33 minutes | Jan 22, 2019

How to Make Good on Your Resolutions

Episode Details Air date: January 22, 2019 Guest: Ariana Sheehan Runtime: 32 minutes, 53 seconds Summary: In the fourth episode of Season 2 and the first of 2019, Jen welcomes back Ariana Sheehan to speak about her resolution successes and misses from 2018. What made the exercise better than previous years? And what did she learn about making as a result? Links of Interest: Ariana on MediumRocketBookThe Miracle MorningWriting Helps RecallImposter Syndrome  What I Made This Month From the transcript: “And now I’d like to tell you about something I made this month. Since the winter months turn so many of us into homebodies, I’ve been spending so much more time on the living room carpet with my kids. This means making bracelets, train track villages, puzzles, and countless abstract art pieces. Sometimes the making shifts to the kitchen and my kids help me with a simple meal or a few loaves of sourdough bread. I’m proud of how creative they are and I love watching them beam after a project is completed. They challenge me to suppress my perfectionist brain and find joy in making for making’s sake.” Episode Transcript Introduction Hello, and welcome to “How to Make a Memory,” the show that explores the items we make for one another and how they impact our relationships. My name is Jen Tierney and for this episode, one of my favorite guests from Season 1 is back to give us an update on her resolutions from 2018 and what she learned along the way. Ariana reached out to me just before Christmas and we made some time during the last week of 2018 to talk about goal setting for the coming year and her previous resolution successes.  Conversation JenI was really thrilled that you reached out to me because I’ve had a couple folks from like my childhood who I’ve tried to reel in, and like they’re all excited to be on and to talk to me. And then they just flake out. And so I’m just like, oh, you’re back. This is great. Perfect. ArianaI’m back because I’m so proud of how I did with my resolutions this year. JenI’m so glad you’re I mean, that’s so nice. Because I try really hard to be proud of what I accomplished each year, even though it isn’t like all the things I wanted to do mostly because I overextend myself. So it’s nice to hear that you did well! Every year, I enter into the exercise of setting resolutions with all of the best intentions. But by February, I’ve either forgotten or given up on them. Ariana had my attention. What had been the secret to her success last year? ArianaSo it’s so funny because in preparation for this, I was talking to my friend, I actually had – I know we talked last time about I had a notebook that I wrote down my resolutions. And I truly believe this made the difference because all year – a couple of times, I went back to the page and looked at them, but I remembered what I wrote down. So I reviewed with my friend in preparation for this. And he laughed because I was like, 50/50, but he was like, Ariana, the ones that you missed, like they should be lower weighted than the ones that you hit. So this year, I think that’s what I’m going to do. I think I’m going to assign points to each resolution. And like not folding my laundry should not weigh as much as like completing graduate classes. JenYes, of course.  Ariana’s reasoning makes so much sense here. This is something I’ve known for a long time – the act of writing something down helps with our ability to recall and understand information. So no wonder this was part of her success last year. And I love the idea of weighting goals. It gives you more control and decision-making power throughout the year without leading to a feeling of defeat.  In order to better understand where and how Ariana succeeded through the past year, I asked her to recount the resolutions that she told us about in her first episode on the show a year ago. ArianaSure. So I broke up my resolutions into professional resolutions and personal resolutions. For professional ones, they wouldn’t even make sense if I shared them with you guys. Other than one of them, which actually was a big one, which was to become a better public speaker. And I’m often in front of a room full of people. And I really struggle with kind of getting in a groove of talking about things like I know what I’m talking about when I actually do. So I’ve picked up some strategies throughout the year. Namely, this is a good one for all of you who have to deal with this challenge, asking the crowd a question to kick it off. Whether it’s like an icebreaker or, you know, “what do you think about this thing we’re talking about?” and get a couple of answers. And then that little period where people are answering you can take a breath and catch yourself. I’ve done that. It’s worked. I’ve become a better public speaker. Some of my personal one’s – a big one that I really have not overcome yet is to look at things more positive first. I’m… I’m a pessimist. And it’s hard to just kind of, you know, not jump to the negative conclusion. And I was still struggling with that. So not there yet. And a couple other big ones were to explore adjunct teaching. I explored and then later on the list, I realized and then added to it that to become an adjunct teacher in my area, you really need a master’s degree. So I had on here, number seven, take at least one master’s course, to help lead to goal three eventually, and I completed a whole semester of them. JenWhoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, ArianaYeah, really never thought I would do that when I made this list last year. This made me stop and think for a few minutes. How many times have we all done this very thing? Created a goal for ourselves and then wildly exceeded it. I’m sure that I do this regularly, but I don’t even realize it. Without writing down and revisiting my original goals, how am I to remember a year later that I exceeded my original plan? So much changes in a year, including our expectations for ourselves and our goals. ArianaAnd then I have one – since I revisited this list this weekend – I have one that I’m actually going to chip away at today. Which is, when I was in the hospital and I lost my baby, I was given this box. I can’t exactly remember what it’s called. I want to say it’s just called the Memory Box. And in this box were a lot of little trinkets and handmade things. Some things were more meaningful than others, but there were little like bracelet and candles and all this stuff. So I have on here, “Make something with Zoe, my daughter, for the baby boxes for Albany Med Infant Ward.” JenOh, that’s great. Ariana So today. We’re going to make little bracelets. JenYeah. ArianaYou want to hear about the small ones? JenYes, yes, sure. Of course. ArianaUh, buy less coffee: Fail, fail. Be less fat: for a few weeks, I was 10 pounds down. Those were the big small ones. Oh, bring lunch to work more and not buy it. I failed at that too. JenBut I mean, you tracked them all. And the ones that you failed at, if you really feel like, “I gotta get this right,” it’ll go on the list next year. And if you’re like, “No, that was a dumb one. I don’t need that in my life.” Then it just goes away. ArianaYeah, funny you should say that, because I have started my list for this year. And I have re-added some of them. But I’ve made a little twist. So, “be less fat.” Instead of “be less fat” again, I have “no eating after 7pm. Except on Friday nights. Because everyone needs a treat.” JenOf course. Of course. Ariana Yes. Or like, “Don’t quit school, even when you want to.” JenYes, yep. ArianaDrink more water is on my list every single year. And I think like everybody’s list. Before our conversation moved too far along, I wanted to go back to something Ariana had said a few minutes earlier. As someone who is constantly struggling to balance the pessimistic and optimistic voices in my head, I wanted to dig a little deeper into Ariana’s self-proclaimed pessimistic nature. JenYou were saying that you have an issue being more positive. And it’s funny because, you’re… The way that you present – the way that you speak, all that comes off very positive. So it’s funny that what’s hiding below the surface is a pessimist. Who’s just got a smile on. ArianaYeah, so you know what? I get to the positive. Positive is the destination. But the journey is mostly negative, or at least starts negative. So like, here’s an example. Like, I hear good news, right? Say, I got like, a promotion or, I don’t know, something exciting happening for my kid. I start with like, “but what about?” you know? So, I don’t know, I think I just want to start with the positive if I can. But I don’t know if a cheetah changes its spots. JenI know, I think this is the case for a lot people. My boss and I, we commiserate over having this very specific, fun character trait which is suffering from imposter syndrome. And he’s like, you know, a 45 year old man who’s the CTO of a major company, and very successful and I’m… I mean, I’m nothing to sneeze at. I run information security at a very successful company, and I know what I’m doing, but because both of us are sort of, like, self taught over time, in the things that we are professional at, we constantly feel like, “Is this real? Are you sure I should get promoted right now? I don’t know.” Ariana Mos
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