on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘goals’

2012 Year in Review: How did we get here?

Editor’s Note: I realize it’s the last week of January and it’s a tad tacky to post my “year in review” blog post. But do you know what’s even tackier than that? Publishing a year-in-review blog post in February. 😉

John Kimball, Buddha, and Laura Kimball (lamiki) on New Year's Eve

Days before the clock struck midnight and we rang in a New Year, I sat on Skype having a conversation with a dear friend about anything and everything that happened in the year that the world did not end. In the middle of the call, my husband dropped in and showed off the framed piece of artwork he illustrated for our nephew. This piece he drew, brushed, and water colored in his studio on a desk that he didn’t imagine owning a year ago. But over the past year, it has been the location where his best work has come to life.

Back on the call, my friend described the successes and detours his business had throughout the past year; a business that was a glimmer of an idea less than two years before. Then I connected the dots that lead me to the day job that I’m so fortunate to have landed, happy to be at, and invested in today.

At the end of my story said the something that I’ve been repeating over and over to myself as I entered the New Year: How did we get here?

Every year when holidays settle down and the clock runs out, I try to reflect on how I started the previous year and how it ultimately ended. It’s at this point when I see the things that were such a struggle, the moments that were absolutely wretched, and the moments when everything happened for a reason and the stress was totally worth it.

2012 was—without a doubt—a crazy year. As I look back on my 2011 year in review, I had no idea how completely different life would be a year later due to things that were beyond my control. I knew the year would take it’s own shape, so I said “no” to resolutions and framed the year around goals, mantras, and priorities. But as the note cards lost their adhesion, goals literally fell off the wall, and life marched on. But unlike last year that ended with me feeling disappointed that things didn’t go as planned, this year I’m okay with that 2012 had a different ending than how it began. (more…)

Sunday Serial: Passing Judgment on Mojitos and Negative Thinking

Sunday Serial is curated list of the best blogs and articles that I’ve encountered over the past week. Sometimes there’s a theme, but most times there’s not. My goal with these posts is that I introduce you to at least one new idea that you may not have otherwise been exposed to. Enjoy!

Illustration of Ernest Hemingway and his favorite drink, the mojito

10 Things to Do Even if They Judge You

by Marc on Marc and Angel Hack Life

Read this because: The hardest thing in life is to ignore what others think about you and do everything that you want to do. But you know what? It’s OK to ignore what others think about the choices you make (and it’s sometimes fun). Marc gives you a healthy list of 10 things. Here’s a challenge: choose one item from this list and try it out for thirty days. Here’s mine:

5. Adjust your goals and dreams as life changes. – A great deal of pain in life comes from having a specific dream that you’ve fallen in love with, and when it doesn’t work out exactly as planned, you become angry that you now have to pursue a different path.  If you want to tame your inner demons and make the most of life, you must not become rigidly attached to just one specific dream, and remain open to there being an even better, equally as happy path ahead.  Life is unpredictable, but it provides plenty of opportunities to make dreams come true.  Just don’t forget that sometimes taking a positive step forward requires you to slightly adjust your dreams, or plan new ones – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.

Editors note: I originally chose #10 but changed after re-reading the Power of Negative Thinking (below).

The Bartending Stand Against the Mojito

by Jen Doll on The Atlantic Wire

Read this because: There’s nothing that makes you feel like a literary legend like Ernest Hemingway and refreshed like a sprig of the freshest mint crushed into your rum. Plus, it’s incredible fun to shout loudly in a bar with your best friend from high school (“Mo-heee!-to!”).

But did you know that bartenders everywhere have a vast hatred against this drink? According to the Atlantic Wire, it’s true. And while reading this article makes me want to weep, after hosting a party where the signature drink was hand-shaken (not stirred) mojitos, I can solemnly agree. The mojito, as wonderful and amazing of a drink that it is, is an outcast.

If you are lucky enough to be at a bar where mojitos are on the menu and made for you with pride, enjoy it, for your fellow countrymen may not be as lucky.

The Power of Negative Thinking

by Oliver Burkeman in the New York Times

Read this because: The very concept is baffling. If you want something, shouldn’t you exercise positive visualization? Yes, except that in some situations, visualizing that you achieve a goal may make you feel as though you’ve already achieved it and therefore will be less likely to actually do it.

Is your brain spinning yet? Here’s where the research comes from:

Ancient philosophers and spiritual teachers understood the need to balance the positive with the negative, optimism with pessimism, a striving for success and security with an openness to failure and uncertainty. The Stoics recommended “the premeditation of evils,” or deliberately visualizing the worst-case scenario. This tends to reduce anxiety about the future: when you soberly picture how badly things could go in reality, you usually conclude that you could cope. Besides, they noted, imagining that you might lose the relationships and possessions you currently enjoy increases your gratitude for having them now. Positive thinking, by contrast, always leans into the future, ignoring present pleasures.

If you want something really, really badly, think about the exact opposite and then work hard towards doing everything you can to not make it happen.

This concept sounds really, really weird to me. I mean, that’s like saying if you’re riding a bicycle and you don’t want to think about hitting the tree, think about hitting the tree. Perhaps that’s not the time to think negatively…

But when it comes to something like your relationship, thinking that you and your partner are amazing, strong, and solid may lead you to stop working on it and cause you to miss something huge that could bring about it’s demise. Whereas if you are think about your relationship falling apart (and that’s not what you want), then you will work hard to make sure that it does not.

Okay, I think I understand it now.

What did you read this week?

