Setting Goals

In this episode Melissa and JJ discuss the first steps to addressing anxiety and the unknown.

September 15, 2020
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Melissa Albers  0:00  
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride long and features your hosts JJ Parker, and Melissa Albers. JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.

JJ Parker  0:18  
Hey, Melissa, Hey, I know what my life goal is. Oh, yes. I have no idea.

Melissa Albers  0:26  
I was a trick question.

JJ Parker  0:27  
It was a trick question.

Melissa Albers  0:29  
They call that a book. In speaking they call that a hook.

JJ Parker  0:33  
Right? The audience was like, oh, Jay just got a big you know, a big announcement life goal. No idea. No idea. No idea what I'm doing. I wake up, some stuff happens. I go to bed.

Melissa Albers  0:49  
Every night and every once in a while. Do you stop and go What am I even doing with my life when

JJ Parker  0:59  
so We were talking about this article, the last, the last podcast that we that we came across in our psychology website, this great website and, and one of the, the things I had was self awareness questions related to values and life goals. Right? Hmm. And I think it's such an interesting topic to connect, what your goals are, with self awareness, tell it a lot. The thing that I see in myself and almost everyone else I meet if you ask them what their life color is, like, no one has a clue. Right? Some people will say like things like, oh, like, my life goal is to like own a Ferrari like, well, like, that's a kind of a life goal. I guess. Like, you know, I don't maybe put a lot of stock in that one because it's Not super deep. It's kind of like an object goal.

Melissa Albers  2:03  
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

JJ Parker  2:07  
But really, when we're talking about life goals, it's like, what? Like, what impacts do I want to leave? On? You know, like my little influence of the universe, right? You know, and that's really hard to think about. Yeah,

Melissa Albers  2:21  
it really is. And actually, you know what, I would broaden the topic to say, not even just like a major life goal, but like, generally speaking goals. Like, yeah, regular or not regular, but maybe smaller goals, like

Unknown Speaker  2:36  
in the next year are about the goal goals. Yeah,

Melissa Albers  2:39  
yeah, by the time I'm 50 I want to have these things accomplished or by next year, I want to do this. I think it's really hard for people to come up with what those goals should be the wild light right there. There's a judgement what those goals could be what's possible.

JJ Parker  3:00  
Goal setting generally is hard. Yeah, as we're saying, right? Mm hmm. Yeah. Even, you know, even in, you know, my business context at that company, you know, we struggled for a long time setting, even business goals, which seems like it should be fairly obvious, right? But even in professional manner, people find it really hard to set goals. Yeah. One of one of my business buddies. We both read this book and a business book. And one of the things I talked about in the business book was setting a vivid vision for your company.

Melissa Albers  3:50  
Yes, I remember. Mm hmm.

JJ Parker  3:51  
Yeah. So, so come up with a grand vision for how you want the company to be male, one year five. years and 10 years out write like really broad thinking about that where you want to go and, and put, you know, spend time thinking about it, spend time writing about it, and then create a document outlining your vivid vision.

Melissa Albers  4:17  
Right, right. Right.

JJ Parker  4:19  
And both he and I did that for our companies and actually turned, turned mine into like a small book that I gave all of the employees. I

Melissa Albers  4:31  
didn't know you did that. That's cool.

JJ Parker  4:32  
Yeah. He was on our our creative director, Amber made it look amazing.

Melissa Albers  4:42  
Of course. Of course she did.

JJ Parker  4:45  
No matter what dumb content I had, it was like beautiful.

Melissa Albers  4:51  
Well, well, actually the Oh, go ahead.

JJ Parker  4:54  
Well, I was gonna say is that this idea? So I did that. I've done that a few years. in a row now I can update it every year. And it's really funny how a lot of the stuff that I wrote about that, that I wanted to be true years from now, when I look back up the old ones actually came true.

Melissa Albers  5:17  

JJ Parker  5:18  
though, it was really powerful.

Melissa Albers  5:22  
Well, that that that whole model is what you're referring to is actually I know which one you're talking about. It's called the vivid vision came from Cameron Herod, who was the got junk CEO. He was one of the founders of the company got junk. And then he went on to create this whole model of thinking, because of the operational desire he had for the company. He created this way of thinking and it's called vivid visioning and and even if you're not a professional business person, in a position of influence or authority Are you want to create something like this in your business life, it's a super interesting philosophy. To use even in your personal life.

