How to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams

[Ready to reach your goals and dreams, Mama? Here's how you can set mindful goals to achieve your goals and dreams starting today!]

Have you ever wanted to achieve your goals and dreams only to find that you get overwhelmed just thinking about where to start?

Today I chat with Jen Espinosa Goswami of weightlessschronicles.com about how does that mindful goals as she takes us through her inspiring wellness journey.

I especially love her advice on how to get clear and figure out your mindful goal.

And I know you'll love it too.

Let's get started.

[Please Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that Soul Care Mom may receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Please see disclaimers for more information.]

How to Reach Your Goals and Dreams

Hi, Beautiful Mama!

Welcome to the Soul Care Mom Podcast!

I'm Catherine Wilde of soulcaremom.com.

I'm a mama of three amazing kids, a Soul Care Mom Coach, and a yoga and meditation teacher. I have helped hundreds of women and I'm here to help you feel calm and find your unshakable confidence as a mom.

Think of this as a lunch date with a girlfriend. Grab a cup of tea and get cozy. It's time to get honest and vulnerable and shift the traditional mindset around motherhood. Be sure to subscribe to be the first to know when new episodes are released.

Get ready to grow and feel empowered as a mom.

I'm here for you, Mama.

Let's dive in!

Catherine Wilde:

Hi Jenn. Thanks so much for being here today!

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Hi Catherine!

Catherine Wilde:

So you have such an inspiring story about how you mindfully set a goal and achieved your dream to train for a and run a race.

Will you share that with us?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Oh, I would love to. Especially because we're entering race season, even if some of the races have been canceled in light of the current world situation. So just to kind of back up a little bit, I was never a runner.

I was one of those people who felt like running was punishment. So you know, going way back to school-age days, I was so jealous of the people that claimed they had asthma and couldn't run the one-mile challenge during gym class because I was always, always, always the last person to cross that line at the end of the one mile because I was morbidly obese.

And, you know, when you're very heavy, one of the last things you want to do is run around, especially when you're the last one to show up and you're completely out of breath and your face looks like a lobster and everyone else is finishing it in nine minutes, six minutes, seven minutes, and you have maybe 13 minutes.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

And you're still struggling. So running was never my thing. I actually didn't start running seriously until I was nearly 40 years old. So, it was kind of a weird intuition I had where it was something I needed to do to challenge myself physically.

So I mentioned that I was morbidly obese as a kid. I challenged myself mentally a lot. I taught myself a lot of things. I was really adept at languages and communication, but I wasn't very physically challenged when I was younger.

So as an adult, I discovered that I can challenge myself physically. The first time was when I lost a hundred pounds back when I was 20.

But, during the half marathon process, I work out with a group of moms called Fit 4 Mom. It's a nationwide franchise. I'm in Minneapolis, but they have a run club and they shared, you know, here's the opportunity to sign up for the run club.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

At the time I had been working out with this particular group for a couple of years, so I felt like I had mastered those principles, if you will, and I was always very consistent with exercise. That was never a challenge for me, so I knew that I needed to challenge myself and get to that next level.

So within a day, I decided not only am I going to join the run club, which is nerve-wracking enough on its own, but I also decided I'm going to shoot for the half marathon, which is 13.1 miles. So instead of couch to 5K, I went from couch to half marathon.

And the interesting part about training for any sort of race, I know there are people listening who probably are runners or have played around with the idea of being runners, but don't feel terribly consistent with it.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

That was the particular strength of signing up for the challenge of doing a half marathon. I'm not suggesting that everyone who is new to this jump in and go full force and do a marathon after not running at all.

I mean, I was at a certain level of fitness having worked out for my entire life pretty much. But I do feel that challenging yourself in that way actually improves your mental strength and clarity because it is more than just physical when you're logging the long miles, when you're creating your training plan, when you're trying to make it more strategic to fit into your busy life. Because I'm also a mom of two children, and you can't always disappear for an hour to go for a long run.

You can't always choose to do that. So I think it's a really important goal to set when it feels very challenging. It's something you've never done before. It's something that's a little scary and it's something that you really have to strategically manage. And at the end of the training season, when I did cross the finish line for the 13.1 miles. Oh my God, I was, I was a mess. It was so physically difficult. Catherine, I can't even tell you. It was so painful.

Catherine Wilde:

Oh, I can imagine.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

It was, it was probably the most physically hard thing I've ever done. And that's having had several surgeries and had two children.

It was physically the most difficult thing I've ever done, but it allowed me to coach myself along the way, not just during the race itself. That certainly happens. But I also had to learn how to coach myself while I was training.

