You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 96.
Welcome to My Freedom Grove podcast. The all inclusive podcast that teaches mindset and business tools. We'll help you rise as your authentic self. Be unshakable with your emotional freedom and unstoppable in achieving any goal and living your purpose. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. If you want to put your mental health first in life, relationships and business, you've come to the right place.
Hi, My strong friends. Hey, Merry Christmas Eve to you. I hope that you are being surrounded by all of the love and the magic of this holiday season. I know for me this year has felt so much better than the last couple of years. Not only is it a lot safer in the world with our pandemic. Things are so much safer so we can start getting out and being around people again. Oh my gosh feels so much better. But a lot of my life goals are starting to be achieved. This is so exciting.
At the end of the year, we tend to think about, did we hit our new year's resolution? Did we hit our goals? But reality is... Our goals extend beyond years. We have this false construct that we have to start January 1st and we have to hit all of our goals by December 31st. That's not exactly how it works. If you're like me, your goals are multifaceted. You don't have just one goal. You have so many goals that pertain to you, that pertain to your relationships, that pertain to your kids, that pertain to your own body, and of course to your business. It's so easy to get hung up on "Oh no, it's the end of the year. I didn't hit my goals." But really, did you not hit your goals?
That's what we're gonna talk about in this episode. We're gonna talk about celebrating everything that is working. So your goals, you may think that there's an end point that once you hit this one thing, boom, it's all done. But there's so much along the way that starts to work. That starts to shift. That deserves to be celebrated. It's not just that end point.
I mean, even if you think about someone who is running a marathon. Of course, there's going to be a celebration for the person who wins the marathon. But if you think about all of the people that were in the marathon itself, every single one of them has something to celebrate. It could be the fact that they even started their very first marathon. It could be that they've spent every single day, every week practicing for that marathon. That in itself is something to be celebrated. It could be that they were able to make it halfway through, where last year they only made it a third of the way through. That deserves to be celebrated.
So when you're thinking about your goals, I want you to think about all of the incremental improvements that you've made since you originally set your intention. That this was a goal that was important to you.
In this episode, I want to focus on three different things.
So, very first thing, do you have just one goal? Now, one of the things that I like to do is to set an intentional word of the year. So this started for me several years back, there was this little jewelry company. I don't know if that's what you'd wanna call it. If it's a jewelry company or if it's a goal company. But they came up with these little washers. It was a kit that they would sell. The washers came with string. You could make a bracelet. And it had all of the different letters and like a little hammer. You could pick your one word intention for the year and then use the hammer and these letters to put that into the metal. And then you'd wear the bracelet. And so with the bracelet, you'd always be able to look down at your one word intention for the year and try to stay focused on that goal.
Well, that was pretty interesting way of doing it. It doesn't mean that there's a measurement attached to it. Although, you know, I love measurements and we're gonna get into that. But when you decided on your goal, did you pick a word or did you pick something very tangible?
It's really interesting when you have a tangible versus an intangible goal. So tangible is usually something that you can see and other people can see. So if someone chose, I wanna lose 50 pounds, that's something that is very noticeable. If it is, I wanna buy my Dreamhouse, that's very noticeable. But what if your goal was something intangible, like believing in yourself? What does that look like? Would other people recognize when you hit that goal? I personally love that goal. It's really interesting. None of my clients actually put that as their number one goal in their clarity steps. In fact, it doesn't even show up in the measurements that much. They might have confidence in their ability, but not the actual belief in themselves.
I had two clients just in the month of December that achieved the goal of believing in themselves. And this was life changing moments for both of them. One of them had been working on this for years, years, and years and years. And when he finally hit that, oh my gosh, the tears in his eyes was so incredibly moving. But never once did he say I have the goal of, I wanna believe in myself. That is a fantastic goal to have for yourself. That's very intangible.
So what is the upside of having just one goal? For me, it was to stay very focused and everything that I'm doing, I always ask myself, is this in alignment with that goal? So my one word goal for 2021 was "integrated." I know, kind of a weird word to choose, right? Years back when I first started it, it was "fun" because I was so stressed out at work and in life I was missing the fun in life. And so I actually had "fun" as a goal. So having just one word made it really easy for me to stay focused as I was doing things all year.
