Setting and achieving goals is not easy, it does not matter the goal, whether you want start a business, to start exercise, to start being gluten free, to start being sugar free or just to start meditating. Whatever your goal might be, you always hit a wall before starting to accomplish it. The wall represents our never ending thoughts, those negative voices in our head that tell us that we cannot do it, or who do we think we are to pull it off, or what is the point of doing it?
How I Started Estilo Tendances
When I launched Estilo Tendences (a website that helps women be more beautiful and stylish) about 5 years ago, I did not think of it as a business, but a hobby. That was the first time I realized, starting a new hobby is actually hard. For 4 years I was up and down with this “hobby”, I would be super engaged for a few months, then my focus would shift to studying or to who knows what else. I had no consistency and therefore I had to start over and over again. I had no bigger vision of what I would accomplish with it or what was the bigger purpose. Of course, I was not consistent since I had no goals.
In October 2014, I relaunched Estilo Tendances and this time it was serious. This time I had set some goals and I wanted to achieve them no matter what. I had the vision and made the decision that this will be my business and my future income and that there is no time for playing around.
Although I was determined and put a lot of effort into building it from scratch, I was pretty comfortable in my approach because I had my safety nets: my rent was paid for by my family and I had a monthly scholarship and no debt. Of course, I knew this was not going to last forever, I was about to graduate in 8 months when my scholarship would be gone and my parents not willing to support me financially – so I had to make it in these 8 months.
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But, there was no real pain in the present moment, so maintaining the engagement and the dream alive, was very hard. Plus, I was still not making any money and had to invest monthly, the website’s usual fees which are quite high when you are starting out – $100-$200/month. On top of everything, we also bought our first blogging course – Bloggers MBA. Total game changer. We both (me and Mihai – CEO of Male Extravaganza and my boyfriend) knew that if we really wanted to make this a business we had to learn from those who are already doing it successfully.
Those 8 months have rapidly passed, Estilo Tendances showed a massive growth in traffic, content quality, and team-wise, but still no money yet. My safety nets were gone and I was about to start a new life, with literally no plan, besides the fact that I wanted to make Estilo Tendances profitable and become a coach, so I can help people be who they were meant to be.
The summer of 2014, was probably the hardest summer of my life because I had to start a job that I really did not like – I was a Housekeeping Coordinator in Bethany Beach, DE (beautiful place, where I had a beautiful apartment that I truly miss). I was trapped in having to work to pay my bills, at the same time I knew this job was only for the season, so after these 3 months I would really have to have my ducks in a row. In my 2 days off, I would work on my self-development and monetizing my business. After less than a month, I realized that in order to save money I needed more money, so the only option I saw possible, was to get a part-time job. This is how I ended up with only one day off and making $50-$80 extra by cleaning houses for a few hours. As you can imagine, it did not last long. I ended up being frustrated that my business was not going anywhere and those extra bucks were just not cutting it. I had to pull the plug and devote myself to the business. I had to set some goals and accomplish them.
Around the same time, I found out about Institute for Integrative Nutrition (find more about how you can become a health coach here) and I knew I had to enroll and become a health coach – my gut was telling me. Already scared that I might not have the money to buy my MacBook (my goal for last summer) or have a savings account to help me until I make money from Estilo Tendances, I was about to enter a new world, the one of loans.
This was the toughest decision I had to make and it was all based on trust and faith. I kept on telling myself:
“If this opportunity appeared in my life now, there must be a reason for it. Just because I don’t see how I will be able to pay my tuition it does not mean that I won’t pay it.“
We are talking here about a $7,500 loan – if it’s a lot or not, it does not matter, for me it was huge, because I was doing it on my own, with no safety net.
August was the month when the real work began. I started to work like crazy, after work each day and also in my days off. I was obsessed with self-development, I knew that in order to make my dreams a reality I had to work on my beliefs and on what I think it is possible.
September was the month when I bought my MacBook air, the most beautiful jewelry I have ever gotten. The same month we were invited to go to New York Fashion Week (read all about it here) and the first month when Estilo Tendances made money. Oh, and yes, the month I started my Health Coaching school and the last month of working for a different company than my own.
Thankfully, I still had savings to support myself in October, not having a job, but working as much as possible to build my business. Because rent is 5 times higher in US than in Romania, not to mention food and other expenses, we decided to come back home and figure everything out as we move along.
Setting And Achieving My Goals Long Before I Was Ready
At the end of October, we got back home and this is when the real life started to happen. With only $200 in my pocket and a loan for $7,000 (I was paying each month $199) I was looking for rent feeling hungry for my dream life. It was not easy at all, it took us 2 weeks to find a place to move, after endless calls and fights, both with our parents (who did not understand why we were looking for rent when we have no jobs) and between each other because we were confused as well
“Should we move in with our parents? Are we doing the right thing here?”
