I.N.S.P.I.R.E Yourself to Success!

As a life coach who has also been a community activist for many years I have had my fair share of experiences with individuals and groups who have had amazing ideas to create positive social change.  Whether these ideas were centered on smaller or more personal in nature, like writing a new book or launching a zine, or whether they were larger or more complex, like starting a new business or cooperative, so many of these projects dried up and fizzled before they were able to even get off the ground.

The difference between these projects and the ones that eventually became successful had nothing to do with talent, intelligence, or resources available to the individuals involved.  I am sure we all know of people who are not as naturally talented or who lack financial and other resources in comparison to others but have still managed to create success on their own terms.

So what is their secret to success?  It really isn’t as much as a secret as it is a strategy and I would like to share this strategy with you in the hope that it will I.N.S.P.I.R.E. you to manifest your biggest dreams for yourself.

I.N.S.P.I.R.E. Yourself Towards Greatness

What gets you inspired?  What makes you feel alive?  What would love to do even if it you received little to no financial rewards?  Your biggest dream for yourself and your life is probably what makes you feel the most inspired but inspiration without work – perspiration – just remains a dream.  Below are seven tips to I.N.S.P.I.R.E. you to go from dreaming your dreams to manifesting and living within your dreams.

I: Intention. What are your intentions?  Think about your biggest dream for yourself and think about the why. Why do you want to do this?  Why do you want to manifest this dream?  What drives you towards doing this work or offering particular products or services?  Be clear about your intention as it is what undergirds all of your work.  This is your purpose and this is what you can always return to whenever you feel stuck or need to make a critical decision about your direction.

N: Name your Mission and Vision.  Now that you have a clear understanding of the why now it is time to name the what.  What are you trying to achieve?  What do you want to manifest?  Be clear.  Be specific.  If you want to write a book, what will it be about?  If you want to start a cooperative what will your co-op do?  If you want to work for yourself what products and services will you offer?  Knowing what you want to do is your mission.  Write a clear mission statement outlining what your work.  Your mission statement does not have to be a life mission statement (though you should absolutely consider writing one) but should be directly related to your specific project. Below is a mission statement template along with some examples.

Mission Statement Template: I (your name) or name of project/campaign/co-op, etc. + what you or the project/campaign/co-op, etc. will do = missionstatement


Mission Statement Examples:

Here is the mission statement for the national organization Black Lives Matter:

Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement.

Here is the mission statement for Cooperation Jackson, a cooperative in Jackson, Mississippi:

The broad mission of Cooperation Jackson is to advance the development of economic democracy in Jackson, Mississippi by building a solidarity economy anchored by a network of cooperatives and other types of worker-owned and democratically self-managed enterprises.

Your vision is just as important as your mission.  While your mission focuses on the what, your vision focuses on the impact of your mission and, therefore, is very closely aligned to your why.  Below are examples of vision statements:

Here is the vision statement for Black Lives Matter:

#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.

Here is Cooperation Jackson’s vision statement:

Our vision is to develop a cooperative network based in Jackson, Mississippi that will consist of four interconnected and interdependent institutions… to build worker organized and owned cooperatives [that] will be a catalyst for the democratization of our economy and society overall.

Sometimes the mission statement and the vision statement are combined.  As an example here’s the mission and vision statement for my business StayWoke Healing Arts LLC, with the mission bolded and the vision underlined:

With a focus on Black and other oppressed people StayWoke works towards our collective healing and wellness by creating space and offering services and products to help us heal mentally, physically, emotionally, and spirituallyso as to manifest our highest potential and use our energy and creativity to create a balanced, sustainable, and equitable world.

If you are working on a more personal project, here is an example of author Joanne Phillip’s combined mission and vision statement.

I write stories to entertain and offer a temporary escape into another life. I create interesting characters who may linger with the reader long after she’s finished the story. I write about characters who learn to examine their lives – their motivations, their hopes and fears – and find the courage to change. I write about the important stuff, but with a light touch. I write about the four Ls: life, love, loss and lies – including the lies we tell ourselves. And yes, I want to change the world. A little tiny bit of it, anyway.


