Photo credit: One stop craft shop
I can’t believe it, I really can’t believe it! It’s been one year since I launched 5Y2M.com, and what a mind bending, faith testing, emotional roller coaster ride it’s been. For that I want to say thank you 5 Years 2 Mastery, and Happy One Year Anniversary!
For those who took the time out even just to have a peek at what I was doing with this site I want to also say thank you. For those who messaged, called, emailed, just to let me know how the articles have helped you in some way (small or big), thank you.
For those who have been inspired to take charge and change their lives, and have taken the steps to do so, thank you for confirming to me that I am on the right path.
Over the past year it’s been really rough. To say that I wanted to give up on this mission that I’m on many times is an understatement. However, because I really wanted to see this through, and committed to doing so, every time I thought to quit I chose to press on (and I’m really glad I did).
The challenges aren’t without their rewards, especially for the lessons that they taught me, and lessons reminded throughout this process. As you embark on this new year, I wanted to take the time to share with you some lessons that I’ve learned over the last year of this journey. It is my greatest hope that as you move forward into this new year, these lessons passed on to you will help you to stay the course of the goals that you have this year.
No Matter What Happens Be Grateful
I wanted to start with what probably is the most important lesson I’ve learned, and that is to be grateful. No matter what happens, good or bad, happy or sad, take the time to be grateful. Now I know this is just another cliché that everyone throws around these days, but this is one of those clichés I can swear by.
I’ve found that being grateful not only helps to attract greater good in your life, but there is also a mental therapy behind it. There will be too many days when you’re going to experience challenge after challenge, and you’re going to question if the goal you’re pursuing is really worth it.
Being grateful will help to shift your focus away from all the things that are going wrong, and towards all the things that have gone right. This will help to keep you empowered to continue pursuing your goal when you feel like giving up.
It’s Harder Than You Think
If there’s one lesson that really hit home for me this past year is that any goal you have is harder than you think. We all expect it to be hard, in our minds we know it won’t be easy, but let me tell you something, saying it and experiencing it is two COMPLETELY different things.
It doesn’t even matter if you’ve done it before. If you’re doing it on a much larger or higher scale, then expect that accomplishing the goal will be harder than you think. This is key to keep in mind because you will get to that point where you say to yourself “I didn’t think it would be this hard!” and want to quit. This is where having the right expectation comes in. Once you can accept the fact that it will be harder than you think, then when it does indeed get harder, pushing through and overcoming won’t seem like such an impossible task.
It Takes Longer Than You Think (Patience)
Following up with the last point, another expectation you need to have is that it will take longer than you think.
This was a really big lesson for me this past year. By nature I’m impatient, especially when it comes to my goals (yeah I can admit it). Like anyone else I’m human and I want things to happen fast. I had set a timeline for where I wanted 5 Years 2 Mastery to be in one year. However, looking back at my goals and certain timelines set, I’m laughably and hilariously behind…by maybe two years! Still I’ve learned the importance of being patient and appreciating the process.
This is why I stressed in my post on not setting deadlines when it comes to achieving your goals. It’s okay to have an expectation of when you’d want things to happen, but an even more important expectation is being able to accept that it won’t happen during the time you want it to (and that’s okay).
Having the mindset of working consistently towards the goal, and not focusing so much on when the goal is accomplished, but just living in the expectation that it will, helps you to keep at it even when you aren’t seeing the results you want, in the time you want.
The Victories Are Few, But Worth It When They Come
When pursuing your goal you expect to achieve the goal you’re after right? You expect to fail a few times, but for the most part you will experience a lot of successes? Reality is that’s not true, at least not when you’re just starting something new.
Over the past year I’ve had more failures and disappointments than successes, and that I care to remember, and it was heartbreaking.
Every time I tried something new it wouldn’t work, and I would truly wonder if this was every meant to work. Though the failures and disappointments were many, whenever I did get those small victories (emphasis on small), they made up for every failure and feelings of disappoint that came before.
Understand that through this process you will fail, and there will be more failures than victories, keep at it anyway. When the time comes, and you do experience those small victories, the failures won’t seem to matter anymore.
Focus on the small victories, and work towards them until you get them…then keep going.
No One Will Believe In Your Vision (At First)
This was a huge wake-up call for me, and it will be for you too. Understand that you’re going to experience people doubting you, but I’m sure you already knew that. What you probably didn’t know is that the greatest doubt and skepticism will come from those closest to you. Close friends and family.
When I first started 5 Years 2 Mastery, I told a few people. Some didn’t believe, some laughed, some saw it as a joke. One friend called me ‘Mr. Mastery’ out of ridicule at the time. Still I never allowed the opinions of others to phase me, and by staying consistent, they eventually saw that I was serious about this goal. Now I’m called ‘Mr. Mastery’ out of respect.
No one will believe in you when you first start, it’s just the reality of life. You shouldn’t let it get you down or defeat what you’re trying to achieve. They don’t need to believe in you, you just have to believe in yourself.
Consistency is Key In Everything
This is a good lead into the next point. I don’t know if I even need to stress this point anymore, I’ve been doing it for the past year. I still believe it needs to be said though.
Time and again I have proven to myself the importance of consistency in any goal you wish to achieve. This one is a big one. I don’t care how motivated you feel right now at the beginning of the year, it will fade pretty soon. Motivation is not what will get you to accomplishing your goal, it’s consistency.
Challenges Are Inevitable
Repeat after me “It is a must that I will have challenges in pursuing my goal”. Now say it to yourself several times.
