The Best Goal Setting Hacks that Cure Lack Of Motivation, Lack Of Drive, and Help You Get Your Books & Projects DONE! (Part 1)

Ellen Violette
3 min readApr 8, 2020
Success, Goal-Setting, Motivation, Persistence (From Artur Szczybylo)

While I have achieved some big goals in my life, I did not achieve others, not because I was not capable, but because I did not give them the attention needed to succeed. However, as I journeyed through life, I realized that goals don’t just happen. Part 1 of this two-part article chronicles the highlights of that journey and what some of the differences were when I succeeded and when I didn’t. Part 2 is more of a recipe for success based on that journey.

Finding my way and learning my lessons really started after I graduated from U.C. Berkeley with honors and I was accepted into graduate school in architecture at U.C.L.A. It was not a passion of mine, but it was a way to get my parent's approval while still doing something I thought would creative. But, after two years and spending six months suffering from panic attacks and agoraphobia, I quit. And it was easy to quit. I hated it. But, the panic led to therapy which led to sharing my poems with my therapist who suggested I would be a great songwriter. So, I gave it a try.

I spent eleven years in the music business learning and growing before I got a Grammy nomination. My early songs were terrible. But, I loved it and I was eager to learn. My passion propelled me forward. I had no intention of ever quitting, but when my dad died and my mom got sick, Christen and I did what had to be done. That meant selling the house I grew up in. Unfortunately, my livelihood went with it as we had built, a world-class recording studio in that house. (It also afforded me the opportunity to save thousands of dollars in studio time; we made all the demo’s that could easily cost $1200 in studio time per song.)

But, we fixed our earthquake-damaged house and saved the estate from going bankrupt. That gave us some money to start a new life. We bought a condo in San Diego, and the market continued to go up. Christen tried to re-establish his hypnotherapy business here, and I taught songwriting but it wasn’t working out too well. However, our condo kept appreciating. So, we started buying, fixing, and selling houses in San Diego. It was fun, but not my life’s work. And I wasn’t making any money in music.

So, when we took a property management job to save money back in Los Angeles, and I started looking for another property to buy there. We took real-estate courses and joined a real-estate club. I scoured the newspaper every day. It took me a year before I found a deal. I was just about to quit from exhaustion when I found our condo; it went from $250,000 to $450,000 in value and we even told the guy we bought it from not to sell his others and he made even more money. Then, when I got online, I did what I have always done, I learned and implemented and persisted.

But, I thought I would be writing music again very soon. However, I lost sight of the ball. I stopped persisting in that arena. My focus had shifted to coaching and writing books, and again I persisted. I have spent thousands of dollars on programs and coaching over the past 15 years, and just kept going.

And what I learned is that there are criteria for when I persisted and what was different from when I didn’t that I’ll be sharing in Part 2.



Ellen Violette

Book coach/strategist, multiple #1 bestselling author, podcaster for inspirational speakers and visionaries. Grammy-nominated.