You’ve probably thought about several goals for the new year. But have you thought about the ONE BIG one?
I wanna help you plan 2019 not by planning every area of your life, but by planning just ONE BIG impossible goal. That may sound counterintuitive.
Why would I set a goal that’s impossible? And why just ONE?
By making it unrealistic or impossible you short-circuit or trick your mind into being “ok” with failure because you already know it’s impossible. By committing to just ONE big goal you get to go all in and put your heart and soul into just one focus.
Constraining yourself to one goal is genius.
You guys have heard me talk about constraint. Have you ever had so many competing priorities or goals that you end up either quitting or doing them all half-booty or mediocrely? Let’s do it differently and get you some real results this year!
You’ll be feeling like a pro and trusting your ability to keep commitments to yourself. This will sky-rocket your confidence.
One little thing we have to talk about first is failure. How do you like the idea of failure, because I want you to become a pro at it? You may be wondering, “Why’s she asking me to get super good at failure? Because it is the road to all your dreams come true. When you aren't afraid to fail, imagine how your life will be?
Did you know you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to?
Your success formula for accomplishing anything you set your mind to—it’s in the steps below!
I wanna give you the formula to help you reach your goals in the most effective and efficient way possible. This is the kinda goal setting I do with my clients. In the month of January this is how I’ll be conducting my mini sessions too. We’ll define your goal for 2019 and get you set to take the rest of the formula to town.
But first we gotta talk about failing. Failing is a natural part of life.
From the very get-go, we’re told that failure is bad. It’s the other bad F word. You can’t get an F in school— or you fail school. You can’t get an F in life — or you fail at life. This is unfair and so debilitating. Failure is natural, we humans can learn so much from failure— it typically happens with anything we’re new to, only about 100% of the time.
So if you don’t want to fail, the message becomes— don’t try anything new.
In other words, you should just keep doing what’s safe and comfortable. Don’t go for your dreams, because you might fail. You’d never say this to a child that’s learning how to ride a bike. So, why do you say it to yourself?
The reason we avoid failure (aka going for our dreams until we make it) is so that we don’t have to risk feeling negative emotion. But we already feel negative emotion as a function of our humanness. So why not for a worthy cause? You’ll feel negative emotion whether you go for your dreams or not. At least going for your dreams leads to a result you want.
There’s such a resistance to failure, that we quit ahead of time- because we avoid the negative emotion we might feel if we just went for it. A common example of quitting ahead of time…
Comes from many online entrepreneurial business women I work with— let’s say you really want to create a new program and webinar, but you worry that no one will show and you’ll feel like a failure. So in avoiding the feelings of fear and negative emotion that come with failure, you just don’t do it at all. You fail ahead of time. You avoid your dream.
If you look at highly successful people (yourself included) you’ll notice that in order to go from good to great they were not only willing to fail, but to learn from their failures.
Failing repeatedly is how we accomplish great things.
The reason we don’t want to fail is because of emotion.
The reason we don’t want to go for our dreams is because we fear failure and what emotions will come up if we fail.
But if the worst thing that can ever happen to you is an emotion— then bring it, sister.
When you don’t attempt anything you fail ahead of time and that gets you nowhere. You just repeat the same old patterns and collect lots of evidence as to why you can’t do it.
But when you fail on purpose you get to learn, you get to progress, you get to evolve, you get to learn that feelings will not hurt you, and failure is your best friend.
Most of us have this super-emotional response to the idea of failure— it’s all or nothing and inherent. Failure is seen as “I AM a FAILURE,” which causes tremendous shame and shuts you down.
The cool thing is you get to decide how you define failure. Google tells us that failure is defined as “an omission of occurrence or performance to perform a duty or expected action.”
That doesn't sound too bad to me, what about you? Ask yourself, “Do I need to be so hard on myself about this, what’s the upside?” If you truly examine this you’ll see EVERY single TIME there’s never an upside to beating yourself up.
Let’s say you just started coaching with me to lose those 15 pounds you gained over the holidays. You have a protocol to eat fuel only food, but you get stuck in post holiday traffic. So you stop at WholeFoods and in a moment of hunger or hANGER at not packing your fuel food and being an hour later home than you’d expected you “slip up.”
Oh no, a failure.
You lose your senses for a moment when you’re caught off guard by a kind and beautiful woman who looks like a cross between an older Cindy Crawford and Mrs. Claus as she offers you a sample. In your moment of sheer gratitude and appreciation at this woman’s generosity you accept and eat a sampling of 3 chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. If we left the story here “it’s no biggie,” just a slip you can learn from and move on from, but when you decide to beat yourself up, the saga continues…
When you come down from the blissful sugar high after grabbing your fuel food for the weekend, your inner mean girl tells you what a total and complete failure you are… In a flicker of a moment, you decide, “F-it, I just failed, I AM such a FAILURE, maybe I can’t do this anyway, I’ll just start again tomorrow, so why not take this to town and just buy a box.” You do and you eat the entire box and go off protocol all weekend. Do you see how beating yourself up took you from 3 cookies to the entire box and a weekend of beating yourself up?
