5 Steps to Help You Achieve Your Goals

As 2017 winds down, a new year is just around the corner and what does that mean? Everyone's favorite: LISTS! Here are my.....5 Steps to Help You Achieve Your Goals

From the mind of an eccentric hopeful in his 20s

[Disclaimer: This list comprised of information that is utterly my perspective, opinion, and I, like many of you out there, am still very much a work in progress but I strive for greatness and expect no less of myself! These are a couple of the lessons and truths I've learned along the way.]

1. Have Goals

This goes without saying, in order to conquer your goals (on the path to you sitting on an island sipping bottomless margs)- you must first, actually have goals!

Having a job in this day and age is great, you're already on your way to making life's currency. Good for you! But like the saying goes, unless your some sort of savant or CEO, you will always be Just Over Broke - chasing that next promotion, heeding to every command of your micromanaging boss, whilst you scurry amongst your peers in the rat race. It's understandable, we've all found ourselves here- but finding our way out separates the average from the willing. Finding out what you love to do comes with time and the answers are not always apparent. It takes years for some to figure out their "side hustle" and even longer to prioritize it as their main daily exertion of energy.

So: HAVE GOALS! And make them simplistic in nature. Schedule your free time around accomplishing them and build a mindset of crushing your days, squandering no minutes to the useless, and perpetually you will find yourself inching your way to the six pack, million dollar bungalow, or new Ferrari you've always wanted. These are just some examples, but find your own and use them to fuel your newfound drive to make your dreams a reality.

Realizing and actualizing step one is a time consuming process and even though we'd love to do it all, we essentially can't. But the sooner you get it, the faster you'll get where you want to be.

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2. Face Your Faults

I confess, I am and have been a chronic procrastinator. Heck, I was stuck for months in the planning and eating Cheetos phase of my eventual world domination. It took me to having to absolutely exhaust every outlet of my boredom before I actually stretched-out my dormant fingers and got working on this blog. But like many of you, my college habits sort of stuck with me, except now you're in the real world and what you do directly correlates with how much you make and who you will end up becoming in the long run. Would you like to be known as a nobody? Well if not, get it moving bucko! Dr. Miller from 1996's Twister said best, "Today, we're gonna make history, so stick around. 'Cause the days of sniffing dirt are over!" In essence: Conquer your storm.

Beating procrastination is a hard fault to overcome but after a brief stint with the magic mushroom in Amsterdam, I'm more than ready to define my days and become more productive as a result of it. As grim as it may sound our days are numbered my friends and we need to grasp reality daily if we want to persevere past mediocrity. A helpful source of guidance I've found, has been reading books. A precursor to deep insightfulness, books, specifically self-help books, the motivational kind - were a huge helping hand as I pushed through the months of post-grad. Some of these books have helped me at my lowest/highest and the inspiration they have provided me is endless. If we can learn even one new thing from any book, it makes it all worthwhile. Some of my favorites are listed below:

From Procrastination to Production by Jeffery Combs

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, PhD

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

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3. Build a Team

Even though I'd like to think I could do everything myself, more often than not, I cannot. The idea of building a team by far has been one of the most underwhelming things I have done or thought of. Essentially because, it was there all along- I just didn't see it for what it was. The people you come across in life will influence you in various ways, you'll get into heaps of trouble with some and others will guide you into the light. Like philosophers of the past have said, you are the culmination of the 5 people closest to you (not physically but interactively). And I think it's objectively true as environmental influences play a huge role in our lives. Your closest circle will motivate you, helping you push through obstacles and help you achieve yourself beyond what you thought was capable. So think to yourself. When you're with your friends or family, are you gaining positively, socially, mentally, and/or physically, or are your views oppressed and feel as though no one is here to hear your story? Think about your immediate circle.

The ideal group will consist of a few pillars that will define the overall congruity and uniformity of said group. The team must act as one, even though all are very different and play their specific roles. Positive encouragement and inspiration must be consistent factors in conversation and daily proceedings. Facing problems and triumphing over them head first can sometimes be daunting but the slightest bit of hope can go a long way. So surround yourself with people who will help get you there. Get you where you want to be. People who inspire you. People who care for you. And most importantly, people who will unconditionally be there for you whether you are down in the dumps or flying high on cloud 9. And in return, selflessly be that person for as many as YOU can. Because the world works in funny ways and spreading your positive aura will one day come back and lift you up when you need it most.

