I want to touch a bit on goals and accomplishments today. When we find something we are passionate about or a goal we want to achieve, it naturally excites us! However, soon enough, the natural release of serotonin & dopamine which spark our excitement will cease, our excitement decreases, and when it comes to putting in the true, gritty & difficult hard work the achievement of the accomplishment necessitates, we take the foot off the gas, lose focus, and crawl back into our delightful, yet damaging comfort zones. We might find ourselves making excuses as to why we decided to skip practice, miss class, or bail on that intense workout we had so courageously committed to the week prior. You see, the TRUE POWER lies in the actions we take and words we tell ourselves when those feelings of eager excitement diminish. It is extremely easy to decide one day that you are going to train to run a half-marathon. However, when it comes time to wake up at 4am to start said training, it is equally as easy to throw the alarm across the room, roll over, adjust the covers and fall back into our silent slumber. So, HOW do we keep that flame burning? How do we push ourselves on those days when we are exhausted or simply don’t feel like pursuing our passion?
- Be Honest With Yourself: Nothing worth obtaining or achieving comes easy. 100% of the time, the most fulfilling achievements stem from relentless, borderline-crazy amounts of hard work! Come to terms that you are going to need to work your tail off to reach your goal. The voyage can often be a lonely one, resulting in feelings of isolation & anxiety. Be at peace with this, and trust in your own journey! I passed my CPA at 23 years of age. As I opened the book (1 of 4) on the first day of studying for this monumental beast, I could barely read the words on the first page as the book was so thick, the spine wouldn’t bend open until I got to around page 20. Talk about intimidating! How the heck was I supposed to get through all 4 tests, when I was having trouble on page 1 of 453 of book 1 of 4?! I will tell you how in the next point.
- Focus on the Small Wins: I recently hiked the beautiful & brilliant Bell Rock Trail in Sedona, Arizona with my girlfriend. As we walked up the first part of the trail of the mountain, I looked up and saw the peak of what we hoped to reach and conquer. Man oh man was this intimidating! I remember thinking to myself “there is no way we can reach all the way up there.” BUT, by focusing on one level at a time, one step at a time, we were able to successfully complete the hike. This brings me back to my CPA example. You see, if we solely focus on the long-term, lavish, & luminous end-result, we will start to get overwhelmed and this oftentimes leads to added stress, anxiety, and defeat. We must learn to zone in on and appreciate the small wins. By focusing on 1 page a time, 1 step at a time, 1 thought at a time, we are better able to master that page, that step, that thought. This helps us to remain grounded. Although we must visualize what it looks like to us when we achieve the end-result, paying close attention to small wins is an underrated necessity to achievement.
- Self-Care: This one really hits home with me. If you have read any of my past posts, the past month has been nothing short of colorful yet complex chaos. I started a new job, am exercising twice a day, AND decided to enroll in Yoga Teacher Training which consists of 8 weeks (200 hours) of straight yoga! Additionally, being a CPA, we are in the midst of another beautiful busy season! When times like these arise, I find myself neglecting sleep, spending so much time working, exercising and reading for class that I forget to take care of myself, specifically my mind. Counter to what we were raised to believe, if we work to consistently take time out of our crazy schedules for self-care (meditation, sleep, cooking healthy food, random acts of kindness, donating our time, exercising, etc.), then when we jump back into the grind, we are quite literally re-charged. This results in increased productivity, increased focus and increased overall quality of life which aides us in becoming infinitely more in-tune with the task at hand.
In conclusion, be honest with yourself; focus on the small wins; and practice self-care. At one point or another, all of us have been guilty of breaking all 3 of these rules. But AWARENESS of our thoughts, actions, and emotions is the first step to change. Remember, take it 1 day at a time, 1 hour at a time, 1 minute at a time, 1 second at a time. The grind is a never-ending journey that requires struggle, sacrifice, and synergy. Enjoy the ride!