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Time to “March” Forward

Another month is upon us. How are you doing on those goals you’ve developed? Do you have any way to track your progress? Don’t lose hope if you have to answer, ‘what goals?’

With a new month comes new hope for a better future. The month of March is a great way to move forward and get them done. It’s a great day to start a new goal or go after what you’re dreaming of. As long as you have dreams, they can become a reality. But, it does mean you have to take action to get them accomplished.

Starting with small steps, ala Kaizen, will help you to begin and override any fears or doubts that may creep up. ‘Will it work?’ How will I do this?’ ‘It seems so hard’ ‘It will never work; no one will want to buy it’ and on, and on, and on. If you allow these underlying fears to become bigger, you won’t begin let along achieve.

Starting with the smallest, least threatening action will ‘show’ your brain that what you’re doing isn’t so bad, which allows you to continue moving forward. It’s ‘marching’ with one step, which you keep doing until you’re ready for the next, and then the next. With habits now taking almost sixty days to sink in, starting small creates good habits for life. It’s one of the easiest ways to begin and get things done.

Wishing you success as you march towards a more productive and successful life. Today also begins Lent, the start of 40 days until Easter; this can also be a good time to create positive habits that will impact not just you, but others. You can give up a bad habit, i.e. eating sweets, over-drinking, smoking, lying, gossiping, etc., or practice kindness to others, i.e. giving thanks or compliments, volunteering, donating possessions or money to those less needy, etc. I’m sure there is something we all can do for forty days. A positive mindset needs to set the tone – look forward and march!

If you’d like help with setting or achieving goals, contact us today at http://www.cyscoaching.com – let’s talk!

Setting Intentions, NOT Resolutions

Happy January 2017! This is a new day, new week, and new month of a new year. Most people either have – or will be – setting resolutions for themselves, and in any area of their life. However, you’re not ‘most people.’ This is why setting intentions will get you to your goals faster and keep you more motivated along the way.

Resolutions mean that you want to resolve something, such as losing weight or quitting a bad habit, like smoking or drinking. But resolutions don’t always work as the brain looks at them in a passive way, which isn’t very motivating since the brain likes challenges and solving problems. This is why intentions are more powerful; the word itself is more active and seems to hold one accountable. One definition uses the term ‘determining mentally’ on an action (dictionary.com).

Since we’re at the very start of the new year, take time to go back and review how 2016 went for you; celebrate your ‘wins’ and look to see what you didn’t get done; after all, you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes. Look at unfinished tasks and determine if they still are compelling so you can add these to the list; then, dream big and write out all that come up – don’t limit or worry about how they will get accomplished.

Once you’ve got all your goals listed, go back and prioritize those that are most important or critical to you; add target dates to accomplish them. The next step is to then break down all of the steps you think it will take to reach the goal, being as specific as you can; include resources, support (people), or money (if a factor) you will need to consider. The last step would be to translate these into a visual picture, such as a vision board or listing them on your calendar. Find a system that works for you to give yourself help along the way.

I mentioned accountability earlier so find whatever way to be held accountable to do what you say you are intending to do; this can include finding a mastermind group; getting an accountability partner or a mentor; journaling daily; tracking your results, etc. For me, I find my own accountability works, and to use visualizations, as well as writing down my results daily. Not wanting to disappoint myself is a good way to take action. Also, the more I acknowledge my wins, the better and more motivated I feel.

Hopefully, you will take these suggestions and get going. Big things are waiting for you this year – they’re all within your control. See you on the winner’s side!

If you’re stuck on setting or achieving your goals, I’d love to help you reach them. Contact us at http://www.cyscoaching.com = let’s chat!

Two Ways to Set Goals and the Benefits of Each

As we’re only two days away from a new month, what better time to plan your goals for what you want to accomplish in December. This can be the time to end the year strong or begin the new year running. The choice is up to you. To do so, there are two ways you can set goals, with each being beneficial to goal achievement.

