Stop wasting your time living someone else’s idea of the ideal life.

Zero Dean

Author | Photographer | CG Artist | Filmmaker

Achieving personal goals: Take personal responsibility

Achieving personal goals: Take personal responsibility

Achieving personal goals: Take personal responsibility

Don’t play a victim. Free yourself of trying to present yourself as perfect to others. Life can be very hard at times and everyone faces hardship at one time or another in life. And everyone makes mistakes and has setbacks. You are not alone. Take responsibility for your life — your “situation” — and take action to change it (if that’s what you desire).

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Achieving personal goals: Make a commitment to yourself

Achieving personal goals: Make a commitment to yourself

Make a commitment to yourself to make what you want happen. And then make a plan on what you are going to do to achieve your goal.

Understand your “triggers” and where and why you have failed in the past. Find an alternative positive action that you can take to avoid falling into the same traps.

Then take action, be consistent, persistent and determined and follow through with your commitment.

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Achieving personal goals: Visualize your results

Fuel your desire by visualizing your results.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.”  — Napoleon Hill

If you can’t picture the results you want in vivid detail, then there’s a good chance that:

1. You don’t have a well enough defined goal or
2. You don’t truly believe it’s possible.

The answer to 1. is easy — keep refining your goal until you can vividly picture what you want. If you have to, break it down into smaller steps.

The answer to 2. may have to do with the fact that what you want isn’t congruent with something about you.

Contrary to the saying, “You can do anything you set your mind to” — NO YOU CAN’T.

Some people would call this “being realistic” — but I agree with Will Smith who says, “Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.

I think lofty goals that some people might think you are crazy for believing you can achieve are worth aiming for — because I think people are capable of achieving far more than they believe.

But there are some limitations — mainly, you cannot control things that are beyond your control.

Yes, you can learn to play the piano — perhaps sensationally, but you can’t turn back time and learn the piano when you were three years old and take that experience with you through your life.

Yes, you can learn to sing better, but you cannot entirely change the essence of your voice to sound exactly like someone else.

Yes, you can improve your fitness and dramatically change your body composition, but you cannot change your bone structure or will your body to grow a foot taller.


You can always maximize what you already have to improve your health, habits, and skills. You can always find ways to better yourself. And by doing so, you can get results that others might not even believe were possible. But to do this, you have to have a very clear idea of exactly what it is you want to accomplish.

And when you know what you want to accomplish, then vividly imagine the changes you would like to see and how you will feel when you’ve reached your goal.

And don’t just do this once, do it often! What you imagine should inspire you. Use that as fuel and motivation to propel you towards your goal.

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Achieving personal goals: Do it for YOU.

Achieving personal goals: Do it for YOU.

Know why you want something and make sure you want it for the right reasons. If you’re doing things to try to impress or elicit a change in others, then you’re putting your efforts into getting results that are ultimately beyond your control. You can’t change other people.

While your actions may influence or even inspire others, you can’t make people do anything. And while you may achieve goals that make you more appealing to some, you can’t make people like you. You can only set a good example for others to follow or be attracted to.

If you’re going to do something, do it for the changes it leads to in you — and to a larger degree, your life.

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Achieving personal goals: Take action

Achieving personal goals: Take action

The results of your actions speak louder than words. You can read a million motivational sayings to pump yourself up — or echo them to others until you’re blue in the face — but that won’t change anything unless you take action and consistently change your behavior.

Don’t just read it or preach it and expect it to make a difference in your life.

Knowing something is not enough. Knowing what you should do is not enough. You have to use what you know and take action. This is the ‘DO’ in ‘JUST DO IT!’.

View the image version of the above point.

While you are still waiting to find an easy way (or a perfect time), someone else is already getting results because they decided making progress is more important than making excuses.

View the image version of the above point.

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The results of your actions speak louder than words. You can read a million motivational sayings to pump yourself up -- or echo them to others until you're blue in the face -- but that won't change anything unless you take action and consistently change your behavior.

What I’ve learned about achieving personal goals

What I’ve learned about achieving personal goals (in 837 days)

Man is by nature a goal-striving being. And because man is ‘built that way’ he is not happy unless he is functioning as he was made to function—as a goal-striver. Thus true success and true happiness not only go together, but each enhances the other.” — Maxwell Maltz (from Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life)


What I’ve learned about determination & commitment

“Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.” — Robert Brault

20 things I’ve learned about determination & commitment in 333 days.

1. It means focusing on your heart’s desire(s) and not giving up on your goal(s) when you are forced beyond your comfort zone or when inevitable setbacks or disappointments happen.

2. It means focusing on changing the things you can and not complaining about or focusing on the things you cannot.

3. It means taking action and doing what is hard & necessary to get things done and not expecting others to do it for you.

4. It means facing your fears and battling doubts, but refusing to give in to either.

5. It means making mistakes, falling down, or suffering embarrassment — but learning from these experiences and using them to push forward towards your goal — not letting them weaken your resolve or overcome you.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” — Calvin Coolidge

6. It means taking steps every single day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, and no matter how small your steps may be, to move towards your heart’s desires.

7. It means focusing on the bigger picture — making sacrifices and delaying gratification in order to invest in where you intend to go.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. It means letting go of trying to please or be “friends” with everyone.

9. It means potentially (likely) stirring things up, causing a “ruckus”, drawing complaints, or attracting “haters” due to your actions — and pushing forward regardless.

10. It means dealing with the criticism from friends, family, colleagues, competitors, or anyone at any time who may cross your path and judge you or laugh at you or tell you “you can’t” or “you won’t”, but not letting it stand in the way of you and your goal.

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” — Gail Devers

11. It means living with integrity — sticking up for your beliefs & values and being honest with yourself and others — even when it’s uncomfortable or your views or goals appear unpopular.

12. It means constantly seeking ways to improve yourself and your “craft” and better ways to do whatever is necessary to achieve your goal.

13. It means not giving up when a door is slammed in your face or you are told “no” 99 times — instead, you focus on finding alternative paths to your goal — some way, somehow to get to the person behind the 100th door that says “yes”.

14. It means if you are offended, betrayed, or belittled by people who are close to you or you discover others working against you, not letting it derail you from reaching your ultimate goal.

15. It means continually and deliberately reaching beyond your comfort zone and doing what others won’t in order to achieve your goal.

“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” — Thomas Foxwell Buxton

16. It means understanding both your strengths and your weaknesses — and maximizing one while trying to minimize the other.

17. It means fueling your own fire and being a significant source of your own motivation — utilizing your passion for what you’re doing to achieve your goal.

18. It means finding a way, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable what you’re doing may be, to enjoy and learn from the process & journey — to live in the present and appreciate what you’re doing or any positive impact it may have on others.

19. It means believing in yourself and a goal that may appear “unrealistic” or against the odds to many — but knowing deep down that it’s not only possible, but that you can do it.

20. It means living up to your own standards.

Giving up is the easiest thing to do. In fact, many times people are happy to accept quitting as long as one appeared to put in some effort — even if it wasn’t their best — “It’s ok, you did the best you could.”

Some may even tempt you with, “No one will think any less of you for quitting.”, but…

If you’re truly going after your heart’s desires and you truly believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish, then it doesn’t matter what other people think because you’re not doing it for them — you’re doing it for you.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” — William Feather