Listen to this 2021 Goal Setting Podcast:
Episode #3: Elise shares an in-depth look at how to use her free Visioning Workbook to identify the right goals for yourself for the new year and actually accomplish those goals. She has used this system and workbooks for the last few years to set and crush huge goals (like setting herself up over 2018 to leave her job at Google and creating a 6-figure business in 2019). In this episode, she walks you through how this 2021 Visioning Workbook will help you:
1. Reflect on the past year and uncover lessons learned, what you’re leaving behind, and what you’re bringing with you into the new year.
2. Assess different areas of your life in a quantifiable way in order to determine where you should be setting 2021 goals for the new year.
3. Create a strategic road map for the actions and steps that will make your goals a reality.
Snap a pic of your 2021 Visioning Workbook and tag me @wtfab so I can reshare on my Stories too!
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Hello and welcome back to the what the fab podcast. Happy new year. Happy January. Today, we are getting into one of my favorite topics and it’s very timely. And that is goal setting.
So we’re going to be talking through different exercises that I do every single year that really helped me set myself up for success in the year to come, they helped me figure out what I even want my goals for the new year to be. How I’m going to measure them and how I’m going to get there. And let me tell you, when I started being intentional about the goals that I was setting at the beginning of the year, I’ve been doing this for a few years now where I really sit down and do it. Big things have happened. I left my job at Google, I doubled my revenue goals for my business. I really don’t think that those things would have happened or maybe they would have taken a lot longer to happen if I hadn’t been intentional with my goals.
So that’s why I’m so excited for today and to really get into the nitty gritty of all these goal setting exercises, how you can use and leverage them and set your own goals for the year to set your 2021 up for success.
So before we get any further, I want you to grab a resource that I made for you. It’s super cute. If I do say so myself, it is a vision worksheet. That’s going to make it really fun for you to work through these exercises. So you can find it in the shownotes at whatthefab.com/2021.
So go ahead and pause this episode and grab it.
Did you get it? Great. So these are the exercises that I do every year, but obviously this year is not a normal year. 2020 was an experience to say the least, remember that Justin Timberlake album, the 2020 experience. I don’t think this was what he was thinking about, but I think we’ve all at one point or another commented on what a shitty shitty year 2020 was.
And I think we’re also all ready for 2021 to be a clean slate. I mean, we feel that way every year. Like the new year is a fresh start, but especially after all that we’ve been through last year, I think that we’ve all been looking forward to the new year. And while a lot is still unclear what this year will hold for us. When will I have access to the vaccine? Will it allow things to go. Somewhat back to normal. What will this new normal look like? How will individuals and small businesses be impacted? Can I feel safe traveling again? God, I miss traveling. All of these things are yet to be determined and we’ll see how things shake out for the year.
But like I said, what I want to dive into today is setting goals for the year. So even though there’s still uncertainty, I think goal setting, manifesting strategically, designing your future, whatever you want to call it is so, so important. Maybe especially important when there’s so much uncertainty and we’re coming off of such a rough year. I clearly am huge on goal setting and setting intentions for the year, because if you’re not intentional about your goals, about where life is headed, you kind of become like algae. And what I mean by that is you just kind of float around through life and the waves sort of push you one way or another, but you haven’t really made those decisions for yourself and you want to have agency over your own life. So I’ve made it a tradition over the years to really sit down and take stock of my life and look at what’s working for me, acknowledge my accomplishments and also see what’s not working for me. What do I want to change or do differently. And of course, to set new goals for the year.
In today’s episode, I’m walking you through a resource that I’ve created through a lot of trial and errors over the years, and I’m calling it My 2021 Visioning Worksheet.
