The 52-Week Pledge: Achieving Any Major Dream Means Making A Major Sacrifice [Week Thirteen]

Last week I stated that one of my major challenges with following my dreams and pledging to not let anything stand in my way of completing my goals is the fact that I occasionally get sleep deprived. After speaking with a friend about what I was going through they assured me that sleep deprivation is an OCCASIONAL occupational hazard when chasing a dream, but then they asked me a question I didn’t know how to answer: What have I decided on SACRIFICING to reach my goals? And seeing as sleep was no longer considered a viable option, I really didn’t have a good answer to that. In fact, it’s safe to say I had no clue what I was willingly able to give up in order to fulfil the destiny I want.


The crazy thing is, one of my favourite quotes of all time is “you can have everything you want in life – just don’t plan on getting it all at the same time.” I take that to mean we all can achieve happiness personally and professionally, but the reality is we can’t give our 100% focus to each, which means one will have to suffer FOR NOW, in order for the other to be a success. Keeping that quote in mind, I felt like I should definitely have a ready made list of the things I’m willing to sacrifice to achieve my entrepreneurial dreams, but to say deciding on what it should be is EASY, would be a massive understatement.

Ok..maybe not THIS serious..

But I think this is a major part of the goal many of us may have overlooked. Some of us are so busy attempting to balance unrealistic schedules, that we have forgot to realize that one MAJOR part of this challenge will inherently include us scaling back on something to make room for our new progress. Now understand, there are certain things that should obviously be non-negotiables in terms of eliminating from your life, such as: Family time, quality time with your significant other, ALL free fun time, exercise and sleep, but other than those things, sacrificing a major activity in your life is a must. And with that said, I realized what I’m willing to sacrifice: TV & movies.

That may sound like a small and insignificant sacrifice to many of you, but I have come to realize that those two things have monopolized FAR too much of my time in the past. I’m the kind of person that could easily sit in front of the TV for hours on end surfing through different channels and effectively wasting time. This is the second best answer for me, because being single gives me NO romantic relationship to call quits, and THAT would have been number 1 had I been involved with someone.

This week I think it’s important that we all help each other MOVE FORWARD in the challenge by helping each other take STEPS AWAY from something we really LIKE doing that is only standing in the way of our productivity.

As 2013 slowly starts to loom, it’s time we all get serious and begin to make sure we are LIVING the lives we want by the end of the year, so we don’t have to rely on empty resolutions made at the start of the new year about how much we’re gonna “own it” – let’s just go out and do it.

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

    11/28/2012 at 3:39 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, what are you willing to sacrifice in order to achieve your dreams? Also, how was your last 7 days of dream chasing?

  2. lincolnanthonyblades

    11/28/2012 at 3:50 AM

    Just to begin as usual, this week was a little difficult for me, but I also felt extremely productive. I think most people got to rest because of the Holidays and I hope you all took advantage of that to get your collective minds right. I took a break, but also managed to keep updating my site.

    Also I'm really starting to take in how well my radio show is doing. I think there may be some great opportunities that come my way because of that. And I'm considering creating a Youtube Vlog channel, but I'm still working out the kinks around that idea.

    In terms of sacrifice, I will stop using the excuse that I NEED to eat in front of the TV as a reason to watch, because I realize as soon as I'm done eating, I stay watching and become unproductive. Once Boardwalk Empire and Dexter are done I'll be good.

    But I'm still watching NFL on Sundays tho!

  3. mena

    11/28/2012 at 11:27 AM

    Lincoln, what do you want your end result to be? Are you ok with sharing that? Do own your own business? To be able to blog and speak enough that you are able to support yourself financially?

    If you were to write down all of the projects you have going on now, including your job, which ones would you give up if any?

  4. Kema

    11/28/2012 at 11:50 AM

    Weight loss has stalled… I will have to give up instant gratification when it comes to food. I also need to give up the 2000+ calories I drink in alcohol a week. SMH… idk

  5. MissLia

    11/28/2012 at 4:01 PM

    I was reminded by a certain televangelist that some of our old ways start to feel uncomfortable because we have outgrown our nest (comfort zone), but that moving forward is our responsibility. Keeping a steady pace has been a struggle for me when it comes to reaching my goals. This past week I started to lose focus and out of nowhere something reminded me that I need to keep moving forward.

