I once read a beautifully simplistic quote that said, “It’s a dream until you write it down, then it is a goal.”
A few years ago, I wrote down the words: Angela Urquhart, Published Author. Last week, I took a massive leap forward into making those words a reality—I handed in the manuscript of my book, Dramatically Zen, to my publisher.
I then immediately proceeded to do 3 cartwheels, 2 roundhouse kicks, and a barrel turn down my street. Then did a weird laugh-cry hybrid thing. Oh, and popped champagne and drank it directly from the bottle.
The moment I had been waiting for for a very long time had finally arrived, and it was glorious. But this feeling of satisfaction didn’t come easy. In fact, this epic feeling of accomplishment arose from some very dark moments.
A few years ago, before I wrote down my big goal, just about everything crappy happened at once. The worst of these moments was when my beloved Nonno passed away. With all that happened, I knew I couldn’t go on living the life I had to that point—everything was different.
But something poignant tends to happen when you are faced with life’s setbacks. Light shines down on you, and you have the chance to reinvent yourself into an even more fabulous version. You can never again approach life without looking at the bigger picture—that big picture is happiness.
Those dark moments propelled my life on an entirely different trajectory and, as Drake would say it best, “nothing was the same.”
From those low moments, I instead decided to focus on what made me happy and what I was truly passionate about. Journaling became an important step in this process, where I let my imagination and creativity run freely. As I narrowed my thoughts down further, it came to light that I wanted to travel, write, and finally, complete a book.
The second I wrote my goal down, my accountability became real. I had direction and an escape route out of my dark moments.
What came next, my friends, were the best moments of my life. My travels to Thailand, Australia, and Bali provided me not only with high levels of confidence and courage I never knew I had, but also the material for that book I sought to write.
The mission of writing a book would remain upon returning from my travels. That huge, overarching goal was an invisible arm pushing me to become the best version of myself through the process. Even when things got hard, even when I revamped the entire format of my book, and even when I was faced with some crappy life moments yet again, the goal of completing the book is what remained constant and pushed me back to a place of hope and inspiration.
Instead of floating around in my everyday, my big goal served as a constant motivational reminder of achieving my highest potential. This goal contained a silent force that, while following its fundamental encouragement, brought a more definitive purpose to my every day.
It definitely sucks that sometimes it takes the bad in order to really experience the good—but it can be the kick in the ass needed to set that life-changing goal.
I’m now in the habit of goal-setting and striving to live a life that’s filled with creativity and excitement. My book was the biggest goal I had ever set for myself, and now that a huge part of fulfilling that goal is complete, I am open and ready to start creating some new, ridiculous, and awesome goals.
And you can do this too!
Think about what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you. Your goals present your inner desires. What do you want to create in your life? What is your big, awesome, ridiculous goal, where the very thought of achieving it gives you butterflies?
Determine what fills you with excitement and happiness and how you can point all those things to one target.
- Be specific. The more you define your goal, the clearer the path will be to achieving it.
- Write it down.
- Visualize your goal and keep that as a guiding force.
- Take action. Do something today that will help you move closer to your goal. It could be as simple as reading an article about someone who’s done something similar or registering for a class that provides the tools you need to achieve it.
You got this.