The Rainbow of Goal Realization – A Recap

A couple months ago, while brainstorming my next blog series, my husband offered a suggestion. “Maybe you could do something using the colors of the rainbow,” he said. I loved the idea and immediately set to work turning the Roy G. Biv acronym into something related to self-growth. Thus, The Rainbow of Goal Realization was born.

After that, the real work began, because although I had a title, I wasn’t entirely certain of the pathway from desire to triumph. I might have had a few successes of late, but for the most part, I’ve spent a lot more time uncovering avenues that lead away from achievement rather than toward it.

But as I sat with the idea a little longer, as I thought about what it took to go the distance and see a goal through to fruition, the words and steps seemed to fall into place: Reason. Organization. Yes! Go! Become. Inspire. Victory.

What I didn’t realize until hindsight gifted me with a clearer perspective, though, was that as I developed this blog series and encouraged you to take these steps, I was actually taking them right along with you.

Although my ultimate goal is to traditionally publish my novel and my reason for doing so is because “words are important to me and by sharing mine I hope to add joy and inspiration to the lives of those who read them,” there are numerous, smaller objectives that have propelled me forward in my journey.

A few of those stepping stone goals have included building an online presence through social media platforms and a website/blog, finishing my novel manuscript, getting beta reader feedback, and researching and querying literary agents.

But there are two other goals that I’ve had in my procrastinating back pocket for over half a year—doing consistent LIVE Facebook videos and creating a newsletter. And as I made my way through each color of the rainbow, I also began organizing and saying Yes! and getting going on these goals, until one day I arrived at the last one: V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

I did my first Facebook LIVE video last week and my second yesterday, and the forms to sign up for my new author newsletter went live on my website in late February. (By the way, if you haven’t yet subscribed, pop over to the home page, fill out the form, and the first edition will arrive in your inbox mid-March.)

My point is this: I’m not just the author of this blog series, I’m a tried and true representative of its effectiveness. The Rainbow of Goal Realization actual works. Accomplishing a goal by following these steps is not just possible, it’s probable. The caveat: we must be purposeful in order to make it happen.

We have to take the steps. We have to know our Reason and get Organized and commit to saying Yes! and motivate ourselves to Go! and Become and Inspire and then, THEN, comes Victory. Then comes the celebration. Then comes the pride of accomplishment, the recognition of growth, and the increase in confidence.

You can do it, dear friend. You can take that first step. I believe in you. And I am right here with you.

The Rainbow of Goal Realization: Victory

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

I can’t see that word, spelled out in this manner, without hearing the battle cry from my grade school days. But what does victory really mean? What does it look like? Is it defeating an adversary to win the game? Is it crossing the finish line ahead of your own PR? Or maybe it’s simply overcoming an obstacle to reach a goal.

Chances are good victory has meant something different to all of us at different seasons in our lives. But however you define it, when it comes to the seventh and final step in The Rainbow of Goal Realization, specificity is key.

That’s why it’s important to start at the beginning, developing a full understanding of our reason for wanting to achieve this goal, and then getting organized by dividing it into smaller stepping stones.

But unless we have a clear picture of what each of those steps looks like as well as a precise vision of our final destination, it’s difficult to know when we’ve arrived and even more difficult to know when to celebrate.

And celebration is an essential part of victory. It’s how we show genuine appreciation to ourselves and others for a job well done. It’s how we build motivation and encouragement (again, for ourselves and others), recognize growth, and stimulate confidence and determination.

The best part is we get to establish our own definition of victory. We get to set the terms. And it doesn’t have to (nor should it) resemble anyone else’s version.

So spell out what victory looks like to you. And every single time you achieve it, I encourage you to do a victory dance, shout that victory cheer, and celebrate. Celebrate your win like there’s no tomorrow.

