We've been chatting a lot around here the energy of Lakshmi and ways to invite this energy of abundance into your life to fulfill your dharma (life's purpose). Hopping on that train with less yoga-philosophy, more pen-to-paper advice is first time guest author, Kailey Urbaniak. Read below to hear Kailey's thoughts - it's a different take on abundance for you to consider so use it if you love it - plus ways to hold yourself accountable to your goals, with a special feature from her sister Jenn Urbaniak - a recent graduate of Cambio's Yoga Teacher Training program!
Is it your time to speak up and get your thoughts out here too? We would LOVE to hear your thoughts! Email Austin at
Goal Setting as a Daily Ritual: Manifesting Affirming Goals AND Long-term Goals
by Kailey Urbaniak
It’s in our nature to want to succeed. Achieving goals makes us feel good. And failing at our goals, well, that doesn’t feel so good. Sometimes the pursuit of goals alone is enough to be fulfilling and satisfying, but sometimes it can be discouraging to not see every goal you set come to fruition. Like anything in life, there are always peaks and valleys and by not making goals and not challenging yourself to grow, you are failing by default.
Without goals, our lives can feel monotonous and dull. We may still find simple joys in our days, but I firmly believe that happiness cannot truly be achieved without some form of daily or weekly satisfaction that you did the best you could to live your day meaningfully and intentionally.
Days have a tendency of blending together, which is completely normal. But it doesn’t mean that we should spend our days waiting for the next exciting thing to happen to us. There’s something to look forward to in every day. Make each day count. We are in charge of designing our days and how we respond to life’s circumstances.
In order to make each day count, I would encourage everyone to take part in some form of goal setting. Long-term goals are not reached in a day, nor are they achieved without some sort of process you have clearly defined and implemented. To reach your big goals, sometimes you have to reach smaller goals along the way. In this case, smaller goals don’t mean insignificant. Short-term goals are all necessary parts of a long process and sometimes achieving smaller goals can give you that sense of pride and satisfaction to motivate you to continue on with your long-term process.
Divide your goals into two categories: affirming goals and long-term goals.
Affirming goals are what I consider more day-to-day goals. Making plans for your day or week and sticking to them. You want to work out four times a week? You want to learn how to cook something new? Maybe all your goal is for the day is to take care of your family to the best of your ability, or to put in extra effort at work.
These are the goals that fuel you, that are more in your control to achieve. These are the goals that make you feel accomplished and fulfilled on a more regular basis than the pursuit of long-term goals.
Achieving even the smallest affirming goal can serve as proof that even in slow motion, things progress. Before you know it, the seemingly small goal you set of working out a couple times a week, or cooking your own meals every night, or reading a book a month, can really add up and you will be able to notice the changes.
Affirming goals are the ones that you may shout out to the world or that you may not share with anyone, and that’s okay. Externally or internally, celebrate your mini victories and know that it takes discipline and hard work to live a life with intention and purpose. You should be proud of yourself.
Perhaps these affirming goals can also be a part of the process to achieve your long-term goals.
Long-term goals are what you plan for your future. You want to own a house by the time you’re 30? You want to fulfill your travel bucket list? These are the goals that are sometimes not always within your control. And that’s okay, if life always went according to our plans, how would we grow? And besides, predictability can be boring, and life sure isn’t supposed to be boring. But the pursuit of these long-term goals, the middle parts, that’s what your life is. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have my life defined by the decisions I make in attempt to reach my goals than by remaining comfortable, stagnant, and unchanged.
Pursuing long-term goals is usually not a risk-free task. There’s always a chance that you can do everything right and things still may not turn out as you had planned. These are the goals that can be unpredictable and, while a majority of the outcome of these long-term goals are dependent on your actions, there are always some things out of your control.
I know it can spike a lot of anxiety when the question is asked: Where do you see yourself in five years? In ten years? Shoot, where do you even see yourself in one year?
