Category Archives: Change

Get Out of Your Way, and Be Awesome

 

You are your own worst critic.

Do you believe this to be true for you? If you aren’t sure, take a day or two and pay attention to the voice inside your head and what it says about you. See if any of these sound familiar for you. “Why did you do that?” “Don’t look in the mirror, it’s disgusting”. “Idiot, why didn’t you speak up?” On and on, right?

Chances are you’ve been saying these things to yourself for so long you may not even pay attention to the voice any more. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there, happily piling on the bad feelings and guilt for you to swallow and to confirm, yet again, that you indeed are not special, or beautiful, or talented, or smart, or whatever you feel you may be lacking. Ugh, does it have to be like this?

…choose wisely, and you will have another FAN for life!
…choose wisely, and you will have another FAN for life!

No it doesn’t. Do you know what’s great about this? You can also be your biggest fan. You don’t have to believe everything you hear about yourself, even if it comes from your own mind. Chances are it started out somewhere else. Perhaps you had a dream of becoming a world-class athlete, but those around you told you it wasn’t possible; you were too clumsy, or undisciplined, or tall, or short, or whatever they thought you were lacking to be successful. And over time you started to believe it; these people know better than you do, after all.

But do they? Who could possible know what you, in your heart of hearts, want to do with your life better than you? Nobody. Yet somewhere along the way, you may have let their opinions hijack your own dreams. Good news is it’s not too late to take back control of your own preferred life. Does that sound exciting? Or are you skeptical?

All it takes is a concerted effort to listen for the voice in your head, and when you hear the criticisms and put-downs, take a moment to stop, and do something different. It’s really only the breaking of a bad habit (talking negatively to yourself) and replacing it with a new, better habit (talking more positively to yourself).

As an example, let’s say you wanted to stop chewing your fingernails. In order to be successful, you could find something else to do instead of biting them, whenever the urge arises. For instance, you may chew on a piece of gum, or a hard candy, so your mouth is already busy, until the urge passes. Or, you could find a way to make the habit less desirable. Others have tried painting their nails, or even having fake nails attached to discourage the satisfaction of biting. Or, you could apply a pepper or vinegar or other un-tasty flavor either on or under your nails. Eventually, if you aren’t feeling rewarded for your behavior, you will stop desiring it, and ultimately no longer indulge.

Let’s apply this strategy to combat the negative voices in your head. Here are a variety of options. Pick one, or more, that works for you.

  • Start by listening to what you say to yourself, pay attention, and start catching the negative comments by saying “NO” whenever you hear them. The first step is finding the problem and acknowledging it. Write them down in a notebook throughout the day.
  • When you do hear one, take a moment to counter them with positive, encouraging statements. For instance, when you hear the voice tell you, “you might as well finish the ice cream, it’ll just be calling you the rest of the night”, you can say, “NO, I only need a taste to feel good. I can save the rest for another day.”
  • Write down the opposite statements. Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, stop and write it down. Then think of an opposite, better thought and say it out loud (or in your head if you’re in public). When you write the thoughts down, they are exposed, and you can see clearly how they are hindering your happiness and growth. You may keep a notebook filled with them and watch how they will change over time as you eliminate them.
  • You don’t have to be perfect. When you knock yourself down for being inferior, counter with, “I am doing the best I can, and learn to do this better every time.” Even Thomas Edison touted his successful inventions only came after thousands of failed attempts.
  • Find examples of past successes. When you hear yourself say you are ‘always this’ or ‘never do that’, stop and think about, or write down times in the past where you were successful at this, or something similar. You already know how to be better, reawaken this belief and find the criticism shrink away.
  • Start with your strengths. If you are unsure about your strengths, ask a few people whom you trust and have your best interests at heart. Armed with what they tell you are your amazing qualities, you can move ahead knowing that your thoughts are wrong. After all, if your best friend, who cares about you, believes that you are a fantastic problem-solver, and get along with anyone, who are you to disagree? Own it, and quiet the dissenting voices with a reminder when you hear them.

These are just a few ways to replace the critics in your head with tried and true fans. Try them all, or pick one and focus on success, until you feel good about you. I highly recommend writing down your experience, whichever strategies you use, because when you can see the change happening, you will be encouraged to keep going. You will be just as awesome as you thought you were as a kid.  Next, perhaps work on that habit of turning on the TV or you-tube, when you want to avoid doing something…Old habits are hard to break, but luckily not impossible.