It includes sections for reflecting on 2020. Lessons learned and exercises that I did at the beginning of each year to really set my intentions and goals for the year ahead. So again, you can download this resource in this episode’s show notes, which you can find at whatthefab.com/2021. I also want to call out and acknowledge that I am extremely grateful and privileged to be in a position where I’m thinking about 2021 goals. I know this pandemic has created a lot of hardships for people and maybe it’s financially, or maybe you lost a loved one to COVID. It was a tough year and we’re not out of the woods yet. So I just don’t want anyone to feel upset as we dig into this, like why is she asking me to reflect on something positive that 2020 brought me. It was a devastating year. I get that. And if you personally feel like you’re not in the right mindset to reflect in the year and set new goals for the new year, feel free to table this conversation. This episode will be here waiting for you and maybe you come back to it in a few months when you’re feeling ready. You know, and I think that new year’s resolutions are such a big part of our culture, but really you can set new goals and start working towards them any day of the year. So, if you’re ready to dive in with me, let’s do it. I usually will set aside an hour, maybe two to go through these things myself, for this episode, I’m just going to walk you through it and I’ll give you some examples of my own responses and hopefully that’ll be helpful for you when you’re working on your worksheet for yourself. A few things that I like to do, and you can kind of try some of them or think about what would make sense for you. But one thing is I definitely recommend setting aside one to two hours to really just focus on this. Like put your phone away, don’t even bring it in the room with you and have dedicated time and space for these exercises.
I really like to set a calming environment for this and just make it super peaceful. So, I like to light some candles, get my rock salt, lamp going, maybe some essential oils. I make myself a fun drink, whether that’s a peppermint mocha or a glass of wine, like whatever is striking your fancy. I also really like to use sparkly, gel pens on these worksheets. I don’t know, it’s just fun. It’s nostalgic and it brings me joy. So I will link to the exact ones that I like to use in the show notes. So whatever it is, just make sure that you’re creating an environment for yourself so that you can really enjoy the process and have total focus without any distractions.
Okay. Grab your worksheet at whatthefab.com/2021, and let’s get into it.
So to dive in. The first thing that I do is reflect on the previous year. So you’ll see, I have a 2020 in review is the first section. So reflecting on what are three positive things that 2020 brought you, what are three lessons that you learned in 2020?
I’ll give you a couple of examples for me. I won’t do three for each because I don’t want to bore you, but a couple of positive things that 2020 brought me. Yeah. One that jumps right to mind for me is a renewed connection with my group of girlfriends that are some of my very best friends from childhood and high school. And the previous year in 2019, I honestly was feeling a little bit sad about our relationship because I just felt like we had kind of grown apart. Everybody has moved to different parts of the country, some of them have kids, you know, some are like really going hard in their careers. And I honestly had just been feeling like we didn’t talk very much anymore. Our like group imessage thread was way quieter than it was in the past and this pandemic and just everybody craving human connection from it really kind of brought us back together again, even though everybody is busy, we were able to do more like group FaceTime, we were texting a lot more, we did secret Santa, we haven’t done that kind of stuff in years and it honestly, it just felt so good and like so nice to reconnect. And frankly that wouldn’t have happened without 2020 and the shit show that it was.
In terms of a lesson learned from 2020, this one has to do with my business. So when the pandemic first hit and all the shelter in place orders were happening, I lost several really big brand deals. And then it was crickets for like two or three months, which is really unusual. Usually I’m like talking to brands and negotiating deals and that’s a really big chunk of whatthefab’s business model and my revenue. So it was really scary to lose those deals and then not be landing any new ones, fortunately, after a few months and like once we kind of got to summer brands started to realize that we’re going to be doing the shelter in place thing for a while, so we need to figure out how to market to people at home and things kind of stabilized and got almost back to normal. So that was a really big relief, but during those few months, when things slowed way, way down, I had the opportunity to really step back and take stock of my business and what I was doing day to day, my processes, my systems, and also my long-term goals for the business, like where do I want to be heading? And that was really, really helpful because the previous year in 2019, I was just so busy with brand campaigns and sponsorships, that I was just trying to keep my head above water. Like I was just trying to make all my deadlines and I really didn’t have time to take a step back and think about what I was doing. I was just doing the work. And so by taking a step back, I realized that I want to be growing my business and my revenue streams in a few different key areas, and I was able to really put some processes and systems in place, that is going to help me in years to come. And I’m already seeing the fruits of that labor and growth in terms of my website traffic and affiliate links that I want to be growing my revenue on, and that wouldn’t have happened and I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t taken the time to step back. And so the lesson here for me was just how important it really is to create space for thinking and reflecting and, you know, checking in with yourself and your business, whatever it is. And so now I have time blocked off on my calendar. I have it for Thursday afternoons and I call it big pick energy, like a play on big Dick energy, and that’s when I take time to do things that are more kind of big picture and strategic and reflecting, rather than the day-to-day of like answering emails, writing blog posts, editing photos. So that was a really important lesson for me.
