The 52 Week Pledge: Are You Truly FOCUSED On Your Goal? [Week 1]

When I started this challenge last Wednesday, I was hoping to get a couple of people on board to take this journey with me so we can help each other through the good times and the inevitable bad times, but instead of a few people, 31 of you decided to take this pledge and agree to chase your dreams right along with me. Once again, not to sound corny as hell, but not only am I pleasantly shocked and surprised, but I’m amazed at how open, honest and lucid many of you were in describing your dreams and the barriers you think may stand in your way.

Every single week of this challenge I will be posting the ORIGINAL 52 week link so we ALL can refer back to the source of our pledges when we need to CHECK someone and make sure they are doing what they said they would – But MORE importantly, we can see if we ALL remember EXACTLY what we pledged to do and if our day-to-day FOCUS is driving us in the RIGHT direction towards our dreams. And that’s this weeks THEME and MINI CHALLENGE: Staying FOCUSED.


One of the best analogies my father ever gave me about focusing on completing a goal was regarding taking a trip. When you plan a trip somewhere we typically tend to plan in parts. We organize our ride to the airport, then the flight, then the transportation to the hotel and then we arrive at our destination. Each step requires a specific plan of actions that we meticulously attempt to execute BEFORE we reach our destination – but often we don’t plan our life goals like that. We constantly focus our view so much on the END result, which can be so seemingly far away it makes taking the FIRST step a daunting task. This week ALL of goals should be mastering a small, initial step on the way towards our BIG goal.

And that is what we ALL have to focus on for the next 7 days. We are ALL going to organize and execute a task we need to finish in order to get to step one of chasing our dreams. I don’t care if you are writing a book, and your first step is just installing Word onto your computer, I don’t care if you want to lose weight, and your first step is buying running shoes. Nothing is too big or too irrelevant. THIS is going to be our challenge this week.

One great thing I saw happen last week, is that some of us have very SIMILAR dreams or at least know people who can connect us to people who can help us. Please do NOT feel shy in networking with one another, because if we can help each other build, that would be an amazing thing. So when we are looking over each others posts and we’re holding each other accountable, feel free to look at everyone’s post and if you can add a HELPFUL suggestion or piece of information they can use, please feel free.

As always I’m very interested in hearing what your progress was between our initial posting and now, and please let’s hold each other accountable and give a firm dose of inspiration and tough love [not TOO tough – just yet] wherever we can.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    09/05/2012 at 1:23 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, what did you achieve in the last week to set you further on course to achieve your goal(s)?

    What first step do you want to take this week to achieve each goal you've set for yourself?

  2. lincolnanthonyblades

    09/05/2012 at 1:26 AM

    For me, what I achieved last week is that I finally decided on whether I want to go the traditional publishing route or if I want to do self-publishing – I chose SELF-publishing. Therefore I put my book proposal on the self and I'm starting my manuscript as we speak.

    The goal I have this week is releasing the E-book I've been working on for the last couple months and getting it out there.

  3. Santanae

    09/05/2012 at 6:44 AM

    My goal last week was to decide what type of styling I want to do. I decided that I want to do commercial styling vs editorial. Meaning I will focus on working for brands in their advertising campaigns, look books, fashion shows, online website etc.
    I will be volunteering this week @ Toronto's first ever Fashion's Night Out; my goal is to walk away from this event with at least 2 contacts in the industry.

  4. Piscean

    09/05/2012 at 7:59 AM

    I missed reading the original "pledge" blog. Not because I was " too busy" but probably because it was a little scary. Be accountable for achieving out dreams? What a concept. I have been one to start and not always follow through as the possibility of failure seemed so high and I'm my worst critic. However, I took the time to make the effort and attempt to get back into writing again. Being a former songwriter and blogger, I guess the first step was coming on this page and commenting once again.
    I know I may be a week late, but late is better than never so today i take the challenge to take the time to get back into writing. Whether it's music or whether it's blogging.
    I even brought my laptop to work so that on my lunch breaks instead of taking naps in my car, or having idle banter with girlfriends, i could instead write down my thoughts.
    Lincoln, you have always complimented me on my writing and i hope that in pursuing my own goals, it helps even if it's in a miniscule manner, to help motivate you to keep in achieving your own.
    "It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. "

  5. Maisha

    09/05/2012 at 8:44 AM

    I shifted out of vacation mode and went for a run this morning and I set up a meeting with a financial advisor to go over my financial goals for purchasing a home. I didn't get a chance to think about how the type of non-profit I want to do, but I can tackle that over the next 7 days.