A good way to put things in perspective for me is to look at where I was a year ago and how much has changed, some for the good, some for the bad. Things change with time whether you want them to or not, so it’s in your best interest to put some thought and intention into these inevitable changes and implement some control in your life.
Now, really think about the future. Even if you don’t have a concrete goal for the future, what sort of living situation do you want to find yourself in? What do you want to see when you get out of bed every day? What sort of feeling do you want to have at home, at work? What sort of relationships do you want to have in your life?
Even without being concrete about your long-term goals, you can still work on your affirming goals and work on being the type of person you want to be. The rest will fall into place, doing what brings you contentment can have an infectious impact on the universe. By sending the joy and kindness you produce when you work on yourself into the world rather than negativity when you don’t enjoy the life you have, you will be rewarded. Your goals will become more concrete and stable, even if they weren’t what you initially had in mind.
Every day, set aside some time to contemplate what your affirming goals are for the day or possibly for the week. And every day, invest some thought into your future and envision what situation you want to find yourself in eventually. Doing this is what is called manifestation. Manifest your reality. If you want to read more about manifesting and the laws of attraction, here’s a quick post. You can read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, about the secret of life and how you truly and do anything or receive anything you put your mind to. There’s a documentary called The Secret that the book was based on that is available on Netflix as well.
If you have the extra time, writing down your goals invites some added introspection, self-reflection, and planning. It’s also the best feeling to go back a few months or years later and read what was going on in your life and what changes you wanted to see, what you had wanted to stay the same, and see how things have worked out. Writing it down is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
My sister Jenn is a master of manifesting, and now she's a CERTIFIED YOGA INSTRUCTOR (whoop whoop!) so I asked her for some tips on how to start your own manifesting journey:
If you don’t know where to start when you’re looking at that blank sheet of paper, I suggest making a chart with three or more columns. At the top of each column, you can write relationships, career, and individual projects.
The first column, relationships, can be dedicated to relationships with friends, with family, or romantic relationships. Instead of writing down exactly what you want, write what emotions you want to feel. For example, if you write that you want to feel loved and supported, really consider what that means for you. Envision qualities you desire in a person.
The second column concerns your career. Some questions you can write in that column: How much money do I want to want to earn? How do I want to feel going to work, leaving work, and thinking about work? For example, do you want to feel useful, do you want to feel like your work is impacting the world in a positive way? Do you simply want to enjoy what you do and not feel weighed down by the thought of work?
The third column is for Individual projects, which closely relates to your affirming goals. You can write about activity goals like working out or eating healthy or about new skills or hobbies you want to pick up. You can write about how you want to carry yourself every day and how you want to come off to those around you.
When writing these lists, focus on emotions rather than on specific outcomes. What you think you want may be a limitation of your mind, when what you really want could be something you don’t know about yet. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get what you want because there is probably something out there for you that you just hadn’t considered yet. You have to really have to believe and trust that you will get what you ask for.
Another tip when practicing manifestation, whether you’re writing or just thinking about what you want, if to shut down negative talk, about yourself or others.
Instead of thinking what you don’t want, only focus on what you do want. When you say things you don’t want, the universe still hears you. Your thought patterns are a part of the law of attraction, so you get what you put out there, including negativity.
Last tip: Put your thoughts in the present tense like you have already received them. Rather than thinking, “I want a brand-new car,” think, “I have a brand-new car and I thank the universe for it.”
Take three minutes to focus yourself. We all have three minutes. Cut into your Instagram scrolling time if you need to.
Thank you to all who took the time to read this post and I sincerely hope that these practices improve your overall happiness. Goal setting is a great way to hold yourself accountable and to make choices that align with what you truly want. Manifesting is a useful tool to assist in achieving your goals, even if you don’t know what your specific goals are yet.
As always, I welcome feedback and questions. If anyone has any suggestions or requests for future posts, please contact me through my Instagram page: @kailey_urbaniak