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Episode 193: Goals That Stick with Amira Sookram

In episode 193 we talk with Amira Sookram, podcast host at Goal Setting 101, who shares about THE MOST IMPORTANT parts of being an entrepreneur: maintaining wellness while achieving goals in your business.

We cover information about how behavior, thoughts and feelings are linked, so choose one to change and the rest will follow as well as Amira’s SMARTEY method to ensure success.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with Goalsetting 101
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Bio
Amira is dedicated to teaching you how to flow through your goals to build a life of ease, instead of always hustling. She’ll provide you with insightful tips into goal setting that will help you create self-awareness and learn how to be mindful with your goals. Use what you learn here to create a productive rhythm in your life that allows you to find more time for rest & relaxation. Let’s see which ways that you can work together to make your dreams your reality.

Takeaways

  • It’s hard to set goals and achieve them if you don’t like or want what you’re working towards.
  • Learn to find ways to help you achieve your goals that may be outside the box or a different method than what is typically associated with it. It’s ok to come at it from another angle so you can achieve it!
  • Set small, achievable steps towards a goal and don’t expect to crush it right away.
  • If you make your goal achievable, you’ll not only be able to reach it but you’re more likely to surpass it.
  • Try new things to find out what you truly enjoy doing – if you’re trying to exercise, give new ways of movement a try because you might feel like it’s more fun than exercise. Find what works for you.
  • Our behaviors and our feelings and our thoughts are all linked. So if we change one, the other two are going to change as a result of that.
  • When approaching goal setting, it’s important to change the way you behave, because behaviors are the easiest thing to change in terms of your feelings and thoughts.
  • Don’t try to change more than one thing at a time. Just build up towards that one small change and get good at committing to it. Over the course of a few months or a year, you’ll be able to look back at that collective time and see changes.

Resources Mentioned:

Goal Setting 101: Taking Imperfect Action Toward Your Dream Self (E-Book)

Goal Setting 101 Workbook

Goal Setting 101 Goal Tracking Workbook

Balance Tips Tuesday Podcast with Goal Setting 101

Quote: “Goal setting is a skill that catapults. As you make one change in your life and get comfortable with the discomfort of change, then you are able to make other changes in your life with more ease. When you sustain one small change, you can make it a habit before adding in another change. Taking slow steps towards the finish line will get you there much faster than rushing, getting distracted, and giving up along the way. One day, you will be able to look back and see how each small change added up to you being so far along in closing the gap.

“Take imperfect action toward you goal; start taking those small steps.”

Keep Working On Mindset!

Listen to episode 178 with Alana Lieberman as she discusses Mindset Shifts For A More Fruitful Food Blogging Experience.

Transcript

Click for full script.

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Are you a motivated food blogger, striving to meet financial or freedom goals? If so, then the Eat Blog Talk membership is for you. Take a journey with like-minded peers that will bring you past the overwhelm and straight into the arms of clarity. You will have direct access to guest experts, delivering massive amounts of value into your business. You will have the opportunity to participate in monthly strategy calls, focusing on different aspects of food blogging. And most importantly, you will be part of a tight knit supportive and encouraging family filled with people just like you. Visit eatblogtalk.com for more information. And the rest of us cannot wait to see you inside.

Hey, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. This podcast is for you, food bloggers wanting value and clarity to help you find greater success in your business. Today I’m super excited to get some time with Amira Sookram, from the goalsetting101.com. We are going to have a conversation about achieving goals. One of my favorite topics. Amira is dedicated to teaching you how to flow through your goals, to build a life of ease instead of always hustling. She provides you with insightful tips about goal setting that will help you create self-awareness and learn how to be mindful with your goals. Use what you learn to create a productive rhythm in your life that allows you to find more time for rest and relaxation. Amira, I love that. Everything you said there, yes, yes, yes. Check, check, check. I want it all. Before we dive into that though, we all want to hear your fun fact.

Amira Sookram:

So, because we’re talking about food and goals today, I thought I’d make my fun fact about food. My fun fact is that I hate chocolate and I have always hated chocolate and it’s so weird. I’m wired to vanilla, like people like chocolate. So I’ve never eaten a chocolate bar in my life because I just don’t like it.

