How To Create Powerful Goals

How To Create Powerful Goals

Introduction

We often daydream about what we want to accomplish in life, but how often do we actually put together a plan for making these daydreams a reality?
Why are celebrities the only ones who appear to be living extraordinary lives? Each one of us is capable of creating a roadmap with mini- goals, which can help us achieve the greatness we deserve.
Those daydreams of ours are really life goals, and our dreams will differ from person to person. However, beware of simply setting goals without any real serious thought as to how you can achieve them!
Setting goals improperly can be disappointing. Why? Well, if you’re not clear and realistic about your goals, there’s little likelihood of you achieving them. Then your goals simply remain dreams.
There’s a powerful formula that you should keep in mind when setting goals for career, business and personal aspirations.
Creating power goals

The formula is called S.M.A.R.T. and it stands for:

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Attainable

R: Realistic

T: Timely

The more specific you make your goal, the more likely you’ll identify with it – and the more likely you’ll achieve it!
The more measurable your goal is, the more likely you’ll be able to measure your progress along the way. Measurements like the amount of weight lost, revenue earned, number of clients gained, or any specific number that you can tangibly count or assess with objective figures is a measurable goal.
Setting unattainable goals is an exercise in futility. When you set attainable goals you ensure that you have adequate resources and knowledge to achieve those goals.
Goals need to be set within specific timeframes. Without timeframes, there’s no sense of urgency, which can lead to procrastination and failure.
Realistic goals are harder to articulate than you might think. Sometimes the process of goal setting supports unrealistic goals, which can lead to disappointment, failure, and the loss of your time and resources. So be sure your goals are realistic for you, not someone else!

In the next few pages we’ll examine different kinds of goal setting that utilize the S.M.A.R.T. principles and support successful outcomes.  How To Create Powerful Goals

Short Term Goals

Goals can be either short term or long term. A good life plan has both.
Short term goals serve as stepping stones that help to achieve long term goals.

These kinds of goals are “enabling” and here’s why:  How To Create Powerful Goals

> Short term goals move your plan closer to your final, long term goals. They are like preliminary steps along the way to realizing an outcome.

For example, securing a down payment would be an important short term goal for someone with a long term plan of purchasing a home.

You’ll be inspired to make further progress. Once a short term goal is realized, that success can help to inspire further efforts along the journey to your overall goals.

>  For example, if you create a new product that is met with praise, you’ll be inspired to create another product, which will create additional revenue for your business.

Creating power goals

>  Short term goals help to keep your efforts focused by serving as stepping stones across a stream of competing and distracting activities, occurrences and events.

For example, college course curricula are designed to keep students focused on working toward their major. Each course completion is a short term goal leading up to the ultimate goal of graduation

A long term goal becomes more realistic when you break it down into smaller parts, or a series of short term goals.
For instance, if you’re facing a large debt, you may be paralyzed by fear at the idea of paying off thousands of dollars in a single day. However, breaking it down into smaller monthly payments lets you see a light at the end of the tunnel with a final payoff date in the future.
Short term goals help ensure that you stick to the S.M.A.R.T. principle of having measurable goals.
If long term goals are truly measurable, the degree of success of short term goals can help to determine the success of long term goals. Short term goals can help you make adjustments and realign your objectives along the way if you need to.
Think of these short term goals as your life’s to do list. The more small goals you can check off your list, the harder you’ll want to work to check off the rest of your list. Some goals may be fun, others may be tedious, but they will all lead to your ultimate long term goal of improving your life.

Long term goals tend to be the major goals of any plan and are, as the name suggests, set out into the future or for the long term, typically 5-10 years in advance.  How To Create Powerful Goals

It’s important to have long term goals because these are the ambitions that reflect the ultimate outcome you desire. Long term goals should articulate your purpose and passion, as well as the motivation for your plan.
For that reason, long term aspirations should follow the S.M.A.R.T. principles and be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Some people have a difficult time making long term goals realistic and timely. Given that a long term goal is set to be realized in the future, there can be tendency to make it lofty and unrealistic without any specific actionable steps to get you there.
That’s why it’s important to put a significant amount of time into setting long term goals. Oftentimes the process of setting short term goals can help clarify your long term objectives.
For example, earlier we used the process of securing the funds for a down payment as a short term goal toward realizing the overall goal of purchasing a home.
If your short term goal is not achieved by your specified date, that would obviously change the timeline of your overall objective.

So let’s say your short term goal is to save $3,500 a month for 12 months in order to have enough for a down payment and buy a house in a year’s time. If that short term goals ends up being too aggressive, your overall goal may shift from 12 months away to 18 months away.

But without having short term, monthly goals to guide you, you’d never know if your long term objective is realistic and attainable.  How To Create Powerful Goals

This example illustrates how important it is to have measurable goals. If you don’t have a specific date or number to work toward, then you can’t possibly know what actions you need to take to reach your goal!
When measurable indicators are used, you can look upon them as early warning signs to help keep you on target and give you room to make changes as necessary without abandoning your desired goal.
The same holds true for the example of earning a college degree. Sometimes there are setbacks in our short term goals – for example failing a course – but one setback should not derail your dreams.
Rather than drop out of school because of one failed class, simply revisit why you failed or ask if there’s an alternative course you can take. If you don’t want to adjust the date of your graduation, consider retaking the class during a summer break or an extra class during the regular semester.
Experiencing setbacks is inevitable because we’re human. But we have the knowledge and capability to adjust our timelines and continue on our path.
There’s no harm in changing the path you’re on, but there is harm in quitting altogether!
Creating power goals

Setting Dates

One of the most important S.M.A.R.T. principles used with setting goals is the principle of making goals “timely.”
Without deadlines, it’s easy to let other priorities steer you away from your goal. A current crisis, potential opportunities, and other everyday occurrences can contribute to something called “oversight.”

