goals

Babe, You Need a Goal

Why You Need a Goal - Josie Feather Blog

A few weeks ago I finished Rachel Hollis’ second book “Girl, Stop Apologizing.” I read her first non-fiction book earlier this year and found myself really surprised how much I enjoyed it (I may not agree with her on everything, but her overall message is one I can definitely get behind). Before I read “Girl, Stop Apologizing” I had a friend tell me “oh, that one’s okay, but it’s more of a business book, so it didn’t really apply to me.” I was really disappointed when I heard that so I had actually put off reading it, thinking it wasn’t going to apply much to me either.

I am so glad I decided to just dig in.

I’m not here to sell you on the book, although I did love it and would actually recommend it more than her first one. I honestly don’t care if you read it, but after reading it myself I was so disappointed in my friend’s viewpoint on it. I’m definitely not disappointed in my friend, it just breaks my heart to realize that so many people, especially women, are so quick to view goal-chasing as something for “business people” that doesn’t apply to them. Maybe it’s not even that - Maybe, like me, they’ve been scared to death of it. Scared of falling short if you set goals and don’t reach them, so it’s easier to write off goal-chasers as being a different type of person altogether.

But everyone should have goals.

Seriously, I believe that with my whole heart. I think we’re creatures created for goals. Unlike animals who live for the moment (God bless ‘em, I often wish I could live that way) we actually have the mental complicity to envision and plan for the future, and we were made to use it. Goals utilize those abilities.

No one said your goals need to be huge. They don’t have to be monumental. You can (and probably should) start small, but make sure they challenge you in some way. You don’t need to want to start a business, you don’t have to want to climb Mount Everest, but I firmly believe we should all be reaching for more. Pushing ourselves on a regular basis, so we can surprise ourselves with what we can do.

I’ve talked about it before, but I was terrified of exercise. It was actually physically painful, so being afraid was completely understandable, and was even a form of self-preservation. When I started running I set small goals and worked my way up. Run to the end of the block, run a half mile, run a mile. I didn’t start with the goal of running a marathon. Some people do, and that’s awesome if that can work for you, but for me, small is what finally worked, and continues to work best for me when it comes to my fitness goals.

Other areas of my life I reach bigger. I have some big freaking long term goals. It took me a long time to really figure those out. I had to push myself to find those goals and also make them specific things I can break down to make them achievable. Some are so big, they still scare me. They very well may be failures, but I definitely won’t know unless I try.

Maybe your goal will be to save and go on a cool vacation, maybe it’s to write a book, maybe it is to climb Mount Everest. There is no “right answer” and the most important part is that you have them and that you are actually trying. So ditch the idea that goals are only for high achievers or fancy pants business people that carry around briefcases and use terms like “corporate synergy” and get yourself a damn goal.

Just Keep Swimming

Just Keep Swimming - Josie Feather Blog

This year I’ve committed to keeping a inspirational or motivational type book on my current reads list. By constantly feeding my crazy brain with positivity and exciting ideas I’ve found it’s so much easier to keep myself thinking positively and focused on big goals. Maybe it seems a bit cheesy, but to each his own, right?

The thing is that I’ve noticed a theme that runs through a lot of these books. Some are bold and clear about it, and others it’s just a faint whisper in the background, but it’s still there.

Resilience.

I’ve never given much thought to the word until recently. I’ve never really stopped to think about it’s application in my own life. I think in some ways it felt a bit like a foreign concept in the past. Now I hear it loud and clear. Now I can see how it’s played out in my own life.

I used to struggle to build good habits. It seems like there was always some convenient excuse to give up on “my goals” and yet I still wondered why I couldn’t seem to ever reach those goals. I’ve been working on changing that though. I’ve been slowly building good habits I actually look forward to and truly love (I can’t tell you how much I really missed working out last week when I was sick). Now I look back and think about the person I was and feel a stab of pity for the girl who seemed to be endlessly frustrated with herself.

The thing is, the reason those things changed is not because of some crazy magic, or a secret I finally figured out, it was simply that I finally decided to be resilient. I decided I wasn’t just going to give up and take the first excuse that sauntered my way anymore. I decided I’d work out even when I really really really really really didn’t feel like it. I would hit the gym even when it meant some mornings I’d have to get up before 5am. I would read for a few minutes even when my brain really just wanted to shut off and watch some tv. I would just keep going, even when it was inconvenient, not fun, or just plain torture some days.

In other words, I just kept swimming.

It seems so simple, yet is one of the hardest things to do. To keep going even when there’s good and easy reasons to just give up. I’ve never done a “word of the year” but may just have fallen into this one, and I’m not complaining.

Have you ever stopped to think about your own resilience?

Big Dreams

Josie Davis

I’m a realist. Actually, I’m more of a pessimist with an annoying penchant for pointing out any and all tiny little problems that might potentially happen along the way, no matter how unlikely they may be. All this to say that I’m not much of a daydreamer. My brain tends to shoot down lofty dreams pretty quickly. Of course, it’s a lot of fear too. Fear is the jerk who likes to whisper in your ear and tell you it’s totally not worth dreaming because it’ll never be anyway. I’ve never spent time thinking about what my dream house, or dream car, or even just dream pair of shoes would be (are dream shoes a thing? I’m so bad at dreaming stuff I truly don’t know what people dream about).

I’m trying to change that though, and I’m trying to learn to dream big. A few years ago I sat down with my husband and tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my career. At that point I had really no experience in the job market besides retail, and some very painful years in college waitressing (sorry to all of you who had to put up with one of the most awkward and clumsy waitresses while attempting to enjoy some Mexican food). I remember Frank asking me what my dream job would be, and after a lot of thinking, I told him it would be to style homewares for Terrain, my favorite brand. At the time it seemed like this crazy insurmountable goal. Their parent company UBRN is notoriously hard to get into, and talent teams are basically buried alive on a daily basis with resumes of creatives trying to get positions at the Home Office. But I got scrappy. I did whatever I could, and well, to make a long story short, here I am. In the exact job I had seemingly no real right to even hope for.

Looking back it seems like a small dream, even though it felt huge at the time. I recently started seeing a therapist again, and when I talked to her about my career she told me a little more than sarcastically “well, I guess you should have dreamed bigger then, huh?” Ouch. Nothing like having a mental health professional roll their eyes at you and tell you you’re thinking too small, but I supposed that’s also what I’m paying her for, and seriously, she was totally right.

As a little exercise I decided to think of my dream house. I’d never really thought of that before. I had thought about houses that I liked for sure, but a dream house, like a legit, wildest dreams house had never been something I had spent even a minute considering. It was actually really hard to put myself out of my pessimistic box and out into the open of dreamland. At first I thought “Well, I’d like to be near the beach” and then I had to remind myself “DREAM house” and said “okay, okay, ON the beach”. Even giving myself permission to think of a dream house that’s on the beach felt like I was really stretching myself.

I truly believe you don’t luck into things. If I’ve learned anything from Micheal Scott (and apparently this Wayne Gretzky fellow) “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. I also think you miss 100% of the dreams you didn’t bother dreaming. Obviously there’s a lot of hard work behind getting to those things, but I’ve found that hard work is the easier part for me. I’ll gladly put my nose to the ground and bend over backwards to reach my goals, but sometimes you gotta dream big.