The first way to set goals is through SMART goals, which is where you start  with what you want to accomplish. The acronyms stand for: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-limited. The more specific you are with what you want to accomplish will help the brain to lead into taking action. Being able to measure progress and ensuring they are realistic, again, keeps you in forward motion as much clarity comes on the steps needed to get them done. Goals need to spur us on and be compelling enough to keep us engaged in them, otherwise too soft of a goal can be demotivating and easier to put them off. Having a time-limit for when you want to achieve the goal gives your daily, weekly, or monthly actions manageable, as well as keeping on a schedule that will fit in with your day.

The second way to set goals is using Everest goals, which is where you work backwards from the end-result. You will take the view that you have already accomplished the goal and then ‘free-think’ of all actions and steps you took that led you there. This can be a more effective way to identify all that needs to be considered when setting a goal; I think looking at it as being accomplished creates a sense of self-efficacy and self-empowerment that leads – and keeps – you in action mode. I don’t think there is an excuse to not getting goals done if you already can see the desired outcome(s); it is essential that you are very clear on that desired result.

So, now you have two ways to plan and set your goals; use them to either complete current goals or to get started before January hits.  Happy goal-setting!

Stress-Less During the Holidays

First off, I hope you had a very fun and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Besides eating too much, this can also create a ‘lull’ in our motivation and momentum for getting tasks done. I find after having time off, I look forward to the next one; Christmas seems to refocus my attention to decorating and buying gifts. I look forward to celebrating and finding time off to be able to do so. Keeping the focus on work becomes challenging.

Part of the challenge is being bombarded with getting ready for the Christmas holidays – social media doesn’t help at all, plus having those close to us discussing their holiday preparations certainly can keep the focus on all that needs to be done. This time of year increases stress levels in the majority of Americans with all of these preparations, not to mention worry about how all of them will get paid for. Plus, most people worry about having time off – will they get the day(s) off to spend time with family and friends. It’s enough to take the merry out of the Christmas season.

BUT – it doesn’t have to be this way. Preparing and planning can help you to sail through the holidays singing Jingle Bells! Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • make a list of all that needs to be done in the next few weeks – gifts to buy, food to prepare and shop for, cleaning tasks, parties or after-school functions for the kids, wrapping gifts, decorating the house, paying bills, to name a few. Knowing what needs to be done helps to move to the next step:
  • planning a daily/weekly task list will keep you in control of tasks needing done and exactly when they need to be accomplished; list any help you can think of or tasks you can bundle together to ease your stress. For instance, as I grocery shop now, I’ve been buying some items that I’ll need for my Christmas Eve dinner so that when the day comes, all I need to do is cook :)! For wrapping gifts, consider a service that does it, such as the Boy Scouts or other charitable organization; now only will you get your task done, you will also be helping out a worthy cause (what better feeling than that).
  • schedule time each day to work on a task, whether or not it is 15 minutes in the morning or after the kids go to bed. This will keep you on track and feeling accomplished. Write this in your planner, calendar, or on your phone; use reminders that will alert you that it’s time to get to work.
  • reframe your thoughts: stay focused on positive thoughts, and the ‘reason for the season’ as opposed to what you fear (money, time, work-family conflicts, etc.). Committing to staying positive about the end-result – that everything will be fine – will have you dealing with any pressure or ‘blips’ that may occur. The only person who is putting pressure on yourself is you, so be easy. Use an affirmation or a holiday song that you sing/say during stressful times, as these will release happy chemicals in your brain and become a relaxer. The more you do, the happier you will feel

December is coming, and so are the holidays and all it brings. Right around the corner is the new year, which will be here before we know it. Don’t wait until you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle – take time now to plan and be prepared. You will get through this time one way or another – choose to do so in your way and time. Let the holiday season begin! (

(P.S. I’ll be sharing more tips to get you through the season merrily and be prepared for success in 2017, so stay tuned!)

New Month – Plan Big, Finish Strong

I always  month. It gives me hope and optimism that I get to plan out each day for how the month goes. The fact that I am in control makes me want to plan big – no plan is too big, I say. If we don’t dream big, we play small.

