“If only…” We’ve all said it at some point in our lives. If only I had more money. If only I could make an A in Math. If only I could lose 30 pounds. Some people might say these are wishes or pipe dreams, but they don’t have to be.
Today’s fortune is by the journalist, Sheilah Graham. Her full quote is, “You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.”
If we want to do something, we can. Although I do recommend that we make sure that it is legal first. When we want to accomplish a goal, we might think it takes time, money, and motivation. It does and it doesn’t. Each one of these is part of the equation, but each one can be accomplished or negated. Each one of these is also an excuse that prevents us from attaining our goals.
I’ll be honest. I have used each of these as my excuse to not write or exercise. They even prevented me from trying new things. Well, not anymore. Now I look at my dreams and aspirations as real possibilities and I’ve even had successes.
The best way to prevent us from using these as excuses for success is by working through them. Here are some suggestions that have worked not just for me, but other successful people.
Money: Not Worth The Worry
A little extra money never hurts, but there are many ways to get things inexpensively or even for free. With a little price shopping, we can reduce our dependency on the financial aspect of our goal. With a little creativity, we can negate it all together. Don’t have a hammer? You’d be surprised how many things you can use to pound a nail into a board. Don’t have a gym membership? Run around the block and use water bottles as weights.
Inventor Ken Hakuta said, “Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.” Even if we can’t reduce the amount, we can work that amount into our planning. Saving a little each day can make a big difference. Taking money out of the equation gets us one step closer to our goals.
Time: Set A Schedule
We have so much to do and so little time. That’s not true. It’s not the amount of time that counts, it’s how you use it. If you have a goal that you need to work on, scheduling time for it can really help.
Carve out time in your day to work on the thing that you need to complete. It doesn’t need to be eight non-stop hours. It can be a simple as 30 minutes a day—the length of most TV sitcoms.
There are oodles of time management programs available if that’s what works best for you, but they aren’t necessary. If there is something unproductive that wastes time,—looking at kitten memes on Tumbler—replace it with working on the goal.
Scheduling a task gives it substance. It takes it from a thought to an action. We are more likely to work on our goals if we set the time aside specifically for them. Think of all the important things we schedule in our lives: work, school, lunch. All we have to do now is show up and do them. We have taken time out of the equation.
Motivation: Get Started With A Routine
Motivation is a tricky little beast. You might think that motivation is the spark to light the fire, or the fuel to make you move. Actually, motivation is more like the heating oil in an engine. It starts out cold but once heated, it becomes more viscous and lubricates better. This makes for a very efficient engine.
Motivation comes from action, not the other way around. For example, the best way to get motivated to write is to sit down and start writing. The best way to motivate yourself to exercise is by exercising. Once you start, you will keep going. Think of Newton’s First Law: an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
It can help to have a routine. Just like we have a bedtime routine of putting on our pajamas, brushing our teeth, and setting our alarm clock. We can use a simple routine to start our task that puts our body in motion.
When I write, I always get a cup of coffee or a bottle of water and find a comfortable spot to sit. When I exercise, I always put on my sneakers or hiking boots and pull my hair up into a ponytail. These tasks are easy to accomplish and get me moving in the right direction.
Keeping the routine simple also gives us a sense of accomplishment. That, in turn, motivates us to continue. Interestingly, there is an inverse relationship between motivation and the percentage of our task completed.
We require more motivation in the beginning than we do when we see the finish line. That is why so many give up early when they lack enough motivation. At the start, we need a Richard Simmons cheering us on. “Come on, Ladies! Get those legs moving. Pump those arms. You can do it!” As we near the end of our work we don’t require the flamboyant, energetic trainer with the afro. We are satisfied with what we have accomplished, just like the sheep-herding pig in Babe (1995), and can suffice with a simple, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”
That brings me to two more little tidbits: don’t let setbacks slow the momentum and celebrate the milestones
Setbacks are bumps along the road that can either stop us in our tracks or force us to work harder. We may sustain an injury during training and need to recover. Time will work its way back into the equation and keep us from continuing. If we have a choice, which we do, we should choose to work harder. As soon as we are able, we need to get back out there and get moving. It will be worth it in the end.
Milestones are the small accomplishments on the way to our main goal. If we break down our big goals into smaller steps, we can feel rewarded as we reach each one. It’s like Rob Schneider from the movie Waterboy (1998) saying, “You can do it!” We can and we should be happy about it.
The road to success will take some work. Nothing comes easy, but if we take a few things out of the equation, the math is simple. We succeed. That giant mountain looks more like a big pile of dirt. If you’ve ever played the game King of the Mountain, you know how much fun you can have on a pile of dirt. Once we tackle these obstacles the only thing holding us back is our imagination.