Megan:

Oh my goodness. You should be studied. This is crazy. What? That’s so funny, actually my VA, her name’s Melissa and she’s going to be listening to this because she listens to all of my episodes. She doesn’t like chocolate either. So you have a kindred non chocolate loving spirit there. She doesn’t like coffee and donuts and chocolate. I’m always, what? How is this possible?

Amira:

Yeah, I don’t like coffee either. That’s so funny.

Megan:

Interesting. There must be something to that. Very crazy. I love chocolate. I could eat it all day, but you can’t argue with your taste buds, right? So let’s talk about goal setting, achieving goals. This topic is right up my alley Amira. I love setting goals and I love just having a path to set out on to fulfill the goals. It’s one of the reasons, honestly, that I started the Eat Blog Talk membership because I love helping others work through that process of achieving goals as well. So I think we’ll have a really great conversation today. Would you mind starting out just by sharing how goal setting has made an impact in your life?

Amira:

Yeah, of course. So I actually found it really hard to set goals growing up and to reach them. I don’t think it came easy to me at all. I struggled a lot with mental illness and that was what hindered me on the goal setting journey is that, you know, I felt depressed and I felt anxious and that made it really hard to complete my goals. But then I had like some life changing things happen. I went to therapy and I started making changes in doing things that I actually liked to do instead of things that I felt I had to do. So I was studying computer science and I hated coding. So it just didn’t make sense for me to be working on those goals at all, because it wasn’t something that I really enjoyed. Then I made a shift to studying psychology and that was my eye-opener in how to set goals and also how to be liking what I’m doing instead of working towards a goal that didn’t really align with what I wanted or what I liked.

Then when I was in psychology, I had to take a class in health psychology, and they taught you how to set goals through making or breaking a habit. I set the habit to practice yoga three times a week. Ever since I set that goal, I actually practiced yoga, I think every day for a year after that, which was really impressive because I wasn’t being active at all. I went from not being active, to being active every day through a yoga practice. So that was kind of how it transformed my life through goal setting. Then further into food and stuff. I actually started learning more through psychology about something called avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, which is something that I actually struggled with my whole life, but was never diagnosed with because it wasn’t that known of a disorder.

So people couldn’t really see it in me. But for me, I have always struggled to eat vegetables and it’s something that if that was all I had to eat for the day, I would just not eat it. Some of the symptoms also being that you are developmentally not making your weight gains. So I was always underweight because I wasn’t eating enough and because I wasn’t getting my nutrients from vegetables that I needed. I struggled with just not being able to eat vegetables most of my life. I actually still struggle with this a bit, but in goal setting, I have learned how to approach this in a new way. So I have set goals to eat more vegetables. Instead of sitting down and eating broccoli, I’ll have veggie powders and find other ways to reach my goals instead of being on this one path that everyone says you should be on. I come at it at a unique perspective with goal setting and with eating and learning to adapt my goals and what I need to what I feel and what works for me personally. So that’s a bit about my journey and goal setting. Especially with eating, I’ve always struggled with eating well and eating in a way that works for me. So I’ve just learned how to find unique ways to reach my goals.

Megan:

You said a few really great things. So the first one that I wrote down is taking things that you feel like people are telling you to do, or that you feel like you should be doing and turning them into things that you actually want to be doing. Even if you have to look at them a little bit differently; like your struggle with the vegetables. You know you should be eating vegetables, but it’s not something that you enjoy and you haven’t enjoyed it your whole life, but you just need to put it in your hand and just look at it from different angles maybe, and figure out a way to do that. So I love that perspective. What are people telling you that you should be doing? If it’s causing great resistance, find a way to make it something that you actually want to be doing. So that was a great great first point. Rhen the other thing that I want to point out is just starting with a small thing and creating a habit out of it. It sounds like you’ve done that so well. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can be one simple thing. You mentioned yoga. So tell us how you started with that and how that has evolved. You said you’ve been doing it for how many days?