Catherine Wilde:

And tell me more about that. What did you mean by coaching yourself?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

So coaching is very unique because a lot of people think it's this perspective of Ra! Ra! You can do this cheerleader, shake the pom-pom in your face and that's all you need to coach.

But coaching is actually a very um, embedded process where you get to the root of the matter. And having been a health coach before, I'm familiar with the principles of it. I've taken classes in coursework on it.

So I know there's a certain process you follow. So I was, I guess you could say I had an edge because I knew how to coach others. And I just turned those principles into coaching myself. So whenever you're going through challenges and struggles in life, you have a choice to quit or to keep going.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

And when you at that moment where you want to quit or keep going, sometimes you need that little push. Some people call it motivation, some people call it grit, you know, you can call a number of different things. But in that choice is where the strengths and personal development come along.

And that was the moment when I started coaching myself. Now coaching, you basically ask questions until there's no other answers that you can possibly give. And that's how you get to the root of the matter.

So for example, just to kind of lay this as an example, when I was running on mile 10, my longest training run prior to the half marathon was about seven or eight miles. I think I got eight and a half miles maybe total. And that wiped me out. So by mile 10, during the actual race, I was exhausted.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

I think I had injured my foot because my foot was painful and it felt like I was limping. It was very cold the day I ran. It was in October and the wind was blowing very hard. Because I'm a slow runner and I never had aspirations to be a fast runner. I was alone in the cold, blowing wind with a possible injury.

And that was at that moment, I was at that moment of do I quit? Do I just call up my family who's waiting for me at the finish line and just say, come get me. Do I wait for one of the sag rides the people who can rescue you from the trail and say, I just can't do this, or do I push through?

And that's the moment where I found how to coach myself through it.

Catherine Wilde:

Oh, wow. Yeah, that's an incredible journey. And yes, self-coaching is such an important thing. It's like that inner growth work that can feel really hard sometimes, right?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Yes, and it can be very difficult to kind of rise above your situation in order to self-coach because it's tough. You know, you're already in a bad situation, you're not feeling your best, you're doubtful about your abilities to succeed.

So it takes a bit of practice and diligence, I suppose, to coach yourself when you're in the midst of that. That's why a lot of people, you know, turn to trainers or accountability groups because they don't trust and believe in themselves that they can coach themselves.

But everyone has the tool to coach themselves.

Catherine Wilde:

Yes, absolutely.

Catherine Wilde:

So how did you decide on your goal or what tips can you give if somebody is trying to set a goal for themselves that they want to reach? How do you figure out what a realistic goal would be?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Oh, that's a really great question. So it's that push and pull, right? There's the push of I need to push myself hard enough to make it a goal worth pursuing. And then there's the pull of, if it's too hard for me or it's so far beyond what I'm capable or believe myself to be capable of, there's gotta be something that will still carrying me along.

And that is the biggest challenge. That's why a lot of folks benefit from a coaching relationship because we often don't know how to dream big enough to feel the challenge while still believing in our ability to achieve whatever it is we're setting our mind on.

So I like to say when you start off, it's kind of like the strategy of at the beginning of the year, you know, instead of a new year's resolution, I would encourage people to consider a vision board.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

A vision board is different, not just because it's very visual, but because it also paints a picture of the feeling and the overall dream that you're hoping for. So it's not specific. It's not a SMART goal if you will.

SMART goals have their place in time, but I don't feel that's where you start when it comes to goal setting. So the vision board is saying, this is what I want to feel, this is what I want to be, this is who I want to be.

And then you visualize that with pictures, you know, whatever appeals to you. That's how you start with goal setting. You have to start at the macro level and say overall, what is this going to look like?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

And that's when, when you get a clear idea of what does that look like for me? What does it feel like? Who am I in that situation? Then you can start getting your paper and pen out. Then you can start writing things down. Then you can develop those milestones. Milestones for me is a project management concept.

But milestone basically means that there are small stepping stones to get you to that big goal. That goal that feels almost too big for you to wrap your arms around. The milestones are what gets you there.

So that's your nitty gritty on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis. Sometimes on the daily basis, depending on how you most resonate, this is what I'm going to be doing in order to reach this huge goal that I can barely wrap my arms around.

Catherine Wilde:

That makes so much sense. And I love the idea of a vision board and really feeling what it would feel like and the big picture and taking it all in, not worrying so much about the details just yet.