JJ Parker  6:02  
Yeah. So I, after we did the business vivid vision my buddy and I started talking a lot about, hey, can should can we apply this to our personal lives? Should we create a personal vivid vision? Right? Yeah. So kind of as an accountability partner is he and I said, Hey, we're gonna work on creating a personal vivid vision. Right? Oh, yeah, I don't know, if you knew that. I didn't, I was gonna do that. Well, obviously, if I had done it, you probably I would have shared it with you. I kind of sat down and sat down to do that. And it's really hard. Personally, it was way easier to do it for the company than it was to do it for myself.

Melissa Albers  6:53  
That and and, and I don't want to get too far down the path of this particular model. But but the but the basic premises is that you scope out a period of time, one year, two years, three years from now. And you create in your mind what's actually occurred. And you write about it as though it has already happened. And you are looking back. So, yeah, it is an interesting thing. But there's a lot of pressure to do that. Right. Like, it's like trying to do it personally would be really challenging. Interesting, though, but challenging, but again, just brings us back to how hard it is to figure out what is it that we really want?

JJ Parker  7:30  
Yeah. And then, kind of riffing on that. When I think about self awareness, I think a lot of you know, even you know, for me, a lot of people that I talked to, they are kind of generally unsatisfied with where they are in life. Yeah, a lot of times, you know, like, yeah, like, they're just so it's like an unsettled feeling. It feels like you're in drif It feels like you don't you know, like you're going through the most Every day, but like is this it? Right? Right. And, and you've got that feeling right. So let's talk about self awareness. Like there's this feeling maybe of restlessness or being adrift. But, and that kind of affects you and your mood and your thinking kind of makes you unhappy. Right. But without knowing where you're going, Yeah. Can you be upset about being adrift? Right, right. I think it's a funny paradox.

Melissa Albers  8:34  
Yeah, it is. It is. And yet, it Funt? Yes, on a good day. It's funny. And on a bad day, it's the most frustrating thing in the whole universe. But I think to like the self awareness piece of this is super interesting to me because I was just reflecting as you were talking about, about setting goals and you know, like, at first you started with like, a really big goal, like What is my life goal? And my instant reaction was like, Oh, that's, that's too much. Like that's too big, I'd be scared to even enter into that thinking for myself. But what I then noticed immediately following that is the level of judgment that we place on ourselves. Like, if we don't have goals, and we feel this general, dis ease, like, we should, like, I should be further along than I am right now. I'm like, well, what's the goal? Well, I don't know. But I'm judging myself really harshly because I don't have a goal. I don't know where I'm going. I should be better than this. I'm not stupid, I should be able to figure myself out. So we placed a lot of judgment on ourselves when we don't have a goal. And, and then I, I also noticed how interesting, like, after we set a goal, there's all such sorts of judgment there. How many people do you know that say, Well, I was really wanting to do this, and I did it. And now what's the next thing? Like, there's no moment of celebration. It's like people judge themselves for being done with the goal, or they judge themselves that, Oh, well, I got that goal. Maybe I didn't set the bar high enough. You know, maybe I did something wrong. That happens so often the self judgment piece,

JJ Parker  10:21  
it's, it is pretty interesting. And then, so if you think about, Okay, so we've got, you know, we've got this idea that we think we should have goals, but we don't have them. So, so we're kind of upset about that. Yeah. Except that maybe we should be somewhere else in our life, but we're not but we can't really articulate what that is. Yeah. So so that, you know, if we have goals, if we do have goals, and we're not achieving them, we're upset about that. What if we just had no goals and what Okay with where we were right now and never thought about it at all what would happen that

Melissa Albers  11:06  
well that's a that's an interesting that is an interesting question that you're posing because my immediate emotional responses well that can't work that's not that's not right

JJ Parker  11:19  
yeah my my mom never certainly never advocated for like you should have no goals in life and just

Melissa Albers  11:26  
play video games were black concert t shirts and drink a lot of Mountain Dew

JJ Parker  11:33  
the way to a successful life has to have no goals.

Melissa Albers  11:41  
Perfect what could go wrong?