Amira:

So for the first year that I did it, I did it almost every day, which was really shocking to me because I didn’t have the habit before. So it was just crazy to actually set a goal that worked for me. It’s about taking those small steps really. So instead of saying, I have to practice yoga every single day because that’s what everyone else is doing. All I said to myself was, I intend to practice every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for at least 10 minutes. Obviously I did a lot more than that, but if I had asked myself to show up every single day, my mind would have shut down because that’s just too much to jump into. So I actually just set a smaller goal than what I thought I should be doing and just made it achievable for me.

Because it was achievable, it was really easy to go above and beyond too. That’s how I set a goal; to practice yoga every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for at least 10 minutes. Those goals have changed a lot over time. It’s been five, five and a half years now since I started practicing yoga. I got my yoga teacher training and then sustained multiple injuries from my yoga practice, which took me away from yoga. Now I’m just working in different kinds of movements to strengthen my body. Currently I’m usually dancing or roller skating about five times a week.

Megan:

So you’re just simple, active doing yoga three times a week has turned into so much more because you kept up with it and you made it a habit. It’s as simple as that. I always tell this story, but if you’ve read James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, you probably have.

Amira:

Yes I have.

Megan:

Ok, so he tells the story in his book about this man who wanted to start working out, kind of the same thing. You heard you need to be doing yoga but that’s so overwhelming. So this man said yes, I want to be working out, but I don’t want to go to the gym every day. That sounds like too much. It would force me to shut down and just not do it at all. So he started driving to the gym and literally sat in the parking lot in his car for five minutes and then would drive to work or wherever he was going.

He did that for a handful of weeks until he was used to it and it was a habit. So then he got to a point where he needed to actually walk in the gym. So he walked in and it progressed from there. Eventually he got to a point where he was working out. So forcing yourself to create something really tiny, even if it’s a minute a day to start and just get into that autopilot mode where you’re not even thinking about what you’re doing. So how do we figure out what is good for us? So you just knew that yoga was something you needed and wanted. What if someone is like me, I want to do good things. Where do I start? What would you say to them?

Amira:

I would say to try new things. So if you’re really unsure of what to do, just try a bunch of different activities and see what you really enjoy. Part of that may be actually writing down after you’re finished your activity, write down how it made you feel. Because sometimes when we’re in it, it doesn’t feel good, but then afterwards you get that rush of endorphins and it feels really good. We want to remember how we felt right after doing it, not during and not the next day, but right in that moment. How did I feel after doing that? Just try new things. On my Instagram page Goal Setting 1:1 I wrote down a list of 70 different activities that you can try just to get yourself moving and it doesn’t have to be conventional. You don’t have to lift weights or do hiit or practice yoga. You can find other things that work for you. So right now, most of my activity actually is just dancing in front of a mirror for fun. You know? You don’t have to do exactly what other people do. You just have to find what works for you.

Megan:

I like that you mentioned the unconventional because I don’t often think of that, but I was just listening to someone on a podcast recently. I cannot remember who it was, but they were saying, pretending you are joyful for something. You don’t know what, but just every once in a while, pumping your fist into the air because you just got good news or something that, doing regularly can really boost your mood. It seems so weird, right? Why would I celebrate? I don’t even know what I’m celebrating, but just things like that, wake up and smile in the mirror or something cheesy like that, but who knows what can come of that? Because things can snowball so quickly. If you’re just creating a good feeling inside of yourself, then it really can’t hurt.

Amira:

I totally agree.

Megan:

Movement is so important too. So what are your thoughts about lifting weights, doing hiit, cardio, yoga, those things aren’t necessary, but what are some other ways we can get our bodies moving without being totally conventional?

Amira:

So one of the ones that people really liked that I wrote down was Dance, Dance Revolution, the game.

Megan:

Oh yes.