It’s easier to come to grips with this when you aren’t experiencing the challenges, but when they do come the above statement is what you need to repeat and keep in mind. Doing so will allow you to focus more on solutions rather than on the challenge.
If you know that challenges will come, it allows you to mental prepare when they do come.
I can’t even begin to count the challenges that came over the past year, and I’m expecting that there will be more this year. However, what has helped me a lot is my affirmation of “The Greater the Challenge, The Greater the Reward!” When a challenge comes and I repeat this affirmation, it empowers me and even excites me that the challenge is here, because then I know that a reward is soon to follow.
Develop this mindset and when they do come, it will put you in a better mental state to overcome them.
Be Willing to Change Your Approach
Okay I know I’m going to sound like a broken record saying this but this was a really big lesson for me in the past year.
I’m someone who’s big on planning, like really big! My contingency plans have contingency plans, and I’m a stickler for perfection. However, one of the things I had to learn and appreciate is there’s no such thing as a plan set in stone. As a matter of fact the plan isn’t to be followed to its exact detail. The plan really only acts as a guide to keep you on the right path.
When I first started the website I would publish articles. After a time I realized that I wasn’t getting the response I wanted from you guys. I took a step back and thought about what you really needed help with and wanted to know about. At that time six months had passed, and I had to be humble enough to throw out my plans for the next six months to take a completely different approach to my writing and content. It has paid off ever since.
Have your goal, and have a plan to achieve it, but know that the plan you started out with won’t be the same in its execution. Be willing to change your approach to achieve the goal you’re after. Don’t get caught up in the method, as long as it’s moral, legal, and ethical, and doesn’t hurt you or anyone else in the process, then achieving the goal should be your priority, not the method to do so.
Care more about achieving the goal, not the path taken to get there.
Distractions Will Come
This is something I know you already know, that’s why it’s so hard for us to stay focus once we begin working towards achieving a goal. It’s even harder if you no longer feel the motivation and enthusiasm to pursue it.
The thing about it is distractions aren’t only things we think about like negative people, doubters, or going clubbing with your friends knowing you have to wake up early the next day. Distractions can also take the form of enticing opportunities that come, but may not be inline with your goal.
This is one thing that I had to fight a lot with the past year. Many opportunities were opening up to me, and I wanted to pursue them all. Thing is pursuing them would mean it would take away from the main goal and purpose of 5 Years 2 Mastery. It’s not that these opportunities were bad, they were really good, just bad timing. They would have taken away from time I could have dedicated to my main mission and vision.
Have an open mind to new opportunities while you pursue your goals this year. At the same time keep in mind that any opportunity (or person) that isn’t directly or indirectly contributing to the achievement of your goal should be considered a distraction.
No matter how much you love them and value their friendship, if it doesn’t contribute to the goal it’s a distraction.
Remember Why You Started
There will be many reasons that you’ll want to quit on your goals this year. It may be that the challenges seem too much to handle. The ridicule of others or them not believing in you, or maybe you even have trouble believing in yourself (I plan to talk about this more this year). Sometimes it’s just that you’ve loss the zeal and motivation to keep going.
Whatever the reason is, the best way to keep at your goals is to remember why you started pursuing it in the first place. As mentioned, there are many times I wanted to quit on 5 Years 2 Mastery, especially with a new job, coaching others, a 6-year-old, and very little time for sleep. However, what kept me going every time was when I thought back to why I was doing it in the first place.
For you it has to be the same. Ensure first of all that the reason you’re going to do this is emotionally strong and compelling for you, something that you couldn’t see yourself not achieving. Then, when you start to feel like you want to quit, which will happen, think back to the reason you started in the first place.
Feeling Like a Failure Is Normal
Raise your hand if you’ve felt like a failure (my hand is raised). It usually happens when you aren’t seeing any results from the hard work you’re putting in, or when you keep trying and nothing seems to be working.
A lesson that I had to come to terms with is that it’s okay to feel like a failure. Feeling like a failure doesn’t make you a failure, and when you’re pursuing your goals this year, it’s absolutely important you understand the difference.
We’re human, and we will feel negative and like a failure at times. My greatest advice for you is not to stop when you feel this way. Take some time away from the goal (like a day or two), then with renewed perspective go at it again.
When It’s Time To Win Go Harder
The final lesson I learned over the past year is that when it’s your time to win, your ass better go harder than you ever have!
The easier thing to do when you finally get that breakthrough you’ve been praying and working so hard towards is to become complacent. DON’T! This is the time you need to go harder than you’ve been going before.
Reason why I say this is you never know when this opportunity will come again. If you’ve gone through enough failures and patiently waiting for your time, then the last thing you want is for it to come and you miss it.
I’ve been on the side where my opportunity came and I didn’t maximize it, and it set me back several years. It was painful for me, and even depressing. I never want you to experience that.
It’s also important to be aware of when it’s your time. Awareness is the first step to achievement or transformation.
Hopefully everything I’ve gone through can now help you on your own path and journey to achieve the goals you have set for this year. The goal was to empower you to make it through this year, and at the end of the year feel proud that you stuck with any goal you’ve set, regardless if you achieve it or not.
No matter what happens you’re a winner as long as you don’t quit. It’s easy to quit, the hardest part is staying committed to the vision when you want to quit. You’ll develop what I call the Winning Identity if you can stay the course .
To your success this year my friend!
Share this with every single person you know. Let’s empower as many people as possible to stay the course of their goals this year!
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