This episode is brought to you by HIIT school. Okay. So HIIT school, didn’t pay for a sponsorship on my podcast, but they just launched a great referral program that I had to share with you because they’re my go to for my at-home workout routine. And some of my readers have been asking how I’ve been staying fit during COVID. This is it. I’ve been working out with HIIT school for four years. Now, the first few years were actually in person with the trainers when I was at Google, because they did a lot of corporate workout programs. And last year at the start of this pandemic, they created a virtual program. So you work out with them over Google Hangouts in a small group setting and the workouts kick your butt. I am always so sore afterwards. All you need are a pair of dumbbells and you’re good to go. Your trainer gives you personalized feedback because they see you on camera. So they make sure your form is on point and they nicely call you out if you’re slacking off, which I definitely need, because it really pushes me, and the other thing is the accountability factor. If I am paying for these classes and my trainer knows if I show up or not, I do not miss a class versus if I tell myself, okay. Yeah, I’m going to do a YouTube workout video on my own later today, half the time I end up skipping. Okay. So here’s the pricing breakdown. One semester is eight weeks long and costs $270. But if I refer you, you get 50 bucks off bringing it to two 20. Now you get two classes a week with your trainer, so that’s 16 classes, but then they also give you access to all of these other additional live classes throughout the week. So personally I do an abs and buck class with them, I do a strength training class and then my regular two days a week with my trainer. So that’s 32 classes that I’m taking advantage of in a semester. And if you wanted to do even more, you could, but let’s just say you’re doing four workouts a week. Like me that comes out to less than $7 a class that is a freaking steal.
Oh, you should also know that anyone else in your household can join you for your workouts for free. They don’t have to pay for their own membership. So Omied works out with me for all of the workout classes. It’s so much fun to have a workout buddy. And if you do the math between the two of us, I mean, it is just such a good deal. When I think about what I used to pay for Barry’s classes, they’re like $30 a class like my God. Anyways, if you want to sign up with hit school and kick off your new year, right? Shoot me an email so I can refer you and you’ll get $50 off full transparency. I get $50 off too. So it’s a win-win for both of us.
Email me at Elise E L I S [email protected] use hit school and the subject line and I will help you get all signed up. Maybe we’ll even work out together. If you want to take a look at their website to learn more about the program, it’s hiitschool.com hit is spelled H I I T cause it stands for High Intensity Interval Training, so it’s hiitschool.com and don’t forget to shoot me an email so you can get that 50 bucks off.
All right, let’s get back to the show. The next section asks, what are three things you accomplished in 2020, and three things you let go of. For the accomplishment section, don’t be shy about this. Don’t feel like you’re like bragging or you need to do like a humble brag. Like just let it out. I know that with women, especially, we tend to be really shy about talking about our own accomplishments or even like writing them down for ourselves. It’s ingrained in us. It’s part of our culture. And I want you to just get over that, like your accomplishments deserve to be called out, spoken, acknowledged and celebrated. So for this section, some of my accomplishments that I’m really proud of, I managed to actually meet and just slightly exceed my revenue from last year. So while at the beginning of 2020, I had written down all these goals about like far surpassing and exceeding my revenue from 2019. We’re in a panny, and I’m really proud of the fact that I met my same revenue and actually slightly exceeded my revenue from the previous year, because I know a lot of small businesses were not able to do that. And it was a really, really difficult year. The other thing that I am excited about is my husband and I bought our first house. That is a huge accomplishment that we have been working towards and that I have been saving towards since my very first paycheck. So, definitely writing down that one and acknowledging that. In terms of something I let go of in 2020, well, I let go of a lot of travel plans. I mean, I was supposed to be abroad for a month. I was going to visit five different new countries. It was like gonna be such an Epic year in terms of travel, but obviously that didn’t happen. So I let go of all of those expectations. And one thing that I want to note here for this section is I was listening to a podcast by Brene Brown. And this was like in the heat of the pandemic, like the heart of it. I forget exactly what she called it, but basically it was along the lines of like comparative suffering and like feeling guilty for being upset about something that you lost or had to let go of in 2020 when there are other people out there that have it way worse off than you. So for example, feeling guilty that you are feeling super bummed out about the fact that you had to cancel a trip when there are people that lost their jobs due to the pandemic, her point, was that feeling upset about having to cancel this Epic trip, doesn’t take away from your ability to have compassion and empathy for somebody who’s going through a really tough time because of this pandemic. Like they’re not mutually exclusive one doesn’t impact the other. You can hold space for both of those things. And like, it does suck that you had to cancel your trip or your family reunion, and you didn’t get to see your family that year. Like that’s okay, that you are feeling bummed out about that because that blows, let yourself feel that. And so I just wanted to mention that as we go into this section to not feel bad about feeling bad about certain things and to just let yourself feel it.
The next page is all about the challenges that you faced last year and naming three people who supported you through it and what they did to support you. So a couple of challenges that I faced, obviously with my business, I mentioned that earlier, just kind of the uncertainty and like not knowing if things were going to work out, is this the end of influencer marketing? Fortunately, it doesn’t look that way, but during the height of the pandemic, that was really scary. And then the other challenge I faced was just mentally like my mental toughness and resilience and just, I mean, there were certain days where I just would wake up and feel like I don’t even want to get out of bed. Like, especially after George Floyd’s murder and everything, that was just on my social media feeds. I just felt so down about the state of the world and so hopeless. And it was tough to even find the motivation to get out of that on some days. So the people that supported me through it. My husband, Omied, bless his soul. He was there for me, my sister, we had each other like on speed dial, my parents as well. And then in terms of business, my girlfriend, Kara, from the whimsy soul, we have each other on Slack and it’s like having a cheerleader best friend that is also in my industry and business savvy and we can just like pump each other up, like celebrate each other’s wins. And during those scary uncertain times, tell each other, like, we’re going to get through this.
This next section has to do with thinking back on the previous year and finding your favorite moment of the year and writing about it in detail. So like what happened, where were you, who were you with? How did you feel and why was that so important to you? For me? My favorite moment is very clear for me. It was when I was in Maui, in February with my family and Omied and February is whale season. I love humpback whales. I just feel like they are such amazing, incredible animals. And when I see them, I just feel like I feel very spiritual. So one thing that I have been wanting to do for years, it’s like then on my bucket list, you’re not allowed to swim with the humpback whales in Maui. There’s a huge, fine for it. But some captains will let you put a mask and snorkel on and like hold you by the feet and let you dunk your face in the water over like a Zodiac boat that’s really close down to the water. And I got to do that with a mama humpback whale and her baby. And I bawled my eyes out. It was just such an incredible moment to be able to see that it just, like I said, it feels very spiritual and humbling and surreal, and it was just such a magical moment and something that I will remember for the rest of my life and really special to share that with my husband and my family who were all there with me.
Next. I want to dive into confidence, a bit because I feel that having confidence is a really key component for studying and achieving your goals. If you don’t have confidence, you’re not going to set goals that are high enough for you. You’re not going, stick to pursuing them. It’s just, they’re intertwined in my mind.
So the first section here is to write down three things that diminish or take away from your confidence. For me, I can think of a few examples here. So one of them that takes away from my confidence in that causes uncertainty in my life and just makes me feel less sure of myself, of my business is the news. I just getting constant pings and notifications. The news just never makes me feel good. It’s always bad news. That’s why I follow sites like good news movement and Upworthy. But I made the executive decision this year to turn off the notifications for all of my news apps on my phone. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t watch the news or read the news, you should. And I do, obviously I need to be aware of what is going on in the world, but getting those constant notifications, waking up to those notifications of just bad news, depressing things, things that make me unsure about the future, things that made me feel like why do I even try? That is not how I want to be setting my day. That is not how I set myself up for a confident, productive, happy, intentional day. So I made the decision to turn all of those notifications off. And when I do choose to read the news or watch the news, it’s when I’m in the right head space, it’s when I’m seeking information, I’m ready to intake that information and I’m not being bombarded. You may like me have certain people in your life that might make you feel less confident about specific areas of your life, yourself, your business, your romantic relationship. Obviously, if there’s somebody that’s just negative about everything all the time, like that’s a whole other discussion and it’s probably time to just cut them out. I also understand that that can be really difficult if that person is a family member or someone that’s not easy to just cut out of your life. But for my specific example that I’m thinking of, I have a friend that when I told them that I was going to leave Google and I was super excited about it, I was going to launch my business full-time she was like, don’t do that. That’s a horrible idea. Like you’ve got this cushy salary and your blog on the side, like, just keep doing that. And I was really surprised to hear that because she also owns her own business and runs her business full-time. So I was really expecting to hear just support and encouragement and excitement, and to get the opposite of that from her, that definitely had a negative impact on my confidence in myself and my ability to run my business full time.
