The Importance of Goal Setting

With the summer winding down and the excitement for school starting back up again, I thought today’s blog post should be about something surrounding the idea of goals and setting them, lol.

All jokes aside, this has been a post I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but haven’t had the right time, like now to go forth and talk about it.

We are more than halfway through 2018 and by now we have set goals, changed goals or given them up just because… life happens. And that’s totally okay, life has a way of diverting our focus away from our goals.

I don’t know about you, but my goals have been at the center of everything I do, everything I’m working towards. Goals are what keep us motivated. I mean, if you think about it, the concept of goals is so embedded into our lives, that we don’t even realize it.

In fact, the word ‘goals’ is often masked by other words like:

goals

Anytime we get a syllabus, the first part of it is always, “Objectives for this class…” and then the list commences.

But goals aren’t just things made to keep us motivated, they’re also things that help us see the big picture. With each goal or task that we accomplish in our lives, we are essentially paving the way for our future. Our dreams are what keep us moving, they keep us mindful, grounded even.

But the thing about goals, is that they have to be SMART goals. What I mean by that, is your goals have to be Specific Measurable Attainable Reliable and Time-bound.

A lot of times when we make-up our goals, we have a tendency to be super vague in what we want. It’s almost as if we want the end result, yet not wanting to put the work into said goal. I mean there’s always the possibility that we want to accomplish a goal, but we have no idea how to go about completing it or where to even begin.

Recently, I signed up for a 5k. I’ve never done a 5k before, but it’s been on my bucket list for a while.

I was doing an event one morning and there was this lady who was standing in the next table over from me, she was a representative of this foundation called the “Aubrey Foundation”. I asked her what the foundation does and she said that it was made in memory of a school teacher, named Aubrey Pappas, who taught sixth grade English at a North Brunswick school district. In 2014, Aubrey died in a car accident and was also pregnant at the time with her second child.

From the way this person told me the story, Aubrey sounded like such a sweet woman, who motivated her students to become better people and how becoming a better person is a huge key to success. She touched so many lives in her time as a teacher and as a person.

Aubrey’s husband is a cop for the town of North Brunswick and shortly after she died, he found her bucket list and saw that one of the things she wished to accomplish was a 5k. So from that moment on, with the help of family and friends, they vowed to #LiveLikeAubrey and The Aubrey Foundation was born. You can read more about what they do here.

It was really cool hearing that story and it even motivated me to get back on that 5k training grind! The thing about goals is that they can either be short or long term goals.

Short term goals are goals that are short (obviously lol) and easy to achieve in 3 months time. These kinds of goals can be anything, like waking up earlier in the morning, working out 2-3 times a week, going on more walks, etc. Smaller goals keep you accountable, they keep you on your toes and are a lot easier to accomplish, if you work towards them.

Long-term goals are more than short-term goals

and they often involve a life change or a change in mindset. Long-term goals could be: to graduate either magna, summa, or cum laude from college, to work for a well regarded company, to become a doctor, actuary, digital marketer, to live in a specific area, etc. Long term goals are normally things that you are working towards. Funny enough, long term goals need at least a couple of smaller goals to reach the ultimate goal!

An example of goal setting is meditation! Whenever I start a meditation practice, I make a rough list of all the goals I want to accomplish through meditation. Essentially, it’s a compiled list of internal changes I would want to work towards, like becoming more patient, losing weight, becoming more tolerant, etc. Then, out of the list of things I’d want to get out of the practice, I’d pick one that has been of high importance.

The more you focus on that goal, the likely it is for you to accomplish it. Meditation is made to help keep you at ease with the stresses of everyday life as well as making it easier for you to accomplish any aspirations you hold close to your heart.

With all that said, celebrate the small wins. If you’ve done something that gets you even an inch closer to completing your dream, then CELEBRATE!!!

What are some of your goals? Leave me a comment below!

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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Living Life With Arms Wide Open

Happy New Year, guys! I am so excited for what 2018 will bring, I really hope that this year brings a ton of positive energy, lots of love, and light in all of your lives. may you accomplish the goals you have set out for yourself this year.

So, I recently got back from vacation with my family. One day, while we were out to eat, we were talking about a ton of interesting things, mainly things that we were thankful for, opportunities we never had, people in our family that we admire and the like. In the midst of the conversation, I thought about a song I had heard earlier that day called “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, more specifically I thought about the lyrics, in one part:

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

The part that I put in bold was something that was bouncing around in my head. Living your life with arms wide open. The wording and meaning is pretty self-explanatory, but on that day it meant so much more to me for some reason. Maybe it was the topic that we were on. Maybe it was the fact that my younger sibling and I are two different people with different approaches to life. Now, I’m not saying there is a so-called right approach to life, because the way one person goes about their life isn’t the way another person would go about their own.  The way I see it, there is no right or wrong way to approach life.

My approach to life is taking advantage of opportunities and making the best of these opportunities. I’m someone who doesn’t let anything steer me away from the things that I want to do. In some respects, I’m fearless and try to live in the moment, I might even want to try to document the moment, because that’s the kind of person I am. I’m always down for an adventure with just about anyone, immersing myself in new and exciting experiences that aren’t really seen everyday. I’m loud. I’m crazy. Like I said before, there are no rules when it comes to how you’re enjoying your life.

I get this approach to life from my mom. One of the things that I love about my mom is how she lives her life with arms wide open. When I thought about those lyrics on that day, I didn’t just think about the literal term of living with your arms wide open, I thought about it a different way. To me, it means how you are able to live your life with an immense amount of love in your heart. How you can just open yourself up to feeling something real. How you can live everyday knowing it could be your last. More importantly, it brings into perspective of freeing yourself from all doubts and your insecurities.  You should be able to walk through life confidently, not letting anyone tell you how you should be living your life. Be thankful for yourself, for being present with yourself (gosh, I’m starting to sound like a yoga instructor).

Make every opportunity to be there for yourself the same way that you’re there for the amazing people in your life. Believe in yourself.

Make goals towards being a better you. Do things that you really love. Do what makes you happy. If you have trouble finding what makes you happy, then make it your goal this year to find what it is that makes your heart beat a little faster and brings a smile to your face.

New Years’ Resolutions don’t have to feel unattainable to keep. They just require work, as with anything that you want in this world. If you want something, a change, for example, then you need to put in the work for it to happen. You can’t expect anything to come to you, if you don’t try. Make it your goal to try and to work at what you really want. You want that new job/internship? Apply. You want to get fit and toned, like your fit role models? Put in more time at the gym and eat right. You want to get on the dean’s list this upcoming semester? You better hit the books and study. The list could go on, but when you think about it, these are all simple solutions to your goals.

I think what makes our resolutions feel unattainable are our expectations. Sometimes we get discouraged because we want results *snaps fingers* like that. The truth is, though, life doesn’t work out like that. You need to also learn how to be patient with yourself. Once you become patient with yourself and you hone in on how you can achieve those goals, you are then able to stay consistent with your goals.

Here’s my rule of thumb on how you can keep our New Year’s Resolutions in check, write them down and keep them in a place where you can always find them. I wrote mine down and I left the list on my desk where I can always refer to them.

But most of all, make your goal to live your life with arms wide open. Be open to new things this year. Achieve new things this year. Become a better person. Grow. Learn something new about yourself. Do more of what you love. Spend time with people who really see the amazing person you are. Live simply and strive for happiness in whatever it is that brings a smile to your face. Live for today.

Anything is possible. Sending lots of love and light your way.

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