Today’s my birthday. And every year, I do the same exact thing. I turn off my phone, find a quiet place, and write down my birthday goals/intentions/shit I want to happen for the next year. I break these up into three categories: Personal, Professional, and Relationships.
It’s a ritual that I look forward to, but also one that has made me a little anxious in the past. I usually start out writing fast without much thought – the things that are on the top of my mind or the things I write down pretty much every year that I haven’t seemed to conquer yet. But then I start to slow down. And that’s where the nerves set in…what do I really want?
It’s easy to write down “work out more,” “be less critical,” “make more dough (the green kind, not the cookie kind).” But what do I really want from those things? Most times, the answers aren’t as simple as they may seem.
Let’s break down wanting to make more money. What do I mean? Well, I want to grow my business by getting more sponsorships and paid gigs. I want to be able to buy clothes that make me feel confident. I don’t want to run out of money and have nothing when I’m older. I want to have this someday. I want to make enough, so I can help other people who need it.
And now let’s break those down further…
* Well, I want to grow my business more by getting more sponsorships and paid gigs.
What this really means: I want to achieve the same success as my peers. But I need to keep in my mind that most of the peers I’m talking about have been in this business two or three times as long as me. So, what I really I need to work on is putting my head down, building my brand, and STOPPING with the comparison game.
* I want to be able to buy the clothes that make me feel confident.
What this really means: All the money in world is not going to change the whole confident bit. I need to work on accepting my body and the clothes that make it look its best. It makes no difference if it’s a $40 sweater or a $400 one. Work on how I see myself.
* I don’t want to run out of money and have nothing when I’m older.
What this really means: I need to work on my relationship with money. I’m working really hard right now, and unless I totally screw it all up and live completely beyond my means, I’m gonna be ok. Man, I need to work on this one.
* I want to make enough that I can help other people.
What this really means: I want to help other people more. But it doesn’t have to be financially. It can be volunteering at an animal rescue or donating food and clothing. I just need to do something and not wait until the money part happens.
* I want to have this someday.
What this really means: I can’t think of anything good here. I really just want that sweater, ok?
What I’ve figured out after all these years of writing down my “goals” is that they have a much bigger meaning than I was giving them credit for. When I figured out exactly what I wanted from them – more security, confidence, love, and/or acceptance – they felt a little more attainable in a new kind of way.
This exercise isn’t always fun and is not exactly easy. But in the end, I always end up with a clearer action plan to achieve the things I want. A lot of times, the path might be different, shorter, longer, easier, or harder than I expected. But it’s the clarity that helps me tackle it all.
So, what do I want for my birthday? I want you to do the goal/intention thing with me. It always seems easier with a friend. To help us, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite podcasts (in each category) for some inspiration. Take a listen to a few, go sit in a quiet corner with some pen and paper, and start filling in your categories (personal, professional, relationships). Remember to pause and think about what you actually want. I’ll be doing the same thing today, too.
Episode 29: Battling Anxiety with Eva Daiberl
Episode 32: Getting Out Of Your Own Way with John Michael Schert
Episode 34: Choosing To Live And Finding Your Voice with Sahar Paz
Episode 42: Weight Loss, Depression, And Finding Your Happiest Self with Andie Mitchell
Episode 25: Determination, Monetizing Your Brand, And The Bumpy Ride To Success with Hilary Sawchuk
Episode 27: Not Working For Free + Doing What You’re Born To Do with Laura Wright
Episode 33: Overcoming A Business Divorce + Getting Your Happiness In Check with Jessica Zweig
Episode 23: Surrogacy, A Pigeon, And Refining The Traditional Family with Mariah Naella
Episode 30: Prioritizing What’s Important with Ashlae Warner
Episode 36: Healing After Loss with Melissa Baswell Smith
These are some my favorite episodes that have taught me some really learned big lessons. What are some of yours? They don’t have to be an OPP episode to share!