Ep 73: Living the Goal Cycle in Real Time

When I think about the goal cycle,  we’re looking at it in four steps. The first is to decide, second is to implement, third is to celebrate, evaluate, and fourth is to try again. I signed up for ski lessons a couple years ago and I found out I was pregnant. Because of the complications with my pregnancy, I wasn’t able to actually do the lessons and ended up cancelling them.

So, I’m bringing you on a journey today. I want you to see real time what this looks like and what it feels like when you’re reaching goals. One year postpartum and I decided to learn how to ski again and I’m bringing you along with me to show you how the four steps happen and how it feels to actually do something about your goal.

What you’ll learn in this episode:  

  • Strategies for dealing with setbacks, including planning for and learning from falls
  • Tips for setting and reaching new goals
  • The emotional rollercoaster that accompanies pushing beyond comfort zones
  • The concept of community support and its positive impact on personal growth
  • Overcoming past traumas and fears through perseverance

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Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Transcript:
 Welcome to the Mom on Purpose podcast. I’m Lara Johnson. I’m here to teach you how to get out of your funk, be in a better mood, play more with your kids, manage your home better, get your to-do list done, and live your life on purpose. With my proven method, this is possible for you, and I’ll show you how. You’re not alone anymore. We’re in this together. Hello. I’m bringing you on a journey today I’m already irritated about, but I want you to see real time what this looks like and what it feels like when you’re reaching goals. I am coming up to the mountains. I’m literally sitting in my car about to get out to go skiing for the first time. Now, I live in Utah. I live 30 minutes from ski resorts and I don’t know how to ski. Growing up, it was not something we did. We didn’t have a lot of money. We rode tubes down hills instead. That was our winter activities. As I’ve gotten older, I decided that I wanted to learn how to ski. I signed up for lessons a couple years ago and I found out I was pregnant. Because of the complications with my pregnancy, I wasn’t able to actually do the lessons I had signed up for, ended up canceling them. I had bought my ski gear and a helmet and goggles and snow pants and snow coat and all of the things, and I decided that I’d have to wait until after. While I’m a year postpartum, I am attempting to do it, and I want to walk you through how the morning has gone. Then I’ll come back and report how it went actually taking my first lesson. When I’m thinking about the goal cycle, and that’s what we’ve been talking about the last couple of weeks, we’re looking at the goal cycle in four steps. The first is to decide, second is to implement, third is to celebrate and evaluate, and fourth is to try again. The decision to actually go skiing was a big one because I’m not sure how my body’s going to handle it postpartum, but I’m wanting to try. That was my first decision. Then I’ve moved into the implement. Now when I’m thinking about implementing, I need to create a plan on how this is going to go. I knew I needed lessons. I knew I’d have to make sure I had childcare. There were some really concrete things I had to figure out and really think through how to put together. A couple of the things that I was thinking about is, one, I don’t like being cold, but I’m also very sensitive to fluctuations in my body and temperature. I had to bring extra clothes in case I need midway through the day to change so I have some extra clothes. I was worried about being hungry, so I brought some trail mix. I was concerned about where to park, which is where I’m at right now. I couldn’t find anywhere to park. I called my husband. He told me to go down the hill. I went down the hill and all of the parking down there was closed off. I had to ask some person that was there for photography, she was doing her wedding picture, she’s in a wedding dress. I’m like, “Where do you go?” She’s like, “I saw people, they were directing traffic way up there.” Then I had to drive back up to the resort and go past the resort. Now that’s where I am. There’s actually parking up here. It took a bunch of extra time that I didn’t plan on. Then there’s other things that I was thinking about that I’ve had to think through. I’m like, okay, well for distance, I wear glasses, how do I plan for that? Do I wear that under my goggles? Those are the kinds of things that I’m thinking about that I’m having to work through in my brain. I don’t really know how it’s going to go. We’re just going to try and see what happens. I wanted to get on and just share this real time because I think the biggest thing that I forget is that my brain usually goes, before a goal, it gets really excited. When I think about it, I get pretty excited. The closer I get to the goal, the more I don’t want to do it, start the goal. I don’t want to do it. Then when it’s down to the wire, there’s a couple things that my brain does every single time. It convinces me I’m going to die. I scheduled this on a Friday in case I die. I didn’t schedule it on a week where my husband’s out of town, which is next week because my brain has convinced me I’m going to die. That’s one. Then the other one is really getting overwhelmed and nervous and having