BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 259

“I try to always have at least one goal in my life that feels overwhelming and feels even a little bit impossible, because I know that that helps me continue growing.”

And I’ve really looked at this before, in my life. What are some things that are way outside my comfort zone, that I want to achieve? Publishing, right? And building a house. And learning a new language. Etc. This is review. And, yes, I want to actually achieve these goals, and I think I can, but, get this, I am more of who I want to be when I even just consider these goals and when I am open to the truth that I can achieve these goals. That changes me! That takes me from, This is just who I am, and this is my life. And maybe I will lose a few pounds and save some money for retirement – it takes me from those kind of goals to, I can be and do whatever I want to. I can set a goal and achieve it. I have that power. Now start dreaming! And get working!

Today we are talking about some tips to help us achieve these impossible goals.

ONE. Start now. I love the popular proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

“Your brain will tell you that this isn’t the best time … I want you and your brain to hear me say this: There is no good time, I promise you. Do you know what the best time is? Right now, just get started right now, because I can’t think of a single time when I’ve had somebody say, ‘I wish I wouldn’t have started on my goal so soon, I wish I would have waited.’ I only hear them say, ‘I wish I would have started earlier. I wish I hadn’t put this off so long.’

And starting is hard. Some people say it’s the hardest part. On my to-do list today is to make bread for a couple families that just moved into the neighborhood. That is my small goal for today.

So, using that as my example, when is the best time to start? Start now. Just do it.

And, once I get started it’s hard to pause or to stop, right? The kids want me to do this or do that, and I say, “Not right now. I want to finish this up.”

“Momentum is a very real and very powerful thing. And momentum will carry you towards your goal if you can just get started.”

If I just get started, find a recipe and pull out the ingredients, I find myself preheating the oven, as well. And I don’t usually stop until I’ve met the goal – until the loaves of bread are made.

And that works wonderfully well with small goals. But the same principle is true of large goals – even our impossible goals.

TWO. Be willing to go through the grind. What is this? What is “the grind”? It is exactly what is sounds like – it’s the part of accomplishing your goals that is exhausting and overwhelming and hard. It’s when you just want to quit.

“I have to be willing to go through this grind in order to get where I’m trying to go. But also I’m going to go through it, it’s not going to last forever.”

The first time I tried a mosaic. I did the research. And I know I had the correct materials. But until I made several dozen mistakes – until I went through a grind – it wasn’t art that I was creating at all. Ha ha.

And that’s just a small example, but I think of other things in my life that have really taken some time in the grind before it felt good to me – successful or natural. Piano, of course. Lots of grinding there. Navigating a new city or a new neighborhood. Every time I am hired for a job, the first few weeks or months can really be a grind, until I feel like I am contributing and doing my job well.

“(The grind) exists when you’re trying to lose weight and you’re eating healthy and your body’s kind of freaking out, and you’re not losing any weight yet, and your hunger’s all over the place, because your hormones aren’t regulated. And you don’t even know what to eat because the things you used to eat don’t fit into your diet. That’s the grind.”

It exists in any major goal – when we try to make any change in our lives or in our world.

“But if we’re willing to go through the grind, it’s not going to be a grind forever, and it can serve us very well on the other side of it.”

THREE. Be consistent. Be consistent.

“It is the small easy things that I do consistently that actually create the biggest result for me in my life. I don’t always like that. I want it to be one big thing that I do that has big impact and that way we get to the goal really quickly. But in the end I find that that’s not usually the way. I find that it’s all the things that are really easy to do. I love the saying, Things that are easy to do are easy not to do.”

Exercise. It is better for my optimal health to run or walk 30 minutes, 5 days a week, than to run 10 miles once a week. Right? This looks a little bit like floors and ceilings again.

Piano. Same thing. It’s better to practice 20 minutes every day than to practice for 3 hours once a week.

Relationships with others. It’s the small things. Of course. It’s the call every afternoon, when Bry just wants to tell me that he loves me. It’s the times he holds my hand to lead me through a crowd. It’s the way he looks for me in a crowd, and looks out for me in a crowd. It’s when he massages my legs while we watch a movie, without me asking. And he doesn’t have to do these things. And it would be easy not to do these things, right? “Things that are easy to do are easy not to do.” But the little ways he shows me he loves me, every day, have created a relationship, not just a commitment, right?

Driving. Ella is working on getting her driver’s permit. But learning to drive, for her, has been an absolute grind thus far.

How about understanding the scriptures? When I was maybe thirteen, I set the goal to read my scriptures every day. I remember the first time I sat down, in my gramma’s study, my Bible in hand, and I opened up to Psalms. And I read. And I read. And I had no idea what the words in front of me meant. And it was a grind. I journaled every day, what few things I could pick out in the verses that I read. And I prayed. And I simply kept at it – day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. And the scriptures are truly inspiring to me now. But it took consistency.

FOUR. Be patient. And I think this goes along with THREE. The grind will not last forever. Be patient. Be consistant.

“People always ask me, ‘How did you grow that podcast, how did you create such an amazing podcast?’ And I say, ‘I just recorded one every week for six years, that’s all.'”

FIVE. Have fun with the process. Can I have fun writing these drafts for my article that I am going to submit to be published? Can I have fun thinking and re-thinking and re-considering how I think, and writing it out, and then crossing it out, and then writing it out again? Because I will succeed in more than one way if I enjoy the process, right?

“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘This is going to be fun.’ And that is honestly why I have a successful business today is because, in the beginning when I was going through the grind, it was still a grind, but I chose to have fun along the way. You can have fun in the grind, do you know this?”

Make a game of it. Make new friends in the process. Celebrate each step. Experiment around. What do you think? What would make this fun for you?

“Now, remember that you’re also the creator of your fun, so you don’t insist that the thing causes you to have fun, or that the process is fun. You just choose to have fun and be the fun and create the fun along the way. And I promise you it will make achieving your goals so much easier.”

I want to close with an example Jody uses that made a lot of sense to me, and eased my nerves a little bit, thinking of these impossible goals ahead of me. I will close with this:

It’s like we’re trying to get a freight train moving.

In the beginning it’s really hard because that train is heavy, and it has no momentum, it’s just parked on the track. So we’re doing a combination of shoveling coal into the engine and trying to push. I want you to imagine that you’re trying to push the train and it’s really heavy, and you’re shoveling coal, but it’s not hot yet, the fire’s not hot, the train’s not moving… That’s the grind. But if we keep doing that, the train slowly starts moving, and then it becomes a little bit easier to push, but we’ve got to keep pushing and running along with that train.

And then eventually it’s going to take off.

This is actually a scary point, too, because the question is, Am I going to now jump on that train and go with it? It’s going to take me to an entirely different spot, and what if the train stops again, and what if this is not a train that I even like? And what if I wish I was back where I started in the first place? Remember, the brain doesn’t really like change and unknown.

Eventually that train is going to take off and you’d better be ready for it, because then you’re going to have a decision to make which is, are we going to stay on this train or not? Make that decision right now is what I recommend.