The Big Idea
Life is not just to be endured – it’s meant to be enjoyed.
Questions I Answer
- How do I get started on a big goal?
- How can I figure out the next steps on a big project?
- How can I stop procrastinating?
- What if I don’t know how to achieve a goal?
Actions to Take
- Make a Someday List: Just write out some of the big dreams you have that you have for yourself. Don’t filter, just make the list.
- Take the First Step: Pick one thing on your Someday list to focus on first. Then ask yourself the question: What’s one small thing I can do TODAY to get started? (Hint: Usually it’s asking yourself the question: how do I learn more about this?)
Key Moments in the Show
[02:10] Why it’s easy to push aside our goals
[05:50] What if I don’t know the steps to take?
[12:55] How to stop procrastinating
[16:00] How do I find time to work on my goals?
[21:29] Making a Someday list
[25:04] The first step is always the same no matter the goal
Resources and Links
- Three Things that Hold You Back:
- 1. You don’t know exactly what IT is
- 2. You’re procrastinating about it
- 3. There’s too much in your way
- Chapter 12 of The Joy of Missing Out
- Chapter 6 of On Purpose
Hello, Hello everyone. Welcome to the Intentional advantage podcast. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton. This is episode 270 we’re in our summer series and we are revamping, refreshing and bringing back some of our old favorites, put a new spin on them. You’ll notice today I’m putting a new spin on episode 97, back from season eight.
When we talked about planning for success, season eight was all about how planning for success can help us make progress towards our goals. So that’s what I wanted to talk about today because I feel like summertime is well, anytime is a great time to get started on your big dreams on your goals. And I think this what’s so interesting is there is this push and pull of time where we say two things at the very same time we say,
oh, I just don’t have the time to do everything I want to do. I don’t have time to go after my goals, but then in the very next breath you’ll say, well, I’ll just do that someday. As if we have this Olympic pool sized vault of time, when you’re going to just do it someday, or we want you to think about it.
How many times have you said whatever it is you’re wanting to do, you’re going to do it someday. Oh, you know, when the kids get older, then I’ll be able to do the things I want to do. Or maybe it’s, you know, when I get the promotion, then I can make this happen. Or when I have more money or maybe it’s when unicorns fly across a rainbow filled sky, right? Because someday is like a Mirage on the horizon. This is something I talk about in chapter 12 of the joy of missing out this idea of someday. And this is the truth. It’s like a Mirage on the horizon because each time we get closer, it moves further and further away. And truly with no effort on our part, nothing’s going to change.
Our priorities will continue to be put dead last. Have you ever heard that saying that nothing happens until something happens and that’s how it is when we put things away on the shelf for some day, what happens is we forget about them. Life starts to fill in all the space and all the time, right? And the thing is, if we wait until all of our tasks are done to sit down and enjoy what’s most important, that time is never going to come. There’s always some sort of urgent work to do. There’s some project that needs to be done. And when we don’t take the time to actively choose how we spend our time, each task on our list feels urgent and unavoidable. So it feels justifiable to postpone date night with our spouse or miss the movies with our friends or skip the gym again.
We end up putting it off because we’re exhausted at the end of our day, we’re too tired to enjoy the things that we in our heart of hearts truly know we would enjoy most. That’s not the way we want to live. I want to encourage you to stop borrowing from today to make tomorrow great. Instead, let’s choose to make the most of today knowing that when we spend our days focusing on our priorities, we’re investing in our future. That someday is some indefinite time and space in the future. And indefinite means it’s not clearly defined. It’s not clearly expressed. And that’s where I want to start.
Why are there things in our lives that we’re putting on the shelf for someday, you know, you want to travel or you want to work on a new hobby or write that book you’ve been talking about, but you keep putting it on the shelf to gather dust, to be done someday. Right? Some days I call it someday syndrome because it really is an issue. It’s a syndrome. And there are three main reasons why we fall into the trap of someday syndrome. First thing you don’t know exactly what it is. Second thing that happens, you’re procrastinating about it, or the third thing there’s too much in your way. So that’s what I want to do. I want to start today’s show by addressing these three roadblocks. And then I’m going to give you some actionable strategies and some advice so that you can move past them. So you can move closer to those some days.
