be your own cheerleader.

 This morning, as dawn broke and Facebook came alive with almost everyone posting about their return to work…I realized something. There’s a bunch of people starting new things, flying out on their own (one of them is my ridiculously clever friend Neal over here) and beginning to do things differently. Maybe it’s their New Year’s resolutions, maybe it’s new projects, sometimes it’s a whole new life style.

I find that invigorating. It’s inspiring to see how people have taken new jobs, are starting afresh or actively taking steps towards making their dream a reality. Now, I’m NO motivational speaker – not even a little, tiny bit…but, I did once do something to help me achieve a personal dream. In the spirit of the new year, I thought I’d write it five little things that have been swarming around my head about it.

1. You’re going to deal with assholes. These will be the assholes who tell you that you cannot do it, that you’re not good enough and that you’re being silly. Sometimes this asshole will be yourself, sometimes it’ll be the asshole who won’t pay you for work done. Sometimes it’ll be some weird obstacle you weren’t expecting. Sometimes it’ll just be an asshole. Sometimes you’ll mess up and be your own asshole. It’s okay. Assholes are learning experiences and, at some point, you’ll thank them for being an asshole. Be prepared for the assholes. Understand that they have a purpose.

2. Tell people about it. Whatever your dream is, WHATEVER it is – whether it’s a shiny new title at your company, or a brand spanking new project…tell people about it. Start with “I’m committing myself to this”. You’ll probably be able to weed out a lot of future assholes from just saying it.

be your own cheerleader, even if you don’t know a single dance move.

3. Pompoms for friends. A corollary to telling people about it is that it may actually get you even closer to your ideal. Once you’ve got your support team chucking pompoms, you’ll find it gets really easy to believe in yourself.

4. Pompoms for you. Keep chucking your own pompoms. Be humble, but dammit, don’t discount yourself.

5. Exhaustion is normal. Understand that working towards your goal will probably make you feel tired, annoyed, frustrated, worried and – at some point – disheartened. Excellent things are not achieved overnight. I promise you on that one. Keep going, especially when you feel like giving up. Stop, have a bigfatcry, sleep and carry on. You can, promise.

6. Plan, schedule and plan some more. There is no such thing as too much planning. Be one month ahead of yourself if you can, in your plan. Oh, and don’t look back unless you need to. Sometimes you will never need to again.

And, lastly, be proud of the fact that you committed to a change. You’ll see – that commitment, no matter what your goal or dream is – is what makes it work.