Tag: Goals

What Are Your Hopes and Fears?

What Are Your Hopes and Fears?

The professor I worked for in college would often ask me, “what are your hopes and fears?” It was something one of his college professors would often ask him.

You are to answer in the form of: I hope ______ but fear _____.

The idea is to identify a goal and why you’re afraid of it. Openly stating this hurdle helps you to better address it. You become aware of your fears and can plan ahead to overcome them. Putting your fears out there give you direction so you can make a plan of how to avoid your fear from happening.

Some Examples

  • I hope to get a new job but fear that I am asking for too much money.
  • I hope to adopt a cat but fear the responsibility.
  • I hope this person feels the same way but fear I scared them off.
  • I hope this project will end on schedule but fear communication complications.
  • I hope to full-time freelance but fear I won’t make enough money.

I Hope to do well But Fear that I won’t

Tomorrow I am running the Brooklyn Half for the third time. I’m not necessarily nervous but I do have some concerns. Thinking of these off the top of my head I can list: blisters, not stretching enough, eating too much/not enough, wearing the wrong clothes, not getting enough sleep, pacing myself.

Yet, if I were to list my hopes and fears about the race, it’d be this:
I hope to run the best to my physical ability but fear not being emotionally together enough to maintain focus.

I’m not actually afraid of blisters or not stretching. I already know how to deal with them and have a plan. When I really break it down, I’m afraid of being able to mentally focus on staying positive during the run. I know from experience that thinking negatively while running kills all my momentum. I can’t process emotions while running. If I get too upset during a run, I just give up and start walking. I can only focus my energies on physical efforts or emotional ones; but not both and definitely not at the same time. Since I’ve been feeling off and on down lately, I’m worried my brain may get the better of me tomorrow.

Now that I’ve identified my goal and fear, I can come up with a plan. I don’t need to spend time laying out my clothes and going to bed early. I mean, I will do those things. But more importantly, I will focus on relaxing and clearing my thoughts. I may try some meditative exercises. Writing down things that are stressing me out then telling myself to address them after the race. Coming up with several positive mantras that I can repeat while running. I don’t want to have to come up with them on the fly. Two that I’ve used in the past are: One mile at a time and Run your own race.

Being able to identify your fears from the beginning can help you to better plan for them. If you have a plan, then you don’t need to feel discouraged.

Use Show Don’t Tell to Stay Focused on Goals

Use Show Don’t Tell to Stay Focused on Goals

“Show Don’t Tell” writing advice from Nedroid Picture Diary

There are many conflicting viewpoints on whether you should announce your goals to the world. Research studies have proven both methods work. Really, it depends on the person and on the goal.

The advantage is that by telling someone your goal, you will be held accountable. The disadvantage, is sometimes we get so caught up in talking about our goals that we never actually accomplish them.

In general, I would rather talk about what I did than what I’m going to do.

Showing is difficult. Telling is easy.

The idea of Show Don’t Tell is a common piece of advice in writing. Here are examples of each:

Telling: “Her mother was very bossy and self-centered.

Showing: “Her mother announced that everyone was to come back to her house after dinner so she could show off her latest home renovations. The house wasn’t nearby but since everyone was together, it seemed convenient enough. Mainly it was just convenient for her.

Yes, showing takes longer. Yes, showing is harder.

It is easy to tell someone what you want to do. And just as easy not to do it. Even when there is pressure from people around you, it is still easy to ignore. Many times friends don’t want to be pests and will just leave you alone about it.

When you don’t tell the entire world about your goals, this means you are truly doing it just for yourself.

Often times we worry about not completing goals especially when we announced them to the world, for fear of disappointing friends. Or embarrassing ourselves. We sometimes finish what we started, not because we like it, not because we’re good at it, but because we feel obligated by outside pressure. We’re not happy. We’re not doing it for ourselves. And we become very resentful.

If you work on a goal in private, telling maybe only your SO or family, or even no one, then you are doing this goal for no one but yourself. When you accomplish it, then you can tell everyone. And be proud!

Showing someone what you accomplished is far more inspirational than merely talking about it.

2015 Goals: Work Hard & Be Nice to People

2015 Goals: Work Hard & Be Nice to People

Work hard and be nice to people
The foundation of my new year’s resolutions and how I generally want to live my life.

The foundation of my life values can be summed up in the quote Work Hard and be Nice to People. It’s difficult to know who the original source of this simple statement is. The picture above is actually of my cubicle at work; I want to be reminded of this daily.

I’ve written in the past about creating life goals based off of your life values. That is exactly what I have done this year, using this mantra as the foundation.

I have four life values that I want to focus on next year. Three of them involve working hard and the fourth involves being nice to people.

  • Knowledge/Skills/Continuing Education
  • Financial Stability & Independence
  • Physical/Mental Health & Fitness
  • Respect Others and Appreciate Friendships/Relationships

Within each life value, I have several goals/challenges that I am setting for myself. These aren’t new year’s resolutions as much as keeping myself on track for how I want to live my life.

Value: Knowledge/Skills/Continuing Education


  • Edit a NaNoWriMo story
  • Submit a story to a literary journal
  • Continue learning Spanish
  • Think more about chart blog
  • Think about signing up for a writing class


After writing four NaNoWriMo stories, I’d like to finally go back and edit one. I don’t know if I will ever do anything more with them. But I’ve already experienced the process of writing fiction and would like to know the experience of editing it. I’m challenging myself to complete a full re-read of my most recent story, editing it with pen, then hopefully putting those edits back into the story. It will be a lot of work but I would like to spend more time on writing this year. Which is why most of these goals are related to writing.

