Real talk, I failed my 2022 goals. BUT I'm not upset or mad at myself like I've been every year before. Today I’m going to share why I’m not feeling any negative way towards myself.
I'm going to share exactly what my goals were, how I failed, and the lessons and takeaways I'm bringing into 2023. I hope this episode helps you look at how you plan goals and how you can set yourself up for success, similar to how I discussed in a previous episode: "Infantilizing Women: Glittered Planners & Bright Stickers for the Win? Ep 16."
Why Did I Fail My Goals?
Okay, so my clickbait title already told you I failed the 2022 goals I set for myself.
It's not because I didn't have the willpower, or I wasn't able to be consistent, or I just wasn't able to do them.
The reason I failed is much more mindful and hippie-dippie— It's because mid-year, around June, I paused, or was forced to pause, when my body and mind were no longer allowing me to keep going under the pressure.
I paused my goal activity to admit that I didn't think the goals I listed were my actual goals. I will say that it did take me striving to reach them for me to realize this though so the goals were helpful.
So, What Were My Goals?
1. "be happy most of the time." — Succeed-ish
I know this is super subjective and more a state of being, but because my personal biggest struggle with bipolar ii is maintaining positive emotions and being present, I wanted to write this down and make this as tangible as possible for myself.
I wrote little ideas if I was stumped on HOW to help myself to make this happen. For example, I wrote: daily journaling, meditation, self care time, making fun and relationships a priority, going for a walk, reading a book, etc.
However, I realized some things I put were what I've been told help but didn't actually work for me.
For example, I didn't actually like daily journaling as it only furthered ruminating thoughts by continuing conversations I was already having in my head. I know it’s great for others, but for me it was not so I stopped doing it.
What made me happiest this year was making my relationships a priority, as I talked about in a previous episode “Gratitude Journals Suck and Here’s Why. Ep 13. I leaned on my friends a lot and I feel like, for the first time ever, I wasn't an emotional vampire about it either. I feel I also gave them the support they wanted and needed when they leaned on me (this is a big improvement, trust me)
FAIL OR SUCCEED: Succeed, because I definitely was more in tune with what did and did not make me feel good and got out of my head about stuff to actually put into words and action what I wanted more of and what I wanted less of.
2. Be a great mom— Succeed-ish
This once again is unmeasurable, subjective, and kind of silly to list as a “goal.” But I struggle with feeling like a terrible mom because I have a lot of mental health issues that cause my mood swings and ability to be present very difficult and I used to worry this would make my daughter feel abandoned or unloved.
Underneath this goal, I wrote—hug her every day and plan a mother-daughter date at least 1x a month.
I didn’t plan a date every month BUT I did become more conscious of spending quality time with her and doing things out together just the two of us and trying to make normal boring errands more fun for her.
And by writing down I wanted to hug her every day I became more aware of how she wants to be shown love (touch), and forcing myself to do the action, despite the bipolar ii cycle I’m in.
I now just hug on her all the time because it's part of my habit. Whereas before I would only really hug her when I dropped her off somewhere or before bed.
It feels unforced to me now and just a way that I know I show her love.
FAIL OR SUCCEED: Succeed, because I do feel way less anxious about being a "bad" mom. I know I'm making an effort to show up for her and give her the love, support, and boundaries she needs. And in turn, she seems less negatively swayed by my moods and less attention seeking because, I assume, she's more secure in my ability to love and be present with her.
3. Be a respected songwriter and well-known in the industry—Failed
Underneath this, I listed:
have 2-3 cowrites a week,
visit Nashville at least 4x this year to network and write,
write every day,
start submitting demo songs to publishers and/or other artists once I have 6 demo songs completed.
I did indeed go to Nashville 4 times, but by the 2nd trip, I realized I wasn't doing things because I liked the people I was doing it with and I wasn’t having that much fun.
I was setting up meetings and writing with certain people because of what I thought they could bring me. I felt I was using others and not being genuine and that wasn't sitting right with who I am as a person (which is overly honest).
So like I discussed in “Gratitude Journals Suck and Here’s Why. Ep 13.” I instead started focusing on relationships I already had that I felt could be genuine and leaned into growing those. And I have been so much happier and more fulfilled when I visit Nashville.
….As for "writing every day,” I realized within the first 20 days or so that I never actually laid out what that meant and how it could be achieved. Like was I supposed to write for a set amount of time, just a couple of lines, a full song, was I doing a specific exercise, if I co-wrote with someone did that count as well, etc.?
I quickly burned out because I made it not fun and didn't have a clear path to success.
I realized also that I wrote this goal so I could "prove" I was a good writer. It was an outward-facing goal that didn't make me feel any sense of accomplishment. It was wholly subjective and relying on outside validation, which might never come. I wasn't getting any sense of achievement, happiness, or forward movement from it. So I dropped it pretty quickly.
