5 Steps to Get After Your Biggest Goals

I cannot even believe we are here in the final quarter of 2018. I love to take a moment around this time of year to check in and assess where I am at with my big picture things. Speaking of, are you feeling clear on your own big picture things? Do you feel a sense of direction with where you’re going and what you’re working towards? If not, no sweat, I got you friend!

Let’s first start by letting this statement ring so deeply true:

Clarity is what creates drive. 

Motivation stems from that place of knowing where we want to be. It is critical to constantly be coming back around to creating clarity within ourselves. We do this by opening ourselves up to exploring what is there within us. What is waiting to come out? What do we really, really want for ourselves? If everything were easy, what would we be doing? 

Once we find some of the answers we are wanting, it is important to remember that our game plan or vision is never ever stagnant. We are constantly changing and ebbing and flowing and therefore it is so important to see our vision in that same lens. For this reason, I set aside time in my schedule to revisit where I am at and write out any changes or updates to my vision and goals.

Want a sneak peek at my personal goal-setting process?

Here’s a snapshot at how to do it:

1.    Get crystal clear on your 4-5 big goals. 

And don't forget to make make them SMART.

2.    Determine one overriding goal.

Among your 4-5 goals, choose the one goal, that if you were to achieve it within the next 5-10 years, you would see and feel the most dramatic impact across other areas of your life. 

3.    Set annual, quarterly, and monthly goals.

Use your overriding goal to set annual, quarterly and monthly goals, and again, make them SMART!

4.    Revisit your goals! 

Set aside time in your calendar to check back in on your goals on a continual basis. Really, block that time off in your phone the moment you do this, otherwise it stays a wish and a want!

5.    Repeat every year!

I usually begin this process around December or January of every year to stay in sync with the calendar year, but you can start it out at any time! With it being August, we are officially in the third quarter of the year. Now I will revisit where I am at with my overriding goal and how I am doing with making movement and traction on the rest of my goals. Do I need to adjust any goals? What monthly goals can I set for the remainder of the year to bring me closer to reaching my overriding goal?

How about you? Do you set goals? Do you want to become a goal-getting machine? Do you have an overriding goal or vision that you feel crystal clear on? Are you intentional about the action needed to get there? 

If you need any support with this whatsoever, I am here. You can always reach out as goal setting is kinda my jam! Together we can figure out some simple next steps to get you closer to where you want to be. And if goal-setting (…and getting!) feels solid to you in this moment, then let’s celebrate that! That alone right there is a big win. 

Here's your nudge to write.

So many times I have sat down in the last 7 months to write. I have crafted uninterrupted time in the morning and taken out little blocks in the afternoon to get my thoughts down into my memoir.

I am writing about my childhood growing up in foster care.

It is a story about mothers and daughters and the long-lasting imprint a mother’s love has on her daughter’s soul. 

It is the realest, and hardest thing I have ever written.

I read this quote by Rupi Kaur that perfectly sums up my feelings: 
 

the thing about writing is
i can’t tell if it’s healing
or destroying me

 

Everything about her words ring true to my heart. (You too?)

Why do we feel so dang vulnerable when we write? Like we are ripping off a bandaid? Like we are opening ourselves up for the world to see when we are the only ones in that moment to see it? Like we might completely fall apart with every word we pen to paper?

Some of my coaching clients have shared their own personal struggle to write in a journal daily. Fellow creative business owners tell me how challenging it can be to open up and share online in their social media posts. 

Writing what is real and true for us is an act of shifting and growing.

When we create space for ourselves to write, we are allowing what is there to come up. And sometimes that can be very scary.

But our words will not break us.

Writing will challenge us to recognize the parts of ourselves that are still hurting or are in pain. 

By creating a space to open up and see what is there, we are essentially saying quietly in our mind to ourselves:

I am worthy of my own love and care.

And what a beautiful, empowering message that is.

What piece of writing is on your heart today my friend?

