Productivity Paradox host, Tonya Dalton, starts season 4 off with how to follow your path and work hard to achieve your goals and dreams, even when it gets tough.

Working Toward Big Goals & Dreams: First Steps

To me, the definition of productivity has never been about doing more. And I know that idea has been circulating in several ways all around the internet – telling us how to fit one more thing in our day.

My definition of productivity is not getting more done, it’s focusing on getting the important things done. It’s about living with intention. So this season on the podcast, I’m going to help you look at where you are and who you are and where it is you really want to be taking yourself.

Yes, the joy is in the journey, but how are you going about this journey?

We often say, “I’ll be happy when X happens.” When I lose 10 pounds, when I get a promotion or something else, and then we achieve that benchmark, and are we happy? Maybe for a little while, until we figure out some other pain point in our lives, or reality sets in. It’s like when we’re standing in the checkout line and we impulse buy a candy bar that we think will make us happier, and then we regret that purchase five minutes after we’ve eaten it.

So today, I want to go through a few of the questions and steps I talk about in episode 040: Working Towards Big Goals & Dreams. I want to help you look at the path you’re currently on and do some deeper reflection. So let’s get started with those first steps, questions and thoughts to consider as we work toward our big dreams…


“The road of change is full of uncertainty, so it can be a little bit scary, but we can be a little bit like the cowardly lion. All he really needed was a medal to suddenly feel brave… and all we need to do is change our mindset.”


Ask Yourself This:

What’s the question that’s at the heart of how I really want to live?

Because asking “What do you want out of life?” Is usually answered with, “I want to be happy, have a great family and a job I like,” which really doesn’t mean anything because it’s too vague.

Ask yourself what pain are you willing to go through to get you what you want in your life. What are you willing to struggle for?

We have this idea that doing what we love means it should just come easy. We’ve all heard the saying, “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.” That, my friends, is a lie.

There’s positives and negatives to every job. For example, maybe you look at a job and you admire people who get to travel for work. You have to realize there’s good parts and there’s bad parts to this. There’s some wild stories that are amazing and sound like a lot of fun but there’s nothing glamorous about spending time in planes or living out of a suitcase in a hotel room. When you begin to understand this, you stop holding yourself to unrealistic expectations and you begin to gain the freedom to deal with the negatives in the path that you really do want to choose.

Happiness actually requires some struggle.


Are you in love with the results and not with the process?

It’s like imagining being at the top of a mountain but you have no interest in actually making the climb. This doesn’t mean that you have failed or you’re a quitter or you don’t believe in yourself. It just means you thought you wanted something but it turns out you didn’t. That’s okay, there are other dreams out there.

It doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your dreams. Just the ones that you really don’t want. Having pie in the sky dreams can be amazing, but not if you’re unwilling to really pursue them because it can actually make you feel the opposite.

For example, if it’s a dream job you’re thinking about incessantly, you begin to make the division between normal, boring jobs and the exciting dream job in your mind. So if you’re thinking that way, it makes it really hard to do the long-term work in your current career that you need in order to grow into it. Instead, you spend mental energy on these vague daydreams.

So what’s the best predictor of figuring out what we are willing to struggle for? Speak to other people who currently do what you’re considering, whether it’s a job or a lifestyle… it’s really important to speak with others who have been where you are. And there’s a really good story about this in episode 40 if you want to have a listen – I think you’ll like it!


How do we pursue our dreams? Growth VS Fixed Mindsets

It’s not abilities and luck that brings us success… it’s our mindset.

Ask yourself: What are the stories I’m telling myself? What are the scripts that go through my head? Do I believe my life is ready for growth or is my life ‘fixed’?

If you have a growth mindset, you see yourself as fluid – a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. If you have a fixed mindset, you view talents and abilities as static, unchanging. Basically, you are who you are.

Are you a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?

This factor is extremely important when pursuing your dreams and finding fulfillment. It could be that if you’re unsatisfied and aren’t making much progress on the path toward what you want, that you need to ask yourself this question.

But don’t stop there. Don’t just ask yourself the question and feel unsure how to handle it. Look at how you can change that fixed mindset, even if it’s starting with little steps and seeking support from loved ones.

That’s what I’ll be talking a lot about this season on the podcast and for the next few blog posts. Big dreams require deep insight to ourselves and our current processes. But don’t worry, because I really want to be on that journey with you.


What’s Next?

I’ll be honest, sticking with the status quo is the easier route. You know the path, you know where it turns, but you don’t really like where it’s heading.

The road of change is full of uncertainty, so it can be a little bit scary, but we can be a little bit like the cowardly lion. All he really needed was a medal to suddenly feel brave and all we need to do is change our mindset. It’s really that easy, and that’s where we’re going to begin this season of the podcast.

I hope you’ll head over and listen to this episode because there’s some really great stories in there that will motivate you. If you’ve been enjoying it, feel free to leave me a 5-star rating and review… I love to hear how it’s helped you become a bit (or a lot!) more productive!

I encourage you to answer these questions from the podcast and blog. Just write them down in your journal or planner. Doing a brain dump can be really beneficial for your stress and help you to see more clearly. Keep listening to the podcast too for more helpful download about following your dreams coming soon!

Happy Planning!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton