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Fearlessness And Goal Setting

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m really rocking my 2017 Goals.

Now hold up, no need for a Letter to the Editor on my error of placing 2017 where surely 2018 must have been intended. On this I am completely clear, I am rocking my 2017 goals.

Oh sure, this is said a bit tongue in cheek, but truth be told as 2017 came to an end I slowly began to realize there were a lot of little things, which I allowed to be big and hence they went uncompleted.

I actually addressed this very topic while teaching a yoga class in the final days of 2017. Joking with my class about erasing the 7 and replacing it with an 8. In that moment, that’s truly how I felt. Why had I let those goals slip past so easily? After all, I have a strong sense of self and complete just about anything I put my mind to, so where the heck was my mind in 2017?

In short, it was on other things.

Some goals were completed without ever making the list. I’ve shared before I don’t commit to yearly resolutions. I’m the type who cruises through the holidays and then settles in somewhere after the first of the year to jot a few things down in my phone. I like to keep my goals on a notepad in my phone, so I can revisit this on occasion.

That being said, in 2017 I accomplished some pretty big things in both my professional as well as personal life that were not on the list. One, like becoming a yoga teacher, wasn’t even on my radar until midyear, yet I accomplished it all the same.

So at the end of 2017 as I both reflected back and looked ahead, I returned to that 2017 list and thought about my silly joke shared with my class.

One significant goal for me in 2017 was to purchase a new laptop. I do a lot of my writing remotely and investing in a quality laptop needed to make the goal list. Both of my children had been set up with Netbooks to keep them in alignment with their classes and schooling, yet somehow I was still pounding away on the $400 dinosaur I had purchased six years ago.

Make no mistake, that $400 purchase did not come easy, as it was an investment for me at the time it was purchased. Four hundred dollars is a lot of money, in my world, hence the six years to consider replacing it and I did.

The hurdle to this goal however came mid-summer, 30 days after purchasing it and realizing placing a program like Microsoft on your desktop had changed since I’d last done it. Knee deep in summer, travels and family fun, exploring what’s next by way of my laptop went to the back burner. When I say back, I mean way back, like so far it’s almost as if the purchase never happened.

Yeah, talk about avoidance much; that is the perfect example. I’m old school. I’m not a techie by any stretch of the imagination and quickly become intimidated in areas where I lack knowledge. So, the laptop (newest investment) sat unused as I continued to pound out piece after piece on my dinosaur deserving of retirement.

Then something happened, the New Year dawned and suddenly with it came a new way of being. Why or how, I truly have no idea. However, before I began to truly consider that 2018 list I needed to make peace with the one left incomplete.

I’m now happy to report in the first 10 days of this promising New Year, I have completed four of the things I had set for myself to complete last year, including the new laptop which this piece was typed on. The solution to that problem was much more simple than I had ever imagined and became quickly solved through a simple text message to a friend and asking for help.

That’s what I came to learn from my 2017 list and the items left incomplete, fear was the common thread of why those items went unchecked.

Now I see this as a funny, yet accurate reflection. So often in life we leave things incomplete, words unsaid or dreams unrealized because of one (not so simple) word – fear. As I look ahead to 2018 this will now be my biggest and perhaps most profound and life changing goal, to live without fear.

No longer will I fear the judgement of others. No longer fear failure, rather celebrate the willingness to try. No longer fear being wrong or mistaken, rather embrace the imperfections which make me human.

Perhaps you’ve set goals of achieving a certain number on the scale, a commitment to family or maybe completing an education put off. Whatever those goals might be, my wish for you is simple. I hope that you too may find a year ahead which is absent of fear and more full of hope.

We only get one stab at this year of 2018, let’s live it in a manner so that on those final days of the year we no longer look at what we weren’t able to do, but rather celebrate all we did – fearlessly.



Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.