Have you been longing to journal? Create quotes or poems? Write more authentically on social media? Write a book?

Creating space in your day for yourself to explore your own truths is a vulnerable thing, nonetheless. But you are worthy of exploring your own truths, don’t you think? You are worthy of making them speakable.

Even if you never share what you write with another soul. Simply give yourself permission to get it out. And then see what you want to do with it.

30 Things Self-Care Can Be

I recently came across a post on self-care that MADE me cringe.

The author of the article shared that self-care is so much more than yoga, bubble baths, and lattes, which I resonate with, but did so in a tone that communicated that if you were doing these things as part of your self-care, that you had self-care wrong in some way. The writer listed out that self-care is actually x, y, z, and not a, b, and c.  My rub and disappointment with the piece is that self-care, to me, looks different for each and every one of us.

For the person suffering from depression, self-care could be the simple act of getting out of bed for the day.

For the person recovering from an eating disorder, self-care could be eating a piece of bread and sitting through the discomfort afterwards.

For the mom of three kids, self-care could be taking a mindful moment behind closed doors to quickly regain her composure with a deep breath.

Whether your self-care is treating yourself to a delicious yummy treat, or saying no to an unnecessary purchase because you are saving your money for that bigger, grander, more pressing thing, your self-care is purely yours and I am not here to tell you whether it is good or bad.

Self-care is self-love. 

It is what we express to ourselves that we are worthy of our own care. In my opinion, if you are out there taking intentional time to love on you, to be kind to your body, and to give back to yourself in some way (when you are that person who is constantly giving, giving, and giving to others), then I want to celebrate that, rather than spread a very harmful message that in some way your self-care is less than or not enough.

Articles like the one I am describing just go against the entire core of self-care, which is rooted from a place of love. Whatever manner and way that you are expressing care for your own body and mind in an intentional, self-loving way, is completely and absolutely yours. And so today, I want to share you with my array of self-care things- my very own top 30 list of what I believe self-care can be. Remember, they are simply a tiny sample of some of my very own self-care things.  The purpose in sharing it is to hopefully shed light on self-care taking on many, many looks. It is not a one and done category of things. I encourage you to take a moment to make your own list and see how many you can come up with freely. Bonus points for implementing at least one per day! 

1. Brushing your teeth

2. Making your bed

3. Watering your plants

4. Putting lotion on your body

5. Going for a mindful walk

6. Snuggling your pet 

7. Snuggling your person

8. Writing in a journal

9. Talking with a coach and/or therapist 

10. Taking a deep breath in a moment of distress

11. Reading a feel-good book

12. Drinking a green smoothie or eating a nourishing meal

13. Eating a slice of cake or pizza with zero guilt 

14. Setting boundaries to protect your spirit

15. Speaking your mind

16. Drinking a glass of water

17. Eating when you are hungry

18. Pursuing a passion

19. Volunteering with your favorite organizations

20. Getting your nails done

21. Making your home feel cozy and comfortable

22. Cleaning your space

23. Talking to a friend

24. Taking a shower

25. Taking a long bubble bath

26. Washing your face

27. Setting intentions

28. Smudging

29. Listening to a podcast

30. Flossing your teeth

Why it has been hard to share my story online

As a life coach, I get out and do live speaking events often. Just this past winter, I flew to Denver for a keynote presentation where I taught a group of educators some of my favorite tools when it comes to mindfulness around the stories (AKA thoughts!) that we so often tell ourselves. As I stood in front of the men and women in that audience, I also touched on my upbringing. I shared about how I was taken away from my mom when I was 13. I shared about how much I felt her love despite her drug addiction. I talked about the years that followed spent in foster care. 

For some reason, when I am in front of others, it is easy to share these things.

I feel a bit of a safety in a room where I can see the faces in front of me. I feel more at ease talking about the hard things.

