Looking at my goal list for the past year, I am most proud of 2 things. The first is that I committed to blogging each of my goals and this exercise made me realize that something I really enjoy is the writing itself. It feels satisfying that I have embraced the writing process and stuck with it over the last twelve months. Especially to simply relish the act of writing, without judging the end product. The second thing I am proud of this year is that I made several huge changes in my life and am still working hard to create the life I want to live. If that’s too vague for you: I am so happy that I moved to San Francisco and have been able to find rewarding work. I am incredibly grateful to be at San Francisco CrossFit and Suppenküche, two companies where I’ve met some of the most amazing people in my life.
These two things also translate into what I am most grateful over the last year. I am grateful for all the love and support I got from my family and friends. I am grateful for the people who offered me work and flexibility in my schedule, coworkers who helped me out, and both the constructive and positive feedback I’ve received from people in different areas of my life. I also appreciate California Sunshine, the ability to take vacations in far off places, and the wild adventurous opportunities that present themselves to me.
On Monday, I will turn 27 and my 27×27 year will be complete. Friends have been asking what 28×28 will look like, but I can’t say it looks very appealing. It isn’t edgy enough. It’s putting too many items on a list, it’s too arbitrary. I need something with a bit more gusto. I want an divine list, not one that induces guilt over an unchecked box. I thought about beginning a 3×30 or 30×30 project, as it’s dawning on me that a decade benchmark is approaching. It’s still in the cards. However, in an effort to distance myself from numbers and quantifying everything, I would like to experiment with living the next year in a quality-inspired manner.
So I am crafting a plan for living my next year of life using the Desire Map. I will use my core desired feelings as my compass and my 12 commandments as my guiding constitution. THIS SOUNDS SO CORNY. Cue Phil Collins, because that’s my JAM. Hopefully over the next 12 months I will be able to communicate all of this in a way that sounds more hardcore and less “floofy”. That’s the (non) word that comes to mind. But right now it’s all I’ve got.
Writing is going absolutely terrible this week. I blame the lack of sleep. I arrived back in San Francisco from LA (CrossFit Games 2013) at 4:30AM after driving through the night. It completely screwed my sleep schedule and has left me a little cross-eyed. That being said, it’s the lack of planning and commitment on my end that is really holding me back. I have written multiple paragraphs about the definition of strength (somewhat in line with the theme of the Games), but can’t bring myself to post it. It feels like trying on a dress that doesn’t fit right and not wanting to go into the hallway of the dressing room to look in the mirror. I hate that feeling.
But where did this blog start anyway? I am defaulting to writing about the goals that I have left before my birthday, in order to sort out where I need to focus in the next 60 days. Though I may not have written about each specifically, it has become a goal of mine to write more consistently and publish these rants and raves as a way of getting my voice out into the world. So with 60 days left, I have a list of 8 things that are important to me that I am going to attempt to accomplish:
Visit Friends in WA
Time my Handstand
Get a massage.
Take a Vacation.
Lose 10 lbs. Explore your ideal weight.
Purge your Crap.
Blog your 27 X 27.
I am a strong believer in the rule of 1. I should pick 1 thing to focus on at a time. That’s it. If I choose more than one thing, my rate of success will plummet drastically. The beauty of a few of these things is that if I attempt it once, I can cross it off the list: get a massage, go surfing, and time my handstand. The other items take more planning and daily practice. As I mentioned in my last post, this August I am focusing on my diet to lose weight. For support in accomplishing this goal, I have signed up for the Get It Done In 30 Challenge with Maneesh Sethi and James Swanick and I am planning a Paleo Challenge with a friend at San Francisco CrossFit (interested? Details coming soon)!
Though I could easily write on and on about all the components of this goal and the others, I’m leaving it at that. Focus. Simplicity. August: Diet/lose weight. If more happens, awesome, if not, c’est la vie. Tomorrow is August 1st and I am already overwhelmed. August 2013, here we go.