You’ve heard me say before on the podcast, and in my productivity books: Overwhelm, isn’t having too much to do. It’s not knowing where to start. So let’s start by understanding which one of those roadblocks or which ones. Cause there may be more than one, which one of those roadblocks are really holding you back because then we’re going to know where to start. So let’s dive into those now. All right,
First one is you don’t know exactly what it is. We feel like there’s so much unknown. You don’t know what you’re doing or what steps to take. And because you don’t have things fully flushed out, you don’t think you can make it happen. This is incredibly common, but you know, what’s even more common not knowing what you’re doing. Even if everybody on the outside looks at you and thinks you got it all pulled together.
Most of us are just fumbling and bumbling our way through life. Not really knowing exactly what the plan is. Not a perfect plan. So let’s say for example, this is a dream I hear from a lot of you, let’s say that your big dream is I want to start a business. So let’s, let’s use that as an example.
You can start by figuring out, okay, what kind of business do I want to start? Okay, how will I start it? How much will it cost? Right? There’s a lot of questions we can start asking ourselves. And I think that’s what holds us back is we fear the questions. Oh, I don’t know how to answer it. But the truth is when we start to chart a path towards the unknown, we can answer some of those things. And some, we won’t quite answer until we’re along the journey. So what we want to do is we want to make it bite size. We don’t want to get overwhelmed by that big goal that we have, because it can be really daunting. It looks big. You can make you feel really, really small.
There’s an MLK Jr. Quote that I love where he said faith is taking the first step. Even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Let me say that again, because I want you to think about that. Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Yeah. We want to know where we’re going, but the map doesn’t have to be perfect. Doesn’t have to be precise. Sometimes we just need to worry about where our foot is going. Next, worry about that first step and then the second step. And then you’ll make your way up that staircase. But what happens is we’ll stall out when all we can see is this giant staircase, or we can’t see the staircase at all because we can’t figure out what it looks like.
Exactly. This is part of why I talk about making an action roadmap, breaking down your big goals in the book on purpose. My second book that came out in 2021, I think it’s really important to, because the big dreams, the big goals can scare the shit out of us. And that’s the truth. Even people that you look at who are achieving big things,
they get scared of the big goals too. Sometimes. That’s why we want to focus in on each step of the staircase, not worrying about the whole staircase. Looks like I understand that you might have some reluctance. I get it. It can be extraordinarily overwhelming. When you start piling in all the unknowns I can make you want to throw in the towel.
I mean, trust me on this. I totally understand this. Most of you know, that inkWELL Press was not my first business. My first real company was a jewelry company. I started it back in 2008. It’s a very specific jewelry company. I would take photographs and set them into heirloom quality jewelry. I worked with photographers all around the world where they would sell to their clients, but that’s not where I started. I started with 50 bucks. I had $50 to invest in my business. And zero knowledge never even took a business course in college, zero knowledge and 50 bucks. And honestly that 50 bucks was way more than the amount of knowledge I had as I was starting out. And that should have scared me maybe, but somehow it didn’t when I started,
I just started small. So yes, I started making heirloom quality jewelry and Sterling silver and other things. But when I first started, I used Scrabble tiles. I started with a coating and that didn’t really hold up. I didn’t like that. So I decided, okay, I don’t know what I’m doing here, but let’s try to figure out what would hold up.
I wanted jewelry that would last generations, that people would pass down. So I started researching and that brought me to discovering different codings different resins, which is a whole genre of the world. I had no idea about at the time. I seriously knew nothing about it, but I started asking questions. I started Googling. Google can be your very best friend.
I started asking people questions. I didn’t worry about people thinking that I was dumb or I couldn’t figure it out. And you know what happened? People were more than happy to share. They share on YouTube. They share in blogs, they share on the phone. They share. If you show up at their business, I learned all about resonance. I talked to people who put coatings on surf boards.
