5 Things To Get Going With Your Goals

I came back to Los Angeles last week a little bit overwhelmed with the possibilities and potential trajectories of my life in the upcoming year. There are a lot of places I’d like to go, things I’d like to do, and accomplishments I’d like to achieve. It was all a giant blurry mess inside my head, and trying to sort out what was priority and what was fluffy back-burner pipeline dreams threw me into a lot of gray area. I started questioning what my true career goals were and what I really needed in order to be happy and enjoy my life on the daily. I realized something about myself that I had never really considered or allowed myself to fully embrace: I have some burning entrepreneurial ambition that I’ve never truly explored. And I also realized that what I really want is not a specific career title, but rather a career lifestyle. It kind of blew my mind when I came to this realization. Once I knew this, I suddenly had a new-found energy to face the bumpy, unknown road ahead. I created my list of goals and rules for myself, and I’ve started tackling them with a zest I didn’t know I had. You’ve probably seen some of my posts on Instagram about the healthy lifestyle change I’m making through ID Life, but that’s not even the half of it.

I want you to find your own zest, too! Maybe you’re rethinking your own goals, or wanting to renew your efforts on some old goals, or maybe you don’t even have any goals yet–that’s fine. It’s important to accept where you are and know that the only way to fail is if you don’t let yourself try. Here are five things that I’ve been doing that have really helped me start off with a bang and stay on track:

  1. Write Everything Down–I’ve noticed over the past few months that not only is it immensely helpful to clear the mind of overwhelmingly cluttered thought by writing everything that is distracting me down, but that actually hand-writing these things is very therapeutic. When I’m working on a writing project, I always start with pen and paper now. The only exception I’ve made for this is my list of goals, rules, and general thoughts on my short-term life plans. Those I keep in a typed document on my phone, where I can reference them any time and they don’t take up physical space, which always makes me feel clutter if I feel that it’s something I can’t lose and can’t file away. BUT, before you can make such a document for yourself, it’s best to brainstorm, word-vomit (whatever you need to do to get those thoughts out of your brain), etc, on a sheet of paper, first!
  2. Mantras–Okay, I was definitely one of those people who thought mantras were super cheesy and weird. Even in yoga class, when the instructor would have us do the “Omm” I would feel so silly. But I’ve been doing a home practice for a while now and have started incorporating phrases into my daily routine. When I give myself permission to say these mantras and really think about how they can apply to my day, and how I can incorporate them into my actions, I find I go about the rest of my day with more vigor, and I often do just what I tell myself in my mantra, sometimes without even realizing it.
  3. Perspective–Often, new years resolutions fail because people come at them with negativity. I.e. “I’m going to lose 30lbs,” “I’m going to quit smoking,” “I’m going to read more because I don’t read enough,” etc, etc. It’s great to have a desire for self improvement, but when you come at it from the angle that where you are right now is a problem that needs to be fixed, you set yourself up for failure. This is because you already view your current state of self as a failure, so when the results you’re looking for don’t come when you expect them, when you get impatient that things aren’t happening more quickly, you’ll view your unchanged status as a failure, and not a success for simply taking the effort to make a change. Instead, approach it as a transformation: you are building upon yourself. Reading more is an investment in your mind, getting in shape or beating your addiction is an investment in your health, etc. Seeing your lifestyle changes this way will allow you to give yourself recognition every time you make an effort towards achieving that change.
  4. Prioritize–There are some things that are always going to need done in your life: cooking, cleaning, paying the bills, etc., and there are some things that always wind up on the back burner because of this, usually the things you actually want to do. Obviously you can’t ignore your bills or stop eating, so instead, find a way to streamline these things that works for you. Maybe that means you put your bills on autopay, or take two hours out of one day each week to plan out and/or cook your meals for the coming week. Maybe you do one chore a day so that the dirt and grime doesn’t build up and you don’t wind up spending precious free time turning housework into a weekend event. This might not solve the time needs for all of the adult responsibilities you have. But find a way to streamline the most important things (the ones that will cause a shitstorm if they don’t get done) and shrug off the rest. You’ll be dusting for the rest of your life. You need to travel, write, build, research, learn–whatever it is you want to do–now.
  5. Relieve–Even after you’ve written down all of your mind clutter, given yourself a positive mantra, allowed yourself to accept where you are, and prioritized your responsibilities, you’ll probably be feeling overwhelmed or anxious at the impending changes to your routine. It’s a lot to keep track of, even if its something as simple as adding 30 minutes of exercise to your day. You need to remember to give yourself breathing room; find a place or a time each week (maybe each day if you need it) to get out of your routine bubble and just let yourself be. Maybe that’s meditating in your room, maybe its a stroll around the block or in a nearby park; my personal weekly relief is church. This is some place or activity that you don’t view as a commitment or obligation. It’s a reward that you freely give to yourself because you know you need it. Even if you don’t feel like you deserve it, don’t feel like you’ve done enough this week to give up the time for it, allow yourself time for relief. It will help refresh your energy and renew your determination to achieve your dreams!