Oversight is when you forget about your goals and necessary tasks associated with them because you’re focused on other issues.

Short term and long term goals, along with their accompanying deadlines, help to keep your overall plan in view so you can stay on task.

Children have a favorite response when asked to do a task: “I’ll do it tomorrow.” As parents, we need to teach children how to do things in a timely manner so these unfinished tasks don’t add up to a mountain of a mess.

As adults with long term goals, we should know better than to put things off until tomorrow because sometimes “tomorrow” never comes.

Life gets in the way with kids activities, work responsibilities, unexpected bills… the list of life’s distractions could go on and on. These distractions cause us to lose sight of our goals and desires.  How To Create Powerful Goals

Setting dates and deadlines for reaching your goals will thwart this oversight and will help prevent future regrets.

So as not to be overwhelmed, follow these simple steps:

1. Plan. Prepare a chronological list of all short term goals you need to reach in order to accomplish your long term objective.

2.  Schedule. Grab a calendar and set dates for each short term goal.

3.  Assess. Pick a day once each month to review your progress and to assess whether your dates are accurate.

4.  Now get to work! 

Creating power goals
Be realistic with your timelines to ensure that the short term or long term goals are attainable. On your assessment days, be honest with yourself about how much you’ve accomplished.
If you’ve fallen behind, allow yourself some extra time to accomplish each goal moving forward. If you’ve gotten ahead of the game, then pat yourself on the back and celebrate, just don’t allow yourself to get too complacent. You must keep your momentum strong and the internal fire roaring!

The key to this exercise is to move ahead with your plan instead of moving in the other direction. If your goals were neither attainable nor realistic, readjust and move on.

Schedule Time to Work on Goals

The process of setting goals takes time and self-reflection. Be sure you’re as informed as you can be about an issue or opportunity included in your goals.  How To Create Powerful Goals

For example, if your goal is to increase your client base, find out things like:

>  The competition – Who are your competitors? What size client base do your closest competitors have? How healthy is your industry at this time?

>  How long did it take you to develop your current client base? How long do you estimate it would take you to increase your client base by 10%? 15%? 25%?

>  Is your level of revenue meeting expectations according to your existing business plan? Are you meeting or exceeding your goals?

>  How much would you like to increase your revenue by and how much would you need to increase your client base to achieve that revenue goal?

The questions listed above are the kinds of questions a business owner might ask as she sets goals for building up her client base.
Depending on your goals, your questions may differ, but the objective is the same – to provide you with the most comprehensive understanding of the issues and realities you want to address when setting new goals.
If necessary, schedule time in your calendar to ensure you have a chance to work on these goals. Whether it’s a little everyday or just one day a week, make this appointment with yourself and keep the appointment firm!

So often we get carried away with caring for others – our families or our clients – that we forget to allow time to care for ourselves and our life goals.

If you need to delegate some tasks in order to make time in your schedule, then do so. Hire an intern to help with business tasks or outsource some of your household chores so you can find the time to make your goals a reality.

Hire the kid next door to cut your grass or hire a cleaning person to clean for you every week or two. Hire a babysitter once a week to keep the kids occupied or be creative and barter babysitting time with another mother.

Don’t use lack of time as an excuse for not achieving your goals!  How To Create Powerful Goals

Not every goal has to be about work or career either. If you want to give your home a facelift, that’s a valid goal towards improving your quality of life.
Follow the same steps for setting short term goals and dates. Make another list of any equipment or supplies you need for the home improvement project and schedule your work time on the calendar.
Reaching your goals takes time, and one of the greatest injustices you can do to your goal planning is to do it in a rush. Not only should your end dates be realistic, but allow yourself enough time to create your power goals and do whatever research is necessary so your to-do list is accurate and up to date.

Equip yourself with enough information and time to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals.  How To Create Powerful Goals

Share Your Goals To Maintain Accountability

One of the best ways to ensure you follow through with your objective is to share your goals with your family, friends, or life coach, who is committed to helping you stay accountable to your goals.

Determine what you need from a support group – constant reminding, daily emails, weekly check-ins – and share your ideas with those who you think would support you the best. Be clear with what you need and want for support and ask if they would be willing to keep you accountable.

Here are some great ideas for getting help to maintain accountability:

1.  Family and friends can be a tremendous support group who share a genuine interest in your success.

2.  Joining an association in your field or profession is a great way to meet others who may be willing to help you be accountable to your goals. They may even ask you to do the same for them.

3.  Hiring a professional life or business coach is another popular way to get the support necessary to stay on track and on target with your goals. These personal coaches work one-on-one with clients. You may have conversations once a week, once a day, or at any other intervals you determine.

A coach may be an added investment, but for many it’s an investment that can help you achieve tangible results that you never would have attained otherwise.

4.  Blogging. Some people even start blogs to keep themselves accountable. For some, it’s easier to announce your goals to the internet world than to your family and friends.