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4. Think It, Do It

This may come to surprise to some but I've faced crippling anxiety for the greater part of my teen years and young adulthood. When the going gets tough, I've frozen and been incapable of completing what tasks I've tried to accomplish. But time and time again, I've put myself out there, and really tried to make the best of the jitters using them to propel me forward. For those who need some perspective, for me, feeling anxious essentially is being so wound up in your own head that you feel as though someone has a grip on your brain as you seek solitude in nothingness. Remember, it's all in your head - I'd tell myself. Becoming more self-aware and ever-present has allowed me to surpass any fallacies of my emotions. Remember the task at hand and go after it. Think it, do it.

Balancing a life of work, play, hustle, play, and inventive, fiery passion is a difficult endeavor for anybody to undertake, let alone the highly driven.  The biological clock of time is always ticking so everyday is a new reason to prove to yourself that you are gifted, you are worthy, and you will achieve your goals.

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5. Treat Yourself

Lastly, don't forget to treat yourself! 

All things in life require a bit of moderation but definitely splurge when you think you deserve it. Now don't let this get out of hand and become some sort of soulless shopaholic burying themselves in credit card debt, but go ahead! Get yourself that spa day you deserve or go out on the town with some friends. You're the sh*t, you owned it this week, so get out there and keep crushing it tiger. Each day is a new mission and lately we've been hitting nothing but home runs. So treat yourself and at the end of all that, get back to work, 'cus these goals won't conquer them self.

Some of my personal favorite treats include: Little Debbie Fudge Brownies (seriously though, I'm wildly addicted), movie night with the family / special someone, night out on the town, new toys, technology, &/or apparel.

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Hope this list of motivational steps to reach your goals are helpful! Let me know what helps churn your butter and makes you tick when it comes to accomplishing YOUR goals.

Tell me in the comment section below!

Fragile

Life. It's all a bit fragile.

I've been feeling pretty crazy lately.

Have you experienced one of those moments where you believed you hit rock-bottom?

Or how about when you realize that in the grand scheme of things, you are a blip on the map of fleeting eternity..... floating, meaningless, despaired in time. 

This is how I've been feeling. Don't get me wrong, these thoughts come and go, passive equations to my daily pursuits.

My outlets of keeping myself sane: delving in music, art, and performing. 

Shameless plug: KOSIMO | My Personal Instagram

And then this happened.....

On August 21, 2017 I stared directly into the Solar Eclipse, and yes that means with no eye protection. And no, I wasn't watching or listening to the news all weekend - I was busy in my soulless plight of mischief, debauchery, and scoundrel-ness per usual. 

PC: Cameron DaSilva

PC: Cameron DaSilva

So, I was excited to hear about the terrestrial event and without much calculated thought went outside to say hello to brother Sun and sister Moon. In this ephemeral moment, I felt so small. You really do come to understand that we're inhabitants of something greater than us all, all just tokens on the game-board of the universe, really soul-searching for answers time and time again. Now I'm sitting in my room with symptoms of *supposed self-diagnosed* retinal damage and light sensitivity and the internet makes none of this better.

It's almost like I preemptively do this to myself. I'm a idiot version of martyrdom for no particular reason or purpose. Total Me Move. I suppose it stems from waning in defeat to toxic human anxiety and partially feeling a sort of lack of any particular depth in most of my recent relationships. I'm sure the feeling is beyond myself and others may feel this void. And then sometimes it's like I'm talking to a wall. And maybe I am. But nevertheless, I digress. 

The other day I decided to try 'The Miracle Morning' - (if you haven't heard about it: GOOGLE is a thing) this was partially due to the fact that I was far too weary to sleep / fearing the symptoms of my retinal damage, eventual blindness when I awoke. So here I was galloping amongst the "morning people" feeling not quite like myself but able to see and function. Then I reminisced. 20/20 vision is something I take for granted because the idea of losing it, had never crossed my mind. But what about people who have lost other things or have never had the pleasure or gift of sight or hearing from the onset?

Sometimes I feel like I'd side with the Baby Boomers in an argument, most of the time not, but sometimes I feel like we're the spoon-fed generation taking everything that is handed to us on a silver platter and doing nothing particularly great with it. We glorify our vacations. Meaningless spend money we don't have. Snarl at the homeless and go about our days in comfort and luxury. What's wrong with these things? Nothing. Just thoughts that have been on my mind... Anyways, I'll keep you posted on my healing process and my hopeful 100% recovery to where I can make something of myself and give back to society. It's just that... human life, we're all just so fragile.

