The 4 Phases of Chasing Your Passion

Today I want to talk about the four stages of chasing your passion or achieving your goals or your dreams.

I want to help advise you on how to get through and break those cycles, how to identify where you are in a certain phase, and just kind of guide you through step by step how people actually achieve their dreams.

I speak a lot about following your passion, I have had basically the same passion since I was very young, and I have made it kind of a side project until recently.

Over the past year, I have really put my passions a priority. And although it hasn’t been super easy and it hasn’t been a fairytale, I am currently doing everything I wanted to do.

I’m doing it confidently, and I’m doing it with stability.

If I can help you do the same, then that’s what I want to do.

Table of Contents

The 4 Phases of
Chasing Your Passion

the four stages of chasing your passion

Phase One: The Comfort Zone

The first phase is something you’ve probably heard before, the comfort zone.

This might be where you are right now, but it’s definitely where a lot of people retreat to in the process of chasing their passion.

If you’re in your comfort zone, it’s when your passion, your dream, or your goal is kind of just an idea, or maybe you spend a couple of hours on it a week or you’ve started planning, but you haven’t actually taken the step where you’ve had to invest a lot of time, energy and money into it.

You are still living comfortably while it’s like a dream that almost feels too far away.

You haven’t really told anybody about it, there are no stakes in it, it’s still very personal.

You’re not risking a lot. And that’s why it’s the comfort zone because you’re comfortable. But that’s also why a lot of people continue to get stuck here or retreat here.

the comfort zone - 4 stages of chasing your passion

Being in the comfort zone is obviously easier than any other zone you can be in.

It’s not the worst place to be, but when you start this path towards your passion, it’s kind of the worst place to end up because you want to reach your goals. You don’t want to end up where you started.

Phase Two: Uncertainty

If you have the guts or the time or the energy, or the money to make that big next step, that’s when you enter the uncertainty phase.

To break out of your comfort zone, you have to get a little bit uncomfortable. I think that’s pretty obvious from the name.

This is where you’re taking more chances on yourself.

Maybe you are investing a lot more time, maybe more money. Maybe you are making it public. You are really committing to this, and it’s actually a real thing now. You are investing in it, you are executing the plan, you are going all-in or some in. It’s not just an idea anymore and you’re uncomfortable and you’re uncertain because you don’t know where it’s going to go.

A lot of people get stuck in the uncertainty phase and then get dragged back to their comfort zone and they get stuck in this cycle.

You leave the comfort zone to start exploring something new, uncertainty overwhelms you, and you go right back to the comfort zone. It’s just that vicious cycle again and again because there’s something inside of you that wants more, but because more is scary and uncertain, you just go back to the comfort zone.

What I’ve learned most in my journey – and I know it’s easier said than done – but you need to find a way to take the uncertainty and view it as wonder, curiosity, and excitement instead of fear, doubt, and anxiety.

Sometimes you retreat there willingly, and you make the choice to go back. But other times you’re pushed there. Maybe you didn’t invest enough of your time, maybe you didn’t take it seriously, maybe you didn’t have the self-discipline, maybe it’s not the right time and you’re pushed back into the comfort zone.

It’s not the end of the world, but it is a cycle you can get stuck in.

If you really want to reach your passion, eventually you have to outgrow that cycle.

When you get back into your comfort zone, it might mean you need to plan, or maybe you need a wake-up call.

And for me, I needed a wake-up call.

A lot of people don’t achieve what they want to achieve because there’s no urgency to achieve it, because comfort is okay. So if you are someone who needs urgency, you may have to create urgency for yourself.

Getting through the uncertainty phase means that you push even when things feel like they’re not going right or things feel like they’re going bad.

And this is different than when things are bad.

A lot of times when we are in something that is uncertain, it looks like it’s not going to happen for us or it looks like this is going to be a dead end. We’re filled with that doubt that if we keep pushing, it’s just going to end up somewhere bad.

And the thing is, you worrying about that is not actually it being bad. Thinking it is not going to work out for you and it actually not working out for you are two different things. Thinking it’s not going to work out for you is the uncertainty.

That is what you have to push through.

That is the hardest realization.

Phase Three: Discovery

If you manage to push through the uncertainty, you get into the beautiful discovery phase.