Though I haven’t written much, I’ve accomplished a ton in the past 6 weeks. Writing hasn’t fallen to the wayside for lack of inspiration or something to talk about. My mind feels like it might explode every time I look at the date. It’s July!? Where did the year go?
Rewind: last October I started Interchange, a counseling program that explores different philosophies and techniques in therapy. My original intention in starting this program was to figure out if I want to pursue psychology as a profession. Since I am a self-proclaimed self-help nerd, I knew I would get a lot out of the training based purely on my love for introspection and self analysis. I fancy myself a pretty good listener and I am proficient at speaking about my feelings. Interchange took me to the next level. I am proud to say that I have completed the ten month program and have received my certificate!
As far as my original intention, I am clear at the moment, that I have no interest in a masters in psychology. I am intrigued by life coaching, general counseling, and people who create personal brands. I love talking to people about their problems and their passions. Helping others to connect with their dreams and desires in order to live happier lives excites me. However, I am not in the space at the moment where I wish to make that my profession. Similar to my dream of starting a hostel, I do not rule this out as a career, but know that it is not for right now. Either way, completing Interchange was a longer term goal and I am proud to have achieved it!
Through Kate Courageous, a lovely woman who taught a marketing series at Interchange, I managed to get my hands on a ticket to the World Domination Summit. When I told people about this conference, many thought it had something to do with CrossFit, which I found very amusing. The World Domination Summit is actually a conference with people from professions across the board, coming together to talk about how to create change. It’s about refining your skills, unearthing your passion, and turning your dreams into a reality. It’s about focus and connection.
I traveled to Portland, stayed with a good friend, and listened to Chase Jarvis of Creative Live, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, Danielle LaPorte, and Nancy Duarte, amongst others pour their hearts out. The whole conference was incredible! Chris Guillebeau did an incredible job orchestrating WDS. The events sounded insane. I missed a lot of it due to visiting with friends. I had a tricky time balancing the old with the new, and really needed some down time after mingling and listening to speakers from 8am till 4pm each day. I would love to attend again and make sure to take full advantage of each of the special events.
A specific goal that I have had for a long time is to attend a Kink.com Armory tour here in San Francisco. I finally managed to do this. A friend of mine was equally as excited about the idea and said “let’s go!” So we jumped online, set a date and bought tickets. Of course as I am waiting on the steps in front of the Armory, I run into some other friends who are also going on the tour. I love how small the world is. The armory is magnificent and kink.com has totally piqued my interest as far as its business model is concerned. We all know sex sells, but Kink seems to be operating as the change it would like to see in the world. 40% of it’s employees are women, while 60% of their directors are female. Apparently, this is unheard of in media companies. Let’s take a moment to ponder what this means as far as the production of porn. Women at Kink have significant influence over the type of porn being produced and are controlling how it is being put out into the world. This is a big deal. I like it.
June and July are demonstrating just how crazy busy life can get. New goal: simplify simplify simplify. I am ready to get back to some passions of mine that haven’t been nurtured in a while. This means drawing, letter writing, and reading. It also means hanging out without scheduled meetings on some afternoons and getting my ass in the ocean to try surfing again. 2013 is more than half finished. How are you going to spend the rest of the year?
I found a blog the other night that I find interesting. Hack the System with Maneesh Sethi. What a crazy dude. When you subscribe to his email list he asks that you write to him about your number one goal. I found myself thinking that I should have a number one goal because I have so many of them. When I read his email requesting to hear what is it, I thought “Shit, man!” And then my brain came to a stuttering halt.
I have a lot of goals. Too many, actually. How do I know it’s too many? From Stevo, the sport psychologists perspective, if it feels like too many, it is. Well, it feels like too many. From Byron Katie’s perspective, it’s not too many, it just IS and it’s only my thoughts in relation to the number of goals that is causing any stress. Byron Katie is the author of Loving What Is. She is the creator of “The Work”, which is a series of four questions about our thoughts and then a turn around that aims to transform our relationship to ourselves. Here is an example.
