I am a big dreamer with lofty goals. I often don’t reveal them to people for fear of being judged, so instead I say them to myself (sometimes out loud) or write them down. But the thing is, I usually write out my dreams and goals similarly to how I write out my to do list: clean the fridge, fold the laundry, write the next Great American Novel, own a yacht.
For me, writing them down is equivalent to starting a vision board: if I see it on paper, I’m reminded of what I want and what I’m working toward. For example, at the start of 2018, I wrote down that I wanted to work at POPSUGAR (seriously!). In March of that year, I got hired. But there were other goals I set out for that year that just didn’t happen: start a budget (whoops), read 30 books (so close!), work my way back up to running five miles (I blame that one on my unfortunate treadmill accident). Even though I start out each year fresh and with a new crop of goals and resolutions for the year, they rarely stick.
But when I was listening to motivational speaker and New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hollis discuss a new way of goal-setting on her podcast “Rise,” I was inspired. Why was it that I would jot down all my goals and dreams but never see them through?
Rachel said for years she started each day this way: she would write down the dreams for her life as if they had already happened. So instead of writing “I want to save $5,000,” you would write “I saved $5,000.” Rachel even turned this practice into her own line of Start Today Journals, which are unfortunately sold out but will be reissued in the Spring of 2019. But Rachel said you don’t need these specific journals to start the practice: you can use any notebook, scrap of paper, or even a Post-It. To hear more about how this process works, listen to her podcast episode here (and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever else you get your podcasts, because every week it’s packed with motivational gems).
I bought a Start Today journal and have been writing out my goals as if they have already happened. I didn’t want to wait until the start of 2019 to do it this way. Although I still have a ways to go to work toward my goals, using this method has solidified in my mind that I am capable of achieving them. I look forward to looking back in a few months or a few years and seeing everything that came true.
As for what my goals and dreams are? I’m still keeping them to myself. I don’t want to jinx it — and I want to look back after I accomplished them to prove to people I had it in me all along.