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Have you ever decided you’re going to start a diet on a Monday? What usually happens that weekend before? You eat all the bad food! You know the “good choices” you is coming so you decided to let “bad choices” you run wild for two more days. Most of us have done this. 

December is like the last weekend before we set big goals. We tend to go a bit crazy and eat too much, spend too much money, watch too much television and in general, do things that our best selves would not do. 

I want to challenge you to just… not do that this year. Just don’t do it. You don’t have to.


Here are the exercises I want you to go through: 


Review Last Year (This step is optional. In the podcast, I explain why I skipped this step.)


Coffee Shop Exercise


90-Day Goals


Role Play Obstacles


Name Your Alter-Ego


Trascript of Video

Hey everyone and welcome to coffee and Pearls, 15 minutes of wisdom for Catholic moms. I’m Sterling Jaquith and today I want to talk about goal setting, kind of a micro, “do this right now” type of goal setting. I’m filming this in December and it’s, it’s kind of like this. Have you ever decided that you were going to change the way that you eat? Right and maybe we’re going to cut out sugar or go gluten free or do a whole 30 and you’re going to do that on Monday and what do you do? Right? What do you do the weekend before that? Monday you eat everything, you go crazy, you eat all the ice cream with all the pizza. Almost all of us have done that, right? We know that our future self is going to make some really hard, rigid decisions and so we let our present self go crazy and do all of the fun, perhaps not good things for us because we know we’re going to be super good come Monday and I think the December, it’s like a whole month of that, right?

We know that January is coming and we’re like, okay, I’ll start that in January. Right? But we then kind of take off the wheels and go crazy in December. We tend to eat things we shouldn’t eat. We spend more money than we should spend. We tend to spend time doing things that are perhaps not really good for us and it’s just a little nuts. We tend to do a lot more screen time and I’m not talking about good quality you know, carefree timelessness with your family. I’m talking about coping with stress and doing too many things and things that don’t actually bring us joy. Things that we’re barely present for because we’re just so crazy trying to get through them to the next thing. That’s what a lot of us tend to live December. And so I just want to encourage you right now to just take like 20 minutes, 30 minutes and do some of the exercises I’m going to talk about today.

Not a full, you know, review of the year and not your final 2020 goals, but just kinda quick versions of these things to anchor yourself against. Who you really want to be and then to try to hold onto that version of you as much as you can through December to kind of minimize the damage before heading into January. So I just did this and I’m going to share it with you and take you through my process. And then if you want to do this, you can go to Sterling, Jake and click on coffee and pearls and find this episode and I’ll link the resources there. So first things first, you can review last year if you want to. I chose not to do this. You know, I got surprised pregnant at the beginning of the year after I wrote my goals. So 2019 was just me being pregnant and on bedrest.

I don’t need to review a lot of that. I will probably do that before January just because I like taking that really contemplative time to do that and to think about lessons that I learned, but broad strokes, I know what happened, I know what worked and what didn’t work. And I also know why I didn’t accomplish a lot of my goals because as got pregnant and was on bed rest. So that’s okay. I didn’t spend any time doing that. The exercise I dove straight into was what I call the coffee shop exercise, which is, you know, sitting down with yourself at a coffee shop at the end of the year, next year, right? A year from now, December, 2020. What would you love to hear that person say to you? And I think when we actually picture ourselves, you know, telling us this story, it really, it makes it feel a little more realistic.

So, you know, December, 2020 is not going to say, my marriage is fixed, my kids are perfect. I ran a marathon. You know, I did everything that I wanted to do. Sometimes one by one we can trick ourselves into thinking that all of those big, big things are possible. And now that I want to limit your success. But I actually think it’s better to, to ground ourselves in reality and think about, no really like what’s a reasonable amount that you know, 2020 Sterling can do that I would still feel really impressed with. Right. And so this is kind of what I wrote down. And I, I did actually go back and reread my coffee shop exercise from last year and I was surprised how much I accomplished even though I got pregnant and was on bedrest. And when I wrote mine this year, I thought, I want to write things down that if I literally get pregnant again for the fourth year in a row, which I really hope does not happen.