I spoke to people who use dental resins and UV resins. I chatted with scientists who use science words that I couldn’t pronounce. They didn’t even seem to care. They loved that. I asked questions. Okay. I asked a lot of questions, but they love it. People love to talk about what they’re passionate about. People love to talk about themselves.
So when you ask questions, they’re more than happy to fill that void for you. So here’s the thing that I did that I think made the difference. I gave myself permission to explore and to discover. And then I started testing them out just like a scientist without the fancy degree or the fancy words that I couldn’t pronounce. I spent three months testing, adhesives and coatings and metals, and then I would put them outside so they could deal with rain and the hot Texas weather. Cause I was living in Texas at the time. And eventually I found what worked for us. It took a ton of trial and error, but intentionally setting aside that time to just learn and allow myself to be someone who didn’t know what they were doing truly did help because the coding I discovered became so unique,it was considered a trade secret.
I was the only person who could make jewelry that was guaranteed to never yellow or cloud. I became a leader in my industry, but it never would have happened if I didn’t give myself the grace to admit there was a lot I didn’t know. So trial and error is key, not just in an instance like this in my story, but in the big picture too, you see, I found that my passion wasn’t in making that jewelry, right? Ultimately I took what I learned and I chose to switch gears and I did a total pivot and I decided to pursue what really mattered to me and what I learned during that process of my first business. I applied to inkWELL Press. And that’s how I scaled to seven figures in 18 months.
Not because I knew everything about how to create inkWELL Press, but because I had filled my backpack full of experience and knowledge that I could then apply. The clarity I got from pivoting is what I needed to be successful today. So don’t let that hold you back. Not knowing what you’re doing is such a gift. It really is. The second thing that might be holding you back.
The second roadblock is, let’s be honest here. You’re procrastinating about it. We put things off because we think we have more time someday. I’ll be in a better place to start when the kids are in school full-time or when they’re off in college or when I get the promotion or whatever it is, right then that will be a better time. And the truth is it’s not a better time thinking this way is unrealistic.
Time is the one commodity we can not get more off. There is no Olympic pool size vault of time, just waiting for you at that magical moment. That illusion of someday feels very real. And it’s, it’s not wrong to have something to look forward to, to plan for the future. But what’s problematic is that someday might never come. Not if you don’t get started.
What have you worked your whole life for a Someday? That doesn’t happen. I think that sometimes this idea of someday can Rob us of our true enjoyment of the present. As humans, we spend so much time reflecting on the past, wishing for the future. And we say things like, oh, if only I had this or I’ll be happy when this happens, When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happier. When I get the promotion, I will spend more time with my family. If I had more time, I could do the things I really want to do. Life is not meant to be endured. It’s meant to be enjoyed. Enduring the present while hoping and waiting for something better to happen. That’s not living.
We convince ourselves that it will be easier or faster or better at some point in the future. So we’ll just put this off right in on purpose. I talk about perfectionism in the book and I talk about the two types of perfectionists. One of those is the idealists. Idealists love to gather ideas like a squirrel. Everyone is better than the last shiny object.
Taking away your attention, making you wonder where to focus the object, sparkle and gleam blinding you from seeing what direction to move in. And what happens is you can easily find yourself spinning in a circle from one idea to the next spinning in place and not really moving forward. The shiny object syndrome causes you to carry around all this idea debt for so long.
It begins to weigh on you because all these unfinished ideas, because they’re not ideas in motion, they become over-romanticized. They become these amazing visions that we have, and that makes them feel more exciting than what we’re working on today. What researchers have found is that if people frame things in the future, in the form of days, rather than months or weeks, we would actually act on them sooner. I want you to think about how you feel or how you will feel when you achieve your Someday. When you do this, that’s how you reclaim your power. You let go of the cycle of letting the past, steal your joy and letting the future steal your present. Don’t get caught up in the shiny objects.
The first step is to stop pushing things aside, choose something to move forward on and then act on it. Give yourself a deadline of days, not months, not years. All right, let’s talk about that third roadblock. There’s too much in the way. Ah, there’s always so much in our way, right? The things you say you’re going to do someday reveal who you are and what you really want to do.