  6. Erika

    09/05/2012 at 9:46 AM

    I set two Goals for myself. One is to get into Grad school by January and the second was to treat myself to full Goddess potential. Last week I did a lot of research in respective schools that I wanted to attend and ended up Talking to a Curator of Egyptian History at the University of Memphis and a Professor of Museum Studies and African History and Art at the Southern University of New Orleans and got some really helpful adice on how to start the grad process. This week I will be getting in contact with my Professors in my undergrad to make sure I am prepared to graduate this December and will be ready to go in January to get established in my new city. The Goal for treating myself like a Goddess is taking care of my mind, body, and soul the way it should be done. First step, getting rid of negative energy and ppl so I may free my mind and my spirit of negativity.

  7. Moi

    09/05/2012 at 9:53 AM

    This is great as whenever I feel lazy, I think of my pledge and this pushes me to do what I need to do to fulfill my dreams.

    I have downloaded some open courses on political science to get background knowledge on diplomacy. I have also (re)started my fitness plan (5 days a week).

  8. Tasha

    09/05/2012 at 11:37 AM

    I am new to this but I will definitely take the pledge.

    I started my goal in Janurary when I decided to buy a house by myself. It should be built in May and I am extremely nervous as to what challenges may come next year when my house finally closes. I challenge myself to research and prepare myself as much as I can to have everything in place before I move in. I also pledge to start my own business.. Something I have wanted for years! This forum will give me the motivation and encouragement to finally do what's necessary to get this dream started. I thank you all in advanced.

  9. Nicollette

    09/05/2012 at 11:52 AM

    While I didn't leave an official comment last week, I do wish to participate in the pledge. After reading the post, I made a list of my goals and dreams (as I often do) but this time I wrote down ways to actively work towards them each day. Three of my goals are to increase my fluency in Spanish and Portuguese, get my Masters/Phd in Anthropology, Latin American Studies or Folklore, and work on a fitness routine. Since last week, I have read the news daily in either Spanish or Portuguese and attempted to increase my vocabulary by studying new words. I also contacted a local university about research opportunities in their anthro dept so I can get more experience in my field of interest. Finally, I decided to start doing hot yoga again and signed up for unlimited classes at a local studio. I will start by going every day this month.

  10. GrandCentral

    09/05/2012 at 2:08 PM

    I love your analogy and encouraging us to take small steps. A close friend of mine recently told me that I she noticed that I have difficulty taking the small steps. She knows me very well and was even able to cite certain situations over time where I focused so compulsively on the end goal, that I forget to complete the small steps. According to her, I am still doing that to this day. I’ve always subconsciously known that I have this flaw, but always summed it up to “that’s just how my mind works.” So your tasking us with this forces me to reinforce this simple but very helpful measure.

    Last week was quite an interesting week, but nothing out of the norm. I focused on starting my company and kicking my diary addiction (final step to be a full vegan by my 30th). On Wednesday, I attended a young entrepreneurs seminar at a hotel near my apartment. I made three great and very important contacts and found out about a development program that would really help me. So overall attending this event (late) was very beneficial. Now here is my first admission to slackness. I wanted to apply to the program that evening, but never got around to it. Yes, it was a week ago, so I am going to email the guy tonight and let him know that I will have the application complete by Friday. I really don’t have an excuse as to why I didn’t finish the application, so I won’t attempt to make one.

    As for my diary addiction. This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There is literally some form of milk or casein in almost everything we eat. I’m literally looking at every label and trying my best to stay away from dining out. Saturday morning I woke up and declared myself Dairy free. Then later that evening, I had an event for work and I had a damn chocolate chip cookie, which I am pretty sure had butter and milk. Sunday, I dusted myself off started again, and I have not had any dairy since Saturday evening.

    For my small steps this week, I am going to apply to the entrepreneurship development program and continue my research on the industry I am looking to enter. To aide me in my quest to quit dairy I am starting a 30-day Bikrahm Yoga challenge on Sunday. I know that I am best equipped to handle hard challenges when I am focused mind, body and spirit. My likely hood of slipping up decreases greatly. For 30 straight days, I will do Bikrahm Yoga once a day. It will hold me accountable because it’s one of those challenges where going everyday will lead to me getting an additional month free, and I love Free. Plus I’ve convinced a friend to join me. The concentration will keep me away from the diary and help me in other areas of my life.