But, if you trust the universe and if you trust in the process, good things happen. I made it a goal and I applied my blueprint and guess what? We got a beautiful place, close to the city center, in a safe neighborhood and for a price we could only dream about. No one could believe it – we actually found a very affordable place in only 2 weeks. (I say “only” because others looked for a month without any success)
Just because we had the place did not mean we had more money. So, we had to work hard and figure out a way to monetize our businesses (I had Estilo Tendances and Mihai had Male Extravaganza). With plenty of mistakes and huge frustrations, we learned what means to be an entrepreneur the hard way. There were days when we had to decide:
“Are we buying food or are we paying our bills?”
But somehow, we always got through it, month after month. It made us fight more for our dreams and make them happen. How? Through a set of steps that we implemented in order to set our goals and make them happen.
All my big AHA moments came when I was studying. This year they came in the form of B-School, which was the best investment of 2015 and which gave me the clarity for my business. After gaining the clarity, which comes from action – you do not listen to some guru and you figure it out. You actually have to sit quietly and answer a few dozen questions until you realize what you want, how you want it and when will you do it. After I had a much healthier vision than before, I was able to start setting and achieving goals.
The goals that I already achieved in only a few months are:
- Making a steady income that is able to cover all the bills
- Launching WellFitsYou
- Having my first clients for VIP 1:1 Health Coaching service
- Moving to a better place where everything is brand new – including the kitchen and all the pots and pans and utensils (this was a hidden dream of mine)
- Doubling Estilo Tendances’ traffic every 2 months
- A lot of other small goals that get accomplished every week
So, how did I do all this, with so little money and so many bills? What is my secret? Because I want to empower you and any of your friends that get to see this article, I decided to share my own blueprint on setting and achieving goals. Most of the things you might already know, because nothing is new, I am not reinventing the weel, I am just expressing the things that I noticed to work with all my goals.
How To Set And Achieve Any Goal
I am not going to tell you why it is important to have goals or how many types of goals you should have: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. I consider you already know how important they are and that your only struggle at this moment is to set them better and to find a way to achieve them faster.
I have tried to set a goal and achieve it so many times and I have failed so many times, that I was forced to develop a blueprint that will save me time and get me more focused and less frustrated. You might have the perfect goal and then stop – the overwhelming thought of “there are so many things to be done” would trap you and before taking any step towards it, you would just freeze and call it a day. Been there, done that, probably too many times I might add. At the same time, I fought back, I raised above my limitations and were able to accomplish my goals in spite of how hard it seemed. There are a few steps you should take every time you want to set and achieve any goal.
- Put it on paper
Whatever your goal is, write it down first. Take a plain white paper, a blue inked pen and start writing. It does not have to look neat or in perfect grammar, just write everything that comes to mind when you think about this new goal. To make it easier, I will use an example to guide you through it.
To help you get started with this writing exercise, answer these questions:
What is your goal? Be specific, add a timeframe, add details.
Me: The goal is to get me disciplined with my life. I want to be disciplined by 30th of June. By discipline I mean: have a certain hour for going to bed and a certain hour for waking up; having a morning routine that involves meditation, tapping, yoga, writing my to do list and the universe to do list; eat 3 home make meals a day and have 2 snacks; have a working schedule for each of my projects; have a studying time or a self-development time; exercise 3 times a week; go outside everyday – a walk, a run; have me time every day – for self pampering and relationships.
What do you think you need to do in order to make your goal happen?
Me: I think I would need a plan, to create a time frame and put it somewhere where I can see it. At the same time, I might need alarms to keep me focused on what I need to do and I would need accountability – tell my friends about this goal and ask them to keep me accountable for it.
On a scale to 1- 10 how much do you really want to achieve this goal? Why?
Me: I definitely say it’s a 10, because my gut has been telling me about this for months and the signs are almost daily, so it’s time to act now. The reason why I want it so bad to work, it’s because I know this is the key to abundance, to have a healthy life, a healthy family, a successful career and to be the person I was meant to be in this world.
Do not wait until “you have time”, if you are reading this article and you made it until this point, it’s time to act. Do it now.
- Which are your action steps?
Most of the time, when we want to start something we realize there are so many things we need to do. It gets so overwhelming that we just postpone it, we feel it’s just too much and we have no time, energy and will power to do it now.
I totally get you, everyone has the same attitude at first until they use this blueprint. In order to make things look easier, grab your initial paper again and divide the big goal into smaller action steps. It does not matter if there are 100 steps, all it matters is that you have figured them out.