to process the emotions of it. Even though I know it’s something I want, it doesn’t change the fact that my body really right now is having a physical reaction as I’m driving up and I’m seeing how steep the slopes are and I’m getting panicked about it. I’m taking a deep breath and being okay being nervous about this goal. I wanted to get on really quick and share this with you so you can really feel real time what it looks like to start reaching a goal. All right. I’ll report back as the day goes. I’ll see you. I’m back. Guess what? I didn’t die. I’ve been out for six, seven hours. I am happy to report it was a lot more fun than my brain wanted to tell me it was going to be. It’s just so funny to see how your brain can take over when you’re working towards a goal and it can make all these stories up. That’s why I wanted to catch it real time so that you guys could see real time what was happening in my brain. I mentioned just a little bit about the implementing strategy. I want to just report back, I just sat in the car for a few minutes and jotted down some of the notes I had from the day so that I knew what I wanted to do different next time when I’m thinking about preparing for the goal of coming back up again. As I was going through and I was thinking about all these things, I went back to the goal cycle in my mind. I started thinking about that where it’s like, it’s like I went so quick into what do I want to do different that I forgot to actually celebrate. Celebrate the fact that I didn’t think I could do today, I didn’t think my body would hold up, and it did. I’m so proud of myself. I’m so proud of myself that this was something that I have been thinking about for years, for years. I had gone skiing once when I was 13 years old. It was very traumatic. I’d never gone back again. Like I mentioned, we really didn’t have the money anyway, nor did I ever have a desire as I got older. I just had no interest until I did. Then I started thinking about it over and over and over. I was so proud of myself. I want to share some of the things that I learned today because there were some really good lessons. When I think about, one, I really sat and just celebrated the fact that I did a really good job. I was thinking about what were the things that went well. I’m really proud of once I got there and I wasn’t as flustered… Well, okay, so let me back up. I had talked to my husband. He was like, “Just put everything on in the car and then walk up.” I was like, “Ah, okay.” I had my duffel bag with all my extra stuff, in case I needed it, but I was leaving it all there, so I’m stuffing my pockets with everything that I needed. Not to mention the fact that when I bought all of my stuff, it was before I got pregnant and now I’m postpartum so everything was a little bit tighter. My pockets are bulging, but that’s okay. I go to put on my boots and I cannot, for the life of me, get my boots on. I’ve never put ski boots on by myself before. I had no idea how to put them on. I couldn’t get my foot in. I was flustered because I was already late, and like I had mentioned, I couldn’t find the parking. Finally, I just had to take a really deep breath, shift my mindset and think, okay, what can I do? I was like, well, I’m going to look like a dork, but I am going to be the only person walking up in snow boots. I carried my boots all the way a half a mile. It maybe wasn’t half a mile. It felt like it up the hill. I’m sweating by the time I got there carrying all my gear. I had all my layers on. Once we got out there, I walk in and one of the instructors is like, “Where are you supposed to be?” I’m like, “It’s my very first time. I couldn’t find parking. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know what to do, and I can’t get my boots on.” He just starts laughing. He was like, “We’ll take care of you. Don’t worry.” I was really just proud of the fact, that was the second thing, that I was flustered and I immediately asked somebody for some guidance. Sometimes I start to shame myself on I should have figured this out by now. I am an adult. Everybody else clearly has it figured out. I just had to back off for a minute and just say this is something I have never done before, and yeah, maybe other people have figured it out. That’s okay. I can take a second and I can be the dork wearing my regular snow boots up and not my ski boots. Then he was able to direct me into somebody that was able to teach me about my boots. One of the issues about it was I had stored my boots in the garage and you’re supposed to keep your boots warm, which made it so they were a lot stiffer and I couldn’t get my foot into them. That was part of the problem. That was something I learned to do different next time is I will keep my boots inside and not in the garage where it’s so cold. The other thing that I was really proud of was holding the boundary with the ski lift. I’ll explain what this means. When I was 13, and I did go that one time, and it was because I had cousins that were coming out of state, I think I mentioned that I hadn’t ever gone. I had gone that one time. I had cousins that came to visit us from out of state. It was just awful, but one of the most awful parts of all of it was the ski lift. I get so stressed out on the ski lift. I’m scared I’m going to drop something. I was scared as a 13-year-old that I was going to fall off. Clearly I was old enough to know how to sit on a ski lift, but it was just my brain at the time and I didn’t