The Work on Having Too Many Goals.
Statement and/or judgments: I have too many goals.
Is that true? No. (If no, you can move to #3)
Can I absolutely know that to be true? I can not know it to be 100% fact.
How do I react when I think that thought? How do I treat myself and/or others when I think that thought? Stressed out! I am irritable and frustrated. I hate on myself. I feel like I am scattered and unfocused. I feel like I can’t see progress clearly and that I am a failure. I get panicky and anxious.
Who would I be without that thought? Who would I be without believing that I have too many goals? I would feel peaceful and calm. Life would feel more harmonious and I would celebrate the small victories.
Turn it around: I do not have too many goals. I do not have enough goals. I have the right amount of goals. I have the perfect number of goals.
Perhaps this is another step in dismantling the 27 x 27. I am happy to have so many goals. They can just hang there in space, the letters typed neatly out on the page. The list will grow, wilt, and stagnate at times. I want to cultivate a compassionate relationship to the goal list. It is, afterall, my list of dreams. They each symbolize a process through which I get to know myself a little better and that lead me down my path a little further.
Looking at what I would like to focus on for April and reflecting on what I worked on in March, I am seeing that not much has changed. I am trying to start small and continue slowly. For March I had a fatty list: Interchange counseling sessions, write everyday, handstand practice, mobility, read, work on the Fire Starter Sessions, and attend the CrossFit certification course.
How did I do?
Interchange: I had a couple of Interchange sessions. I have surpassed my 20 hours of counseling now.
Write: I have a check mark for everyday that I wrote on my calendar and made it a practice to write every morning. It increased the amount I post to my blog based on working with more material. This has been a very enjoyable process for me.
Handstands: I have had many 20 minute sessions in the park and practiced at CrossFit. I have seen a lot of improvement and have had a lot of fun!
Mobility: This is another item I have on the daily checklist. I have struggled with this because sometimes it is enjoyable and other times it is just a pain in the ass. Literally. But I am committed to working on my knee and the rest of my body.
Read: I have been reading more! I read the entire CrossFit training guide and I am in the process of finishing Loving What Is. I have also read a TON of blogs and information online. I also bought a GOOD magazine.
The Fire Starter Sessions (FSS): I love this book. Danielle LaPorte is awesome and the book is beautiful. Maria and I have been meeting about FSS and it is amazingly therapeutic and motivating. We’re lighting shit up!
CrossFit Certification: done and done! I attended the weekend course, which was great, and I past the test! BAM! PLUS, I applied for a job at San Francisco CrossFit and guess what?! I GOT THE JOB! The cert has already paid off.
Writing this has been so satisfying. Earlier I felt like the March list was way too long. However looking at all the progress that I have made for each item, I can see that I have actually been quite successful! WhatWhat!!! I think that one thing that would allow me to see progress more is by recording small measurable benchmarks or each. That would look like this:
Goal: Record daily check marks, record time spent on activity and other detailed notes.
I am halfway there. I have recorded most of this stuff, but I could get into the details if I wanted to see more numerical results.
So let’s circle back to the beginning. What is my #1 goal?
My number one goal is to feel awesome. I’ve been able to pin-point four core feelings that are important to me and I want to connect to those feelings in all that I do. Those four core feelings are: Connection, Clarity, Creative, and Powerful. I don’t have to feel all four of the feelings all the time, but I want clarity in my activities because I think it makes for more harmonious living.
You can read about my twenty-seven #1 goals and how they tap into my core feelings here. If you think that this post is a bunch of bull and that my goal is way too vague, then here are some specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive (S.M.A.R.T.) goals to feast on:
- Write 2 blog posts every month until September.
- Write at least 20 minutes everyday in April.
