Get your goals

Progress is the new perfect

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Get your goals | 0 comments

It’s easy to remember your failures. You’re keenly aware of things you haven’t done. You set goals based on subjective indicators of success, as if numbers are all it takes to make you happy.

The right number on the scale.

The right number in your bank account.

The right number in your zip code.

All too often you fail to measure up to your own hopes and dreams. You’re not good enough, not yet.

Bullshit. You ARE good enough.

Even as you work towards your big goals, your best self, know that today, right here and now, you are right where you need to be. You are enough.

In your quest to health, happiness, and success, you shortchange your progress.

You may be familiar with the concept that most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate what they can do in three years, or six years, or ten years. The key to staying the course is recognizing the progress you’ve made. Progress not perfection! Progress over completion!

Acknowledging your progress is more important than you know. It’s how you stay motivated. It’s your life. It’s happening right now. And the measure of your success isn’t in the numbers, it’s in the progress.

progress not perfection

As we approach the end of the year, before setting your New Year’s resolutions, take a moment to recognize your progress. And don’t just do it once a year, do it weekly. Then, once a year, make a list of your progress and celebrate how far you’ve come!

It’s not just you- it’s also me. I’m writing this post because I need this reminder. It’s easy for me to focus on where I want to be instead of where I am. I feel the painfully short of my big goals, only momentarily celebrating how far I’ve come. My successes are fleeting in my own mind. And I’m changing that pattern. I choose to celebrate my progress, and publicly! I volunteer as tribute!

Here’s my celebratory progress list for 2017:

  • I prepared and delivered 27 presentations. (In public! In front of people!)
  • I wrote 13,249 words of my first book. (To be published in 2018- lookout, 2018!)
  • I started a professional women’s community, She Leads, and hosted 4 events to 103 attendees.
  • I worked one-on-one with 18 individual clients throughout the year.
  • I increased my gross income by 106%!
  • I became a licensed teacher of the Art of Feminine Presence, and taught 25 classes.
  • I facilitated in the Larimer County Women of the Year program.
  • I scaled back my business after a serious illness. (Don’t skimp on self-care!)
  • I started meditating daily in February. (11 months of daily meditation!)

Now it’s your turn. I invite you to make a list your accomplishments this year. What progress have you made? Say it loud and proud! Leave a comment and celebrate how far you’ve come! This is the first step towards really owning it.

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Stepping outside your comfort zone

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Get your goals | 0 comments

Are you playing small? Do you tolerate situations that don’t serve you? Have you been stuck in a rut?

As humans we inherited a predisposition to avoid risks and play it safe. This made sense when everyday life was harsher and more perilous.  Most of us are not in that situation, yet the bias to avoid risk remains.

The temptation to play it safe has a significant impact on career. It’s the reason we stay in jobs we hate. It’s the reason we aren’t earning enough income to thrive. It’s why we think about making that big change and don’t actually make it.

We’re more comfortable in our comfort zone. Or rather, we’re comfortably uncomfortable in our comfort zone. (Let’s be honest, it’s not really that cozy there, but at least it’s familiar.)

So you’re here, reading this post, and my guess is you’re at least thinking about stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s become less comfortable, or maybe you’re just ready to go big.

Some of the benefits of stretching your comfort zone include:

  • Boosting your confidence
  • Increased productivity
  • Building resiliency
  • More creativity
  • Innovation
  • Skill-building

In most situations, the benefits of stretching your comfort zone outweigh the risks.

Your comfort zone

This November I decided to get outside my comfort zone by participating in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing MonthThe goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s an average of 1,667 words per day!

Participating in NaNoWriMo is helping me prioritize writing, create a writing habit, and make significant progress on my book.

I’m stretching way out of my comfort zone with my writing. Not only am I writing more, I am working on a project clouded with self-doubt.

I’ve already seen benefits of participating, even though I haven’t hit the daily average and my overall word count is short of the goal. My confidence around writing my book is increasing. I’m making great progress on my book project. I’m building great relationships with other writers.

comfort yields complacency

Stretching outside your comfort zone is easier than you think! Here are some ways to get started:

Stretch in Community

You can stretch your comfort zone in supportive communities like Toastmasters, NaNoWriMo, and mastermind groups. There are lots of communities to support you in your personal and professional goals.

Join a Challenge

Find a virtual challenge related to the area you want to stretch. The prompts, tips, and tools in these types of challenges can make it easier to get started!