This is not recommended for business planning, because you don’t want your competitors knowing what your plans are, but if journaling online helps keep you on track with personal goals, then do whatever will motivate you to reach those goals.

Watch Your Progress

The only way you’ll be able to achieve your short term or long term goals is if you’re keeping an eye on your progress.

It’s not enough to just set your goals. It’s also important to refer to your plan, do the work necessary, and assess your progress towards your goals every step of the way.

Keep your business or life plan close at hand on your desk or on a bulletin board and look at it regularly. Too many plans spend their lives hidden in files or piles, if they’re even written down at all!

Remember that your plan isn’t set in stone. Plans are meant to be fluid and change with time or as your interests change. These plans will help keep you on your chosen path to success.
When you reach a milestone, celebrate! Tell your family, friends, and accountability coach. Blog about it. Take special note of how good you feel knowing that your hard work is paying off and you’re one step closer to reaching your long term goal.

Refer to your goals regularly to mark your progress. Create a chart for each month that highlights the progress you’ve made on your goals and keep that chart visible at all times.

Goals don’t just happen by themselves; they need your attention and active participation as you follow your plan.

Summary

Goals are the beacons that remind us of our dreams and aspirations. If your goals aren’t specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, your goals will have no meaning and you’ll have a difficult time achieving what you’re called to do!

Checklist for Creating and Realizing Your Goals:

>  Remember to give yourself the time necessary to create goals according to the S.M.A.R.T. principles. Make sure you have all the information necessary before creating your goals so it’ll be realistic and attainable

>  Incorporate short term goals into your long term goal-setting. Short term goals are like stepping stones along the way to your success. Short term tasks also encourage you to assess your plan along the way and adjust as needed.

>  Keeping yourself accountable to your goals is critical. Share your goals with someone you trust, like a peer or coach.

>  Actively monitor your progress towards your goals. Don’t keep your goals filed away. Keep them front and center so your actions and tasks will always be aligned with your goals.

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10 Simple Ways to Express Gratitude

10 Simple Ways to Express Gratitude

10 Simple Ways to Express Gratitude

Being thankful to someone and showing them how grateful you are may seem like a small thing, but it can have a massive impact on someone’s life.

Can you imagine a world where everyone was grateful for the things that were done for them? Even a simple act of kindness, like a smile for example, could brighten someone’s day and make them want to help again in the future.

You can make your life – and the world – better by expressing your gratitude!

Try these 10 Simple Ways to Express Gratitude:

1.  Send a note saying thank you. Sometimes it is nice to read about how thankful a person is. Taking the time to write something down rather than just sending a text message makes it more personal too.

2.  Give them a hug. You can only do this where appropriate, but if you’re feeling grateful about something, it’s okay to give your family or close friends a hug. Of course, not everyone will be receptive of a hug, so ensure that you know how they are going to react beforehand.

3.  Offer a free favor. Even if it is something small, do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return. Think of what the person wants or needs and do your best to help, even if it is just making a cup of coffee or doing a small chore

 Actions speak louder than words, and this simple act will show how grateful you are.

4.  Give a little gift. A bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates won’t cost much, but the act of giving them shows that you’ve thought about the person and that you are grateful for what they do for you.

5.  Be happy for their achievements. Show someone how pleased you are with their achievement. A nice handwritten card or some flowers would be a nice thought.

6.  Write a list. This will only take 5-10 minutes but will show just how much you care. Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of 10 or more things that you love about someone. Mention the things that they do for you that you are grateful for. Send that list to them.

7.  Give them public acknowledgement. Not everyone will love being made a fuss of in public, but for some, public praise would be appreciated. This works especially well if you’re the boss and those you wish to offer gratitude to are your employees.

8.  Just be there. Always be available for those you care about, even when things are not going well for you. When you are supportive of others, you are showing how much you care and that you’re grateful for the times they were there to support you.

9.  Surprise them with kindness. This works especially well with your partner. Surprise them with a lovely dinner or clean the house when they go out shopping. These simple tasks will mean a lot to someone, especially if they are busy or stressed with very little spare time.

10.  Look for the good in every situation. You may not always feel grateful for the things that are going on in your life. Especially if you feel as though things are going wrong. However, now is the time to be most grateful.

Look for those little things that are going right for you. Focus on these positives and be grateful for them. They can help take your mind off any negatives.

Notice the little things that others do for you, even in unpleasant situations. Let them know that they made a positive difference.

10 Simple Ways to Express Gratitude.  You don’t have to make grand gestures to express gratitude. Even the smallest act can show someone how thankful you are.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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Affirmation:  My skills are valuable.

Affirmation: My skills are valuable.

Check out this week’s affirmation on the value of your personal skills  My skills are valuable.

A skill is an ability to do something. You will feel more confident when you are doing things you are already skilled at.

My skills are valuable.

I stay relevant and adapt to change. My skill set prepares me for success.  My skills are valuable.

I have skills that employers are looking for. I am a high performer who can contribute to many organizations in different ways. I can deal with any job insecurity and advance my career.

I communicate effectively. I speak clearly and respectfully. I listen closely to what my boss and coworkers have to say. I share constructive feedback. I discuss sensitive subjects face to face. I think about the purpose behind my communications.

I demonstrate team spirit and leadership. I collaborate with others and celebrate group victories. I provide a positive role model.

I take initiative. I go beyond my job descriptionMy skills are valuable.

I stay calm under pressure, develop solutions, and persevere through obstacles. I identify challenges and evaluate my options.