So guess what? We’re still friends, but I don’t talk to her about my business and that is fine. We have a lot of other things that our friendship can dive into and my business just, isn’t one of them. So identify a few things that negatively impact your confidence and then figure out how you are going to get rid of, or decrease those things in your life. Then we’re going to move into writing down a few things that increase and boost your confidence. For me that includes listening to inspiring and motivating and educational podcasts, Ted talks, that also includes supportive relationships in my life. So for example, my husband, Omied, he is my biggest fan and cheerleader and supporter in any time that I’m feeling kind of down or unsure or not confident, or, you know, having some imposter syndrome situation going on, maybe I’m unsure about making the right decision or launching something new, like this podcast, he always just pumps me up. He’s like, you’ve got this. I have no doubt, like anything you put your mind to everything you touch turns to gold. I mean, he says these things to me and I’m like, I don’t know if I believe that, but just hearing you say that makes me feel so amazing and so confident and just like, let’s do it. So think about what or who in your life helps to increase and boost your confidence and do more of that. Seek that out.
All right. So this next page starts to dive into 2021, a clean slate. So the first thing that I have you do is choose your word for the new year. I’ve done this every year for the last few years. I think last year, my word was “Bold”. Some other ideas and just kind of inspiration to get your mind going for potential words could be joy, connection, purpose, persevere, focus, gratitude. My word for 2021 is going to be “Intention”.
And then the next section asks you to think about what you need to change in order to live this word. And in what ways you already are living this word. I think that I already am really intentional with my time in terms of what I spend it on and who I spend it with. But in terms of changes that I could make, I could definitely be more intentional with physical things and my space. I think that since I’m a blogger and I receive so much product, I can end up just holding onto a lot of stuff that I don’t actually need or sometimes even want. And that can just create a lot of clutter. And then I also, I mean, obviously we just moved to our new home only like five or six months ago, but there are some spaces that like, I do need to be more intentional with and like really figure out how I want to feel when I come into those spaces. Like my office, for example, which at the moment is just kind of a mess with paperwork everywhere and things that are like in the process of being built and it’s just very much in limbo right now.
Okay. This next part is super fun. You’re going to love it. I promise it’s creating your 2021 vision board. So you’ve got your word for the year. You’ve got the whole year ahead of you. This clean slate. I want you to grab a couple of magazines and just flip through them and cut out words and pictures and visuals that you feel drawn to. Don’t overthink it, just like trust your gut, go with it, go with the flow. And once you’ve cut out a bunch of these words and pictures, you can paste them onto the page in the worksheet. I have personally done this every year for the last few years. Omied has done it with me too, and it’s really fun to look back on our vision boards. And if you want to, you can like go big and do it on a larger scale and pace things onto a poster board. I personally have just done it on the eight and a half by 11 page from the worksheet. And I usually will do front and back, but whatever works for you here, but I promise, even if this is your first time doing a vision board, it can feel a little bit silly or weird. I promise it’s going to be really fun. And what you end up with is going to be cool and you’re going to be like, okay, yeah, I’ve got this. And I’m like, I’m really jazzed and excited about the year.
All right, moving on. So now we’re really getting into the meat of this visioning worksheet. So we’re getting into the assessment and kind of taking stock of your life section. I think it’s super important to take a look at your life and be honest with yourself about where you are, what aspects you feel like you’re doing great in, what aspects you think need a little bit more love and attention and nurturing. And so this exercise is really going to help you quantify and figure out where you want to be setting your new goals for yourself, for improvement in 2021, it can be really overwhelming to be like, I want to do this, I want to lose weight, I want to read more, I want to drink more water. Like let’s kind of narrow it down and figure out what parts of your life really need that nurturing.
