Category Archives: Goal setting

5 Ways to Stay on Track toward Your Purpose, Vision and Goals

In order to live a truly fulfilling life, it’s important to know and fulfill your life purpose. If you are happy, you are likely are living your purpose, even if you’re not consciously aware of what it is.

If you’re feeling even a teensy bit thwarted, aimless or frustrated, either your vision and purpose aren’t leading you or you’ve encountered some temporary obstacle that’s blocking you.

Here are 5 practices that can help keep you on track

1. Start writing down your dreams and set an intention for them before you go to sleep each night.

For most of my life, I’ve been a vivid dream ‘rememberer’. Earlier this year, they started fading away too quickly for me to retain them.  A month or so ago, I started a dream journal.

Writing down even glimpses tells your conscious brain you want to recall your dreams. So it makes more of an effort to transfer the images, thoughts and feelings from your subconscious where the dreams reside, to your conscious, waking brain that thinks and ‘verbalizes’ your thoughts.

Now I’m more able to recall them more easily and tap into that subconscious part of me that knows and yearns for more.

2. Read books that inspire you and help you connect to your higher Self.

I’m currently reading The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance by Edwene Gaines.  I read a bit each day and share it with my husband. I’m also reaching the end of a year-long self-study program called, A Course in Miracles. I’ve gone through it several times since first discovering it in 1981 and my perspective always expands with each journey.

3. Start each morning out with some time for reflection.

Before starting work, I sit down with another journal inspired by Conversations with God. In it, I ask for guidance on both general and specific issues I’m facing.  I’ll even ask for direction on areas I should be thinking about but aren’t at the moment. I’m always amazed by the ideas that pop into my head and the words that flow out from my fingers as I write.

4. Review your life for your gifts, lessons and themes.

Many decades ago (am I really that old?!?!?), I was exposed to a program called “You Are What You Were When…”. It was based on the presumption that what was going on in the world when you became a teenager shaped your perspective and values.  It was the predecessor to the generations work that has being written about for the last several years.

One of the key ideas put forth is that from a very early age, each of us has been expressing our gifts and passions and that if we just look back at how we spent our time and energy, themes would arise that would clarify the path we’ve been on all the while.

5. Choose, commit and act

As you do the other four outlined here you bring ‘control’ into your life.  ‘Choose’ your focus even if one was handed to you from above.  Some people ignore those messages.  If you are to live a purposeful life, you must choose to do so.  Then take action – daily – consistent with your vision, purpose and personal gifts.

Keep in mind this quote from Wayne Dyer, “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

Converting Overwhelm into Productivity in 7 Simple Steps

People seem to be overwhelmed with finding and acting on potential opportunities for their business.  Fearful they might miss out on something, that grab at anything that looks like a remotely attractive possibility, but this leaves them feeling unproductive, exhausted and still unsure of their future.

Here are seven tips to help you focus and become more profitable:

1. Have long-term and short-term goals that you’re working toward.
Having a long-term view of your life and business helps you create a filter against which you can make your day-to-day choices of how to allocate your time, money and energy. It gives you direction and purpose plus the motivation required to keep going when things get tough.  I call this your Dream Destination and supports you moving through life quickly and definitively.

2. Only set goals that are important or critical to you in some way.
Sadly, people sometimes take on goals that others have set for them. If you set a goal for something that seems ‘cool’ but doesn’t really have a place along the path to your Dream Destination, it will suck the life out of your dream and cause you to detour to unnecessary paths.

3. Decide before you end your work day what your priorities are for the next day.
For those of you who struggle with ‘time management’ issues, this one key will change your life.  Rather than walking into your office and dealing with what comes up (even if you have a to-do list), you’ll risk working on lower priority tasks.  So, before you wrap up one day, review your to-do list (if you have one), consider your Dream Destination and then choose what your top priorities are for the next day.

4. Just say “No”.
Practice saying “No” to both requests you get and to the ‘shiny objects’ that float by tempting you with the allure of something attractive but that isn’t on your priority list. It it’s not your ideal client, don’t pursue it. If it’s not in your current or needed expertise, leave it alone.

