Pursue What Matters
Episode 91: Take Off on Your Moonshot Goal! Planning for 2021 Pt. 3
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
You’ve got your moonshot goal. you’ve identified what stalls your launch progress. And now it’s time to take off. Are you ready to accomplish your biggest goals? I sure hope so.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:36
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. So I hope you have gotten some value out of this three part series on goal pursuit. Of course, today, we are going to wrap it all up. Part One was what’s your moonshot where we helped you to dream big and identify what your moonshot goal is. And you know, unfortunately, sometimes we’re too scared to even identify a big goal. But with part one, we identified what’s your big goal? Why does it matter? Who can you serve? And how can you accomplish it. And so of course, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to that podcast, go back and listen to it, I will link to it in the show notes. But that’s what we focused on during part one. And then of course, in part two, we focused on what stalls your launch progress. And so this is always the messy middle the part that we want to jump over the part that we want to skip. But of course, there is no skipping part two, because the devil is in the details. And this is where most of us really get stuck. And we want to understand what stalls our launch progress. And so last week, we focused all on the barriers, the excuses, we talked about the dance of shame and fear. And boy, it is such such a dance between shame and fear. We have our self doubt, we have our self criticism, we have our self recrimination, that if we’re not careful, that they really keep us from accomplishing our biggest goals. And then of course, we have our fear. And our fear can be a plague. And unfortunately, too many of us believe that if we have fear, we can’t move forward. And boy, that is a mistaken belief, you can move forward on your goals, and be scared to death at the same time. And in fact, we know the most courageous leaders do that all the time. And so we don’t want that to keep you from moving forward. And so that’s what we learned about last week. with part two, of course, I will link to that also in the show notes. So if you haven’t had a chance to take a listen to that, please do so. And then today, we are focusing on the fact that it is time to take off, it’s time to take action. Right. So it’s, it’s, it’s time for liftoff, you you’ve got places to go, you’ve got things to do. And we really want you to get off a go, we want it we want you to to get off of that launch pad. And so that’s what we’re going to be focusing on today. And with this three part series, I have an excellent resource for you, that really covers everything that I’ve talked about throughout this series. And so it is a resource, what’s your moonshot all on goal pursuit to kind of help you break it down? And really remember the keys that we have talked about in this three part series?
Dr. Melissa Smith 3:58
Because Hey, it’s January, your goals matter. And, you know, like I talked about last time, is that, you know, you can be successful, but you’ve got to have a plan. And, you know, it’s not, it’s not that the universe only favors certain people. What’s the difference between those who are successful and those who are not? It’s, it’s really, it’s having a plan, and it’s executing on that plan. And so this idea of talent, it’s like, throw that out the window. We care about skills, we care about taking action, we care about consistency, and, and having some accountability. And so that’s what we’re going to be focusing on today. And the resource will help you to kind of break that down and get specific and hold yourself accountable. And so I hope you will take some time and At the bottom of the podcast, I will share the link with you so that you can head on over to the show notes and get your hands on that resource. And hopefully you will find that helpful for you. So let’s get going with part three, it’s time to take off, it’s time to lift off. So with this part three, we are going to be focusing on five things that we want you to be doing.
Dr. Melissa Smith 5:26
Okay. And so the first one is take action, it is all about taking action. The second thing is to be consistent. The third is to be intentional. The fourth is to be mindful. And the fifth is to be grateful, these things really make a difference. And so that’s what we are going to be focusing on today. So let’s start with take action. Okay, so the first point that I want to make, when you have a big goal, you may not have the first clue what you’re doing. That is true for so many of us, when I think about my biggest goals in life, I often did not have a freaking clue. But I took the first step. And so the first point that I want to make, when it comes to take action, is this direction is less important than action. Okay, I’m going to repeat that because it is that important. direction is less important than action, do something, do something, just get moving, it doesn’t even matter initially, if it’s the right direction. So this is what’s true momentum builds as you take action, and trust that you’ll figure out the right direction as you are in motion. And that is so true, we all kind of stumble a little bit to begin with. And that’s okay. That’s the process of growth and learning. And Rumi has a great quote on this as you start to walk on the way the way appears. So I have been talking with a friend recently who is looking at graduate school. And she was talking about, you know, kind of feeling overwhelmed and not really sure if this is something that she wants to do, or, you know, that she feels like she can do. And I said, you know, just just take the next step, just have a conversation with this person. Because it will give you information, it will, it will help you to you know, have another perspective or to give you a little more information for your next step. And I have found this true. So many times, I can’t even count how many times in my life that as I start to walk on my path, the path unfolds before me. And one of the things that I talk about a lot on the podcast is that you must trust the unfolding of your path. And that it often does not, it does not show it does not reveal itself until you get walking. And sometimes I have I have completely turned around on my path. And that’s okay.
