Goals keep you motivated, inspired and on track.
I’m always fascinated by what drives people towards their goals and how they go about making them happen.
Recently I interviewed Bobby Hedglin-Taylor on the Goals DO Come True podcast.
Bobby, based in New York, is a circus trainer and trapeze artist by trade, but he’s also a wedding officiant and a published author. Because his list of talents is so vast, he describes himself as multi-hyphenated (as in multi-talented!).
What I really wanted to know was where Bobby’s determination and pursuit of goals began.
Bobby: “When you’re a poor kid from Pennsylvania, everybody wants you to get married, have kids and go to work at a restaurant or gas station, but my mom’s goal was always to be a mom. In the 1950s, there weren’t treatments for infertility; she had a hard time conceiving my brother and me. We were miracle kids. My mother wanted kids so bad; that was her goal and she found a way. In my head, if you want something to happen, you find a way.”
Bobby’s mother, Mary Lou, who was showing signs of dementia, moved in with him in 2015. Sadly, she died last year. Well known for her amazing sense of humour, Bobby has recently published a book in memory of her called #ShitMyMamaSays.
Bobby: “If there was ever a person who could have been a stand-up comic, it was my mom. She was a spitfire character who would often memorise jokes. She ended up in a nursing home and would come out with these ridiculous quotes. I would share them on social media as a way to cope with the loss of a person I loved who was evaporating right in front of me.
People would laugh and say, ‘I can’t believe your mother said that!’ They couldn’t wait to hear what she said next. I had a list of more than 100 of these quotes on my phone, so I pulled them all together and made this into this little book. My mom’s photograph is on the front cover. She’s giving the finger to the nurse who told her to take her medication!
Her gift to me was life, and my gift to her is making sure that she is not forgotten. I hit a milestone earlier this year, selling 100 books in seven days.”
The goal-setting process
Bobby is so creative in his thinking and career that I wondered what his process was for defining his goals and following through.
Bobby: “Visualising and mind mapping (where you take a topic and start writing in a circle around it) helps me focus. Before my book was finished, I could feel the weight of it in my hand and imagine turning the pages. I’m writing a cookbook memoir now that will be out in time for Thanksgiving.
I’ve never been a chef. I’ve never been an author. I’ve never been an editor, but I wrote a cookbook and I wrote mom’s book of quotes. If you really want to, you can find ways to make your goals happen.”
Being clear on what you want to accomplish is an important part of goal setting. When we have mixed feelings about a goal or aren’t clear on the intended outcome, it’s harder to achieve, as Bobby once found out!
Bobby: “I wanted to perform on Broadway. I’d imagined my name in ‘Playbill’. I got my Broadway credits in a backhanded sort of way! I taught an actor how to walk the tightrope and that got my name in ‘Playbill’. I’d been visualising my name in there for more than 30 years, but clearly the universe has a sense of humour and I wasn’t specific enough about why it was in there!”
To make a goal really clear and keep us motivated, it’s good to make it a SMART goal. There are five key elements to this. A goal needs to be:
You can find out more about goal setting, and the mistakes that I’ve made along the way, in my book Goals DO Come True; and if you’re a service-based entrepreneur looking to grow your business, I have an updated version, Think Simple Win Big: How to Build the Business of Your Dreams With a Few Simple Goals, which is due out in October.
Bobby has enjoyed so many influences in his life, having spent most of his adulthood in the circus. Now he’s ready to set himself some new goals.
Bobby: “I’m in my fifties now and have just had a hip replacement, so I’m not going to be a trapeze artist much longer! I still want to do more writing, directing, being on stage performing and all those things. I want to be in front of an audience doing my comedy show which I’ve already been working on for more than a year. It’s currently called ‘Bitter Party of 46’. Those goals don’t have an expiration date. I can focus on those whenever I want to. I still visualise my name and picture on the cover of ‘Playbill’ because I still want to make that acting goal come to fruition.”
It’s inspiring to see someone’s goals grow and develop alongside them, and it’s obvious that there’s no stopping Bobby now.
Bobby: “The universe is like your cell tower for goals: you tap into it, put your energy up there, and it’s as though you get on the same wavelength. You have got to remember that no matter what or where you are, you’re still able to have goals. You could be 99 years old and say you’ve done enough, but you still have time. I love the quote theatre director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell shares, which is that ‘dreams don’t have an expiration date’, and that is what keeps me going every single day.”
You can follow Bobby’s antics and the release of his cookbook memoir via Instagram.
Goals are dreams with a deadline – if you’d like my support to bring your goals to fruition, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.