Life on Purpose—What to Do When Dreams & Goals Fizzle

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

We’re a few weeks out from the New Year and many of us are struggling. I don’t think I am saying anything crazy when I assert that most of us would LIKE to improve. We want to learn and grow and be better over time. No one dreams about being broke, stressed, overweight and unhappy. That’s a given and you might even laugh at that notion.

Yet, nature abhors a vacuum.

I dream of a floor I can’t find because I’m SO behind on laundry it’s more of an archaeological project than housework.

Yeah…NO.

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But I need to ask the hard question: If we aren’t dreaming of all that bad stuff? What are we dreaming about?

I’ve consulted countless business people and writers. Conversations are VERY telling. Some people are so afraid of failing that they never make a decision. Yet, no decision is STILL a decision. Additionally, I will talk to people, and they’ll tell me ALL the things they can’t do. Okay, tell me what you CAN do.

See, if we don’t focus on something positive, achievable and actionable, we leave a vacuum and that’s where entropy (chaos) loves to creep in.

Since no one sane is likely to have a goal of never finishing a book or living in stretchy pants forever or being sick, broke and tired, we can already dismiss this notion that we deliberately set negative goals. Most of us aren’t going to do that.

Ah, but we can end up inadvertently setting negative goals by not putting something we WANT in the vacuum.

We are born to create. Humans are creative beings. Now, we can create beauty, destruction or wasted space, but our nature IS to create. To deny our nature is a formula for frustration.

Leave a preschooler unattended ten minutes and this proves my theory. If we as parents/adults fail to provide that kid with something positive to act upon? Lord help the electronic devices, because that kid is going to test the theory of “How Many Goldfish Will Fit in the XBox?”

I look away FIVE MINUTES!

I look away FIVE MINUTES!

Thus, the first step to changing is to set goals. We’ve talked about this before and setting goals is a great start because we can’t get to a place we haven’t taken time to define.

And this is not Inspiration Guru Positive Think Your Way to Wealth Stuff. The nature of our JOB as authors has changed and we are much more active players in the business side of our business.

Show me a business with no mission statement, no business plan, no actionable and measurable goals? I’ll show you a space that will be up for rent within the year.

The Mind is POWERFUL

Image and quote courtesy of SEAL of Honor on Facebook.

Image and quote courtesy of SEAL of Honor on Facebook.

I love reading inspirational works. I highly recommend them. Why? Because society is seriously screwed up. And it MAKES money off keeping us screwed up, so society has zero intentions of EVER being positive and healthy.

When we were kids and wanted to be a writer or dancer or astronaut, adults all clapped and cheered. Then we hit this age when suddenly the grown-ups changed their tune. “Yeah that’s cute, but time to grow up, Kid.”

This is when most dreams die. We are bombarded with negativity. We are told that dreams are reckless, dumb, unachievable, blah blah blah. In fact, we are told this SO much, we need deprogramming or we can become our own worst enemy.

We can’t achieve what we can’t conceive. Our mind is the map, so stop letting others spill goo on your map!

This is one of the reasons I’ve done a lot of blogging about relationships and setting boundaries and limiting contact with toxic people.

We all have them or have had them. People who like to complain, make excuses, indulge in their feelings all the time. People who have a new dream every other week. I wanna be an actor, no a writer, no a vacuum salesman, no a journalist!

Ditch writers (and other people) who spread stinking thinking. Laziness, apathy, and whining are contagious. Treat excuses like EBOLA. A friend coughs blood excuses all over you, and, within two to three days, you start coughing up blood excuses, too…until your dream of being a writer liquifies and bleeds out and I hope you’re happy with yourself.

Killer.

Faith Without Works is Dead

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We’ve already established that the condition of our mind and spirit is VITAL. We are going to have a really hard time achieving anything notable (like getting out of bed) if our mind is crapped up with:

I’m too old, too poor, too short. Why bother? 

Okay, I gotta stop typing before I depress myself. Y’all are smart and get the idea.

However, this next step is where I believe a lot of inspiration-self-help falls short. YES, we must learn to discipline our mind and emotions. Show me a successful person and I will show you someone who developed self-discipline.

Here’s the thing. I can “envision” I have the body of an athlete all day long. It’s probably better than going around calling myself fat all the time.

But the rubber must eventually meet the road.

I need to get in the gym. What we feed will always grow stronger. If we feed the idea we can do nothing? Guess what? If we feed the idea we can achieve something remarkable? It grows. Starve out the bad and feed the good. How do we feed? With thought and ACTION.

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My goal is to one day be a New York Times BSA. Great goal, but I only have limited control over this. Remember, goals should be defined and actionable. Since I am fairly sure no unfinished book has become a NYT runaway success with an HBO series, I can start with, “I am a finisher.”

