Scary Goals – Incredible Year Part 3

This is a continuation of my series about working through Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year Workbook. If you haven’t seen them already here are Part 1: Affirmations and Part 2: Word of the Year.

In the goals section of the Life edition, she breaks the goals down into specific sections:

  • Financial
  • Body
  • Business/work
  • Creative
  • Spiritual
  • Family/friends
  • Personal 
  • “Goals that are so big & dreamy that I’m not even sure they are possible”

Goal-setting is scary enough to begin with for me; so scary, I often don’t even make them.

When I’m manic, I can dream up some pretty darn big goals. But when I’m depressed, I can’t take any steps to make them happen. I can’t even SEE steps to make them happen. So, then I take no steps to make my goals happen, and I chalk up yet another failure, [I’m goooood at failure. I’ve done it a LOT. It’s succeeding at something that scares me]  yet another chance to hate myself.

This means I try really, really hard to make realistic goals, if I make goals at all. Other goals, BIG goals, float around in my head, but rarely see the light of day.

And now, Leonie is asking me to actually WRITE THOSE SCARY THINGS DOWN?


That’s more than enough to make me want to run to my bed and pull the covers up over my head. Panic attack! Ok, time to remember how to breathe. . . .

Let’s put that on a shelf somewhere because nailing down other goals is hard enough.

I’m only going to talk about some of them here because some just feel a bit too personal.


If I’m dreaming, might as well just go for it, right?
Debt free
Have at least one-month buffer in YNAB
Steady income (whether it’s from my businesses or from a job – businesses preferred)
Measurable income from the businesses – affiliates, advertising, selling products
I have a number in mind for what I’d like my income to be at the end of the year.

Body (She calls it “My gorgeous goddess body goals”):

Some of these seem a little silly, but, again, putting it out there. I didn’t make my strength goals in 2012, so I’m looking at:
Squat my body weight
Bench press 75% of my body weight
a pull-up – wide-grip, overhand pull-up (between my weight being more than I can lift and a bad wrist, this has been the hardest strength goal)
Weight 140-150lbs
Actually do that hike Mon and I tried a few years back overlooking Horsetail Falls.
Walk 260 miles (that’s 5 miles/week)
Get back into my yoga practice – at least once a week
When the strength goals are met – get the tattoo C is helping me design (there’s a lot of symbolism in it, and I want to reach a particular goal before getting it/them)

Business and/or work goals

Oh, boy. I don’t know if I want to put these out there. Trying to get specific, even the small ones seem unrealistic. I’ll just say I have a certain number in mind for how many blog followers and income I receive.
sell an ebook
edit a book (which means I need goad the author into getting me some of the chapters to get started on. . . hint, hint. . .)
find a job teaching math – even if it’s part-time. In fact, a .5-.6 full-time job would probably be best, give me some time to work on the businesses
at least 52 blog posts – that’s only one per week spread out over all my blogs, that ought to be attainable.
Write up the study skills booklet for the tutoring blog.


Write a self-help/spiritual/growth guide/ebook?/class?
Teach a class at the Learning Annex (topic?)
Write (from start to finish) a new knitting pattern (if I design, I tend to design on the needles and not write anything down)
write and/or record a meditation (sell?)
Take more pictures! (When I joined the Navy, I actually wanted to be a photographer’s mate, not an electronics tech, but I’ve never really pursued an interest in that.)
Help C with the tattoo design. I can’t draw, but I have a specific image in mind, so I’ll have to work closely with her.


Let go of the fear (of a couple of different things)
Practice being loving (when depressed, this can be difficult, mostly because I isolate myself from other people).
Meditate regularly
Recognize happiness – BE HAPPY
Practice mindfulness, being in the moment

Family & friendship

The biggest one here is to spend more time with BFF. The last couple of years, I’ve hardly seen or talked to her, and I feel really guilty about that. She was the one that helped me the most with raising C when I was at my worst points. I need to be a better friend to her.
And, ok, I’ll say it, I do want to see M. We’ve talked about meeting up, but at the moment, it doesn’t look like either of us will have much cash to do it. So, need to get working on the financial goals.


Most of the other goals seem pretty personal to me. I couldn’t get a handle on this being a separate category.

And that leaves the Scary-Big goals.

Oh, boy.

I don’t think I can even put these out there. I wrote a couple of things on my pages, but they seem so crazy.

