"The only way to do great work is to love what you do."
- Steve Jobs
Last week I was hanging out with a friend who told me that he was working 90 hours a week. I thought to myself, 'I never want to do that.' Reflecting on this further, I realized I probably do work that much, but it doesn't feel like work.
Pursuing my passions through running my business may be what I do for work, but it is also what I do for fun. It is my life's mission and purpose and the majority of the time it doesn't feel like work. When you do what you love, work and life tend to blend together.
This past weekend, I technically 'worked' all day on Sunday leading a transformative retreatfor a group of amazing humans in LA. Sure, it was a long day and it took months to plan but I got to do what lights me up and best of all, pass that light on to others.
How do you #dowhatyoulove anyways?
Pursuing your passions takes focused intention and laser clarity in order to bring what you want into reality.
There will likely be a lot of naysayers (that's just how it is), and you may have to start it as a side hustle, but as long as you stay focused on the pursuit of your dreams, it will all be worth it in the end.
Start by making a list of everything that excites you.
Notice when you are performing a task if it is something that excites you or drains you.
Think about what people regularly compliment you on or tell you that you are good at.
Think about something that you do that feels effortless and easy and where time seems to stand still.
Lost on what to do next?
One of the things that I get to do in the work that I love is coach people looking to get clear on their passions and support them in creating an action plan to make it happen.
There is something special about a new year.
A fresh page.
A blank slate.
An opportunity for growth.
But how do we ensure that this feeling sticks? How do we make sure that we reach the goals that we set for ourselves?
So it’s no secret the January is THE month for wellness. It is a time when we are self-reflective, motivated and start to think of all the things we want to bring in for the new year.
I took some time over the past couple of weeks to decide what was important to me for the new year and decided that my words for 2019 are consistency, community, intuition and service (find out why here).
So how do you take this motivation and run with it? How do you stick to your goals and not be part of the 80% of people with failed resolutions? Here are a couple of things that I consistently apply to my life that have been majorly helpful in ensuring that I execute on my goals with success.
Wether your goals are personal or professional (they are usually a little mix of both) the best thing to do is to break them down. Whether you commit to something bold like 'I am going to lose 25 lbs this year’ or ‘I am going to surpass my sales quota by 50K’, the impetus to successfully reaching these goals is to make them SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Doing this helps to break down the goal, leading to a much higher success rate. When you make your goal specific you gain clarity on what you are trying to achieve, measurable provides a structure that helps to decipher whether you are closer to achieving it (and if not you know there is something that needs to change) attainable will make it realistic, relevant helps to bring to light whether it is in line with your value system and time-bound provides with a deadline that you need to execute it by.
So depending on what your goals are, use the SMART model to ensure success.
For example: In order for me to lose 20 lbs this year I need to lose a little over 2 lbs a month. I will do this by including an extra workout in every week and cutting out my afternoon snack. I will weigh myself every 2 weeks in order to make sure that I am staying on track.
I want to surpass my sales quota by 50K this year. This means that I have to sell an extra $4200 a month. I will do this by attending an extra networking event and making 10 extra cold calls a week. I will check in monthly on my strategy and if I am not seeing desired results, I will come up with a new plan.
So what is your big annual goal and how can you make it SMART?
Consistency. Collaboration. Service. Intuition.
These are my words for 2019.
I believe deeply in setting an INTENTION, then focusing your ATTENTION and then practising NO-TENSION.
Let me explain.
The birth of an idea starts with a mere though of something that we want to create. We have an idea and then we set it in motion by creating an INTENTION around it.
Then we focus our ATTENTION on really making it happen. We think it into reality and then put energy and action into having it manifest from an idea into a real thing.
And then the final part, the most important part in my mind, is the NO-TENSION. The part where we detach from any of it actually coming to fruition or turning into the outcome that we desire. You see we can hope and think, increase energy and action but sometimes the universe has different plans. So as much as we can create, it is important to remember that we are actually CO-creating every step of the way.
So these are my words for 2019 and here is why.
Consistency: I want to practice consistency in every area. Exercise, meditation, work, diet, friendships, family love. With consistency there is growth and with growth there is change.
Community: It takes a village to do anything, to live to breathe, the be happy. Without that we have nothing. I commit to showing up for my community and growing it by hosting dinners, organizing trips and attending different types of events.
Service: I believe the most powerful thing you can do is help others. By helping others, we are actually helping ourselves. I commit to volunteering at least once a month with different organizations.
Intuition: I believe that we each hold an innate wisdom and already have the answer to every single question. I personally access my wisdom the most when I am in nature and by myself. I plan to spend more time doing both in order to tap deeper into my own wisdom.
And if none of this yields the results I want it to, that is okay too.
So now it's your turn. What do you want to create in 2019? What is your word(s)?
If you are not sure, take some time to think about it.
Go outside, move your body, be by yourself.
Take out your journal and your pen and write. Write a lot or write a little. Write with no expectation. I promise you, the words you are looking for will come. And when they do, write them down and put them somewhere where you can be reminded of them everyday. Then, let the magic unfold.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.