Amira:

Playing games where you’re actually getting your body moving is really helpful. I think indoor gardening, you might not think of it as activity, but like if you’re sitting down in a squat position and you’re moving your arms, you’re actually getting your body moving. Another thing I like to say is you might not think of meditation as moving either, but the way that we breathe differently through meditating actually is moving energy within the body. So it’s actually a great way to get into the habit. As you said, if you don’t feel like moving, then just sit down and meditate. As you start creating that little pocket of space in your day for yourself, you might just start moving a little more.

I said dance, roller skating, rock climbing, just all different kinds of things that you wouldn’t actually think of as activities, are really good for getting your body moving. Going for a walk in the middle of the day is super healthy. You don’t even have to think of running, you could just go out for a walk with your dog and that might get you moving. So all of those little things you might not think of as activity, actually are just really super healthy for your body. It’s good to get into the mentality that anything I do to move my body is me getting active.

Megan:

Those little things add up. So if you think of a five minute walk and you think what good could that do, but think about five minute walks, times 30, and that’s a lot of minutes of you walking and being outside and moving your body. So not the one little bite that you’re taking, but collectively, what does that do for you? Then I had the thought too, posture, as you were talking about meditation and how that can actually benefit your physical body. Good posture. You could work on your posture for two minutes, because we’re all slumped over working at our desks all day. So that’s only got to benefit you, right? What do you think?

Amira:

Yeah. Oh yeah, definitely. So that’s the other thing about meditation. I love that you brought up posture because when you are sitting upright and your posture is good, you are actually using your muscles to hold yourself up. I did this a lot in yoga practice is that I would actually flex my abs throughout the day. It helps you balance and have good posture. That’s part of being active too, because it’s not just that time where you’re being active within your activity practice, but it’s also doing it outside of it too. So finding those little pockets of your day to take a stretch, you take a minute in between work periods to just stretch your shoulders. That’s getting active too.

Megan:

Don’t you feel like working on your physical body, it can carry over to your mental state?

Amira:

Definitely. So when I talk about being active, I usually like to use the words movement practice over exercise, because I think that we have this mentality around exercise, that it has to look and be a certain way. But when we come at it from movement practice, like it’s something that we’re practicing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. All we have to do is get moving and maybe it’s not your whole body that’s moving, but you’re practicing, moving your breath. Or putting your arms in the air, pumping your fist, you know?

Megan:

Totally. I love that. Do you have any thoughts about how to change the way that we are like feeling and behaving about certain things? I know this is such a huge part of why we get into slumps and why we have a hard time getting out of depressions and that sort of thing, because we start thinking in certain patterns that are really hard to break free from. So what do you think about how to pull ourselves out of that?

Amira:

I love to talk about changing the way you feel, obviously, because I struggled with depression and anxiety. So that was something that I had to learn a lot through therapy. What I learned is our behaviors and our feelings and our thoughts are all linked. So if we change one, the other two are going to change as a result of that. So what I like to say is that it’s actually almost impossible to change how you feel, because you feel the way you feel like somebody says something that upsets you, you’re going to feel upset. It’s really hard to change that feeling. But it’s also kind of hard to change the way you think. It does take a lot of practice and awareness to just to know what our thinking patterns are and to be able to actually go in and change it.

So that’s why I come at goal setting with actually setting goals to change the way you behave, because behaviors are the easiest thing to change in terms of your feelings and thoughts. Because I mean, it’s not easy to make any changes because starting anything new is actually really hard, but if we can slowly tackle that behavior aspect of it, we can slowly start to transform our thoughts and feelings as well. So when I started practicing yoga, I was definitely in negative thought patterns. I was feeling really badly about myself. I still didn’t want to get out of bed throughout the day and was just really depressed still. But I started actually moving my body every day and changing this one habit in my life. I didn’t try and change much else. I just tackled this one habit. Over the course of a year, I started to realize how much that kind of branched out into other areas of my life.

So I think a year into practicing yoga, that was the moment where I was like, you know what? I need to start looking at what I eat because that impacts the way I move. That thought would have never came to me if I didn’t spend that year changing the way that I was behaving every day. So it slowly starts to branch out. As those behaviors change, my thoughts change as well. Then I found that over the course of, let’s say three years, I started to feel more confident in my body too. So not only did I change my behaviors, but over time, my thoughts started to change about what I was doing, what I was becoming aware of in my life. Then my feelings started to change as well. So it’s really important to just make that one small behavioral change that you know is going to benefit your life.