This is why I don’t put a lot of stock in the Name It and Claim It. Or Envision It and It Will Magically Manifest. Yes, our will and emotions need training. When we’re new, our mind and emotions resemble a puppy that pees on the carpet and chews on shoes. Yet, wishing cannot replace working.

We can stand in the mirror and repeat, “I am a NYTBSA” over and over, but deep down, our spirit will call us a liar (because we are). BUT, if we make the goal of becoming a NYTBSA and break it down? We now have something actionable.

I am a finisher.

I prioritize writing/exercise/family/financial discipline.

Baby steps count.

I believe in sacrifice.

This is when small actions begin to reinforce our bigger ideas. When I finish cleaning out a closet, I am buttressing that new core goal that I am a finisher. When I turn down a movie to finish revisions? I have a small victory that strengthens that new belief growing inside.

Eventually these “small” victories create confidence and habits that are essential for achieving that BIG goal. Maybe I will never be a NYTBSA, but I stand A LOT better chance if I learn to finish what I start (and practice that habit in multiple areas of life).

Though it would be a super cool power, I have not wished almost 1000 blogs and 5 books into existence😉 .

Order is NOT Natural

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Geriant Rowland

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Geriant Rowland

Yes, we are creative beings. That is our nature, but we also have to appreciate the nature of Nature.

Whoa, that was deep.

Ever gone driving in the country? Maybe to some places people haven’t been? In your travels, did you round the bend and stumble across a field of perfectly lined rows of plants producing abundant crops and no weeds in sight? It just did it on it’s own. Like all the peach trees lined up one day and rebuked all dandelions and crabgrass?

Have you run across a perfectly manicured spot of ground? You know. All the grass was lush and green and only 1.5 inches tall and the edges perfectly sharp? And nature did this all by itself?

Um, likely not.

The thing is, Nature is awesome, but it’s also chaotic. Leave a parking lot abandoned a couple years and what do you see? Nature likes weeds and chaos and rubble. There are rocks and large ant hills and, if no rain falls, the soil (at least in Texas) turns into a BRICK.

What this means is that to make the most of our nature we have to tame Nature. We are going to have to do things that are VERY unnatural. It is NOT natural to sit and write 100,000 words. It is NOT natural to choose cleaning out the garage over going to a movie. It is NOT natural to eat chicken instead of a double-fudge brownie. When in a fight with a significant other? It is NOT natural to put aside ego.

In fact, when we make these New Year’s Resolutions, the largest hurdle we have is we are now doing a LOT of stuff that is NOT natural. And thing is? For most of us?

It never will be.

I consider myself a fairly disciplined person. I work out a lot because I do Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and I take a beating 3-4 days a week (which, willingly signing up to get your @$$ kicked is NOT natural). And I do great…and then the sink breaks and Hubby gets a cold and the e-mail piles up and, because of all the chaos? I get out of the habit.

EASILY.

Pretty soon that next season of Warehouse 13 is looking A LOT better than going to the gym. Pthththt. I can always start back next week. And I know I was going to make chicken for dinner, but then I’d have to clean the kitchen, and…

Why is this?

It’s because as disciplined as I love to believe I am? My NATURE digs entropy. My nature LOOOOVES stretchy pants and scrunchees. My nature starts questioning the sanity of walking up 105 flights of stairs that go nowhere…O_o .

Thus all of this is to say, yes. You probably are tired and likely that diet and exercise program started collecting dust about three weeks ago. You still haven’t finished the book and on and on and on and guess what? Don’t sweat it. Just start again. Drag out the mower and edger. Keep this as a cheat-sheet:

Clean up our thoughts. Nothing edible grows in poisoned soil.

Choose friends wisely. No company better than bad company and all gardens fare better with a FENCE.

Make the big goal(s).

Break down the big goal(s) into actionable pieces.

Act on the goal(s).

Smaller successes will reinforce the belief we can ACHIEVE the goal(s). Increased confidence=increased momentum.

Understand we will always be taming our nature. When setbacks come? Understand they will. It’s just how life works. It’s life. No one gets out alive😀 .

You got this! Have you been feeling a bit down and out? Maybe you lost sight of where you were headed? Have you struggled against your own nature? I have. Didn’t always win either. Do you find it hard to set boundaries? Are there toxic people you KNOW are poisoning you and yet you just can’t seem to get that fence built? Have you learned to become a finisher? What did you do differently?

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of FEBRUARY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by lynettemirie on February 9, 2015 - 1:25 pm

    Wonderful blog! I am already actively putting it into practice and sending it to my friend to encourage her to do the same. Thanks as always.

