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.