- Mobilize for 20 minutes everyday in April.
- Finish Loving What Is and start a new book. (Achieved! April 14, 2013)
- Have at least 1 Interchange counseling session. (Achieved! April 13, 2013)
- Workout at CrossFit at least 3 times each week.
Wild Success! Things that were not on the goal list but make me feel ON FIRE:
- Getting hired at San Francisco CrossFit! I will be working as the part-time Office Manager for 25-30 hours a week. I’m pumped! (Victory dance.)
- Leo Babauta sharing a link to one of my blog posts! I wrote about attending the Mindful + Entrepreneur event Leo hosted with Jesse Jacobs of Samovar Tea Lounge. I sent him the link and he shared it on Tumblr. Feeling pretty awesome about that.
Thanks to Maneesh Sethi for pushing my thoughts about goals a little further.
7 AM, Friday March 8: Last night it hit me. The 2013 CrossFit Open Games have officially begun and the first workout (13.1) has been posted. Well, though many CrossFitters have been talking about it, I had barely thought about it, till last night. I was covering a Thursday shift, which was unfortunate because that means I missed mobility class with Kelly Starrett and I also missed a talk on mental toughness with Stevo at San Francisco CrossFit (SFCF). I see now why it was extra unfortunate: mobility last night was most definitely aimed at preparing us for the Open workout this evening. Instead of gearing up for the Open, I was hanging out in the cold drizzle drinking beer and eating bread at Biergarten. Indulging in the two things that I am trying to avoid at work.
Working at Biergarten when it is slow, cold, and rainy is always a bonding experience. There is a silliness and camaraderie that develops that you simply don’t have the time for on busy days. It was while I was in the bar when it struck me that maybe I should cool it on the beer drinking and get my ass home to bed because I am competing. I AM COMPETING! The wheels began turning, and I realized that I hadn’t read the rules, I didn’t know my heat time or when I was judging. I was also painfully aware of the tenseness in my muscles partially due to the cold and partially due to soreness from Wednesday’s workout. I don’t think I can remember the last time I competed in something. I felt very unprepared.
I biked home in the rain, made a giant mint tea, and hopped into bed to do some research on what is going down. Of course the team at SFCF made a badass video on the most important things to focus on to prepare for the snatches and burprees that comprise the 13.1 workout. I spent a good half hour soaking up quality information on snatch and burpree technique, what constitutes a no rep, and how to pace myself. Big breath. “Shit, what did I get myself into?”
I wrote this Friday morning pre-workout. What did I get myself into? Read about it here post-workout.
Wow. What an evening. I think I’m still high from that bust-your-balls work out. I just competed in my first CrossFit Open work out and it was intense. I wasn’t nervous until Thursday night. Then I had trouble sleeping. I watched as some of the coaches did the workout this afternoon. It was reassuring to see that it was similar to just another WOD. However… that nervousness sat with me till the end.
The count down alone: Three-two-one! Was wild. That “black-out” period sets right in and you just go, giving it whatever you got. I love the reminders to breath. Something so basic and so important, it’s almost laughable, but it really helps to have that as one of your cues. Breath. So simple. Keep breathing, keep moving, no problem. Stop breathing? You’re finished.
I have arrived home from competing in my first CrossFit Open workout and I am sitting down to write for 20 minutes, because it feels like this is a 20 minutes I don’t want to lose. Tonight was magic. San Francisco CrossFit (SFCF) continues to Wow My Pants Off and the community that it growing at that place makes my heart swell huge. “I’m surrounded by badasses!” That’s the vibe.
As I began my burpees, just out of the gate of the 17 minutes of pain, I had my eyes on the ground. The first round of snatches at 45 pounds was bearable, fun, even. Another 30 burpees: heart pounding, ears howling, cheeks burning, breath god damnit! Then the real work begins. 30 snatches at 75 pounds. I am at the bar, brace myself, pull. No rep. This shit is HEAVY. The bar is on the ground again and I am trying to set myself up. Go again. No rep. I’m thinking, “Fuck. This is it. I can’t go any further.” But there is still time on the clock and what am I going to do? Stop trying? Hell no.