So this next part of the worksheet goes into 10 different aspects of your life that I am calling life verticals, and it’s going to help you quantify which of these verticals you want to spend some extra time and attention on for 2021. And the 10 life verticals are work, finances, physical health, mental health, home, family, friendships, hobbies, self care and love. And so for each of these different verticals, I’ve listed a few kind of descriptors or adjectives and then you’re going to rate that adjective a number score based on what feels true to you for that life vertical. So for this part of the exercise, it’s so important to be honest with yourself, go with your gut, you don’t have to share this with anyone if you don’t want to. So just be honest, otherwise, there’s really no point in doing this exercise and it’s not going to work. So it’s on a one to five scale with one being totally sucks and five being funfreakingtastic and a three in the middle would be okay or so, so I’m not going to talk through every single one, because I feel like it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I am going to give you an example of how this exercise has been super, super helpful for me in the past. So the very first year that I did this quantifiable self-assessment I realized and was surprised that my score for home was the lowest.
So at the time we were living in our very small 650 square foot apartment in San Francisco, it was a very old building, old apartment. We had kind of a mish-mash of furniture. It wasn’t very cohesive. We also weren’t allowed to really do anything to the apartment. We couldn’t paint. So we couldn’t really do much with it. I just hadn’t really thought about the fact that I wasn’t super happy with our home. Like I was busy, I’m going to work. I’m going to events in the evenings and it was just like, whatever it also didn’t really feel like a priority for us to invest in furniture, pieces, and core. When it was obviously, this is not like our permanent home. It’s not like our house that we have bought, who knows when we could be moving to the next place. So after doing this assessment and realizing that my feelings towards my home were not that great, I made it a priority for that year. So there was a lot that we did to really judge up the space. We did end up investing in new furniture that felt cohesive and beautiful. We also got really creative with our storage and organization, especially when you’re living in a small space, just being able to put everything away and out of sight is such a big deal because when it’s a small space, it can just feel so cluttered so quickly and it really weighs on you mentally. So that was a really big deal. We hired a housekeeper to come monthly and clean, which kind of sounds silly for such a small space, but we’re both really busy. Like I, you know, was working, full-time running my blog. Omied was super busy with work. So to have somebody come and help us out with that once a month was really, really helpful. We also started implementing what I call the purge. And we do this twice a year, once at the beginning of the year. And then once in the summer where we go through everything and we purge. We just get rid of stuff, we donate. You would be surprised how large the garbage bag ends up being of stuff that like you can’t even donate. And it’s like, why is this even here? So I share that example because if I hadn’t done the self-assessment, I wouldn’t have realized my kind of true feelings towards our home and that space and how it wasn’t making me super happy. And by doing this assessment, I realized it and I was able to set goals around it and tackle it head on. And even though we are in a much bigger house now, a lot of those habits have still stuck with us. Like it’s January and I’m getting ready for the purge. Like we’re going to go through the house and go through the closets and just get rid of any of the stuff that we no longer need that no longer serves us. And that’s something that was implemented years ago after having this realization from this part of the worksheet. So go through the self-assessment be open and honest with yourself, circle those numbers that feel right for you and tally up all of those scores. And then we’ll kind of reflect and figure out how to move forward from there in the next section. But before we do that, I just wanted to make a note on the last life vertical that I have listed, which is love. If you were not in a romantic relationship, feel free to just skip ranking that life vertical. Like it doesn’t make sense to try and rank and fill that out if you’re not in a relationship, but there are so many other verticals for you to focus on yourself, your mental health, your self care, your relationships with your family and your friends, so that, you know, you can’t force love but when you do find that right person, if you’ve been focusing on all of these other things in your life that are also important, you’re going to be in the right place to accept their love. So just wanted to make a note of that.