This year I'd ask myself, is this helping me to get "integrated?" There was a big reason why that word was so important to me. This was for a business goal overall. So of course I have business financial goals too, but in order to hit those financial goals, I needed to get integrated. So a lot of the activities that I did, a lot of the relationships that I formed, the places that I went, the groups that I got involved with were all to get integrated. And sure enough, my business has taken off as a result of it.
Now, downside of picking just one goal. And I see this happen a lot in my industry is that people will pick a financial goal. They'll decide that they wanna make a hundred thousand in their business or maybe even more. And they're so focused on the number that when they don't hit that number, it's like their world has fallen apart and they're beating themselves up left and right. They could even get to $99,000 and they would be beating themselves up because they didn't make that exact number. This starts to be a bit of black and white thinking. Either you are completely there or you are completely not. But seriously, if you're at $99,000, aren't you pretty darn close? That deserves to be celebrated.
This also applies to relationships. So as you're there Christmas day and you have your family around you, you might have one single goal. "I just want everybody to get along" or "I just want everybody to be happy." And then in a single moment, if there's any little riff, if there's someone that doesn't have a big smile on their face, maybe they just have a resting face. Maybe they have a little smirk or something, or maybe there's a little flare up between two people. All of a sudden, you think the whole holiday is ruined. The goal was not achieved for the day. But is that really true? This is your black and white thinking.
So celebrate what's working by breaking down all of the different aspects of your goal into incremental things and celebrate everything that's working. Because what you're gonna find is that a lot of it is working. In fact, a majority of it is working.
If you're looking at your business, so many things that a year ago were not working, are working now. Things in your relationships a year ago that weren't working are now working. Now, you're seeing that progress in business.
One of the biggest challenges that I seem, especially with startup entrepreneurs is around self concept. We have this identity that's associated with our life all the way up until that moment that we decided to be a startup entrepreneur. And it's funny, none of us really label ourselves as startup entrepreneurs. We just say entrepreneur. And we think that all entrepreneurs should look a certain way and should have a certain amount of success immediately. But there really is a startup phase.
With self-concept, we're kind of stuck to our old identity of working as an employee. We might have had a really great career and we were very proud of that career. But we've chosen a different direction for ourselves. And then during those first couple of years, we're balancing who are we? Are we the person that we used to be? That role that we used to play? Or are we now this new role? Black and white thinking here can definitely get in the way. It's so hard if you think you have to feel a hundred percent in your new identity to go out and introduce yourself and say what it is that you do now. There's a big part of you that's holding on to the old identity and it takes a while to do that shift.
The great thing is, the shift does happen. I left my corporate job almost two and a half years ago now. And I have definitely felt the shift. It took a while, but I definitely got there. And I am so firmly rooted in my new identity now and everything that I do that it's not even a question on my mind. It's not will my business succeed. It's not well when I hit my goals, then I will be this new identity. No, this is my identity. This is what I've been living and breathing and doing for two and a half years.
Now, it feels so real that I started to look at some of my old branded clothing from my previous company. I don't know if any of you have swag from your old companies. That would be bags or jackets or something. At some point, it's gonna feel very foreign to you. That is not your company anymore. This is not your identity. It's like when I went to go grab one of these jackets, it just, it didn't feel right. Like that was not the skin that I was in anymore. So I'm really excited that I finally realized it's time for me to have my own jackets made with My Freedom Grove on it. Like that is how firmly planted I am in my new identity.
You are gonna get there too. It takes a while. It takes a little bit of practice, but you also have to allow it and celebrate it and practice it. Oh my gosh. How many of you are forgetting to actually go out and tell people that you have your own business? Tell them the name of your business. If your own name is the business, that's okay too. Tell them what you do. Practice it everywhere you go. Because the more that you can say it, the more real it becomes. And you start to have that shift.