But if I do and I’m on bed rest or you know, to me that’s the equivalent of saying like maybe I get a cancer diagnosis or maybe my mom does. Like maybe some crazy thing is going to happen in 2020 that’s going to just fill my bucket with something to do. So there isn’t space for all these ideas that I have in my head right now. What I wanted to write down, a version of me that still dealt with all of that and came out strong, what would that look like? So here’s what I wrote. I want to feel more deeply rooted in Christ. So instead of saying, I want a Bible, read my Bible, or memorize scripture, or all the things we tell ourselves, I just want to feel more deeply rooted in Christ. And I know what that feels like. I know when a year has passed and I have like crushed my spiritual game.

Okay? You’ll notice this is also a space that’s not for smart goals, right? This is not measurable time constricted, things like that. It’s just feelings. And some of you may hate that based on your personality type. You can do it however you want. Do whatever you want. Minor, just kinda feeling face. So I feel more deeply rooted in Christ. He permeates every part of my life. He’s at the beginning, at the beginning of my work plans at the beginning of my homeschooling plans, at the beginning of my plans for our marriage. I feel a sense of peace walking with Jesus, right? Like he is just with me. He’s just with me, man, through all of my decisions. I really feel like that today. Today I’ve had a peaceful, busy but peaceful day where he’s just with me in moment to moment to moment. I’m making a decision that I think would make him proud of me.

Okay. there is a great peace in our home that can happen even in times of crisis. Okay. You can really work with your spouse and your children or yourself if you live alone to just have a peaceful home environment. Okay. I love where we live. So one of the things is our house is for sale right now and I really wanted to write down, “I love my new house”, but I realized I don’t even have control over that. We may not sell our house. What if it just sits on the market? We may be forced to move to a house that I don’t love that much, but I can love where I live. I can create a home and an environment that I love. I do have control over that. I wrote down, I’m proud of our daily routines. I went to some amazing conferences and had an awesome girl’s weekend with my friend Lisa.

She’s my best friend. We do stuff. That was true last year or this year, you know, I was pregnant on bedrest and I still went to a couple of conferences and I still spent a weekend with Lisa. We didn’t do anything great cause I couldn’t walk, but we hung out together and it was still awesome. So I know I can accomplish those things. And then Michael, my husband Michael and I feel comfortable around each other and we are better at resting in each other. So we’ve got some stuff to work out from our crazies. The last three years, we’re a little uncomfortable around each other. I don’t want to say all the time, but we’re, we’ve, we trigger each other a lot. And we just went from, you know, Michael really single parenting, the kids upstairs for almost six months and me living downstairs and now we’re just trying to adjust being together again.

And that’s really hard. For those of you who have spouses that have deployed for a long time, I imagine it’s the same way. Like you just have to learn how to live together again. And I think 2020 is going to be really, really big for us. Just learning how to be comfortable around each other. My husband and I are also pretty terrible at knowing how to rest in each other. Like if one of us is really, really spun up neither of us are very good at like soothing the other person. And part of that is because we didn’t have a lot of that in our, our childhood homes. And so we’re having to kind of learn how to do that. And I really want that to just be better, just be better. It’s not going to be fixed in a year.

I know that but I want to continue to, to just draw my attention to how can I learn how to do that? How can I communicate to him what I need so that we can rest in each other better than we are right now. I wrote down, I have a firm grasp of my fertility and my hormones. Okay. Last year I wrote I’m not going to get pregnant and then I got pregnant. Right. So this year I’m just going say I’m just really focusing on mastering the all the data that I can about my own fertility and my hormones. Because you can be really good at charting your, your mucus or some of those air temperature, some of that NFP stuff. But I’m, I may need to do some thyroid work or something like that. So that’s why I added hormones as well. I’d put out consistent work all year long.

I feel like since I started this business ministry work that I do, I have not spent an entire year being consistent. So I have a lot of plans for how I’m going to do that in 2020. I just want to, you know, coffee shop me is going to say I put out consistent work all year long and I journaled every single day. I’ve never ever been able to cultivate the habit of journaling. And 2020 is going to be the year. And then at the end I wrote, I feel really content and I feel really proud. I want to feel those things at the end of the year. Contentment. And then the good kind of just like proud. I worked really hard. I did these things. I’m proud of what I did. Okay. So for me that was the coffee shop exercise. Next, I want you to do your 90 day goals and this brings me to my just absolute, absolute favorite thing about the Catholic Women Shine planner.