  2. #2 by MonaKarel on February 9, 2015 - 1:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Mona Karel Author.

  3. #3 by MonaKarel on February 9, 2015 - 1:33 pm

    We can’t hear this enough times.

  4. #4 by jrosebooks on February 9, 2015 - 1:44 pm

    “And it MAKES money off keeping us screwed up, so society has zero intentions of EVER being positive and healthy.” YES!!!

    Improvement is definitely a challenge and I think one of the hard parts is remembering to start where you are. If you are in the beginning, and have serious issues, maybe you’ll only be able to make one small adjustment – but just keeping up that one adjustment can make all the difference.

    I’ve spent 10 years letting go of unwanted, deep-rooted beliefs, and I STILL run into situations that make me boil. But at least now, I have to tools to work through the challenging thoughts and find my peace again.

    Personally, I like affirmations, especially those from Louise Hay’s book, but you are right, you have to combine them with actionable steps AND you HAVE to have someone else in your life to support you on this path, and to talk about what you’re going through.

    At the moment, I’ve been enjoying the tactics of Robin Sharma’s videos (a few items which Kristen mentioned above). I’m a logical (and still chaotic person pulled in several directions), and I like his straight-forward actionable strategies.

    • #5 by ontyrepassages on February 9, 2015 - 8:47 pm

      Thanks for the ideas. I moved a long way to escape the toxic people who’d invaded my life, but when the echoes moved in I became the toxic person in my life and I’m trying to breakout of that mindset. As you say, society wants us unhealthy. Negative, unhealthy people spend.

  5. #6 by Melissa Lewicki on February 9, 2015 - 1:50 pm

    Could you please give us some examples of inspirational books you would recommend? Thanks. Hope your day goes well. Mine is so far.

    • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2015 - 2:07 pm

      One of my ALL-Time favorites is, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” I love Seth Godin’s books. I like business books, because I think there are a lot more practical applications. I also recommend “Failing Forward” by Maxwell. “Jesus: CEO.” “7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” “Eat That Frog.” “War of Art” by Pressfield. I have a lot of these books. I read them to feed my spirit😀 .

  6. #8 by JMR on February 9, 2015 - 1:50 pm

    Resolve is the drill sergeant that drives you to charge at the challenge for the chance to plant your flag at the top of the hill. Thanks for the sage word of advice and inspiration!

  7. #9 by coldhandboyack on February 9, 2015 - 2:05 pm

    Great post today, and so true.

  8. #10 by henrykelechi on February 9, 2015 - 2:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Welcome to Gist Blog.

  9. #11 by Evelyn Puerto on February 9, 2015 - 2:09 pm

    Just what I needed to read today!

  10. #12 by Richard Perth on February 9, 2015 - 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the boost. You might like the article on Self-reliance on Richard Perth’s Blog at richardperth.com It’s short, but it has an original point of view.

  11. #13 by marcia23 on February 9, 2015 - 2:12 pm

    I’ve lost sight! As soon as I finished the rough draft of a book and sent it off to my critique group, I stopped writing. I don’t even come up with ideas for writing. I don’t even read anything about writing except your blog. I don;t think I have the desire to do the months of rewriting that I know is ahead of me once I get comments back from fellow writers. But, I’m hoping when all this snow clears up and kids are finally back in school in a regular basis, I’ll get my mojo, and some free time, back.

  12. #14 by A. D. Smith on February 9, 2015 - 2:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Confessions of a Burned-Out Caregiver and commented:
    I couldn’t have said it better! As I mentioned recently, I’m trying to be more “positive”. While my subject matter will won’t necessarily be “positive”, I can still put order to it and have an end goal in mind. Enough rambling and time to be purposeful.

  13. #15 by Liz Crowe on February 9, 2015 - 2:23 pm

    great advice. hating this job right now, no lie.

  14. #16 by betnew on February 9, 2015 - 2:35 pm

    Reblogged this on betnew and commented:
    Reblogged on betnew, A Tough Nut to Crack.

  15. #17 by TymberDalton on February 9, 2015 - 2:49 pm

    I. LOVE. THIS.

    I have “The Secret” and Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principle” in audiobook and sometimes those are my “writing playlists” when I find myself flagging. It helps me stay focused even though I’m not “listening” to them. Part of me still “hears” while I’m writing.

    And Flylady.net Ooooh, for the non-born-organized like myself, she’s a miracle worker. She teaches (free) how to take babysteps and create new habits and how you can do anything in 15 minutes at a time, and that it’s all about progress, NOT perfection.

    Yes, it is all the hard choices, even the small ones, that build up into success over time. I see new writers who think they’re going to write one book and make it rich, and I have to fight not to laugh in their faces. Or writers who whine about all they want to do is WRITE (when that’s just the EASY part of the whole enchilada of being an author in today’s world).