....some will call the hands we're dealt unfortunate. I'll call it destiny. Live the life you're meant to live. This is the gift we are granted: to make these days, hours, and minutes count. Don't squander your gift.

What means nothing to you, may mean the world to another. End rant.

P.S. To my brother Joey Badass and the vision-less army, salute.

Maybe someday I'll pay homage to 2017 // its flaws, facets, and fallacies. Until then, fin.

Sleepless in Seattle

There's something about spontaneity that just can't be described. The thrill of just going where life takes you, unpremeditated; it's possibly becoming my forte at this point. Nevertheless, the vibes in Seattle and Washington State were more than right. The people, the atmosphere, the herbal scent of mountainous kush flowing through the air... there's almost a surreal genuity that comes from trying to absorb a local culture. I can tell you that the Evergreen State did not disappoint. 

The view from the lookout at Mount Rainier National Park was breathtaking.

The view from the lookout at Mount Rainier National Park was breathtaking.

A mutual friend named Christine, a local living in a neighboring town near Seattle, was kind enough to show myself and my good friend Kevin around town for our stay in Washington State. A couple of the locale's visited included Rattlesnake Ridge, Mount Rainier National Park, Capitol Hill, Pike Place Market, the Great Wheel, and much more.

This was one of my first times going on what I call a "real" hike. The trails in Jersey just don't compare and almost feel like after-thoughts ending abruptly or weaving to nothing worthwhile. The paths that we took to reach the vistas you see before you were remarkable, almost fantasy-esqe. Thinking about how the trails were made and how the first trailblazers created safe routes within these desolate forests was mind-blowing to me. Hiking itself as a hobby is deeply ingrained within Washington culture - I'm glad to have experienced it first-hand. Reaching the lookout for Mount Rainier required an 11 mile drive on solely gravel roads, much of it being uphill, seemed never-ending but you do what you gotta do for the view and gosh it really is something. It's easy to feel ever so small, being dwarfed by nature's beauty. 

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Before we left we caught a game at Safeco field with the Mariners taking on the Mets (snore) which was good fun. Capitol Hill was an expected blast, be sure to grab a Seattle dog while you're there! We also had a chance to visit the Seattle Art Museum for a look at Yayoi Kusama's famed Infinity Mirrors display. Each room is intricately decorated with mirrors and abstract objects that definitely make for an amazing picture. However, you have 20 to 30 seconds in each room - so make it quick! But anyways, enough ranting and be sure to check it out for yourself!

So, until next time...

Peace, love, and prosperity to all.

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@yearofshade

A Year in RECAP

Soon I'll be embarking on yet another international journey of growth and change. This marks a year since I've been in India and I've found myself in the front-seat welcoming a new member to the family. It's finally happening, my sister is getting married!! Last year has been more than momentous for the family, but we could not be happier. Not only am I beyond excited for the festivities, having an awesome bro-in-law, & honestly, I'll do anything right now to get a few weeks away from the brutal winter of the Northeast. Here's some more incite into why I'm so excited:

The setting is beyond comprehension. The place is as majestic as it is awe-inspiring. This destination wedding is taking place at none other than Fort Neemrana in Rajasthan, India. Now I'm no film-maker or professional photographer, but you best believe I'll be capturing some beautiful shots of this magnificent historical landmark. 

Neemrana Fort Palace is India's oldest heritage resort (built in 1464) located in an ancient historical town in the Alway district of Rajasthan, India - equidistant from prominent cities Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Named after valiant chief-tan Nimola Meo, the fortress was home to a lineage of proud 15th century rulers. Also home to the Flying Fox Neemrana dubbed India's first Zip Tour, the breathtaking panorama from this luxury hotel can be seen from its over 6 acres of land and 12 separate levels of vistas and views.

Fort Neemrana, Rajasthan, India

Fort Neemrana, Rajasthan, India

This also marks the beginning of a new series I'd like to call Recaps. One of my more immediate goals in life is to become a more established traveler, an explorer if you will. I've put together video compilations of my footage retained from my short stays in Dubai and India last year and hopefully will add many more soon! Posted below:

INDIA

DUBAI

Speak to you all in the next one.

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@yearofshade

Trails of Time

Tomorrow, I'll wake up to 2017 with a certain dewy-eyed optimism that has grown out the struggles of this past year. It was a year of learning and a year of growing. A year of myself allowing my ideas to flourish.....

