I started goal setting in 2008 and I began a personal journey to improve my life! I started every year in January taking the time to sit down and write out my goals, personal and professional goals. I write my REAL desires and wishes as my goals, as crazy as they may be, I write them down. I began doing this with my husband at the start of the year. My husband and I would sit down together and we would say what do we want to achieve this year whether it might be a vacation, a purchase of a home, a career path, something for our kids. What did we really want? We wrote it down, charted it out, and set milestone markers that we would go back and check our goals.
I remember the first time my husband and I were goal setting and when I said I want to take our kids to Disneyland . My husband did not think we could afford it. I was determined to find a way and I set out a course and a path to save the money to put it aside to take my kids to Disneyland. That year we sure did just that, we went to Disneyland. Fast forward to 2023, we continue to make a list and focus of what we want in our life. We love setting our goals and write out the most practical and outlandish goals. It is fun to reflect at the end of the year to see how things panned out.
When I began goal setting, I began with creating vision boards. I took a large piece of poster board and divided it up into three sections, personal, professional and family. I cut out images that I found going through magazines of places I wanted to go to and things I wanted to do.
After creating that vision board, I placed it in a spot that I could see it every day, my closet. It stayed in the center of my focus and served as a reminder of what I wanted my life to become.
In 2020, I then became more specific and in addition to creating the vision board full of images that I wanted I began to create SMART goals for myself personally and professionally.
SMART goals are:
I write a goal, and set the timeframe for me to reach it. I make long-range plans for my personal life and for my business. These long-range and short-term goals plans are written on paper and they are time stamped so that I plan out when I want to achieve that goal. Then I create a vision board based on those goals and I hang it in my office.
Midway through the year, usually June, I reflect upon my goals and I determine what needs to be adjusted. I do my best to meet my personal and professional goals each year sometimes as January comes back around and I reevaluate my goals and whether I made them or not I may revise them or remove them because they've already become achieved I may add new goals to my vision board and to my page.
Manifestation of your goals
To turn up the dial on goal setting take on this next step.
Write out your goals in present day. Write them like you already have them in your life.
My life is exactly the way I want it to be. I work at _______ and my coworkers are joyful to work for. I live ________________. Each day is easy and everything works out for me. I travel to ______________ each year. I earn____________and am able to purchase_______________. I am healthy and active. I take time each day to take great care of my self. My friends and family are kind to one another and I enjoy spending time with them.
My life is exactly the way I want it to be!
Write it out and keep it with you and read it each day. Believe that it will happen. You will be surprised at how your life will change for the better.
Since I have been creating vision boards, goal setting, and manifesting my life. It has has been a wonderful turn of events. It is thrilling each year to create new goals and achieve them. Take control of your life and make good things happen!
These vision boards and intention setting can be found in my self-care journals, Working on Wellness, Kickstarting Wellness,and Staying Well. These are great resources for you to go through and set some goals and intentions for each week to help you on your path. I use them myself you can find them on my website creativelivingideas.com or you can just go to Amazon search Tania Farran and my journals are linked there!
What I have learned: Don’t sit back and let 2024 happen. Plan and manifest your goals.
Our lake house overlooks the water. Down near the shore, there is a giant rock. It’s massive. It’s a place I like to go to contemplate life.
After my walk this morning, I walked down to that big rock. I stood there and gazed out over the lake. As it was still early, the lake was covered in fog, and there was a gentle breeze. As I watched, the fog began to lift with the help of that lovely breeze. It was then that I started breathing intentionally and thinking about life. I thought about what we wanted to do with the property and the wonderful times my family and I have shared here. I’ve always been drawn to water. Being near water fills me up and allows me to think.
Sometimes I sit on that rock and reflect on all the 53 years of my life. Sometimes I’m in awe of how it has turned out. Sometimes I’m not as surprised. But mostly I’m grateful.
Today, I’m grateful for my body. The body that helped me climb the hills on my one mile walk. The body that helped me get down to my rock safely. The legs that are still moving and the heart and lungs that are still moving oxygen throughout my body. I’m grateful for the lake house that provides us protection from the elements.
I would encourage you to find a spot where you can contemplate life. Spend some time thinking, reflecting, and planning. Carve out 10 minutes every day. You can make a mental gratitude list in your head or you can write it down. There’s no need to make this complicated. Keep it simple by setting aside time to contemplate life and express gratitude. It’s never too late to start practicing the art of gratitude and living in the moment. Namaste.
My journal Kickstarting Wellness is a great tool for you to plan, reflect, and express your desires in life each day. It will help to keep you accountable
What I’ve learned: Spending 10 minutes a day on gratitude and reflection is powerful and calming.
I’ve spent the last 10 or so years of my life searching for the perfect work-life balance. Over time, my approach has grown and evolved.
What do you think of when you hear the term “work-life balance”? What does it look like to balance the demands of your career and the obligations of your personal life? What does it sound like to have balance?
Let’s practice envisioning work-life balance. First, grab a pen and paper and copy this down. Then, take a few minutes to fill in the spaces with your answers.
