Sell & tell your story through book writing and public speaking.

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Speak on stage: 4 steps to become a paid public speaker





Episode #22

Goal Setting Tips

Show Notes:

Are you struggling with creating and prioritizing your goals? This episode is for you! While I'm not a fan of strict goal setting, I think it's important to know what you're working towards! Listen in as I share my favorite goal setting tips so you can accomplish what you want in 2021!

We grow into the person that we want to be on the way to our goals, not in the planning.

Grab the Goal Setting Workbook

Tips for Goal Setting
1. Leave room for possibility. Release your grip. How can you hold it with an open palm
2. Write down your goals.
3. Speak it into existence.
4. Do something small towards it.

One Liner: We grow into the person that we want to be on the way to our goals, not in the planning. (11:04)

Try Bright Pages! Enter the code POD to get 20% off at!

Review the Transcript:

Hey everyone. Welcome to Business on the Bright Side. I am so glad that you guys are here. Today, we are going to be talking about goal setting. Now I'm typically not a fan of having super strict goals, which we'll talk about in this episode, but I also have a goal setting workbook that can help you through some of the things that we're talking about today. So head to and download that free goal setting workbook, and let's get started.

What's up everybody. It is Jess Ekstrom and welcome to Business on the Bright Side, the podcast where you can learn how to make a living and make a difference at the same time. Life is short and so is my attention span. So let's get started.

Let's start by talking about our relationship to goals. Now, if we're going to talk about goal setting, we really need to talk about outcomes because essentially that's what we feel goals are, are an intended outcome. Now, if you're anything like me, I grip outcomes, I suffocate them. I have something exactly that I want and I won't settle until I get it. And the problem with that is when we have only one desired outcome, we don't leave room for possibility. So for example, when I released Chasing the Bright Side, of course, I was like, I want to be on the New York Times Bestseller list. This is what has to happen for this book, what do I need to do? It was literally tunnel vision about selling a certain amount of copies to get on the New York Times Bestsellers list. And the book came out and it didn't happen. And I was like devastated. I was just thinking, okay, well, that's the nail in the coffin of my career as an author, if I don't make it on the New York Times Bestseller list.

And then the book came out in November, the pandemic happened in March and all of a sudden this book about optimism became this book that was now being sold, like wildfire. People wanted to see the bright side and people wanted to learn what it is that they had to do to live a more optimistic life. And so when we think about outcomes and we think about goals, instead of holding them with this clenched fist, hold them with an open palm. Because when we hold them with an open palm, we say, okay, we could land a little to the left, a little to the right, forward, backward, and it still could be a win. But if we are so tunnel vision on the one thing that we want, anything that doesn't hit, that one thing feels like a miss. We feel like we failed because it didn't fit that exact puzzle piece that we had drawn up in our heads. So whatever it is that you're chasing right now, whatever it is that you want to do, that goal that's in your mind, how can you hold it with an open palm. Release your grip on it a little bit, because then you're leaving room for possibility.

The other thing that I want you to do is I want you to write it down. Now. I said that you're leaving room for possibility, but write what those possibilities are. Because when you write down your goals, you're 42% more likely to achieve them, which is crazy when you think about those stats. And I was thinking about maybe why that is, why is it that when we write something down we're more inclined to do it. And I think it's because it makes it real. When something's in our head it can feel abstract, when something's on paper, it can feel more real. And when I think about all of the ideas that I've ever had, the things that I've wanted to do, whether it was starting Headbands of Hope or Mic Drop Workshop or writing, Chasing the Bright Side, every single one of those ideas began by just writing it down. By opening up a word document or by opening up like a notebook or a sheet of paper, and just by writing down what those ideas are. And so you can position them as goals, but they're really just ideas and potential opportunities that could happen if you start pursuing them. And you're literally just putting it into existence by putting it down on paper.

Hey, real quick. Have you ever felt like you were made for more, but you're just not sure what it is that you want to create? Or maybe you have a ton of ideas bubbling over like champagne, but you just don't even know where to begin. A blank page in front of you can feel daunting and overwhelming, so I wanted to create a guided online journal designed to give people the clarity they need to make the world just a little bit brighter. Bright Pages is a guided online journal for people who do. Here's how it works. You have your own private journal with a designated log-in and each day you get a daily prompt inside the platform but it's also emailed to you and you can just reply directly to that email with the prompt and it will save it into your journal. Technology am I right?

