A lot of people will tell you about all the benefits and happily-ever-afters you'll find once you achieve your goals. (I'm sure I've sent some emails and blog posts along those lines too.)
The thing is, the challenges - the work - are often left out.
Getting there isn't always as glamorous as sipping mojitos on the beach, or being able to wake up every day without setting an alarm.
Sometimes you have an idea, travel-related or not, that gets you excited. Passion is pumping through your veins and you're on your way toward your big dream.
But it gets tough. Or overwhelming. Or leaves you thinking, "Will I ever get there??"
...or maybe all of the above.
There are a few difficult stages we move through when working toward big goals, but if we recognize these, we can keep our motivation up and continue going after it.
They say nothing worth having is ever easy, and...well, it's true.
When you get there, though? It feels pretty great.
Difficult step #1:
Removing those automatic "I can't" statements
That mental block that comes with the automatic "I can't" statements - you know the ones. I'm guilty of saying (or thinking these to myself) in the past, such as:
"I can't travel because it's too expensive. I don't have the time."
"Who, me? I'm not good/smart/savvy/cool enough to start a blog, let alone tell people about it. I can't do it."
"I can't start a business. I have NO idea where to begin."
Do you get a spark when you think about those things, though?
Do you have this itch to travel?
The desire to share your thoughts and advice with the world through an online platform?
Or the drive to start a business?
Everyone starts as a beginner.
Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.
Just because someone else is doing something doesn't mean that you can't do it too.
"I can't" statements are a habit. When you repeatedly think or tell yourself something, you're creating a habit.
Aim to be more aware. Next time you think or say an "I can't" statement, reverse it to "I can" or even better, "I will."
The more you catch yourself, the closer you get to moving past that mental block and changing your negative habit statements into positive ones.
Difficult step #2:
Getting past the fear of failure (in front of those you care about)
The fear of failure isn't what totally stops us...it's the fear of failing in front of those we care about.
It's why so many people have a blog or an online shop that they keep secret from their friends and refrain from posting about it on their personal Facebook page.
We don't want to feel embarrassed if we don't succeed.
I once was talking to this guy I went to college with, and he mentioned he used to have a popular Tumblr blog and then deleted it.
When I asked why he deleted it, he said his friends found out about it - he felt he could be more personal and "himself" finding community with people he didn't know in real life.
If he was having a down day, it didn't really matter to him if his Tumblr followers knew - he didn't want his friends (people he knew and cared about) to not see him at his best.
The best way to push past the fear of failing in front of those you care about? Tell people (and start small if you'd like).
The more people you tell, the more accountable you become, and the more driven you are to succeed.
And if you don't? That's okay. Your family is still your family and your friends are still your friends. More often than not they will support you no matter what.
What if you are met with (non-constructive) criticism? Success is the best revenge. Prove 'em wrong.
Also, keep in mind that some goals take time. Patience is key. If you're putting in the work day after day, you'll get there, whether you have to continue to stay on the same path or alter your course.
I constantly struggle with being patient, and it's something I try to work on every day. I have a TON of goals, large and small, that I just want to happen now.
Getting there requires patience but also this next difficult step-
Difficult step #3:
Putting in the work, once you've figured out your plan of action
Starting can feel overwhelming, but sticking to it is where so many people burn out and give up.
Need some inspiration? This post explains the concept of showing up every day for two years.
Maybe it's having an automatic direct deposit for your travel fund, and not touching it unless there's an emergency.
Maybe it's coming up with a consistent writing and promotion schedule for your blog.
Maybe it's setting aside 30 minutes every day to apply for travel jobs, or plan your upcoming trip.
What got you here, won't get you there.
If you're hitting a plateau and aren't seeing any new growth, it's time to evaluate your processes: What do you need to do to get to the next step? Sometimes it's taking a big leap of faith. Other times it's investing in something that will pay off later on.
Lately, I've been better about tracking my progress with my website and travel planning. I create spreadsheets on Google Sheets and put reminders on my calendar to update the tracking reports weekly.
How can you track your goal progress? Whether it's financial (Mint is a great app for finances), travel planning, job applications, blog building, or business creation...come up with a system to track it, and set reminders on your phone or calendar to update your tracking system regularly.
Regularly tracking your progress provides great motivation to hit your next target and make as much progress as you can before it's time to update your spreadsheet!
I highly encourage you to never give up on your dreams.
Fight for it.
Work for it.
Work harder than you've ever had to in your life.
Take (smart) risks.
Push past any limiting mindset that is preventing you from getting to that next stage.
Small things add up. It's tough, and you'll encounter roadblocks, but keep that end goal in mind.
It's the only way.
You can do it.
Have you experienced any of these stages? What goals are you working toward?