I would love to hear about what you’ve done to achieve your goals. Share in the comments if you have any great things to add to this list! Let’s conquer 2016 and be the best we can be.

-tlc

How I’m Making Better Changes in 2016 (And You Should, Too)

I don’t know about you, but 2016 has been off to an interesting start. Not to go into too much detail, but 2015 ended with a not-so-great bang, and though I’ve enjoyed my 2016 so far (I got to explore Seattle and part of Portland with my adorable nephews!) I haven’t been too enthusiastic about it. BUT, I am determined! The past couple of years have been a bit of a wander for me; I’ve jumped head-first into a new city and industry that I knew nothing about ahead of time, and I’ve learned to make things work. But I’ve spent enough time simply letting things happen and “going with the flow” (Not that either of those things are bad; the first rule to being happy in life is learning that nothing is truly in your control). This year is about taking initiative and taking steps towards finding what goals matter most to me, and then reaching those goals. And maybe I can help you reach your goals, too.

How? Well, for starters, after reading my last post my good friend Joel sent me a great article about making goals and resolutions vs. making rules, and the success rate of each. Check out the article here, it makes some great points!

So I am making some rules for myself. I sat down this afternoon and wrote up a quick list of rules I want to implement into my daily routine over the course of the next couple of months, and then a wrote up a list of general goals for the year so that when I’m ready to create and implement new rules, I can go back to my list and stay focused on the things I most want to accomplish this year. I’m keeping all of this on my phone, as I’ve realized that as much as I love pen and paper, I feel very disorganized having random sheets and lists lying around my room, and eventually I lose them, anyways. I also didn’t want to type it up on my computer, as it would likely get lost in my documents folder and I would never look at it again. This way, with both my rule list and my goal list on my phone, I have them with me whenever I want to look at them, and they don’t take up space or make me feel cluttered or overwhelmed.

I also started off small, making a list of maybe 5-6 rules total for me to implement gradually over the course of the next month so as not to overwhelm myself. That’s also why I created a goal list; 5-6 simple rules will not get all of my goals completed, but as I successfully implement my rules, I can create more that will eventually help me reach my end goal.

I’m also changing my outlook this year. So often, I find that I fail at reaching the goals I create for myself because I expect to find success or completion before I’ve even begun. I don’t like the way I look in a sports bra and yoga pants while I’m working out, so I stop. I don’t have the knowledge or creativity to generate viral quality content, so I stop producing. I stop publishing. The first three pages of my current writing project suck, so I quit working on it. Etc. Etc.

This year, I’m looking at it as a work in progress. If this blog and its readership has taught me anything, it’s that working through the tough, embarrassing, often public mishaps that come with being new to something and learning as you go is the only way to find success at something. Rome wasn’t built in a day, Harry Potter was not the first story that J.K. Rowling wrote, and every successful business person has failed first. So you get the privilege of seeing this blog change before your eyes, and maybe seeing me change, too!

I want to hear about your goals for this year, and if you need help making rules of your own, give me a shout out. You know where to find me.

-tlc

2016

I don’t like New Years Resolutions. They always lead to disappointment.

But every year I make them anyways.

This year, though, I want to call them goals. Because they aren’t things that I want to jump into head-on and overwhelm myself, they are things I want to carry out steadily until they become second nature; part of my routine; a lifestyle.

But I don’t want to tell you about my personal “goals” for the year. I want to tell you about what I want to do with this blog!

Last year, I made a commitment to post every week, and I stuck to it (for the most part), missing only seven posts over the course of the year. To me, that’s HUGE! If you’re interested, check out the exact statistics and how much posting on a weekly schedule really boost my readership here.

So, here are some goals that you, as a reader, can look forward to on this blog in the upcoming year:

A solid theme. When I really started focusing on this blog, it started out as a sudo-advice column for college students transitioning from school into the real world. Since then, it’s slowly turned into simply a personal blog with almost a diary-type feel to it. This is going to change. In the upcoming weeks I will be looking towards focusing more on things I love to do, i.e. writing and crafting! Expect more how-to’s and useful lists.

A new website! This one might take a while. Running a blog, even one as simple as this, takes a LOT of work. I’ve put hours upon hours into this thing, and I don’t get paid to do it. Not even Google pays me. That’s how much of a passion project this thing is. I’ve been looking for a way to transition towards a multi-page site that allows me to have more than one fluid posting page. Currently, I can have multiple pages, however every page except this one is stagnant, meaning I cannot publish individual posts to individual pages. If I want to edit something on another page, I have to go in and reformat that page manually. It also means that on other pages, you can’t call up certain posts according to tags or publish dates. This makes for a serious lack of organization and optimization that I hate.

