Here's to strong women...may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them.
Nov. 11, 2022

Ditch Goal Guilt & 4 Ways to Set Goals with Grace // with Carmelita Tiu

Do you find yourself beating yourself up when you don't reach a goal...even if you have very good reasons for not attaining it? Are you saddled with "shoulds" and little perfectionist gremlin voices that make you feel like a failure whenever a goal isn't met?

In this episode, host Carmelita Tiu talks about how to cut through the negative self-talk and guilt by asking a key question -- "Am I living in alignment with my values?"

She also covers 4 alternatives to traditional "goals" -- perfect for times in your life when you need flexibility and a SMART goal feels too rigid:

  • setting intentions
  • "holding space"
  • anti-goals
  • no goals at all


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Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Welcome to know them. Be them, raise them a show to help moms stay informed and inspired so they can show up for themselves and their daughters the way they want to. I'm your host Carmelita to join me each week as I cover a variety of topics, all designed to support mindful. And growth-oriented moms of girls, especially girls in their crucial tween and teen years. And welcome to the first episode of season two. As many of, you know, I took some time off to reassess and somehow my few weeks became a three ish month hiatus. And while that length was unintentional, it was also much needed. And felt like the right thing in retrospect. And that's actually the topic I chose to kick off the season with the idea of goals, the guilt that can come when you don't achieve them, and how to redefine them when there are lots of variables in your life that affect your ability to accomplish these goals. In these instances, sticking to a bright line goal can become problematic and maybe feeds into toxic productivity culture. Especially if the only way to achieve that goal. Is at the expense of other things you value more like your family connections, your physical health or your mental health. But before I dive deeper into that. I wanted to share a few exciting updates. First, no them be them. Raise them ranked in the top 5% of podcasts, according to listen notes, which is a podcast data aggregator. Of course, the statistic is nice. But what's really meaningful is knowing that these chats, these conversations and, uh, my time that I get to spend with these amazing guests. Is being heard. I love the idea of parenting with intention. And evolving into better versions of ourselves and showing up as the type of person you are proud of, as well as the kind of person you would feel comfortable, your kids becoming someday. I sometimes like to think of it as being this person that my grandkids or great-grandkids would be proud to call their ancestor. Also I launched a new podcast Check it I finally have transcripts available, you can also easily shoot me an email. If you have topic requests or feedback. And there's even a search function. If you want to find keywords about specific topics, for instance, you can type in confidence and it'll pull up any episode with that word in it. So you can dive into the areas that you're most interested in with relative ease. You can even leave me a voicemail message by clicking on a microphone icon in the corner of the screen. And yeah, it's kind of cool it, test it out. I would love to hear what you think. And speaking of feedback, I got a couple of direct messages from listeners that talked about the show and how it impacted them. One said yesterday was all about helping my daughter navigate her first heartbreak. I felt like I had a lot of tools from listening to all your podcasts. Another said. I love your show. It makes me feel sane knowing that someone else is thinking about topics like this. Thanks to all of you who DMD or left reviews, they really do mean a lot. And one last development I want to share. During the break. I ticked off a goal that's been in my heart for, well over a decade, maybe even, maybe even two decades. I became a certified coach through Lumia and ICF accredited coaching program. And I've been enjoying what I'm learning so much that I'm continuing on to pursue my ICF ACC accreditation through their signature program. And who knows what's next after that, I've just been floored by the knowledge I've gained and the skills that I've And I'm ideating ways to build out communities and containers to support the people and values. I believe in. Which I think will include a mastermind for moms or some sort of moms group, which I think I've referenced before. More on this tecum, it's still a work in progress. But please do feel free to reach out to me to connect if you're interested. Leave me an email or sign up for my newsletter or my email list. I'd be happy to share my thoughts and answer any questions about coaching, future programming. Et cetera. So for this episode I felt compelled to touch on goal setting. As I really struggled with this over the past few months. As I mentioned earlier, I set a goal for myself a few months ago to launch season two. After a month long break. And then that month turned into two months and then three months. And a part of me as the time stretched on could not help, but see this as a failure. After all I had set this goal and it was a smart goal, which for those of you who've been in the corporate world, you know that it's an acronym for specific measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. And I didn't accomplish it. But only looking at those two data points, basically the goal I set and not accomplishing it as I had initially set out to do, leaves out a huge part of the big picture. It made me think of. When you Google maps, something in advance and it gives you a time estimate. And that's what you carry with you to inform when you're going to leave for an event or to pick up your kids. But then when you actually hit the road, You can't find your keys. You spill your coffee when you go to grab your travel mug. And then of course there's an accident creating a traffic jam and all sorts of delays. That's kind of what I feel like the last several months have been. In my case, I found out that my husband's cancer came back. Thankfully it's being