 

 


Your Life Currency

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by Tyra LaRocca
Many, if not most people believe that the most valuable currency available in this life is money. While it is important and can make life more comfortable, it is not the most valuable. Time is the most valuable currency we each have. And we don’t know how much of it we get to enjoy.

We are all born into this life with nothing, only the comforts and blessings which our parents or caregivers share with us.The only thing we truly have, and have responsibility for is our time and how we spend it. We may not learn how to manage our time until we are adults (or at all…), but we still learn lessons about its importance.

Who hasn’t been late for an important meeting, or a movie and felt the pressure of getting there before it’s too late? Have you ever missed a plane, or a train? What a huge difference a few minutes can make, right? Of course, there are times when we may not have control over the circumstances, weather issues, or your car breaks down. Most of the time, you have more control than you think.

How would you spend your time if you believed you were in control of it, and you may not have as much left as you’d like? What are those dreams and lofty plans that you’ve pushed to the back burner of your mind? Learn to play the piano? Visit a foreign country? Take a painting class? Get your first massage? Pick one, dust it off, and let’s get started.

What could you do if you carved a half hour of time from your day? Could you do some research on the class/trip/activity to take the first step? Of course, it may seem nearly impossible, but we all have time that we let slip by in mindless action or inaction. Who doesn’t spend much more time than necessary checking email-messages-Facebook? Ask yourself if this activity adds to your enjoyment of life in proportion to the time you spent.

Or my favorite, the television. Since the advent of the DVR, I can watch all my favorite shows any time I want. But, there are too many for me to justify the time. So, I’ve been slowly deleting the ones that I don’t look forward to seeing, keeping only the ones that I choose to watch first. This has saved me so much time currency that I am now spending on doing things I love that feel good. I write more, I go outside, I plan trips, and I am learning to speak Italian.

These goals and desirable activities will only happen if I choose to spend my limited time on them instead of other ones which are less gratifying and satisfying. You can do this, too.  Start small, say a half hour a day. Work up to longer periods, or more days and before you know it, you will be craving to do more of the things that you genuinely enjoy. Spending your time currency just the way you want to. You can’t save your time, or take it with you. Choose wisely each day and your time will be richer.

Start NOW, don’t waste another minute…


How Happy Are YOU?

How Happy Are You?

Quick answer, how happy are you, in general on a scale of 1 to 10? A 1 being, “what is happiness?” and a 10 being, “a 12!”

I sincerely hope that you didn’t hesitate to say 10, but I know that not all days can be tens. Let’s see if we can bring up your score, because happiness is your natural state. You just need to find it.

The first step to feeling happier any time is to loosen the expectations of yourself, others and the situation. If you want to be quoteslove

happier today at work, decide to enjoy whatever you are doing. Try not to put pressure on your result, be open to the process.

If you want to be happier today with others, try to look at the world through their eyes, if only for a moment. If that seems difficult, just give them your acceptance for wherever they are in life.

If you want to be happier with your life today, begin with acknowledging all that you have, and give thanks. It could always be worse.

Lastly, the best way to be happier, in a moment, is to smile at someone (if only at the person in the mirror!). Even if there isn’t a reason, share your smile. Before you know it, you feel better, and chances are other people around you will too.

Good job, I knew you were a 10!


Do You Feel Lucky?

doublesixIt’s March, and considering that I’m part Irish, the topic I’ve chosen to explore is LUCK. But really it’s about making your own luck. It’s also about believing you have good luck, as what you believe and expect is what you will get.

A lot of people swear that they have bad luck, and can prove it. They will regale me with stories of misfortune and pain ad infinitum. There are also those who don’t believe in luck of any kind.  And there are those who believe they are “lucky”, most likely in the good luck category.

Let’s start with a definition of Luck from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

a: a force that brings good fortune or adversity

b: the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

c: favoring chance; also: success <had great luck growing orchids>

 Let’s look at definition A. a (unnamed) force that brings good fortune or adversity. Interesting. There are so many ways to interpret this. Is this force a benevolent one which brings us what we need at any given time? Is it akin to Fate in that it’s what is written for our lives, but seems not to have logical circumstances? Or, could it be the result of our plans and dreams and actions that spur the behind the scenes activity which appear to bring us good fortune or adversity?