understand it. But getting off the ski lift was the most anxiety that I felt out of all of it because there was so much pressure. Everybody sitting behind you watching you. If something happens, they shut the whole ski lift down. Everybody on the ski lift is waiting for you. People below can see. It was just so much pressure to my 13-year-old brain. Every time that stinking ski lift would get to the end, I would panic. I would either fall down and trip everybody else or I would panic and not get off the ski lift, so I would go around. Then they would have to turn it off. I’d have to try and jump off of it, take my skis off, jump off of it. It was just horrific. It was just a really bad experience. Today I was going to conquer the ski lift. I was so proud of myself. The nice thing about taking lessons, there’s a program that you can take lessons to earn your pass essentially, or your season pass. We were all newbies in this class, none of us had skied. As we’re getting up to the ski lift, we’re all new. You have a chance, you can fit four people across. It’s tight. It’s doable, but four people fit across. I was with three of the people in my class. Then they have a single-rider line where somebody that is just going by themselves can join with somebody else just to keep the line moving. We got up there and a snowboarder was like, “Hey, can I get on this one with you?” The girl next to me was like, “Uh,” and I was like, “No, you can’t.” I was like, “I really do apologize, but you don’t want to be with us. We’re very new.” I couldn’t see his face because at that point we had missed our window to move forward. Then we were rushing. As we’re doing that, the girl next to me, the chair caught her and she fell into the chair, tangled her skis all the way under. I couldn’t get around her, and they had to stop the whole ski lift for us. She and I were laughing. I was like, “Well, that guy probably saw and was really glad that we didn’t trip him too.” But I was really proud of myself for speaking up on we really are not comfortable with four people across because it’s so much more stressful having one more person and being that tight when we get off. That was something I was so proud of myself and that I learned that you can hold that boundary. The other thing that I learned, as I was going through my evaluation, is how fascinating it is that you can learn these things in a class and you can start implementing them, but the second you start to panic, your entire brain shuts off and you do everything wrong. What was funny about it was when I was, my ski instructor was saying that even the most advanced skiers, the second they move up in a skill, in a harder trail, any of that, your brain will immediately revert back to things you know shouldn’t do because it is panicking and it’s not thinking clearly. I thought that was so fascinating how often we’ll shame ourselves when we’re like, “Oh, why am I doing this again?” Because that’s what your brain does. It was so crystal clear as I was going down. Like she said, “Whatever you do, fall to the side. Don’t lean back because if you lean back, then you’ll just keep going faster.” There was a part, of course, where I caught my ski a little bit. Immediately, I leaned back and I just keep going. I was like, oh, I got to fall to the side. Then I fell to the side and it was like I could feel my brain had totally shut off and I just laid there for a second. I took a deep breath and I waited for my brain to come back online. When it came back online, I was like, okay, I remember what to do in order to get up. I had to take one ski off, make sure I was perpendicular so I wasn’t sliding down as I was trying to get up. I mean, it all worked out fine, but it did take me a second to really spend time to make sure my brain was turned back up. The other thing that I was surprised about was how friendly everybody was. Everybody wanted you to be there. It was cool to see a community, these total strangers, there were five of us total in the class. We didn’t know each other at all, but suddenly you become friends with these total strangers. Some of them, I still don’t remember their names, but we have memories together. There was a very big community feel. We were all cheering each other on. I think about that in terms of if you’re growing a business or you are running a race or there’s a million, or you’re writing a book or you’re going back to school, sometimes we can get into the comparison mentality instead of the community mentality. Where we see somebody else doing something and we’re like, oh, I want to do that. Versus, oh wow, I bet they would teach me this thing. How did you do that? What were you thinking about? One of the turns I was able to do, and one of the guys was like, “How are you doing that?” I was like, “Oh, I’m just thinking about my foot. I was just thinking about the outside of my foot. It makes me be able to turn a little bit.” He’s like, “Oh, okay.” But then later on he was doing something else. I was like, “How are you doing that?” We were able to help each other on very, very basic things, but it was much more of a community feel. Same thing when we were on the lift with other people. They’re able to sit and give you advice and talk to you because it’s a very community feel. That’s the other thing that I really loved about today was it wasn’t about comparison. It was about community. Of course, there’s some things when I do go to, well, what do I want to do different next time? One