So upside to having one goal is that you stay very laser focused on it and everything that you do. It helps you to question, is this (task) in alignment with my goal. Downside is black and white thinking. Either you're there, or you're not. Don't fall into that trap cuz that inner critic, oh my gosh, can be super mean. You get to celebrate all of the progress that you've made, whether your goal was tangible or intangible.
Let's talk about multiple goals. I've also had clients that start to beat themselves up, over having a goal and they're looking at it going well, wait, I didn't achieve that goal. But seriously, how many goals do you have on your plate? If you take an honest look at it, most likely you not only have goals for yourself, you have goals for different people in your family. You have goals for maybe your friends or house goals or financial goals. All of those get factored in. Cause even though you might be talking to your coach about just one thing, all of the other goals start to creep into. And so everything starts getting worked on. All of the goals are making progress. Some are faster than others because it's whatever is presenting as the most important is what your mind is gonna work on.
So even if you haven't made a lot of progress in one of the goals, step back and take a look at the other ones. You're gonna be astonished at how much progress you have made on all of those goals. And when you constrain your focus to just one goal and you really don't work on the other ones, you will make more progress on that one goal. But this is life. Life happens all at the same time. If you ignore all of the other facets of your life and you just have success in one goal, you might end up with some stuff in the other parts of your life.
Sometimes you do have to pay attention to the other goals that are going on too. A great book that I was introduced to years back was called Wellbeing - The Five Essential Elements. So five essential elements of wellbeing. This is by Tom Rath and Jim Harter. It introduces something like a life wheel. It says in your life, you have these five different things. They call 'em elements, but five different aspects of your life. If any one of these is off kilter, then your wellbeing is getting impacted. This was based on 150 different scientific research studies conducted by Gallup poll. I don't know if you're very familiar with Gallup, but it's uh, pretty popular and established and well known.
Anyway, the five elements of wellbeing are.
So if you look back over 2021, have you really had some secret goals that although you may not have spoken them, they were still on your mind? They fall somewhere in there: social, financial, community, career and physical. Most likely you did. So with this, if you start to recognize that you have these, and you start thinking about each one of those, what were some of the goals that you had in there?
You might have one that was your focus for the year. But really, the other ones were competing for your brain's attention too. So acknowledge it. What were all of those little goals that you had for yourself and how much progress did you make?
What are all of the things along the way that you can celebrate? Look at last year at this time. What was it like in those different areas? Now look at December of 2021. What does it look like now? I bet you've made progress in every single one of those. That deserves to be celebrated.
Even with my one word intention of "integrated", social was huge. I was feeling so I isolated with this pandemic, that being integrated with different business circles also brought in the social aspect. I got to go and see people in person when it came to business stuff. You know, I went to this workshop in Texas. I mentioned there was a huge social component of that to be able to be around other people and laugh and have a good time. Oh my gosh, my wellbeing shot up as a result.
Even things that you do in your business, that you think you're just doing for business purposes, can have an impact on your wellbeing. So community is one of these five elements of wellbeing. I run this men's support group every Wednesday. I've been doing this for over a year and a half now. It may not totally align with the rest of my business anymore, as things have shifted over time. But the community aspect of this, oh my gosh, I'm so in love with this part of it. I get to have the same group of guys and it expands and contracts over time. We have about 12 to 15 regular members. They don't necessarily come every week. Some people definitely come every week. But they all show up from time to time. And to have that community feel, it's almost like a family. It feels so great that I want this to go on forever. This is part of my wellbeing, as well as my business.
What are parts of your business that you've started to evolve over time? Or maybe even if your business has shifted that you've held onto because it has filled your bucket for something in these five elements? The social, the financial, the community, the career, or physical. Can you celebrate that? What are the fantastic things that you get out of it, that other people get out of it, that's helping everybody achieve their goals?
Let's look at goals that you might have for other people. So oftentimes you have family members or friends that are in your circle. Do you kinda have some goals for them, even if they haven't established goals for themselves?Okay, as a mom and as a wife, I kind of have some goals for them. I love them. I can't help it. You may have goals for the people in your life too. And when all of a sudden you see those come to fruition, you just wanna absolutely celebrate.