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:34
But I had to be moving, I had to actually be taking action. In order to know I was turned around. If I’m only sitting on the side, if I’m not taking any action, nothing’s Nothing is going to happen. And so, you know, the other thing that I said to this friend is, you know, she expressed, you know, a little bit of overwhelm. And I said, You know what, that how do you eat an elephant, you you eat an elephant one bite at a time. And so the other point here is, as much as possible, avoid overwhelm, you just take one step at a time. And so just get moving it, it doesn’t even matter if it’s in the right direction initially. Okay. And the other thing that I want to say here is that you will never have everything you need in order to feel like you can take action, never ever, ever, and you need to get moving anyway. Okay, so, so that will become one of your favorite excuses, if you let it. So last week, I talked about your favorite excuses. And this belief of I don’t have everything in order, or I need to finish this project, or I need to, you know, my kids need to be a little bit older or this needs to happen, you will never have everything you need in order to take action. And you need to get moving anyway.
Dr. Melissa Smith 10:10
Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t, you know, valid situations that so you get to make these choices for your life. But what’s true is when you have a big goal, you’ll never feel ready, you’ll never feel ready. And at a certain point, you just got to start moving. If you wait until you have everything you need, you will never begin, I promise you that you will never, ever begin.
Dr. Melissa Smith 10:39
Okay, the next point that I want to make around taking action is start where you are, start today. And I mean, not literally not figuratively, start where you are, start today, do something, do anything. So break the goal down into tiny, teensy, tiny little parts if you need to, but take some action today. So inertia is your enemy. inertia is your enemy, do something. And so the corollary here is, you know, as a psychologist, in my clinical practice, when we were with us, as clinicians, when we work with depressed people, one of the first things that we talked to them about is behaviorally, you have got to get them moving. And so you know, when I work with depressed people, I say, you got to get out of bed, you’ve got to get out of bed, you’ve got to get showered, you got to get dressed, right. So even if that means now this might sound, this might sound really challenging to you, especially if you’ve never experienced depression. For those of you who have experienced depression, this may sound very familiar. But even if the only thing that you do, and by only I don’t mean that disrespectfully, because this can be a lot if you’re struggling with depression. Even if what you do is to get out of bed, get yourself to the shower, and then get yourself to the couch, but you are not returning to that bed. You’re not returning to that bed. So inertia is your enemy. behaviorally, you’ve got to take some action. Because with depression, right, there is psychomotor retardation, so everything slows down. And so we’ve got to do everything we can to help a depressed person, increase their psychomotor. movement. And so and the same applies for movement on your goals, right? inertia is your enemy. And you build momentum on your side as you take action. So from Seth Godin, who I love his work, he’s just brilliant. What he says is initiative equals success. So taking action, being proactive leads to success. So that’s what I want to say about taking action, it is so important.
Dr. Melissa Smith 13:42
Okay, the second thing that we want to talk about, and we want to focus on to help you with lift off, to help you to take off is to be consistent. So it’s so important to take consistent action on your goal. And so this is from Elizabeth Gilbert from her excellent book, Big Magic. She said, it’s a simple and generous Rule of Life, that whatever you practice, you will improve that. Now, that technically is not always true. There is some actually some research about that. But generally, that is true, that when you practice something consistently, you generally will improve at it. And so taking consistent action on your goal matters. So make time for your goal. So if you’ve just set a moonshot goal, but you then take a look at your calendar, and that would anyone know that you’ve just set this big goal? Does this goal and the tasks that that are required to accomplish the goal? Are they reflected in your calendar? Have you made time for this goal? You need to schedule it, your goal becomes a habit over time as you’re consistent with it. And the really good news about a goal becoming a habit is that it requires less motivational energy to commit to. So you know, I have always been an exerciser, I just, you know, I’m one of those who I really get a dopamine hit from exercise, I’ve just always loved movement. I was one that was teaching step aerobics in high school, and in college, and have always been a very religious exerciser, my entire life, and I do better I function better, I have more energy, everything. And so it’s, you know, it’s hard for me to understand that for some people, they, they have a hard time creating a habit around exercise, I get it, because I work with folks where that’s true. And that’s the case. And I work with folks where they’re trying to form new habits. So I totally understand that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 16:23
But once you form a habit, the energy requirement, right, the what I mean is the motivational energy, the cognitive energy, the emotional energy required for that habit has just been cut way down, and it frees you up to devote your energy in other areas. Right, so I don’t have to spend any energy deciding if I’m going to exercise, because that decision has been made decades ago for me. And so, you know, I had that is energy that’s freed up for other pursuits. And so when you make your goal a habit, it’s so much easier to commit to, it’s so much easier to find success on. Because you’re developing consistency. And you you have energy for, for more creativity. And so it’s a beautiful thing, it becomes a virtuous cycle. So now let’s move to the third point, which is to be intentional. So you have decided that this goal is important to you. And so we want you to respect it, we want you to give it the goal, the respect it deserves by making the time for it. You’ve got to you’ve got to prioritize it. So like I said before, is it showing up in your schedule? Is it showing up in your calendar? Do people in your life know about this goal, you don’t have to shout it from the rooftops. But for the the important people in your life, they should know about this goal, because they probably need to support it to some extent, right. So whether that is Hey, Fridays are going to be my writing days. And so I need you to be able to support that because I’m not going to be available on Friday mornings, or whatever the case may be. And so be intentional. Have some boundaries set up, get some get some buy in from those you love and those you you live with, that you work with, because they will probably need to be able to support you in it. And then the fourth key that we want to keep in mind is to be mindful. When you have a big goal, it is easy to psych yourself out. Like I talked about in part two, it’s easy to get scared, is easy to start dancing with your shame and your fear and to psych yourself out get getting on that emotional roller coaster and saying like oh my goodness, I don’t have anything to offer. What was I thinking? I’m going to you know, I’m going to just go and sit in the corner with a dunce cap, dunce cap now. And we just you don’t have time for that. And so we want to be mindful. And so from mindfulness, right, I love what mindfulness teaches us. First of all teaches us so much.
