Happy New Year everybody!
There's something I learned really powerfully last year and it was the concept of living life with intention. One of the best ways to do that, but probably one of the most intimidating, is by setting goals.
I've been thinking a lot about goal setting and how scary and daunting it can be. I often wonder why it is so much easier to avoid the things in life we all know are important? Richie Norton in The Power of Starting Something Stupid muses that because these things are important, we avoid them. It's too much pressure.
And usually I'm in that camp. Kind of the last thing I wanted to do this January, other than waffle in my desire to go back to the gym and give up pie, was set some goals or take a look at what I had done in 2013.
LOOKING BACK AT 2013
So, a funny thing happened. Cleaning through my papers, I found a printed copy of a full goal setting exercise I had done for the Making Things Happen Conference last March. The series was written by Lara Casey and had multiple steps.
I definitely was not in a great head space in early March 2013. I felt frustrated and completely lost at work, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I felt like Gus and I were completely trapped in a path that was inescapable and was keeping us literally thousands of miles away from what matters most.
So when I read those pages, I had such an amazing experience- almost like a conversation with my past self. Here's a little bit from what I wrote in March 2013 about my vision for the year,
"1. Grow and develop my brand, blog, & business.
Learn more – build an audience – and help brides and others celebrate the awesomeness of love and life in a meaningful way. Seek out meaningful offerings in writing and in the shop. Why? Because this is how I feel most contributive to the world.
2. Be Brave and Jump in Passionately AT work.
If you’re sticking with work in LA to the fall, do the best damn job you can. Do it the only way you know- the Annie way. Find your niche and get even better. It’s not about approval- it’s about creating something meaningful that helps somebody else. Some may not always appreciate it but find your purpose, even in the mundane, and know you’re doing something great even if it seems small. Accept but thrive. Rethink – you’re not settling – you’re rising above with passion, compassion, and style. Why? Because though the circumstances aren’t ideal, you do your best work when you embrace your true self and don’t let others tear your down. Comparison is the thief of joy- don’t bother yourself with what anyone else thinks and it’ll take care of itself. Live your life for YOU!
3. Work with Gus as a partner in love and life and keep building the blocks to North Carolina.
Keep talking about goals. Go through the clutter. Talk to people and make connections in NC. Envision the life we want to lead and take steps in that direction. Support Gus with love and listening and kindness. Put greatness out there. Reconnect with family and friends. Be excited while you’re in THIS chapter – don’t wish you already turned the page on the next. Be present and love the preparation. There’s more twists and turns in store and this will be a special time for us to connect and share and grow together in a common goal. How will we get there? Together. Always. Why? Because our family is our core and setting the foundation and roots somewhere that’s our speed and that has our community of friends and family helps us make that nest of possibilities. Helps us be the big fish in the small pond and live a more PRESENT and MEANINGFUL life.
4. Consider writing a book
5. Be better and more accountable with money.
Think differently about it. Read total money makeover!"
Wow. Reading back over this now is an incredible feeling. I remember feeling so much self-doubt and concern writing each of these things. I was hoping for the best but not expecting it. All I was doing was putting down my hopes and dreams on paper and some initial thoughts on how to make them happen.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
My new attitude at work improved that situation ten-fold and I ended up in a great role at work and left in the best possible mindset ever, having turned a challenging situation into a great one. I'm writing this from Chapel Hill, NC, after a six month transitional roller coaster of spending meaningful time with our LA friends and family and now investing in a new life in NC. We decluttered, we lived with less, and we gained so much more. And we did read The Total Money Makeover, which led us to becoming debt-free a month after writing this! My blog grew amazingly and I had clients and Ruffled DIY's happening all over the place beginning in April.
And the book thing, that's still on the radar, but I'll give myself a break. It was a busy 2013 with a ton of milestones, and thanks to some of this introspection, a lot of purpose.
THE FUNNY THING ABOUT GOALS
So though scary, the funny thing about writing down your goals is that it actually helps make them infinitely more possible. In fact, it's been proven that people who write down their goals (pen and paper, typing, etc.) are statistically incredibly more likely to achieve them/be successful. And it makes sense. If you can take the time to be intentional to put names to those dreams in your head, you have something in front of you, staring you in the face, helping you overcome that fear and that incessant desire to procrastinate.
One of my friends shared that every year she writes her one year and five year goals/plans. Now that she's been doing it for five years, she was able to go back to the first five year plan and see how amazingly close it was in terms of the overall things she had originally planned to do in the world.
So, with all this swimming in my head, I'm doing setting goals again for 2014 and will be sharing them next week here on the blog. I invite you to join me using your own favorite ways or this super awesome series by Lara Casey.
Here's to an amazing year ahead! Who knows what past Annie will have to say in 2015?! Gotta write that story now and see what we can make happen.