Reverse Goal Setting- Know Your Value Part II

Note: This post will make sense on its own, but is intended as a continuation of Know Your Value

Goal setting is about looking to the future. It’s filled with optimism and the thrill of what’s possible. Reverse goal setting, as I’m calling it, is it’s realist step-sister.

Last December, during our team’s year-end offsite, we were asked to think of a goal or endeavor that didn’t go our way in 2017. Being asked to reflect on the year that’s already passed, let alone zero in on something that wasn’t a highlight, is a hard pill to

This is why morning is my favorite time of day- maybe I’ll set a new record of productivity today, who knows! At night, I have to accept the defeat of the unchecked boxes of my to-do list.

At this point in 2017, I had only been at Comcast for four months and had already experienced and accomplished more than I could have imagined. So what came to mind instead, was a personal unchecked box.

My letter, that I opened this December 2018, asked for me to embrace my blog as a platform to share my perspective and my experiences. To not be shy in sharing my yoga instagram, or hide this hobby of mine.

I reminded myself, “Others need your light and you need to shine.”

So what did this mean for 2018? While the letter was forgotten for most the year, making myself a priority was not. I shared my experiences of training for my first marathon; I invested in a yoga photo shoot; and when I stumbled upon the opportunity to attend the Know Your Value Conference in San Francisco, I threw my own hat into the ring. 

With this Conference came another opportunity to show up. Not only to make the most of each day of the conference, but also to submit another application for the Human Performance Institute (HPI) in Orlando.

This conference was focused on health and fitness, and how your well being outside of work impacts your work performance. Aka everything I could have ever wanted. I was so determined to attend this conference it scared me a bit. It reminded me a lot of when I was so passionate about the cook off competition, that I knew I needed to reel it in.

But at the same time, there’s an invaluable bliss in admitting to yourself and others what you want, and how you will get there. It’s ephemeral- once you know the results of the goal, you can’t relive that state of unknown.

On the last day of the conference, we were sitting through back-to-back presentations of amazing speakers, inspiring entrepreneurs, and courageous story tellers. At one point in this, I realized I needed to come up with a plan- a reverse goal- of what I would do if I found out that night I hadn’t been selected for HPI.

I had tunnel vision for finding out the four winners, and I worried if I wasn’t in that 4% being invited to attend, it would jade my experience of the amazing weekend I had just been exposed to.

I asked myself, “What are you looking to get out of HPI? How will you achieve those things, seek out that knowledge, and create that experience for yourself even if you are not chosen?”

That’s the power in realizing how badly you want something- it makes it pretty difficult to just give it up.

So that night, we were blessed again by Mika Brzezinski’s presence as she did closing remarks for just our group, and announced we’d move onto the 4 HPI winners.


The first video started, and the owner of it came up and took a photo with Mika, Joe, and the other organizers. I thought, Great! They’re going to play all the videos, and then we get to take a photo! I threw my blazer to the ground so my dress could really shine, and adjusted my hair.

“Okay, and onto our next winner,” Mika announced. Meaning…they’re not going through all the videos…that was actually the first winner, there is only three more. The next three were announced and none of those three were me.

In true optimistic fashion, I stayed close by just in case my video inspired them to take on a fifth participant.

Needless to say that wasn’t the case. This was a hard pill to swallow. The tears coming to my eyes were hard to swallow as well. Reel it in, Reed! No one else is reacting this way. Lose more gracefully!

A good friend from the Twin Cities Region, Melissa, who started at Comcast on the same day as me, talked me off the ledge by telling me it’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to not reel it in, and to have wanted something badly. Without knowing I had set the reverse goal for myself earlier that day, she assured me there would be other ways for me to achieve what I needed. My success didn’t lie just in that weekend in Orlando.

Reviewing the unchecked boxes I had on the last night of the Conference, I asked myself what I could do with the time remaining.

I introduced myself to one of the Executive Coaches assigned to our cohort, a major perk of attending Know Your Value, and he jotted down notes on my business card of what I was interested in.

Moments later, Melissa came over to introduce me to a woman from the Comcast corporate benefits team in Philadelphia, who was interested in creating wellness champions at the Region level. How much my eyes lit up assured her that I was as passionate about this as Melissa had indicated.

The most important boxes I checked that day were the two inspired by the loss I had been so scared of.

These moments took place at the time when I had almost counted myself out. Knowing myself, had I been selected for HPI, I would have zoomed past the executive coach and the benefits woman on my way to celebrate. This news made me pause, and realize I was in control of how to move forward.

I may have not gotten my picture with Mika, but I think this one of me standing on my own shines even more.



3 Reasons to Redraft your Resolutions

new yearAlthough Monday is the Nickleback of the weekdays, the approaching first Monday of the new year is an exception. It’s the calm after the storm. Whether it’s the first day back in the office or the first truly relaxing day of winter vacation, there is a sense of routine and normalcy. As much as I love the holidays, I am looking forward to going back to the Cities and having days filled with activities and responsibilities that are more overarching than “exchange pants at Lululemon.”

Now that the shopping day countdowns, calories and chaos are behind us, it’s natural to wonder what the coming months have in store.

Spoiler alert: not much.

Unless you decide to create it, that is. Throughout the month of January, the words new year’s resolutions have about as much appeal as after-graduationwe-need-to-talk and moist. Goal setting is common for new school years, birthdays and professional opportunities, yet the cliché name we attach to our aspirations for the new year tends to make them irrelevant by Valentine’s Day. Here’s why-

1. Failure is an option– Although it can be helpful to make resolutions concrete, it’s this same tendency that makes it easier for us to say, “I tried, I failed, I quit.” If your goal is to go to the gym three times a week, and you only make it once or twice, this progress gets lost in the number. By focusing on your intention, to be active or to treat your body well, you are able to recognize every healthy choice as a small victory and each misstep another opportunity to move forward. The specifics of a goal aren’t the point, it’s the purpose and vision for results that matter.

2. It’s trending– No one is making you create resolutions, let alone making you choose ecardspecific ones. If you plan on fitting volunteering into your schedule because you feel like you should- or worse, because you have to- it’s rare that it will actually be prioritized. If it’s the cliché name that throws you off, ban it and make this your own. I am a big believer in goal setting, vision casting, bucket list creating, year-around; it’s what allows us to recognize if we’re living the life that we want to be. And maybe that in itself is your intention for this year.

3. We plan an extreme makeover– I rarely say this, but do less. We start with a few goals, and that tends to snowball into a laundry list describing the ideal human, something I am guilty of as well. The reality is, you have the tools to succeed at the aspirations that truly resonate with you. In yoga, we call these sankalpas. It’s the idea that you aren’t creating this brand new healthy, focused or punctual person; you’re removing the obstacles that have kept you from showing up in the world that way. Often times the root of these obstacles are stress or feeling as though we don’t have enough time. You can see the danger of adding gym 7x/week, volunteering 4x/week, making lunch 5x/week, traveling 3x/month, and learning 2 new languages to your plate.

2015 is yours for the taking, make it worth celebrating a year from today.