- pick an hour to be in bed
- schedule the alarm to go off in the morning after 7-8h of sleeping – make it the same hour every day
- start tapping
- start meditating
- start yoga
- go out for a daily walk
- create a weekly meal plan
- …. and the list goes on
Your steps: ?
How many action steps are there for you? Do not wait until you have the time or willpower to do this exercise – do it now. You’ll thank me later.
- See what you can do right now
The third step is here and this is all about what you can do TODAY. Although, you might want to start accomplishing your goal next month, or sometimes in the future, it is important that you do something today, otherwise you will keep postponing it over and over again. Engage with it and everything will go as planned.
- start meditating
- start tapping
- start going to bed at 10:30
You would: ?
What are the action steps that you could do today? Write them down.
- Do only one thing at a time
I know you are a superwoman and I know you are capable of doing everything in one day if you put your mind to it – but this is not the plan. The plan is to start small but to be consistent. There is no point in doing 3 action steps today and then not do any for the next week. You need to do a small step every day because this will build trust, confidence and resilience to what is yet to come.
Although I said I can do 3 things today, it would be much better if I could do one of those for the next 21 days. (because in this example it’s all about discipline).
I will start with tapping on a daily basis. This is easy, it takes 5-15 minutes daily and I could totally do it.
What is one thing that you could do today? Pick one from the list you wrote at #3.
- There is always something to improve
Oh, dear, nothing will ever be perfect. There is no such thing as perfection. I know you are waiting for the perfect time, the perfect weather, the perfect situation, the perfect [whatever excuse]… Truth be told, none of these are going to happen, so stop wasting your time.
Each month, you can select a day when you look back and think of ways to improve your actions for the following month. There is no point of waiting, your goals will be achieved when you act, not when you wait.
When I launched WellFitsYou, I still had bugs to fix, pages to create, a whole email course (The 28 Day Challenge to self-discovery was not done, although it was on the website) and none of the social pages. You could say “Oh my, but you were not prepared for launching at all“, but the truth is, if you look now, everything is ready and all my subscribers got the email course in time, without even knowing I was building it daily. If I think about it, it would have taken me at least one month to have everything PERFECT before launching it, but in this time I would have lost the 50 subscribers that I got, and all those hundreds of visits.
Are There Obstacles in the Process of Setting and Achieving Goals?
YES! Of course there are obstacles, their purpose is to make us focus on what we lack, so we can improve and grow faster. If you ask me now “Where you ready for all the obstacles you had to overcome this year?” I would say “Hell, no!” I had no idea it will be so hard, so demanding, so frustrating and so liberating at the same time. I literally thought things would be easier, that month after month we would get better and money will just flow. It did not happen this way, some payments were delayed for months, or some months we just did not make any dollar.
If we would know the path before we would start walking it, most probably we would not take this route – but this is the whole beauty of life. Taking the path no one else has taken, being in total darkness but trusting there is light in the end – this is the joy because it proves just how special and courageous you are.
And the obstacles never really end, no month has been the same and no month was without pain, but the only difference is that with each month that passes we become better. Starting before you are ready is a healing process, is a state of bringing out the true you at a much faster pace.
We learned to be more grateful and to channel the negative emotions better, not by hiding them, but by facing them, accepting them and loving them – because they were a signal of an internal issue we had to solve.
Everything that happens in our outer world is already present in our body. Nothing happens without a reason and every time you face a difficult situation, try to connect with your inner self and see what is there that you need to heal in order for the situation to get solved or disappear.
Every day is a whole new experience with new lessons to learn and new ways to improve. If your days pass without being meaningful, that means that you are blind, deaf and numb to the life that flows through you and no wonder you might face scarcity, loss or physical pain – the universe is trying to talk to you and you cannot hear it. Our physical or emotional pain is a signal, usually a loud one, to make us see what is happening with our life and with ourselves. If you take each sign as a new lesson to learn from, no only you would be happier and more grateful, but also solutions will start to appear way sooner.
Nobody is punishing you, I do not believe in this term because this means there is out there a force (God, Karma, etc) that is ruthless and that wants us to suffer. I believe that we are solely responsible for everything that happens in our world. No one can bless you or punish you beside yourself – your inner energy creates or destroys everything that is surrounding you. Our purpose is to transform and reach the best possible version of ourselves and this most of the time happens through hardships because this is what we think would happen.
Have you Learned Anything about Setting and Achieving Goals?
- What I faced when I first started my business
- How I set and achieved my goals before I was ready
- The blueprint on Setting and Achieving Goals
- The answer to the question “Are there obstacles when trying to set and achieve your goals?” and what they mean
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