If you’re tired of playing small, here are 3 tips to get you thinking in the big space:

  1. Set aside time, either 15-30 minutes to detox and open up to receiving what ‘downloads’ you will get from this exercise. Breathe and relax to allow ideas to come
  2. Set a timer, say for 30-60 minutes, to allow those ‘downloads’ (ideas) to come; have paper and pen available to write them down, not judging or limiting what comes up. Look at different aspects of your life: career or business goals; fitness/health goals; spiritual goals; relationship goals (both intimate/friendships as well as work and friendships); financial goals – I’m sure you get the picture. No idea is too small or big at this point of the exercise.
  3. Now it’s time to go deeper into your planning, taking each goal and dissecting it as to when you want to accomplish it, what people/resources you need, as well as some specific steps it will take to finish strong. I’d recommend buying a sketchpad = they come in all sizes and have some cute covers – and draw out the ideas you have, as this helps the right brain come alive and makes the goal more compelling and visually ‘real.’

Once you’ve done the steps above, you should be really clear and motivated to get started. Working on the principles of Kaizen, find the smallest or easiest step you can take that will launch you into action mode. Ready…Set….Go!

 

Goal Check-In and Your Own Olympics Competition

Happy August! Here we are at another new week and new month = plenty of time to get those goals accomplished. This is my birthday month, also – hate the numbers but am blessed to be alive another year with plenty of opportunities available for me to create.

This is also a time for other celebrations, as I have six other family members who will be celebrating birthdays in the next two weeks – watch Leo power when we all get together! Another celebration will be for my Uncle Lou, who passed away last week.

The Olympic Games will be starting this week so why not think of your goal accomplishment like your very own Olympics competition?

  • you may compete in the sprint race, where you will run to the finish line to get your goal finished;
  • you may be the archer who will laser focus on your goal to really hone in on one decisive action you can take to get it done;
  • you may be the one who runs the mile or swims the 1500 meter, where it is slow and methodical but focused on the gold at the end; or
  • you may be on the soccer or rugby team and need to have a group around you to help you get the goal done

We sometimes need to ‘trick’ our brain to make our desires more pleasurable and reward-focused so we will go after them, no matter what. Keeping the end in mind is the appeal, IF that ignites our passions and we can see, hear, feel and taste it; igniting the senses is a great way to ignite the brain into getting what we want. Begin to visualize the goal, rewrite it out in detail (include sights, noises, people, etc.) as these make it more real and attainable; track your progress to ensure you are on the right track.

I’ll be watching the Olympics and I encourage you to do the same as this is a great way to be inspired and to see the results of going after a goal; if they can, so can you. Wishing August to be productive and a success!

Falling Out of a Habit (I Just Did)

So, if you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know that I started a 30-day blog challenge back in June, which I successfully completed. I was so pumped that I continued sharing daily….until this weekend. For two days, I did not post. I fell out of my habit.

I feel I had reason – two, actually. While neither is very good, they both involve the need to step back and recharge. Friday, I spoke at a meeting that took a good portion of the day, and then I went dancing at a line dance event where I could see old friends and do dances I don’t often get to do. Saturday, plans wound up taking an unexpected turn when I decided to go to Universal and just chill (it was sooooo hot and it seemed everyone was on their phone trying to find Pokeman so it wasn’t as chill as I expected).

While I recognize the need to sit back and to regroup, I also recognize the importance of not letting this become the fall-back habit, which would be easy to do considering our subconscious tries to lure us back there in the ease and comfortableness it feels. I need to remember the challenge I answered in the first place. This is what helps when we fall off the wagon, so to speak – focus on your why and answering to noone else but the self – we can be very harsh critics; the way to quiet this is to do what you set out to do, and then keep on celebrating each day’s success.

I feel rested and re-motivated; if it can work for me, it can work for you, too. Remember, the brain needs reinforcement and consistency so the more you do, the more success you will have.

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