Today, I want to share with you ten tried-and-true steps to reaching your most far out and toughest goals. I know you have future goals. I’ve certainly had more than my share of what seemed to other people to be daunting, pie-in-the-sky goals, like deciding I was going to be a lawyer when there weren’t any women lawyers at the time, or climbing Mount Everest, or having New York Times bestselling books, or my most recent goal, forming my own band. When we reach our goals, there is absolutely no better feeling of achievement to be had. I want you to have that same feeling of awesome self-satisfaction when you reach a long sought-for goal. And because I’ve had repeated successes orchestrating my own future, I want to give you the roadmap that has worked for me, and for many others.
The first step is to acknowledge whether you are Comfort Zone Prone. If you are, you will need to convince yourself that your life will only change when you become more committed to your goals than you are to your comfort zone. That’s step one for so many people.
It’s all about becoming more comfortable with, well, discomfort. For you, that may mean anxiety: perhaps sweaty palms, a racing heart, and the feeling you might die at any moment. That’s how I used to feel if I thought I was, God forbid, going to have to speak in public. And you may know how much I love public speaking so I sure made that goal happen! Or you may experience discomfort as a series of internal voices (frequently not your own) that raise all kinds of red flags. They say things like, “I don’t even know where to begin to get from where I am right now to where I want to be, and I don’t know anyone who can guide me,” or “You have a ridiculously high opinion of yourself. What gives you the idea anyone will be interested in what you want to achieve or plan to offer to the world?” Or even, “Changing the world — or even one other precious life — is a tall order. What makes you think you can do it? And what will make others think you can do it well enough for you to gain followers, fans, or paying clients?”
You know those voices. The naysayers, internal and external. They can all conspire to convince you to stay in your comfort zone, to stay in your own lane, to get your head out of the clouds and your feet back on solid ground.
Here’s how to wean yourself out of your Comfort Zone and silence the negative voices in your head and life.
Change up your routine regularly. Try something new as often as you can. Go to a new theatre or church or 12-step group. Read a book by an unknown author on a new topic. Visit exotic restaurants online or in person and try new foods. Listen to new music. Call someone you barely know.
Be selfish how you spend your time. The biggest obstacle I’ve learned to reaching your personal goals is your family. You’ve probably been taught that you should be spending a sizable amount of your time doing stuff with them and feel guilty when you don’t. That is not the way to reach your goals; all your doing then is wasting time to make other people happy that you stay small and unsuccessful, so they don’t feel threatened. You absolutely must dedicate the bulk of your time to your goals, whether you’re trying to excel at tennis or master the keyboard or write a book – goal achievement takes a ton of time and you’ve got to be selfishly dedicated to make it happen.
Sign up for personal and public challenges on a frequent basis: maybe a 5K run or walk, a karaoke night at a bar, or learn an unfamiliar dance step, musical instrument, language, or sport. I had to crash-learn French when I went to France the first time with my French husband and knew not one word of French.
Watch consciousness-and-confidence-boosting shows, like my live show with live band, that confirm that you can be the ultimate creator of your destiny.
Taking these steps will, over time, quiet your amygdala, the part of your brain that sends out alarming red alerts so you can silence the naysayers inside your mind, until they realize they aren’t welcome or having success immobilizing you anymore. Here’s what some of the best thinkers have had to say about the importance of becoming less Comfort Zone-prone:
As C. Joybell said, “I have realized that it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most. That I see and feel who I really am the most! That’s why I enjoy taking myself out of my own comfort zone and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because it’s during those scary moments, those unsure steps taken, that I am able to see that I’m like a comet hitting a new atmosphere: suddenly I illuminate magnificently and fire dusts begin to fall off me! I discover a smile I didn’t know I had, I uncover a feeling that I didn’t know existed in me… I see myself. I’m a shooting star. A meteor shower. But I’m more like a comet because I’m just going to keep on coming back!”
