But First You Must Dream

"Big thinking precedes great achievement." -  Wilferd Peterson

I am your stereotypical  demanding Type A goal-oriented planner. In the words of my Father, "I don't get stressed, I set goals and accomplish them." Although I definitely get stressed, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. I like to move with purpose and intent. I keep a very active to-do list on my iPhone separated into four categories - personal, work, school, and grocery. As I think of things I need to accomplish (or purchase in the case of the grocery list) I add them to my list. It is actually ridiculous the amount of joy I get from crossing something off of my list. I've even added things to my list after I did it, just to experience the joy of crossing it off. I know I'm not the only one. The definition of a good day is when my to-do list is empty and my email inbox is clear and I've worked out, ate clean, and was on time. Productive. That my friend is bliss.

I remember when I got admitted to Yale, I sat down as a high-school senior and mapped out all of the classes that I would take over the next four years. I am pretty positive that I didn't take a single class that was on my spreadsheet, but just going through the process was oddly fun for me. To this day, I still enjoy the process of setting goals and planning out my next steps. Over the years, however, I have gotten a bit more sophisticated with my vision and goal setting process.

I have learned that the key to vision and goal setting is working backwards. You need to figure out what your life will look like 10-years from now. Assume there are no restraints - time, money, experience, etc. Assume that you could be anything and do anything you wanted to do. Now tell me,  what would your life look like? Where would you live? Who would you live with? What types of clothes are you wearing? Are you working everyday? Part-time? Do you own your own business? Are you traveling? What are you eating? What makes you happy? What brings you joy? Do you have kids? Do you have a partner? What do you want to be known for? What are you good at? What is your legacy going to be? I encourage you to take some alone time, close your eyes, and day-dream. Try to answer these questions and form a picture in your head. This picture is going to become your "Ten Year Vision." Once you have your ten-year picture formulated, then you want to determine what steps you need to take to achieve your 10 year vision. For example, if a piece of your 10-year vision is to get your doctorate degree, then you may need to register for a GRE class within 4 months, study for the GRE for the next 6 months, and be prepared to take the GRE within the next 10 months. Be as specific as possible. The more detailed, the more actionable.

When a lot of people goal set, they only thing about the professional (and maybe the personal), but rarely think about body and soul. You are a complete person, so your vision of your future self needs to reflect you in totality. I have my vision broken down into categories (clearly I like categories, look at my to-do list). My categories are Mind (professional and education, Body (health and wellness), and Soul (personal and spiritual growth).

So as I reflect to 2016, here are some of my upcoming one year goals. I still need to be more detailed, but its a start. (I will write an entire blog dedicated to my 10-year vision soon!)

Mind: Completion

  • Complete Spanish Level 1 of Rosetta Stone Program by May 2016 and become a certified yoga and barre instructor by June 2016.
  • Complete DrPH dissertation by March 2016. (This is aggressive, but I really need to knock it out)
  • Implement business plan for new venture.

Body: Increase flexibility, strength, and endurance

  • Practice yoga at least 2 times per week
  • Run and lift weights at least 2 per week
  • Attend pole fitness class at least once per week
  • Enter the Baltimore Half-marathon in October 2016 and complete the race

Soul: Focus on personal growth

  • Read at least 6 books this year that will help with my personal growth, fiction does not count.
  • Travel out of the country to Ghana to visit little brother and to Mexico for the Destination Fit Trip
  • Attend church at least once per month

Share some of your one year goals below. Together we can hold each-other accountable!