Okay. So you’ve done yourself assessment. Now it’s time to look back on how you rank and scored your different life verticals and those overall tallies. Did any of those rankings surprise you? How did they make you feel? Write that down and then pick three life verticals that you would like to focus on and nurture and set goals and intentions towards for 2021. You’re going to write them down in that little pyramid. It kind of reminds me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for me personally, my three that I have decided I’m going to focus on for 2021 are physical health, mental health and my home. Being in our new house, we have a lot of work to do and I think all of these things are going to tie in really nicely with my word for the year of intention. You know, when I look at my rankings and how I filled out my self assessment, I feel really happy and content and good about my relationships with my friends, my family, with Omied. I feel really, really jazzed and excited about my work and financial situation because of it. So that was kind of part of the process of how I narrowed down these three life verticals that I’m going to focus on for the year. And I’m really excited about it.
The next section goes into your three verticals that you have decided to focus on for 2021, and for each of them just kind of getting the wheels turning and writing down three tangible ways that you can improve this specific life vertical. So for me, for my physical health, I have a pretty solid workout routine that I’ve gotten into during the pandemic. But I would like to take that up a notch. I think I’m ready to, for my HIIT classes that I do, I’m ready to move from those 12 pound dumbbells to my 15 pound ones. Like make that leap, you know, it can be small bite sized and specific things like that. Try not to just be like, be healthier, you know, we’re like eat healthier. Well, how are you going to eat healthier? Are you going to meal plan? Are you going to try doing the faster way, which I have a blog post on and I love. Get really specific here and just kind of get the wheels turning.
The next page is titled a strategic year by design and you’re kind of taking some of the concepts and tangible suggestions that you just wrote down in the previous page and taking it a step further. So looking at where am I now, what’s my current status and situation. Where do I want to be at the end of the year? And how am I going to get there? So let’s look at my life vertical for mental health. Right now, what’s my current status. I’m decent. I would say I’ve gotten into a much better head space than where I was at, like the height of the pandemic, but I know there are areas for improvement. I definitely could meditate more. I know that there’s a lot of benefit there. I just need to get into a routine for it. So by the end of the year, I would really like to be at a place where I can be a little bit more, even keeled with my emotions and my responses, because those can be a little bit all over the place for me. And I’m not trying to like subdue that or not feel that, but sometimes it can just last for a really long time. So I think what’s going to help me get there, getting into a good routine with meditation. I would like to start doing therapy again. I did that while I was at Google because it was a free resource and I went once a month and it was awesome. And I learned a lot about myself. And then once I left Google, I never really. Looked into setting that up again or finding a new therapist. So that’s something that I would add in that third column, that box about how will I get there. So those are just a few examples for that one life vertical.
Okay. Next page. Now we’re really gonna zoom out and take a look at this yearly planner. So. Each month, we’re going to write down one bite sized goal for each of our life verticals that we’re focusing on for 2021. So for me, January physical health, I’m going to buy those 15 pound dumbbells and start using those for my workouts. Mental health, I am setting a goal for myself to research and interview and find a new therapist through Kaiser. And for my home, I am setting a goal that I will complete a big project that we’ve kind of been putting off, which is redoing the floors on our second floor, kind of a pain, but it needs to be done so that I can start working on a bunch of other projects that are dependent on that.
So go through, do this for each month. You can build on the previous month’s goal, you can incorporate new habits. It’s just to kind of break things down into bite sized pieces, because if you start off in January saying, I am going to meditate and get a new therapist and drink enough water every day and exercise five times a week, like it’s just going to get lost and breaking it down into one goal per vertical each month is just going to make it much more manageable and it’s going to make your goals more attainable. You’re going to be able to stick with it, so highly, highly recommend breaking it down in this way. I do want to call out that I have another episode coming out on the podcast, all about habits, how to build new ones, systems and processes for that examples of how I have taken different strategies from books like atomic habits and applied that to my life and made habits really stick. It’s also going to have a freebie for a habit tracker so definitely give that episode a listen as well after you have gone through this whole goal setting exercise, because that is what’s going to like really get into the nitty gritty of how do I actually make these habits sticked.