    It’s keeping on keeping on, one foot in front of the other, without giving up. Even if it’s only a little progress every day, it’s about progress, not perfection, and not giving up.

    ((HUGS)) Thank you for all you do for us writers. We might not say it to you enough, but it is greatly appreciated.❤

    • #18 by Laura on February 9, 2015 - 10:48 pm

      I love the idea of having the inspirational audio books as your writing playlist. I have several CDs of speeches by Bill Harris that I haven’t listened to for quite a while. I should put them on while i’m writing.

  16. #19 by Laura Irrgang on February 9, 2015 - 3:11 pm

    I really needed to read this post today. THANK YOU!
    And I agree with Tymber…FlyLady has really helped me take bab ysteps toward making my home manageable.
    I’m going to go work on that fence now.

  17. #20 by Lanette Kauten on February 9, 2015 - 3:20 pm

    Your timing is perfect. I’m under a deadline by my publisher, but I haven’t felt like writing. Instead, I’ve been engaging in Facebook debates with my favorite liberal atheist, reading countless articles, and playing computer games. I’ve also done productive things like teaching my son, taking care of the house, and going to my dance classes. But one thing I haven’t been doing is working on my contracted project. I’ve tried. I’ve pulled up the books on Word, reformatted them, play with new titles, and occasionally, I’ve even written a few words. A six hundred word scene written in two weeks! Accomplishment!

    Today, I decided I needed to do something. I left my son home (it’s okay, he’s a pre-teen) and went to a cafe. I wrote. Everything I had been struggling with and avoiding flowed easily. I didn’t think to take my computer to the cafe, but as soon as I sat down, I grabbed my notebook out of my purse and started writing a new scene. I needed to get out of the house. I needed to get away from my adorable, energetic, talkative kid and just write. Every day I will write a little more. If I have to get away from the noise and the distraction of all the fun things on my computer then I will do that, whatever it takes to finish before the deadline.

  18. #21 by frenchc1955 on February 9, 2015 - 3:40 pm

    Thank you for an excellent post! Your observations about setting goals and acting on them are crucially important for success in any field. Again, thanks!

  19. #22 by Tiefsa on February 9, 2015 - 3:58 pm

    That’s so bizzare. I’m reading your latest book now and just wrote about my lifetime goals. Great word of advice on how to not set “evil” goals.

    • #23 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2015 - 6:47 pm

      Hey, all things for a reason😉 . When we are ready the teacher appears…

  20. #24 by ariefarnam on February 9, 2015 - 4:08 pm

    I have always lived what you write here and I used to believe every word of it. When I was seven, I lived in a tin-roofed shack in the middle of nowhere, I was legally blind and teachers didn’t want me at school, let alone the kids. I decided I wanted to learn Spanish, so I borrowed a Spanish textbook and I learned Spanish. Then I went and hung out with Spanish-speaking migrant kids and I spoke Spanish.

    When I was twenty-two I finished college and I wanted to be a foreign correspondent for a national newspaper and write all over the world. I was told that one in ten thousand young people who express that goal ever make it. I was told that the only ones who ever make it are rich people with inside connections. I was dirt poor and completely unknown. I packed my bags and went to Kazakhstan. In three years I was a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Kosovo and a contributor to Business Week. I was still legally blind and still broke and without major publishing-world connections. (That said, the only way I became a correspondent was through networking. Good journalists are a dime a dozen. I was given the gig by a friend who had the chance to give one person a leg up. He picked me and I have never been able to figure out exactly why. So, luck plays a big part too.)

    So, don’t get me wrong, I know what you mean. I like the graphic, “I don’t need easy. I need possible.” That’s it exactly.

    The problem is this. I’ve never been discouraged in my life until now. When the issue is huge competition and a popularity contest, as it is today for writers, it is no longer enough to be self-motivated, disciplined, set goals and take action. When I taught myself Spanish at the age of seven it was about just doing it. It was all sweat and will power, no luck or social approval needed. When I broke into international journalism it needed a bit of luck and networking but by doing the hard work and taking the risks I already beat out 9,900 of my competitors. I was only competing with about 100 people by the time I got that lucky break. Beating out the 9,900 was sheer hard work, stamina and discipline.

    Today, that isn’t the case. When you are starting at the bottom with writing and publishing today you are up against hundreds of thousands, not ten thousand. And by sticking with it and having discipline you’ll only beat out about half of the competition. The real test is who has the advertising clout, the social magnetism and the right connections. You may think that most people are having a hard time with their New Years resolutions by February and maybe most are. Not me. I am going strong and loving it. That is because this is the life I want to have. It isn’t hard to stick to a writing schedule, exercise regimen and marketing plan. That is the easy part! It is an incredible privilege to have the time to even try to do it. The only difficulty is knowing that when savings run out, that privilege will be gone and I’ll be back at a job that kills my soul.