Let’s say after the initial 3 cookies, you said to yourself, “What just happened?” You take a moment to understand, “Oh hey, I’ve gotta account for Friday night traffic and bring my dinner to my new shared work-space studio.” Then you move on.
Have a slip, a failure (at anything), you take a moment to understand where the process went wrong, write it down, and move the hell on.
It’s about awareness and learning from your mistakes. This process will help you learn how to make fails work for you and not against you.
So what if just because you “failed to do an action or don’t succeed the 1st (or 100th go around, depending on your level of desire to reach your dream), that you don’t label yourself as inherently a failure?
Because better yet, doesn’t that kinda qualify you as badass - who does what she wants no matter what— in spite of failure and setbacks?
I’m thinking of my client, let’s call her Marcy. She’s decided that she wants to up level her business too 500 K this year (her impossible goal) and find someone she can spend the rest of her life with. She’s working on committing to her schedule— the way that I teach calendaring to all my clients because she knows it’ll result in the ultimate work-life balance she’s been searching for for years. AND give her plenty of time and energy to date on her journey towards going to the chapel of love.
But she’s never committed to a schedule like this before, she’s identified as a life-long procrastinator. Each day she plans, schedules & commits to the schedule. And she’s willing to look at all the small quits that rob her of her precious time— just because she wants to avoid the negative emotion of sitting down and doing a task that she’s super unexcited about or has never done before. I’ve told her, “The more fails you collect with regard to committing, planning and following through on your schedule— the more pro you’ll become. In no time, you’ll see how you have at least 10 more hours in your week and are 10 x more productive than you’ve ever been before.”
When you allow failure, not only do you allow for your dreams, you gain wisdom, self-knowledge, and experience— which are often times more valuable than achieving the goal itself.
Failing is the secret to success.
Did you know that only 1 in 100 entrepreneurs makes it?
Because they quit after the first fail. Be the 1 %. The point is that you want to get super good at failing in general. And specifically, at your ONE BIG IMPOSSIBLE GOAL. When you’re at the point where you’re not afraid to fail, your dreams come true. I want you to learn through this process, perhaps for the first time ‘how” to fail and understand the benefits of failing. Now onto the process of how to go about your one impossible goal this year.
Here’s how to set ONE Impossible Goal:
Brooke Castillo teaches this technique and it’s one of my favorites to pass onto my clients. Get a piece of paper and pen and empty your brain. Write for 2 minutes on all the thoughts and feelings you have running through that beautiful mind of yours. This just clears you mind to get focused on the exercise and is a good practice to do every morning— liken it to mental hygiene for your brain, similar to how brushing your teeth is good for your oral hygiene and overall health.
Do a brainstorm of at least 50 potential impossible goals you’d be beyond AESTHETIC to accomplish this year, but haven’t gone after in the past because you believed they were impossible. It can be anything. One client I did this with recently decided to get to bed by midnight every night in 2019 — because she determined that getting 8 hours of sleep would make all of the other things she wants to accomplish so much easier.
Pick an ONE. Only one. I mean it. Practice the art of constraint. Don’t take more than 5 minutes and go into perfectionist mode. Any ONE impossible goal focused upon for the entire you will make you grow. There’s no way around it.
Now let your brain talk back. Every time you come up with a goal, it’s your job’s brain to try and keep you safe and comfortable and tell you all the reasons why it can never happen. So let her rip. I call this the “let her rip exercise” Write until your brain has nothing else to say.
Visualize and embody your future self— fast forward to next year, Jan 2020, the amazing you who’s already accomplished this goal. Go back through the previous “let her rip exercise,” and ask your future self how she overcame each of these obstacles. These become your strategies to get the job done.
Plan to fail. Plan for 25 epic failures EACH quarter of the year. If you don’t fail epically you’re not doing it right. What are the exact 25 ACTIONS you will take as you attempt to achieve this ONE impossible goal of yours?
MARK these dates in your calendar and review it throughout the year at the beginning of every new quarter. For each quarter when you do your review list the 25 “action taken” and the “result,” for each.
I’m so excited for you to do this work with me and my clients. Get ready to have a life where failure is ok because it makes anything possible. By doing this year-long exercise you’ll know this to your bones. If you need more help, let’s jump on a mini session and sort this year out for you. Happy New Year!