How To Make Your Dreams Come True: Making Vague Goals A Reality

How Writing A Gratitude Journal Helped Me Savor My Life | Making a gratitude journal is an awesome way to appreciate the little things in life. Here's how I got started and how you can, too!

So you’ve done the work.

You’ve made your bucket list full of your wildest dreams. You’ve cut out the 3 worst habits that get in the way of reaching our goals.You’ve set your priorities and made room in your life for pursuing purpose.

And you’ve even gone through my practical guide to achieving “impossible” goals.

But now you’re staring at your computer screen, blinking at phrases like “Travel to every country in the world” and “Find true love,” and you’re not sure where to start.

All these crazy aspirations you’ve thought up, the picture of this amazing life you’ve dreamt about since forever – all of this feels elusive. There are too many invisible steps from where you are now to where you want to go.

And you’ve begun to wonder if the life you want is even in the cards. Continue reading “How To Make Your Dreams Come True: Making Vague Goals A Reality”

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I’m Owning It: My Bucket List Is Possible Because Of My Privilege

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Back and forth. My brain feels like a ping-pong ball is bouncing around inside it, trying desperately to come to some kind of rest. With every post, every bucket list goal, every scan of the news, every conversation with someone who isn’t like me, the thoughts keep rolling.

This is my coming clean post. There are some things that have been plaguing me lately about bucket list rhetoric and now is the time to address them. Continue reading “I’m Owning It: My Bucket List Is Possible Because Of My Privilege”

Why You Need To Stop Caring What Other People Think Of Your Bucket List

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All I could do was blink at the screen. My body felt lethargic, drained of any semblance of motivation. I was staring at my bucket list and I had no desire to complete the next item I was supposed to accomplish.

Ugh.

What was I thinking? I thought to myself. Back when I was making this list it seemed like this item might be a fun thing to do, but now it just seems boring. I have no desire to cross this off my list. Why did I even put it on here? 

And then a thought occurred to me. Continue reading “Why You Need To Stop Caring What Other People Think Of Your Bucket List”

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here to Help. #newyears #resolution #city #newyear #2017 #2016

Happy 2017, friends! Last year was such a ride, and I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store.

And of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have goals for the year. If you’ve been following this blog, you’re probably like, duh Amanda. Goals are like, who you are. You are made of goals. Goals basically fall out of your ears. 

Um, thanks? I’m not really sure if that was a compliment or an insult, but if I say thanks maybe that means it’s a compliment. Ahem. Continue reading “Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.”

A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]

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Jump right to the worksheet by clicking here!

As a therapist, it’s my job to help people achieve their goals. Many of the people I see come into the therapy room with visions for their lives, but they feel stuck or unable to get there. Their dreams seem impossible, so far out of reach that they’ll never be actualized.

My role is to inspire hope. When my clients are leaving our last therapy session together, one of my biggest desires is that they’ve walked away with a sense of self-efficacy, or the confidence that they have everything they need to get started on the road towards seeing their dreams become reality.  Continue reading “A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]”

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams | #goal #achieve #inspire #motivation #fear #overcoming #reach #dreams

I’ve already laced up my shoes. It’s time to go. The mile goal for the day is farther than I’ve run in years, and I’m physically prepared to conquer it. But I’m still sitting on my bed, staring at the door, wondering if I should take off my shoes and stay home.

I was experiencing Goal Achievement Paralysis, and if my conversations with friends and family members are correct, I’m not the only one who struggles with it. In the case of my decision to run a half marathon, Goal Achievement Paralysis struck because I’d failed in previous attempts to train for a race when I was injured. But it can (and does!) get in the way of many other kinds of goals as well.

You may be experiencing Goal Achievement Paralysis if you:

  • have all the external means to reach your goals (ex. money, time, and other resources)
  • feel you will never get there
  • are tempted to (or already have) stopped trying

Because I know I’m not alone in my experiences with this debilitating setback, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned about Goal Achievement Paralysis and how I’ve combated it in the past:

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Pause & Reflect On What’s Holding Us Back

Whenever I’m feeling helpless or overwhelmed in my attempts to grab ahold of goals, I always take a step back and think. Oftentimes there are underlying reasons why we are feeling stuck that we won’t recognize unless we really reflect on what’s going on internally.