Posting changes. Fridays are great, but I’m currently debating between a Saturday or Monday morning post time. This will give me more time to get posts perfected and to you without missing my deadline.

That’s all. I’m keeping it realistic, and trying not to overwhelm myself with too many to-dos. After all, like I said, I don’t get paid for this. And I’ve already got my work cut out for me.

I would love to hear your opinions on these goals as well. If you have a suggestion or something you enjoy reading on my blog, let me know in the comments. Your input is much appreciated!

-tlc

New Year Post: First Post of 2015!

Written while watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve:

I’m starting this year out a bit differently. As I sit here watching One Direction serenade a crowd of grown men, Jenna McCarthy list celebrity divorces of 2014, and read my Facebook friends’ sentimental 2014 reflections while my parents celebrate with a bottle of champagne in my uncle’s modular in small town South Dakota, I have a feeling 2015 is going to be my coolest year yet. Here are some things I’m thinking about this #NYE:

 

Resolution #1: Shorter posts

Let’s face it–how many times have I set a weekly post date for this site, stuck to it all of two or three weeks, dropped off the face of the Earth, and then spent half of my next post apologizing for such a long absence? That’s so 2014.  So, to keep up with the trends, I’m going to keep things simple, short, and sweet.

 

Resolution #2: NO APOLOGIES

Writing is about being honest, and comedy is about being honest, so comedic writing must be about being….random! But in all seriousness, there have been a lot of things on my mind I’d like to write about, but have held back in fear of making waves amongst friends and readers and those I love. But the best lessons, the wisest observations–the things that need to be said–those come from places of vulnerability. Discretion is key, but honesty is power. So, sorry in advance.

 

Resolution #3: I still kind of want to meet Nick Jonas.

#sorrynotsorry I’m watching him sing on TV as I write this and the 16 year-old in me is giggling uncontrollably, so, you know.

 

Resolution #4: Love More in the Moment

I spent a lot of 2014 worrying. I spent a lot of 2014 crying. I spent more time missing home in 2014 than I have since I was in the third grade and discovered I was terrified of sleeping over at friends’ homes. I know, though–when I truly let myself believe it–that my family isn’t going anywhere. They want me to be happy, have adventures, and find success. And they love me whether I’m half the world away or living in their basement (probably a little bit more when I’m living half the world away). So, in 2015 I’ve made a promise to myself to explore more, find the positives, and learn to love what’s given to me.

 

Resolution #5: Embrace Myself

In the last half a year, I’ve met more kinds of people than I have my entire life. I’ve witnessed several different personalities and life philosophies played out, and I’ve realized something: I never want to be a grumpy old man with a crass mouth. I don’t care if it means I’d be able to afford a Malibu mansion. If I ever scream at someone over the phone, then I’ve failed at life. I’m going to embrace my polite upbringing. In fact, I’d like to learn more patience and kindness in 2015. Because I believe that knowing myself, embracing my personality traits, and standing by them makes me a stronger person. And I also believe there’s a difference between being mean and standing your ground.

 

So there you have it. My five resolutions for this year. There isn’t going to be any “let’s see how long I keep to these.” I will. Affirmative thinking.

 

I will also being working out regularly again, as my grandmother has informed me that I’ve gained weight. But let’s face it: some things never change.

 

-tlc

New Year, New Blog!

I gave myself one goal today: post this blog.  It is now five minutes to 10 p.m. (though the save history on this draft says 4 a.m.–don’t know what that’s about) and I am just now starting to type this up.  Great start to a new year? …Yeah…

In all honesty, though, I actually have a pretty good feeling about this year.  In about four months I will be headed into a future of the unknown–my last semester of school and I still don’t know what I’m doing–and possibly moving to some un-foretold city to wreck my awkward havoc upon its unsuspecting citizens, but yes; I feel pretty good about this year.

Actually, the thing I like most about New Years is the feeling of ambition it gives.  Eleven months out of the year, I get an idea and then put it off, because I think, “Well, I’m in the middle of life right now, and I don’t want to start something new until I know I have time for it,” so I wait for something that feels like a starting point.  Usually something silly, like a holiday, or a long weekend, or 12:30 a.m.   But if there is something I’ve learned in my whole philosophical experience in 2014 so far, it’s that you have to just jump in and go for it.  To be a bit cliche and invent my own saying, ‘In the race of life, there is no starting lines.’

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m jumping in, and I’m going to document my time along the way, so I hope you’ll join me.  And I hope you jump in, too.  Because, what is life without a few shared experiences, some laughs, and a whole ‘lotta awkward?

-tlc