the past and give yourself the reassurance that you can do it.
But what if you really have never done this before? Number two, you would think of somebody else who’s already done it. You take a look at them and maybe examine how they do it. But number three is the most important one. That is that who cares? Who cares if you’ve never done it before? Who cares if somebody else has done it and you haven’t?
Why can’t you create something new and learn how to accomplish it in a way that no one has ever done that before? You need to ask your future self how it could be done in only the way that you can do it. That’s how you make it shiny again. You start to believe that fantasy. Number two, you have to realize that it’s going to get worn and banged up as you figure it out.
That’s okay. It doesn’t matter because it’s not the goal that will make you feel successful in the end. It’s a person that you’re becoming by learning and growing and trying and failing, learning how to take care of your own emotions and moving forward, even when you feel scared on your way there.
Then when you actually achieve that goal. It’s not as big of a deal that you achieved it because you know that you’ve become a different person and you can always achieve it again, or you can achieve the next thing. It’s not the end product. It’s the person that you’ve become. The cool thing about the first part, believing your fantasy again, is that it brings you into the emotion that you need in order to move forward with your actions.
You’re never going to move forward with your actions if you’re feeling scared, if you’re feeling like you can’t do it, if you feel like you don’t deserve it, and if you feel like it’s a fantasy. When you think, who am I to think that I could achieve this goal, and you decide, I’m Johanna, I can absolutely achieve this goal.
I can do anything that I put my mind to. This dream is mine. It is in alignment with my identity for the future. It’s something that I dreamed up on my own. That will lead you to a feeling that feels en masse moving forward. It might feel inspiring. You might feel optimistic. You probably would feel sure of yourself, motivated.
Those are all feelings that allow you to move forward. Decide that you believe in that goal and tell yourself the things. That make you feel powerful and then empower yourself to take the actions that you need to take. The second part is realizing that your goal is going to get worn, torn up as you are you.
That’s part of the process. You have to do that part because that’s what makes the fantasy the reality. That’s what makes the reality your fantasy in the end. If you think I’m making this fantasy a reality with strategy and work, that’s molding my identity into that fantasy. That gives you a different set of feelings.
It may be that you want to choose to believe that your fantasy is a part of who you are. That would make you feel inspired or optimistic, sure of yourself, motivated, or maybe you would want to feel that. You need to do work in order to get this fantasy and you can do the work and that would make you feel determined.
It would make you feel patient. Give yourself compassion. Maybe it would make you feel proud or secure that you’re the person who’s able to create that. Once you have those two different thoughts and those two different sets of feelings that you can produce in order to get the actions done, you need to go back to your action plan.
In the past couple of sessions, we talked about how to make your action plan, but let me just go over it in detail because it’s so important once you have that feeling again, to be able to know what to do next. When you know what to do next, then you can move forward. And it’s not as overwhelming.
Sometimes you look at the whole list or you look at the goal by itself and it’s just way too much. Instead of taking the next baby step or trying to move forward in a small way, you decide that you’re just gonna quit. All those negative feelings cause you to feel sorry for yourself. Sleep more, watch Netflix more, eat more, maybe pick a different project that has nothing to do with the project that you’ve decided is part of your dream.
All of those things lead you away from your goal. You need to make sure that you have that plan down and that when you have the right thoughts that you’re telling yourself and the right emotions that are going to push you forward, that you have a plan so that it’s easy. Let’s break it down.
Let me give you an example of using 100, 000. The reason why I’m going to use 100, 000 goal as the example is because it’s really easy to break down a monetary goal because it’s just numbers. Any goal that you have, whether it’s monetary or non monetary, you need to make sure that you can actually describe it with numbers or with data that you can track and that you can actually say, yes, I achieved it or no, I did not achieve it.
You define an outcome goal. Which is the exact specific goal that you know how to either achieve or not, or that you didn’t achieve. Then you define it with process goals and with performance goals. A process goal is just the habit or the action that you take that gets you closer to your result.
A performance goal is how long you do it or how much of something that you do. An outcome goal is really a combination of process goals and performance goals. That’s how you end up living your goal ahead of time. Going back to our example of 100, 000, let’s say that you would like to remodel your kitchen and your bathrooms in your house next year.
You know that you need 100, 000 in order to do that. That’s your goal for this year to produce 100, 000 in some way. You break it down. You know exactly what your performance goal is, but how are you going to get there? You begin by deciding how you’re going to get that 100, 000. Is it going to be a one lump sum that you get a loan for?
Is it going to be one lump sum that you sell something for or that you create? and you make from maybe you get a new job, maybe you get another job, maybe you get a raise, maybe you start a business, maybe you have an investment that you expect to earn 100, 000 off of. If you don’t have a way to earn it in one lump sum, what is the plan?