Practice Self Care

Stretching outside your comfort zone uses up more resources than your usual routine. Take extra care of yourself and give yourself a break as you stretch!

Start Small and Practice Daily

A simple daily practice can have a huge positive impact on your health and well-being. Start a short daily practice of meditation, gratitude, or other healthy habit. Five minutes a day, every day, makes a BIG difference!

If you want a better, bigger, bolder life, you’re going to have to stretch! Are you up for the challenge? Leave a comment and tell me how you’re stretching!

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How to master productivity

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in Get your goals | 0 comments

How to master productivity

The #1 myth in achieving your goals is “just do it”.

Before you can actually get the job or make a 6-figure income, you have to do more than “just do it”. If it were that easy the weight-loss industry wouldn’t be making 20 billion a year.

To create change, to grow, to level up we need more than a slogan. Sorry, Nike, Just Do It isn’t going to cut it.

Whether you’re looking for a new job, or trying to build a successful business, you need more than the right attitude. You need more than motivation.

What you really need is to adapt your situation to support you in your success. Because you’re not going to get where you want to be by doing the things you’ve always done! Can I get a, d’uh!

I see it so often with clients- they aren’t getting the results they want in their business or career and they struggle to make a change. They talk about mindset. They say things like, “I just can’t seem to get started,” or, “I’ve been trying to do this for over a year.”

One of the most overlooked methods to support you in actually achieving your goals is managing your environment. It may be the most important element in mastering productivity. You set yourself up for success by creating an environment that makes doing something different as easy as possible. Let me give you an example…

How to master productivity

Let’s say you’re unemployed and looking for employment. What time of day are you most productive? In the morning, afternoon, or evening? Most of us have natural times where we’re at our peak productivity. One way you can set yourself up to succeed is to schedule time to send out resumes based on when you’re most productive.

Where are you doing the work to look for a new job? Sitting on your couch? Laying in bed? At the kitchen table? You’ll find it easier to stay focused when you’re working in a dedicated “work area”- an area free of distractions like, “oh, I’ll just throw in a load of laundry,” and dedicated to work. I recommend finding a space that helps you feel “in the zone”.  That space may not even be in your home- it might be at a coffee shop, the library, or co-working space.

When you sit down to look for a job, do you have 5 windows open on your web browser? (Confession time: I currently have 11 windows open. Whoops!) You can set yourself up for success by closing Facebook- you might even log off Facebook completely. (Oh, the horror!) Turn your phone on silent. Minimize digital distractions to make it easier for you to focus on the task at hand.

Here are some different elements of your environment to consider:

Physical location 
Tip: Work in a space dedicated to work, not in a space where you also rest or recreate.

Time of day
Tip: Work at a time of day when you’re naturally productive.

Work length
Tip: Most of us are more productive in 45-60 minute sprints.

Work schedule
Tip: Create a work schedule and work only during those hours. Avoid checking email or returning that phone call during non-work hours.

Block out time
Tip: Block out time on your calendar dedicated to working on your goals.

Make it special
Tip: Invest in colorful pens and a fancy journal, or a high quality office chair. Investing in items specific to achieving your goals supports you in achieving those goals.

Digital distractions
Tip: Declutter digitally! Close unnecessary browsers, silence your phone, and turn off the TV.

Set the mood with music
Tip: Do you work better with or without background music? Play music or don’t- whichever helps you be more productive.

Outside distractions
Tip: If you have to work at home, ask family members not to interrupt you during work sprints. Work in a quiet area or put in headphones if outside noise will be a distraction.

Tip: Work out before you get down to work, and do something physical such as taking a walk around the block between work sprints.

Tip: Get a good night’s sleep and work when you feel rested.

Take breaks
Tip: Taking regular breaks increases your concentration and innovation!

Mastering productivity can help you reach your goals. All too often we expect big results by using a mind-over-matter approach to goal setting. You can’t “just do it” without creating an environment that supports you in meeting your goals.

Do you agree? Have you ever thought of managing your environment to support you in achieving goals?

Are you going to try these tips but you’re stuck and you don’t know the next step in your business or career? Download the free 8-Step Plan to getting unstuck!

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How to believe in yourself when life gets hard

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Get your goals, Personal Development, Professional Development | 2 comments

It’s easy to believe in yourself when things are going well. When you’ve just been hired in an exciting new job, when you sign your first client, when you start a new relationship. Everything seems possible. The world is open to you and good things are happening.