5. Work on one project at a time.
Clean your desk of all distractions. Move the piles to another location (or take the time during non-work hours to file them away). Create some physical and mental space for your creativity to arise.

6. Determine exactly what you are paid to do.
Make sure you know how you make money. For me, it’s speaking, coaching, writing and developing programs.  For your business, is it selling products, adding people to your team, creating niche websites that sell?  What?

And specifically what do YOU contribute to that process? Is it making calls to prospects, writing copy for your website, consulting with paying clients?

Spend your time doing those things.

Then…

7. Delegate everything else.
I know I harp on this, but it’s critical to your success if you want to grow beyond your current state.

Gather a team around you to take care of the administrative tasks and other items that don’t require your specialized skill set. Create systems and procedures that you can hand-off to other people so you can focus your efforts on the activities that are the closest to getting money into your bank account.

Focus applied to the right priorities is the key to your success.

5 Actions that Improve Goal Achievement & Joy

One of my favorite quotes is from Studs Terkel, author of “Working”.  He said, “Most people are in jobs that are too small for their souls.  They don’t want to work for a company, they want to work for a cause that transcends the dullness of their everyday lives.”

Back in the 1980s when he wrote that, life was much simpler. I believe that fewer people today would say their lives are dull.  I DO believe that many may confess they are searching for more meaningful days or the opportunity to pursue the dreams they’ve kept on the back burner for far too long.

So if you’re one of them or live or work with people who’ve complained of that void, be proactive in helping to raise the (emotional) tide in your neighborhood.

When you make an effort to improve the quality of your life or the lives of those around you, the world becomes a much brighter, happier place. Don’t be an uninterested bystander. You can make a difference.  You do make a difference. Go make one.

Here are some things you can implement right away to help them (or you) bring more meaning and joy into their lives.

1. Identify (or revisit) your core values
When you take the time to articulate what is truly important to you, it brings them to consciousness. Your brain will then start looking for opportunities to make them more present in your life.

2. Talk to the people around you about what’s important to you and what matters most to them.
People are sometimes hesitant to talk about what’s in their heart, feeling it’s too personal to reveal. Yet, its in the revelation of those important matters that creates bonds with others and allows us to feel we’re part of a community.  Even if the people around you value something quite different from you, you will gain insight into their behavior and motivations and perhaps even appreciate them more.

3. Take a class on a topic you’ve been interested in
This might be on a topic that will benefit you personally or professionally.  I believe it’s important for our hearts and minds to be at work on issues that stimulate and inspire us.

The cells in our body are designed to grow and multiply.  Our ideas should as well.

4.  Hire a mentor or coach
If you look at the most successful athletes, they all have a coach. Our own talents can take us so far. And let’s face it, sometimes our human need for the safety of homeostasis, keeps us from making the progress we should. Sometimes you need an outside perspective to see your career or business in a new light.  Sometimes you need a swift kick in the pants from someone who is committed more to your success than your comfort.

5. See the best in others and shine a light on it
Everyone has dark days at times. Some people wallow in them. When you make an effort to see the people around you as more capable than they see themselves, their performance will rise to meet your expectations. When you see and encourage the light in others, the world becomes a brighter place.

Take this 5 actions to heart.  Practice them regularly and let a brighter future unfold.

Is Your Lone Ranger Act Killing Your Effectiveness

Many people I talk to struggle with feeling over committed, overwhelmed and overworked. Do you have a faithful companion who supports you in your important quests?  Or are you trying to fight for law and order in your ‘town’ on your own?

Here are 7 signs that you’re maxing out on your effectiveness.

1. You’re routinely one of the last people to leave the office
There really is a limit to the amount of stuff you can do in a 24-hour period.  When you try to do too much, you routinely work into the evening or even late at night.  Other people seem to be able to get out of the office at a decent hour, but not you.

2. The work you take home with you causes problems for your family
Your family complains because you’re always on your computer, cell phone or laptop.  They miss you and want to ‘play’ with you but you’re to busy doing ‘important’ work.