FAIL OR SUCCEED: Fail, because I basically threw away most of this goal (I go more into this goal in the podcast if you wanted to hear more of why I consider it a fail, and other ways I quit the goal)
4. Produce and release my own songs—Failed
Underneath that goal, I wrote:
produce 1 song demo a month,
finish a bunch of courses that I previously bought but never finished
Around October, I realized that I didn't want to prove I could write or be clever anymore. I just wanted to sing songs that I liked to sing. I didn't need songs to have some clever story or rhythms or twist...I wanted to have fun singing it mostly in a run kind of way where I could let my vocals flow around and wasn't super caring about the words vs the way it sounded.
I also started to reevaluate my vision of success in the music industry and if the juice was worth the squeeze, AND if I even wanted the juice, if I was able to squeeze it at all (weird metaphor but go with me lol)
FAIL OR SUCCEED: Fail, because I threw away most of this goal (I go more into this goal in the podcast if you wanted to hear more of why I consider it a fail, and other ways I quit the goal)
5. Read at least 1 book a month — Succeed
I have SO many unread books on my shelf and so many books on my Amazon wishlist just waiting to be purchased.
As I talked about in Episode 6 "Is your morning routine killing your productivity? Mine was...EP 6" I took most of my morning routine away, except the thing I looked forward to—reading.
So, each morning Monday-Friday I set a timer for 30 minutes and would read a book from off my shelf. With this method, including audiobooks, I was able to read 22 books this year.
FAIL OR SUCCEED: Succeed because I surpassed my goal.
Recapping the Losses and Wins
As far as goal setting goes I:
failed 2/5 (1. be a respected songwriter and 2. produce and release my own songs)
2/5 were subjective and unmeasurable (3. be a great mom and 4. be happy most of the time)
1/5 I surpassed (5. read 12 books)
At that rate, 2022 was mostly either a fail or a wash in terms of my goals.
But I'm okay with it because it taught me the things that I did want and the things I did not
Realizations and Takeaways
Generally, failing this year's goals so quickly and utilizing my mid year pause and reflection made me realize the way I was setting goals for myself, as I talked about in last week's episode 16 "Infantilizing Women: Glittered Planners & Bright Stickers for the Win?," wasn't really working for me.
The way I’ve been setting goals has mostly felt like a lot of pressure without a clear reward. I could only fail because I was always planning within best-case scenarios and using "stretch" or "moonshot" goals to push myself to do more.
The mid-year pause and quick quitting of my goals forced me to recognize that I wasn't taking my life into account.
I hadn't taken into account all my mood swings and how my personal life would impact my career goals.
For example, If I’m in a depressive downcycle then the last thing I want to do is force myself to practice guitar or a writing exercise that has no marker of completion or accomplishment.
Or if I wanted to spend more quality time in my relationships, that means there will be less time to produce a new demo song or network.
Moving into 2023
My goals this coming year are more holistic. I wasn't able to think holistically in 2022 because I wasn't ready or able to listen to my body and my emotions. I’m better able to do that now.
I'm focusing on overall growth this year. I'm focusing on putting my energy into where my energy already wants to go.
I'm not going to force my energy in a direction that it keeps telling me it doesn't want to go. I'm going to briskly walk down the path that my body and energy want me to go down. I'm going to be more trusting that it knows what it wants instead of redirecting it where it “should” be.
Challenge for You! 🥳
If you don’t set yearly goals, don’t worry about this BUT if you set any kind of goals, resolutions, whatever, look at how they feel for you. Look at how in the past you’ve been able to achieve goals. Look at how and why you’ve failed goals. And listen to what your energy is telling you about this aka how do you feel and want to move forward after these wins and losses?
Think about if these goals serve you. If they don’t serve you, don’t just ruminate on them—change them. Make new goals. Make goals that feel right for you. You only know what you do and do not like by going after different things. So if you go after one goal and realize it’s not the goal for you…just change it. Keep it moving. You’ll figure it out.
Cliff Notes 🧗🏻♂️
Real talk, I failed my 2022 goals. BUT I'm not upset or mad at myself like I've been every year before. Why? Because of the important takeaways.
In this episode I share exactly what my 2022 goals were, how I failed, how I succeeded, and the lessons I'm bringing into 2023.
In this episode we discuss:
looking at how we plan goals and if these ways actually helps us
how you can set yourself up for success with a mid-year recalibration
how changing your mind isn’t the same as quitting
how listening to your energy and body is critical to succeeding at your goals
Mentions in this episode:
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Questions, thoughts, and feels email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the episode notes: bareminimumbabe.com/post/I-failed-my-2022-goals
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