And it’s not having that list. That’s the problem. It’s having a list where things go to die. Things that we never prioritize or things that we never actually include into our lives. We have to stop living. Like there are eight days in the week, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, right? Someday.
If it did exist, it would be the busiest day of the entire week. We use some day as a catch-all for the things that we don’t feel like we have the bandwidth to address right now. And as a result, someday is synonymous with postponing joy. And if there’s one thing we don’t want to do, it’s postponing joy. So yes, maybe you feel like you have a lot of obligations.
So we need to get better at using our time. Time is not an excuse for why we can’t do things. We all have accumulated obligations and expectations, our own, and those that belong to other people, right? Letting go of obligation expectations. We have talked about this a lot in the past, especially when we talked about identities and how we sometimes cram ourselves within a tiny little box of what somebody else dreams for us.
A lot of times our parents and we don’t hold strong boundaries of what we want to say yes to. Because every time we say yes, we’re saying no to something else. And oftentimes it’s the things that we’re putting off for someday. So I want you to really create some strong boundaries for yourself. We have tons of episodes where we’ve talked about this, but creating time for you to work on this. So maybe let’s say, let’s go back to the starting your own business example. Maybe you say, I’m gonna work on my business each morning from five 30 to six 30. That’s pretty early, right? But maybe carving out time early in the day works for you. Or maybe it’s your lunch break.
Or maybe it’s after school. After the kids come home and they’re playing outside. But if you put it off, it’s never going to happen. I want you to create some strong boundaries of when you’re going to do this work because your work matters. Even the work you haven’t begun yet, the work you dream about is just as important. So I want to talk in just a moment about how we can move forward.
I want to give you some actionable strategies. I want to give you some, some tips on how you can start moving forward on your days. But first let’s take a quick mid-episode break. If you’re serious about moving forward with your big goals and dreams, I have two ways that I can help you. I have revamped and refreshed two of my most popular courses: multiplying your time and the extraordinary life blueprint multiplying your time is the ideal course.
If you feel like you don’t have the time and you are putting things on the shelf for some day, multiplying your time helps you discover the time in your day. So you can actually get the work done. And the extraordinary life blueprint is all about getting you started, giving you those actionable steps to move forward towards your big goal or your dream 14 days of training so that you can create a plan for the next 365 to make it extraordinary.
I want nothing more than for you to hit those big goals and dreams that you have. So to learn more, go to Tonya dalton.com/courses. There’s never been a better time. I have just lowered the price on both of these courses, because I want you to have the tools to get started. Go to TanyaDalton.com/courses to get started today. All right,
Let’s talk about some ways you can move forward on your somedays. I’m ready for you to feel like you’re making some moves towards those big goals and dreams. So the first thing I want to remind you of is give yourself permission to pursue what matters. Here’s the thing. We have been conditioned our entire lives to seek permission. It starts out when we’re kids… We need to ask parents or teachers if we can do the things we want to do, and yet maybe some of you rebelled against the structure. I was kind of a rule follower, which is funny now, actually, but even if you were a belt against that structure, it became ingrained in our psyche.
And as we got older, we still kept seeking permission. We kept seeking validation from our parents, our peers, or our boss. And this translates into being afraid to go after your big goals, the permission you need comes from within you are in charge of your life. So give yourself permission to do it. Regardless of the outcome in our society, we become so focused on success and what that really looks like.
And as a result, the fear of failure that keeps so many from even starting, you have to give yourself the power and the permission to take a chance, even if the outcome isn’t ideal, because you do have the power to define success. We’ve talked about that on the show before, right? We get caught up though, in the idea of what everybody else is doing,
and that defines success for us. We think it’s money or we think it’s title or status. We don’t realize success. Success is really defined by our own happiness. And the truth is whether you succeed or fail, you did something that mattered to you. Failures are some of the best springboards out there. I know they have been for me in my own life.
So when you make room for what’s important to you, you’re valuing your priorities and yourself because I want you to think about it. I want you to think about those things that you’ve said that you’re going to do someday. We’ll call it our someday list. I want you to take a moment right now and list out the things that you’ve saved for someday.