But first, a couple thoughts on my mind and a rant on time! When you think about memories, the single most important moments in our lives can occur on a whim. On a passing note. Sometimes so unsubstantiated in its minority that its graces are unnoticed by the mind and recognized solely by the heart.

One such moment in particular, although so minute in design and fleeting in duration, had such a defining impact on my conscience and the way I looked at my past and present. Upon its passing, mindful wastefulness became so clearly evident that it rose instantaneously to the forefront of my attention. These can come in This newfound understanding would pave way for my future endeavors and allow me to remain consistently aware of menial distractions/hindrances to my true path: to live a life true to oneself, unadulterated by badgering external voices. Now for some context...

Hopefully we can agree that time (not money) is life's most valuable currency. And I get it, money is important, but without time and health - none of that really matters.

But I'll never understand it. Time that is. We treasure it, yet squander it. The wavelengths of time and effort are rarely consistent as we dabble in between daily pursuits of work and play. Time as a currency is something you can't explain to another as it is innate, proportional to our own being and instilled within ourselves. 

While it is profound how we can become so complacent in our days that our sight-lines on the bigger picture can at many times get lost. I know for a fact, 99% of us can admit to sitting on our phones wasting away, overjoyed by clever memes, articles, and laughing at our friends' drunken escapades on social media. I admit to being supremely guilty myself. And we get it, millennials are stuck with this hand that we've been dealt. We're a tech-heavy generation fueled by over-consumption and its poisoning. As the year comes to a close, I've taken a step-back to evaluate it all. The world we live in. The great times we've shared. The lives we've affected and the love we have lost. One hour may just feel like just a few minutes some days, but time is just that - a continuously uncontrollable measure of duration disproportional to the tasks we are completing. Ever-flowing. 

In essence, the value you place on time and the things we choose to do with it is, based on certain external- influences, dictates the importance we give to our time and the perspective by which we see and utilize it.

And we're all a bit guilty. Guilty of taking time for granted. Guilty of not whole-heatedly expressing love in that unconditional manner that we once sought. Love for life. Love for those closest. Blessed with a functional mind and body, we all owe it to this world to do our due diligence and align the constellations of our true purpose. Find it. Attain it. Give back. And live it. Anyways...

What I saw was a man, he may have been in his late seventies, withered and tired, within him, a lost sense of hope and ingenuity. As he washed his hands in the Port Authority restroom, he slowly tucked his hair behind his ear as he glanced back into his own eyes. What I saw was an aged man, looking back at the man in the mirror in disbelief. "Who am I anymore?" "Where has time gone?" "How did I get here?" 

Here I was, an innocent bystander to eternity. In all honesty, I had not even realized what I had even witnessed until I gave it some thought. I mean, was I over-thinking it? Probably. It was something so simple and innocent in its nature in terms of its expressiveness, with an immediate implication of the fact that life is drifting... and everyday is another chance to live up to your potential.

This transaction may have only lasted about a few mere seconds or so as I went about my day, but in summary, it was by far one of the greatest takeaways I've had in some time. I mean we're learning everyday from life's gracious gifts and cruel jokes. But rest assured, I'll remind myself always to never take time or life for granted ever. 

Don't get me wrong, we all have our days. But never lose sight of the now. If you are out being social, be ever-present, engrossed in the moment. If I am spending my time doing something, I will always concede to this day, and ask myself, is this worth the limited time I have been given? I know it's a thought. A long thought. But I'll keep it with me from now, until forever. And forever is subjective. Until the trails of time catch up with me, and I am then one day, the man staring into the mirror. 

TLDR; time is fleeting, take 2017 by the horns and conquer.

Find your life's true purpose.

- SK.

Non-Sequitor

Days turn dark and dreary, 

A story untold.

Thoughts only provoke me, 

True life's memories unfold.

Things only get done with a reason, 

I for one - do it on purpose.

I push myself to the limit,

So my talent'll surface.

Another day on the rise,

Fulfilling burning desires inside,

Torment resides.

The cost of the loss of hidden potential.

Spaced in a cluster based on my own mistakes.

I make my way down the last road,

With a slow, somber, steady pace.

Remember, remembering the taste.

And yet - everyday is a reminder, 

You're not a lost case.

Those eyes, that face,

Stare down the few lines I erased.

- SK.