This is where you discover what your life can look like, all the different opportunities. You start seeing abundance, you’ve kind of left a scarcity mindset of uncertainty and leaned into the abundance of opportunity and just different ways and different directions your project can take.

It’s not all positive because you also start to learn what doesn’t work or what you don’t actually like. But that is still in the discovery phase because you’re certain about things you don’t like, which leads you into things you do, or you are certain about things that don’t work, which leads you into things that do work.

But you can also lose yourself in this phase. Although it is a beautiful phase to be in, I personally find that I got faced with impostor syndrome.

And if it’s not impostor syndrome, you might also have too many opportunities. A lot of people have a lot of things they can do, but they don’t actually do them. That could do with self-discipline, doubt, or maybe you’re so indecisive and unsure that you never actually make a move.

If you let those feelings of doubt, imposter syndrome, and indecision, you can actually start going into the uncertainty phase, because that’s uncertainty.

Not thinking that you are capable or that you can do it is uncertainty.

That’s why the boundary of these two phases is a very blurry line.

When you’re in the discovery phase, it doesn’t mean you are certain about everything. It means that you’ve pushed through uncertainty and you reshape the way you view uncertainty.

But that’s also why it’s so easy to fall back into uncertainty and then back into that vicious cycle.

Another thing that a lot of people run into in the discovery phase is not actually just about their business, their goal, or whatever they want to achieve.

It’s about themselves.

In the discovery phase, you’re also going through a huge self-discovery. You’re finding out things about yourself and you may need to challenge them.

One thing about me is I have a huge problem with self-discipline and personal commitments to myself. Being creative, being self-employed, there’s no one to really hold me accountable besides me.

That’s an example of an obstacle I needed to face in the discovery phase.

Phase Four: Bloom

The final and most beautiful phase is the Bloom phase, and I really do think I’m nearing it.

When you are in the Bloom phase, this is kind of when everything is paying off.This is when you’ve pushed through the uncertainty. You’ve discovered all your opportunities, you’ve made a decision or you’ve moved in a direction and things are working out for you.

All these little snowballs that you started creating are just piling and piling and piling and things are starting to pay off.

You are seeing the results of everything you’ve put in now.

This is not to say you won’t see results all the way through these phases because of course you will! But this is where it’s like exponentially better.

You’re growing and you’re seeing the life you’ve always wanted. You’re seeing this goal you’ve always wanted.

That seems so far away sometimes when you think about it. But when you look at what I’ve just described to you and how you get there.

The main thing is about mindset and is about exploring your self-doubt and pushing through it.

Obviously, there are going to be other outer obstacles, but you cannot control that. That is part of the discovery phase.

Uncertainty also comes with external factors, but you have to realize that you are still in some power over yourself and you have to do something about it.

I’m not saying that in the Bloom phase or getting to the Bloom phase you have to have this hustle mindset, but you do have to actively put in work, whether it is who you are mentally, who you are in a workspace, or what your project is going to be.

As long as you are thinking and you are motivated and you are inspired and you are creative, it’s not about how much you work. It’s just that you’re doing something.

And although you’re in the Bloom phase, this is a cycle.

When you take whatever project you’ve reached and you want to turn it into something else, or maybe things change, or maybe you want something else.

You’re probably going to go right back into the comfort phase because your Bloom phase becomes your comfort phase because this is now where you are safe.

Then you can do it all over again.

But I do want to say when a dream feels so far away when it feels like you might never get it if there’s a part of you dreaming it, if there’s a part of you that is always thinking about it, there’s a part of you that believes it can be yours.

So that’s just my main thing. If you are dreaming it, there’s a reason for that.

There’s something inside of you that knows you’re completely capable.

I hope this explanation and kind of the way I view it and what I’ve experienced inspires you and gives you a little bit more confidence.

If you want me to go through any of the phases in a little bit more detail, like how to actually address uncertainty, how to get out of the comfort zone, or maybe you want me to talk about the best way to handle the discovery phase.

I’m totally open to doing that.

And if you want to share anything in the comments, you’re completely welcome to!

How To Set Monthly Goals: Being Realistic and Successful

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I cracked the code on how to set monthly goals that are attainable, and I want to share this knowledge with you!

I used to only set yearly goals, but they would get lost and then the end of the year would roll around and I would be rushing to accomplish everything last minute. That is not the way to do it. Thankfully, I found a better way.