Standing by the bar, trying to catch my breath, I look up and find myself surrounded by friends. Friends who happen to be strong, motivated athletes and they are cheering me on. They’ve got constructive criticism, cues, and hollers. Fuel to my fire, baby. Metal to your shins, chest up, eyes up, lock out your arms, break that bar and shrug that shit off the ground like you mean it; land under the bar and pUMP it UP. Lock. It. Out. Done. Rep One. Six minutes later we have 30 seconds on the clock, I knock out 2 more snatches for a total of 25 reps at 75 pounds. Bam, bitches, 13.1!
What an amazing crew. It brings tears to my eyes. I am shouting out to all the amazing athletes who came out to SFCF this evening and made it a night to remember. I appreciate the kind words, the observations, the attention, the camaraderie, the support, and the unconditional positive regard. Incredible. It’s going to be an awesome season.
See you next week.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
Yes, let us talk of many things! I am beginning the process of dismantling my 27×27. It is indeed time to dissect them in a bit more detail. Keep in mind (I’m saying this to myself), that this a process, and an emerging theme is to be patient, as well as forgiving with oneself. Ideally, with others, too. In an effort to dismantle this list, I’m going to explore each goal and reflect on which of my desired core feelings I hope to fulfill. First let me explain my core desired feelings. I did Danielle LaPorte’s worksheet from the Firestarter Sessions and currently have a list of 4 feelings that I seek in almost everything I do. They are as follows:
- Clarity: I want to feel confident and clear in all aspects of life.
- Connection: I want to feel connected in mind, body, and relationships (community).
- Creative: I want to think creatively, as well as engage in the act of creation.
- Powerful: I want to feel strong, influential, and as though I am utilizing my natural gifts.
OK, let’s tear it up.
1. Write my 12 commandments. Thanks to Gretchen Rubin and my good friend, Angie, I have 12 commandements that feel pretty amazing to me. Desired outcome: Clarity, Connection, Powerful. Wouldn’t mind framing these somewhere:
- Be Lara.
- Forgive, you do not have to forget.
- Embrace vulnerability.
- Express gratitude.
- Pursue opportunities wholeheartedly.
- Enjoy the process.
- Act how you want to feel.
- Be patient and compassionate.
- Be here now.
- If I can’t get out of it, I’ll get into it, and learn something.
- I am exactly where I need to be.
2. Take a vacation. I have not done this and it is definitely staying on the list. I read an article recently suggesting that it is best to plan vacations at the beginning of the year. That way you have something to look forward to and you make sure to set aside the time to make it happen. I am happy to say that I have a ticket to Washington booked for a friends wedding and am planning another friends bachelorette party in California. Desired outcome: Connection, Creative.
3. Express your feelings and record how it went. This is an effort to be honest and clear with myself and others. It’s a resolution that I am hoping will help me observe myself in difficult scenarios. I would like to have a deeper understanding of myself in conflict situations and of my reactions during sensitive conversations. I’ve only been partially successful. This is likely something that is going to come off my list and needs to be developed differently. I find I am fulfilling this is different ways, such as Interchange and writing regularly. Desired outcome: Clarity, Powerful, Connection.
4. Write 3 love letters. Valentine’s day has come and gone, thank God, but I would like to keep in the spirit of telling people that I love them and then elaborating on how incredibly awesome they are. This goal is going to be incorporated into my art projects and the desire to write more mail again. Desired outcome: Connection, Creative. When was the last time you write someone a love note? Go ahead, I dare you. Make it juicy. (#snailmail)
5. Read the Happiness Project. Done and done! Enjoyed it a lot! Desired outcome: Creative.
6. Job Applications/Interviews/New Work. Accomplished x3! Thanks to Debbie Steingesser and my guardian angel Maree, I am living and working in San Francisco. Desired outcome: Connection, Powerful.