But what about those times when things aren’t going well? When you’ve been unemployed for months and your savings is running low, when you have zero clients and the mortgage is due, when you just ended a relationship that you thought was the one. In times like these it’s harder to believe in what is possible. It’s harder to trust. It’s harder to believe in yourself.

The best lesson I’ve learned since launching my business full-time is to always believe in myself. To remember than no matter what is happening in life, the world is open to me and good things will happen. To stay on track, on task, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

The problem is when life gets hard, the temptation is to shut down. To isolate. To withdraw. It seems like the sensible thing to do. But it’s not really sensible at all.

It happens to me. I get discouraged when things aren’t going well and I am tempted to limit myself. I am tempted to limit my activities, my spending, my choices. But when I limit myself, I limit my ability to believe in myself. I limit my ability to create something better.

Believing in myself is not something I do alone. I surround myself with colleagues, mentors, and coaches- people who believe in what’s possible for me. People who provide accountability, strategy, and see the greatness in me.

I spent years of my life in poverty and plenty of people didn’t believe in me. And that’s why people who are impoverished tend to stay that way. They are not only struggling to survive the day-to-day, they have no one to believe in them.

Against all odds, I believed in myself, even as a young girl. I believed I was meant for something better and I was determined to create a better life for myself.

That determination served me well, helping me build a successful life, career, and business despite many challenges and setbacks. My success didn’t come from my effort alone. I studied with great masters, even when it was only through books. I took advantage of every opportunity to learn, to grow, to take classes, to be mentored, to be supported. When I started my business, I hired a coach to support my business growth.

That’s the secret to believing in yourself- you don’t do it alone. 

In my work as a Career Coach I talk to people who need support- people who want support- and they don’t accept it. They have a million reasons to keep on as they are. They are overwhelmed or nervous or uncertain. They tell themselves they need to “figure it out”. They tell themselves they can do it alone. They tell themselves they have to wait until one thing or another falls into place before they can accept help. They’ll get help when…..

If you’re struggling to believe in yourself, find someone to believe in you. Seek out support and risk something to get it. Risk your time or your money or your fear of failure. Believe in yourself at least enough to be supported.

You’ve got a lot of potential. You are going to do amazing things. The world is waiting for you.

I believe in you. Do you believe in yourself?

believe in yourself

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How to reach your BIG DREAMS

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Get your goals | 0 comments

I’m going to tell you something you probably haven’t heard before. What I’m going to tell you will probably go against everything you were taught watching Sesame Street so I’ll ask you, do you really want to be successful in your work and your life? You’re going to have to really want it to do what I’m about to suggest.

To be successful in life you need to be selfish.

I want you to be more selfish. More selfish than you’re probably comfortable with. I hope you’ll stick with me so I can explain what I mean….

reach your dreams

I have BIG DREAMS! I have big goals and big plans and I’m going to achieve them. To be successful I need to be more selfish. I need to spend time, money, and energy pursuing my BIG DREAMS. I need to be more selfish! Not at the expense of others, of course, but maybe at the expense of politeness. At the expense of niceness. At the expense of putting other people’s hopes and dreams before my own.

Let’s talk about the oxygen mask analogy. During the safety demonstration on an airplane we are advised in case of emergency to put our own oxygen mask on before assisting others.

It’s a good analogy but here’s how it’s failing you- you can’t achieve your BIG DREAMS by putting on your oxygen mask first. Think about it, putting on your own oxygen mask is what you need to do in case of emergency. It’s a method of survival.

Let me ask you, are you surviving or are you thriving? When it’s not an emergency are you assisting others before taking action on your hopes and dreams? You have to do more than just put on  your oxygen mask- you have to be more selfish.

Do you have BIG DREAMS? Maybe you’re content to reach just a little higher but you’re more-or-less happy with the life you have. Good for you! If you don’t have BIG DREAMS you might just be able to get by putting other people first.

If, however, you do have BIG DREAMS, well, it’s about time you started putting yourself first. I’ll say it again, you need to be more selfish.

Let me give you some examples of what selfishness can look like.

Say no

People will make lots of requests and many of them will even be reasonable requests but to be successful you’ll have to say no to requests that aren’t aligned with your goals.

Think of it this way, unless you have unlimited resources, every time you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. You agree to help your friend move, but that means you can’t work on writing your memoir this weekend. You agree to bake cookies for parent-teacher night, but that means you won’t have time to work on the business plan for your dream business this week.