JJ Parker  11:43  
I like this. I think this is the whole new direction where

Melissa Albers  11:47  
I'm suddenly feeling so much more chill.

JJ Parker  11:52  
Yeah, I tend to to achieve nothing.

Melissa Albers  11:55  
And then look at that nothing but success.

JJ Parker  12:01  
Well, that is interesting, though, right? We put all this pressure to achieve things, although, and it does, but it ends up causing stress. And then sometimes, like you're saying, when we do achieve and we don't even give ourselves the time to, you know, celebrate them. Yeah, he's moved in the next one.

Melissa Albers  12:22  
Yeah. You know, I have been kind of rolling around actually, with this topic on and off for the last few years. Because, as you know, I'm very, very active in the personal development community. And I'm part of some bigger thought leaders that are in this community. And it's, you know, like, you can't walk across the street with any of this community without having 150 goals, tossed at your feet with sort of a bait like, well, what's it gonna be like, You're nothing unless you have 100 million goals and and so there are certain certain factions of the of the population that are all about, do this and keep going and never quit. And you need to have goals and

JJ Parker  13:08  
it's just like high achiever mentality, right? Yeah, yeah, we set goals and we crush them and we

Melissa Albers  13:13  
crush them, right? We crush them. Yeah, exactly. And what's I think really interesting is like both of both you and I are, I would say successful in our own lives. Mm hmm. You know, we're We consider ourselves successful, both professionally and personally. And there is something in the middle, though, about how we're thinking about goals. And what I've been realizing on and off throughout the last, while certainly within the last two years is there's something in the process of setting the goals that is equally satisfying to hitting them. Because being, like, for example, again, going back to the personal development sphere, like if you follow john Maxwell, Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor any of these big huge thought leaders in personal development? They're all about, you know, set the goal set the bar high, you know, you want to make a million dollars you're gonna do it this year, just go set your goal. And my awareness inside of me says that much of that is nothing more than rhetoric. Hmm yet you see so many well meaning people that so much desire to have success for themselves push away their own awareness about if a goal is truly right for them or not.

JJ Parker  14:41  
Yeah, you know, my take on that genre. Mm hmm. To me What, what that's doing more for people is is removing their self limiting beliefs. Right, right. Some people need a little bit like more cheerleading behind behind their thinking to get them to get past that self limiting belief.

Melissa Albers  15:12  
Yeah, yes, that's true. That's true, however, and no, not however. And yes, that's right. And I think it, I think it does a beautiful thing for them in that way to remove their self limiting beliefs. Like I'm all about that. And I love that. I think my point of this is that, but the awareness piece inside of us, if we can remove the self limiting beliefs, which are judgments, unrealistic expectations, you know, I always say an expectation is a resentment waiting to happen, especially when it gets to be like I need to make, you know, 100 million times more than I've ever made in one year. And if I don't do that, I'm going to judge myself so harshly that I'm not going to keep trying. Mm hmm. It's just being more more aware inside of ourselves that feeling that says, I'm validating myself, I do actually believe in myself. And whatever goal I set for myself, it feels really good. Because I know that I can do it.

JJ Parker  16:17  
Yeah. So listening to you talk in that way. You know, to me, that sounds like a phrase, a way of thinking that's coming from a very centered and calm space. Mm hmm. Right. Mm hmm. I think that's what you're talking about is yes. If we're setting goals, not from a point of anxiety or fear or pressure or judgment, right, you're setting goals from a space of calmness and centeredness and that feels a whole lot different.

Melissa Albers  16:54  
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Right. And, and, and I and I don't wonder if the reason that a lot of people have exactly the perspective that we were just discussing at the beginning, which is, you know, why don't we have goals? Like, I feel like I should have what you know, I do believe that sometimes, one of the primary reasons that people don't like to set goals is their fear of failing. And I think that a big huge reason that there is this fear of failing is again, not knowing or trusting ourselves enough to choose goals that are appropriate, actionable and attainable. who we really are who we really are not ourselves limited belief version of us, not Tony Robbins version of us all right, and I love Tony Robbins. I'm not cutting on any of those men, any of those guys, they're amazing people have helped millions of people. But I think just really truly understanding what we can accomplish and trusting and loving ourselves enough to put something out there that we can feel really proud of and it's not about external validation. It's not about other people being proud of us for hitting these goals.