The big goals, the things that you’ve thought about, the things that you’re like, Ooh, I’m going to do that at some point. I want you to feel free. You can pause this podcast. I’ll wait right here while you write your list or if you’re driving or you’re working out, just take a minute or two and think through what do you think would be on that list?
I’ll wait. You can push pause. All right. Did you push pause? Did you make a list? Because here’s the truth. I want you to hold onto, and this is a hard truth. Are you ready for this? You haven’t done the things on your someday list because it’s not a priority. That’s the thing with priorities. They really are.
What matters most to you. And if it matters to you, you put a specific timeline in place. That doesn’t mean you’re going to do it next year, or you’re going to do it 10 years from now. You’re going to make progress. You’re going to take the first step to get it going. Like let’s say, let’s say you want to go to Italy.
Maybe you’re doing some research. All right, what region of Italy do you want to go to? Okay, you’re going to need a passport. Where do I go? Get a passport? See how you just start with those first simple steps. Then maybe you start a savings account with money earmarked for your Italy trip. Then you’re researching flights and accommodations.
Do you see how each step on that staircase begins to reveal itself? As you make progress up that staircase, by taking the small steps over time, you’re doing what it takes to make someday a reality. You’re making someday a priority. The Somedays in our lives don’t become a reality without intention, without planning, without truly applying some productivity tools to this.
So let’s do that. Now. I want you to take a look at your list, that list, we just created your someday list. And I want you to focus on one thing on that list. Yup. Just one. You might have 50 things on that list. You may have 3000. I want you to focus just on one, because what happens is if we try to stretch ourselves too thin and look at 15 different things, we’re going to get overwhelmed, right? Focus on one thing and then ask yourself the question. What’s one small thing I can do today. And that’s key here. What’s one small thing I can do today to get started? Here’s a hint. Usually it’s asking yourself the question, how do I learn more about this? You wanted to learn how to make pottery.
You can Google it, find out more, or you’ll probably find that there’s a local community college nearby that offers a course in pottery. That’s a great space for education classes. And then you go and you sign up for the pottery class. See how we make it happen. Each little step doesn’t have to be difficult. Even for the bigger things, the bigger goals and the dreams they have.
They all begin with one small step. Every single one of them in my book. And in my book On Purpose, I go in depth with making your big goals happen with a plan. So it feels achievable. You break them down, you make them into bite sized pieces because it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the looming vision of what you want. It can feel so big and so daunting.
We might wonder if we can ever actually make it happen. And in the book, I talk about a process to break it down into landmarks. And that’s what helps us figure out. What’s the goal I need to set right now. What is it I need to do once you have those goals, we break it down even more into bite size steps that I call milestones.
And a lot of the times the very first step is exactly the same. No matter the dream, no matter the vision, no matter the goal, the first step is almost always discovery asking yourself the questions and then immediately the next step starts to appear. And remember, we’re not worried about the whole staircase. We’re just worrying about the next stair right in front of us.
That’s what’s going to give you the clarity. So let me give you an example with this. Let’s say, let’s say your someday is that someday. I want to live at the beach. Hmm. I love that big dream. All right. So what you’re going to do is you can start asking yourself the question, okay, what do I need to do to get started?
Well, I probably want to figure out where I want to live. So start listing out different beach locations you would love to live at. And then you can compare them. Maybe it’s based off key factors like location and cost and travel and all those kinds of things. Right? So this’ll take a little bit of research, a little bit of information gathering, and then you’re going to have a better understanding of what it would take to make someday happen. So, okay. So you decide on a place. Look at that. We’ve, we’ve looped up a step, right? So now maybe the next question is, okay, now I know where I want to go. How much money do I need? Money is a roadblock a lot of times, right? Especially in pursuing your Someday. And you’re going to find that maybe there’s some immediate costs like buying a house. What’s the cost of living there. There’s also upkeep taking care of a beach house is important. And that includes some things like maintenance because of salt water. So then you start to ask yourself, okay, how much will I need to maintain the house each year?