It happened again just last month at the Empowered and Free event where I gave another keynote presentation, this time in front of a group of women sharing all that I know to be true about self-care. I shared, with ease, how graduating from college was actually one of the hardest times of my life because I was completely on my own then. I shared about how I spent my entire life on the lookout for addictions and doing all that I could to avoid it. I shared about how I got sucked right in to an addiction of my own with the last thing I ever expected: food. 

Publicly sharing with people in real-time feels safer- it always has.

Maybe it is because after I share the tough parts, it goes with people as they leave. They carry it with them. There are no traces of my story online left for me to see. Left for people to quietly comment on.

One thing I know to be true however, is that sharing our stories is what connects us.

I feel it each and every time I am surrounded by others in a room. Hearing their stories, hearing their struggles and challenges, their hopes and dreams is what makes it all worth it. It’s what makes sharing completely worth it. 

I know now, that I also feel more ready than ever before to share my stories online. I think a big part of that is that I realize my direct purpose in sharing. 

It is for you, but it also for me.

It is to share the parts of my being that were once wounded and hurting, and have since healed. It is to share the journey, the struggle, and the coming through. It is to connect, it is to meet in the middle. It is to feel fully.

I am currently writing a memoir about my childhood. I am writing about my mom. My beautiful, vibrant, boisterous-laughing mama. It is hard. It is emotionally-taxing. It is also the most gratifying and soul-filling thing I have done to date.

You see, I am learning to trust my own journey in sharing. That what I share and when I share it, is in some way purposeful, and that even just one person out there might deeply need to hear it.

Next week on First + Foremost | The Podcast, I will be sharing more about my foster care upbringing as part of National Foster Care Month. It will be my first time sharing certain details “online” so-to-speak.

And I’m ready.

I’m ready to share my story.

It’s interesting to me how you can feel so much shame around certain life experiences as you go through them. I felt so much shame about being a foster child growing up. Or having an eating disorder in my twenties. These were stories of my past that for a long, long time I was not proud of.

Now, I look back on them with love. I know that they served a purpose in my own healing journey to get where I am today. Without these experiences, I would not have learned how to fully take care of myself in the way I do now, or how to treat myself with love, compassion, and kindness day in and day out.

We all have stories. 

You have stories too. 

My nudge to you today is to reflect on your stories.

What experiences in your life can you look back on with love for just how much growth they have brought into your life? How have you become stronger because of those very stories?

I’ll leave you with that today. 

Let’s love on what makes our lives rich with depth and complexity. 

Let’s cherish the key markers of our lives that have ultimately brought us to a deeper, more profound healing. 

Let’s trust that each experience truly was meant to give us something beautiful in return.

Here's Your Self-Love Reminder

What if today were the day you decided to radically accept yourself, complete flaws and all?
What if today
were the day you decided to radically accept your past as your past?
What if today
were the day you decided to radically accept that you are worthy of your own love?

These are the questions I want to send toward your consciousness.

Radical Acceptance is a term I learned years ago by the lovely author Tara Brach. She describes it as “clearly recognizing what is happening inside us, and regarding what we see with an open, kind, and loving heart.”

We can be so hard on ourselves.

We can riddle ourselves with shame stories around the things we have done or continue to do that we are not proud of. We send ourselves into a whirlwind of guilt and frustration ruminating over and over again about the qualities we so deeply hate, the very same qualities that make us human.

We can notice what we want to change while maintaining an open heart of love towards what is currently there. The part within that feels so very broken still deserves love too.

This is radical self-love.

Choosing to love the part of you that feels unlovable.

To get where we want to be, we have to accept who we are right now.

We have to honor that we are worthy in the body we are in, in the flaws we inhibit, in the shortcomings we perceive. We are worthy of our own love.

Today I write this to you, hoping that you can find a way to love on and accept all of your parts. That while you grow into the person you so wish to be, that you are gentle and loving towards the part of you that may struggle from time to time, that may need to be reminded that she is still innately worth loving too.

Right now in this very moment.