The year is coming to a close and so I think back on the past twelve months and what I have achieved and what could use improvement. I also begin to think about goals for the coming year. Upon reflection, even if my goals this past year were not always met with immediate success I can say that I’ve done a decent job of balancing my first year as a working mom and achieving many goals that I set for myself. My strategy has been to focus on kindness, accountability and #boldmoves.
Allow me to explain.
At the beginning of 2013 I created three BIG professional goals for myself:
- My first solo book project
- To be a speaker at ‘Creative Mornings’
- To approach and work with a specific brand I really love
1. In January I started drafting proposals for my first solo book project. The first proposal that I drafted (which I thought was genius, haha) was rejected a slow and painful rejection from every publisher that reviewed it (and there were many). My idea was too niche. My style was too ‘maximal’ (that’s actually a quote). It’s not a “big enough” book. I was hurt. Rejection is always tough. But instead of walking away defensively, I took a deep breath and channeled feelings of defensiveness into feelings of kindness. I put aside my ego, I listened to what the publishers were saying (they are, after all, the experts) and I repackaged my proposal taking their constructive feedback to heart. By July I had multiple offers from some of the best publishers in the world. Being kind to myself makes it possible to take rejection. Being kind to others means giving people the benefit of the doubt, means really listening, being open, means showing my appreciation and being humble.
2. I have been a regular audience member at Creative Mornings (a breakfast lecture series) and have always felt inspired by the mission and the method. I have wanted to speak at a Creative Morning for a long time too. Despite the fact that at times I’ve felt insecure whilst comparing myself to the other creatives who have taken the mic, I decided to take a deep breath, let go of any insecurities and email the organizer to let him know that I was interested in speaking. Turns out there is a mile-long waiting list to speak (go figure), so that didn’t happen for me this year. But at least I tried. Throwing my hat in the ring was a real #boldmove for me. And if you think that I will give up this easily you are mistaken. Jon (who organizes the LA Chapter of Creative Mornings) can expect to hear from me again in 2014 :)
3. As for the brand partnership, up until the end of 2012 I sat on the sidelines waiting for brands I love to contact me. Well in 2013 I kinda woke up and realized that I have to get pro-active (#boldmoves) about this stuff. After all, there are A TON of great bloggers out there, and how are brands to know that I am passionate about them if I don’t let them know? So this ended up working smashingly, and if you follow along here regularly you might be able to guess which brand I’m talking about because this year I’ve worked with them on several campaigns and projects–and it’s been a great fit.
Next were the three BIG personal goals that I had on my list.
- Be more active / get into my pre-pregnancy jeans
- Face my dental-phobia and deal with the cavity had been decaying in my mouth since my pregnancy.
- Make new friends
1. When I commit to things just with myself, I bend the rules. I am easy on myself at the gym (if I make it there at all). I don’t always keep appointments WITH MYSELF, but I hardly ever miss appointments WITH OTHERS. This is where accountability comes in. I knew that if I was REALLY going to get in better shape, I was going to have to have to be held accountable by someone other than myself. Enter Amanda–I made a #boldMove and asked if she would work for trade. Now I go to the gym because I know that she is waiting for me there. I eat better because I know I’m getting weighed tomorrow. It sounds stupid, I know. And I wish my health alone was enough motivation, but it’s not–knowing that Amanda is there to keep me accountable is HUGE. Kindness towards myself makes it possible for me to be proud of myself for being able to button my pre-pregnancy jeans, even if they still kinda give me camel-toe ;)
2. Dental-phobia and the cavity: I went to the dentist four times this summer after, seriously, not visiting the dentist for (wait for it…) over a decade. Talk about #boldmoves. But as we all know, It’s not just about setting goals, but about being accountable to them. Getting to know myself over the years I’ve learned that if I make a dentist appointment, I’ll keep it. The hard part for me is making the appointment. So I push myself to do that, and the rest falls into place.
3. The friends thing is hard. I’ve had a lot of close friends move away in the last few years and have found myself lonely at times. So I made it a goal to make some new friends this year. But most of the women I know (or meet) are new moms, new wives, or have new jobs (or some combo of the above) and it’s already challenging enough to make time for OLD friends, let alone make new ones. But this year I did make an effort–and part of this effort was not taking it personally when I got flaked on. I know how busy I am, so I should be kind and empathetic towards others if they can’t make every appointment. Sometimes it takes a #boldmove to ask someone new out for coffee or to the spa, but the prize of a new potential friend is always worth the risk of rejection. And while it’s not like I have any major new BFFs in my life right now, there are new people in my life who I have grown closer to, and who I hope to get even closer with in the coming years.
I had a lot of other goals on my list to0: family goals, financial goals, house-buying goals, heck even hair goals! Some were accomplished, some are being pushed to the 2014 list, but (to sum things up without making this the world’s longest post) remembering kindness, accountability and #BoldMoves always helps me to make good choices
So as the year comes to a close and I reflect on my goals for 2013, I ask myself: Did I act with kindness towards myself and others? Have I held myself accountable for my actions? and, Have I been #bold in my actions? If I can answer ‘Yes’ to THESE questions, than I know that even if I haven’t achieved all my goals, that actually, I kinda have.
What are your methods for achieving the goals you set out for yourself ?