3. You feel resentful of the people around you
When you’re dealing with too much to do, it could seem like others around you are sloughing off.

The reality is that you’re responsible for your situation and your feelings. If you’re complaining bitterly (and silently) to yourself, speak up. If you need help, ask for it.

4. You miss deadlines
One of the problems of having too much on your plate is that your work suffers. There never seems to be enough time in the day.  You have too many commitments to keep up with them all.  Your reputation suffers as does your self-respect.

5. Your schedule is filled with too many (unimportant) activities
You may feel important and ‘in demand’ but if you look, it’s possible that time is sucked up because you can’t say “No!”.  You agree to things that are inconsistent to your big goals (if  you’ve even bothered to create them).

6. Your big goals are languishing on the back burner of your life
As a result, you never get to the things you say are truly meaningful.  That vacation of a lifetime, the book inside you, the relationship, the call to a family member or long-term friend. You may secretly fear you’ll end up alone.

7. You don’t enjoy work anymore
When all of these things add up, it casts a heavy cloud over your days. The job you once loved is now a burden.  Your health suffers and does your spirit.

As you may have heard me say, “We have more options than we generally see and more control than we tend to take.  It’s time for you to take control.”

Make requests. Ask for help. Say “No”. Remind yourself what your life is about.  (Hint: It’s probably NOT what other people are telling you it should be about.

You get to choose. Look into your heart and ask, “If this were my last year on earth, what would I be spending my time doing?“, then re-prioritize and get started.

5 Ways to Re-energize Your Environment, Career and Life

Spring is in the air and this time of year is ideal for bringing new life into YOUR life. You’ve probably heard the expression, “Out with the old and in with the new”, right?

When you purge yourself of old things, you make energetic ‘space’ for new, more pertinent things to come into your life.  It’s difficult to attract the things you need when your environment is filled with clutter, ‘dead’ stuff, unnecessary stuff, not longer relevant stuff. If you’ve been reading these articles for a while, you know I’m a big fan of cleansing, purging and releasing.

Here are 5 activities you can easily carry out to put more “spring” in your step

1. Clean out your cupboards and closets
This past weekend, I released two shopping bags full of plastic containers that had been clogging up cabinet. It was fun and freeing. It didn’t take that long and knocked an item off my one-day-I’ll-get-around-to-it list. That in itself made me happy. Clean out your file cabinets. and throw away or shred papers that are no longer relevant.

2. Trim away dead plants (or have someone do it for you)
The winter frosts we had damaged many of the plants in our back yard. While the landscaper took care of the weeds that were about to get out of control from the rain and large trees that needed trimming, I enjoy connecting with nature through plants. So the touching and caring for them that light pruning involves, grounds me. So I snipped away at all the brown stuff leaving healthy, green, vibrant remains.

Don’t have any dead plants?  Trim away counterproductive people in your life.  Minimize your engagement with them.  Think you can’t extricate yourself? Trim away the emotions you let arise within yourself when they’re around.  You have choices about what you think and how you respond. Exercise them.

3. Reconnect with the past
A former colleague sent me a LinkedIn message that someone else we had both worked with at Kraft Foods headquarters in Chicago almost 30 years ago (yikes!) had moved to Phoenix.  After we talked, other Chicago memories arose in my consciousness allowing me to integrate the growth I’ve experienced over the decades in new ways.

4. Set new intentions
I always have a to-do list but they tend to be somewhat short term. It’s critical to routinely set aside time be more strategic and look out over a longer time horizon.  Intentions can be things you want to accomplish (goals) or characteristics you want to become or exhibit. Always be working on yourself.

5. Be open to and look for new opportunities
The universe recognizes when you take action. (It knows when you’ve been sleeping, it knows when you’re awake.  It knows when you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!)

Part of being successful is being on the lookout for opportunities (they are there, I promise you) and taking action when you see them.

The more you act on your hunches the stronger your intuition will become. The stronger your intuition becomes, the more doors you’ll see and the more courage you’ll find to open them up and step through them.