    “I don’t need easy. I need possible.” Today I’m not seeing the possible part. Can you give us any hope here? I want to believe in this thing. I never thought I would run up against a challenge I couldn’t meet but I never took on something before that appeared to require so much luck and social prestige first and foremost. I need a little realistic hope.

  21. #25 by jcucreativewriting on February 9, 2015 - 4:23 pm

  22. #26 by naomimgruer on February 9, 2015 - 4:27 pm

    Great post! Nice idea to celebrate being a “finisher,” and I’ve been thinking about writing a Mission Statement.

  23. #27 by katkent2014 on February 9, 2015 - 4:38 pm

    I really needed to read this today. Thank you. I know I’m a writer because my house, which use to be spotless, is a mess. I’ve made writing my priority, but I can’t seem to finish my WIP. Too much of life happens and takes me in different tangents. Thank you for mentioning breaking down the big goal into actionable pieces. So helpful and doesn’t seem so huge. I would only add, you really have to have your heart in it to achieve your goals. Without heart; there is no passion.
    When my heart is in it; everything else seems to flow.
    Thanks again for a great article, Kristen.

  24. #28 by katkent2014 on February 9, 2015 - 4:41 pm

    Reblogged this on writersback and commented:
    Helpful article…love this.

  25. #29 by philosophermouseofthehedge on February 9, 2015 - 5:03 pm

    Yep, toxic people/environments kill in all sorts of ways. If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.
    Fork in the road? There is no right or wrong way – only the way you chose. The only way to lose is to not make a choice or to repeatedly question the choice and wonder if you should have gone the other way.
    That black illustration with the grey letters is so on target. (and it takes action – not just wishing.)

  26. #30 by impossiblebebong on February 9, 2015 - 5:25 pm

    These one is for hanging on the wall where I can see it when the going gets tough. Very well said and riddled with painful truth.

  27. #31 by Catherine Brockette on February 9, 2015 - 5:28 pm

    Thanks for this reminder. I needed the kick in the pants!

  28. #32 by Deborah Makarios on February 9, 2015 - 5:36 pm

    Baby steps, baby steps… Right now I’m struggling with energy levels due to an iron deficiency – which of course makes it harder to exercise, which makes me more sluggish, and – well, let’s draw the veil of charity over the date on which the dishes last got washed, shall we?
    But here’s what I CAN do: I can prop myself up in bed with pen & paper and rework the structure for my PIP (Play In Progress). Baby steps…

  29. #33 by redbeesknees on February 9, 2015 - 5:41 pm

    Thank you for this. This was the pep talk I needed today. I had let ths entropy win for a week, but now I am ready to take control again.

  30. #34 by givethosewomenablog on February 9, 2015 - 5:44 pm

    Kirsten, you may be interested in reading my piece on dreams, fear and mediocrity. Hope you like it!

  31. #35 by Peter Torjesen on February 9, 2015 - 5:59 pm

    This is so true and I have gone a long way to writing down my goals. Now I just need to find a way to convince my co-author to do the same…

  32. #36 by Joe Kovacs on February 9, 2015 - 7:45 pm

    Most people tend to avoid discomfort. You mentioned how tempting it is to do something like watch a movie instead of going through revisions, or to have a double-fudge sundae instead of chicken, or to be ego-centered instead of selfless when arguing with a loved one.

    Doing these thing helps us avoid discomfort. And yet when we do what you call “something unnatural”, that truly is the space where we grow and inch closer to our goals. It is not a pretty sight by any means, going through such a process, and that is likely why most people fail to reach their goals. But if you set your goals and do the hard, unpleasant and unpopular work required to reach them, you’re more likely to succeed.

    I do like though that you also mentioned at the end (in context of your interest in becoming a NYTBSA) that there is no guarantee. That was brave and honest, so kudos to you for that. But nothing in life is guaranteed, so maximize the chance you will succeed by working hard and finding that zone of discomfort.

    Discomfort isn’t the part of the path you go through to get to the glory; it is the path itself. It is the glory. Thanks, Kristen, for a great post. Off to tweet it! Joe

  33. #37 by shericonaway on February 9, 2015 - 8:34 pm

    It’s wonderful to read a post in which someone truly understands the choices and the challenges and the breaking things down into smaller pieces. I found that while my home was all cluttered, my mind was the same, but that just taking it one small project at a time, things are much better organized and it is far easier to sit down and write regular blog posts or add a couple of thousand words to one of my novels in progress, or finish some work for a client. Not only that, I just feel better not having to fight my way through a bunch of stuff to get where I need to go. And I love your positive energy and assertions. I will definitely be back to read what you share.