7. Interchange. I have attended every weekend class so far, the program ends in June. Desired outcome: Clarity, Powerful, Connection.
9. Move. Did this twice. Check and check. Desired outcome: Connection.
10. Say “Yes” Day. I don’t think I need this. I’m such a “Yay”-sayer, out there, battling Nay-sayers all day long. What the hell is a say “yes” day anyway? I think I already hate this. Desired outcome: Creative.
11. Ride the 7 Hells, I mean Hills of SF. Angie and I were going to do this, I believe we ended up drinking and doing a joy-ride instead. There’s always next year! Desired outcome: Powerful.
12. Go to a Yoga class. After not doing any yoga for a full year, I finally did a 2 week intensive with an intro pass to Fluid Yoga in the Inner Sunset. Love it. Desired outcome: Connection, Powerful.
13. Make mail art. I already organized and hosted a mail art party and participated in the Snail Mail My Email Project. Always in the back of my mind, this goal is more based on documenting the process or finished project. Desired outcome: Connection, Creative.
14. Do 5 strict pull-ups. Well, shit. I guess I will have to count how many I can do already. I believe it’s 3. I’ve fallen in love with kipping pull-ups, but the goal is to do 5 strict. Hmm. Desired outcome: Connection, Powerful.
15. Do 20 consecutive awesome push-ups. Do we sense a theme here? I can’t remember if I was just trying to come up with ideas for 27 goals or what. I actually think that these two goals are important, basic movements that will be helpful in my breakdancing career. (!!) Desired outcome: Connection, Powerful.
16. Plan a bike trip. This can be anything from a one-nighter to something epic. We will see. This goal goes arm-in-arm with the vacation goal. It’s important for me to have some adventure in my life, get outside, get dirty, get hungry, and see the world. Desired outcome: Connection, Powerful.
17. Books. I want to read everything! I am not so stoked on book reviews, but I like to keep a running book list of things that I have read. I’m trying to get this online. It’s nice to be able to reflect on it. Desired outcome: Connection, Creative, Powerful.
18. Art project. I would like to complete a painting or a drawing. I would like to incorporate this with mail art. Sometimes it seems like too much pressure and then it isn’t any fun anymore. I remember talking to Angie about her goals. We came to the conclusion that if the goals aren’t fun or if we simply weren’t excited by them, then scratch that m-thr-f*cker off. Replace it with something awesome. Desired outcome: Connection, Creative.
19. Purge. Having moved twice, I have done a couple of rounds of getting rid of shit. There is so much more to be done. I’ve been throwing out old clothes, recycling crap papers, and generally trying to touch everything that I own and ask myself “do I need this?” Desired outcome: Clarity.
20. CrossFit and Mobility Gear. I have CrossFit Reebok Nano shoes, my new favs! I have also purchased 2 Voodoo Floss Bands, and some lacrosse balls. Next on the list? ROLLERS. Desired outcome: Connection, Powerful.
21. A new ritual or tradition. I am borrowing this one from other people. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It may not stick with me. This year I ran five miles on a beach in Oregon and swam in the ocean on my birthday. I would like to make it tradition to do some physical activity in a beautiful place and then go swimming on September 30th every year. Desired outcome: Connection.
22. Fix my knee. One of the main motivators for me to finally take CrossFit basics last year in February was because I screwed up my knee a bit training for a marathon. I am not experiencing any pain, but there is plenty of clicking that drives me nuts. Good thing I have the SFCF crew and my mobility tools. Desired outcome: Powerful, Connection.
23. Trained someone at work. I recently helped a friend get a job at Suppenkueche. Then I got to train her! I was honored that my boss asked me to. It was a major ego boost and has made me much more confident in my job and my ability to contribute to our team. Desired outcome: Connection, Powerful.