The second step to reaching your farthest goal is to decide/intend/commit to changing the trajectory of your life. This may be even more daunting than stepping outside your comfort zone in the ways I just mentioned because it puts you squarely in the driver’s seat, firmly in charge of what will happen to you, and in which order.
No long-term goal can be achieved quickly. You can’t simply pole vault your way to the future you want. You have to take the steps, or at least the escalator. I am just one of many possible escalators. By this, I mean I can make the process to reaching your goals more straightforward and a little easier to get where you’re going, but you have to commit to stepping on and taking the ride to the top. For example, I have a course called Level IV in my LifeForce Energy Program where I guarantee I will personally lift you out of your comfort zone. But every one of my students has to be willing to go out on a limb because, after all, that’s where the fruit is!
So, for example, if you want to move to another country or another city where you’ll be a total stranger for a while, or if you need to triage your existing friendships to determine which of them are going to encourage and support you and which are going to try to stymie your forward progress, or if you decide you have to jettison the career you have because you know that ladder is leaning against the wrong wall as far as where you want to be five years from now, you must commit to taking the steps to achieve those goals. As soon as you make your goal a commitment, an intention, and not just a “nice to have” daydream, your life will begin to change in the direction you want.
For Step three, before you commit to the changes, identify WHY you want to make them. Ponder them so intensely that you can see, hear, feel, smell, and even taste what your life will be life when you have achieved the goal you will be setting for yourself. When you can put that on tap to draw on at will, you will always have the encouragement and impetus you need to keep going. Your WHY will serve as your motivator.
Simon Sinek, the author of Start with Why, said, “If you want to feel an undying passion for your work, if you want to feel you are contributing to something bigger than yourself, you need to know and focus on your WHY.”
The 4th step is to define the exact changes that you want to make. Whether that’s starting a business, moving to a new place, changing your career, traveling, growing your self-confidence, or sticking to a morning routine that will carry you slowly but surely to what you want to achieve, this is when the voices in your head will get louder and more insistent. But by now you will have mastered the skill of minimizing the damage they can do because your WHY will claim dominance and your past experiences of having stepped faithfully outside your comfort zone will reassure you that, in FDR’s famous words, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. Your cherished goal is NOT stupid, unrealistic, or doomed to failure. You know that’s all nonsense, coming from the acronym F.E.A.R.: False Evidence Appearing Real. You are entirely capable of getting where you want to go next. As Madonna famously said, “No matter who you are, what you do, or where you’ve come from, you can always become a better version of yourself.” Dreaming big is the ticket to your success. So, shoot for the stars.
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul,” William Ernest Henley wrote at the end of his Victorian era poem, Invictus. And so are we all. We just have to name it and claim it to release its power to revolutionize our lives. I invite you to do that right now if you haven’t already.
The 5th step is to identify the things that may be holding you back. Are you aware of any habits, persistent limiting thoughts, or people that threaten to derail your plans?
Here are several examples of what I’m talking about. Do you tend to procrastinate? Are you addicted to unhealthy, unhelpful food, social media, or any other useless time-consuming pursuits? Do you spend hours every day mindlessly playing games on your electronic devices, or, my personal guilty pleasure, watching Netflix? List whichever roadblocks currently steal precious hours from your waking moments and commit to doing them no more than an hour a day, so you can free up your time and your energy to focus on the future you want.
The 6th step is to choose your Daily One Thing. Because changing your life is a process, very unlike flipping a light switch to get an immediate result, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t get where you’re going by focusing on too many aspects of the change process. So, focus on a singular significant change agent at a time, like moving to a new location or changing jobs, or reducing the amount of time you spend in fruitless activity. Pick a keystone habit that needs changing, the one habit that will positively support and influence the subsequent One Thing that you will add to the mix as the days pass to eventually achieve your most cherished goals. I clearly remember cutting way back on my beloved time outside to become a New York Times bestselling writer – the fact was, I just had to put the time in, indoors, at my desk, writing, in order to make that happen. Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. On the other hand, don’t over commit, or you’ll risk exhausting yourself and giving up.