  34. #38 by ontyrepassages on February 9, 2015 - 8:48 pm

    I need that kick-ass teddy bear to move in with me. He looks like a motivator!

  35. #39 by ashokbhatia on February 9, 2015 - 9:19 pm

    Great insights!

  36. #40 by Laura on February 9, 2015 - 9:39 pm

    I adore you, Kristen. I have some pretty huge issues with fencing, lol. There are huge gaps in my fences.

    I also seem to only be able to keep three balls in the air at a time – work (the outside job which funds the other two balls), the writing (which takes up most of my free time), and my “homesteading” project, which takes up about 50% of my mental power because I think about it non-stop… finally bought the land (38 acres!), now trying to work out the logistics of getting a cabin shell to put on the property and finish out, move stuff from three different locations to there, obsessing over solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems, etc. Cooking? Cleaning? Eating on a regular basis? It’s a good thing I live alone… lol.

    But I will finish those three!🙂

  37. #41 by Paola on February 9, 2015 - 9:40 pm

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I haven’t quite found the right balance between “working hard towards my goal” and “maintaining my sanity.”😉

  38. #42 by thejoshuagenerationministries on February 9, 2015 - 10:36 pm

    I’m motivated to finish what I’ve started!!!

  39. #43 by mcneese30518 on February 9, 2015 - 10:40 pm

    I feel like I’m at that point in my writing journey. I started this blog a month ago, and have hit a wall. Sure, I can write out stories, which is a goal for this blog. Outside of that, what do I have?

    You’re right about setting actionable goals and fighting against nature. I’ve been tempted to throw in the towel many times in my writing journey because I lacked the discipline to adhere to a consistent schedule. I keep putting it off mostly because I feel like I have nothing to write about when there is plenty to write about.

    If I am going to call myself a writer, I need to start acting like a writer, not just saying it. I need to set a time to write and write anything that pops in my head.

    Thank you for this post. It’s the jump start I need to continue this endeavor.

    • #44 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 10, 2015 - 9:33 am

      Well, if you haven’t gotten my latest book, Rise of the Machines, it may help you with the blogging. Other than that? Over-thinking is the enemy. Just do it.

  40. #45 by Nicole on February 10, 2015 - 12:45 am

    This is great! A lot of it is things that I already ‘know’, but haven’t packaged together. Thank you!

  41. #46 by handikwani02 on February 10, 2015 - 2:01 am

    Great post, my problem has been having great ideas and yet never seem to carry them out. Witth my blog the biggest discouragement has been lack of viewers and that seem to put me off even writing. I am committing myself to trying some of the ideas you have shared and see where it gets me. I lack the discipline of ‘keeping at it’ because as far as my blogging is concerned I never seem to get comments about what I write therefore I conclude that I a rubbish writer hence my inconsistence in regularly blogging. I hope as a result of your post I may feel motivated to keep having a go.

    • #47 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 10, 2015 - 9:32 am

      When I began blogging, I didn’t do it for the “views.” I did it because I knew it forced me to develop self-discipline and to meet self-imposed deadlines. Eventually the readers appeared, but not for a LONG time. Just think, when you DO hit that tipping point—which you will—you will have a vast body of blogs for readers to peruse, share and fall in love with. Keep pressing!

      • #48 by handikwani02 on February 10, 2015 - 1:35 pm

        Thank you ever so much Kristen you have no idea what this means to me. Like you say my reason for blogging in the first place was ( a) to develop my writing skills since I had never been trained to write I was training as I was writing. (b) was to use the blogging as a spring board for my writing career. Your words have reignited what I had completely lost thelove of wanting to write becauseof lack of ‘views’ andfeed back from fellow bloggers so that I would feel I was on the right track. Thank you ever so much.

  42. #49 by Henrika Frost on February 10, 2015 - 2:20 am

    Reblogged this on Sunsets and more and commented:
    So many points ring a bell in this post by Kristen Lamb. Especially when I’ve been my own worst enemy the last month or two and I’ve let apathy take over my creativity. I acknowledge it, and I can and will change it. I refuse to let this funk become the status quo. Get ready keyboard, I’m going to be writing today.

  43. #50 by mahadevi2014 on February 10, 2015 - 2:30 am

    Reblogged this on YogadeinRaum and commented:
    nice

  44. #51 by anstapa on February 10, 2015 - 2:44 am

    Kristin – I only discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and it’s quickly become one of my favourites. Thank you for giving us such smart inspiring witty posts.