Because that's where it's scary. And you might turn away from the goal before you even get a chance to try. Yeah.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

We will. I mean, fear comes up for us. It comes up for everyone. I don't care how ambitious or accomplished you are, the fear will come up.

And that's the power of setting those big goals.

Catherine Wilde:

And so what are your thoughts about celebrating? It's easy to look ahead and see how much you still want to achieve and miss the beauty of how far you've come.

And I find it so important to celebrate the little and big wins.

What are your thoughts on that?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

That is a very excellent question. I'm glad you brought that up. I'm a big fan of celebration. I'm a big fan of recognizing how far you have come. And this is something I used to celebrate with my clients when I was coaching clients.

But more than that, it's an important part of you recognizing that you have reached the next level, whatever that looks like to you. So for me having been very large in my childhood, my reward system used to be all about food.

You know, like, Oh I got straight A's in school. I'm going to go treat myself to ice cream or you know, so my celebrations were skewed a little bit as a child and it wasn't until I broke free from that particular reliance upon food and finding non-food rewards that I realized there are other ways I can celebrate myself. So there are other things you can do that perhaps aren't involved around on food.

Certainly, food can be an element. I'm not going to say that people don't go out there and run and then have a glass of wine or something at the finish line. You know, everyone has their own method in their own way of celebrating. For me, the celebration has to be removed from food.

It has to be something that just feels exciting. It could be sharing something. It could be taking a fun photo. I'm very, I'm slap-happy, I guess. I do have photos of me crossing the finish line. But I didn't look terribly happy at that time because I was in pain. But the way I celebrated that year because it was the year that I turned 40, I wanted to run that half marathon by my 40th birthday.

So again, that was one of my milestones was it needed to happen by a certain date and it did.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

But the way I celebrated was on my 40th birthday, which was a few weeks past the half marathon. I tried something I'd never tried before and it was very fun and exciting.

That was part of my celebration. And just to paint the picture it was me flying in the air in aerial silks and aerial silks birthday celebration with some of my close friends.

That was how I celebrated.

Catherine Wilde:

Oh, how fun.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Yes, it was scary and fun.

Again, the challenge was there, the physical challenge was there, but it was fun and that's what I always try to go to celebration for me.

It should be something fun, something interesting. If it's a smaller celebration, maybe I just put on some good tunes and I shake it out and shimmy it out and dance it out.

But for the bigger ones, I want to do something that's different. Scary, a little bit and challenging.

Catherine Wilde:

Oh, and we love the dance parties at our house. That is a really fun way to celebrate.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Especially now when you don't have anywhere else to be. Right? So just do a dance party.

Catherine Wilde:

Okay. So after you set this goal and you're making progress towards it, what do you do when you come across a challenge or a roadblock on your journey?

Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed. - Charles Duhigg Quote

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Roadblocks. Oh my gosh. How frustrating. Some of us may be going through roadblocks right now, not just personally, but professionally. And roadblocks make you kind of revisit your plan. Right?

And this is where some people who are really good at making a plan get thrown for a loop because the plan is not working. Either there's a roadblock, there's a detour, there's something in the way. For me, when I was training for the marathon, I was getting injured.

So because I wasn't a runner prior to this time I was training, I had some back issues, I had some knee issues, I had some feet issues and none of them were enough to put me out of the running.

So throwing it out there, if you're going to severe injury while you're trying to accomplish something, obviously seek medical attention, get the care you need. In my case, it was just kind of enough of a painful thing that it bothered me, but it didn't put me out of the race, so to speak, until a week before the race, I experienced my roadblock.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Initially my half marathon was supposed to be in July. I was signed up, I paid my fee. I was running, was about 10 of my friends in this run group I belong to and a week before that was to happen, I woke up in severe back pain and I was crying.

I literally, tears were squeezing out of my eyes. That's how painful it was. I did go to the doctor and they did not find anything that required medical attention. They told me to rest and get, NICE.

I think is what they call it. You know, I said, elevate your feet and take care of yourself. And I was scared.

Honestly, Catherine, I was scared because I said, well, I have this goal to run this marathon half marathon next week. Should I stop running? I was at that point right where I had to coach myself. And my family didn't want me to run. My husband was concerned for me.

I was concerned for me, I was really at a crossroads. That was my roadblock. What do I do?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

And because I'm a big fan of following your body wisdom, which means listening to what your body's telling you. My body was clearly telling me, girl, don't run this race. Don't do it. It's not good for you.

This is your red flag right here. And I said, okay, fine. I'm not going to run it in July, but there are plenty of other races that I can run that are half marathon distance. So I ended up running a five K the following weeks while I was supposed to be running 13.1 I ran 3.1 instead.

