being type a: the pros + cons


i don’t do resolutions, i set goals. this time of year we are bombarded with this new challenge and that new program that will make this year the best ever. “new year, new you!” heck, we just launched a new 21-day kick start yesterday, so guilty as charged.

and we, myself included, get so hyped up on starting the year out just perfectly that sometimes the result is deer-in-headlights. and this is coming from a self-proclaimed goal-setting expert! yet, just like you, i seek advice and guidance, knowing that there are multitudes of goal-setting experts who might give me just one more tidbit of info that could turn my life around. hopeful, yes. but all of this seeking advice abound, while informational, often times this leaves me so scattered and unfocused that i don’t even know where to start! can i get a “uh, huh.”? (uttered with a sassy, southern drawl).

as i type, my kitchen table is covered with the following:

  • my 2013 goal list to reflect on how far i’ve come in the last year
  • my SMART success notebook with my notes scribbled down, which i have now ripped out of the notebook so i can re-write in legible handwriting. ya know, because if it’s not purty, it ain’t right.
  • a lovely planner for creative entrepreneurs that i was gifted last year and annoyingly never started because my type-A personality (heaven forbid!) couldn’t start a planner unless it’s on jan 1!
  • my new fitbook, which i started today because of course jan 1st fell on a wednesday, and who starts a workout program on a wednesday?

and just by jotting that short little list down, i’m now, more than ever, aware how my perfectionist, type A tendencies so often get in the way of my goals.  i mean, really. who has the time to re-write notes in a notebook? and the only reason i can share these things with you is because, well, i’ve found that my fitbookers are a lot like me. here are some of the amusing, yet relateable things i’ve heard over the years, which convince me that you are in fact the (low-sugar) jelly to my (all-natural) peanut butter:

  • do you sell white out in grey so that when i mess up on the grey areas of fitbook i can start over? (hmm…new product idea, perhaps. ha!)
  • can i get a refund if i started the fitbook and messed up? (fortunately, i feel your pain. unfortunately, we’d go out of business!)
  • can you make your pens with blue ink because i only write in blue? (note: we changed from blue to black because i don’t like it…sorry, creator’s advantage)

you get the point. there are a small, yet special group of us who have such high expectations of ourselves and the work we produce, that we fall prey to doing much worse than messing up: nothing at all. you may laugh at the points above, but you know you’ve thought some of these same thoughts!  you know who you are. you’re the person who adds something to a to do list even if it’s not on there, just so you can check it off. you, yes you, will abandon a perfectly fine fitbook mid-way through just because your handwriting got sloppy or you need a fresh start. you consider organizing a hobby. you might even tote around an iphone case that touts your type A tendencies (photo to right). and sometimes you risk doing something you’re not sure of because it might be outside your comfort zone.  you, my dear, are just like me.

being me has it’s downsides sometimes, like…

  • when things are outside my control (like my long-awaited app being 3 weeks late or damaged shipper boxes on the endcap at Target!)
  • when others don’t meet my expectations because my standards are set almost unreasonably high.
  • when i’m hard on those i love because of the aforementioned high expectations.
  • nothing is ever good enough and i’m always driving myself to do more, be more.
  • i procrastinate like a jedi master.

and yet, here’s what i’ve found. being me means always delivering my best work. it means i’m dependable and i will always deliver. yes, there are parts of me that aren’t desirable. but learning from these goal-setting masters have helped me take away these 3 key points for setting my 2014 goals.

  1. trust myself
    chalene johnson is a big proponent of self-confidence and after listening to her CARsmart series on this topic, i realized that: “ya know what? i do know what i’m talking about!” so what did i do? clicked back to my own blog post from last year on setting goals and doggone it, if it’s not pretty darn good. often times i spend more time questioning myself than making forward progress. no more!
  2. mess up
    okay, this goes against my natural tendencies, but what i did was grab a blank white sheet of paper and just started scribbling. that way, i get my thoughts out (which is the whole point) and brainstormed all my goals. then i went back and circled the top 10 for the year and made sure they were measurable (dates, numbers, etc.).  now i can go back and write them in my journal or type them up all pretty to post where i see them each day!
  3. set reminders
    the only bad part about setting yearly goals is that you only see them once a year! like my 2013 goals: they were posted on my fridge until i moved, so i haven’t seen them in like 7 months! not to my surprise, i didn’t reach some of them. so i’ve set reminders in my phone for the first sundays in march, june, and sept, and december to spend an hour revisiting and reworking my goals.

want to read more on goal setting? here are a few resources:
>> i am MORE: goal-setting for life
>> break it down, make it happen

happy new year! share your goals with me and let’s do this.
(im)perfectly yours,

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