There are few things that measure up to the feeling of receiving a package in the mail. If I know that a package has been delivered, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I will spend the rest of the day anxiously waiting to get home to tear into the wrapping. Even if I know what’s inside, the anticipation kills me. Rarely do we get good things in the mail these days; it’s always bills, tax assessments or junk mail, so when something exciting arrives it’s a joyful experience. Unlike most months of the year, December seems to be the one month when almost everyday there is something exciting to look forward to in my mailbox. Parcels from online shopping extravaganzas and Christmas cards from loved ones make their way into our home, bringing joy along with them. There are so many wonderful things to look forward to this time of year, but there was one in particular that I had been anticipating since September.
A few months ago I made a purchase that I knew would have a dramatic effect on the way I live my life in 2018. This would be the second year in a row that I made this decision and judging by how well this year went, I knew there was no question for the next. I’m talking, of course, about my Passion Planner. Last year I bought the Passion Planner because I was looking for a day planner that would help me keep my work and personal life in balance. What I got was an amazing opportunity to re-evaluate how I spend my time and energy and the power of inner reflection. This year has been a true journey of self-discovery and reconnecting with my core values. I finally got serious about my health, returned to writing regularly, took the brave step of launching this blog and spent some serious time mapping out my priorities.
When I opened up my Passion Planner, I immediately started filling in important dates – birthdays, anniversaries, special events. As I did, the empty pages of the weeks and months glared up at me and I couldn’t help but think of all the possibilities that lay ahead. There was a full year of adventures, goals, and accomplishments to look forward to – I just had to make it happen. As I started thinking about what my focus for 2018 would be, I noticed my mind wandering to others: How could I help others to have the best year possible, like the one I just had? I spent some time talking to people about goals and goal setting and they all spoke of the same problems: they often failed to stay the course on their goals, they didn’t know how to get to the finish line or, worst of all, they didn’t know what their goals were.
The people I spoke to couldn’t be alone. It seemed to me that there had to be many people out there who felt lost when it came to goal setting. It was during one of these conversations that I experienced my very own “a-ha!” moment. I was going to help these people in the best way I knew how: I was going to write about it. I started scribbling down notes, drafting up pages and brainstorming content to put into a blog post. At the end of it, I had enough material to fit into several blog posts. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
If there is something that you’ve been wanting to do, but have come up with a million excuses not to, or if you know you want to make some changes in your life but you’re not sure how, then you are going to love my Goal Setting Series through the month of December. Setting new goals doesn’t have to happen at the beginning of the year; there’s no need to wait for January 1st to make a change. But, since so many of us are already in the mindset of improving our lives, I figured this was the perfect time to share what I’ve learned with all of you.
Last month I talked about my experience rediscovering my love of setting goals. During this process I have found myself approaching goal-setting in a different way than I used to. I’m no longer focused solely on the end result, but rather enjoying the process and learning along the way. It wasn’t an easy process abandoning my hyper-vigilant overachiever ways, but in doing so, I have come to learn that goal setting isn’t just about meeting the deadline or winning the award; it’s about setting yourself up for success, checking in on your progress and working through the hurdles you face.
This month, I plan to discuss how to set intentional goals that are meaningful to you (stay tuned for a definition of what intentional goals are!). I will help you figure out what those goals are and how to take steps to make them happen. I’ll help you determine why achieving certain goals has been unattainable in the past and how we can turn it around as well as what to do when you lose your way and how to get back on track. It is my hope that during this process, you will feel empowered to take charge of your life and, with any luck, learn some powerful lessons about yourself along the way.
I will be learning from this experience right along with you. I will be doing some inner reflecting and searching my heart for what matters most to me. I will be navigating the path towards my goals as well and hope to offer some insight and support to you on your journey. Goal setting doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to be the contrived method your teachers taught you in high school. Goal setting is a deeply personal experience and one that I do not enter lightly. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to guide you through this journey. I believe that with a little compassion, self-love and authenticity, we can find out what sets our souls on fire and live the life we’ve always wanted.