Mostly, I am a cart-before-the-horse kind of woman.
Let me tell you what I mean.
I believe that change is the only thing that creates change. I also believe that you don't need proof of your capacity for change in order to start acting. I think you can just act and your proof will come.
When I was in university, I tried out for the varsity rowing team. I have always been slow. My athleticism comes from sheer grit, not natural talent. I had, until that point, always been overweight but extremely active . I was perpetually underestimated because I was overweight. For example, I was on the wrestling team in high school and I just did my thing in the corner, continually scoring third place in my region at all tournaments. Then I made it to the provincial championships one year and placed sixth. Turns out, half of the top three wrestlers in the province were my competitors every month at those regional tournaments. But I was never 'cut', I was never fancy, I was never first and I was overweight. So no one paid any attention.
Back to rowing: I had never touched an oar. I did not have a sense of what was coming: the quarter-size blisters on my hands that would make it difficult for me to type, the 5:00AM endurance workouts, the thousands of squats, the flaming feeling in my quads nor the injuries. And I had already tried - and failed - to make the waterpolo team the year before. What business did I have trying out for the rowing team?
I had no proof that I could make the team.
Regardless, I knew that the experience was part of my goals for this life. I had a feeling in my gut about it. At 5:00AM on a September morning in 2004, in a boathouse in downtown Hamilton, surrounded by the coach and three members of the men's crew, I sat on that indoor machine for the first time. I pulled. Hard. For 2000 metres. In a little over eight and a half minutes.
I took my goal and used it to create action, which is the foundation of change.
No fretting, no second-guessing and no negative self-talk.
I later succumbed to a debilitating degree of negative self-talk, but not then.
I have used this technique a bunch of times subsequently. To get into medical school after two rejections. To change careers. To change partnerships.
I used to create vision boards to physically conceptualize what I am talking about here. But there was always a disconnect there for me. The vision boards I created had pictures of women in bikinis frolicking on beaches, fancy products and aspirational sayings.
Just one problem: The women were wearing bikinis I would never wear, even if I looked like Giselle. They were standing in poses in which I have never stood. I. Don't. Frolic. The products were things I would never actually buy even if I had all of Giselle and Tom's money. The sayings were completely unrelated to my principles or my way of being in the world.
I created traditional vision boards using someone else's ideas because I was looking in the wrong place for evidence of action and, therefore, change towards my larger goals for this huge life.
I was unable to associate my identity with those boards, or see myself nestled inside the goals portrayed on the boards.
So I've fumbled along with various goal-setting techniques without success for many years. And then I built #NowBoarding.
#NowBoarding came from my growing passion for mindfulness, which is simply the awareness of body and mind in each moment, without judgement or critique.
And it comes form my journey towards radical self-respect.
For my, radical self-respect is about meeting me where I am at and letting my own real-time identity and action lead the way towards my larger goals.
#NowBoarding is about doing our best right now, with what we have, and not cowering at the mercy of would-have, could-have and should have. #NowBoarding starts with the idea that you are all you need right now. You are enough. So there is no reason not to act.
Even if the conditions for action are imperfect.
With #NowBoarding, I work from the assumption that I am already acting on my own behalf to achieve my goals and that this action is the basis of further action and of big shifts in my life. #NowBoarding is all about assembling the proof of this work in a beautiful, visual way.
In the guide, I walk through the six steps of the process in a clear fashion and provide you with a year's worth of worksheets so that you can repeat the process monthly. The monthly work is really where the benefit lies because you will watch yourself creep closer to where you want to be. This is change. This is amazing.
The most important thing is to not censor yourself.
Want what you want.
There is also a guided visualization in audio format that helps you get clear during the first step of the process.
Goal-setting used to be about far away aspirational thinking. Now, it's very concrete, clear and connected to my identity - not someone else's.
We can change.
Any way and any time we want, we can change.