Last week, my little dog (Princess) fixed her eyes on a squirrel which had stalled on a tree. She charged towards the tree, in full pursuit of the squirrel. Initially, I don’t think she realized the tree was surrounded by a hedge of bushes. However, once she did, she was too focused on the squirrel to stop charging! She ran even faster and attempted to jump over the hedge of bushes, in order to get to the squirrel.
Unfortunately, Princess did not clear the bush and landed (and was, subsequently, stuck) in the middle of it. So, of course, I had to help her break free. Now, I am sure that bush was quite painful. I mean, she looked horrid. Yet, somehow, Princess became even more intent than ever on finding that squirrel. There was no fear. No hesitation. No time for me to pull the branches and berries from her fur or check her for cuts and scrapes. She was still in full and relentless pursuit of her goal… the squirrel.
There is so much this little dog can teach about goals and the pursuit of passion. So, how can we apply this to vocal health?
Here are 7 things you should do in order to accomplish your vocal health goals:
1. Know your targets – Be specific. For example, saying “Improve my voice” is too broad. You should set targets that will allow you to come up with a plan to achieve them. Here are some examples:
- “Produce X minutes of voice that is supported by healthy breathing”
- “Save $X to pay for X treatment at X facility”
- “Apply to X clinical trials within the next X months”
- “Read and comment on X VoiceMatters.net member profiles to connect with people who share my diagnosis or geographic location”
- “Overcome my isolation and fear of socialization by telling X new people about my condition within the next X days.”
- “Recover X% of my vocal ability” (even if a way is not yet known, incremental recovery goals can help narrow your focus)
2. Focus – You’ve got to have a laser focus on your goals. Remove or ignore the distractions. If the television, or one of your favorite shows, is stopping you from moving forward… be willing to turn it off in order to focus on your targets.
3. Strategize – Take some time (but not too long) to plan how you will attack your goals. Give yourself 2, 3, even 5, or 6 different paths to success and WRITE IT ALL DOWN. The reality of the situation is, you may not have immediate success. You may outright fail at your first attempt. Remember, if this stuff were easy, you would have done it all a long time ago. There is something about it or something within you that has made it difficult. You are now strategically setting up to overcome those obstacles. So, don’t get discouraged. If you fail, take a look at your list and move on to the next plan of attack!
4. Pursue Relentlessly – Go after your goals. Pursue them with passion and vigor. Just as Princess encountered the bush, you will most assuredly have obstacles. Relentless pursuit will cause you to find ways to get around all of them. You have GOT to go for your goals with all of your might. They are YOUR goals, after all, and you are the only one who can achieve them. If you don’t pursue them, they’ll forever be a distant hope.
5, Keep going – The fact is, you may not have immediate success. Even with relentless pursuit, you may find yourself at crossroads and major decision points, having setbacks, or even at a point where you have to face your greatest fear in order to move forward. Just remember, you have GOT to stay focused on your goals and keep going. So, do what you need to do in order to recover from your setback, get answers to your questions, and overcome your fears. Do not let those things hinder you from your target. Keep going!
6. Get the help you need – There may be times when you are not able to clear an obstacle, in spite of your greatest efforts. You may find yourself stuck; and you genuinely have no way out on your own. In those cases, seek and accept the help you need in order to break free. However, once you are free, don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on what you just recovered from. That situation is now in the past and the past cannot be changed. Your goals are ahead of you. So, again, it is time to focus. No fear. No hesitation. It’s time for uncompromising focus and relentless pursuit based on your next strategic path.
7. Don’t give up – You set specific goals. So, you know what success looks like. Don’t give up until you have achieved success… no matter how long it takes. Never compromise or rationalize with yourself about it. You know where the targets are. Don’t give up. You have got to believe that you can achieve them, else there is no fuel to continue.
Do you believe in you? I certainly do!