Typically, I only write fiction in November for NaNoWriMo so I definitely want to branch out from that. I love writing. And while I write for this site weekly, I want to write more fiction. Mainly to see if I really enjoy it, or if I just like the rushed feeling of NaNo. Also, to figure out if I am good at it. Or if it’s just something I like doing.

I’m not looking to make a career as a novelist or anything like that. But I am challenging myself next year to write a short story and make it polished enough to submit to a literary journal. That also means I need to read more literary journals. It was also suggested that I participate in some writing workshops, classes, or critique sessions. So that is something I will think about for next year as well.

Also, I started teaching myself Spanish late in 2014 and do want to keep that up. So in 2015, I’d like to focus on my writing skills and continuing to learn Spanish.

Value: Financial Stability & Independence


  • Continue paying off student loan
  • Continue using credit card responsibly
  • Have positive Net Worth
  • Earn extra income once a quarter
  • Spend money where I spend my time


There isn’t much to “check off” when it comes to my financial goals. These are mainly reminders that I stay on the right path. Although I should hit the positive mark on my net worth this year.

Recently I heard the phrase “Spend Your Money Where You Spend Your Time” and I love it. For me, this is a perfect way to spend money without feeling guilty. And to purchase things without worrying about it putting a damper on my minimalism. For example, I spend a lot of time running so I don’t need to feel guilty buying running clothes/shoes/etc. This also will help me to not go out and buy a lot of things for a new hobby until I actually start doing it.

Earning side income is something I always struggle with. I have no desire to be a freelancer or to take on any major freelance projects. I really treasure my free time. And plan to use my free time to meet some of the above goals in gaining new knowledge. I don’t need extra money but it is nice. Trying to earn extra income every month may be too much for me, so I wrote it down as quarterly. This can be anything from selling items on craigslist to cat sitting to a small writing gig. I do want to push myself a little bit in this area. Just so I can stop being so focused on penny pinching, as I get sometimes.

Value: Physical/Mental Health & Fitness


  • Leave the city once a month
  • Continue running 3 times a week
  • Run a half marathon
  • Try one new recipe a month
  • Think about creation vs consumption


Although I feel better about living in nyc now than I did in the past, I still like the breather to get out once in a while. For my mental health, it helps me feel less trapped and a reminder of what life is like outside the NY bubble.

For the past two months I have been very focused on running consistently. Instead of focusing on speed goals, I’m just focusing on consistently running three times a week. When I start focusing on speed, then I just get really discouraged because I’m progressing fast enough. So if I simply focus on just the act of running, then even a mile means success. In line with that, I do want to run a half marathon again this year. Probably the Brooklyn Half. And it may be more than one. But I at least want to do the one.

Also in the latter part of 2014, I began cooking at home a lot more. One struggle I have with that is eating the same things over and over and over because my recipe repertoire isn’t the biggest. I’d like to push myself to learn new recipes and expand my menu rotation. This is mainly to encourage me to eat at home as often as possible.

I have had many thoughts about consumption vs creation lately. This is also a benefit to my mental health to give myself a push to create more rather than merely consume, read, and lurk on the Internet. Many times this year I’ve thought about ending this blog, as I want to take it in a more personal direction, which can be pretty scary. However, this site is my largest form of creation outside of work and I really would miss that.

Respect Others and Appreciate Friendships/Relationships


  • Don’t get angry at others for behaving how I don’t want them to
  • Actively maintain friendships and show people I care about them
  • Continue celebrating friend’s birthdays
  • Spend energy being nice to people not being mad at people
  • Don’t blame others for how I choose to spend my time


Last year I decided to focus heavily on how I interact with others as I have many behavioral traits that I do not like in myself. Things such as losing patience, getting irritable quickly, blaming others for my mistakes, etc. I know my friends and family still love me despite that, but I don’t like treating people I care about like that. Or even strangers who also don’t deserve it.

These feelings became even stronger after my dad passed away last August. I want all my friends to know that I truly care about them. I want to treat everyone with respect. And show my full appreciation. I have done small things this past year including sending birthday cards to friends/family, exhibiting a lot more patience on the subway, and really focusing on not getting angry at someone just because they’re not behaving how I want them to. This has been really hard but I am making progress.

One behavior I have that I really do not like at all is when it comes to relationships. It really is something I want to work on before I enter my next serious romantic relationship. See, I will have a plan in my head to cook myself dinner and have a quiet night at home on a certain night. But then let’s say my SO is having a rough day and suggests we go out for dinner and drinks instead. I agree because it is easier than cooking dinner and I get to spend time with my SO. I go out and have a really nice time. A fun time. A good night. But then! I come home and realize I’ve spent $50 and get mad at my SO for making me go out and spend money and then they made me order three beers and now I’m kind of buzzed and will wake up with a headache in the morning. And since I didn’t cook I will have to buy lunch tomorrow so now my SO is making me spend even more money! Then I’ll take it out on them because I see it as they’re ruining my life!

Obviously no one is forcing me to do any of these things. I am choosing to spend the money, drink the beer, eat the food, then blaming someone else for my irresponsibility. And this ridiculous behavior has been the cause of so many fights. Really a waste of energy. Really not fair to anyone. And then no one feels good after.

I write all this out yet I still engage in this behavior. So, I hope to take better responsibility for my actions in the coming year and not blame others for things that are my fault. Of course my SO will still love me even during these outbursts but I shouldn’t rely on that.

As you begin to think about what you want in your life next year, take a minute to write down exactly what you value in life, then write goals for each value. This way you can ensure you are living the life you want.