I adjust my plans so I can stay on track through budget cuts or network crashes. I use setbacks as opportunities to grow.

I master technology and continue learning. I take online courses. I attend conferences and training events. I join professional associations and subscribe to industry publications.

I acquire knowledge and skills that help me to reach my goals.

Today, I take charge of my career path even in uncertain times. I strengthen my skills and keep them up to date.  My skills are valuable.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What is one new skill I want to develop?
  2. How can my hobbies help me to strengthen my job skills?
  3. How can I pursue opportunities for growth in my current job?

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

You may have tried to change your life before without much success. However, with an effective process, it’s possible to achieve more in a single year than most manage to achieve in a lifetime.

>  Most New Year’s resolutions are little more than wish lists with no chance of success. In fact, the average person forgets all about their resolution within a few weeks.

>  Setting goals is a powerful process, but only if done correctly. There’s much more to be done than making a list of desires and then waiting passively for them to be delivered.

Your current life situation is a combination of several factors. Your beliefs, past, habits, expectations, and resources are all factors.

A spectacular life requires balance. Wealth isn’t a substitute for poor health. A great relationship isn’t a substitute for having insufficient financial resources.

Making the next year the best year of your life is within your control. But there are several requirements. You have to know what you want, develop habits that support your goals, drop the habits that don’t support your goals, deal with obstacles, and stay the course.

Review Your Past

Common wisdom suggests that you should keep looking forward and leave the past in your rearview mirror, but this can be a mistake. The past has much to reveal. At the very least, you can learn where you’ve made mistakes. This is important, because you’ve been making the same mistakes over your lifetime.

>  The reason your last relationship ended is likely to be the same reason your next relationship will end. 

Financial challenges repeat themselves. 

>   Your past challenges with work will be your future challenges at work.

>  Your diet and exercise plans will fail for the same reasons they’ve failed in the past. 

Failing to examine and address the challenges of the past is choosing to repeat your challenges and failures throughout the rest of your life.

The past also includes some pretty great things. Failing to identify these things is an obstacle to enjoying similar success in the future.

While answering the following questions, consider all areas of your life:

>  Physical/health 

>  Finances 

>  Relationships 

>  Work 

>  Hobbies 

>  Spiritual/religious activities 

>  Family 

Reviewing the past is a critical component of creating the future:

1.  What were the highlights from last year? Create a list of at least five positive experiences from the last year. Go with your gut. Anything that fills you with positive emotions can be a highlight. It might have been something as simple as spending a perfect afternoon at the park with your child. 

>  Avoid relying on society’s values when defining your own success. It’s a success if it feels like a success. That may or may not align with conventional measures of success. Decide for yourself. 

2.  What were the low points and how could they have been avoided? It wasn’t all good. There had to be a few days or experiences you don’t want to repeat. Make a list of them and consider how these experiences could have been avoided. Minimizing the low-points in life is as crucial to your happiness as adding high points. 

Should you have been able to foresee the occurrence of these experiences?

>  How can you prevent a future reoccurrence? 

3.  What were the best decisions you made over the last year? You undoubtedly made some shrewd decisions last year. What were they? How can you apply this information in the future? 

4.  What were the worst decision from the last year? Everyone makes mistakes. What were yours? When you look even further into the past, have you made similar bad decisions? Why? 

5.  What are five positive habits you’d like to add this year? Consider the long-reaching characteristics of habits. What are a few habits you can add that will make a big difference over the long haul? 

>  Diet, exercise, financial, and relationship habits can alter your future considerably. 

6.  What are five habits you’d like to eliminate this year? Bad habits can ruin your life. Which of your negative habits would enhance your life the most if you were able to eliminate them. 

7.  What are the most important relationships in your life and why? We’re all limited by our personal resources. Good relationships require time and mental effort. It only makes sense to spend those resources on the most important relationships. Also think about past relationships you’d like to renew. 

>  It’s also useful to determine why those relationships are important. Why do you receive from these relationships that makes them important? 

8.  Which relationships should you consider ending or minimizing? Just as you’ve accumulated possessions that now clutter your life, you have relationships that need decluttering, too. 

Consider all of your relationships, personal and professional. Which of these no longer serve you?

>  Relationships are never static. It’s common for a relationship to change significantly over time. 

Are you aware of your past? Take advantage of your past experiences. Examine your past and apply that information to the future. You’ll find that it’s common to make the same mistakes over and over. End the cycle by thoroughly reviewing your past.

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Unless you’ve intentionally put your life in balance, it’s dost likely unbalanced. Having balance among the various parts of your life is necessary for happiness and well-rounded success. Focus on the areas of your life that you would consider low-rated.

If your life is out of balance, you could:

>  Be financially successful at the expense of your social life. 

>  Be successful at your career at the expense of your relationships. 

Be successful at your spiritual interests at the expense of your career. 

Without balance, you’ll be suffering in at least one aspect of your life.

This can be tricky. We live in a society that worships those that have accomplished amazing things, often at great expense. While it’s easy to admire these people, many of them are very unhappy. By giving too much attention to any single area of your life, other parts of your life will suffer.

Before deciding that you’d like to a billionaire with a private jet and a set of 6-pack abs, determine the type of lifestyle you’d like to live. Your goals should support the life you’d like to live. Think about a perfect workday, weekend, and holiday. Ideally, your goals will help to make those a reality.

Determine the lifestyle you’d like to live:

1.  How do you want to make money? With few exceptions, every adult needs to earn money to survive. The ways of earning money are only limited by your imagination. 

>  Do you want to make money by being altruistic? 

>  Do you want a corporate career? 

>  Do you want to be creative?

>  Be a doctor? Astronaut? Real estate investor? Consultant?

Work with children? 

>  Work with animals? 

2.  What working conditions do you prefer? Some people like to work in an office setting. Others like to work at home. 

>  Day/night? 

>  With others or alone?

>  Required attire?

>  Weekends?

>  What time do you want to be home each evening?

>  Are you willing to travel? Do you want to travel?

>  Do you need your own office or is a loft-type setting preferable?

3.  How are your finances? You don’t need a 7-figure salary to be happy, but it’s also not easy to be happy with a 4-figure salary. Are you able to maintain your budget? Do you even have a budget? How much debt do you have? Is your income acceptable? Is your money invested wisely for your situation? Will you be able to retire at a reasonable age? 

4.  Intimate relationships are important. Do you want to be married or single? Play the field or keep things monogamous? What do you need from a romantic partner? Consider the following characteristics a potential romantic partner might have: 

>  Attractiveness

>  Career

>  Available free time

Sense of humor

Supportiveness

>  Tolerance

>  Health

>  Intelligence

>  Kindness

>  Interest in having children

>  If you currently have a relationship, what is missing? What could be better? Are you satisfied with the relationship as it is?

5.  Your free time affects your happiness and satisfaction. How much free time do you have each week? How much of it do you spend with your family? How much time do you spend on hobbies or with friends? How much time do you dedicate to spiritual activities and development? 

6.  Avoid underestimating the value of good health. Is your diet acceptable? Are you getting enough sleep? Enough exercise? Do you visit your doctor regularly? How is your current health? What do you want to change? 

7.  Spirituality. Do you meditate or pray regularly? Are you living life according to your beliefs? Are you aware of your beliefs? Do you regularly study spiritual materials? 

8.  How is your social life? Do you get out of the house as much as you’d like and spend time with people outside of your immediate family? How many friends do you have? How many would you like to have? 

If you’re aware of your desired lifestyle, choosing goals becomes easy. Give this careful consideration. There’s no reason to have a goal of being worth $500 million if your ideal lifestyle only requires $2 million. Start with the end in mind and go from there.

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Set Goals That Increase the
 Level of Balance in Your Life

After assessing your life, you should have a good idea of where your weaknesses lie. Time is a limited resource, so ensure that you’re spending it on the areas of your life that will provide the greatest returns. Seek balance and contentment will follow.

You can have multiple goals covering several areas of your life, but divvy up your time intelligently.

Find balance by choosing your goals intelligently:

1.  Create one goal for each area of your life. You can create your own categories, but limit the number to 6-8. Set bigger goals in the areas of your life that are lagging or are the most disagreeable to you. 

It’s not a bad idea to rate each part of your life on a 1-10 scale. Set smaller goals in the higher-rated areas and more significant goals in the lower-rated areas. 

>  Choose goals that can be achieved within 12 months and are measurable. Being “healthy” isn’t a suitable goal. “Weigh 150 lbs. or less” is suitable. 

>  Be bold. You can accomplish much more in a year than you currently believe. 

2. Determine habits that will support each goal.  While we enjoy the stories of those that are successful, the truth is that path to success is quite boring. Losing 50 pounds is exciting, but 300 days of eating well, exercising, and avoiding snacks isn’t that thrilling. But that’s exactly what success is: performing effective habits over an extended period of time.

>  Make a list of at least 10 habits that will ensure your success.

>  Now choose the three habits that will make the biggest difference. Forget about the rest. 

3.  Determine the old habits you need to drop. Habits can make your goals easier or more challenging to achieve. Identify your current habits that are obstacles to your success. 

>  Those habits might be direct obstacles, such as wasting money or eating too much chocolate. Others can be subtler, such as procrastinating, wasting time, or having a negative attitude. 

Excess and happiness aren’t well correlated. A balanced life is enjoyable and minimizes the low spots. Having enough money, love, friends, and health is preferable to having an excess in three of them and a lack in the other. Create a solid foundation before attempting to achieve something outrageous.

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Gather Your Resources

For most goals, you’re going to need more than just yourself with your current level of knowledge and expertise. You’ll often require other people, advice, education, and new skills. The internet makes it much easier to find the people and other resources you require.

Get the help you need:

1.  Determine what you need to learn. Do you already know everything you need to know in order to be successful? Most importantly, do you know enough to get started? What do you need to learn to take the first step? Remember all the potential resources available to you. 

>  Internet

>  Books

>  Online courses

>  Local educational facilities

>  Clubs

>  Audio programs

> YouTube and other videos

>  People

2.  A mentor can be the most valuable resource. Imagine having access to someone that’s accomplished what you’re trying to accomplish. Unless your goal is highly unusual, someone else has already done it. Seek out these people and ask for assistance. 

>  You’ve probably had a golf coach, piano teacher, or other type of mentor in the past. It makes sense to have a coach for losing weight or launching an online business, too. 

3.  Time. Do you have the necessary time available? Some goals don’t require any more time than you’re already spending. Sticking to a budget might actually save time since you won’t be out spending money as much. 

>  However, most goals require time. Unless you currently have free time to spare, you’ll have to steal time from other activities. Surfing the internet, playing on your phone, and watching TV are the most common time-wasters. You may have to drop some more meaningful activities, too.