The Rainbow of Goal Realization: Inspire

Have you ever been inspired by another person? Maybe it’s a story you’ve heard about someone who has overcome a struggle or hardship. Or a friend or family member with the courage and determination to do that thing she’s always wanted to do. Or perhaps it’s someone who simply has an infectious spirit or zest for life. Someone with those qualities that you have yearned to see in yourself.

Chances are good you’ve said yes. That at some moment (or even several moments) in your life, you have felt a little tug after spending time with that certain person. Or you’ve heard from that tiny voice in the back of your mind after witnessing someone reach for and accomplish a challenging feat.

You can be like that, the voice reminds you. You, too, can do that thing that’s been on your heart to do. And maybe their story even fills you with enough confidence to spur you into action. Because that’s how inspiration works, right? That’s the point. To share the experience and wisdom we’ve gained through our own trials and challenges so others can learn from them too.

I believe it’s part of our calling as human beings. To love and serve and give to each other. To help each other develop and improve skills and grow into better versions of ourselves and just live our best possible lives. And serving as inspiration plays a big role in that. It also plays a big role in our own goals and that’s why Inspire is the next step in The Rainbow of Goal Realization.

Now if you’re asking yourself, “What’s the point? What do I know?” I get it. I have been filled with similar fears and doubts every step along this writing journey. From starting an author Facebook page even before my manuscript was finished to starting this blog.

The internet is already saturated with so much information that I ask myself often what I have to offer. And every time that doubt starts to get the upper hand, I remember something my husband said to me back in September of 2018, a week before I was set to launch that Facebook page.

He said, “Even if something you post only ever resonates with one person, but you never get to know about it, would that be enough?” My answer is the same now as it was then. Yes. The mere possibility of encouraging even one person is enough to keep showing up, to keep opening up, to keep lifting up as much as I can.

Not convinced? Here are a couple more reasons why inspiring others also helps us to reach our own goals:

  1. Reinforcement of good habits. Sharing our successes not only offers others some tried and true footsteps to follow in, but it also helps to bolster the daily practices we’ve found useful in our own pursuits. Think of it as a kind of accountability. After I started blogging about the obstacles I’ve encountered in writing my novel and the steps I needed to take to overcome them, I became less likely to fall back into those old, unhelpful patterns. Having voiced my struggles, it was much easier to see them for what they were and avoid getting repeatedly snagged in the same traps.
  2. New connections equal new growth opportunities. When we share our best practices with others, they are more likely to share theirs with us, and if we can remain open-minded enough, we can simultaneously learn more about them and ourselves. For example, although it is possible to write a book without any outside feedback, it’s probably unlikely to be the best that it can be. When we are really close to our goal—when we take ownership of it and it becomes a part of who we are—it’s difficult to see where our process might benefit from a few tweaks. But being open to receiving another perspective means garnering wisdom that we may not otherwise acquire on our own.

Now, as you prepare to take this next step toward realizing your goal, I encourage you to think about how you might inspire others. Is there a part of your journey that might resonate with your neighbor? Or maybe you have a certain gift or talent that would be beneficial to a local nonprofit. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to share it. Choosing to uplift and cheer for others creates movement that eventually completes a full circle and it won’t be long before you notice that your efforts to inspire have left you feeling, well, inspired.

The Rainbow of Goal Realization: Become

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “you are what you eat,” meaning the health of our body is largely dependent on our food choices. But when it comes to goal realization, I believe a similar sentiment is also true: we are what we do. To realize any goal—especially those big, long-term, scary ones—we need to become the goal.

Let me explain. When I first set out to write my novel, although I did spend some time at my desk writing, I spent even more time doing other, less essential tasks. I’d let fear and doubt take hold and take over, get distracted by thoughts like I can’t or I’m not good enough, and rather than powering through, I’d run away from my computer to do something easier. Something I could complete, control, and cross off my to-do list without having to deal with feelings of discomfort or vulnerability.

