If you're like me, I feel like we've been living in 2020 for about 5 years and it's not even still 2020. We're almost to 2022. What?
I remember the passion and excitement I had for the new decade like it was yesterday. It was actually off to a great start until the world shut down, and for my enneagram type three self (which for those unfamiliar that is known as the "achiever" personality) my goals kinda halted too. I haven't gotten back into the same groove since. But I'm ready.
New Years have always felt special - a fresh start and blank slate. I endured so many (welcomed) changed from 2020 through 2021, but I do feel the most settled I've felt as an adult. Therefore, what better time to really dig deep on deciding where I am going and who I am going to be than now?
Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation, feeling as if the dust is finally settling from the crazy couple years we've experienced collectively. Or maybe you don't quite see the light just yet. Either way, having a set of goals or dreams to work towards can center you and push you for more.
I learned this process from Rachel Hollis, a personal development author, podcaster, and influencer. (Aside from love/hate relationship the internet has for her, this is one piece of advice I've used over and over and it does work!) I will link to her podcast episode where she guides you through this process if you're more of a auditory learner. (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-rachel-hollis-podcast/id1245763628?i=1000429479026)
When I want to decide the direction I want to work towards, I visualize my future self. Typically the ten year older version of myself. I imagine who she is, what she does each day for work, what her house looks like, what she looks like, what her family makeup is, what car she drives - you get the point, I visualize her in detail. Then, I brainstorm all the dreams "she" made a reality to be the person living the life I just imagined.
Some of those dreams may be "I wrote and published a best-selling book" or "I launched a top rated business podcast" or "I ran a 5k." These types of goals or dreams can essentially be "checked off" once completed, but I tend to include two or three goals that I will always be working towards, such as "I am a loving and supporting wife" or "I am an exceptional stepmama." These reflect my values of no matter what I do accomplish in life, I will always work on being the best version of myself to be able to love those most important to me well.
What I've been taught and what I find value in is scripting these dreams as if they have already happened. Words are powerful, the words we speak to ourselves are even more powerful. There is power in telling yourself - speficially your brain - that you've done something you haven't done. You take on the mindset of a person that has already accomplished that dream and your brain views your world differently. This allows you to figure out ways to actually accomplish your dream. Because if your brain believes you have achieved it, when the opportunity presents itself you're more likely to take it or better yet, create the opportunity yourself when you otherwise wouldn't have.
Lastly, and probably the most important but hardest to grasp when setting goals and casting a vision for your life - you want to look at this list of goals and dreams and decide which ONE will you focus your effort and energy on right now. We cannot fully achieve goals if we split our focus and try to do it all right here and right now. Picking one allows us to use all of our excess energy (you know the energy left over after we did our day to day adult duties, like work, family, house) on one goal and trust me, you'll achieve that much faster this way. Then once it is accomplished you look back over your list and pick the next one to focus on.
Now, a quick side note. We mentioned earlier, this is our excess time and energy, so we don't give up on being a great mom or wife to train for 5k Those are our values, our keystone goals that don't wavier. I will argue, taking care of yourself by training for a 5k will make you better in other areas. Here's why: this is something your heart desires, seeing that and making it a priority will fulfill you. When you're more fulfilled, you show up as a better version of yourself. Then further, this is taking care of your health, another way to show up as your better self. (This can be applied to ANY goal of yours).
To wrap up, you have your vision, your dream/goal list, and your ONE dream or goal you will work on first. Now take that one dream/goal and dig deep. Create milestones that will show your progress towards achievement and work towards milestone 1 first, then milestone 2, then finally milestone 3 (or so on). If you need to hear it, because I know I do, you got this and you were made to chase these goals!
If you chose to do this exercise, please share with us! I would love to encourage anyone on their goals.