words to live by: nothing good gets away
the abc's of self-love: c is for celebration

achieving a goal isn't magic: 4 tips to make it happen


"If you're wishing on the stars you gotta go out and get it
'cause if you want it bad enough you won't stop until you have it
Don't let them tell you what you can and cannot do
you've got to see it through like you always do."

Tristan Prettyman
"Always Feel This Way" 



When I look back on the life I was living almost three years ago, before I started Positively Present, it seems somewhat like a dream, like it wasn't even me back then. It's tempting to to think that getting from there to here was easyjust let time pass and things change!but it wasn't at all. I had a goal and I worked my ass off to achieve it. I gave up some of the activities I loved most, the ones that were damaging me in negative ways. I lost friends I thought I would have forever because I realized we suddenly had almost nothing in common. I found love, but only because I took the time to (literally!) write out all of the things I really wanted in a guy. I transitioned into a new job, hard as it was to leave the comfort of my old one, because I knew it was what needed to be done. 

I worked hard to get where I am today, and looking back on all that work makes me realize I have a lot of hard work ahead of me to achieve the goal I've always dreamed of: becoming a full-time writer. Over the past three years I've gotten the ball rollingstarting a website, writing nearly every day, sharing my words with the world instead of just my trusty journalbut I have a long way to go before this dream of mine comes true. 

I recently read an article by Rachel Hills called "She Who Tries, Wins" and it completely and utterly inspired me. She recently scored a book deal (lucky girl!), and wrote: "From an outsider’s perspective, I’m conscious that it might have looked like something that happened as if by magic." Sometimes I feel that way about my own life tooif someone didn't know me, didn't know all the hard work I've put in to get to where I am todayit might seem as if I was always this way. But clearly that's not true. And it's not going to be true going forward. Achieving goals isn't magic; it's muscle, motivation, and moxie. (And probably a little muchness too.)

Rachel knows this and I'm learning it. Below are some of the key points I took away from her article, the words that made me that, though achieving goals isn't magic, there's certainly something magical about working hard to achieve your goals. 

Pull Out All the Stops

“Most of the time, getting what you want—especially if ‘what you want’ is something really juicy—means pulling out all stops.”

Like Rachel says, most of the time you have to go all in if you want to achieve success. That's what I did when it came to living a more positive life. I didn't just try to see situations positively or read up on positivity. No, I went all in. I made BIG changes. I started over in some areas of my life. I lost some people I really loved; I gave up some things I really enjoyed. It was really hard workand still isbut it's been worth it. 

And now I'm pulling out all the stops to make this dream of becoming a writer a reality. I'm putting in my notice at work this week. Terrifying? Yes. Exciting beyond belief? Yes. I'm so fortunate to have this chance to turn this dream into a reality and I will stop short of nothing to make it happen. 

Whatever you're dreaming aboutwhatever it is that makes you so excited you can't sleep at nightgo out and do it. Pull out all the stops. Because, really, that's the only way to make dreams come true. 

Don't Be Afraid to Be Uncool

“I feel like it’s somewhat uncool to admit that you want juicy things, or at least that you want them in a way that would see you actively go after them.”

I've spent a lot of time being "uncool" these past few years. It's been hard at times to say no, to stop doing the things that are deemed normal. But sometimes, in order to achieve what you want, you have to go against the grain. You have to do your own thing. And, most importantly, you have to be passionate about it.

This is still something I'm struggling withhow to make living a positive life, one without all the exciting drama that comes with unhappinessseem cool. Sometimes I find myself stumbling over my words when I try to explain it to people because I worry about how it sounds. But it's time to stop all that. It's time to admit that I want something big: to use my words to spread to the world my ideas about living a positive and present life.

That's what I want. And that's what I'm going to actively go aftercool or not.   

Believe You Deserve It

“[Going after your goals] can also make you feel like an egotist: who are you to deserve to want something juicy?"

It's tough to admit that you want something big and that, in wanting it and going after it, you feel you deserve it. I'm sure that friends of mine must think, "Why does she get to go after this dream job of hers while I'm stuck plugging away at a job I don't love?" Or maybe they don't think that at all and that's all in my head, but either way it can be hard to convince yourself that you deserve to have what you've always wanted. 

Too many of us believe we should be content with the way things are (which is different, mind you, than accepting what is). We see others just doing what they do, going with the flow, and we question our right to want something different. 

Go ahead and want. Go ahead and believe you deserve to achieve your goals. Because you do. We all do. Don't let anyone (even that little voice in your head) convince you that you don't deserve to want something bigger and better. 

Give Yourself a Chance

“She who tries doesn’t always ‘win’: chance, timing, privilege and learning the system all play their role—often a big one. But you’ve got a hell of better chance of achieving the things you dream of if you own up to your dreams and go after them, than if you just sit back and hope things will work out for the best.”

