I have never been a big goal person. I especially hated putting goals "out there" because then I'd feel obligated to stick to them, didn't like thinking about what I really wanted for fear that if I didn't achieve it, I would be a failure and everyone would know. In my mind I had goals, but would usually keep those secret and that also made it much easier to move the goal post when I didn't achieve what I'd wanted--best part is no one knew and I still looked "successful". Also, I just hated the feeling of being stuck with these goals, what if I change my mind and thus abandon the goal? AHHH that was bad really bad. I am the type of person that follows something through to the painful end because I REALLY don't like not finishing something. Up until this year I finished every book cover to cover even if it was terrible--now if the book is not good by the middle, I have no problem putting it down without any guilt. When I was in middle school I played the clarinet and was really pretty bad and didn't like it, but I figured my mom had bought this nice clarinet and paid for a lot of lessons, so I should probably do band in high school and march in the marching band. I SERIOUSLY HATED MARCHING BAND, but I still did it for my entire freshman year all the way through! Let me tell you a little secret--I never played a single note in the marching band--you had to memorize the music and all the marching steps and I just never did it, I fucking hated it. The weird thing is that wasn't even a goal, it was just my not wanting to be a quitter that kept me marching along silently (literally). Wow it's weird to be so stubborn sometimes.
So yeah goals are kind of annoying, not to mention it really takes some time and inner examination to really figure out what I wanted. And I emphasize what I wanted--not what thought others wanted of me, or what I thought would look best to the outside world, but what I really wanted. Being honest with yourself is very hard sometimes and I'll say historically I've subconsciously shielded myself from my goals for fear of them not happening. I would make very small manageable goals, ones I knew I could achieve and go with that--voila, every time I easily achieved my goal and always succeeded. Look at me I'm a success, I never fail! That's the secret to an easy and cowardly life.
Well, I've recently kind of changed my tune on this whole goal thing. I guess this is just a part of growing up and getting wiser, but I've finally started to shed some of my shame of failure. Good ol' Brene Brown and her obsession with shame has kind of gotten to me--in a good way. I am starting to understand shame and how it can create unbearable fear and really stifle a life. I definitely had/still have shame around failure, but am starting to see past that, and boy is that a much more fun way to live. I am also starting to understand the power of putting something you want (I'm not talking about a new pair of knee high Stewart Weitzman boots, though those would be nice) out into the universe, telling your friends, writing it down, posting it on social media, telling your partner/mom/dad/sister/anyone who will listen that this is something you want. It's amazing to me the things that happen when actual words are spoken or written down instead of staying in my head. I'm trying to think of a recent example but can't--if you have one, write it in the comments below, I'd love to hear!
Ok, so now comes the part where you can choose to do some work :) A wonderful and wise friend of mine (also named Carly!) shared this goal question and reflection sheet on her social media account. It was posted by Kate Nelson who has been plastic free for 10 years (@plasticfreemermaid) who got the list from the person who created it, Nim de Swardt, a social entrepreneur. I don't know much about Kate or Nim, but somehow this goal list made it's way into my hands through Carly, and I'm glad it did. The list is a mix of reflection and goals and I really got into it. I got so into it, I convinced my husband to do it, too! I will say, it's 5 pages and took me a few days to get through the entire thing, but I felt really good when I was finished. I sat down with some headphones, lit a candle, and typed my lil heart out. It felt cathartic. I highly recommend. Now I probably won't refer back to this daily, weekly, or even monthly, but I do have it as a reference if I feel like I'm getting off track. I at least have my top 3 goals at top of mind and it's weird how helpful that can be as you go through everyday life. So, I challenge you to check it out, read through it, print it out, or copy into word and fill it out on your computer.
Here is the link: https://iquitplastics.com/blog/cast-a-2021-spell
Also I you haven't seen any of Brene Brown's TED talks, check the one on shame here, but she has a bunch more: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame?language=en
I would love to hear what some of your goals are for this year, comment below if you feel like sharing. Here's to 2021, 2022, 2023...!