HELLO, GOAL SETTING. I DON'T HATE YOU ANYMORE. OR MY LIFE.

As we come to the end of 2017, many of us are planning our 2018 and wondering how we can make it an awesome year.

While I do not obsess over New Year's resolutions, I do indeed set goals at the beginning of each year. I write down a list of realistic but challenging, attainable goals.

And this year, while it had some serious challenges (our rescue dog endured a health crisis that rocked me and my husband to the core, and my mom is now officially with a form of dementia), I am definitely TEAM 2017.

Why?

Because it is the year I fell in love again with goal setting.

And let me tell you, I did not think I would ever be writing that.

Around 2010, after the loss of my father to cancer, it is pretty safe to say that I fell into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety. It has literally taken me years to build myself up again, and as part of my 'restoration', I have had to rediscover the value of achievement, something that was once so easy for me to appreciate before I lost my father. I guess you can say I fell into that dark headspace where I became completely indifferent and apathetic ie: what is the point of anything???? Screw it.

While it has still been very easy for me to get stuff done and be productive (I can go all Type A when need be), it has been next to impossible for me to really challenge myself and put myself out there in a meaningful way. I have definitely not been brave for the last 7 years. Until this year.

I can see now that the beginning of this positive shift actually happened in 2012. I remember watching a Robin Sharma video about reflecting on the year just past (it was the end of December), and he recommended sitting down and writing down every single personal accomplishment achieved, month by month. No matter how big, small or teeny tiny, Robin said to write it down and you will be amazed by what you have actually done over the year. You will be pleasantly surprised.

So I did this. I sat down. I wrote. I reflected. I gasped.

No, I was not amazed at all of my accomplishments. I was horrified.

Because I had done fuck all. I had accomplished nothing. Nada. Zero.

Yes, I had worked a full-time job at a busy design studio - a job I absolutely hated but paid well - but that was about all I did. For the ENTIRE year. I worked at this job and ummm, I guess I walked my dog twice a day??? but that was it. It was a very depressing time for me and when I saw it written in black and white, I freaked the eff out. 

It was a horrible feeling. I felt I had failed. I was so mad at myself and I felt embarrassed.

Maybe some people could be happy just doing a day job and calling it a day, but I knew deep down that I was not that person. I needed more. I wanted more. I had given up on so many levels and I remember crying with both frustration and sadness. I clearly remember thinking that the driven, supermaven part of me was gone forever and I was never going to get her back. I felt doomed.

But, as it turns out, if you are committed to changing things for the better, there is a light at the tunnel. It just may take more time than you think and it is a process (ya ya ya, I know you have heard that before, but maybe today that will finally resonate with you).

Finally, in 2017, I was able to set some specific goals - mostly business oriented - and achieve them.

This year I:

- Attained my RGD (Registered Graphic Design) designation
- Attained a coaching certification
- Officially launched a coaching business
- Wrote an ebook and sold units online
- Joined Toastmasters and completed my Icebreaker speech

I finally had the energy and drive to get shit done that was important. This feels good. Suddenly, I remember the amazing feeling of working hard, focusing on a goal, and actually DOING IT - not just talking about it or thinking about it. Big difference, Mavens!

I could not have achieved any of these goals without:

- Major personal development work and mindset work
- Hiring a coach (actually, I hired multiple coaches over the course of the last two years)
- Deciding to be scared shitless at least 3x a week

My goal in sharing this with you, brave one, is that you will be reminded that we all have burdens and we all have heavy crap to deal with. But we can still keep moving forward - slowly, if need be. I believe we are all supermavens at heart. My goal for 2018 is to help more people step into their greatness and shine as bright as an iridescent unicorn under the Northern Lights.

To your brave (and shiny!) success,
Alana