I used to spend quite a bit of time with my grandmother. She considered herself very lucky.  I would go with her to play Bingo and she would win at least once. Me, not so much. She had a weekly date with lottery scratch-off tickets. It was exciting to watch her scratch and reveal her winnings. She seemed to break even or better most of the time. As I grew older I noticed that she referred to herself as lucky, a winner. And it was true- especially in relation to others (myself included) who considered themselves unlucky.

Definition B: the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual. Similar to the first definition in that the operation of these circumstances and events is by some unknown force. Could we turn this around and say, An individual in the midst of events which operate for (good luck) or against (bad luck) them. And this can and does change constantly- from circumstance to circumstance. Now, we can see how we have some control over our luck. We can do things which help to bring about events that work for us- like introducing ourselves to someone in the field we would love to work, which leads to an interview for an opening that would be a perfect fit. Or, by not having our vehicle serviced regularly and having a breakdown on the way to an important meeting. We call it luck, but is it really so out of our control?

Definition C: : favoring chance; also : successAh, here’s a new wrinkle, success. Defined as:

A: degree or measure of succeeding

B: favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

The example in this definition uses luck and success interchangeably as related to growing orchids. I suggest it can be used in relation to anything we want to have, be or do. We still have to take care of the orchids, to do those things that will ensure their growth: water, appropriate light, drainage, etc. But when we do we find success, or have good luck.

I used to consider myself unlucky, as if the universe didn’t like me enough to share its abundance with me. Over the years I have changed my paradigm on this issue. I know more about what I want and will follow my instincts to move in that direction. My kids will tell you that I am lucky; I win things all the time. And it’s true, over the past year or so I have won concert tickets, ballet tickets, gift cards, a beautiful hand-carved bench, and more because I believe that I can and will win. These are things I love and enjoy experiencing.

This version is also tossed around when people describe others who become very successful, sometimes ‘overnight’. You may hear their success described as being ‘lucky” or ‘being in the right place at the right time”. The idea being that this success was somehow beyond their reach without the luck factor.

I sometimes wonder if we use the term luck to take the responsibility of success off ourselves and onto fate, or some other unnamed source. I prefer to think of this luck as something I create for myself, whether good or bad. Either way, my successes or failures are mine, duly earned by my thoughts and actions regarding the situation.

So, I ask you now. What type of luck are you making for yourself? How do you see yourself, lucky or unlucky? How can you get to a place of good luck-success in your life?

Think about it. Now is not too late to have the success you’ve always wanted. In fact, you can make it happen, just believe it can, and take a step in that direction. Before you know it, you may hear others referring to you as ‘lucky’. But you’ll know better. Good Luck…


Top 10 Things I Want Most (that don’t exist)

***This was written in 2008 in response to a prompt. I have brought it out, dusted it off and am working on a book that pulls this wish list into my world of how to live my own dream life- and how you can too.  Enjoy, and look for the book soon!

This is an exciting question. I generally like to think of myself as an idea person, so I choose to address this in terms of things I want most that do not currently exist. Think outside the box, so to speak. Others have called me a dreamer, or a round peg in a square hole, or just shake their heads. That’s OK, being different is my mantra.

Here are the Top 10 things I want most (off the top of my head):

  1. One of those microwave-type magic meal makers, like in the Jetson’s

It would make life so much easier to walk over to it and say, “Lobster Newburg for 3” and have it pop out in a flash. Not to mention, our menu would then have more than the present 7 choices.

  1. A retractable roof above my bathroom and bedroom

Like my very own superdome. A homedome Now, on starry summer evenings I can watch for shooting stars to wish upon from the comfort of my own bed. Or from my bathtub, complete with candles, music, a glass of fine wine, and maybe my own special McDreamy…

  1. A device that allows me to flawlessly speak and understand any language known to man at the press of a button

It would be such fun to wander aimlessly around the world and fit in like a native. It would also be interesting to eavesdrop on conversations others feel sure you don’t follow-just because.

  1. Chocolate that won’t melt, until I want it to

Beyond the M&M, it would be the richest milk chocolate mixed with my favorite flavors which I could take with me anywhere, even in my pocket, to enjoy at me leisure.

  1. A debit card that works like my kids think it does

They seem convinced that just because I have the card with me, it should be able to purchase anything, any time. I remember thinking the same thing as a kid, “Just write a check, Mom”. If only it were true.