This method can be tailored specifically to you

Today, I’m going to show you how to set monthly goals that will actually work.

Disclaimer: Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means I can earn a commission if they’re used for purchases. The decision to use these links is entirely up to the reader.

Pela Case

Step One: Define your long-term or yearly goals

set monthly goals

Ask yourself, “What do you want and where do you want to be?”

This is the step where you write down as many goals as you want. Think of broad goals. No narrowing down yet, this is where you want to get everything down on the page.

A brain dump, if you will.

Step Two: What does your month look like?

Analyze the month you’re planning for. This step has three subsections: analyzing free time, important dates, and energy levels.

planning your month to set your goals

1. Take an honest look at your free time:

Take your responsibilities: kids, job, school, or anything else that takes up your time into account.

Be honest with yourself here when you estimate how much time these responsibilities will take. You can organize this by writing responsibilities down on a calendar or by making bullet points in a journal. Whatever works for you.

Then write down how much time you want to spend a day or a week on that goal.

2. Write down any major dates and appointments:

Do you have a work event, a school project, a birthday party, or a wedding to go to? Write them down.

Write down any event that will take up a considerable amount of time. Take a look at them and be honest about how much time those events will take. Will they cut down a lot of your free time this month? Be honest so you set yourself up for success.

If you have a big school assignment due in 2 weeks, is your “free time” on nights and weekends really free? I know it is not for me.

Not only do you need to look at daily and weekly routines to get an idea of free time. Every month is different. Looking at the month as a whole will help you get an idea of how busy the month will be.

3. Check-in with your energy levels:

Take this time to reflect. How was your energy last month? How do you feel? Are you struggling to reach your goals? Super motivated and ready to take on the world? Does it fluctuate depending on the day? Write it down and take it into consideration.

Truly think about how much energy you have. If you are already spread thin, you don’t want to burn out. However, if you have energy, maybe this is the month that you can get ahead so when you do feel tired, or when family, school, or work has taken up a lot of your time, you can relax.

If you are low on energy, do not be discouraged. The book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, says just a 1% change per month puts you on the path to success. Small changes and small wins are so important. They are the building blocks to the big wins.

James Clear Quote to Help You Set Monthly Goals

Set yourself up for success. If you plan 10 huge goals with zero time, it may be detrimental. You may burn out, or drop the ball with other things. This may cause you to not reach the 1% improvement. That is why analyzing time and energy is a huge deal when goal setting. It does nobody any good to write down 10 huge goals if you don’t have the time or energy to do them.

Step Three: How many goals or habits should you take on?

Before you write down what your goals are going to be, you need to decide what approach to these goals you are going to have. Here are the 3 ways I approach goals.

Focus on one goal for the month:

Do it when: you have only enough energy and time to focus on one thing.

Focusing on one goal could look like doing a 30-day yoga challenge if your goal is to get back into yoga practice.

Focus on stepping stones for multiple goals:

Do it when: You feel inspired or work better when you can accomplish a lot of different projects and goals.

If you have 5 goals, maybe you pick little habits or smaller goals that you can knock something off of a to-do list for a bigger goal. This is more time, but breaking it down into smaller stepping stones makes it manageable.

Focus on a project or habit that will help you achieve multiple goals:

Do it when: you’re pressed for time and have low energy, but want to achieve something this month.

What is one habit that could help with multiple goals? I want to build a solid morning routine: I want to do yoga, I want to get outside more, and I want to take more pictures.

What if I woke up an hour earlier? Waking up an hour earlier can apply to any of these goals because I now have an extra hour in the morning where I could probably do a lot of these. I could do yoga outside, finish with a walk, and take some pictures. It is one habit that I can work on all month long that will get me further in my goals.

Step Four: Set your monthly goals with the previous steps in mind.

This is a big step. Now is the time to write down our goals.

These should be specific. Again, only write down as many as you can sustainably manage that match the plan you laid out above.

Don’t spread yourself too thin, but don’t underestimate yourself.

Things change, if you have to take a break from a goal, do it. Just don’t quit everything completely.

Don't Quit Your Daydream

Step Five: Write down your plan or process for reaching these goals.

The final step is to write down the process you are going to use to achieve these goals.

I wrote down that I wanted to get back into yoga, I wanted to build a morning routine, and I wanted better energy levels. Those are the results I want, but how do I get there?