Illustration via felipson

The Three-Month Freak Out

Pan's Labyrinth monster's wife ~ Explored, by Snapies

Every few months I take a look at my blog and start asking the following questions:

  • How do I get more readers?
  • Should I figure out what my blog is about?
  • Should I redesign my site?

And the list goes on and on…

See here’s what I always forget – is not, nor was it ever intended to be, strategic to the level that a business blog needs to be. And while I have gotten jobs and business from my blog, it is not a business.

Your First Blog is Your First Blog

As I experienced this crisis last night and wept, dramatically, to my husband, he brought up a good point – your first blog is like your first AOL screen name, dedicated to whatever you’re obsessed with at the time and once you grow out of that phase, you get a new one.

My husband is smart. And, ironically, the name lamiki was derived from my first AOL name.

Goals are Great, but Make Sure You Want Them

Five months ago I outlined my goals for the year and my blog, twice. I also outlined a very detailed plan of everything I was going to focus on with my blog for the year. Things like guest posting, a redesign, and a tighter content strategy – things that are included in that first list and much, much more. (Did you know that I’m ambitious?) And then in March I set a new goal:

2012 Goals for

Now I have one achievable, measurable goal. One that does not require the content calendars that I love to create, yet love to hate. One “must have” goal every single month when it comes to my blog and everything else has been demoted from the “required” list to the “would be nice” list of things I want to do.

My blog is not a business. It’s a passion project created to give me a place to write and share how I see the world. There is no monetization strategy and if I decide that’s something I want to do, there will be a new domain.

In the end, we all have an enormous amount of stress and responsibilities that we juggle every single day. And if something in your life that’s supposed to give you pleasure and a break from it all starts giving you stress, you need to make a change.

Photo Credit: Snapies

How to Set Goals and Keep New Years Resolutions

I am quickly becoming obsessed with making goals and am flirting with the danger-zone of over-planning and not getting anything done. But it is the second day of the New Year, so I’m still in the safe zone, right?

Today was New Year’s Day observed, which meant I had the day off work and since Johnny was working from home, that meant the day was all for me.

I slept in (yay!), had a home cooked breakfast with the man, ran off to meet another friend for coffee and to talk about our year ahead, had lunch with one of my truest, most amazing friends, made it to CrossFit (deadlifts, hang snatches, and overhead squats, oh my!), and am now enjoying some writing time. This year rocks already.

Put Your Goals Somewhere That You Can See Them

visualize goals

In following my track record of making goals and achieving them, the sure-fire way for me to fall flat on my face and not get something done is to write out a set of goals and then hide them. Sure, this works really well when cleaning my desk and I find my goals stacked between that book I didn’t finish and that notebook that has pages left unfilled (surprise!). And even though when it happens, I’m usually surprised by how many of those goals I actually accomplished. And while it’s been proven that the very act of writing down goals increases your likelihood of achieving them, it’s hard to be unintentionally intentional.

So this afternoon I went through my goals for the year and picked three things that I want to make sure I carry with me through the year. They are my goals, mantras, and things that could be roadblocks between achieving my goals this year.

From there, I wrote down five or six things for each category on index cards and literally pasted them to the wall of my office.

I used the red light/green light approach to organizing these three categories:

  • Goals on green cards, as that’s where I want to go.
  • Mantras on yellow cards, as I’ll probably be stalled when I need to remember them.
  • Roadblocks go on pink cards, as those are things I need to stop doing. (more…)

Imbalance, Burnout & Change: 2011 Year in Review

head, shoulder, knees and toes, knees and toes - aye_shamus

There are two kinds of end of the year/New Year blog posts to write. The first is a reflection of the previous year – everything you did, everything you didn’t, what you’re proud of, and what you’re not. And the second is a laundry list of “do’s” and “don’ts” for how to make the next year rock much harder than the last.

And then there’s a third, which doesn’t reveal anything about the writer but gives you, the reader, a map of how you can stick to your resolutions for the first time ever.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work Out

New Year’s Resolutions are like plans – you write them for how you’re feeling (usually fat) at that time (post-holidays) for the future (that has yet to be written) – and they never work out. They look great on paper, but horrible in execution because they all lack one thing – foresight and the understanding that you have to sacrifice something to accomplish what you need (and the ability to adjust to continue the momentum).

Instead of resolutions or plans, I make goals. I did this unknowingly as I entered 2010 and consciously as I entered 2011. I met the three goals I set in 2010 but not all of the goals I set for myself in 2011. While all of this past year’s goals looked great in December 2010, by mid-2011, an imbalance between work and life happened and parts of those goals were prioritized while others were not. Plus I set too many goals.

I don’t feel like 2011 was a failure, but just plain weird. In the Christmas letter John and I sent to our family, I summarized the year as one of “change,” and by God, if that isn’t true.

2011 started with a lot of oomph, passion, and excitement as things were set in place that I had been working hard towards achieving in the previous year and a half. But I got burnt out early, outgrew that opportunity faster than I imagined, and a new opportunity revealed itself and I jumped on it. If 2011 was a shape it would look like a giant “U” with a big, deep dip in the middle.

A New Template for Plotting World Domination in 2012

Earlier this week, my husband and I spent the evening working through Benny Hsu of Get Busy Living’s 2011 Year in Review Worksheet. What I like about his template is it focuses on how the previous year ended so you can reflect on what you’re proud of, what you accomplished, what you learned, what didn’t work, and where you’d like to see yourself in the future.

Benny’s worksheet helps you see where you want to go by reviewing where you came. It’s similar to racing a car – they say that you should look at where you want the car to go, not at the wall that you don’t want to run into.

Goals, plans, and strategies are the same way – look at where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go. (more…)