Are You Being Too Hard On Yourself When Setting Goals?

Last year, around this time, I took the time to set some intentions for myself. Everything from ending work daily by 6pm (no more day bleeds into night) to taking time off to have a few adventures.

I listed my intentions on one sheet of paper, entitled ‘My 2017 Vision’ and put it up on my office wall. One of them was to do more collaborating in service of Build Yourself.

I am an extrovert, I get my energy from others, from riffing off of them and being inspired by them. But for a long time, initiating collaborations was something I just never got around to.

The funny thing is, I teach collaboration. My signature talk that I give to companies and industry groups, called the Wingwoman Effect, is all about how working with others–pushing them forward–actually can push you forward, if you’re strategic about it.

I wasn’t following my own advice.

But in early 2017 I set some new intentions. I didn’t have a clear sense of how I would do it, but I knew I wanted to build Build Yourself into something more powerful, and I wanted to do it through collaborations that brought me joy.

For Build Yourself, this meant I began to invite guest speakers into my Accelerator courses. This means that I get to co-create new content and new networks among the women I teach with. I also ran my first ‘recommendation circle‘ bringing women together to make helpful introductions to serve Build Yourself–a concept I teach in The Wingwoman Effect but hadn’t used formally myself. I also decided to organize a group of changemakers to attend an industry conference together, the PolicyLink Equity Summit, this spring. In the next few months we’ll be learning together about how we can use our creative skills to be greater forces of equity, and we’ll be networking and getting to know one another.

Truth is, after I pasted that 2017 vision on my wall, I soon stopped seeing it–that’s what happens when you see things everyday, but it didn’t matter. I have accomplished (or made significant progress towards) every single one of those intentions I wrote for myself.

Forming them and putting them out there in the world in some little way changed me.

I was more primed to take (or make) opportunities when I saw them in front of me.

We beat ourselves up over not sticking to goals we set, we fear that we’ll fail, and yes, my programs have all kinds of accountability mechanisms built in to keep the women I work with on track. But sometimes I think we’re overthinking it.

In a busy world, intention is a precious resource.

And we don’t always need as much time as we think to change our own lives.

What is one intention you have for yourself in 2018? Comment below and let me know.