It was a Wednesday night.
On Oct. 2 of this year, I learned the fate of the biggest, scariest goal I had ever set. Ever.
I've always been a goal-setter. I set weight-related goals and running mileage goals and spin class goals. I've set book-reading goals. I've set income goals. I even set laundry-folding goals-trying to fold an entire week's worth of clothes within one episode of Shark Tank.
However, in all my decades of goal-setting, no goal has ever seemed as out of reach or impossible to achieve as the one I would learn the fate of that October evening. And while part of me wished this wasn't my goal, there it was. The goal that wouldn't let me go.
I wanted to be a New York Times best-selling author. The Times list is the big one-the one that signifies, once and for all, that you have made it. And of all the goals I've ever set in my life, this is the one that taught me the most. Here are three big lessons for my fellow goal-setters:
Surrender to the goal.
I learned this the hard way. Like a toddler who fights her nap only to collapse in an inevitable pile of delirium, I fought against this goal until it made me crazy.
I didn't want to want it because I knew how impossible and unlikely it was. Then, when I finally accepted the goal, I felt myself split in two-the half that dared to dream it was possible, and the half that ridiculed the wildly irresponsible first half for even considering it.
I wasted an incalculable amount of time, even more energy and sanity just debating whether to go for this big goal. By the time I finally accepted this was the goal, I was exhausted.
If you feel a goal lurking in the back of your mind or in the corners of your soul, waste not a moment running from it. Embrace it. Accept it. Go for it.
Stop at nothing (except compromising your dignity).
Though my belief in the goal to be a New York Times bestseller waivered, my actions toward that goal never did. As soon as there was a cover to share, I started pre-selling the book. I offered it from stage at my keynote presentations. I sent it out to my e-mail list. I took my husband and my children with me on the road to events to help with taking pre-orders. I recorded podcast after podcast from a makeshift studio under my son's bunkbed (right next to his T-Rex figurine that may or may not have started roaring during one of the recordings).
We spent hundreds of hours telling absolutely anyone about the book. If The New York Times was the goal and we didn't...