24. Blog my 27×27. That means at least 27 blog posts by my birthday. This is because I love working on goal setting and I love writing about it. It is becoming increasingly evident how important writing is to me and how much I value it as a tool. I do not think of myself as a strong writer, but I love the process and I love it as a form of communication. I think it’s beautiful and powerful. I figure the only way I’ll ever be even half decent is if I practice. A lot. So here I am. In the throes of my 14 day writing challenge. Desired outcome: Clarity, Connection, Creative, and Powerful.
25-27 are either none of your business or I’m simply too embarrassed and self conscious to write about them publicly at this time. In an effort to get completely out of my comfort zone this year, I am hoping that I will get drunk some night and post them regardless. Listening to BlogcastFM and attending Interchange, both lead me to think that perhaps facing those fears and sitting with intense discomfort is often the greatest learning experience you can have.
Here are a few other things that I am working on that will easily replace some of the things above (or simply be added to the list): CrossFit Open Games, CrossFit Level 1 Certification, eat a new flavor of ice cream, eat Paleo (LOVE that I thoughts of this after Ice Cream,HA!), frame some photos, fix my bicycle, watch a million mobility videos, listen to all 200 interviews on BlogcastFM, find a mentor, finish Live Your Legend packet, complete Firestarter Sessions, tour the Armory (kink.com), enjoy a classy beverage in the new kink.com bar, and get a massage.
In writing all of this, I find myself asking “what’s the point?” So I am looking up the word dismantle and here is the definition I found: to take to pieces; also: to destroy the integrity or functioning of, to strip of dress or covering.
After reading the definition,I feel like I am scrambling to piece my 27 goals together and have them all fit neatly into a box. Like a sweet package, little nugget goals. In order to push the dismantling further along I have to ask: what is the original function of my 27×27? The list is based purely on my age, so the number is a bit arbitrary. It is supposed to be a fun way for me to think of concrete things I would like to do and resolutions or habits that I would like to develop in my life. I would like to be an active and present participant in my life, I’m not interested in being passive or denying personal responsibility during my short time on Earth.
Does dismantling my list mean blowing it to smithereens? Does it mean destroying the structure? I want to strip this list naked and look at it differently. I think this means getting rid of the numbering, deciphering between goals and resolutions, and then organizing them into a sequential format where they can build on each other. Whew, this is making me sweat.
Stevo and I have discussed arranging goals into buckets. That’s cool, I like buckets. That’s what I am attempting to do with the desired outcomes, connecting each goal to a desired core feeling. This allows me to strip the numbering from the 27×27 and arrange them into categories of things that I would like to achieve in my life. How can I push this further?
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.
My obsession with goals and developing new habits is transforming into a new phase. I have been working with Stevo, sports psychologist at San Francisco CrossFit (SFCF), for several weeks now. Along with other forms of counseling, this is helping me look at my personal struggles to reach certain outcomes. The sessions and goals that we have had are not what I expected, though I wasn’t sure what to expect anyway. I think everyone I talk to about having a sports psychologist says “What’s a sports psychologist? I didn’t even know that existed.” Ditto. But when Stevo showed up at SFCF, I thought “Yes! Of Course! THIS is IT!” and then I thought “No! Shit, that’s what I want to do!” He has the job and the clients that I want. Or that I think I want. A great “Aha” moment for me, but the initial sports psychology questions are relevant because I am still learning about the training psychologists receive and what someone like Stevo does on a day-to-day basis.
What is a sports psychologist? In my experience, it is someone who studies traditional psychology and then specializes in habit building and introduces a mind-body connection. This is what it looks like from the outside to me. The above link describes it a bit more succinctly. It appears to be an incredibly tricky job and working with Stevo has validated my thoughts about why this is so. During a session with a client, how do you tease out important core feelings and emotions, plus talk about overcoming barriers and creating new habits that will improve their performance and life experience? That’s a lot of ground to cover!
