MAP Out Your Goals

Kathryn Cloward | Photo by John Hancock
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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 12 – Summer 2020 – Austin

When I was younger, I was a runner. I started running when I lived in Auckland, New Zealand, where I’d run through One Tree Hill — the place referenced in U2’s iconic song. I also lived in a rural part of the North Island called Waipu, in a home reachable by a dirt road. My runs on that road helped me work through some unresolved musings of a 20-something woman.

When I returned to San Diego, I kept running, but not as much, probably logging three miles per run. As my running enjoyment increased, I set a goal to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. I knew I had a lot of training to do if I was going to complete 26.2 miles.

I had 10 months to train. Since I’d never trained for a marathon before, I needed guidance. Some people encouraged me to join a running team for the group motivation and accountability. I knew I didn’t need external accountability; I had that internally. I did know I needed a plan for how I was going to get from where I was to where I wanted to be. Thankfully, I found a training schedule was the right fit. This schedule was like a daily map that broke down the big goal into the basics of daily/weekly runs.

The focus on a daily goal to meet my long-term goal made sense to me. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the big number of miles, I focused my attention on daily goals that felt realistic and appropriately built up my stamina.

And something else happened during this time. As I was so focused on daily running goals, I naturally made choices that supported achieving that goal outside of running. I ate healthier foods. I didn’t drink alcohol much. My mental focus was aligned in all areas. If something externally didn’t support my bigger goal, I was naturally repelled from it. This focused determination rippled throughout my life, especially with building my business career, which I was only about eight months into. Inspired by my boss’s encouragement, I decided to set some important career goals, including achieving President’s Club — which was pretty ambitious since my sales numbers were super low. But I knew other people had achieved it and if they could do it, so could I.

With that big goal in mind, I used the map concept to create a plan. Instead of focusing on the big number of sales I’d need to achieve, I broke it down to the basic steps I’d need to take each day to reach my monthly goals. It wasn’t a rigid plan. It was quite simple. But I had to do the work, just like training for the marathon.

By the time I was at the starting line of my first marathon, I’d built up a tremendous amount of stamina. I finished it with ease. I was so proud of myself. It was a huge deal for me and people I cared about were there to support me.

Since my mental map was so focused on manifesting my desires, I did achieve President’s Club that summer and even overshot my goal by reaching Circle of Excellence, which also got me promoted. In fact, I had to leave my first companywide manager’s retreat in Palm Springs early to get back to San Diego to run the marathon. Talk about alignment.

All that took place 21 years ago. Why am I referencing it now, you might wonder? I share this story because that map concept for goal achievement is what I still use for everything I desire to manifest. I use this concept in my music career, and perhaps you will find it helpful for yours.

I released my first Kathryn Cloward original songs in 2015 — after a lifetime of self-doubt and giving up. I knew I wanted to release an album to fulfill the desire of little girl me. But as of 2012, I was a long way from doing that; I hadn’t written even one original song.

With that goal as my destination, I broke it down to the basics. I took voice and guitar lessons. I aligned with a talented songwriter friend to help me write the songs that would become my “Free to Fly” album. During that process, I learned and grew, and overcame enormous challenges. And eventually, I did fulfill my goal of releasing 22 original songs, including my “A Soft Place to Fall” album featuring 11 songs I wrote myself. None of my goal achievement was for anyone else’s approval or validation. It was for my soul’s fulfillment of finally feeling worthy enough to believe I could do it — for manifesting my truest desire.

According to the Oxford dictionary, the word success is defined as the “accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” I believe wholeheartedly that so many of us just need a little push in the YOU CAN DO IT direction to set a goal and believe it can be achieved, step by step, day by day. And above all else, what you will become while on the road to manifesting your desires will be far more valuable than you can imagine.

MAP Out Your Goals

M = MINDSET and MANIFESTATION. These go hand-in hand. Whether you believe you’ll achieve you desired goal or whether you don’t think it’s possible — you are correct.

A = ATTRACTING, which requires ATTENTION. The Law of Attraction teaches us that what we think about we bring about — for positive or negative thoughts. Focus your attention on positive results and you’ll attract into your life what you need for goal achievement.

P = PURSUE with PURPOSE for PERSONAL fulfillment. No one else establishes your standard for success. That’s all you! Believe in yourself and focus on the positive outcome you desire. You are worth it!

~Kathryn Cloward

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