If you can’t make the time for your goals, you might need more inspiring goals. 

4.  Other resources. If you’re going to be a guitar player, you’ll need a guitar. Do you have everything you need? Computer? Soccer ball? 3-piece suit? Office space? Reliable transportation? Business cards? The ability to cook healthy meals? Ensure you have everything you require. 

You many need financial resources to meet many of your goals. If that’s true, one of your goals might need to be financial in nature. 

There are few things you can do completely on your own. You’re likely to need new information, skills, advice, or money to achieve your goals. Identify the key resources you will need and acquire them. Avoid underestimating the value of a great mentor.

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Identify Potential Obstacles

Without any obstacles, achieving your goals and living the best year of your life would be easy. All you’d have to do is make a few decisions. But it’s not that easy. Life is full of obstacles that will derail your efforts if you’re not prepared. Unsuccessful people are easily dissuaded by obstacles.

Identify the obstacles that can stand in your way:

1.  People. Interestingly, the people in your life can be the biggest obstacles you’ll face. There are very few people in your life that will be 100% supportive of your efforts. The remainder can directly or indirectly sabotage your efforts.

>  Some people will try to help, but do the opposite. Some of the people in your life will have the best of intentions, but hinder your efforts. They may caution you to be realistic or remind you of past failures. 

>  Your overweight spouse might be threatened by your efforts to lose weight. 

Your brother might be upset if you make more money than he does. 

>  Keep your eyes open and pay attention. Most people want to see you do well, just not better than they’re doing themselves. 

2.  You. We all sabotage ourselves on a regular basis. We do so with our thoughts, habits, beliefs, and fears. 

>  It’s easy to determine if you’re getting in your own way. When you think about your goal, do you feel anything other than excited and enthusiastic? If so, you’re in danger of being your own worst enemy. 

Monitor yourself daily by reviewing your goals and noticing your emotional response. Any negative feelings about achieving your goal must be managed if you want to be successful. 

>  Your beliefs about yourself can be highly limiting. For example, the belief, “I’m bad with money” will be an obstacle to financial success. If you identify with being a shy person, your social life will have challenges. 

3.  Momentum. It’s tough to get started. It’s even a law of physics. It takes more energy to get something moving that it takes to keep it moving. Expect resistance early in the process of making changes to your life. 

4.  Randomness. Life itself presents obstacles. You can argue whether the universe is challenging you or if it’s simply bad luck. However, there’s no disputing that random things will get in the way during your pursuit of your best year ever! 

Anticipate the things that can go wrong. Be prepared for the most likely obstacles. Expect resistance while you’re changing your life. Things won’t go smoothly 100% of the time. Get started and strive for consistent progress.

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Do you Have What it Takes?

Attaining your goals isn’t just about having goals and doing the right things. That will work in the short-term, but you won’t have lasting success. It’s necessary to become successful in the areas addressed by your goals. You can’t just change your behavior and expect long- lasting results.

If your goal is to become a millionaire, you must become a person that has the characteristics of a millionaire. It’s necessary to have the belief system of a millionaire and the thought process of a millionaire. You have to be the type of person that takes intelligent risks and manages money well.

Cultivate the attributes that guarantee you’ll achieve your goals:

1.  Make a list of attributes that support the achievement of your goals. Take each goal individually and consider the type of person that would achieve that goal. What do you need to become? 

>  More cautious or less?

> More self-esteem?

>  A different attitude?

>  A new set of beliefs?

>  More outgoing?

>  More health-conscious?

>  More active?

>  More proactive?

2.  Create a plan for developing these characteristics. Find the resources you need to become a new version of yourself. Then apply those resources each day to make the necessary changes. When you change yourself, everything in your life will change, too. 

>  Some people allow their ego to get in the way and declare, “I’m fine just the way I am. I shouldn’t have to change.” You are fine the way you are – if you’re happy with your life! But taking your health more seriously, going back to school, or learning to speak French doesn’t fundamentally change who you are. 

>  Be brave enough to discover what you’re capable of. 

3.  Visualize the person you want to become. Once you can believe it, everything else will fall into place. Start convincing yourself that you have the new mindset and attributes by visualizing yourself with them. 

Become the person you need to be. It’s important to be open to the idea of changing yourself and not just your behavior. When you change yourself, everything around you changes, too.

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Putting It All Together

You now have all the parts necessary to create a comprehensive plan. Let’s use an example of someone that wants to lose 50 pounds in the next 12 months in a healthy manner. We’ll consider everything we’ve discussed up to this point.

Matt is single, 35 years of age, 250 lbs., and 6 feet tall.

Review the Past

>  Matt was a healthy weight until he graduated from college. He then gained a few pounds each year until reaching his present condition. 

>  He has a history of making poor food choices. In his younger days, these poor choices didn’t affect his weight. 

Matt eats when he’s bored or stressed. It’s his primary coping mechanism. As a result, he keeps a lot of unhealthy comfort food in the house. 

Matt doesn’t mind exercise, but getting out of the house is a challenge for him. He has good intentions, but can’t seem to make it out the door for the drive to the gym. 

Matt views himself as the “funny, chubby guy that everyone likes.” 

>  Matt knows he’s an all-or-nothing kind of guy. There’s no middle ground. His past attempts at diet and exercise have been extreme, leaving him extremely hungry, sore, and ultimately injured. These attempts have failed spectacularly. 