If you are going to take the time to plan your goals, do yourself a favor and plan out the process for achieving these goals. Make it a challenge if that will help you commit.

how to set monthly goals that actually work

Now you have your goals, your systems, a plan to get there. You know your energy levels and the time you have to commit. If you need to adjust this at any time, you can. This is your plan. Plus, you’ve written it down, so it is easier to visualize, reorganize, add in, or subtract.

I recommend going through these steps every month. Every month is different, so make sure to consider that when goal setting.

Bonus: 3 ways to reinforce good habits

  1. Get an accountability partner.

This is someone you will check in with about your goals. They don’t have to know all the details about your goal, but they need to be someone who will call you out. If you have someone who knows you well, they should be the top choice.

  1. Use a habit tracker.

If your goal process involves a bunch of little habits, I suggest using a habit tracker. This can be on paper, online, through an app, whatever works best for you.

  1. Make a reward system.

Write down a reward for every goal you have. It does not have to be an expensive reward, it doesn’t have to cost anything. The reward can be playing a video game, playing games on your phone, or watching videos for a day. Treat that as a reward and write it down.

For example, if I stick to the yoga challenge, I’m going to buy myself a yoga block. I want one and I think it would help me, but I am not currently doing yoga enough to justify spending money on it. If I stick with the challenge, I will have kickstarted my love for yoga again, so I can justify getting the block.

I believe in you! We’ve got this!

I hope this helps you with your goals! Leave a comment or message me on Instagram. I hope you achieve all of your goals this month! Remember, even just 1% better means you are on the path to success. Go crush your goals!

how to set monthly goals

How to ACTUALLY Reach Your Goals in 2022: 5 Actionable Steps to Change Your Life

Writing down your goals on a piece of paper is a great start to reach your goals, but more is needed. Reaching your goals is hard if you don’t have an action plan set in place, especially if you plan on making life-changing decisions.

This post will help you to change a passing thought into a solid action plan. Here are 5 steps that I use to reach my goals!

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means I can earn a commission if they’re used for purchases. The decision to use these links is entirely up to the reader.

Pela Case

1. Finding Inspiration

Inspiration is one that is constantly brought up. To get a goal ignited you need a spark of inspiration. I want you to ask yourself, “why do I want to reach this goal?” and keep asking yourself this until you get down to the raw, real reason why you want this goal.

Disclaimer: If you are intimidated by someone or you are stressing about a comparison to someone, then you are not in a place to let them inspire you, and it’s better for you to look away for a little while until you get that confidence.

Next, ask yourself, “who inspires me?” Look at these people and try to learn from them. You don’t want to BE these people because everyone is different and you want to find the version of success meant for you.

Then ask, “what can I do to remind myself of these inspirations every day?” Some people do journaling, sticky notes on a wall, daily affirmations. I do visions boards. I have a general vision board and I also do monthly vision boards to visualize my goals.

reach your goals with a vision board

2. Build a Foundation of Information

One of the most important steps in reaching a goal is to have a foundation of information. You need a base of information or education to start the intention. You need that foundational base, anything that stands strong needs something to stand on.

Do what you can to learn all that you can about your goal. There are so many free things out there now like blogs, videos, and books.

What book or course recommendations are your inspiration sharing? There are so many free resources out there, you just need to know what you’re looking for!

3. Make a Plan

The modern focus of goal setting is to make a plan. It is not enough to write down your goal; you need to write it down in manageable steps.

In a journal or excel, make a plan of your goal. Make sure to break your goal into smaller monthly or weekly goals so it isn’t overwhelming and is more manageable.

Each week I set a small habit that fits into my projects that help me get ahead in my monthly or weekly goal!

make a plan and reach your goals!

4. Motivation

Motivation is very tough and keeping it is easier said than done. It depends on various reasons, and it comes and goes. Don’t get discouraged! I have a few tips that help me find my motivation again.

    1. Circle back to your inspiration. Give yourself a reminder of why you want to reach a goal.
    2. Get an accountability partner or a positive community. Having a partner or community can give you the chance to open up and speak about your goals.
    3. Take care of yourself! If you are not resting, eating, or doing things you love, you will feel overwhelmed and get discouraged, and you will lose your motivation. Balancing all these things is difficult, but it should be a focus because at the end of the day if you’re not motivated and you push yourself too hard, it will have the opposite effect. You need to know when to push yourself and when to rest.