One great keystone habit for you, if you aren’t already doing it, is to establish a non-negotiable exercise routine. In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg writes (I’m paraphrasing here) that typically, people who exercise regularly and start eating better become more productive. They smoke and drink less, do fewer recreational drugs, and show more patience. They use their credit cards less and feel less stressed. And each of these positive changes carries the person toward their ultimate personal and professional goals.
Two other keystone habits that I can wholeheartedly suggest, if you aren’t doing them already, are practicing gratitude and journaling. You can even combine these two keystone habits by writing a gratitude journal.
The 7th step is to create a S.M.A.R.T. goal. By this, I mean create a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Your specific goal should have a set finish line, so you know when you’ve achieved it. That’s what practitioners of the SMART Method mean by Measurable. It should also be a goal that is realistic, given the time you’ve established to achieve it. It should be relevant, something that will enhance and further the ultimate change and goal that you want to make in your life, and it should have a deadline to make sure you keep actively working toward its achievement.
Step 8 is Prepare for Static, Storms, and Stress-Inducing Situations.
There will be challenges ahead. Nothing truly worthwhile is ever free of hiccups. Look for ways to anticipate and mitigate against them. For example, you might want to join an online community of like-minded people who are pursuing or already enjoying the achievement of the same goal you’re heading for. If you decide to change your eating habits, eliminate from your fridge and pantry the foods most likely to sabotage your efforts to succeed and replaced them with foods that will help you reach your goal.
The idea here is to create ways to ride out the challenges that will present themselves along the way until the clarity of your thoughts and your focus can return to taking the next practical step, and the one after that.
Remember, as Margaret Thatcher (former UK Prime Minister) said, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
Step 9 is invite the Yaysayers in your life into your tribe. Choose supportive people to talk to – people that say “yay” when they hear your goal. As soon as anyone in your tribe suggests that you might want to choose a more realistic goal, send them packing. Chances are, they’re afraid of how the achievement of your goals could alter your relationship with them, or they are jealous. Either way, time to quit that relationship.
As Joyce Rachelle advised, “You don’t have to live happily ever after with every single person in your life to live happily ever after. Some unfortunate endings are necessary.”
Some friends and family prefer the weaker, sadder version of you. Once they see that you are stronger, richer, doing well, happier, and useful, these people feel threatened.
So, yes, you may have to change your family and close friends here and there to get the tribe you need, one that will cheer and clap and offer you sustenance along the way and then shriek with delight as you cross the finish line. The people you spend significant time with are an absolute key to the achievement of your goals.
The last step is Go the Distance. As co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates has said (and I’m paraphrasing here again) most people overestimate what they can do in one year and under-estimate what they can do in ten years. So, take the long view whenever you establish long-term goals.
To do this, simply focus on the process as it unfolds before you day by day and step by achievable step. Develop the muscles and the stamina that will carry you to the Mount Everest of your goals. It is the training, preparation and actual climbing that gets you where you want to go.
So, there you have it: my well-researched, firmly adopted, and personal tried-and-true ten-step plan to reaching the summit of your goals. It isn’t easy, and it’s most likely outside your comfort zone much of the way, or you’d have reached your goals already, but it’s what I do, and what you can do to push aside everything that stands between you and what you want to achieve. As a member of my tribe, I am confident that you can do it. And I will be among the first to heartily applaud when you succeed, so keep me posted along your journey!
If you’d like to join a community of “yaysayers,” a group of people that will support and encourage you on your path towards achievement, consider joining our Level I course. It gives you the foundations for healing, so that you can go forward towards your goals without the extra burden, and gives you access to our Soul Family (a group of like-minded healers, seekers, and achievers). You can do so by clicking here >>
Or, if you already have access to the basics, consider going deeper. Getting more guidance and hand-holding. A getting access to a much more intimate group of support. The doors for our Master-in-Training program are open with a few more seats left. This year-long program will absolutely change your life and help set you on your path towards everything you want in life. Learn more here >>