So if you know that you meditate for five minutes, let’s say every week, once a week, you sit down and meditate for five minutes. Over the course of a year or two and building that habit, you’re going to see how it starts to shift your entire life, because you’ll just become aware and you’ll become, as you said, making an automatic habit. You’re always going to get up on Monday mornings and you’re going to meditate. Even if it’s just for five minutes. That is going to start to transform the way you feel and the way you think as well over time. So that’s really important and changing your outlook in terms of activity. I also like the way you eat as well. So even if you’re going to just start by saying, I’ll have a smoothie every Monday morning as you start to do that over the course of a few weeks, you’ll start to feel differently too.

Megan:

I totally agree with this. We’ve said this a million times already, but just starting with a bite sized chunk of something that you know is going to benefit you. The consistency part of it is really important too, because you can’t go into it with the mindset, Oh, I don’t know if I’m going to keep this up. You’ve got to stick with it. If you know it’s going to benefit you in some way physically or mentally or both, and you commit to sticking with it, you’ve got to see results. I mean, 100%.

Amira:

Yeah. I think the other side of that with consistency is that consistency doesn’t have to be every day. I know we all think that we have to do things a hundred percent every single day to be able to make this change, but it really could just be like once a week. That could make all the difference and change. So think of somebody who works a nine to five job and they want to be an entrepreneur. All they have is this one hour, every week to build they’re side hustle. Over the course of a year, they could make it really far with just being consistent with one hour a week. But if we think that we have to do it all at once and then we don’t make the change and we just sit on that and feel stuck, nothing’s going to happen.

Megan:

Or it can lead to massive overwhelm and then we give up and then we feel guilty and then we get depressed. That’s a horrible place to be. I love that you pointed that out. Consistency does not necessarily mean daily. It can, if you’re up for it and you’re feeling motivated, but it can be weekly or monthly or whatever. If you do set a daily goal and you don’t meet it, don’t beat yourself up. Right, Amira? Start over, but don’t be, I’m just throwing in the towel and done.

Amira:

Yeah. So I track my goals by the month instead of by the week so that I can see that taking a day off really isn’t that big of a deal, you know? You’ll see that you actually show up more days than you don’t or you’ll see your consistency. Every Monday I showed up to do this. So I’m going to feel proud about that instead of looking at all the days I didn’t show up. We really can be consistent.

Megan:

Yeah. Almost like building in self-care days, just to give you wiggle room for that so that you don’t feel guilty looking back. Once a week allow yourself one day off and then if you have more than that fine. But I think having that one day will give you more grace with yourself, I think.

Amira:

Totally. Like, as I said, I only work out five times a week or I move my body by five times a week and I try to take those two days off to rest.

Megan:

And we all need rest. Whether it’s physical rest or mental rest, it’s absolutely necessary to create that white space. I love this. I think food bloggers are crazy busy people. They have so much on their plates at every given moment. This is something that I preach through this podcast. It’s actually one of the reasons I started this podcast because I’ve been a food blogger for 10 years and I’ve seen it. I’ve been in burnout mode way too many times. I see other people go through it because we feel like we’ve got to do it all. So I started this podcast with the intention of providing value, resources that could actually help food bloggers move their businesses forward. Yes. But I also wanted to provide information like this that is going to really support every single thing that they do. Because if you are not healthy, mentally, physically, and functioning at your best, you are never going to be an effective food blogger, no matter what anyone says. So this, I feel, is more important than any topic, in my opinion, like SEO, everything like this is so important. Habits, goals, what you can actually do to take care of yourself and achieve them.

Amira:

Yeah. So how you are talking about changing our behavior is I always try to tackle that with a goal because we can say we want to do something all day, but the idea that you want to do something, it doesn’t mean that you’re actually going to do it. So that’s why I really like to set just SMARTEY goals, which is my method to goal setting. So I’ll go into what smarty stands for. So smarty stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, tracking, excuses and your mindset. So I want all of these things to be involved in the goal setting process. So of course, I’m sure you’ve heard of smart goals. If you are a food blogger or you look into goals, you probably know that you want to make your goal specific. If it’s not specific, I always say it’s really easy to cheat at your goals.