  11. Piscean

    09/05/2012 at 2:08 PM

    I would specifically want to write about relationships and coping mechanisms for dealing with anxiety, stress and how to make the most of your life.
    I don't have an expectation as to where I want it to go(meaning top 10 best blogs ever, or a book, top song on the charts) but if it was able to somehow influence someone in a positive manner, than I will feel like it was worth it. Anything after that is icing on the cake.

    Not willing to work THAT hard. Just being honest. Writing is something I enjoy doing but it's not something I would actively pursue just based on the fact that I'm not big on the entrepreneurial lifestyle anymore.
    First step is to start writing again and not be intimidated to express information.

  12. Kema

    09/05/2012 at 2:35 PM

    I would like to join the challenge!!!

    I just had a b-day (20-11) and realize I have to get serious with life. I have two goals. One deals with health and another involving my career.

    Health: I have 3 health goals. My 1st goal is to limit my drinking (<2 a week / <=1 a day). My second goal which is a little harder is to greatly reduce the amount of carbohydrates (not veggies or fruits) I take in, especially sweets. I feel awful when I drink too much and I have noticed that my body doesn’t seem to be too fond of carbohydrates either. 3rd goal is to consistently workout at least 3 times a week.

    Career: I have mentioned on here that I am an actuarial student. Well my goal career wise is to reach the associate level within the next 2.5 years. My goal for the next 52 weeks will be to pass two of the tests that are required for that designation. My issue in the past has been my study habits. I'm a great starter but terrible at follow through. This is something I know I need to change if I want to be successful.

  13. Jesssssssssss

    09/05/2012 at 4:07 PM

    I ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE. My first week.

    *I haven’t done anything conventional like a sit up or going to the gym. But I can never find a freakin’ park! Our parking lots at work are being repaved and I am forced to walk a country mile from East Jesus to get to my place of employ. Ugh…so providence has made this a success whether I wanted it to or not.

    *I’m currently shopping in my own closet (because I have no money) and am considering re-vamping outfits that I already have. I realized that I already have some real nice clothes. #forward movement

    *I am posting 2 items per week on (check it out!), working out a business plan and I have procured a publicist (and should sign my contract this week). I already have a business name. Woohoo!

    *I currently teach a class for teenage girls and do leadership seminars at my church but I am still looking for opportunities to branch outside of my circle. Searching in progress.

    *I attempted to start a non-profit years ago so I’m dusting off all of my old notes and making comparisons on what is still valid and what I need to update.

    So progress is happening! *hive five myself*

  14. petersburgh

    09/05/2012 at 8:05 PM

    Yes I'm joining today as well. 3 Things

    1. Start back studying my ACCA. I can only start back from next year though but I'm getting myself mentally prepared to return to studying.

    2. Get back fit. I hate gyms but I play soccer and I keep getting hurt so I have decided I will start back light exercises until I find a gym.

    3. Promote my blog When I started I only wanted to be heard but I never thought I would have been heard so much. I met so many interesting people (here on TIYC too) and I do feel honoured especially when people followed my COMMENTS(I find that so weird but it's humbling).

    Trust me I'll have more in the coming weeks but for now those 3 are the major ones

  15. Jaida

    09/05/2012 at 10:44 PM

    First let me say I am excited about the new people taking the journey! It's never too late to start reaching goals!!

    Last week I worked on achieving my ideal weight by beating my running time, forcing myself to get up and go even when I was tired, and looking up the 300 ab challenge. For this week, I ran today despite having less than 4 hours of sleep so I can meet my 3 days of running per week (the 7.9 earthquake hit us in Costa Rica less than 15min after being back in the house). I also plan to start the ab challenge.

    Last week I also increased my Rosetta Stone courses and found a grammar book to help me become fluent in Spanish. This week I will try to do the course at least 5 days a week and force myself to talk to more locals to improve my immersion process.

  16. L Rose

    09/06/2012 at 12:56 AM

    I am joining today as well.

    1. Go back to the gym

    2. Find a new job, start a new career

    I quit my job 3 weeks ago and currently living on hope and faith. I was working in the same role for the last four years. Being passed over for a promotion by someone less qualified was the catalyst to my decision. But can honestly say I have never felt better.

    My goal for this week is to define the type of job I want to avoid settling again & make it to the gym 3x.

  17. Jared

    09/06/2012 at 1:04 PM

    I accept the pledge. I joined a network marketing company that helps save home owners and business owners on their energy bills. I want to be able to get a team of 6 people so I can coach them and teach them about the business. I keep hearing stupid comments like "it's a pyramid scheme" but I know this works because a lot of young people my age are making money in this company so I know it works. I also want to join a strict fitness program that will help me get fit fast. I want to join either a boot camp or a mma gym. I need someone to volunteer to hold me accountable. My facebook is Jared Cole.