If I'm being completely honest with myself, I must say this: I might not win. I might never write a book or change lives with my messages. I might never be able respond to the question, "What do you do?" with the blissful phrase: "I'm a writer." But you know what? I'll definitely never do those things if I don't try. 

Dreaming and hoping and wishing won't get me anywhere. And it won't get you anywhere either. If you want to live the life you've dreamed of living, you have to go out and do it. Now. Life's too short not to put yourself out there, not to take risks, not to, at the very least, try.   

Just like three years ago when I was looking out onto to the idea of living a positive life, I'm thrilled with the idea of changing my life, making it what I want it to be, but I also realize that it's going to be a lot of work. A lot of sweat and tears are probably going to come out of me before I can officially say I'm living the life I've always wanted to live: the life of a writer. But that's okay. 

I've realized that I'd rather be working my ass off for the life I want than be settling myself into the life I don't want. There's no fairy godmother in this tale (though I do have a few wonderful supporters that seem like fairy godmothers). There's no magic wand to transform what is into what I want it to be. It's gonna take a lot of hard work, but you know what? I'd rather be making moves than wasting time. I'd rather be working than waiting. 


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what a beautiful post! So inspiring!

THank you! :)

Tara - You're welcome! I'm so glad you found it inspiring. It inspired me to write it. Thanks for reading.

Hi Dani,
Loved this. Going through a lot of the same emotions, just a different dream. I'm certain many people will find this motivating. Thanks for sharing :)

you're already changing my life with your messages...

I'm so excited that you're quitting your job! You go girl!! Make it happen!!!

You inspire me.

Lindsey - Thank you! It's great that you were able to relate to this. Thanks for sharing that with me. It makes me feel a lot less alone. I wish you lots of luck in achieving your goals!

Michelle - Thank you so much for your comment. It means so much to me to know that I'm already impacting lives. I have a great feeling about this year. The way I see it, you never know until you really try. Thanks for your support!

This post really was incredible. I am a huge fan, I love all your posts, but this one was exactly what I needed today. Thank you so much. You have inspired me so much more than you can ever know. Your blog has really been amazing for me when I have faced some rough patches this past year. I am in a great place right now, and I could not have done it without your writing. Thank you.

Wow great article! I understand how it works with concrete goals like getting a new job or something like that. But i don't know how to work with abstract goals, like getting a romantic relationship. Can you give some advice about that?
Ps. english is not my first languages, so sorry for the mistakes!

Rachel - Thank you!! I'm so happy this is what you needed today and I'm also happy to know that I've inspired you throughout the year. That's really what I strive to do - inspire people - so it's wonderful to hear that I'm achieving my goal. Thanks for your comment!

Kelly - Thanks! Concrete goals are certainly easier to manage and wrap your head around, but it can be tough with more abstract goals. In terms of getting a romantic relationship, I'd recommend focusing on doing the things you love and enjoying your life. People are drawn to people who are passionate about what they love to do. Also, I'd recommend making a list of things you're looking for in a partner. I did that and, miraculously, I found a guy that met almost all my criteria! Amazing!

Hi Dani,

This is a very inspiring post! I hope your dreams of being a writer do come true. You seem to already be making the mark on your blog, and your words encourage all of us to not wait, but follow our dreams and go after what we want. You are right - it will not happen if we sit around and hope things will fall into place. Best of luck to you.

Wow...you did it again...so needed to hear this!! (I need to go back and count how spot on you've been the number would be very high I'm sure!)

CONGRATS to you for going full force for your dream!! So Awesome! I certainly would be a buyer of whatever you write since I'm clearly addicted to it! It still amazes me I've been reading your blog almost since you started it and I am touched and inspired EVERY time to this day! All the best to you on this journey! You have a supporter-and I'm sure many more-right here for sure!

Thanks for the much needed reminder! I'm not going to stop with my dream either no matter how hard it gets. I would much rather know I tried and succeed or fail than never try at all. Moreso going for success of course. ;-)

Cathy - Thank you! I really appreciate your positive words and your encouragement. Today I made a lot of progress toward making my goal a reality. Exciting stuff!

Saggleo - Thanks so much! I'm really excited about moving forward with my dream (scary as it is at times!). Thank you so, so much for your support. It means so much - seriously! Keep going on your dreams too. I know you can do it!

You are a brilliant writer and well on your way to calling yourself a full time writer. You have the gift of writing and touching others with your words and your story. I can't wait to read your books! Well done! With love and appreciation, Maria

Maria - Thank you so much! My last day of work is just a week and a half away and then I'll be on your way. I really appreciate your support and encouragement! :)

Thanks a lot! Very actual theme for me. As addition, recommend to read the article "Achieving success" - http://manprogress.com/en/methods/achieving-success.html

John - You're welcome! And thanks for the article recommendation. I appreciate that.

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