    • #52 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 10, 2015 - 9:30 am

      LOL, eh, you are close. Don’t sweat it and THANKS! Happy you are enjoying it because I do work super hard.

  45. #53 by anstapa on February 10, 2015 - 2:45 am

    And of course, I meant Kristen!

  46. #54 by donaldkennethwalker on February 10, 2015 - 4:40 am

    I too don’t believe in name it claim it or will it to happen, but I DO believe in name it, claim it and have the WILL to literally work your ass off. It’s the work your ass off of the equation most people don’t want to incorporate into attaining and surpassing their goals. The more you work at something the less time you have for NOT ACHIEVING success.

  47. #55 by maryblackhill on February 10, 2015 - 6:06 am

    Thank you Kristen. I read this following a webinar with my “other business” company. Exactly what I need and I’m going to email the link to my directors and fellow attendees. Yes, I’ve really got that writing is is the easy part when you’re a writer. In my other life I’m an Image Consultant, and a darned good one. But I will only be a successful one if I am also a darned good business woman and implement and follow a darned good marketing strategy. Marketing is the work; delivery the cake. Apples to writing too. Right? Reaffirm that goal, 28000 words on novel no. 2 by Feb 28th. The 500 words so far is not a great start, but at least it is a start. Can’t re-blog you (my fashion page is not geared to it), but can certainly tweet you. Thanks again for the message.

    • #56 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 10, 2015 - 9:29 am

      Hon, all my content is yours to use so long as you give me credit. And yes, a lot of what makes us “successful” in one area bleeds into others. A LOT of what I teach isn’t just applicable to writers.

  48. #58 by fannyfae on February 10, 2015 - 7:34 am

    As others have said, Kristen, this comes perfectly timed for me! I have been systematically going through and ridding my life and environment of all of the poisonous people and situations and replacing them with positive, encouraging ones. I’ had been wondering what was the matter with me, why I had been sitting on a book that is finished but not formatted for Kindle yet. The excuse of getting it to work was just that: an excuse. I’ve done the work, now it’s time to put it out there and stop worrying about the negatives. Thank you for always having the most impactful blog posts on my feed every day! I will be reblogging this on my own blog.🙂

  49. #59 by fannyfae on February 10, 2015 - 7:37 am

    Reblogged this on Fanny Fae and commented:
    I have been systematically going through and ridding my life and environment of all of the poisonous people and situations and replacing them with positive, encouraging ones. If you are a writer, I cannot recommend her blog enough. It is positive but most often that needed and warranted kick in the pants to get you going.

  50. #60 by Shea McIntosh Ford on February 10, 2015 - 7:45 am

    I had to chuckle at this, “When we were kids and wanted to be a writer or dancer or astronaut, adults all clapped and cheered. Then we hit this age when suddenly the grown-ups changed their tune. “Yeah that’s cute, but time to grow up, Kid.”

    My son? Wanted to grow up to be a professional crayon breaker. It was cute until we’d go to a restaurant and he would break his brother’s complimentary crayons before he had the chance to use them. Yeah…then we needed to have a little talk.

    The concept of breaking up goals definitely works for me. Whether I’m working on a book or learning a new song, it helps to do it in chunks. I giggle at my hubby sometimes when he picks up an instrument. He learns how to play some notes, then flips to the hardest song in the book and tries it. When he can’t do it, he gives it up altogether.

  51. #61 by suebayley3 on February 10, 2015 - 8:02 am

    Just joined wordpress… and finding the courage to write.. your post helps.. bless you…

  52. #62 by Kap Daniels on February 10, 2015 - 8:57 am

    Bah humbug! 10,000 hours didn’t do it. I’m at least at 30,000 hrs. But after years of struggle…I’m at 110,000 words and closing fast! Because of YOU Kristen and your uncanny ability to tap into the venule of gold that runs through our souls, I’m throwing away my screen name of FAKEWRITER!
    Be my valentine!!! 😍😍😍

    • #63 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 10, 2015 - 9:18 am

      Of course and FABULOUS to meet you, Kap😉. Way more memorable and…positive. I am most proud of you, Grasshopper Valentine.

  53. #64 by sbjamestheauthor on February 10, 2015 - 9:12 am

    Thank you for this post. I’m getting back in the saddle again, and you’re right, it’s not easy when there are so many other more fun things to do than editing! However, as you said, it is in human nature to create, so in this respect, I’m doing what comes naturally! One I get back to the pace I need to get my work done, it’ll come!