  1. To be able to pause real life

Ever have those moments, when you look back and wish, If only I had said/done this? Well, this would prevent those. Provide the extra time to formulate the perfect action or response to the situation. Or to take a cat nap without missing anything exciting happening in your life. Or to brush your teeth before that kiss. The possibilities are endless.

  1. To dance on stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov, or front row seats to a tennis match in person between John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, or Roger Federer and, well anyone.

I know, both of these things may have been possible- at some time. That is, of course assuming I can dance well enough to share the stage with Baryshnikov (oh, well, that’s different- has always been a dream of mine though).

  1. Kids who do their own laundry, and cooking (unless we had a Jetson-wave)

I have actually heard of such kids existing, but never personally met any.

  1. Cats who learn how to use the toilet

The one chore that everyone seems to want to hand off to someone else is cleaning the cats’ litter box. I have always lived in households with cats, and love them to death because they are self-sufficient in so many areas. If they would just learn to use the toilet, I’m pretty sure they would be the perfect pet.

  1. A camera that automatically takes off 10 years and 20 pounds

You’ve heard how the camera adds 10, 20, even 30 pounds (depending on who you ask, and how much less they wish they weighed). Well, this miraculous camera would do just the opposite. Imagine fantastic photos all the time, looking your best, and 10. 20 or 30 pounds lighter (depending on how much less you wished you weighed). I might actually update my family portrait from the 10 year old one on the wall. Oh, to look younger and skinnier. Almost as good as feeling younger and skinnier (that would be number 11).

Well, that’s my wish list for today. Tomorrow I may dream up a new one. These will be so yesterday by then.

 


How to Achieve Your Biggest Life Goals, One Step at a Time

 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. – Lao Tzu
Wise words from 2500 years agoyet still ring true today.           

It may feel like that sort of journey to undertake the completion of a huge life goal, like climbing Mt. Everest or getting an MBA. And it rightly is a feat to be proud to achieve. How do you make it happen with all the life going on around you, stealing your precious time and energy?

Like any goal or plan you have had in your life, and following Lao Tzu’s tenet, you take it one step at a time. Think about it. Really, think of a time in your past when you accomplished something important. How did you do it? Did you wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll buy a house today “? And then complete it before turning in that evening? Doubtful, unless you carry enormous amounts of cash around and are easy to please. There are tasks or mini steps which when completed naturally lead to the next task until you reach the final destination, right? And you have successfully proven your ability to do this with one or more life goals already.

Big life goals are no different. The absolute hardest part of accomplishing any goal is taking that FIRST STEP. What is that first step for you, then? Knowing what you want to accomplish. Do you need to start looking for programs in mountain climbing? Or figure out what training is required to become a forensic investigator? Or map out the steps to get into a MBA program? Whatever it is, once you have the end goal in mind, back up and write out the mini-steps you need to do to reach that destination.

  • When buying a house you had to:
  • Contact lenders to be pre-qualified for a maximum loan amount.
  • Find a Realtor.
  • Locate neighborhoods that have houses in your price range and have amenities you need.
  • View enough homes until you find one you can see yourself living in.
  • Make an offer.
  • Complete loan paperwork.
  • Inspect the home.
  • Close on the sale.
  • Move into your dream home!

Of course, there were many more steps involved, but you get the idea. With your life goals, when you look at what needs to happen in totality, it may seem overwhelming. But, if you break it down into daily, weekly, monthly steps you can take to get to the finish, it’s much easier. One day, one step at a time, and before you know it, it’s been 1000 miles. And you’re not even winded.

So, I recommend asking yourself daily, “Can I take one more step today? Just one?”

And then, take it.


Personal Wellness 101

 

 

        

You may hear the words wellness, holistic wellness, personal wellness and other similar descriptors tossed around. What do they mean, and are they all the same thing?

Maybe. Professionals in various fields use them, and usually take a slightly different view of the definition. Physician’s may generally be interested in your physical health. Counselors and therapists are looking at your emotional or social health. Pastors, yoga instructors and the like are concerned with your spiritual health. Bankers, loan offers and credit card companies look at your financial health, and so on.

Today what we are talking about is your whole health, the sum total of the seven areas represented on the Wellness Wheel illustrated above. There are also a variety of options you may find on a wellness wheel, but generally these seven categories are found on most if not all of them. Let’s look at them individually:

Emotional Health: Wellness in this area means maintaining good mental health, a positive attitude, high self-esteem, and a strong self-image. It includes  the ability to respond appropriately to emotional states in life every day.