So if you say, I want to work out more, then that’s not very specific. Wanting something isn’t a thing that you’re going to do and more doesn’t really mean much. So if you say you want to work out more and you worked out one minute last week to reach your goal, you’d have to work out for two minutes. So we really want to be specific about what we want to achieve. So for me, I say, I will move my body five times a week. That’s a very specific goal. It could be more specific in the sense that like I could say exactly how I would move my body. I could say, I will dance five times a week. That would be a more specific goal. You also want to make it measurable. So for me saying that I’m going to do it five times a week.

That’s so important to add to your goal because just saying I will work out every week isn’t very measurable. If it’s not measurable, we can’t track it. We can’t know how consistent we’re being. We can’t know if we’re reaching our goal or not. So it’s very important to be measurable. Especially if you’re a food blogger and you say I will put out a blog post once a month. Then you want to say that once a month or once a week. You want to be specific with that so you can measure it every single week. You can know if you reached your goal or not. The other side of that is making it attainable. So if putting out a blog post every single week is just too stressful for you, it’s going to burn you out.

It’s not going to feel good. It’s not going to work with who you are as a person. It’s just going to be going against your flow. Then you don’t want to set that goal. Maybe every other week makes more sense or once a month. You really want to be brutally honest with yourself here about what is attainable for you. The other side of that is making it realistic. So if you say that, you know what? I can post a blog post every week, but then you look at your lifestyle and you’re working nine to five or you have kids, or you have to get dinner on the table every night and you just don’t have enough hours in your day to put out a blog post. Then that’s not going to be very realistic.

So you want to make sure that it’s realistic for your lifestyle as well. I always say we want to make time. As we were talking about self care, we want to have rest days. You need to be able to sleep a certain amount of hours every night. You need to nourish your body. You need to have social support too. You can’t just be working all the time or putting all of your time into other people around you either. You need your time as well. So you want to make sure that not only do your goals make sense for you, but they make sense for your lifestyle and allow you to have freedom to do the things that you need to do in your life to take care of yourself. Then the last three we’ll get to.

So you want to track the goals. So if you say that you’re going to put out a blog post once a week and you track it for a month and say, okay, I only put out one blog post this month. Then the next month you do the same thing. You want to just make your goal realistic for you and tracking it will help you see in what ways you can make it realistic or not. So if you put out a blog post once a month and that works for you, then maybe you just want to drop your goal to make that your goal so that you can feel consistent with it. Because if you keep asking yourself to reach this unrealistic goal, and you’re actually being consistent with a smaller goal, you might feel pretty bad about it, you know?

We don’t want you to feel bad because you’re going to lack motivation then. You’re just going to beat yourself up. That’s not ideal in the goal setting journey. We want you to feel you are achieving goals. Then excuses are a big one. So there’s this quote. It says a good excuse and a bad excuse produce the same results. Right? It hurts to hear because you know, we do really have good reasons not to do things, but it doesn’t make it not an excuse. It’s still going to hold you back from your goal, whether or not it’s valid. That’s what I like to say. Whether or not that thing is valid, like, yes, you have to be with your kids every night and that’s going to be important and that’s totally valid, but it’s still going to be something that may hold you back from your goals.

So when I talk about excuses, I really like for people to write down the reasons that they think they can’t achieve their goals, because those are going to tell you all the reasons that you’re going to fail at your goals. Instead of allowing those reasons to rule your goal setting journey, we actually want to acknowledge them and tackle them. So say you want to work out every night, but you’re with your kids and you keep telling yourself, I can’t work out because I have to spend time with my kids. Well, you could set a micro goal around that to tell yourself and to change the thoughts cycle around that I can work out even if my kids are there. I would like to say that because whatever we do in front of our kids, I’m not a mom, but this is something that my mom would tell me is like, whatever we do in front of our kids is something that they’re going to be modeling later in life.