JJ Parker  18:06  
So let's get real tactical, Melissa. What is the goal of this here self awareness journey and this podcast? Oh, here's a beautiful illustration for all of us all. Because so does everyone else like Melissa and I've had, you know, we've had art projects, we've had companies, we do all of various things together, you know, and when we started this art project, um, you know, we sat down and we're like, okay, what's, what's the goal? Right, and we started talking about goals. And then we started talking about metrics. We get Facebook followers, how can we get build an audience? How can you know and and how many times in the past couple of months. Have you and I have been on a call where we start talking about the goals of what we're working on here. Yes. And then and how to measure it and how to build it and and the energy just goes. June like sucked right out of it. Yes. Right. Yes. And so in, in full transparency, all you're suffering you and I talk about all the time is, hey, we're just going to make a podcast and we're just going to make these lessons. What happens with them? We don't even know like, we're just sort of trusting. Oh, my gosh, we will create something and, and maybe it helps people and and maybe something happens. As soon as we start putting expectations around this project. Yes, the energy gets completely zapped.

Melissa Albers  19:53  
Okay. And oh my gosh, this is so good that you said that, because the other thing that I was immediately reminded Have is the months and months and months before we even started this work, because I

JJ Parker  20:06  
created some amount of anxiety that we needed to get over to just start the first part and

Melissa Albers  20:11  
being so caring by saying we because it was a straight up me totally straight up me you're being very caring because for months you were like, wow, this is this roadmap thing is really like this is really cool like this self awareness journey. What what would what do you think you What do you think we What do you think you should do with it? What could we do with this? And, and I was like, nothing like I don't know, I'm scared. I can't do it. This is my work. This is my life work. I'm scared to put it out there. And so that's exactly right. And I worked with my coaches and I created with my coaches, a huge business model. And I brought it back and showed you and you're like, Oh yeah, that's that. That's really cool. But there it is, again, all of that big huge. It was so overwhelming and so huge that I was paralyzed. And so it wasn't until you and I did start and it was like baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. So you're, you are so right, full transparency.

JJ Parker  21:12  
Well, it just gets back to the idea that, you know, if you have you I'm not saying we shouldn't have a big life goal, right, of course, of course. But sometimes those really big goals are actually way too big and way too scary and way too intimidating and, and you just can't figure out how to move forward. Right? Right. And sometimes really little goals. Start you down the path and, and, and making a bunch of really little goals

Melissa Albers  21:44  
write little goals, meaning maybe the outcome or the output of what the goal is, but also the timeframe, like a really short timeline by Friday. I'm going to do this by the end of this month. I'm going to do this and then end up I'm not going to create six more Once down, because that's too stressful, I need to trust myself. And I need to validate myself that I can do these other things and it feels really good.

JJ Parker  22:10  
Right? And you can tell so this is where the self awareness comes, comes right into it where everyone can practice this every single day. Yes, is think about a goal, then sit and feel, yes, what your body does as you think about that.

Melissa Albers  22:28  
Yes, that's exactly right.

JJ Parker  22:30  
Do you get tight? does it create anxiety for you? You know, do you tense up? What happens to your body? When you think about that goal? Or when you think about it, do you feel light and excited and there's, you know, an energy that that comes out

Melissa Albers  22:49  
and discern the difference between enthusiasm and straight up anxiety are two different things. And you'll feel the difference in your body to know which one is enthusiasm and a little nervousness because sometimes setting a goal can be a little scary, which is great. But if it's straight up anxiety, yeah, then it's probably not the right goal.

JJ Parker  23:15  
One of the very best public speaking tips I ever got was before you go on stage, everyone gets nervous, right? Everyone's got a feeling when you're, you know, whether that's a big stage or a little stage. Really think about is that feeling excitement, or anxiety? Yeah, because those two feelings are very close to each other. They are very, very close and you mix them up all the time.

Melissa Albers  23:48  
And one will get you in a corner rocking and sucking your thumb like a baby. Oh, okay, and the other one will get you skipping across the stage in a really happy way.

JJ Parker  23:56  
Right? So don't mix them up because that's a big mistake.

Melissa Albers  24:01  
I love this. This actually is my favorite podcast so far.

JJ Parker  24:06  
Yeah ours. It

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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