One of my favorite Bright Pages features are the prompt pathways. You can pick a pathway based on a goal that you have, whether it's writing a book, crafting a talk, or maybe starting a business, or even just getting out of a creative funk. Then you'll get prompts delivered to you for one week based on that specific pathway that you chose. I mean, sign me up. Business on the Bright Side listeners, get a special discount. So head to and enter the code pod to get 20% off the annual plan. That's and enter the code pod, P-O-D.

The third thing that I want you to do when you have a goal is I want you to speak it into existence, share it with someone. Some people call this manifesting. I'm not sure what I call it, but I know that when you're actually sharing it with someone it takes it another step beyond writing it down and it actually makes it even more real. So now it's not just a thought between you, it's a thought between you and someone else. And so maybe that next time that you see that person, they're like, "Hey, how is this thing going?" So I find that a lot of times people are scared to share their goals or to share their ideas. Maybe it's because they think people will steal them or maybe it's because they don't want to be held accountable if they mess up. Well, let's start with the first one.

If you're scared that someone is going to steal it, then that makes you even more inclined to make this idea better than ever, because a lot of people can steal concepts, but they can't steal the story and you, who are putting it together. I like to call it founder fingerprints. So putting your fingerprints on an idea, making it your own, share it because more good can come out of sharing it than the risk that someone can come of stealing it. So the other part about that fear of sharing our ideas and speaking them out loud is that accountability factor. What if I tell someone I'm going to do this, and then I fail at it. Well either way, one, it's going to help you because someone's going to push you in the right direction. Two, they're going to support you, even if it doesn't happen and maybe open up other doors that might do that. So I know that a lot of times when I have ideas and I share them with people, you would be amazed how many people actually have contacts or some sort of idea or network or resource that they use that could help me in my idea. But I would have never known that if I hadn't told them about it. So after you write it down, find someone to share it with.

The last thing that I want you to do. When you have a goal that you want to achieve is I want you to do something small towards it immediately like stop what you're doing and what is one small thing that you can do to break that seal? Because I find that engaging with a goal or with an idea can sometimes be overwhelming when you think about all the things that you have to do. And then when we think about all the things that we have to do, we never take that first step because we're more worried about winning the Super Bowl and we're not focused on just getting that first down. So what I want you to do is just get the first down. Make a list of all the things that are possible for you to do towards that goal that can be accomplished in 15 minutes or less. So maybe your goal is to start a business and a super small thing you can do to work towards that goal is looking up domains on GoDaddy, or maybe doing a little bit of research, or maybe calling up a friend who started a business and getting their thoughts, or maybe it's signing up for a Shopify free trial, whatever that might be. Once we do the small things, it gives us the confidence to then go the bigger things.

It's kind of like riding a bike, when you learn to ride a bike at first seems like totally impossible. And then you get on the seat and you put one pedal in front of the other and you start riding this bike and all of a sudden your dad had let go like a mile ago and you are biking down the street. Your parents are calling the police because you don't know how to stop or turn around. It's actually a true story. That's how I learned to ride a bike. And my parents had to call the cops because I didn't know how to stop, we didn't go over that. But my point is, is that sometimes we think that things are bigger than they actually are and we just need to do the small things that gives us the confidence to then go do the bigger things.

When I was starting my business, I didn't do any of the big stuff in the beginning. I just focused on what was attainable and what was accessible for me to do right now. I worked with a graphic design school to help craft my logo. I signed up for that free two week Shopify trial. I doodled some ideas and a notepad and I just started giving myself permission to engage with an idea in the smallest way possible. And then all of those small things add up. So when I look back on the success of Headbands of Hope or whatever it is, it was never one big thing I did to get towards that goal, it was a sum of all the small things. Chasing the Bright Side was written just page by page. All of a sudden, I didn't wake up and have a chapter done, it was word by word, page by page. So give yourself permission to just do the small things and start there.

Now I know that having a goal can be scary and sometimes overwhelming and we think that we have to arrive at a certain point in order to begin. We think that in order to be a speaker, we have to have a certain amount of followers, or we think that in order to be an author, we have to have a certain amount of blog posts that we've done or reached a certain level of success. But starting our goals isn't about arrival, it's just about beginning. And in fact, I'll leave you with this. We grow into the person that we want to be on the way to our goals, not in the planning.

Thanks for listening to Business on the Bright Side. I'm your host, Jess Ekstrom. For all the show notes, head to and be sure to tell me what you thought of this episode on Instagram. And if you're picking up what I'm putting down, subscribe and write a review, wherever you consume podcasts. See you next time and keep chasing the bright side.

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