On the next page. I want you to write down one or two things that even though it may be hard, you are going to say no to in the new year. And some things that, again, even though it may be hard, you’re going to say yes to. Then I want you to think about all of these goals that you’ve set for yourself and these three life verticals that you have identified that you want to improve this year and list three people that you need to connect with or reconnect with in order to help you achieve this. So it could be close friends that you’re already connected with. It could be colleagues. It could be a friend of a friend that you’ve been wanting to connect with. You have maybe admired, maybe wanted some mentorship from, think about who might be able to lend you some support, advice, experience, mentorship, resources in order to help you get one step closer to achieving your goals. Obviously you’re the one that’s going to be needing to put in the hard work, but don’t try to do it alone in a vacuum, like anywhere where you can drop some support is going to be helpful. So identify those three people and reach out to them.
Okay. Yay. You’re done. You have gone through the entire workbook. You’ve set those goals and intentions, and now you have a clear path forward for an amazing new year ahead. So what’s next. I want you to keep going after your goals. Obviously there’s so much motivation in January. It’s like new year, new me. I’ve got this. And then we all know that can kind of taper off at the end of the month. So here are some ideas to help keep the momentum going and keep your goals top of mind all year long. So add a monthly check-in with yourself to your calendar so you can check in with yourself and see how you’re doing with your monthly goals and adjust them. If you need to see what’s working, see what’s not, create an accountability group. This is huge whether it’s one other person, your partner, your best friend, your sister, or a small group of people that you trust, share this worksheet with them. Get them to do it too, share your goals with one another and set up a monthly phone call or check-in I know obviously virtual happy hours have been real big last year. So check in with each other. Share your progress and wins, share advice and just give each other support. I definitely want you to put your vision boards somewhere where you can see it every single day. I have mine on my desk so I can see it and just kind of remind myself of why I get up every morning and I’m working towards my goals.
Next. I would say journal. Reflect, write down how you’re feeling and your progress, and what’s working for you. I will link in the show notes to the journal that I bought for 2021. I was not a huge journaler before I launched my own business. And I really started implementing that because I wanted to get in touch with how I was feeling. If I was really, you know, navigating my life in a way that I wanted and really owning that, and checking in with myself, like I made this huge decision to leave Google, to run my own business and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t just chasing that dream and just doing it because I thought that’s what I should be doing. I wanted to actually, intentionally check in with myself and make sure that it was filling right for me. So journaling is huge. Next read. I have so many books that I recommend that have inspired me or motivated me in some way. They’re all linked in the workbook. A couple of them that I’ll highlight essentialism. I think that everyone should read this book. I will probably do a podcast episode later on just kind of like diving into this book and how it’s helped me because it is amazing, but basically the whole premise is understanding that people are going to just pile shit onto your plate unless you take control of your own time and decide what is truly essential and just being able to differentiate the essential few from the non-essential many. Atomic habits, like I said, I’m going to be diving into that in a podcast episode so definitely check that out. What other one would I highlight? Probably the Daily Stoic, that one is a really great way. It’s one page a day, and it’s a really great way to set your intentions for the day and just kind of look inwards and be more intentional with how you set up your day, in your life, really? So again, those are all linked in the workbook.
Listen to my upcoming episode about habits. We are going to dive into how to create systems that work for you when it comes to building or changing habits, establishing new ones. It is pretty amazing what you can accomplish if you actually stick to tiny habits every single day for a year, for five years, for 10 years, like that’s really where the magic is, so definitely listened to that episode. There’s a couple of free resources in there as well, like a fun habit tracker. So that’s going to be really helpful for sticking to these new habits that are going to help you reach your goals. And then lastly, you can always reach out to me for support. I am happy to be your virtual cheerleader. You can DM me on Instagram @WTfab, or you can shoot me an email. It’s Elise, [email protected] again, always happy to chat and give you some encouragement.
If you liked this episode, all about goal setting for the new year, do me a favor, please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review on whatever platform you like to listen through. It really helps me out and I appreciate it. And I really want to see you guys putting this workbook to use. So take a photo. I want to see, tag me in your stories. I can’t wait to reshare them. I can’t wait to slide into your DMS and just I see how your goal setting is going. So don’t be shy, literally one of the funnest parts of my job is connecting with all of you.
So let’s get after it here is to better 2021, a happy, healthy, successful new year. I can’t wait to see all that you accomplish and I will talk to you soon.
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.