  18. Bee

    09/06/2012 at 2:38 PM

    Hey y'all. Sorry I didn't respond yesterday – had a hell of a day.

    This past week, I was successful in applying to join the Clever Girls Collective, a group that connects bloggers and brands to increase exposure and money-making opportunities. I started plotting out an event idea to do in Toronto before the end of the year. I also found a few quality job postings, and sent in my applications. Fingers and toes are crossed!

    This coming week, I'll be tackling my health goals with 2 important doctor's appointments (that I'm actually kind of nervous about – keep me in your thoughts please!). I'll be finishing some pitches to magazines for article ideas I have. I'll be doing more job applications, and I'm going to solidify my event plans (trying to get something in before the snow falls and everyone starts hibernating again!). Oh – I also have to grab the Amy DuBois Barnett book that GrandCentral mentioned last week.

  19. Lia

    09/06/2012 at 2:43 PM

    Wow, somehow this seems like it's right on time. I missed the initial posting so I didn't get to pledge, but I definitely will. I have been telling myself for the past two years that I want to move to the San Francisco Bay Area, yet here I sit. Change has always been very hard for me, as is focusing enough on a long term goal to get it done, but I think that with some support I could definitely do it by January.

    It feels like there's a lot of things that I need to do, and I'm not really sure where to start. My first goal for the week is to lay out a savings plan on paper.

  20. Darmisha

    09/06/2012 at 5:33 PM

    The last week has been one that is filled with productivity and Favor from God.

    1. I just got a new job working for the Oakland Raiders in addition to my current job. This is important because I am currently matriculating at University of San Francisco working on my Masters degree in Sport Management.

    2. I acquired two clients to represent as their publicist and one potential client with whom I am in contract negotiations with.

    3. I have had more peace of mind in this past week then I’ve had within the last year or so. I truly feel an outpour of God’s love upon me.

    4. I have limited my secular music intake to only certain times of the day which I think has assisted in improving my attitude and reactions to those who have a lack of common sense. (just my perception)

    There are other small details like, organizing my room, reading the bible and playing games which have also lessened any unneeded chaos.

    I’m making strides and look forward to lengthening those strides this week.

    Thanks to all of you who have also accepted the challenge and are on this journey with me.

  21. Michael

    09/07/2012 at 10:17 AM

    Focus is the name of the game this week huh? Funny you chose that. Here's my focus point this week. One of my pressing goals is to get ripped for my wedding and my upcoming football season. This week I have 5, yes FIVE, new personal records in the weight room. KILLING IT BABY!!

    Constant focus on the family life. My wife is burning the wick at both ends and along with that comes a challenging attitude at times. I am focusing on keep myself from lashing back at her when she lashes out at me in tiredness, frustration, and emotion. It's hard but focus helps put it all in perspective.

  22. MissTierney

    09/07/2012 at 12:09 PM

    My two goals are to 1) work out consistently 2) and to open my own boutique. This week I only worked out once BUT the week isnt over. As far as the boutique goes, I've decided to start with online sales which is huge for me because I could not make a decision. I've also decided to start a website (thats a work in progress). Baby steps. So excited about this journey!

  23. @ThatsLooon

    09/08/2012 at 4:52 PM

    Started a new series on my blog called the African Mixtape Series that has garnered quite a following so this is really motivation cause people want their new fix every week.

    Started working out in the am before work

    Also got a laptop so now that i can write from home :)

  24. Erica

    09/08/2012 at 7:15 PM

    My first 3 days (started the challenge late) was rough. All I was able to accomplish was finally putting a schedule down on paper. I didn't really follow it though. I hope to be more productive this week and give better feed back next Weds.

  25. retrodoll_87

    09/09/2012 at 12:18 PM

    Sorry i'm late but I just discovered this blog and love it!
    My goal over the next year that i'm having the most trouble with is to lose weight. I work two fulltime jobs and one of them is on graveyard shift so i'm always tired and always sleep deprived. I want to lose 40 pounds and pack on some muscle. I start school in January and would like to be at my goal weight by then but for over the next year I would like to be in shape so I could take dance lessons- maybe join some type of bodybuilding contest or something!!! I need all the help I can get- everytime I start and stop it just gets me so down!

  26. Bianka

    09/10/2012 at 12:38 AM

    Hi Everyone!

    I am new to this site, and I just wanted to give Kudos to the writer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the articles (and comments that I must say are hilarious LOL) today. This particular article resonated with me as I am in the process of launching my own resume' writing business, and I am sometimes overwhelnmed with all of the steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur. However hearing everyone's pledge has given me the motivation I need. Thank you and keep pushing towards your goals!