managed and we are blessed to have access to the care that he needs. But it's still through both of us for an emotional loop. As we processed his return to treatments. And wrapped our heads around what this means and how, if in any way, this was going to change how we approach things. And then my kids signed up for several new activities, which of course have different locations and staggered start times. Which has any parent knows, can be maddening is so much to keep track of. My kids also struggled with various ups and downs, some more serious than others, but all of which take up energy and space. of course, this is all against the backdrop of life. Work, trying to stay physically active, stay on top of finances, have some semblance of a social life, stay connected with friends and family, volunteering, spirituality, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So, despite all that was going on. I initially found myself. Beating myself up for not meeting my podcast goal. I'm guessing lots of high achieving women out there. Might have this knee jerk reaction to this little voice that kind of wonders. Why can't I hustle harder? Why can't I seem to find the time. What did I do wrong? That made it. So I didn't, or I can't accomplish what I set out to do. And I just, I just got stuck. It took a little while to take the time to understand what was going on. And frankly, I had some great coaching sessions that helped me get to a place of understanding. I took a step back to just notice. And a few themes, stood out. First. I was giving myself the space I needed to mentally and emotionally process, a lot of stuff. And I didn't use to do that. I would push my feelings aside and distract myself with busy-ness. But eventually I discovered that didn't serve me well in the long run. And over the past several years. I've become better at giving myself space to sit with those feelings and let myself work through them. Instead of pretending they don't exist. I also was available and being present with my husband and daughters through emotionally Rocky times. If they ask me to talk. I want to be all ears. My friend, Kara introduced me to this idea of sessions where your kid can ask for a good chunk of time just to sit with you. And you say yes, and you listen. I offered this idea to my daughters, maybe two or three years And it wasn't until a couple of months ago that they really started to take me up on it. It seemed like there was a period where every other night I was lying next to one of them in bed, staring at the ceiling just before bedtime and listening to what was on their minds or in their hearts. And giving my most non-judgemental and affirming responses when they wanted it. And I didn't care if it kept me from getting less sleep or eight and tune the time that I had allocated for working on other goals. It really felt like this is what it means to be This is such a gift to have them speaking to me openly, and I wouldn't give that up for anything. Not only that. But I value my health and I strive to have a sense of wellness in my life. And I was continuing to give myself that over the past few months. I was getting a decent amount of exercise, getting enough rest. Most of the time. Because for whatever reason, if I get less than six hours of sleep at night, I don't know if it's my age or hormones or what, but my mood and attitude take a hit. I can be so impatient, grumpy. I don't want to show up like that for anyone. In looking at these themes. I realized I was living in line with my values. In deciding how to spend my time. There wasn't anything wrong with me. And instead of asking myself, what can I do differently or So I can accomplish this goal, despite the circumstances. It was really more a question of what's realistic. How can I adjust this goal and redefine success? Given the circumstances. And my need to respect my values. And acknowledge my priorities. What's funny is I'm pretty good at calling up my daughters when they have unrealistic expectations or standards. I just wasn't as good at looking at my life in the same So, if you find yourself struggling to accomplish a goal and you feel guilty or down on yourself, If you have this little gremlin voice telling you, you should be productive and making you second, guess yourself, wondering if you're procrastinating or worse, you're an imposter because you didn't hit that goal. Like you said, you would wrong. Ask yourself instead. Am I living in alignment with my values. And sure. Maybe sometimes we can power through to get to a goal, do whatever it takes to succeed. But we should always check those efforts against our values If the answer is yes, you are living in alignment with your values. Then give yourself permission to flex those goals. Not as a concession. But as a conscious choice and kind of a celebration. That you are honoring yourself and your needs. Once I gave myself permission to let go of my original goals. I began to wonder how I could reframe things. What's an approach towards Coles that has fewer forced at deadlines. Or less artificial urgency and way less guilt. So as I'm known to do, and probably a lot of you do too. I dove into a content wormhole. On the internet, of course. Just to see what I could find, and I thought I'd share with you four things, four approaches that seemed to provide flexibility and grace, which for many busy moms of busy kids. I know is paramount. So number one is to swap out goals for intention. And intention is to almost think of it as a wish or a desire to bring in the feelings you want to feel without. This win, lose framework. We've been conditioned to use the word goal when we want to make a change or accomplish something and to choose a tangible result. But sometimes maybe we don't really care about the actual outcome. What we really want to change is how we feel. So a goal. Is typically defined as this predetermined result. But an intention is more a desire to create a sustained feeling over time. So for instance, a goal could be, I want to lose 10 pounds in the next three months. But the intention could I want to feel healthy, energized, and strong. We can see how intentions can help us focus on creating kind of lasting change where goals might only focus on hustling after a temporary and fixed outcome. I personally like this feelings focused