And I’ll show you, this is the planner I designed has no dates, has no dates in it. Okay. Cause one quarter last year I was just like, I’m out. I’m not gonna do it. I’m not going to do this. I mean I still took notes and did tasks and things, but I was in bed and I was just not really emotionally prepared to do this kind of work so I didn’t. So now I’m just going to do that quarter that’s empty in my planner and I just love that. I love that this planner allows for real life to happen, you know, and that you can buy it and it may take you two years to get through it and that’s totally fine. So I went and did my 90 day goals. I just skipped the annual goal part because I just want to focus on how I’m going to head into the new year and what’s going to happen.

I think we get a little bit too too focused on, on the dream of what we’re going to do in a year. For me, I prefer to say like, I want to be a Saint. That’s what I’m doing with my life. I want to help my, my husband and my kids to become saints. Right? That’s my life goal. What am I doing in the next 90 days? Okay. And then the coffee shop exercise to me is, is that overarching like, Hey, what do I think this year going to be like? But I’ve just learned that I have no idea what the year is going to feel like. I have a lot more control over the next 90 days, so I’m not going to go through all of my goals. I did three big goals and then three small goals. I don’t recommend ever doing more than three big goals because that’s already so much to focus on.

So the three small goals are more like just adding back in habits that I’ve already been successful at. So I’m going to go through that with my Catholic women shine course, people in more detail, but you don’t need to hear that right now, anyone to do it. So you can print these off for free and it walks you through how you’re going to go, how you’re going to do your 90 day goals. So the first one for me was around energy. I want to increase my energy and then I broke that out into fuel. What I’m putting in my body, sleep, getting enough sleep to have energy and then having an active lifestyle. We tend to think that, you know, if we work out that considered active, but you can actually have a really sedentary lifestyle. Even though you work out, right, she’s in CrossFit for half an hour a day and then sit at your office for the whole rest of the day.

And so I have a couple books on that that I want to read. I just want to really work on fighting that. I’m a really sedentary person because I love reading books and sitting down and it’s just my natural state. Right now and I don’t want it to be anymore. Right? So I even just said that and that was a limiting belief. It’s not my natural state. Humans have a natural state of moving. I have trained myself to have a natural state of sitting even after I work out. Right? So I want to work on that, just moving my body more every single hour and learning how to do that and learning to want to do that. So I, that might take more than a year, but that’s just an example. And then one of the things that the Catholic Women Shine goals planner does is it asks you to come up with specific tasks.

And then obstacles (more about obstacles in a second). Then a slogan. And so one of the slogans I wanted to share with you was the one around sugar. I would like to just do zero Ben on sugar, no sugar. So I have started thinking about sugar that the devil has assigned me a sugar demon, right? Like this little demon. And he just sits right here. And the devil said, you know what’s Sterling is very powerful. She loves God so much and she has the ability to bring other people closer to God and we don’t want her to do that. And so we’re, we know that she has a weakness for sugar and so we want to drag her down by making sure she has, you know, insulin spikes and crashes, doesn’t sleep well, doesn’t have a ton of energy, feels depressed and sluggish and isn’t able to do the work that God wants her to do with her, her home, her children and her ministry.

Right? How horrible does this sound when you, when you think about it, right? But what if that were true? What if, what if the devil has assigned a demon to do this to you? And so I picture him now this little sugar demon going, just eat, it’s fine. You deserved it. All this yucky language. And that has really helped me to just say no, right? The stronger we feel that the devil is trying to prevent us to do something, it’s easy when we visualize it that to lean in and go, you will not do that to me. Okay. So I wrote that down, not today. Sugar, demon. And then the other visual that I created and I just heard about this in a different way, but I put a sugar spin on it was it would be like if you bought a brand new car and then every day you went in and he poured sand into the engine.

