A Love Letter to Gals with Goals

12/31/16

Dear Gals with Goals,

Two years of trying a goal per month and blogging about it with my best friend, Angela.  And now, on 12/31/16, it comes to a close.  We will meet for brunch today at the same restaurant we had brunch two years ago when we came up with this idea, we will replay all the goals and all the feelings and all the adventures, we will overeat and order champagne and try to take a selfie while we clink our glasses together, and we will excitedly move into the next season of life that this blog launched us into.

I won’t recap every goal from January of 2015 because most of you have been following along and there’s hundreds of blog posts to prove the adventures we went on.  But what I’ll say is – as I sit here in my bed writing this final blog post, there’s a book on my night stand that I received in the mail two days ago.  It’s a slim book with a turquoise cover and in yellow font in all capital letters on the bottom is the author’s name, and the author’s name is mine.  When I posted my first blog post on January 1, 2015 I never thought I’d have a copy of a book I had written sitting on my night stand by the time I posted by final blog post on December 31, 2016.

To say this blog changed my life would be an understatement.  What started as a cure for two high-achieving-goal-focused-perfectionist-type of gals turned into adventures and failures and accomplishments beyond what we imagined.

I recorded myself singing and posted it on YouTube because of this blog.  I wrote 30 love letters to people because of this blog.  I won $20,000 in Las Vegas because of this blog.  I did a fitness photo shoot and got 9 other women to do the same because of this blog.  I doubled my grocery bills by switching to organic foods because of this blog.  I connected with people who I never would have met otherwise because of this blog.  I flew to New York City because of this blog.  I encouraged people to set 30 day goals because of this blog.  I learned how much I loved writing because of this blog.  I got to meet up with Angela often and have full, fun, and long conversations because of this blog.  I published my first book because of this blog.

I have spent countless days feeling the ache in my gut that comes with nervousness every time I shared a blog post.  I have questioned myself and worried if people would judge me.  I worried if people thought what I was doing was dumb and if they hated my writing style.  All of it, all of those normal feelings that hold people back from trying new things, sharing their feelings, writing for the public to read…I have dealt with all of those things.  And I still do.  But what I have learned is, it’s much sweeter on the other side when we don’t let those things hold us back.  The rewards on the other side are so sweet, so fun, and so freeing.

So to my besties, my coworkers, my distant friends, my neighbors, my anyone-I’m-connected-with-on-Facebook, possible strangers, and my family – I am here to tell you (this is an order and I’m pointing my finger right at you) you should go after the biggest goals you can dream!  Do them.  Share them.  Be scared.  And then do them anyway.  Fly to New York.  Start your blog.  Take the singing lessons.  Write your book.  Sing your songs.  Be healthier.  Learn to draw.  Audition for anything and everything.  Get your life organized.  Get debt free.  Wake up early.  Be the only girl in the poker room.  Book the flight.  Buy tickets to that thing.  Use YouTube to learn the things you want to learn.  Ask the dumb questions.  Take the class.  Buy the camera.  Paint that one room in your house.  Buy the domain name and start the website.  Just go do!  Write down your biggest goal ever, make the worlds longest list of all the things it takes to accomplish it, and spend 30 minutes a day doing those things.  The time will pass anyway, just go do it.  And more importantly, none of it has to be perfect.  None of it at all.  It’ll be messy and clunky and uncomfortable and you may need to change courses, but go freaking do the thing you have been wanting to do for a billion years.  Go!  Do!  Now!

And when you think you have haters, or you’re scared of what people will say, or you feel unqualified (see also: imposter syndrome) then do it anyway.  Or email me and I will repeat all these words to you.  I promise you (and I’m qualified to say this after two years), people will love you for it.  They will see you doing the thing you’ve always wanted to do, and they’ll breath a big sigh of relief and feel a sense of freedom that they can go do the thing they’ve been wanting to do now too.  And if they don’t, don’t be friends with them.

In closing <<big breath in and exhale>>…

I want to sincerely thank every person who read our blog posts over the last two years.  All the encouragement, comments, likes, teasing, whatever…it kept us going.  If nothing else, I hope the fact that we put ourselves out there gives you a sense of encouragement to just be you and to go do the same.  Take imperfect selfies, have grammatical errors in a blog, it’s all in the name of fun and know that Angela and I are here to cheer on anyone in whatever adventures they take on!

Thank you to Angela.  You’re the best.  You’re simply the best.  You do what you say you’re going to do, you never judge, you always listen, you love adventures.  You’re the real deal.  <<fist bump>>

And the biggest thank you of all goes to my husband, Chris.  He built this website for us, answered a million questions about it, showed us how to post blog posts and upload pictures, he does all the technical stuff and pays for the domain name, and generally speaking encourages me in everything I do and keeps me moving forward in all my goals.  And life.  And technology.

As for the next season for me, the end of this blog is not the end of my stories…

I will be launching my own website, new blog included, in the early part of 2017.  It will be www.brookeignethocker.com for those dying to know and anxious to bookmark it (if you visit it now, you’ll be in an infinite loop because it’ll take you back to Gals with Goals until it’s ready to roll).  The new blog will run the gamut of topics and fun antics.  Also, I am currently counting down the days until my book launch on February 14, 2017 (Valentine’s Day!) where my book will be available on Amazon.  And last but not least, in the spirit of goals and New Years…people always ask me what my goals will be for next year.  Other than growing/continuing my focus on writing through blogging and starting a second book, you can find me not hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock for 365 days.  I’ve graduated to year-long commitments.  And I’m convinced this will change my life too.

Farewell for now.  I hope you visit me on my new site next year.  And if not, I hope it’s because you’re too busy going after your goals.

Always,

Brooke Nichole Ignet Hocker