of the things I for sure would do different is probably bring a cooler and find somewhere to stash it. It is nice that a lot of people are leaving skis around or hats around or coolers around. Even my ski instructor said, “It’s one of those weird things that you can leave thousands of dollars worth of property and nobody takes it and it’s really cool.” That’s one thing I would probably bring so I’m not spending exorbitant amounts of money at the ski lodge for a lunch that was mediocre. The other thing that I would probably do different is bring, so I’ve got small bottles that go into pockets for running, I would probably bring one of those and also a pack of gum. I was surprised at how thirsty I was because I was sweating a lot. That’s something, for sure, that I would do different. The other thing is just now that I know the good parking spots, I’ll know where to come without having to be so flustered. I asked a couple of people and got more information about the good times to come for good parking and some of those things. That was good. I was really glad. Then, of course, like I mentioned, keeping my boots warm. I would definitely do that different. The thing that I will say that I was really glad about was making sure I had layers because what I didn’t think about was how warm it was going to be. I thought about if I got too cold and I had extra clothes to put on, but it was actually very warm for Utah. When you’re out moving a lot, I ended up wearing short-sleeved T-shirt with my jacket. I didn’t even put my gloves on at all today because it was that warm when you’re moving that much. I will say I am acclimated to the weather a little bit here. 30 degrees feels warm for us. I’ll clarify that. Then I’m just going to leave you with a couple really fun things that my instructor said today. She was fantastic. Her name was Erica. It was so fun getting to know her and being able to see her style of teaching. It resonated with me so much. I was so glad that God brought her to me because it really made a difference in my experience today. But one of the things that she told us is if you’re going to turn, you have to fully commit. That really stood out to me because I think about that with our dreams and our goals. She had mentioned if you’re thinking about going, you’re eventually going to trip herself or you’re not going to make it. She’s like, “If you want to turn, you have to fully commit and go for it.” I was really appreciative of that because I think that’s also a really good life lesson. Sometimes it is scary when you think about fully committing to whatever goal you have or whatever dream you feel, but fully committing allows it to work easier and better when you finally commit and move forward on it. That was one thing that she said. The other thing that I really appreciated was she said, “I want to teach you how to fall so that you know when you fall how to get up.” It was not if, it was when. I appreciated that because I did fall and I knew what to do. I had a plan in place. I think that’s something that we’re not talking about as much when we are setting our goals, is we’re creating a plan on what to do if it works, but what do you do when you fall? What do you do when something doesn’t work and you’re super discouraged, and you’ve got to scraped knee or a scraped ego for that matter? I think it’s really important to just always have a plan in place on this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to talk to my partner about this. I’m going to call my best friend and be able to have somebody that can listen. Then I’m going to sit in my emotion and be discouraged. Then this is the plan on how I’m going to pick myself back up. I was glad that she taught us that. I thought that was a very good life lesson. The last one that I’ll leave with you that she mentioned, it was one of our last runs down on they call it the little cat, which is the bunny hill. I never graduated past the bunny hill, but I did get faster on the bunny hill. I was very proud of myself. But as we were going down the last time just getting practice on this hill, and as we’re going down, she’s like, “I want you guys to get out of your head and I want you to trust your body. Your body knows what to do.” I think how much that we think we have to think through goals. We think we have to know all the logistics and all the things, when in reality we just need to know a little bit, a little bit of skill and then we can trust our body and just go with it and have fun. As I did that, it was like it became so much more enjoyable when I got out of my head and into my body. That’s going to be one of the best lessons you can learn as you’re reaching your goals is to trust your body. Your soul, your gut, all of that knows how to move forward, but sometimes it requires you to get out of your head to hear your body more. All right, so there you have it. That is the goal cycle real time just for you. I’m sure at some point you’ll hear about more adventures. I will be doing more lessons, but I am glad that I was able to do today and that I could bring you along on the adventure. Have a wonderful week. Thank you for listening. Please share, review, and subscribe to this podcast so that together we can live life on purpose.

How to Connect with Lara:

Web: www.larajohnsoncoaching.com

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Work with Lara: www.larajohnsoncoaching.com/work-with-me/

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