As I sit here, my mind feels like it is going into explosion mode. This is a feeling that I have been experiencing often lately. Mulling over how a sports psychologist tries to guide you in a particular direction and develop concrete action steps seems like a complex process. I am also experiencing this in Interchange, my counseling training program. I am becoming quite comfortable with the idea that the being is the doing and I know that it can be quite transformative. However, working with my “regular” psychologist, Tonja, and with Stevo, plus watching seasoned Interchange leaders, I know that a great counselor is a trusted guide. Someone who leads us deeper into our dark jungles, lifting tangled vines so that we can progress forward or perhaps just lighting a lantern so that we may find our own way. That’s powerful.
So how does it all come together? Stevo asks me how my day is going and then we discuss how the past week has been for me. Have I followed through on my mini goals? Am I being consistent? How did I feel on each day? What was I listening to when I performed my mobility exercises? If I missed a day, why? What were motivating factors for me to mobilize? What made it easier? What made it harder? As it turns out, guilt and accountability are great motivators for me. I am still figuring out how they function and how they manifest in my brain, but those are two themes for me to examine. Everyday I record how I have accomplished my goal, including some minor details about the context. This is the framework within which we dissect the habits that I am building.
Somehow we manage to get through all of the above and move on to larger issues. I have signed up for the CrossFit Open Games and my Level 1 Certification, I am overwhelmed by my hobbies and goal pursuits, I am feeling unfocused and self-conscious. How can I continue to work on these small steps while developing a stronger sense of self and building a career path!? Stevo tells me that if I feel like I am taking on too much, then it IS too much. Well, good, because that’s what I said. “Its too much.” Yet… (cue the Little Mermaid soundtrack) “I want MOOOOORE!” Stevo brings me back to reality with his awesome motto “Have the courage to start small.” Thanks Stevo. [Fist pound.]
I am realizing why it is so hard for me to post about my 8 goals this November. For several of them, I do not have much to say. I feel that a picture is worth a thousand words and that accomplishing the thing itself was so exhausting that reliving it through writing may be too much for me right now. But since I’ve resolved to blog each goal, I would like to write at least a little something for each. Or at least link/show you what’s up.
GOALS I ACCOMPLISHED IN NOVEMBER!
- I read a book! There is Nothing Wrong with You by Cheri Huber: This book is super simple and therefore enjoyable. It is a bit repetitive, but fun and sweet.
- I made mail art! I participated in Snail Mail My Email 2012: I have basically already blogged about this, but it’s one of the goals I am most excited about because so many people made awesome letters! Check out the gallery and the map.
- I took my bod-photos. This is a difficult one for me to post about because I am really self conscious about it. Inspired first and foremost by San Francisco Crossfit when I did the Paleo Challenge, I am trying to eat better and if not actually lose weight, at least pay attention and monitor my body. Other sources of motivation and information are Robb Wolf, Nerd Fitness, and Mark’s Daily Apple.
- I did not smoke for 30 days: this is a hard one for me to write about because it means that I have to admit that I smoke sometimes. Well, I was smoking too much this summer and I said enough is enough! I know I can drop it (like it’s hot), so I did. Here’s some info on building new habits. Or “How to not suck at building new habits.”
- I expressed my feelings when it was difficult for me multiple times and recorded it somewhere… I’m no Penelope Trunk so I won’t get into the super personal details of all the times I had challenging conversations over the past month. At least not at this point in time. But to give you an idea, I apologized when I thought it was important for me to do so, I spoke up for myself, and I gave honest feedback.
- I attended the 2nd Interchange weekend. The theme was Storytelling and Reauthoring: Narrative Therapy.
- I got new jobs! Three to be exact. I now work at Biergarten, Suppenkuche, and Lululemon. Wowza. Don’t be shy, come by and say “Hallo!”
- I moved to San Francisco! WOO!