My husband and I had moved during this period and so I used that as an excuse for a stretch of time. I became a packer and unpacker, a painter, an organizer, a landscaper. But even after we were mostly settled into our new home, I found many more clever ways to avoid writing. And in the midst of these months and years of little to no progress, I was still adamant that I wanted to be a writer, and many days, even claimed I was one. But if I was being truly honest with myself, I’d have realized that the only thing I was successfully becoming was a procrastinator.

So how did I turn things around? How did I finally start achieving my goals and subsequently finish writing the novel I’d wanted to write? Simple. By actually becoming the writer I wanted to be. What that required of me was adopting and embracing three important traits: courage, commitment, and consistency.

  1. Courage. One of the most difficult things to overcome in goal realization is fear. Fear of failure, fear of appearing foolish, fear of rejection and criticism and judgment. There is so much uncertainty that goes along with stepping out of our comfort zone to do something different and make a change, but doing so is almost always a prerequisite of reaching a goal. And unfortunately, the courage we need to do that usually only comes AFTER we’ve taken that first step. The good news: courage begets courage, so once one step is behind us, we’ll have developed more courage to take the next. But courage is not enough. We must also possess a certain level of commitment.
  2. Commitment. What we want to achieve is what we will make time for, but that desire is not enough. It must be accompanied by the motivation, determination, and endurance to stick with it for the long haul. Much like a marriage, if we truly want to achieve this goal, then we must be devoted to it. We must give it the time and attention it needs to grow and progress even on the days we don’t really feel like it.
  3. Consistency. Progress creates progress which creates more progress. The more consistently we do something, the more it turns into a habit. The more habitual the work on our goals becomes, the more those goals (and our growth and development and effort in reaching them) becomes a part of who we are.

Courage + commitment + consistency = the pathway to becoming our goal, and this equation is the next step in The Rainbow of Goal Realization. Go ahead and take it.

The Rainbow of Goal Realization: Go!

Now that we have defined our reason and created a mission statement for our goal—basically a reminder of what we want to do, why we want to do it, and what we hope to gain—and gotten ourselves organized and committed to saying YES! to our goal, it’s time to get moving.

If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and put your in-place plan into practice. Start today if you can. Don’t fool yourself into believing there will be a better, less busy day when you will have more time and more energy. I dare say that such a day does not exist. And neither do realized goals unless we somehow make them happen.

We can ponder and plan and visualize all day, every day. That’s the easy part. But it’s uncovering that determination and daring to step out of our comfortable routines, that is key to seeing forward progress. Unfortunately, this may also be the most difficult step in The Rainbow of Goal Realization. That’s why starting with our reason, our mission statement, is so important.

That mission statement encapsulates all of the initial hope and energy and motivation that comes so naturally in the early stages. It’s what lights our fire to get us going and it will help keep that fire lit when things get tough. And you can almost guarantee they will. If accomplishing this goal was simple, you’d have done it already.

So keep that mission statement handy and refer to it as often as is necessary to stay encouraged. Here are a few other suggestions to keep you going:

  1. Don’t go it alone. Although it is absolutely possible to realize a goal all on your own, doing it in community is way more fun. So get some accountability from a friend, or a group of friends, or that friend of a friend who you’ve heard has a goal similar to yours. Surround yourself with cheerleaders who will pick you up (and whom you can lift up) when/if you fall down.
  2. Reward yourself for each triumph. Celebrating every smaller stepping stone that you reach on the way to your ultimate goal is a huge momentum booster. This is a great way to acknowledge progress and remind yourself of both where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.
  3. Adjust to interruptions but don’t let them snowball. Don’t beat yourself up when the unexpected happens and throws you off track for a day or two. But allow that day or two to turn into a week or two and you’ll likely find yourself back at square one a month or even a year down the road. Instead, when life gets in the way, adjust your plan, amend your smaller goals if you have to, but get back on track as soon as you can and, if possible, pick up right where you left off.

I hate to sound morbid, but this is the only life we get. We are not promised another tomorrow or another week or another year. We can only be sure of the current moment. Right now. And right now is the perfect time to get started on realizing our goals.

So get ready, get set, and get going!