Dr. Melissa Smith 19:46
But this concept of chop wood and carry water right can be so incredibly helpful. So chop wood carry water which has come to mean, right that you learn to do what you need to do without drama, you learn to be in harmony with life, and with your reality without adding drama to it. So if you think about a big goal, right? Do your work, do your work without adding drama to it. So you know, right now I have a really big manuscript, that I actually need to break into two manuscripts because it’s really big. And I’ve been working, I put that in quotes, because there have been years that I haven’t worked on it at all. But I have been working on it actively, for the last year. And over the years, I have had times where I’ve really danced with my shame and my fear, related to this manuscript. But in the last year, I have been trying to do my work, right, I’ve really been able to move into a place of mindfulness, and really just focus on chop wood carry water, right, like to get in to the manuscript and to get into the work and do what I need to do without, without drama, without like making, making myself suffer, and actually just enjoying the process. You know, so doing what you need to do without labeling it. It doesn’t have to be a bad day, perhaps it’s just a day like any other. So a day where you get to choose if you pursue a goal that is meaningful to you. So you get to choose and attitude really makes a difference. Anyone who has spent any time with someone with a bad attitude, can tell you that, right? I mean, we all know that we all know that. Attitude really, really matters. And so you get to choose, you get to choose your adventure. And, and so step off the emotional roller coaster of labeling situations as good or bad. Or why do I have to do this, and recognize like, maybe it’s even a privilege that you get to do this and you get you’re choosing this goal, you’re choosing this, and you don’t have to do it, you don’t have to subject yourself to this. And you certainly don’t need to subject other people to your complaining and your limitations. So that’s a thing.
Dr. Melissa Smith 22:43
Okay, and then the last point is very much related to the fourth point. And this last point is to be grateful. And so what I would say is, let’s be grateful for the opportunity to pursue something that is personally meaningful to you, that is actually such a gift. I mean, really, and truly, that is a gift, and learn to be grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow and to be stretched by a big goal. I mean, not everyone is willing to do that. That’s cool, you should be really proud of yourself. Be grateful for the challenges of life. And the perspective that this brings. That is also a gift, you are choosing growth. And that is again, something to be proud of. Not everyone chooses the path of growth. That is a choice. It is a choice. We all have something to be grateful for. And mindfulness does teach us that it’s not enough to be grateful for our 10,000 joys, but that we also must be grateful for our 10,000 sorrows. And sometimes as we are pursuing our biggest goals, our moonshot goals, we will experience 10,000 sorrows, we will have heartache along the way. Because when we are pursuing our biggest goals, there’s so much uncertainty, there’s such a high risk of failure. And there will be plenty of failure along that path. And so you’ve got to learn to be grateful for the journey.
Dr. Melissa Smith 24:39
You’ve got to be you’ve got to learn to embrace the process and be grateful for the lessons along along that path. And so we we want to choose to be grateful and recognize that that is a choice. And so with this Part Three, it’s time to take off, it’s time to lift off. The the keys here are to take action, to be consistent, to be intentional, to be mindful, and to be grateful. And so I hope that you will take this to heart and really take some time and consider how you can contribute. What is your moonshot goal? Because we need your gifts. We need your gifts, we need your unique take on things and there are gifts that that we are waiting for that you can bring us. And I hope that you will head on over to the website and check out the show notes. I will have the resource for you there the resource on goal pursuit and what’s your moonshot to help you really dig into the details of this so that you can get going on your biggest goals this year. So head on over to the website to check out the show notes with all the great resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-91 one more time that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-91 I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai