New Years Goal Setting Strategy: How I think about 2017

Hi guys! Hello!

Writing from San Fran today - took a little trip from L.A. to Santa Barbara, to Big Sur and up to SF. Writing a full recap and travel guide later! Feeling much more inspired and refreshed after a bit of travel. 

Oh and importantly, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I mean 2017? What? A part of me thinks last year dragged, but then it's also so surprising that it's a new year. 

Do you guys remember in January 2016 I talked about starting your goals with how you want to FEEL? Here's the link to that one.

If you didn't catch it, basically I talked about, staring my goal setting with FEELINGS. Rather than the goals themselves. I wrote:

"For this year, more importantly I'm adding - how I want to feel emotionally

All of my goals normally start with the end game, what do I want to achieve. i.e. save $20k or something like that. 

But why?

I recently got a book from one of my babes, which turns my goal setting strategy, completely upside down. 

I have been so guilty of the straight up goals; Travel to x country, lose x amount of weight (LOL)....

But if you really drill down, essentially, you're not chasing a goal itself. You're chasing a feeling.

What if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel in our life, and then we laid out our intentions? What if your most desired feelings consciously informed how you plan your day, your year, your career, your holidays — your life?"

So I will be using that as a bit of a guide as I think back on 2016 and look towards 2017. 

For me, 2016 had a solid amount of lows. If I'm honest, I was really putting in the work to set the foundation for a better life in 2017. Making sacrifices socially, and financially to make the blog solid, and create my new passion in podcasting. BUT - the highs were SO HIGH. I had such amazing moments as well. 

The ebbs and flows of life.

But right now, I have to confess.

I’ve been so bad with goals lately.

Which is so not like me. I’m a goal whore. I LOVE THEM. I usually am religious about them, and it works because I’m not SO attached to the outcome. Why is that though? I also feel like when I’m writing my goals they’re so lame and related to numbers. I’m trying to be specific but it’s boring.

I’ve fallen off, with tracking and writing down my goals, so this year I need to get back because I want to really make 2017 good.

Just like, bring in more good, have less bad.

I’ve been doing a few things related to goal setting and reflection as I prepare for 2017. It’s therapeutic to write this shit down, I swear. What do you guys do? Do you have any tips or anything for goal setting or new years resolutions? I love this stuff so let me know what it is, so we can share ideas.

My strategy for this years goals and 2016 reflections. Here I've written mine to share with you, and to provide an example :).

Write down 3 accomplishments:

Launching The Almost 30 Podcast

Finding a job I love

Traveling in Asia (twice!)

Write down 3 changes in your life:

Added a new passion project

Added a full time job

Shifts in my friends (some friendships have evolved and some haven't)

Write down 3 relationships you improved:

Justin (always!), Lindsey, Kaitlin (my hometown bestie)

Write down 1 good habit you created:

Drinking water first thing in the morning - game changer! 

Write down 1 tough time and what you learned from it:

I actually had a rough few months where my hormones were really out of whack and I was suffering from adrenal fatigue. I would be exhausted after any caffenine, or coffee, or any sort of stimuant. I would feel sluggish and I wasn't sleeping at all. I also had some weight gain which wasn't particularly attributed to anything. I self medicated myself during this time (like, Google Doctor shit) and bought so many vitamins to help heal myself - some that actually did more harm than good. I got my hormones tested (finally) figured out what was wrong (high estrogen, low cortisol) and really started to work to understand my body. Gaining the weight was hard to live with, especially when I'm in LA and in front of the camera so much. Just had to feel like that! But I learned that my body is so capable, and smarter than I could ever imagine. Also that I can't just diagnose myself of things, HA. 

Write down 3 goals for 2017:

I want our podcast to reach 100,000 downloads by May of next year (we’re on track for that!)

I want to interview more powerful, positive change makers and share them with you 

To get to know myself better, to understand who I am on a deeper level (why I do what I do)

I want to feel:

I want to feel purposeful. Like I’m on a mission, I know what I am doing, why I am doing it, and that it’s all going to be worth it

I also wrote down some goal ideas too, because I always need some to get the ideas flowing. This year I want to read more, say ‘no’ more to things that don’t excite me, make more of an impact with the channels I have, and volunteer more. There always needs to be a service piece.

Learn to meditate or incorporate a meditation practice

Volunteer regularly

Take a class

Take a solo trip

Understand how finances work

Organize your closet

Drink less

Cut out caffeine

Keep your email inbox organized

Give up social media for a week or month

Get regular massages

Stretch in the morning

Foam roll regularly

Do meatless Mondays, or eat meat for one meal instead of 2 or 3

Read more books

Donate a portion of your paycheck to charity (I do $25 a month to a charity, persons race or something of my choice).

Take care of yourself more

Call a friend weekly

Be more involved in the communities you’re in

Teach a class

Start a blog J (if you want help let me know!)

 Help someone achieve their goals

Journal more

Eat less processed foods

Read more labels

Start a gratitude journal

Earn more money :)

What I'm wearing (and loving right now) from Carbon38 X Curtis Kuling Collection

Alright guys, what do we think? What are your resolutions? I want to hear how you think about goal setting and the new year!

Let's discuss!


Goal Setting for 2016: Starting with FEELINGS

So confused that 2016 is already here. I feel like I was writing my 2015 goals in my bed (in NYC actually) just yesterday! I need to actually take another look at that and see how they've evolved.....

The holidays have been so busy, my family was here, and we basically ate lots of food, and were being may-jah tourists in L.A. - It was my first holiday on the West Coast! Super weird to not be where it's cold, where there is snow, and where almost every house has lights on it.

Let's see! A super quick recap of the trip:

  • Hiked Sandstone Peak in Malibu
  • Went to the Getty Museum (SO PACKED)
  • Ate at Leona, Cafe Gratitude (2x obvi, my poor dad kept ordering bacon thinking it was real bacon LOL p.s. GET THE PANCAKES) Herringbone, Joan's on Third, and Blue Daisy Cafe - all I recommend.
  • Went to Disneyland in Anaheim (the most LOL) being some of the only adults there - DGAF. But there I ate two buckets of caramel corn, just prepping basically for the bridesmaid dress I need to be in - HA.
  • Justin's parents met mine, and we all survived and thrived <3 hehe
  • My sister and I worked out a lot, at new studios called SpeedX and Burn 60 Studios in Brentwood - super sore, I'm in LOVE.
  • Only argued about where we were eating and what rides to ride at Disney - YAY

But, as I was saying about 2015 coming to an end, and GOALS. My favoriteeeeee.

If you know me, you know I've been writing down daily, weekly, monthly, yearly goals for the past three or four years, and can attribute a lot of my goal accomplishment to directly to goal setting. Without a vision, followed by the actual act of verbalizing what you want to feel, or want to do, or have, it's technically just a thought you have (of many!) through the day.

By writing things down I feel like I have control over a situation and I'm able to track what's happening. Here I can truly see that if I'm not hitting my goals, where am I spending my time? What is preventing me from accomplishing that.

So I have my goal sheets in my journal, for 3 months, 6 months and the year. Of what I want to accomplish, physically, mentally, spiritually, financially.... For this year, more importantly I'm adding - how I want to feel emotionally

All of my goals normally start with the end game, what do I want to achieve. i.e. save $20k or something like that. 

But why?

I recently got a book from one of my babes, which turns my goal setting strategy, completely upside down. 

I have been so guilty of the straight up goals; Travel to x country, lose x amount of weight (LOL)....

But if you really drill down, essentially, you're not chasing a goal itself. You're chasing a feeling.

What if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel in our life, and then we laid out our intentions? What if your most desired feelings consciously informed how you plan your day, your year, your career, your holidays — your life?

I know this sounds like a lot. A lot of writing and thinking, and 'wanting' but it's so incredibly fun and rewarding to truly imagine how amazing your life could be, and the opportunities you have to create in 2016. So this year I am doing my goals differently, by starting with the feeling, of how I want to feel, and then working backward. 

But first, to warm up.

Writing down the answers to phrases like: 

Right now I crave....

Other than time or money, I want more:

I need to give myself more permission to be:

This makes me feel alive, and I'd like to do more of it:

Once you feel in the zone (which for me is like post shower in a robe, with candles on, hot tea sippin' and relaxed) and ready to write your goals, use these steps.

2016 Goal Setting Steps:

(to your desired feeling)

  1. Sit in a quiet space, if you meditate do it prior so you're clear headed. This is key because your goals will be all crazy if you feel crazy, ha. 
  2. Write down three areas, such as what I have listed below to start. For mine, I add others like spirituality and essence - but the ones written below are solid to represent super important areas of your life that a lot of us have goals related to. 
    1. Lifestyle and Livelihood
    2. Body and Wellness
    3. Relationships and Society
  3. Then think, instead about what you want to accomplish, how do you want to FEEL in those areas. Your desired feelings are dictating what you will set out to achieve. There could be things you are chasing somewhat mindlessly out of social expectation or habit. Like, I always say I want to run a marathon, but when I really think about it, I just want to tell people I ran a marathon and carb-load, LOL. So I'm going to stop making that a goal. 
    1. Here you really need to sit and write whatever comes to mind. Words and then images that come through are telling you how you want to feel in the coming year.
    2. Some ideas include: vibrant, creative, joy, bliss, aligned, sensuous, infinite, electric, harmonious, wanderlust, beauty
  4. Within the realm of whatever area you are in (those three areas I listed above), then you write, what you want to do, experience, and have. This part is the actual, goal that follows your feelings. Here, be super detailed and descriptive, giving yourself lots of ways to achieve goals that make you feel the ways you want to feel. 

It may start out like this, I want to feel loving and connected to the relationships and society in my life. So in getting honest with myself, I could say, I do this through planning a trip with the people I love, and making sure that I am scheduling in catch-up conversations weekly with everyone in my family. You can then work down, make each as intricate and detailed as you'd like.

For this exercise, it's important to note that starting at the feeling you want to incite, and then saying what ACTIONS will help you to feel that way, makes this method super powerful. 

A bonus, and something I am now doing that I LOVE, is to go through my desires, of how I want to feel, then thinking through to see what in my life currently makes me feel that way. What now, do I already have, that I can appreciate and continue for the future. 

An example of this goal setting method for my 2016 goals:

Body and Wellness

How I want to feel: Light, vibrant, fluid and powerful

authentic_wall_image1 (1).jpg

I know it sounds weird when you really read it (like fluid is sort of gross). But it's all true and those words above all incite visions or ideas for me, of the ways I want to feel physically. I want to feel light, where I have the energy to always move. To feel vibrant, is to have that glow because I've been eaten so well that I look nourished. Feeling fluid, to me is being flexible and finding comfort when I move. Powerful, is that firmness and tone that you feel when you're continually working out and making progress. 

In order for me to feel that way, I need to experience, or have the following:

  • Running outside more often, 3x weekly. Writing it down, duh.
  • Cleansing monthly, ensuring I have juices daily and refining my vegan diet, to ensure that I am getting as many greens and fruits as possible (I have been a bit bad with my diet as of late, btw).
  • Going to yoga, at least 3x weekly. I still do Kundalini yoga quite a bit, but need to do a good vinyasa flow wayyyy more often to feel more fluid and light.
  • Making sure to up my weights at the gym, and go 'there' to make changes in my body. I have been maintaining a lot of my tone and muscle I mean like chick muscle) and really want to get more defined and lean, so need to challenge myself more to feel more powerful. I can do this by going to classes like SpeedX, Burn 60 Brentwood and basic dedicated gym time. Here, also tracking what I am doing is KEY, to notice trends and changes.
  • I'm gonna say it, I want to feel more light by being more light, ha. Could definitely cut back a  bit, and listen more to my body instead of mindless eating like I do working from home! 
  • Chewing less gum. I chew it a lot and it's sort of gnarly, ha

To continue, what am I doing right now that already makes me feel those things:

  • Yoga at The Yoga Collective, a super laid back studio with amazing instructors in Venice. I feel oh so light and fluid when I practice there.
  • Going to classes at CrossFit (LOL I KNOW) but it's actually more like a bootcamp class, I go about once a week. 
  • I feel lightest when I eat lots of greens, so when I do that, I'm doing alright!
  • Eating vegan makes me feel vibrant, I think my skin is a bit brighter ever since. 

Cool, right? It's an interesting, inside out way to look at goals. It helped me to really evaluate which goals mattered most and WHY I want to achieve that thing, or look that way, etc. 

An amazing resource and where I got a lot of inspiration is from the book, The Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte. You can buy it here:

I have a way ways to go here with this, and I have only just started. It was super fun to do this exercise with a friend, like I did with Julie in Ojai a week ago. But after this week need to get a zen space to dig deep and intention set.

What are everyone's goals this year? Any New Years Resolutions that you have or things you want to do or how you want to feel? I would love to get inspired but what you have to say here, it's always so lovely to read!

Happy goal (and feeling) setting, babes.




New Years Resolutions Rule

Resolutions fucking rule.

Why they rule. They involve: 

  • thinking critically about what you'd like to improve in your life
  • writing it down
  • making a plan
  • taking action upon that plan to make shit happen

It's sort of like, you can't hate on people for wanting to better themselves and the lives of those around them (even if they sometimes don't follow through).   

I don't know about you, but for me 2014 was full of figuring out my goals, and trying to be more purposeful with my time. I feel like the better part of 2014 I was acclimating myself with New York City, getting food/wellness/health stuff down as much as possible and spending quality time with Justin (being real, we just moved into our lil spot as a couple!) 

I also changed jobs, and did lots and lots of traveling. Which I want to write about later! I cannot wait to share stuff about London, Lisbon, Cape Town, Newport Beach, San Francisco, Austin...some very legit spots!

I did want to share my resolutions for the year in no particular order. An accountability exercise, and putting vibes out. 

Like I said, most of 2014 was my own body/food awareness goals (I can talk about that sometime too), consistent meditation and finding passions that get me excited about life, so this is is 'really for 2015 shit'.

  1. Get money savvy..seriously
    • It's time to really be an adult and act like I want to live until retirement at least. I'd like to actually save money in 2015 and understand what the stock market is and what a 401k does. 
      • I bought two books on finances, I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi, and Master the Game of Money, 7 Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins. Ramit is legitimately funny and easy to read, and all of the proceeds to purchasing Tony's book go to charity. V rad! 
      • I also set up my Vanguard account, and took an hour to talk to a representative there about some of the questions I had like, 'why can't I buy SoulCycle stock!!?' Vanguard is actually a non-profit financial institution, which is cool too. 
      • I got a better credit card, because the one I had previously wasn't really getting me the travel rewards I wanted. Before I had a Citibank American Airlines Card. While I love AA, I want to have the option to use my points other places, so I went with the Capital One Venture Card. I'll get more points and this card has no foreign exchange fees (which matters!)
        • Nerdwallet was also a tool I used to learn about optimizing my credit cards that I highly recommend! 

2. Find a mentor

  • Like a serious mentor that I can learn from, grow with and who is invested in my success personally and professionally. 
    • Lots of articles I've been reading lately, and a podcast I listened to from Lewis Howes convinced me I need a mentor in my life ASAP.  
Whenever I am asked what is the missing link between a promising businessperson and a successful one, mentoring comes to mind. Giving people advice on how they can best achieve their goals is something that is often overlooked.
— Richard Branson

 3. Go on a silent retreat

  • I've done yoga retreats before, like the one at White Lotus in Santa Barbara (which I LOVED - a picture below of the vibe there). I also did a meditation retreat at The Tibet House in NYC. But I'd be interested to see what psycho thoughts I would have forcing myself to be quiet and reflect for an entire weekend. Could be cool, right?

4. Travel to 3 different countries

  • I have a few in mind, but Asia-Pac is my obsession right now. Thailand, Bali, from NYC aren't bad internationally and once you get there you can get a 4 hour massage for like $3 dollars. Let me know if you wanna come. 

5. Take an international flight with a flat bed

  • This is a life goal I have and just sort of need this to be happening. 

6. More lemon water and less processed bars

  • This was basically my only one this year related to food/eating. I need to be serious about having lemon water in the morning. The Ayureda (traditional Hindu medicine) talks a lot about this, and it also piqued my interest in other places like Elle (who tried Gwenyth Paltrow's Diet).

  • I eat a ridiculous amount of Quest Bars. It's sort of a problem. They're so tasty, they have 20g of protein, they claim to be 'all natural' and are low in carbs and sugar. I love them more than so many things in my life but I must limit myself to 2 a day. (One time I was stuck on the runway at the airport, and ate 3 in a row because I was convinced it was my last meal)
“Lemon is chock-full of antioxidants that fight cancer-causing free radicals and inflammation. It’s also a natural liver cleanser, which helps release all the toxins from the body.”
— Elle

7. Learn a new craft

  • Learning a craft is a dinner party goers way of saying 'I want to learn something new'. So I'm trying to learn the craft of blogging, being authentic and just sharing in general. It's inspiring to see what some people are doing, and I want to more-so immerse myself in the world of creating something valuable for myself and hopefully for others. 

8. Become certified in holistic health

  • Getting my ACE Certification in December was a cool experience. I learned I hate studying and that I know more than the average person about kinesiology and health. I also learned that being certified to be a Group Fitness Instructor is no joke (legalities, health restrictions, injuries, cueing...). It felt good to pass and I look forward to using my certification soon. But being certified in holistic health will be the next step in credibility building and knowledge gathering that I crave. 

9. Find a charity I'm passionate about and volunteer monthly

  • Before I moved to New York City, I was in Chicago in the charity scene fo sho. I was mentoring weekly, had my Habitat for Humanity shit going on, life was good. Ever since I moved to New York - not so much. I'd like to find a mentoring, or volunteering opportunity, I can contribute to monthly (being realistic about time here). 
  • For this, I'm starting at New York Cares, and I also got in touch with WIN NYC. 
    • New York Cares is an organization that helps you find volunteers opportunities easily by filtering to your preferences. Attend one of their orientation sessions (it's so easy) and then you can volunteer one-off all the time. Dog walking in Brooklyn is on my list obvi. 
    • WIN NYC was an organization I found out about after a conversation I had on the subway with a really interesting woman who worked there. They seek to assist the lives of New York City homeless women and their kids by providing a safe housing, job support, financial aid, etc. I'm working with them to see if I can help in the administrative office or in their career center. 

10. Be less afraid

  • Of making mistakes, of what other people think, of talking to strangers (I'm so weird, NYC made me love talking to randoms), of criticism (it's not all bad!) of actually taking a risk! This blog is a start. 

I'm so pumped to talk to friends and to hear about everyones resolutions because it's my jam to get talking about what everyone really cares about. 

The resolution thing just lets us write down what we want to manifest, ya know? Grateful and excited for 2015 xx