Is this something I really want? Is this something I want to put my time and energy into? These are very real questions to ask yourself each time you answer the question, more questions will come. And that’s an amazing part of the process. You don’t know what the questions you need to ask right now are because you haven’t made it up to that step.
So just worry about that first step, because five steps up. You’re like, oh, I guess I’ll have to get hurricane insurance right now. You start getting somewhere. You have an idea of how much you need to save to get this beach home, to live at the beach. And then you can follow this line and you start finding some ways to gather the money. Starting a savings account. What are you going to do? Or, or maybe after all this research you go, whew. I don’t think I want to, I don’t think I want to own a house at the beach at all. Maybe I’d rather just spend a week there every summer. Hey, that works too. Sometimes we find that our some days sound better than they really are,
but this is what’s amazing. We’ve taken that Someday off the shelf and now we’re like, gosh, all right, what do you want to do? I’m gonna take that original list of my beach destinations that I found. And I’m going to look for rental properties. You can play on a weekend getaway or whatever it is you want, but here’s the thing.
It all begins by making the list and then asking yourself questions and not being afraid of the answers, not being afraid of coming into questions that you don’t know the answer to because they will begin to reveal themselves just like me. When I was trying to figure out how to make that jewelry, I didn’t know what I was doing. Each time I got up a step on that staircase,
I had more questions and then more questions. And here’s the truth. The questions never stop. That’s how life works, but we start to get a lot of clarity. And that’s what I want for you. You know, we talk a lot about planning for success, but I think it’s so important to plan for your somedays. I want your somedays to become your everyday’s.
That’s really the goal of what I do when I speak at events. Or when I talk here on the podcast or I put out books, I want you to feel empowered to ask the questions, to make your goals and dreams a reality. So I want to encourage you today to make that someday list. And then I want you to ask yourself, what is one thing I can do one small thing today, block out 15 minutes. I know you can give yourself 15 minutes, right? We can all give ourselves 15 minutes, 15 minutes. We’ll give you that momentum. It doesn’t seem like a lot and it’s not a lot, but that tiny bit of momentum allows you to take that first step forward. Then you’ll get the second step going. And then the third step, and before you know it, you’re off and running and your Sunday is no longer someday. Your someday is today. I can promise you. This is how every goal I’ve had, whether it’s writing a book, starting a business, getting a feature in Forbes magazine, which just happened this summer. That’s how all of those things have happened for me. And I want them for you.
Yours are different than mine. I’m sure, but I want the things that you dream about to happen. And here’s a way we can really ensure you’re successful. I would love for you to snap a little screenshot of this episode, send it to a friend, ask them to give it a lesson and then hold each other accountable. Ask her what’s your Someday.
What’s the thing that you’re dreaming about. Have her ask you do a check-in in a week. Hey, how you doing on this? Remember when we focus in on what we’re going to do for the next few days, instead of the next few months, we’re more likely to take action. And when we have accountability built in through a friend or a family member, that’s going to double our chances of success. Get somebody in your corner who is rooting you on and cheering you on. And Hey, we’ll kick you in the butt when you need it, because we all need it from time to time. So do that now, snap a quick screenshot, text it to a friend and say, Hey, listen to this episode of the Intentional advantage.
Let’s do this together. Let’s make our goal happen. Let’s make our dream happen because when you deal with other people, ah, it’s an incredible thing to cheer each other on and encourage one another. All right, I’ll be back or not next Tuesday, but the Tuesday after with the last of our summer series, I hope you’re enjoying these episodes. I am.
I love going into the vault, binding these episodes and refreshing them for you. And this episode is definitely one from the past that has resonated with so many of you. I’m excited to put this out, refreshed revamped for you guys now. So go ahead, schedule your 15 minutes because when you get Intentional, when you give yourself time to invest in you, your Somedays will become your reality. And that my friend that is when you have the Intentional Advantage.
**Please note: Transcripts are created using AI and may contain misspelled words or grammatical errors.
Tanya Dalton is a productivity keynote speaker who speaks to corporations, women’s groups, and female entrepreneurs. For more information on booking Tanya to speak, go to TanyaDalton.com/speaking