I’ve found that a lot of the time, my Goal Achievement Paralysis is based in some kind of fear. It’s tempting to simplify this fear by saying we feel we “just won’t be able to do it,” but it’s important to dig a little deeper than that to get at the real, concrete root of why we are afraid of failure, such as:

  • I’m afraid to train for this half marathon because I’ve failed at it before, and I’m worried that another failure will speak to my inabilities as a human being.
  • I’m scared of traveling abroad to Paris because I have never been that far away from home, and I’m worried I won’t be able to handle separation from the familiar.
  • I am worried about reaching out to my brother to create a better relationship because I fear he will reject me.

Even these examples above could be granted greater depth. To continue to find depth, I always ask myself “why.” For example, consider this breakdown of how someone might unpack their reasons for worrying about reaching out to their brother:

“I am worried about reaching out to my brother.” Why are you worried? “Because I fear he will reject me.” Why do you fear he will reject you? “Because I have felt rejected before in other relationships I’ve had.”

We could go on and on with these “why” questions, and I think it’s good that we do. Once we identify our fears around our goals and why we have them, we can start to work at overcoming these fears and achieving our aspirations.

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams | #goal #achieve #inspire #motivation #fear #overcoming #reach #dreams

Consider The Outcomes

As soon as we’ve locked down our fears and understand where they come from, it’s time to undo them. I like to do this by asking myself three questions intended to help me get over my fears and get going:

  • Consider the worst case scenario: If I start to strive for this goal, what’s the worst thing that could happen? 
  • Consider the best case scenario: If I start to strive for this goal, what’s the best thing that could happen?
  • Consider the chances of each scenario occurring: What’s the likelihood that this scenario will happen? What about the other one?

Once we’ve established the best and worst case scenarios, we can decide whether it makes sense to move forward or not.

For example, if the worst case scenario when I train for a race is that I end up being unable to do it, there isn’t a ton of loss there. If the best case scenario is that I complete the race and accomplish one of my goals, that’s a motivation to try. Plus, the likelihood that I do finish training is high while the likelihood that I don’t is pretty low.

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Get Equipped & Get Started

Now it’s time to start striving. But it would be unrealistic to expect that fear won’t start creeping in again in the middle of working towards our goals. So I like to arm myself with some phrases or reminders I can keep on hand whenever worry strikes.

For example, I often use these phrases in the middle of running when I start to get tired and wonder whether I’ll be able to finish:

  • “What, just because you’ve never done it before means you can’t do it at all?”
  • “Do what you can. That’s all you can do.”

Other people like to have reminders on their walls or small tokens in their pockets that remind them of their ability to succeed and their decision to keep going.

After equipping ourselves with reminders of the mental attitude that will sustain us when the going gets rough, we’re ready to start. I always ask myself what I can do today or tomorrow to begin on my journey towards my goal. Then I go do it, no excuses. This helps me take that first step, and once I’ve done that, I can’t stop.

We are human beings with the capabilities, intelligence, and internal means necessary to achieve big things. We can’t let fear get in the way of living well. 

I can’t wait to hear all about what you do!

What’s kept you from achieving goals in the past? How did you overcome it, or how will you overcome it in the future?

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Winter 2016-2017 Bucket List!

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Goodness gracious, time has FLOWN. It seems like just yesterday I posted my Fall 2016 bucket list, and now I’m already gearing up for winter.

Winter doesn’t teeeeccchhhnically start until December 22, but like, let’s be real. We all know as soon as December hits, it’s winter. Get with the program, official calendars.

I’ve been thinking a ton about what I want to include on my winter bucket list. I had a few setbacks for items on my fall bucket list, so I’d like to revive those and give them another go-around. I do really want to accomplish those items I wasn’t able to complete before, but time constraints inhibited me from going at them full-throttle. I forgave myself for it though.

Items off my Fall 2016 bucket list that will be making an appearance in my Winter 2016-2017 bucket list include writing one poem every other day (#6 on the fall list, #5 on the winter list) and submitting a piece of writing to a literary journal twice a month (#7 on the fall list, #6 on the winter list).

