Do you trust your gut feeling or intuition? Are you willing to follow it, or do you rigidly stick to your goals? Over time, I’ve learnt to accept that when life doesn’t go according to my plan, there’s usually a good reason.
It’s a philosophy followed by the co-founder of Brilliant Marketing, Emily Trickey. A mountain bike accident left her with concussion; she developed symptoms of anxiety and depression when she tried to continue her career at a global marketing agency.
The power of yoga
Faced with a new life she hadn’t anticipated, Emily turned to yoga to help restore her wellbeing. As she drove home from a class, she had a crystal-clear vision of how she could create a positive impact on the world.
She signed up for yoga teacher training the next day so she could find the confidence to trust her intuition. Nine months later, along with her sister Mikaela, Emily co-founded a marketing business for brands that are “consciously and positively reimagining the world”.
Their approach helps create authentic, emotional and inspiring brands, which was part of Emily’s original vision following her yoga class.
Even though her goal had been clear, leaving her job and branching out independently had felt too overwhelming. Emily had wanted to give it space to unfold before breaking it into smaller, more actionable steps.
It’s a strategy she stands by.
Creating time to reflect
Emily: “Now, at the end of each quarter, I look back at the last three months and gauge which things were good, bad, better or the best. I ask myself what I could improve on and what I want to stop doing. This helps me to fuel some of the smaller goals for the following quarter. At the end of the year, I do a full retrospective look back over the 12 months and use what’s there as a framework to define the big, hairy, audacious goals that I want to focus on for the next year.
I break these goals down into personal, spiritual and professional goals and add sticky notes to each quarter. At the end of the quarter, I move them into columns showing that they are either ‘done’ or ‘in progress’. I’m a very visual person so it helps me to plan.”
I love how Emily has separated her goals into categories; it’s a good tip for those entrepreneurs who easily lose sight of the bigger picture and obsess about business. Emily is a broad thinker when it comes to finding a good work-life balance.
Emily: “Over the past year or so, we’ve experienced the pandemic and moved house, so I decided it was time to instil a lot more fun into my life. I wanted to spend more time with my son and I’m also pregnant now, so it felt really important to do more things that make us feel truly alive and happy.
Sometimes that means giving gift baskets to our clients or taking a little trip to see my girlfriends. Next year a lot of my focus will be around integrating life with a growing family. It’s another transition for us.”
Emily has successfully let go of the tension that people sometimes feel around setting or completing goals in a set order or time frame. Her goals are “spacious”.
If I feel like a goal or a project I’m working on isn’t right, I park it; often within a few weeks I realise why I needed to let it go. Sometimes my gut feeling or intuition doesn’t make sense at the time, but this way of thinking helps to create more freedom in my life and thinking. I no longer try to bulldoze goals into working out my way.
I was keen to know where Emily found this level of peace.
Emily: “I’m a big believer that the universe has a better plan for you than you can even come up with. Sometimes we can be so focused it’s like we have blinkers on and we miss new opportunities that come our way. I like to lead with my intuition and be open to what comes my way.”
I suspect that Emily’s love of yoga might influence her calm, accepting nature; maybe I’ll try a class too! You can hear our full conversation on my Goals Do Come True podcast.
In the meantime, if you’d like support with goal setting or you have radically changed the trajectory of your life following an unexpected event, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com.