Intellectual Health: Means you actively strive to expand and challenge your mind with creative endeavors. It is responding to challenges and opportunities to grow, making plans, developing strategies, and solving problems. Always being a student of life.

Physical Health: Physical Wellness encourages consumption and activities which contribute to high level wellness, including medical self-care and appropriate use of the medical system. It means eating and engaging in physical activity which encourage your body to be at its best.

Social Health: Social wellness is having positive relationships  and enjoying being with others. It means becoming more aware of your importance in society as well as the impact you have in your community. It is recognizing the need for leisure and recreation and making time to include those activities.

Environmental Health: Wellness here means it is important to lead a lifestyle that is respectful of our environment. This includes respecting not only nature but also those species living in it. Respect for others living in our environment is just as necessary as respect for the physical environment itself.

Financial Health: Financial wellness is having an understanding of your financial situation and taking care of it in such a way that you are prepared for financial changes. The mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of money for you work together in a way that you feel positive about your financial life. What you do to earn money falls into this category.

Spiritual Health: This dimension of wellness involves seeking your own meaning and purpose in this human existence. Being well means your actions, how you live, becomes more consistent with your beliefs and values.

Since total “Wellness” is multi-dimensional, it means that while the dimensions seem separate, they are all inter-dependent. When you feel stressed at work (Financial Wellness) it will affect other areas. You may not be able to sleep well (Physical Wellness), you may get angry with family quickly (Emotional Wellness) and may withdraw from friends and activities (Social Wellness). You can see that one seemingly small problem can have a ripple affect.

By the same principle, when you work to improve one or more areas of your life, it improves the others as well. Eating better or going for a walk at lunch (Physical Wellness) can mean you have more energy to play with your kids (Social Wellness) and more clarity to solve problems at work (Financial Wellness).

Making a habit of taking stock of how you feel about each of the dimensions of wellness, can keep you on top of your overall health before it gets out of sync. Making small changes in each area can in turn have a profound improvement in many areas. Got you thinking? Great, it’s a start!

To practice improving your wellness, do the Think Outside Challenge to the right. And for more information and tips on improving any dimension of wellness check out the Wellness pages on our site.

To your Wellness!


4 Keys to a Life of Action

 

People who live an action oriented life do things differently than ‘normal’ people. That’s right; people who get the big things done are not the norm. They are the ones who will start early, stay late and do whatever it takes to make something happen. Truly successful people are passionate about what they are doing and they will do whatever it takes because they have a vision of the end result. They want it so badly that they can’t sleep at night until they achieve it.

Imagine for a moment that you are back in the time of your teenage days. Can you picture it- your clothes, friends, the school and all the drama that comes with these hormone-overloaded years. You have met your first love and you want to spend every waking moment together. Imagine that your parents told you that you cannot leave the house; what would you do if you really want to see him or her? Would you sneak out at night? Would you climb out the window and slip away? You would do whatever it takes, right?

That is how passion makes you feel. And that is how the action driven people get things done!

Are you truly serious about accomplishing your life goals? Then you have to bring the following key principles into play:

1. You have to believe in what you are doing.
This applies to the task at hand and whether you feel confident that you can accomplish it.  No one would believe in you if you do not believe in yourself! If you don’t have a firm belief in your mission, what would be the incentive or motivation to complete the task? If these beliefs are missing, then you are starting with a handicap.

2. You also have to develop a compelling desire to get things done.
It isn’t enough to believe that you can do something. You must also have the desire to do it. You may believe that you could run a four minute mile with enough training, but if you do not want to run a four minute mile, you will not put in the training to reach that milestone.

3. You must have a plan.
If you do not have an effective plan, you may be able to complete the task, but likely it will be more time-consuming and frustrating. Chances are you will not even begin. Even with a strong belief and a compelling desire, you will still fall short of your vision without an outline of the steps you need to take. You can’t one day just go out and run a four minute mile without lots of mini runs and goals first.

4. You must take steps every day that advance you to your goal.
This is where the foot meets the pavement, so to speak. The ACTION happens every day, one small step at a time, even in the rain, cold, or when you just don’t feel like it. It is a commitment, a passion to reach your goal which will carry you through each step. Before you know it the stopwatch records your success.

And then move on to the next passion filled action driven goal. If you make sure to follow the first three steps you are already halfway there. Repeated action will bring it home.


Want to Change Your Life Story?