I’m also planning to continue building off of items I was able to complete on my Fall 2016 bucket list. For example, I was able to train for a half marathon as part of my fall goals, and this winter I’d like to continue training and eventually run a half in January.

Similarly, I took a Spanish class during the fall, and I’m going to take another one this winter. Hopefully I’ll get even more fluent in the past tense, which was one of my aspirations last season.

I’m going to be pulling from my long-term bucket list, too. This will finally be the year that I spend New Years Eve in Times Square (#82). I’m really excited for that, because it’s been on my list for a reeaaaallly long time, and this is my chance!

Other things coming up off my long-term bucket list include doing one act of kindness every day for a year (#18) and protesting for something I truly care about (#17), which I feel is pretty appropriate lately considering the political climate.

As far as the length of the list goes, I know it’s a bit shorter this time. Honestly, I’m not worried about that.

At first I was like, Hey, this list is kinda short. Maybe I need to add some more stuff to it. And then I was like, No, that’s stupid. I don’t want to add more to the list just because I feel it’s too short. I only want to make goals I actually want to achieve.

So here it is! My short lil Winter 2016-2017 bucket list! Let’s do this thang.

Winter 2016-2017 Bucket List (December – February)

  1. Spend New Years Eve in Times Square
  2. Run a half marathon (without stopping!)
  3. Take a Spanish class
  4. Gain more confidence in my Spanish-speaking abilities
  5. Write a poem every other day
  6. Submit one piece of writing twice a month to literary publications
  7. Protest for something I truly care about
  8. Throw an epic party
  9. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center or Bryant Park
  10. Check out a Free Friday at the Knitting Factory
  11. Participate in the No-Pants Subway Ride…or at least go see it. 🙂

Did you cross off any bucket list items this fall? What’s on your bucket list for the winter? I’d love to hear all about it!

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Before You Put That Goal On Your Bucket List, Ask Yourself These Questions

Before You Put That Goal On Your Bucket List, Ask Yourself These Questions | #bucketlist #bucket #list #goals #questions

In general, I think being a good human being means asking a lot of questions. Interrogating ourselves and the systems around us is the first step to promoting growth, both at the individual and societal level.

And when it comes to bucket lists, I think asking ourselves questions is crucial.  Continue reading “Before You Put That Goal On Your Bucket List, Ask Yourself These Questions”

3 Easy Side Hustles You Haven’t Thought Of Yet To Earn Money For Your Next Trip

3 Easy Side Hustles You Haven't Thought Of Yet To Earn Money For Your Next Trip | My unique tips on how to make money to go abroad!A couple of my friends and I are planning a trip abroad for after graduation, so I’m all about the side hustle right now. If I want to be able to afford a plane ticket to Thailand or a fun excursion in Cambodia, I’d better have the money to do it!

So I’ve been doing all sorts of things to earn extra cash, and I’ll share them with you in case you’re fresh out of ideas for how to bring in dough for your next trip: Continue reading “3 Easy Side Hustles You Haven’t Thought Of Yet To Earn Money For Your Next Trip”

5 Strategies To Guarantee You Accomplish Your Bucket List Goals

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One of my goals was to attend graduate school, and now I’m here!

Back in the day I used to be really, really bad at accomplishing my summer bucket lists. I remember when I was in middle school I had a summer “to-do” list scribbled into my journal that included having water balloon fights, reading certain books, and finishing whatever Nancy Drew computer game had come out that year (because I was a mega-nerd, and proud of it, thankyouverymuch).

But I didn’t really finish much on my list. I remember flipping back through my journal at the end of the summer to see what I’d accomplished and feeling disappointed that I hadn’t made time for most of the things I wanted to do.

There have been other times in life when I worried that this disappointment would be a theme and I would not achieve everything I wanted to do before it was too late. I was worried I’d settle down and have kids or get a super intense job and forget all about my life goals in the swing of a  mundane daily routine.

So I’ve done some things about it. Continue reading “5 Strategies To Guarantee You Accomplish Your Bucket List Goals”