They learn through observation, right? So anything that we can do to change that mindset, that we actually want to be modeling things for other people around us. It’s super important. I’ve been talking a lot recently on my Goal Setting 101 about sharing your goals and how so many people are afraid of just showing up as their full potential because of what other people will think. We have this fear that other people are going to judge us or something like that. That becomes an excuse that holds us back from reaching our goals. So just tackling that mindset. Maybe you want to post a blog every single week and you’re just stuck in imposter syndrome or you fear what other people are going to think about what you’re putting out there. Those are all excuses that end up holding us back and we need to tackle it and write it down and face it head on so that we’re aware and use cycles that work for us. That was a long tangent on excuses. But it’s, it’s just a big part of it. It’s the things that we tell ourselves that actually hold us back. Not necessarily our motivation or anything like that, we can be super motivated and those excuses can just weigh on us.

Megan:

I love that. Before you move on, I just want to comment on that quickly. Excuses. If you have those excuses, you’ve got to address them. Like you said, Amira, you cannot move forward, in my opinion, in any of your goal setting or any of your dreams or anything you want to succeed in, if you’re holding onto excuses. I so believe in that. So yes, I hear you on that. I’m glad you added that EY on the end of SMARTEY. So what is the Y again, remind me?

Amira:

Yeah. So the Y is your mindset. This is probably like the easiest part of it. It’s the question you ask yourself, do you believe you can achieve your goal this week or this month? I like to say month, because then that brings the consistency part of it. So you just have to ask yourself, do you believe you can achieve it? When I work with clients, this is something that I ask them when they set big goals, I’m ask, do you believe you can achieve it? If they say yes, then great. I know you’re going to do it. But if they say, if excuses start popping up, if they’re like, no, I can’t do it this week. I have this, this and this. Then that’s when I start to tackle it. I’m like, okay, when do you think you can achieve it by? We want you to believe in yourself wholeheartedly that you can reach your goal. Otherwise it’s probably not attainable or it’s probably not realistic for you. So that’s such an important part of it. It’s just your belief in yourself.

Megan:

I love the smart acronym, but I love that you’re adding these extra things because in my opinion, the E and the Y that you just covered are more important than anything else, because mindset is everything. I just said before, like excuses need to be addressed, or you will never achieve your goals. So I think it should be ey-smart, you should put those in the beginning, but I love that you added those.

Amira:

It’s so important to tackle your mindsets around goal setting.

Megan:

People discount that I think so often, because you get in that just heady space where you’re doing all of these other things. I’m making sure that it’s attainable and it’s specific and measurable and realistic and all of that, that you don’t think about the really important parts, which is what kind of mindset are you in? Do you really believe that you can do this? Because if the answer’s no, like you said Amira, then it’s not going to happen. But if you say, yes, I can do this. Then it is going to happen.

Amira:

Yes. Totally.

Megan:

Love this. We kind of talked about this before, I know you believe in making sure that you’re not diving into something really big and that you’re starting off really bite-sized. So is there anything more you wanted to add to that?

Amira:

I would love to bring up a quick story and it’s a story that I think we all know, but we kind of forget when it comes to goal setting, because we just want to jump in and reach our goal in one day. But the story is the tortoise and the hare, right? We all know this story. The tortoise is taking small steps towards the finish line and the hare is fast and quick, and he knows he can win. He just rushes towards the finish line. But what happens is he stops along the way and he takes a break and then he runs fast and then he stops and takes a break. But the tortoise is taking those small steps forward and he actually reaches the finish line before the hare, even though the hare can go faster because he’s not taking those breaks, he’s taking his time and he’s making it towards his end goal.