So, I go to the expert in overcoming being stuck (destuckification!) and Havi says:

Here’s the thing with thinking big. It can be terrifying. And when you’re in fear, you don’t take action. Or if you do take action, it’s not going to be the kind of thoughtful, intentional, motivated action that is going to serve you.There are a ton of “think big” people in the world, whether you’re dealing with coaching, “self-help” or the business world. Some of them are really great people– bright, charismatic, good-intentioned people . . . and some of them are pushy, sales-ey, highlighter-wielding types. I like to think of all of them collectively as the “biggifiers”.Even if we assume that they are all well-meaning, brimming over with integrity and have your own best interests nestled in their tender hearts, here’s what happens in real-time:

  • When biggifiers start shouting “think big think big think big” at you, your discomfort level rises to the point that you can’t absorb the rest of their smart, useful advice.
  • When biggifiers tell you that you “have to” do things (and you know, uncomfortable things like “stepping out of your comfort zone”), it’s completely understandable when you default into anxiety mode.
  • When biggifiers tell you how easy it is, you want to believe them … but you also know perfectly well that it isn’t. At least, not for you. And since you’re the one who has to do it, it’s not going to happen.
  • Sure you want to be able to think big, but you equally don’t want to have to do it, so you default into stuck.


I knew she’d understand!

This is exactly how I feel.

This is just TOOOOO big for now, too scary. So, how do I deal with it? She says:

The solution is what I like to call Mindful Biggification.Yes, you biggify — but you do it in a slow, measured, conscious, mindful, compassionate way.You practice acknowledging your fear when it shows up. You practice meeting yourself where you are. You practice letting “being in the process” be the “win”, and not having to nail some external goal.You work on letting go of the need for outside legitimacy. You work on noticing where you need grounding, support, shelter and stability. You work on discovering which parts of you are scared to shine and giving them loving attention. 

Ah, ok.

Mindful Biggification.

That goes with the “practice mindfulness” goal.

And I am trying to “biggify” this year.

I think I’m caught in the loop of, “I thought I was going to biggify three years ago, and what happened? I spent a little money and then didn’t follow through. Like always.”

I’m scared that if I put the scary-big goals out there where everyone can see them, then I’ll fall on my face (yet again) and having everyone know exactly how bad. . .

Yeah, I don’t want to do that right now. I’m not that confident yet.

So, I wrote them down in my book. And I’ll look at them when I review the other goals.

I watched an interview with Yanik Silver on Eventual Millionaire today. He talks about using a journal or planner to write goals down. But he writes them down and then puts it away. He doesn’t do the stuff other people talk about. For him, creating the goal and writing it is enough.

Not sure that’s enough for me, as I’ve written goals before. But for now, the big, scary ones remain private.

Creativity and "not good enough"

I have caught myself being stuck with the “not good enough” feelings lately.

I’m not a good enough writer.

I’m not a good enough teacher.

I’m not a good enough friend.

I’m nowhere near good enough to do anything creative.

I have a friend who is in a similar head-space.

Getting myself out of that space feels impossible. I try to counter it, but the position that I’m in for right now (financially, emotionally, socially) seems to confirm it.

But trying to get my friend out of that space, and suddenly I’m all optimistic. I can see the good things in life for him, but not for myself. So, I find myself listening to what I say to him.

And it’s all true for me, too.

“It’s bad/hard right now, but in a few years, it will be better.”

“Yes, you can do that, I’m certain you can. Here, let me help you.”

“People care about you.”

“You are creative, and you can totally reach your creative goals. How can I help?”

The things I’m saying to him, to inspire him, are things I need to hear.

That’s interesting, I think. How often do we do that? Give advice to someone that is just what we need to hear?

I was researching something on optimism/pessimism, and came across this fantastic piece by Ira Glass (of This American Life on NPR). Watch it. . . Listen to it. . .

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

“Everybody who does interesting, creative work went through a phase of years where they had really good taste but they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. It didn’t have this . . . special thing. . . that we want it to have. Everybody goes through that; it’s totally normal. The most important thing you can do is a lot of work.”

 For some reason, this just really resonates with me.

I’ve told myself for years that if I was really a writer, then I would write more. But it all always sounds so stupid when I read stuff back later. It never feels “good enough” to share with others.

For years there are things I’ve wanted to do, started to outline to do, and just ended up saying, “I’m not as smart as dy/dan” or “I’m not as quirky as Havi Brooks (and her duck)” or “I’m not quite as upbeat as Leonie Dawson” or “I’m not as gutsy as Naomi Dumford.”

I’m not organized enough.

I’m not brave enough.

I’m not good enough.

I bought Havi Brooks’ Monster Manual (that’s a link to the description of the manual and coloring book, but if you’d like to buy it, please buy it through here. I just checked and the price has gone up quite a bit – it is now $60 for the basic kit, but I’m pretty sure I only paid $25) a couple of years ago to try to work through this particular Monster.

my coloring and notes

Havi calls this the:  

PUHleeeeeeze,everyone else is doing the thing you want to do better than you ever could so why even bother – really why are you still even thinking about this


Obviously, since I haven’t done much with it in almost three years, just looking at it and coloring it didn’t help me much.

But maybe I can do something now.

The recommended method of dealing with it is to say, “Ok, so what? What if that’s true?” and go from there. . . I think I need to meditate on that for awhile.

What holds you back from doing what you want to do?