A Year in Goals with Jules and Sarah
Since recording the 18 in 18 goals session on Jules and Sarah the Podcast in January, the duo have had a big year. Alongside the launch of Jules’ body-positive tanning brand Isle of Paradise in March, the pair kicked off a second podcast called Wobble, where they interview guests about happiness, mental health and body confidence. Later in the year Sarah also launched Celebrate Yourself, (more on that later) which landed at the tail-end of planning her wedding. We caught up with them to find out how their 18 in 18 goals helped them navigate the year, the importance of being honest with yourself and just how important it is to find “the thing.”
You guys have had a huge 2018. Do you think goal setting has helped you achieve so much?
Jules Von Hep: Massively, especially with my personal life. My goal sheet is on my fridge, so seeing it every day means I use it as constant guidance.
Sarah Powell: I’ve loved how much more focused it’s made me. It’s amazing how the act of sitting down and setting goals really makes you identify what’s important, versus the things that you only think are important.
The first time you set goals can feel a bit daunting. Were you nervous before you did it?
SP: Big time. It’s scary to be really open with yourself and get to the bottom of what you truly want. In hindsight, I realised there’s a big difference between the things I really wanted and the things I just thought I wanted at the time.
“There’s something about writing it down,
putting it out in black and white that
changes it from a thought into a reality.”
Do you think that starting to think about your goals helped to get you on the right path?
SP: Yes, definitely. It focuses your mind and kickstarts you to see the changes that you want to make.
JVH: Exactly. At first, it’s like a brain dump of things that you want to do and when you see them there in front of you and they become so much more.
SP: There’s something about writing it down, putting it out in black and white that changes it from a thought into a reality.
Are there any goals that you’ve achieved this year that have surprised you?
JVH: I mean, you [Sarah], getting engaged and married within a year? What?!
SP: I know! When I set my goals, it was something I really, really wanted and it felt like a really big brave thing to put it out there. We recorded the 18 in 18 podcast on the 3rd of January, went on holiday a few days later and that’s when John proposed. Another one of my big [goals] was to train as a celebrant and marry one couple myself and I’ve actually done... [counts]... five.
JVH: Amazing!SP: I know! Five weddings! I’m a celebrant!
Congratulations! That must feel so good.
SP: It really does— I can’t quite believe it. Conquering my anxiety was another big goal, but I’ve come to realise that you don’t actually conquer anxiety, you learn to manage it. I was in a really anxious place when we recorded the goals podcast and I really wish I’d been brave enough to say that I just needed to find my “thing”—do you know what I mean? Just find my purpose. But, now that I’ve found it... my income, my time and my anxiety have all been managed by me finding the thing that I’m supposed to do.
And what is your “thing”?
SP: My thing is Celebrate Yourself. It covers all my wedding celebrant work, bespoke ceremonies, and I’ve also developed a self-help and wellbeing tool called Self Celebration. My goal is for everyone to celebrate exactly who they are.
That’s incredible. Do you think that setting your goals at the beginning of the year helped you to find it?
SP: Definitely. Goal setting helped me focus on what I really wanted and the things that were most important to me. It was a real process to get where I am now, and goal setting was a brilliant way to navigate that.What was the response like from listeners after the goals podcast?
“Saying “I can”, and “I will”, is such a
different way of saying “I want to”.
It changes the meaning completely.”
Jules Von Hep
JVH: They loved it. I think because we were so open on the podcast and shared ours on social our listeners really responded and got involved.
SP: Loads of people said “write to Jules and Sarah” on their goal sheets actually, so we’ve had so many letters that say that this was one of their 18 in 18 to write in.
Are there any goals that you’ve struggled with through the year?
JVH: One of mine is to do yoga three times a week. It’s a recurring thing for me to have regular yoga in my life and something I know I want to do that hasn’t quite happened. Looking at it now, I can see that there’s a need to take time out and make the time to do it. But that goal is still very much there niggling at me.
Maybe that’s a sign that your yoga goal is too big, and actually something that you need to break down to make it more manageable.
JVH: Maybe so because I’ve literally tried everything to make it work. I’ve travelled with my mat and done online classes, but I need to be in a class and have that connection. But... it’s weird, like there’s a mental block there that stops me from going to a class.
SP: Sometimes things can become too big in your head though. You going to a class is so significant now because you’ve wanted it for so long, that in your head it’s almost like you’re not ready. Similarly, mine’s been to meditate every day. I know how beneficial it is and how much better I am with it and yet I just don’t do it. It’s so tricky when you’ve got things that you want but you just can’t crack them. “Meditate every day,” was too much of a blanket goal for me. Now I know that, I can ask myself how it’s going to look and what it’s going to be like. So it’s almost like you expand out from the headline goal and break it down into two or three smaller goals
Has using the positive phrasing and affirmative language around goal-setting changed the way you speak to yourself?
JVH: Saying “I can” and “I will” to myself has massively inspired me to teach other people how to do goals. I always tell them to listen to that [18 in 18] podcast because it’s so powerful. Saying “I can” and “I will” is such a different way of saying “I want to.” It changes the meaning completely.
Do you feel more positive and powerful as a result of goal-setting?
SP: Oh, one hundred percent. It places you in control. You’re not waiting for something else to magically come in and make the change for you. You’re empowered to do it yourself. You’ve focused on it, committed to it, you’ve written it down and thought, “Okay, what can I do to move this situation forward?”
VH: It’s all about self-improvement. One of my big goals was to do a motivational talk, which I did on Emma Guns’ podcast and [I] opened up so much about my past. That one goal spurred me on to open up to other people on different channels because the response I got was just incredible and it kept me going. So, the goals themselves are empowering but there’ll be certain goals that take you further and empower you more than you ever would have imagined.
“Goals themselves are empowering but there’ll be certain
ones that take you further and empower you more than you ever
would have imagined.”
Jules Von Hep
Have you developed any new behaviours since setting your goals?
JVH: It’s made me set monthly intentions, which are much broader than a goal but it’s my way of checking in with myself and what I need. I write down five things that I want to do each month and then share them online, which really helps me to stay on track because people ask me about them all the time.
SP: That’s such a good way of breaking down the year. Having a sort of monthly check in with yourself is a great way of staying on track and not letting time run away with you.
How about the “why”? Do you question yourself before setting a goal now?
JVH: I look for the feeling I get when I know something’s really important to me. There’s a whole justification process of making sure it’s not anxiety driven, it’s self-love driven.
SP: I take a minute to make sure I actually want something. That beat to just check in that I have a solid purpose and a driven reason.
What do you want for 2019?
JVH: I’d like to leave London. One of my goals was to spend more time in the countryside, which I have done and time and time again it’s reaffirmed that I don’t want to live in the city anymore.
SP: Well, this year I’ve started my business and next year I want to grow it. I really want to be in a position where I’m busy. It would just be the best to be busy with my own business, something I’m passionate about that I really want to do.