Gather Resources

Matt doesn’t have everything he needs right out of the gate. The world is full of resources, many of them free. Ensure that you have the resources you need to be successful.

1.  What does Matt need to learn? Matt remembers the food pyramid from high school, but her realizes that was a while ago. He knows he needs to update his knowledge regarding healthy food choices. 

>  He also needs to brush up on his knowledge regarding getting into shape. He was a high-school athlete, but he’s not sure how to get into shape from his current starting point.

>  Matt knows he needs to learn how to control his impulses regarding his eating habits. He believes that finding other ways to deal with his boredom and stress will make sticking to a healthy eating plan much easier.

2.  Matt finds his resources. Matt searches Amazon.com for a few books regarding health, weight loss, exercise, and self-discipline. He chooses a few Kindle books for each topic. Kindle books are less expensive and easy to return if he doesn’t like a book. 

>  He also finds a few blogs that seem to mirror his situation. The authors started in the same place as Matt and have managed to create the results that Matt desires.

>  Matt has a friend that would also like to lose weight. They’ve agreed to hold each other accountable and exercise together.

3.  Find a mentor. Matt contacts the blog authors and asks if any of them would like to serve as his mentor. One of them responded positively. Matt also knows a coworker that successfully lost a lot of weight several years ago. 

4.  Time and other resources. Fortunately, Matt has plenty of time to adopt an exercise plan. He has all the basic resources he needs, but lacks financial resources. A gym membership and fancy food probably aren’t options. 

Related Habits

Matt has several bad habits that stand in his way:

1.  Poor coping skills. He doesn’t do drugs or drink, but he uses food as an emotional crutch.

2.  Unhealthy snacking. Matt eats a large percentage of his calories after dinner while watching TV.

3.  High calorie beverages. This is one habit that really makes it difficult to lose weight. Non-calorie drinks take up the same amount of physical space. It’s easy to drink a lot of calories.

4.  Little self-discipline. Even the smallest of obstacles can derail Matt’s efforts.

Eliminating these bad habits will be half the battle. In fact, Matt can probably come close to reaching his goal just by eliminating these habits. Dealing with your bad habits may have similar benefits.

It would serve Matt well if he were to develop a few new habits:

1.  Coping skills. Matt develops a few ideas for dealing with his anxiety and boredom. When he’s faced with emotional eating, Matt has decided to: 

>   Meditate for 15 minutes.

>  If that doesn’t work, he will then take a 15-minute walk.

>  Matt will then call a friend or his accountability partner.

>  Matt also decides to take up a hobby to occupy his mind and his time while he’s home alone.

2.  Avoid eating after dinner. He knows this will be challenging, but his new coping skills will help. He’s also decided to add fiber to his evening meal to keep himself feeling full. A few glasses of water will help, too.

3.  Replacing high-calorie drinks with water or other non-caloric drinks. He knows this will make a huge difference. He realizes that he might not have to cut his food intake very much if he can eliminate calories from his beverages.

4.  Research self-discipline issues. He decides to do one thing each day that he doesn’t feel like doing. He knows he needs to learn how to ignore his negative feelings and take action any way. The books have a detailed program for increasing his self-discipline and Matt schedules this activity into his life.

5.  Make exercise a daily habit. Exercise will help with his hunger and speed his progress.

6.  Make wiser food choices. Matt decides to implement a new decision process at meal times. He will now ask himself a series of questions:

>  Am I actually hungry? If not, he will use his new coping strategies.

>  Will this food take me further or closer to my weight-loss goal?

>  Matt will also avoid purchasing any unhealthy foods. He knows that if it’s in the house, it will eventually be eaten.

7.  Review his goal and his progress each day. Matt revisits his goal in the morning and the evening. He also weighs himself each day. He knows that his weight can fluctuate from day to day, so he takes the average weight for the week to track his progress. 

It’s okay to start slowly. A few smaller changes can provide sufficient results in the early stages.

Potential Obstacles

Matt identifies his potential obstacles:

1.  Matt’s mom. Matt lives close to his mom, whom has always encouraged him to eat. His mom thinks men should be well-fed and look that way. He knows that she will start nagging him as soon as he loses 10 pounds. 

>  Matt knows he needs to grow up and stop worrying about his mother’s opinion. He pays for one hour of counseling and receives several tips for dealing with her effectively while preserving the relationship. 

2.  His finances. Matt doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on losing weight, but realizes that he will be spending less money on food and beverages. He’s confident he can overcome this obstacle without any problems.

3.  His friends. Matt’s friends love to go out and eat cheeseburgers, chicken wings, and other traditional pub food. His friends will give him some good- natured ribbing and tempt him with his favorite foods.

Matt knows that his friends eat first, and then spend time talking. He decides to eat at home, show up late, and then order a diet soda. He can still spend time with his friends socializing while avoiding temptation.
 

Personal Attributes

Matt creates a list of personal attributes that will facilitate reaching his goal:

1.  Patience. Losing 50 pounds will take time. To reach his goal in a year, he must average one pound of weight loss per week.

2.  Persistence. While the work won’t be too difficult, the changes won’t be enjoyable in the beginning. Persistence will be an important quality.

3.  Having an emphasis on health, diet, and exercise. People that are lean, fit, and healthy emphasize these things. When making decisions, these items are always in the back of their minds.
 