And it wasn't my best race, but it wasn't race that I completed. I still ran with my friends and I signed up for an October race, so I waited until October to complete this goal. It was still within my big goal of reaching it by 40 I had time to train and I had time to heal myself too because my body was telling me, you're going too fast, too hard. This is not right.

So that's how I kind of coached myself through that roadblock and understood, you know, I took into account what is my situation right now? And I listened. I didn't say, “Oh no, I'm not going to do my goal now.”

Instead, I flexed and adapted to what needed to happen and I gave myself time.

Catherine Wilde:

That's beautiful.

That's a great example of a roadblock you might find on the way to achieving your goals and dreams and figuring out a way around it. I love that you said listening to your body's wisdom.

You know, there are so many messages that get sent our way as girls and women, and many times we end up disapproving of ourselves based on what we think is ideal.

Do you have any advice or suggestions to help shift the mindset from one of comparison and lack to one of love and acceptance?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Absolutely. This is a topic very dear to my heart because I know a lot of people who struggle with it.

I'm raising a teenager right now and we live in a very image obsessed culture. We live in a very feedback oriented culture.

We live in a permission based culture, right? Where people wait to get permission before they jumped into those things that matter to them.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

And it can be hard not to listen to outside voices, right?

Outside voices can be anyone, someone you love, a stranger, someone you don't know, someone who is an expert perhaps in their field.

There's a lot of advice out there. There are a lot of opinions out there.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

What I can say to that is if you were a person who is susceptible to the messages for people, from people around you, and the best way to protect yourself from that is to first be clear about what it is you want.

So remove yourself from the noise. Remove yourself from that feedback and that advice. Don't ask for recommendations until you are clear on what it is you are trying to accomplish or what you want to be or who you want to be. And that might take time. It might mean you have to isolate a little bit. It might mean you have to not listen.

Even though you have listened in the past and get really clear about what matters to you. It will come up. You will, you will start to recognize what's mattering to you. You can sink into your gut, you can sink into your thoughts.

You can journal it out. There are lots of things you can do to get clear on what matters to you, but until you know what matters to you, it can be really hard to not do what other people want you to do.

So that would be my advice for that is to be really clear on what you want first. And then if you need a little bit of advice, that's fine. You don't need anyone's permission to live your best life.

Catherine Wilde:

Oh, that's so true and beautifully put.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Thank you.

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Catherine Wilde:

So walking is one of our favorite ways to build movement into our family life. But getting outside for a walk isn't always possible.

Can you share some tips for mindful movement for moms so they can continue to reach their goals and dreams? If they can't get out of the house or they're short on time?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Absolutely. And that's one of the biggest lessons you can learn whenever you're training for something is training is all and good and you have a set schedule on a set plan.

But unless you build in some compound movements or some movement that is not part of your training plan, you will be at greater risk for injury. So if you're a person whose primary preferred exercise is walking or running, that is mostly a cardio based activity. Which is great.

ou know, keep doing things that you love to do. But you also would benefit from incorporating some cross-training. And when I say cross-training, I mean there are three elements of being fit and those three elements are cardio, which gets your heart racing and out of breath there is flexibility which includes the movements based slower movements like yoga, pilates, Tai Chi.

And then there's strength training.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

So those you think, you know, lifting weights, compound movements, body weight exercises. Those are the three elements of fitness. If you're not incorporating at least two of those three elements of fitness into your activities, then you're missing out.

And you're risking yourself injuries. No matter what kind of fitness. You don't have to be high intensity with everything you do, but if you don't vary what you do, then you're not getting the most benefits out of the exercise you're getting. So for people who prefer to walk, keep walking.

But is there one day a week, you know where you can incorporate maybe some lifting where you could, if you have children, you can lift your children? There are plenty of exercises you can do with your children.

Catherine Wilde:

Yes, you're picking them up anyway are usually, right?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Right. That's why mom's arms are so strong. You're holding your babies all day long. There are lots of fun things you can do that your kids will be excited to do. You know, if you're planking on the floor, have your kids sit on your back. If they're not too heavy.

You know there are ways you can incorporate your children into your play as well. Usually what we think of when we come to activity and exercises. Cardio. That's great, but make sure to include, especially if you're older.

So again, I'm in my forties right now and the things I need to incorporate more of our stretching. When you do really repetitive movements and you are not taking care of your cross dimensional fitness, then you're going to have injury. So for me, because I run and do other HIIT movements which are high intensity and keep my heart rate is racing pretty good.