Again and again, your BIG DREAMS are put off in favor of doing favors for just about everyone but you.

Ask for what you want

Most people are too busy being concerned about their own life to be concerned with yours. They don’t know what you want and even when they do, they aren’t going to give it to you unless you ask. You have to ask for what you want.

You want a raise? Ask for it. You want that client to work with you? Ask for it. You want to be considered for that big project? Ask for it. You want your spouse to support you while you pursue your dream? Ask for it. Want your kids to give you an hour quiet time every night while you work on your side business? Ask for it.

You’ve got to get comfortable asking for what you want to reach your BIG DREAMS.

Be unreachable

If you’re going to work on your BIG DREAMS you need to schedule time for it. Block out time on  your calendar to pursue your dreams and be unreachable during those times.

Turn off your phone. Close the Facebook tab in your browser. Go into a quiet room and close the door.

It’s going to be difficult. A friend will invite you for dinner. Your kids will want your attention. Your boss will ask you to work late. You’ll be tempted to give in. What will happen if you don’t give in? Absolutely nothing.

Whatever or whoever is clamoring for your attention can wait. Can you wait for your dreams?

Spend money you don’t have

To reach your BIG DREAMS chances are you’ll have to invest a little money. Money that you surely think you “don’t have”. When push comes to shove, you’ll use money as your go-to excuse to push your dreams aside.

Think about skipping the fancy dinner and drinks with friends, forego buying birthday presents for a year, stop loaning money to your deadbeat uncle, or otherwise find money to finance your dream. You can probably come up with money you’ll tell yourself you “don’t have”. Selfishly spend on your BIG DREAM first.

These are just a few examples of how you can embrace the idea of being selfish to be successful in work and life. Your BIG DREAMS are calling, are you going to keep putting your dreams on hold? Are you willing to be a little selfish to achieve great things?

Leave a comment below and tell me how you’re going to be more selfish to reach your dreams.

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When not to follow your dreams

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Career Advice, Get your goals, Personal Development | 0 comments

I’m not your hope dealer.

One of my biggest pet peeves in the personal development world is inspirational leaders selling people on the idea of following their dreams… and then leaving those people hanging without the skills or tools to follow through.

It’s not enough to want it.

It’s not enough to be amazing at your work.

It’s not enough to show up.

Following your dreams takes clarity, confidence, courage, and commitment! Are you ready to take the leap? Here’s some questions to ask yourself to decide.

don't follow your dreams

When not to follow your dreams

…when  you’re bored

Boredom may be a sign that you’re meant for greater things but don’t up and quit your job just because you’re bored.

Instead, explore why you are bored. Do you need more challenge? Do you need more autonomy? Do you need more variety? Answer these questions before you jump.

…when you’re burned out

Burnout happens for a variety of reasons, from working for an overbearing boss to a mismatch in work values.

What are the reasons you’re burned out? Are you clear on  your work values? What are your workplace preferences? Here’s an assessment that will provide clarity!

…when you’re overworked

Being overworked is about how you work, not where you work or what you do. At least, most of the time anyway.

Can you maximize your productivity? Are you good at staying organized? Are you a pushover? Do you set appropriate boundaries at work? Work on building these skills to enjoy work more- whatever work you do.

…when you’re underpaid

When asked for their salary requirements, most people low-ball their desired salary and, guess what, they get what they asked for. When it comes time for their annual performance review, most people cross their fingers and hope for a raise. Changing jobs won’t necessarily get you the pay you want.

Whatever your job- working for someone else or working for yourself- you have to know your value and ask for what you’re worth! Trust me, this is a skill worth mastering and it will pay off the rest of your life. Work with me to get a raise!

…when you don’t have a plan

Are you good at figuring things out? Good for you! But are you really prepared to follow your dreams?

What’s the first step? And the next? And the next? Who will support you? How will you set yourself up for success? What will you when you get stuck?

You may need to hire a coach to get started.

…when you think you should be able to do it alone

You’re smart. You’re resourceful. You’re educated. You SHOULD be able to do this, but what if you can’t? What if- gasp!- you’re like 100% of the rest of the world and you need support, encouragement, accountability, strategy, and help?

Don’t be afraid to take classes, join a mastermind group, find a mentor, or hire a coach.

Are you ready to follow your dreams? Go ahead and jump!

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