And I wanna share one very, very special one that happened that I never thought I would see the day. And oh my gosh, I was just filled with so much joy on this one. So as you know, I've mentioned, my daughter has autism. So part of that is not feeling comfortable around other people. In fact, I even did a podcast episode on overcoming social anxiety, where I shared about some mindset coaching that I did with her to help her just be able to stay in school. So last month, an amazing thing happened. The schools out here decided to all come together and offer a middle school dance. So it brought in seven different schools so that they could have a large number of kids be able to come to this. And my daughter actually wanted to go to it. Oh my gosh. And she went. It was one of those where you drop off your kids at 6:00 PM. And then you pick 'em up at nine o'clock at night. Which was, you know, really nerve wracking for me as a mom. Just letting her go to this for the first time, knowing the struggles that she's had. But she had such a great time. It might not have looked like the amount of interaction that other kids would have. But she interacted and she had so much fun. It was this huge victory. Oh my gosh, I was on cloud nine for at least a week over that.
So when you're inner critic speaks up about not making a goal, think about the other goals that you've had for people in your life. Think about the contribution that you made to help their goals or the goals that you've created for them. You helped them become reality. You have been a coach to other people in your life, whether you realize it or not. You've been helping them along the way. And now their life is better because of what you have contributed. So celebrate that.
If you think about it, if you start actually writing out all of these goals that your brain has focused on this year, holy cow, that's a ton of work. You thought you were just going after one. Look at everything that you've done this year. Look at everything that you've accomplished. Everything that you contributed to. Celebrate all of that. That is some amazing work.
So now let's talk about measurements. How do you measure all of the incremental progress towards all of these goals? Is this a daily routine that you've done? I know some people will beat themselves up if they don't hit every day of their daily routine. Well, again, that's black and white thinking. You can't just say I did it every single day of the year. Therefore I met my goal. I did it 300 days of the year. Therefore I didn't make my goal. Here's the thing. If you decided you were going to create a daily routine, and this is something that you hadn't done before, like last year, zero days. Doing that one thing this year, even if you did 15 days of doing that one thing, you made progress. And you should celebrate that. And then as we go into next week, cuz we're not even gonna talk year to year, cuz remember false construct of what a goal timeframe has to be. All you're trying to do is improve. So if this week you had one of those days that you met your daily routine, next week you do two. All right, celebrate it. That's progress. The more progress that you can make, it just starts adding onto itself. And eventually you're gonna have that daily routine every single day.
For some of us that have intangible goals around our feelings, we can think about how long did we go with the feeling that we were shooting for? Or how long did we go where we didn't have a (undesirable) feeling. I recorded a podcast episode that you'll get to hear in a couple weeks where I talk about "Project Me." Years back when I started my self growth journey and self healing journey, I was suffering from a lot of depression. I couldn't go longer than 10 minutes a day without feeling depressed. That was pretty awful. And now you hear me. You don't hear a whole lot of depression anymore. And this isn't something that I have to try and like rev myself up. This is just how I'm living my life every day now.
When I started "Project Me," I started with a measuring system. How long could I go without feeling depressed? I was just trying to make that get bigger and bigger, like the number of minutes, you know? So when I started off, couldn't go longer than 10 minutes. Okay. Well what was it at that 10 minute mark that was coming up that was causing me to go back into depression? It could have been a circumstance that triggered a thought that then made me have the feeling or maybe it was something else. So I learned a bit about how sugar binds to serotonin. That's a chemical in our brain that can, if it gets pulled down, can cause some depression. So learning all of these little things along the way, I got to do experiments. And then all of a sudden, instead of 10 minutes without depression, I could go half an hour without depression. And I could celebrate that, cuz that was a gift to be able to have that for myself. And eventually it became hours without depression. It took finding the things that were causing it, doing experiments to try to resolve, it so that I could go even longer.
That's where the clarity steps come in. You're always trying to find the obstacle getting in the way of your goal. Then what are the experiments you're gonna do to resolve it? You have a measuring system so you know that you're making progress. And again, it doesn't have to be black or white thinking. If I used Black and white thinking with a goal of not feeling depressed...then I felt any little tinge of it, I'd stop progressing. I wouldn't be where I'm at now. I now live a life without depression.