When things are going well,
what does life feel, look, and sound like to you?
When things are NOT going well, what does life feel, look, and sound like to you?
Of course there are times when my life is unbalanced. It feels extremely chaotic and stressful. Unhappiness and grouchiness abound. It looks messy and unorganized. It sounds like an incessant jackhammer or an annoying fly that just won’t go away.
Needless to say, I've had to work very hard in my life to find the work-life balance that works for me. Here are a few more tips on achieving and maintaining work-life balance:
What I have learned: Take time to reflect on your week ahead and work to find balance in your day.
Join us for the The Professional: Work-Life Balance Summit Oct 21, 2023. Click the Link HERE to join.
The other day I arrived home after 3 weeks of traveling, some of which was for fun and some for work. I woke up that day at my normal time, but I felt EXHAUSTED and a little irritable. Following my normal morning routine, I brewed coffee, started the laundry, and began unpacking. Next came breakfast and cleaning the kitchen. As I was wiping down the kitchen table, I heard my therapist’s voice in my head saying, ”What are you going to do for yourself today? When are you going to have a Tania day?”
Pausing, I felt calmness wash over me. Her voice in my thoughts brought me back to her office and the countless times we had that conversation. I could see her sitting in her chair, her soft voice posing that exact question. I was wiped out, and I needed to have a Tania day.
I looked at my watch. By that time, it was 9 am and I thought to myself, “I will finish up a few tasks, and by 10 am I will switch to doing whatever I want for the rest of the day.”
I blogged, planned upcoming CLI events, caught up on research, snacked on chips and salsa, and cuddled up with my softest blanket. I didn’t bother brushing my hair or putting on makeup. Around noon I decided I was going to lie down and enjoy a nap. I’m usually a short napper, but I allowed myself to stay in bed for a couple of hours to rest my body and mind. Being in a state of stillness and calm was relaxing, and it allowed my mind to wander. Relaxing the brain allows new ideas to emerge.
While ideas and thoughts were fresh in my head, I grabbed my laptop and returned to my blogs. Once I finished writing, I turned my attention to pampering myself as I got ready for a gala event I was attending that evening.
No one cared that I didn’t accomplish a million things that day. I didn’t feel the need to run errands or cross items off my to-do list. Often, we create our own personal stress by placing pressure on ourselves to be everywhere and do everything. But you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Everyone’s stress levels are different. The amount of stress you’re able to bear can even differ depending on the day. Make sure you are able to recognize and identify the tasks that create stress in your life, as well as the coping strategies and self-care techniques that work best for you. Try to find ways to balance the stressors with self-care.
Looking back, it was a beautiful Tania day! It took me years to learn the importance of taking days for myself. I hope you take time out of your day to recharge and fill your cup.
What I have learned: Only you can take a day for yourself. Learn to recognize when you need to do this before you are too overwhelmed.
Battling Childhood Hunger
Not long ago, I was supervising some kiddos while they were waiting to be picked up. As we waited, I offered them a snack from my bucket full of granola bars and fruit snacks. They looked at the pile then at me. Their hesitation led me to offer again, this time saying they could each take a few snacks. They asked, “How many?” I looked at my watch. It was noon, so I figured they were hungry for lunch. I told them to take as many as they wanted. Each child took eight granola bars and six fruit snacks. I assumed they were loading up to take snacks home. Maybe their mother didn’t buy that type of snack or they wanted extras to keep in their backpacks.
But as I watched, the siblings sat down, began eating, and continued to wait for their ride. Unwrapping hastily, they ate all of the granola bars and fruit snacks they’d taken. Without a sound or any fooling around, they ate quickly. They filled up their water cups at least six times while they were eating. When they were finished, they quietly got up, cleaned up their spots, threw their wrappers in the trash, and sat back down. A few minutes later, one of the little girls came over and asked me for a few more snacks. I gave her four more of each kind. By now, I had figured out that they were truly hungry. My heart broke. I thought to myself, “Never in my life have I been that hungry.”
I assumed the additional snacks would be for the children to take home because surely they were full. I was incorrect. The kiddos ate them all - 10 granola bars and 10 fruit snacks each. They were slender children, and I wasn’t sure where all that food was going. My heart ached as I realized I didn’t know how to help them get food. I lived nowhere near them and wasn’t familiar with any food pantries in the area. By then, their older sister had arrived to pick them up, and they were all happy to see each other. Before they left, the older sister came over and asked if she could also have a snack. Of course a heaping handful of snacks were given to her too.
Childhood hunger is real! As schools let out for the summer, children lose access to the school lunches that many of them rely on. I encourage you to donate to your local food pantry year round. Many children are hungry, and parents rely on food pantries throughout the year (not just during the holidays when most people donate).
CLI is holding its third annual food drive in June. Join us for our giving campaign, Filling the Food Pantries, to help keep our children fed over the summer. June 21st we are collecting food to donate to a local food pantry. You can donate that day too!
What can you do to help?
What I have learned: Childhood hunger exists. It is real, and we can help.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.