Okay, so we all know that a lot of the advice that people give one another when it comes to reaching goals doesn’t work. We’ve all heard the dime store philosophies about believing in yourself and following your dreams. It always makes me want to say: ‘where did my dreams go? I’m trying to follow them!’

Anyway, like a lot of people, I always wanted to write a book. However, like a lot of people, what I really meant was: I would like to have written a book. The actual writing part always got away from me. Naturally, I tried listening to all of the people who talked about how I should ‘follow my dreams’ and ‘believe in myself.’ Well, the book still sat there getting unwritten.

It’s only two years later, and I wrote the book. Even if it doesn’t meet anyone else’s standards, it meets mine. In that time, I managed to learn something that was even more valuable: the 5 important tools to reach your goals.

Pacing Yourself

You can’t write a book overnight. You can’t do anything that’s worth doing overnight, and a lot of people seem to feel like they can and that they should. You should stop being so hard on yourself and allow yourself to have a lot of reasonable and incremental successes.

I told myself that as long as I wrote a little bit each day, I’d be fine. That’s what I did. Eventually, I wrote the whole book. Not all goals have the same defined beginning, middle, and end as a novel. The thing is, you’re still going to have a lot of initial steps and then those initial steps are going to lead to a lot of big goals. Focus on taking the initial steps first.

Celebrate Your Incremental Successes

I basically rewarded myself every time I finished another page. That’s what you should do every time you actually do something that helps you accomplish the goal that you care about so much. Remember that lots of people never even manage to get that far. You did, and you should actually be happy about that. The rewards, whatever they are, will help to give you the energy to keep going anyway.

Emotional Support

I had some pretty toxic people in my life when I first started the book. They couldn’t stop telling me that I was too young to be a good writer, that the book was going to be terrible, that getting anything published was hard and writing a book didn’t count if you couldn’t get it published by a traditional publisher, and that I should basically listen to everything that they said. Those people are out of my life now. It wasn’t just because of the book thing, but that didn’t help.

You need people who are actually going to provide you with the emotional support that you need in order to accomplish your goals, and the emotional support that you need in general. If you have people in your life who are constantly tearing you down, it’s going to be harder for you to even function, much less do something awesome.

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Setting Realistic Goals

Writing a novel is a realistic goal. People do it all the time. Becoming a billionaire is not. Most of the people who did that were either millionaires to begin with, or they didn’t actually set out to be billionaires. They just ended up that way. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to set goals that are actually going to be possible. Otherwise, you’re just going to feel like you can’t accomplish anything, and that’s not true and not fair.

Learning From Failure

The people who succeed the most have also failed the most. It’s just part of what happens when you try a lot of things. I never show people all of the rejected dialogue scenes that I wrote for my book. They only see the great finished product. That’s all that anyone’s going to see with your finished goals, too, and don’t worry about the mistakes that you made along the way. If the mistakes were learning experiences, they were actually good, and you should be thankful you made them.

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