I think that that story is so potent and teaches you that small steps really get you towards the finish line so much faster than just quick bursts. So I always say the quicker you jump into something, is just as quickly as you’ll jump out. So if you say, I am going to do this whole diet change and I’m just going to jump in and completely change my lifestyle with this diet change. As soon as you jump into that, you’ll just as quickly jump out of it. So that’s why we hear this term, in eating, yo-yo dieting. We go in and then we go out and we go in and then we go out. But if we made small changes, so for me, I started with just having a smoothie five times a week. I was eating unhealthily all of my other meals. I was not eating healthy. But I just made this slow change. What happened was that changed, started another change. Then another change happened and it just like slowly branched out into a bigger lifestyle change. But had I jumped in a hundred percent into eating a different way, I would have just lost it just as quickly. So I think it’s so important to set goals that really help you make that small step forward instead of changing everything all at once.

Megan:

There’s a reason why I remind my boys all the time about the story of the tortoise and the hare, because there is such power in that story. I think there’s a reason why it’s such a common story for people to reference. No matter if we’re in business or just talking about life in general, the tortoise, the way he went about his race and his approach to it was slow, steady, one little tiny step at a time, and we all know what happened in the end. So thank you for that reminder. That’s such a good story to remember.

Amira:

The tortoise is actually really humble, right? The hare says, I can beat you. The tortoise is so humble, but I also love to mention that you can actually Google the tortoise and the hare or the rabbit versus the turtle. There’s a YouTube video that shows this in real life. They actually tested this in real life and the turtle actually beat the rabbit.

Megan:

I am totally looking at that. That’s so fun. I love that you mentioned that the tortoise is humble. That’s such a good trait to pull out of that too. He’s confident and humble and the hare’s wild and I don’t know how to describe him, maybe arrogant or something, but yeah, love that ties in so well. So you have a website called the Goal Setting 101. What do you have there to offer that helps people stay on track with their goals?

Amira:

Yeah, so I have a website and I have an ebook. The ebook is all about what I’ve been talking about. It’s a three part process. So you learn why it’s important to set goals, and then you learn how to set them with the SMARTEY method, diving deeper into each of the letters. Then the last part of that book is motivation and consistency, because that is actually the second hardest part. You know, the first hardest part is starting and the second hardest part is actually staying consistent and motivated. We talk about all of the things that we talked about on this podcast; taking breaks, having time for yourself, not going at it a hundred percent. That’s all in the ebook. So I have that. Then I have planners, 2021 planners to track your goals which I said I track my goals monthly so that I could see how consistent I am. Basically you’ll get review pages, you’ll get to go over your dream self, who you want to be in the future and start to set goals, small goals that will help you get there. Then lastly, I have my Balance Tips Tuesday podcast, which I put out weekly or bi-weekly episodes about goal setting and balancing your goals with everyday life.

Megan:

Well, that’s such great stuff. I hope that people will go check that all out. It sounds amazing. Amira, if there’s one thing from everything we’ve talked about today that you want people to walk away, just knowing, what would it be?

Amira:

Find what works for you and forget the rest. So many people believe that just because someone else is doing something, that I have to do it too, but honestly we’re all unique and you can follow your own unique journey. So success principles always say, I have to wake up at 5:00 AM to be successful. I say, wake up when you want, you know, not everyone is productive at the same time of day and you just have to find what works for you and forget the rest.

Megan:

Hm. So well said, thank you so much for being here. This was super valuable. As I mentioned during the episode, I think that this is more valuable information than honestly anything I cover on my podcast. So just really grateful for your time today Amira. Before you go, do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share with us beyond everything you’ve already shared?

Amira:

Yeah. So one of my favorite quotes is, “Observe the fluctuations of the mind, do not become them.”

Megan:

Oh, so deep. I love that. I was not expecting that.

Amira:

Yeah. I think it’s from my yoga practice. We observe what’s going on in the mind, but you don’t have to attach to it.

Megan:

Detach from the craziness. I love it. Such a great way to end. We’re going to put together a show notes page for you Amira. So if anyone wants to go peek at those, you can find the show notes at eatblogtalk.com/goalsetting101. Amira, tell everyone again where they can find you online.

Amira:

Yep. So you can find me at Goal Setting 101 on Instagram or thegoalsetting101.com and you can find all my social media there.

Megan:

Awesome. Well, it was such a pleasure, Amira. Thank you again. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Outro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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