  54. #65 by Rachel Thompson on February 10, 2015 - 9:18 am

    I learn everything I set my mine to. Doing things depends on factors out of our control, but you never know if you can-do unless you work at it. One must be realistic, however, that means self honesty–looking at the facts with logic. Self doubt is not realistic or honest, it’s driven by emotions and emotions lie and distort reality. The psychological knots you speak of are mostly self imposed by accepting what is programmed into us by socialization, AKA cradle to birth ubiquitous indoctrinations. Only critical thinking can break this self-allowed spellbinding. Facing truth is hard. How much one can-do depends on a strong will. A weak will is the first of many social programs one must overcome. The key to change is not inspired attitudes, it is a conscious, deliberate change of mind, it is self examination and a willingness to, as Yoda said, “unlearn what you have learned.” Maybe you can’t get the best agent to read your work, but you can decided to do the best work possible.

  55. #66 by Peter Wells aka Countingducks on February 10, 2015 - 12:23 pm

    Your comment about the gym went home. Normally over Christmas I avoid mirrors but I know the truth will out and will have to be faced in the end

  56. #67 by Angie on February 10, 2015 - 12:47 pm

    Kristin, I so enjoy reading your blog posts. They are filled with insights, humor, encouragement, and great information. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. I have nominated your blog as one I enjoy and look forward to reading. You can follow this link to my blog to read more about The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I know you are busy, so there are no expectations from me that you jump the hoops! I just want you to know that I enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing! http://angiequantrell.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-thank.html

  57. #69 by Candice Lamb (The Big Mom Ewe) on February 10, 2015 - 3:09 pm

    I didn’t know you were behind in your laundry? You told me all those clothes were to be donated. Love Mom

  58. #70 by seashorewrite on February 10, 2015 - 4:11 pm

    Thank you for this, Kristen, it helps to share our challenges. Since I was feeling the struggle, too, my blog post shares how I used a mountain peak to help me http://peaksislandpress.com/2015/02/09/chasing-muse/

  59. #72 by Louise S on February 11, 2015 - 1:00 am

    I read a few blogs but yours is the only one I subscribe too. I eagerly await your posts! They always seem to have a special word of knowledge for what Im going through. Love your sense of humour too, and your insight (that seems personally aimed at me) and your wisdom on life. You come across as a very genuine person and someone I would love to meet and know.

    Thankyou for your inspiration. My dreams will come to fruition and I know they will for you too
    Warm hugs from West Australia xxx

  60. #73 by WagginMaster (aka Jerry) on February 11, 2015 - 7:31 am

    Reblogged this on Tales from the WagginMaster and commented:
    When life circumstances delivers a bushel of of rotten fruit or when you find yourself in a place different from your plans, it can be difficult to march on. I have several family members and friends who feel like the wind is gone from their sail. Rather than live in defeat, chose to live in significance. Enjoy this read form Karen Lamb.

  61. #74 by Elle Knowles on February 11, 2015 - 2:05 pm

    Wow! Great read! My son should read this because he ‘wants’ to pass that college math class! He needs to focus on that goal. Wanting won’t cut it! Thanks Kristin. ~Elle

  62. #75 by Suzanne Lucero (@S_Lucero) on February 12, 2015 - 6:11 am

    So, Kristen, you posted this on the 9th and I finally get around to reading it on the 12th. But you know what? I needed to read this today. Three days ago, not so much.😀 Thanks for the reminder that I’m in charge of getting my book done, and baby steps really do count.

    I only wrote 200 words yesterday, but that was 200 more than I started with.

    Happy Thursday to you.🙂

  63. #76 by lasvegaslinny on February 12, 2015 - 1:50 pm

    Reblogged this on LindaSTaylor and commented:
    Sometimes serendipity (the Universe?) brings you something perfect. This post by Kristen Lamb speaks to me as the writer and as the confidence coach. Works for us all. Thanks, Kristen. WE all needed this.

  64. #77 by conniecockrell on February 14, 2015 - 12:03 am

    A wonderful post and so on time and on topic. Thank you.

  65. #78 by moirainori77 on February 16, 2015 - 1:32 am

    Reblogged this on Sunflowers for Moira and commented:
    I needed this.

  66. #79 by mirymom on February 18, 2015 - 10:18 pm

    Good advice! I’ve applied it to writing for the most part; now for the other parts of my life!

  67. #80 by undrgrndoc on February 28, 2015 - 1:59 am

    “This is when most dreams die. We are bombarded with negativity. We are told that dreams are reckless, dumb, unachievable, blah blah blah. In fact, we are told this SO much, we need deprogramming or we can become our own worst enemy.”
    This is so true. So many people tell us from an early age that dreams are only dreams, but they are so much more. Our dreams are reflections of ourselves and what we want in life.

  1. Top Picks Thursday 02-12-2015 | The Author Chronicles

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