In today’s episode, I sit down with my best friend E as we discuss something on everyone’s minds today: goal setting, how to be realistic, managing “goal disappointment” and ways we can prep for the new year. Erica and I are goal-setting veterans and we are so excited to share our thoughts with you to kick off the year. AND as a bonus: this episode is part of a two-part series in collaboration with Erica’s podcast, THRIVE! You can listen to that episode HERE.

Goal Setting: Being Realistic, Managing “Goal Disappointment” and Prepping For The New Year with Erica Gwynn

Erica Gwynn is a blogger who blogs her life, style and more at, teaches bloggers how to land paid brand partnerships through her course BossPitch, talks going from a life of simply surviving to thriving on her own podcast THRIVE, and recently published an inspirational book: Caffeinate Your Soul: 52 Monday Mantras, to help make Mondays more manageable and meaningful.



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  • How can you set realistic goals?
    • Well, I think that you and I both are similar in the sense of we are dreamers. Overachievers tend to shoot a little bit farther than maybe what we could do, but I think that first and foremost, you know, I, we, keep it real. But I think first and foremost we have to be able to give ourselves grace and the flexibility to shift along the way. Because we, like you said, we all hit the ground running at the beginning of a year. Even if you’re not someone who’s big on resolutions or new, year’s what it’s still, there’s still an excitement that comes with it. And you probably write down a few things that you’re, you’re hoping for for the year. And of course, as the past, what two years now have shown us, we literally have no clue what is, what is truly upcoming in the next 365 days. So I think it’s important to give yourself of the grace to shift if you need to, as you start on your journey of hitting these goals and giving yourself the flexibility to do so if need be. I think it also is something that comes with time as like, if this is your first time ever setting a goal for yourself. Or really being intent about your growth in some area of your life. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to put this pressure on yourself to get it right the first time. 
  • What are the different ways you can measure success?
    • We both have started to remove numbers from the equation in a lot of ways and instead focus on process vs outcome goals. So it’s like if your goal is to be healthier and then breaking down what that looks like for you. I can use my own example: I want to do be able to do five pull ups in a row. The five pull ups are the progress goal and the end goal for me is feeling stronger with my upper body strength. I wanna be able to look in the mirror, look at my arms and be like, man is jacked. She could beat someone up. I want to look and see strong. I’m not there yet but like the being stronger in my upper body is that final thing we’re looking at at that state of being. So then taking that to an outcome: doing five pull ups in a row, that’s a good outcome, but there’s still some flexibility there where if I could do four pull ups in a row, by the end of the year, I still will have achieved that end result of being a stronger person.
    • You want a quantifiable thing to work towards. So yes, you will achieve the be a stronger person just by nature of making this a habit for yourself. Right. That is the S.M.A.R.T. way to do it, to get from your nonspecific goal to the specific process goal. And I think they just kind of work hand in hand then where I’m like, for me, I know that I need kind of some more, uh, generic state of being sort of thing attached to it because otherwise my personality can become too specific where I’m like, this is the exact thing where I end up in a state of perpetual disappointment if and when something changes that. So like maybe five pull ups in a row will evolve to doing, I don’t know, like doing curls with 20 pound 25 pound weights instead of 20, it could shift in some way, depending on how it needs to, but the end result that I’ll be working towards and the process that I will be implementing and it will all be in alignment with that final thing that I want to be by the end of the year.
  • How can you manage “goal disappointment”?
    • It can feel really hard when we don’t surpass certain goals that we set for ourself in those areas. And it can really wear on us in this industry. I know it’s really difficult to watch year after year my numbers on social media platforms refusing to grow like other people in the industry or watch my website views stay static. And that for me has led to serious goal disappointment. And sometimes it’s been really hard to like get out of that funk. 
    • I mentioned this before – I had to talk to my therapist about it when I was seeing her, because I was like, uh, Karen SOS haven’t haven’t hit a goal in five years. And she’s like, what are you talking about? You haven’t hit a goal in five years??? and I’m like, no, really? Like I have my list of my goals for myself in my business and I haven’t hit any of them. And it was literally wearing daily on my confidence and wearing on my mental health because I was thinking of myself as a failure. I was like quasi having an identity crisis cause I’m like, what is going on? Why can’t I get past this?
    • I am an achiever. I’m an enneagram three. I hit goals, crush goals, like, like this is what I’m supposed to be doing. So how is it that I cannot? What is happening? I am broken. So we had a solid come to Jesus moment. At some point you have to sit down and really assess whether your goals are S.M.A.R.T., like what we just talked about in part one, and whether they are lacking in one of those areas. Maybe they’re not specific enough. Maybe they’re not measurable enough or realistic enough or, or time based. Maybe your time parameter is off. Maybe it’s something that wasn’t a good goal in the first place because it wasn’t meaningful or it was just a vanity metric or it wasn’t really something that was truly necessary in your life for your growth.
    • So if that’s the case, I think sometimes like give yourself the space and the grace to be bummed that you didn’t hit it, but then be really real with yourself about why you didn’t hit it. And was it a matter of yeah, you failed and you sucked and you tried so hard, but you fell short OR was it that something else came up? Maybe you didn’t put in the effort you thought you should have or needed to. Like something probably happened that also impacted what, what resulted and being really honest with yourself about that, I think is totally key.
  • What are some things you can do to prep for the new year?
    • I mean, we talked a little bit in part one about breaking macro goals down into micro goals, which I think realistically on an everyday basis that looks like assessing what your habits and your routines are. Because that’s obviously what’s gonna be happening on a regular basis to help you have the processes needed to get from point A to point B. So I think really it comes down to assessing, all right, what am I doing right now and what do I need to be doing maybe a little bit differently to get on the right path, to get to where I wanna go? Because, okay, we both have this goal, read two books, read two books a month. Well, I need to, for me, I needed to really look at where in my day is that going to be happening? Because if I just have that goal up in the sky, it’s not gonna happen. Realistically I’m like if I have not hit that goal in the past, I look at it right now and if I don’t intentionally assess my day and put, put it in there somewhere, it’s not gonna happen because nothing changes if nothing changes. 

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