 

 

The story of your life. If someone wanted to record your story for posterity, what would it be like? Full of tragedy and horror and pain, or filled with interesting people, memories and experiences? Well, it is what it is, right?

While it is true that the past events of your life cannot be changed, your memory of them can. Have you ever been with friends or family and in the course of the visit you reminisce about an event you shared together in the past? Have you found that as time goes by, many of the details may become blurry for some people, and for others seem completely different from your recollection?

Do you think it has always been this way? Of course, everyone experiences things differently. This is seen most often when witnesses or survivors to a tragedy see, feel, and hear conflicting accounts of the events. Are some of them wrong? Perhaps. But more likely it is the different ways each of us looks at the world and the situations in which we find ourselves.

Are you a glass half-empty or half-full kind of person? Oh no, please don’t go down that road. Research has shown, however, that people who look at the world through optimistic eyes are generally happier. They don’t necessarily experience more positive, happy events in their lives, but instead choose to enjoy them in spite of what the half-empty-ers might see as a negative event.

And being optimistic doesn’t mean that when faced with a tornado in their path  they laugh and say, oh it’s just a little storm, it’ll be alright. No, it means that they take precautions and say, wow, were we lucky to have made it out of there in time, or what? A pessimist, on the other hand might think, why do these terrible things always happen to me? I almost died out there!

See the difference? Which perspective do you think is better for your health?

Now, think about your life story to this point. If you were to write down the key points on a timeline, would you have more events that you can remember in a positive light? Even  if at the time the experience felt  bad, perhaps during a divorce or an illness or the death of a loved one, can you look at it now and find a silver lining? The more you can review events and cast a new light on them, the better you will feel about them.

Write them off as learning experiences which brought you another step closer to where you are today. Even Thomas Edison as he worked to invent the light bulb met failure, repeatedly. When asked about his failures, he chose to view those as finding 1000 ways that didn’t work, before nailing the successful one. How awesome is that?

What are your light bulb life stories then? Go ahead, rewrite your history. You know you want to.


Are You Where You Want to BE?

 

Picture a 40-something man, high school grad, been working at a variety of blue collar jobs, a wife, two kids, with a third on the way. One morning, he sees his reflection in the mirror and thinks, “What happened to my dream of coaching high school football?” Is it really too late to make it happen?

Many of us, when we take stock of our lives thus far, are loathe to admitting that time has gotten away from us without our achieving all the lofty plans we had in our youth. This is the ultimate example of goal-setting gone wrong. In reality, it’s the lack of goal-setting that is to blame. It’s just daydreaming. A dream, as they say, is a wish. A goal, on the other hand, is a dream with a deadline.

A dream with a deadline. The first step in righting all the goal-setting foibles is to make your goals measurable. Part of the problem for many is not really knowing how to set a goal. Maybe riding along on the roller coaster of life has seemed like the only way to survive. Perhaps someone else has traditionally made the decisions for you, and all you needed to do was follow through. This process seldom leads to satisfying and challenging results.

How then to best set goals and follow them to great results?

The first step is to do some self assessment to determine what it is that you would like to do. What is your passion? What would you rather be doing that really makes you feel alive? You need to buy into the goal, or you will never feel motivated to achieve it. If you need help with this, career or vocational counselors, or personal coaches can be instrumental in sorting this out.

Once you have an idea, it’s time to narrow down the specifics about your goal. If you decided that you still really want to be a high school coach/teacher, find out what that would take, and set some mini-goals or action steps which will lead you surely to that dream realization. You will know when you’re planning and hard work have paid off; because you will be offered a bonafide position at a high school where you would enjoy working. The goal statement and mini steps might look like this:

GOAL: To earn a Secondary Education degree within 4 years.
MINI-STEPS:

1. Find a college program and apply for admission by March 1.
2. Fill out a Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) by Feb. 1
3. Once accepted, meet with an advisor and plan your coursework for the first year by June 1.
4. Buy textbooks and supplies by 2 weeks before classes begin.
5. Carve out at least an hour per course for reading/studying per week
6. Revisit these steps and goals monthly to revise and update until goal is met.

The more specific the steps are, with deadlines, logical sequences, concrete actions, and the clearer the ultimate goal, the greater your chance of reaching it. The final goal may seem to you like biting off more than you can chew, but if you can beak it down into bite-sized pieces, even the 32 ounce steak can be savored, one bite at a time.