Okay. And then, and you hear that and you’re like, Oh, that’s just terrible. I just, I can’t imagine that. I can’t imagine buying like a brand new, this is the life stage. I mean you guys, but minivan or 12 passenger van, like just the nicest schmancy. Just one, and then putting sand in the engine every day. And yet we do that to ourselves all the time and our engine breaks down and then we go, why? Why is this happening to me? You know, but we’re doing that to our own bodies. And so that is such a powerful image for me. And I like that sugar looks like sand. And so I’m just trying to reframe how I think about putting sugar in my mouth. Okay. That’s just one example. I could go through all of this, but I’m not going to right now.

So the next thing I want you to do is I want you to role play obstacles. Okay? I want you to think about the obstacles that you’re gonna encounter both in December, but then also, right for this 90 days that we’re planning the launch. You can think about the obstacles that are going to come up and visualize yourself role play them. How are you going to overcome that? When you go to a party and someone says, here’s a cupcake, right? That’s like my Achilles heel. I love cupcakes. Like, how are you going to say no to that? Or if you’re having a really bad day and you end up sitting in bed watching an hour of a show that makes you feel really bad about yourself and you know that you know that watching the show ends up making you feel bad about yourself. Yeah.

But you want to do it cause it’s soothing and you like it. You know, what are you gonna do instead? Picture yourself doing the thing instead and then also picture yourself feeling so awesome. The other day I was, we were having a crazy day and then my husband ended up staying out late doing work with our fencing team and I just had this moment where I just really wanted to order a pizza for everybody. I was like, that’ll be fun and yummy and easy. And, but then I just, I pictured my future self just being like, why did you do that? For lots of reasons. I don’t mean to have so many food examples, but you know, we’ve been through such a season of survival that we really let the food stuff go and we’re just, I’m really ready to bring it back for my family.

And so instead I took a deep breath, I cut up the stupid broccoli and I made Turkey Curry, a yellow Curry using Turkey from Thanksgiving. And it was wonderful and everyone liked it. And I had such a spring in my step after that because I made a really good choice, that very difficult for me to make. And it really just made me have so much more confidence that I can be that person. And so I want you to picture the obstacles that are kind of come your way. Picture where you’re going to do to saying no, I’m not going to give into that and then picture how you’re going to feel after doing that once or 10 or a hundred times. Okay, do that. The last thing I want you to do is I want you to give yourself an alter ego. You already have one, but I want you to picture your alter ego and I want you to name that person.

So an alter ego is kind of like the best version of yourself, your superhero self, the Saint that’s already within you, the person that God created that’s completely untarnished by the world, right? That’s, that’s your alter ego. You’re your super self. And I want you to name that person. So I named mine Stella, Maris after Mary. And so I asked myself, when something comes up, I just say like, what would Stella do? And I immediately know what that means. I know that that means like what would the best version of myself do? What would you know Sterling on a perfect day? Do? And we usually know the answer, right? We usually know, Oh, this is what she would do right now. This is the next best thing that she would put her focus on. And sometimes it’s to get something hard done. Sometimes it’s to slow down and be more present with someone.

There’s lots of things that come up when we asked that question, but it’s usually pretty clear. What’s the next thing? What would Stella do? So I want you to, to imagine that version of yourself and give that version of name and then ask yourself, you know, what would that person do in this situation? Okay. So I want you to do that. You guys, I want you to have an awesome December. I want to set yourself, set yourself up for success for January. You know, there’s no reason we need to put ourselves in a worse financial position and then decided to deal with that in January. Do it now. Mitigate that risk and and you’ll, you’ll feel so much more awesome about yourself. Come January. Okay, so I will, the worksheets for this are going to be on my website under this podcast.

You can also find them at at the very bottom of the page, you scroll all the way down or you know, control end. And there’s a peach colored bar that says, you know, free worksheets and you can just download. That’s the whole planner. You don’t need to do all of it. You can just go straight to the 90 day goals section. But all of that is there and it is free. So I’m wishing you wonderful holidays. We’re not quite there yet. But it feels like we are. And there’ll be a lot more for me come January with the goals program and the course that I’m going to put out. I think you could be doing some of that work right now, and I think you would feel really proud of yourself if you did. So, thank you so much for listening to coffee and pearls and have a blessed day.