  27. PaperChasin

    09/10/2012 at 11:59 AM

    Better late than never! Here I am, almost on week two and I haven't even posted my week one update. So, lets review. My goals are:

    1. get at least a (legal!) part-time job
    2. continue my education
    3. work on my health, both physical and mental
    4. take steps towards opening my bar (networking, more hands on business training)

    Now, this is where I'm supposed to be posting a step by step action plan and a detailed time frame but I've actually already accomplished one of my goals last week and that was getting a (FULL-time) job. So I can already cross #1 off the list =)

    Seeing how its only two days until I need to update again, I think I'll wait until this coming Wednesday to post more details and an actual plan for the rest of my goals.

    Wish me luck with my double shifts in the mean time guys!

  28. readthinkwriteteach

    09/10/2012 at 1:32 PM

    I started writing which led me to reading. It has always been a struggle for me to just write and not return to read.

  29. readthinkwriteteach

    09/10/2012 at 2:03 PM

    Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts

  30. Steph Johnson

    09/11/2012 at 12:52 AM

    Hey! I see I'm late posting.. very sorry :(.. been busy with school and work. Ok, so here's my update:
    I have worked on my sci fi novel. I'm still in the early stages of my book so I'm still creating characters and world building. I have filled a page and a half of ideas, storylines etc.
    I've started classes this semester, unfortunately I haven't found any enthusiasm to do much school work but hopefully the motivation will kick in soon.
    I had written a screenplay adaptation of a Renaissance drama, The Tragedy of Mariam for a class final project. Working on making it modern.
    Working out isn't going so well only because I strained my left arm doing dead lifts. I've recently started doing Crossfit! Hopefully I can get back into the rhythm this week.
    My goal of eating healthy… uh lets not go there. My goal this week.. stay away from sweets!
    For my goal this month regarding my finances, I plan on paying off one outstanding bill and plan on not dipping into my savings this month cause I have been doing that the last couple of months. (Too much traveling this summer)
    As far as owning my Indie bookstore, I've thought about it and I feel like I should move out of the Detroit area to do that because I feel like this wouldn't be the best place to open up one.
    It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do in some areas but I'm determined to do better this next week.

  31. Ms. Williams

    09/12/2012 at 12:02 PM

    My first goal is to get into a certain weight range by November. I have gone to the gym 3 days so far this week and have lost a few inches, I'm proud of that.
    I got my acceptance letter into the university, now I have to apply to the nursing program. I plan spend the next week preparing for the Graduate Expo at the end of the month.

  32. Dee

    11/14/2012 at 11:25 PM

    Ok, I responded to the original pledge a few days ago and am catching myself up on the weeks I missed, but I want to respond to this weeks topic. I have been falling off of late (a habit of mine) on the steps I was taking towards achieving my goals. I have entrepreneurial goals, but right now I am the only brand I'm working on. I did take the opportunity this weekend to offer to help a friend with party promotion, being the model for his flyer. I wasn't picked, but I'm happy I put myself out there and didn't put it on my list of things to do (which often when it's something I could do in the moment, but don't, does not get done). I told myself it was ok to halt the things I've been doing (fitness classes, eating healthily from home, making a note of my daily expenditures) because things (study, heavy cleaning) were slipping in the cracks and I really needed to get a schedule together to know when to do things, so that everything gets done. Well almost two weeks later and this schedule is still being worked on. And instead of a few things slipping, just about everything is slipping . . . When I get offa here I'm going to finish that schedule.
    Thinking of myself as my brand, something I picked up from one or another reality show, is a really awakening way to think. When I get lazy, or insecure, or unsure of myself thinking of me as the thing I'm putting all my effort into and marketing towards grand success kind of centers me and inspires me to work harder. If the threads to my goal seem hard to hold onto or I'm unsure what to do next, keeping that I am promoting me and raising me up helps me not toss my hands in the air and say "Fudge this, I'm lost!" It's like "Oh, just start doing yoga again. Oh just write a little everyday. Oh, just show up for you. Oh, pushing yourself forward creates opportunity and energy that attracts what you want and need . . . ." Idk, sometimes the details seem too macro and focusing on just me as the thing I'm working seems micro enough for me to handle.

  33. Dee

    11/15/2012 at 1:55 AM

    Reply to wrond weeks post . . . .

  34. Pingback: Week 1…(annnnd 2 & 3) | Last Laugh

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