    It really is a small world, because the nonprofit that I used to work for actually used to provide resources for a wellness center owned by a woman at my church. I think I've found a mentor so I'm a little excited. She suggested to me that I write an ideal timeline, on one end where I'm at right now and on the other where I want to be by this time next year. I then wrote out all of the steps I could think of that I think fit in between. She's supposed to go over it with me this weekend.

    • Dee

      11/30/2012 at 4:42 AM

      Congrats on finding a mentor, that seems like a really good step to take. I love when the universe says "yes" to my forward motion (though sometimes I reply "no"). I've been going through feeling the walls of my small nest for a very long time and just this winter have been like "Dammit, I moving out of this spot". Sometimes comfortable ain't so comfortable.

  6. Jesssssssssss

    11/28/2012 at 7:10 PM

    I know that If I ever want to achieve all of my own personal goals I will have to cut back on the volunteer work that I do at my church. I harbor so much guilt with just the thought of this. I have been doing this 24/7 for the past 13 years. I do not know how to stop. Not to mention my Pastor(s) are my Godparents. We are very, very close. And not only that… I actually love what I do, but at night when all I have are my thoughts I know that I want more than just building someone else's dream on my life resume.

    I know the time I have spent has made me a better, stronger individual but I NEED MORE.

    Please help guys. I don't know how to break the ties.

    • Dee

      11/30/2012 at 4:39 AM

      24/7 for 13 years?!? Wow dedication! I'm sure you will come up with just the way you need to distance yourself a bit from this commitment. Prayer does wonders for providing the right words in a situation that seems wrong. Yesterday while cooking I was thinking about a friend who I don't think is always the best sharer and realized that I too am not the most thoughtful. If I am eating something I will gobble a bunch of it before I think to offer to another. Recently I have been better at offering to others before stuffing myself. I bring this up because I realized that I will always make sure my well is full before trying to irrigate someone else's land. I think if you view this situation as putting yourself in the best form to provide the most to the world around you maybe it will change your feelings. You've done 13 years of amazing work, but your goals are going to widen your circle of influence. By staying in your comfort zone you are depriving a larger portion of the world of the talents you were given to share. Maybe you can volunteer in a way that is in line with your creative and health goals. A group of some sort or . . . I don't know. Maybe you can shape something around yourself. I hope my ideas helped some.

  7. Bee

    11/29/2012 at 6:29 PM

    I unwittingly sacrificed family time over the past few months in pursuit of my dream, and I've realized that I can't continue to do that.

    Moving forward, I'm going to do something similar to Lincoln and sacrifice the comforts of sitting and "working" in front of the TV. I sometimes get great inspiration from the things I see, but I know I can be much more productive if I cut the TV time down

    The last week has been interesting – I've been off work, so I've been taking some time out for me. I had another piece posted on Frugivore, and got some good posts up on '83 To Infinity. This past week has been successful in that it's been more about quiet time, and I've done that, so I'm happy.

  8. Dee

    11/30/2012 at 4:29 AM

    I feel like this post was written to me. I just responded to last week's post and that response talked about how I have found myself a little further away from where I want to be than I was, say a month ago. I realized today while getting ready to go out and dance, with schoolwork unfinished, that I just didn't have time for the fun. So I counted my paid for entrance to the event as worth nothing next to my need to get things done. I stayed in and finished what I needed to do instead of trying to wake up two hours before class and doing it, which would have ruined my regular morning routine. It was coming, but today it really clarified for me. I need to socialize less. That was a definite part of my plan and somehow since around Halloween I have been sidetracked. I deactivated my Facebook account (which I use to discuss nothing with friends and look at invites to events) earlier this week. I started running again on Thanksgiving which is in line with my body image goal. I also need to give up shopping. I spend hours online looking for just the right bag, nail polish, new black pumps, etc. I own more than I need to and could stand to not buy anything new for 365 days. I might make that a personal challenge (maybe). While browsing online though it came to me that I could combine two of my goals, modeling and starting a 'zine. As my friend noted "like Oprah" I can be the model for my magazine. Yay, right? Well another friend challenged me to write for a publication to learn the workings of the 'zine business . . . wait, what? Really, do I have to walk before I run??? I'm very scared of submitting to be published and overwhelmed about what I should write and where I should submit.

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