Overall Plan

Matt knows that losing one pound each week should be easy, especially for someone of his weight. Only small changes are required to meet his one-pound per week goal. He doesn’t need to make any drastic changes.

For example, cutting out a couple of sugared drinks each day and taking a leisurely 15-minute walk each night would be sufficient to lose a pound each week for the next several weeks. When those changes stop working, it’s time to add another change or two. Small habit changes can be enough to make continuous progress. Avoid believing that painful change is required.

With enough patience and persistence, even large goals can be achieved comfortably.

Live the Best Year 
 of Your Life

Conclusion

There’s a lot to do to create the best year of your life. But none of it is particularly challenging. Determine the lifestyle that would appeal to you most. This is the starting point. Then look to your past for clues about yourself and your mistakes. What do you do well? Where do you have challenges? What are the changes you need to make?

Gather the necessary resources and make small changes to your habits. Evaluate your progress and go from there. Remain aware that you’ll need to make some personal changes. Your current collection of attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge have led to your current situation. You must change yourself to seek lasting change in your life.

Live your best year ever! Get started today.

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Affirmation:  I spread good energy wherever I go.

Affirmation: I spread good energy wherever I go.

Check out this week’s affirmation on positive energy

Staying positive can be tough. Positivity can start to wain when you are bombarded with a succession of negativity, failures, disappointment and heartbreak.

Every challenge you face withdraws from your energy, resilience and a little bit of your faith. Once your positive energy is depleted, pessimism slowly begins to creep in and take hold.

Affirmation:  I spread good energy wherever I go.

There are many reasons to have a good spirit. I constantly identify things to be joyous about. This focus allows me to maintain a positive attitude.

Having life is something worth celebrating. Each morning when I wake up, I give thanks for the chance to experience this beautiful world. That blessing fills me with a new lease on life.

I smile and share good cheer with each person who I encounter. 

My work colleagues are my teammates, so I treat them kindly. Bringing them morning coffee is a simple way to show them my appreciation for their work.

When I extend kindness at work, it creates a positive work environment. I am a part of successful projects because I encourage respectful discourse. When someone presents an idea,

I listen to it with openness and consideration.

Strangers deserve the same courtesy as my friends and family. I say good morning to each person who I pass on my daily commute.

Sharing a smile with another person spreads joy. A natural transmission of positive energy moves from one person to the next.

Small gestures such as this have a big impact on the world.

Today, the world around me smiles because I smile at it each chance that I get. I believe in getting back whatever I put out.

Spreading good energy makes the world a happier place. I choose to be an agent of positivity.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What are some of the things that make me happy?
  2. How do I drive a positive outcome from a tense situation at work?
  3. Which of my friends give me the greatest joy?

 

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5 Methods to Simplify Your Life

5 Methods to Simplify Your Life

5 Methods to Simplify Your Life

We only have so much room in our lives. Whether it is our mental space, physical space, or calendar space, everything we do, everything we buy, and everyone we spend time with takes up this space.

When you simplify your life, you will have more time, space, and energy to do the things you actually want to do!

1.  Declutter your house. The environment you spend time in has an effect on how you feel, both physically and psychologically. If you’re wasting time looking for misplaced items or feeling overwhelmed when you open a cupboard, a change is in order.

Once you start to organize your belongings, you’ll start to feel more productive and energetic.

Start with one room and then ask yourself whether you feel better or not.

2.  Lose those negative mental habits. Negative mental activities, such as feeling sorry for yourself or dwelling on the past, can carry a lot of psychological weight and leave you feeling drained.

You can clear this mental clutter by focusing on healthier thoughts, for example, gratitude, self-compassion and realistic self-talk.

If you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop yourself by taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that it isn’t helpful. Then, switch your thoughts to something that makes you feel happier.

As you practice this technique, it becomes easier and easier until focusing on the positive becomes a habit.

3.  Cut out toxic people. We all have that friend or family member who only sees problems and never any solution. These negative people can take up valuable space in your life.

Avoid cutting people out of your life just because they are going through a tough time. However, it is important to set boundaries too.

Even if you don’t spend too much time together, if the time you do spend together leaves you feeling exhausted, then sometimes the best thing to do for your own mental health is to sever your ties.

4.  Take control of your money. When you don’t control your money, your money begins to control you, instead. When that happens, it takes up too much space in your life.

Make the decision to take charge of your finances, create a budget, and stick to it. Once you have done this, making future financial decisions will be much simpler, and you won’t be spending as much time and energy worrying about your money.

5.  Prioritize your time. Time is your most valuable resource. When you consider how much of your time you spend complaining, scrolling through social media, or just waiting for something to happen, you’ll find that you’ve been wasting many precious moments.

Instead of letting timewasters take up your space, make a schedule and do the things that matter most to you!

Make time for yourself to go for a walk, play with your children, or watch the sunset. Many simple things in life make up some of our most valuable moments. Don’t let the clutter cut these precious experiences out of your life!

Life can be complicated at times, and while it may feel as though simplifying things is overwhelming, the effort to make these changes will be well worth it.

Start off by subtracting one negative thing from your life each day. Get rid of some stuff you no longer need, try to clear some mental space, and make a little room in your calendar for yourself.

As your life becomes simpler, you won’t have as many stresses, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your life again – a joy that you may have lost little by little as your life got more and more complicated.

5 Methods to Simplify Your Life.  Simplify your life and bring back your joy!

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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