perspective. It's true. Sometimes it's not a thing or a, an accomplishment, but really that, that state of being that I'm after. And using intentions versus goals allows for this. Number two. Say you'll hold space for something, instead of calling it a goal. Holding space is typically used in the context of therapy or coaching. It's when you put your own judgments And you don't have an agenda. So it creates space for openness and possibility without any expectations. It can be like that with goals too. We can set the idea of a specific goal aside and instead be open to progress of any kind. Towards a state of being, or the kind of person you want to be and see what might show up. So for instance, you could hold space for working out this week. And it makes it so that if you work out three times, that's great. But even once we'll be good. As opposed to my goal is to work out three times this week. And if you work out once you feel like you missed the mark, I really liked this framework that allows you to celebrate any progress. Not just hitting the bull's eye, but also getting close. Number three. Is to consider anti goals, What don't you want to do? My planner actually has this baked in. There's a place in the corner where I can list five things each week that I don't want to do. And it prompts me to think about what actions do I want to avoid, like comparing myself to others or picking fights with my partner. Or impulse buys. And what states do I want to avoid? So maybe that's impatience procrastination or perfectionism. While auntie goals might seem kind of counterintuitive. They basically give us a benchmark of failure to avoid. It allows us to be really flexible with growth and progress while still remaining true to the vision of ourselves that we want. It reminds me of an interview with Greg McKeown. The author of essential ism. In an interview about goal setting. He encourages people to ask, am I making it harder than it needs Because sometimes it can be about not doing the thing you don't want to do instead of doing the thing that you think you want to do. So using this example of exercise, instead of my goal is to go to the gym three times a week. It could I don't want to feel unhealthy. Or inactive or sedentary. I don't want to go a full week without breaking a sweat. And number four is to do away with goals entirely. The author, Leo Babauta. He wrote the book Zen habits. Says that sometimes the best goal is no goal at all. I was super skeptical, but I did read further to understand. How this approach would actually work. So when you don't set a goal for the week or a month or a year, you're not obsessing over tracking or thinking about next steps. Instead. The ideas to really tune into your passion and your intuition and what feels right. So it allows you to build on your gut instincts and let that lead you towards truly fulfilling goals. And just because you don't have goals, doesn't mean you do nothing. The idea is that what you choose to do is guided not by what you write down with a little checkbox next to it, but by what your heart or your gut is telling you to do next. This obviously wouldn't work in all contexts. Like if you're saving for your kid's college or you have a goal to pay off your mortgage, but for some things in life, it could make sense. So using the example of exercise. I suppose this means trying different movements and exercises and noticing how that makes you feel and just keep doing the things that feel most rewarding. The doing of something without quantifying anything would be gratifying enough. These four approaches feel like much more compassionate frameworks. Towards quote unquote, goal setting. Then some more rigid structures that we might be used to. So to recap, When you find yourself frustrated with a lack of progress towards a personal goal that you've set for yourself. Ask am I living in alignment with my values? And then what's the cost of accomplishing this goal. And if you are living in alignment with your values and you don't. Want to compromise those values. Ask, how can you redefine success? How can you tweak this goal? Given your circumstances? And do so in a way that respects your values and priorities. And some of the alternatives We went through our setting an intention versus setting a goal. Holding space for possibility. Creating anti goals. And maybe even having no goals Life and its pressures, ebb and flow. So when you're in a place like I was when you have motivation and desire, but lack the time and predictability. Perhaps you could try one of these approaches and see if they work for you. I've been trying be setting intention and holding space approaches. And so far so good. I feel like there's been a fluidity in the chunks of my free time in my evenings and days. And while I don't necessarily have a long list of checked off boxes, I still feel accomplished. And I have way less stress and guilt. And that is a goal worth achieving. Thanks so much for joining me today. It takes action to claim something. So by listening, you've already shown you're the kind of mom who shows up for herself and her daughter. Big hugs and high fives from me. If you liked what you heard, please leave a review on apple podcasts or Spotify. Even though it may not seem like a big deal. It means the world to me. And it does help other listeners find the show. Also hits subscriber, follow in your favorite podcast app and tell your friends. And if you're on Instagram, follow at an OB, raised To find quotes from wise women reminders, tips, et cetera, and get a heads up on upcoming podcasts. And I'll be popping in live on occasion with podcast guests. So you'll have a chance to ask your own questions Also remember to head to note, be raised As I mentioned earlier, it's totally revamped. So it's easier to find show notes and transcripts. You can send me a voice message or an email message and sign up for my email list to be the first to know about upcoming projects. Those include a collective of sorts for mindful moms of girls, kind of like a mastermind for women who want to grow in powerful ways and also be intentional about how they show up for their daughters. So do connect with me if you're interested in that. Thanks again for listening and here's to strong women. May we know them? May we be them? And may we raise