When I think about podcasting, when I first had the idea that I wanted to start podcasting, it was kind of overwhelming. It's like, oh my gosh, I have no idea how to do it. I don't know what I would say. I don't know how to formulate all of my thoughts. And now here it is. It's been two years. This is episode 96. It just is putting one foot in front of the other. You're figuring out all of those little incremental things. Can you believe that? When I first started, I hated the sound of my own voice. I couldn't even stand to hear my voice on an answering machine. That was an obstacle that I had to work through. I had to figure out how to do sound editing too. Once I figured out how to do that, then I was a little bit further along in my goals. If I had started off at the beginning, thinking I need to have a podcast with a hundred thousand downloads, I wouldn't be where I'm at today. I'm not at a hundred thousand downloads today. If I let that hold me up, I would've quit a long time ago. But I'm still going every single week, creating a podcast. It's all incremental progress.
So what are things that you have for your goals? How do you break it up? What are those incremental things?
Is it a feeling? How long can you go with the desired feeling or how long you can go without the undesired feeling?
Is it a series of capabilities? Things that you want to learn how to do. Maybe when you break it all down, there's 10 different abilities that you have to have in order to complete one big task. Okay? In the very beginning, you might not know any of those. Maybe you're part way through and you know, five out of the 10. Celebrate that. You deserve it's a lot of work to get to your final destination of your final goals. If you're not celebrating along the way, if you fall back into black and white thinking, you're gonna give up.
You don't wanna give up. Your goals are too important. You are too important. The things that you have to offer the world are too important for you to give up.
So now as you look around your home, there you are on Christmas Eve. What is everything in your site that's working? When you have your loved ones near you, what is everything that's working? If you were to measure things and break that even into incremental things, what's everything that's working? It could even be a conversation. Was there a time that you couldn't even have a conversation with a person and now you can have a conversation that lasts for a couple of minutes?
One of my sons, back when he was 12, got to the point where he couldn't have a conversation. I'd ask him a question and sometimes I wouldn't even get a response. And then the few times that I did get a response, it would just be a one word response. Now, after years of all of the experiments, because I focused on that - of trying to get him to have a longer conversation with me, we can now have conversations that last for like an hour. That wasn't possible before.
My other son, we had such differences of political and religious beliefs, that it was difficult to have a conversation. Now I'm the one he calls when he has something that he really wants to talk about. Like talking about his feelings. Trying to get men to open up about their feelings can be kind of a hard thing. But I've practiced my skills of learning how to allow people to believe what they wanna believe. It's their mindset. If it's working for them and they like it, allow them to. And now all of a sudden I have this really great relationship with that son too.
So now as I look around, as Christmas is coming upon us, I'm gonna have them both here and we're gonna be having conversations. We'll be able to talk and about everything. It will be comfortable and we'll enjoy being in each other's company.
What are those small incremental improvements that you've done with the people in your life? That now when you're spending some time together during the holidays, things are working for you? There's so much that's working and I want you to celebrate that. So put on those rose colored glasses. You're allowed to celebrate everything that's working, cuz there's a ton of it out there.
Alright my friends. If you struggle with achieving your goals or if you struggle with breaking it down to incremental, measurable steps, in all aspects of your life and especially your business, you know, I'm here for you. You can reach out for a consultation with me at any time. We can discuss what the options are. You can go to my website www.myfreedomgrove.com\contact. It has an easy way for you to sign up for some time with me that fits your schedule.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Celebrate this weekend. Have fun with it. You have earned it. My friend, I will talk with you next week. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove podcast. I can't wait to work with you directly. I'll help you to be your authentic self, to have amazing relationships and to live your purpose. I invite you to check out Unshakable Men and Unshakable Women. The Unshakable programs will give you all of the tools, the coaching and the community to help you rise in life, relationships, and business. To learn more, go to my freedom grove.com/workwithme. I can't wait to see you there.
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