S: Set Your Goals. Now that you have a clear understanding of your what, your why, and your potential impact it’s time to set goals.  I recommend creating S.M.A.R.T. goals (yes, another acronym!) to create goals that will help you manifest your dreams. It suggest that at the beginning of a project it is best to create short-term goals that will have long-term impact on your project’s success.

Your goals should be specific.  Having a clear mission and vision will assist you in creating specific goals that are aligned with what you want to achieve. In making your goals specific consider what you need to do and why this particular goal is important to your mission and vision.

As an example, let’s say you want to develop a website to announce your work to the world and raise some funds.

A specific goal might be, “I want to create a website that clearly describes my project so that I can attract financial supporters.”

Along with being specific your goals should be measurable.  Ask yourself questions like, “How many?” or “How much?”  You should have some way of measuring when your goal is accomplished.

Going back to our previous goal we could add on to it with the following:

“I want to create a website that clearly describes my project so that I can attract financial supporters and raise at least $5,000.”


Your goals need to be achievable in order for it to be accomplished.  Is your currently goal achievable or attainable?  If there something is something that needs to be obtained before you can meet this goal then you may need to create another goal or include what needs to be achieved within this current goal.

For example, do you have the skills to create a website?  Creating a crowdfunding website may be breeze for some people by the process may completely elude you. If that is the case you may consider tweaking your goal to say:

“I will work with a website consultant to create a website that clearly describes my project so that I can attract financial supporters and raise at least $5,000.”

Your goals also have to be relevant to what you are seeking to achieve.  Determining whether or not a goal is relevant requires asking questions like, “Is this goal worthwhile?  How does it help me in the long-term?  Is there a tangible benefit to this?”

For example, creating a website to announce your project and raise start-up funds seems very relevant to fulfilling your mission.  However, let’s say your goal was to market your project by creating t-shirts with your project name and logo.  That might not be the most relevant goal at the moment when people do not yet know you or your business yet.

Finally, your goals need to be time-sensitive.  When will this goal be achieved?  Make sure that you chose a time-frame that is realistic.  Like I mentioned before, when first starting out it is best to choose goals that can be achieved in sometime in the next 1-6 months.  Stretching goals out too far can make you feel like you aren’t gaining any momentum.

To add a time-frame you could add the following:

“I will work with a website consultant to create a website that clearly describes my project so that I can attract financial supporters and raise at least $5,000 by (put a realistic date here).”

With a goal like this you may want to create sub-goals like “I will hire a website consultant by (insert date here)” and “I will have a live website by (insert date here)” in order to keep yourself on track.


P: Promote Positivity. Feeling fear or doubt when starting anything new is completely normal.  However, it is important to acknowledge these feelings without remaining stuck here.  Fear is often called False Evidence Appearing Real.  Write down your fears and doubts and look them square in the face.  Then shift your thinking towards the positive.  Sure, you could fail…but you also could be tremendously successful, right?  Create positive alternative possibilities for each of your negative statements and suddenly you will feel more optimistic and have a renewed sense of energy to accomplish your goals.  Review these positive statements or affirmations whenever you need an instant boost.

I: Identify. Now that you have a clear purpose, mission, vision, goals, and affirmations you can now identify what is working and what is not.  Have you been able to reach your goals?  What proved harder or easier than you thought?  What lessons have you learned?  I recommend doing a monthly assessment of your progress.  Be completely honest with yourself.  Even if you failed to meet your goals it is better to acknowledge that and seek to identify why than to pretend that everything is going well.  If you are not meeting your goals you may need to adjust them, which brings us to the next step.

R: Respond Positively to Change.

The only thing that is constant is change.  No matter how many various scenarios you generate in your mind about what could happen as you pursue your dreams, what you know for sure is that something will change.  Even if you do nothing at all towards meeting your goals you will change – you will get older, you will learn through experiences, you will make certain choices. Instead of fearing change embrace it and respond positively to it by recognizing it as a gift from the Universe.  Even if it is a change that brings hardship it could still bring an amazing opportunity.  Be determined to respond positively and be open to blessings.

E: Execute.

Now that you have learned these steps the next and final step is to execute.  Name your purpose, write down your vision and mission, create S.M.A.R.T goals, remain positive, identify your progress, and respond positively to change.  These are steps that you will have to take repeatedly on your journey towards manifesting your dreams.  You are completely and totally capable of creating the life you desire.  Execute your plan and make it happen!