5. Reflecting, Tracking, and Checking-In

This is the most important part of keeping your pace and getting better. I like to have some kind of milestone or achievements written in a notebook that I can check off when I have completed them. I recommend having a monthly check-in to see what you have achieved even if you feel like you’re behind. Don’t let that drag you down! You may have achieved something without knowing it. And if you didn’t it was probably because it was better for your interest or health not to.

If you are self-sabotaging, this is a chance to recognize it, too. You need to see what works and what doesn’t for the next month so you’re not repeating yourself and keeping yourself stuck in the same place.

reflect to reach your goals

Those are my 5 actionable steps to use to reach your goals and I hope they help! My two most recommended steps to pay attention to are creating a base of information and reflecting. Goals are complicated and at the base of our goals is us.

Are we healthy? Are we okay? We are always going to have roadblocks or obstacles. Don’t feel like you must hustle all the time.

Remember to give yourself grace and to practice forming a healthy lifestyle around goals for yourself. You want to see your life flourish while you reach your goals!

pin to reach your goals

How to Set Your Goals for Success by Categorizing Your Life

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I always set goals for myself and I’m here to help you set your goals for success! The silliest and smallest goal would still make the list because any achievement adds to my personal growth. When I was in university I became interested in bullet journaling and discovered the Pinterest category of  “Level 10 Life”.

Forevermore I used this ideology when creating any goals for myself. In this post, I am going to show you how to set your own personal goals.

Using the Level 10 Life ideology I will set you up for success!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. 

Categorize Your Life to Set Your Goals

Categorize Your Life to Set Your Goals

The first step is to choose several categories to define each aspect of my life.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a great book to complement and show you this process.

For example, I break mine up into: 

  • Environmental Impact – any goals that go greener.
  • Finances – this category will help budget money and save up for any gifts/trips that are on your bucket list!
  • Personal Development – this will help you grow as a person (creativity, intelligence, productivity, etc.)
  • Relationships – it is important to always put energy and effort into the relationships in your life. Setting a relationship goal ensures that you do not neglect this aspect of your life while working towards your other goals.
  • Career – no matter what your job is or what you’re working towards (if you’re in school, for example) it is important to work towards a goal to achieve success.
  • Spirituality – any goal that helps me become more of a spiritual person.
  • Creativity – it’s important to prioritize our creative minds and develop our creative projects!
  • Health/Fitness – make sure to always take care of yourself!

Set Your Goals and Visualize Them

Once you have your categories, set your goals. Choose achievable goals and remember that you have lots of time, so it is okay to start small and leave the “end-game” goals for the future.

You may only set one goal per category or have several. Whatever you do, visualize it so that you can track your goals. I set up my “Level 10 Life” scoreboard with 5 goals in each category. This way I can track progress on a goal (one block) and then achieve a goal (both blocks). Once 5 goals are completed I will have the entire column colored indicating success in that category.

If you’re having trouble coming up with goals, ask yourself these questions

  • Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? Once you think about these long-term goals you can set smaller goals that will put you in this direction.
  • What bad habits do you need to quit? Yes a goal can also be quitting something
  • How can you improve your life? Goals can be big or small, a small change that can improve your life is still a goal worth working towards!
  • What have you been putting on the back-burner? We are all guilty of procrastinating, think of a goal you never “have” the time for, and begin to make time for it!
  • What can I do to help others? Goals do not always have to be for yourself. Make a goal that will help other people or the environment. 

You can even create a vision board to keep you motivated, learn how here!

Some of you will be satisfied with the accomplished feeling you receive when you reach your goals, however, if you need an extra push you can read my next section to talk about your personal reward system!

Reward System

If you need extra motivation or feel like after all that hard work of achieving goals you deserve to treat yourself, then this system is for you!

For each category (or even each goal) set a reward for yourself once the goals are achieved. 

Rewards do not necessarily have to be material items. It can be as simple as taking a day to do nothing to rest.

Although I personally make my rewards fall under the same theme as the goal they are associated with, it is really up to you. The most important message to take from this post is that your goals are all about YOU!

Using my process should help you set your goals! Please leave any thoughts, comments, or questions below!

set your goals by categorizing your life

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