You could have 10 different ways of earning $10, 000. You could have 100 different ways of earning $1, 000 or you could have 1, 000 ways of earning $100. You just need to decide what combination you’re going to use in order to work up to that $100, 000. Then you need to decide what the schedule is. Does that mean that you’re going to break that $100, 000 goal into 12 months and every single month you earn a certain amount that gets you there?
That you will sell junk in your backyard every month? That. Maybe every month you have a different project that you try that moves the monetary goal forward. The other thing that you need to know is that sometimes you won’t earn any money for a month, two months, three months, six months because you’re preparing, you’re planning something, you’re creating something that’s going to be sold later.
The most important thing is to have an idea of what the schedule should be. Not only the first schedule, but what happens if that schedule fails? What would be the next schedule that I would schedule in? You do your best to stay to the first schedule, but when things happen, you know that you have a backup plan.
That’s how you would do 100, 000. What if it’s not a monetary goal? Another easy goal that you can attach numbers to that makes sense would be like a weight loss goal. You could have a goal that you want to feel stronger and more athletic and in order to feel stronger and more athletic, your outcome goal would be that you need to lose a certain number of pounds.
Let’s say you need to lose 10 pounds and you need to increase muscle mass. You need to look at your body weight percentage and figure out how much lean muscle mass you have and increase that muscle mass. Those are the two parts of your outcome goal that you would be working towards. If you have an outcome goal like that, you need to come up with your process goals.
Of course, there are many different ways to get there. That’s the exciting part about a goal is that you get to create it and make it your own. Maybe your process goals would be that you need to decrease your calorie intake, that you need to maintain adequate protein levels in your intake, that you need to do cardio in order to lose some of the fat, that you need to do weight training in order to increase your lean muscle mass.
Then you look at your performance goals. Okay, so you have these actions that you know you need to do in order to reach that result. How many times do you have to do it a week? How often do you have to do it? How long do you have to work out for? You just start. Trying and tweaking and seeing how it goes and seeing where you’re going with that.
That’s how you would get to your outcome goal. Let’s take something even a little bit more nebulous, not a distinct goal. I want to be a better mom. Even A goal like that doesn’t really have much clarity, you can make it seem more clear and actually track it. Let’s say you decide you want to be a better mom.
What you need to do is you need to brainstorm how, what that means to be a better mom. What is the definition of a better mom from where you are now? Maybe you decide that the outcome goal would be spending more quality time being present and open with your kids. You need to come up with a number of hours where you’re actually present and open with them.
Your process goals might be that you leave work at a certain time, that you spend less time cleaning and cooking, that you reserve certain times for reading or playing or talking together. You come up with your different things that you’re going to do in order to become closer with your kids in order to make sure that you’re more present with your kids.
Then you come up with your performance goals, which is how many times per week is this going to happen? How many hours per day are you dedicating towards this? Then that’s how you can track it. Those are three different ways that you can set up your goal so that you feel like. You actually have a plan and once you feel like you actually have a plan, one or two things is going to happen.
One, you’re going to feel like it’s impossible and you’re going to want to quit and that’s when you go back to your thoughts. You go back to your thoughts about making the fantasy feel amazing, making it feel like it’s worth working towards and that you are able to do it. The second part is Believing that it’s okay to do the work, it’s okay that it’s hard when you come up with that fear at what the next step is that you don’t have the time to do it or the energy to do it, that you don’t know how to schedule it into your day.
Remember that you do know how. You just need to go back to thinking that this is a dream that you really want and that can definitely be a part of your identity and your life and your dreams. That part of that dream and fantasy is the reality of doing the work. I hope that was helpful for you.
I know that I go back to this same process multiple times, sometimes multiple times a day. Sometimes. I just can’t go through the process and I give myself a knee. I take a knee. I take a break. If it’s for three minutes or five minutes, 20 minutes, even for a full day. But I always know that I am allowed to move forward and I know where to start.
With this process. Let’s repeat it one more time, just so you know exactly what you want to be doing. When you come up to a position where your goal is no longer shiny, think to yourself that is a goal that you created out of your own imagination and that only you can make it possible. It may seem like a fantasy, but really it’s the reality of your future self, your future identity, and that will help you to feel inspired and motivated.
Then think to yourself, it’s part of my job to figure out how to make that happen. The only way that fantasy is going to become the reality of my future self is if I hook her up right now and I do the work, make the chances, feel scared. Let my brain grow. Then once you have those two thoughts in your head, you’ll be able to find a feeling that allows you to take the next step that you’ve scheduled.
I cannot wait to hear what happens next. If you have any questions, always know that you can get ahold of me at www.sheismoney.com, or you can email me directly at JBM for Johanna b Moore at She is Money. If you want to go deeper into this with me, check out the website and sign up for a one on one session or join the society.
We do this every single month together, and it is so amazing until next time.
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