I need to incorporate more strengths and I need to incorporate more flexibility in order to prevent injury. wWhich is what we all want to do, right? We want to live healthy, but we also want to feel good while we're doing it.

Catherine Wilde:

Yes, absolutely. And I loved picking up your kids and the plank thing cause I met, I'm a yoga and meditation teacher and I also teach kids and so we have a lot of fun with that at our house that I love that you can incorporate the weight training in there too with kids.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

There's always a way. You don't need tools, you just have everything you need right in front of you usually. You just have to get a little creative with it.

Catherine Wilde:

Yes, I love that. So you have been through quite the journey towards reaching your dreams and goals.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self? Is there anything you'd share with her?

Soul Care Mom Podcast - Episode 016 - How to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams with Jenn Espinosa Goswami

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

It's kind of interesting how things changed throughout the years. As a child I was a very serious person. And I feel like I've almost rebounded into the opposite spectrum now that I'm an adult. And I think I would tell my younger self, you know, you can relax a little bit.

I was very serious about a lot of things. I had deep thoughts. I had deep concerns. I was very philosophical. I was the most prudent one of my friends group, so I wasn't the risk taker. I was the person who kind of kept everyone in line and I made sure we did the right things. You know, I followed the rules and I feel like that perhaps led to a more serious and kind of adult-like childhood. When we think of childhood we think of having fun being silly. Whereas I think now I'm doing that more now in my forties than I did when I was in my teens.

I was a very serious kid. So I guess I would tell her, you know, you can chill out a little bit and you kind of relax. Things get better. You know, you have a great, you have a great few years ahead of you, things are going to look up. You know everything is good. And I had a happy childhood. I just was serious a lot.

Catherine Wilde:

That's great advice.

So I love quotes and they're often so uplifting and inspiring. Would you care to share one of your favorite quotes with us?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Oh absolutely. It's hard for me to choose just one because I'm a big fan of quotes because I'm in the space of living your best life and I'm a big fan of hacking your habits and breaking out of the habit of being who you think you should be.

One of the famous authors I've read is Charles Duhigg. He was the author of a book called the “The Power of Habit” and he's written several other books since then, but he's a big leader, an expert in the field of habits.

And it's just fascinating to me why people do the things they do. But one of his quotes, it really touched me, and it's one I like to share on social media as well. But he said that “Motivation is more like a skill akin to reading or writing that can be learned and honed.” And I think that's important for us to recognize because we often look outside of ourselves for motivation.

We want someone else to come from outside of us and motivate us to do something. But that's not really how it works. It is a skill. It is a practice. It is something you do every day. It's something you can learn.

It's something you can get better at. And it's something you can bring from inside of you instead of from outside of you.

Catherine Wilde:

Yes. I think that it was a big realization for me and I think it happened when I was an adult that that nobody has everything figured out and we're all working towards things. And we all come across challenges.

And yes, it's something that is a skill you can, you can keep practicing and getting better. That's a beautiful quote and a beautiful note to end on. Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share with us?

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Yeah, I just want to say that again. Nobody who is listening needs permission to do what they feel they need to do in their heart of hearts.

Whether that is, you know, completing something physically challenging, transforming their own bodies, transforming their lives. You know, you have all the tools and resources you need. Ask your hands to do that.

It is possible to make these things happen. A little bit of motivation, a little bit of mindset, a little bit of exercise and a lot of tasty food and you will get there.

Catherine Wilde:

I love that. Let us know where we can find you online.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Oh, I am all over online! But if you don't feel like typing in my long name, that's okay. You can find me at weightlesschronicles.com that's my digital home. It's my main website. I also have free resources for you there.

You can go ahead and peek at my site and see there's a couple of different free resources there. But if you want to find me on social media, I'm on Instagram, on @jennspingo.

I'm also on Facebook under my fan page, which is @bweightless.

Catherine Wilde:

Oh, well thank you Jenn! Thank you for chatting with us and sharing your inspirational stories and insights today.

Jenn Espinosa Goswami:

Thank you, Catherine! It's been a pleasure to talk to you more about how to take care of yourself, how to train, how to coach yourself and how to reach your goals.

Catherine Wilde:

Thanks Jenn!

Catherine Wilde:

Thanks for joining me, Mama!

I'm every year giving you a big virtual hug. I love spending this time with you.

You are amazing for showing up and carving out this space to nourish your soul. If you are loving the Soul Care Mom Podcast, be sure to subscribe and leave a review.

Sending you so much love, Mama!

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