Tag Archives: action

Be More Successful by Adding Gratitude

You want to have success in your life. Be something important, do something that changes the world, even if only your corner of it. Do you know how to do it? Or are you stuck, wondering what will get you there? Chances are, you need a better plan, and to appreciate your life where you are now. Let’s speed things up for you.quotethankyou

What is success, but an accomplishment of an aim or purpose? You dream up goals for your life, and when you achieve them you are successful. The key first step is having goals that you want to tackle. Not just ideas, dreams, wishes, which can get the creative juices flowing, but real goals with deadlines and steps to get there. If you don’t have these written down, that would be your first step to success. Know what you want to achieve.

When you have a plan, sometimes it just stays a plan, much like a resolution to join a gym or lose ten pounds. It sounded great on Jan. 1, but you have to act on the plan to make it happen. What could be keeping you from jumping in and getting things done?

Sometimes it’s a fear of failure, or success. These can keep you frozen, inactive. Or it may be a lack of belief in your worth, ability, experience, etc. You may not know what is hindering your success, but you can circumvent it.

The magic solution is gratitude.

Gratitude is a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. And gratitude begins with appreciating all you have right now. You can be grateful for all you’ve experienced in life that has brought you to this moment. You can even be grateful for all the painful learning experiences in life, for the lessons you learned.

What does this have to do with success? Well, you need to combine the two ideas to speed up your progress. Look first at things you’ve successfully completed in the past, as simple as learning to ride a bike to completing a marathon. Make a list. Then add to it some current ones. Earned an award at work, or bought a new car. We all have countless examples of success.

Now, look over your list of ‘Successes’, and read each one. After each say, “Thank you for my success at (fill in the blank). Make sure you do this for each item. Make it fun. Thank other people who supported or helped you achieve any of them. Pretend you’re giving an acceptance speech.

You may have heard that what you spend your time/energy on multiplies. So instead of spending time worrying or complaining about how awful things are, turn it around and be grateful, for everything. Especially those things you want more of. Concentrate on appreciation and you will be rewarded with more things to appreciate.

Now, go find (or write) your list of goals. Take the steps to get there, celebrating with gratitude each small success. Be thankful for the opportunity to achieve more great things.

Want to learn more about using Success and Gratitude to live the life of your dreams? You should check out my new Project/Course on Simpleology to get step by step guidance.


How to Get Where You Want to Be in Life

Getting where you want to be in life seems hard and confusing sometimes, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to. It’s quite similar to using your computer or GPS system to guide you from one location to the next.

There are a couple of basic requirements for GPS to work. You need to know where you’re starting from, and where you plan to go. The more specific, the better. You can say you want to travel from Chicago to San Francisco and get most of the necessary directions. If you add specific addresses to both locations, you have a plan that takes you from door to door. How simple is that?

You have your own ability to go from one place in your life to another. It’s called your Inner Global Positioning System (GPS). It has the same basic requirements as the auto GPS; you still need to know where you are and where you want to go.

This question, however is a bit more involved. Not all of us know where we are, or where we want to go. Your Inner GPS can’t give you any help without this information. You are at a standstill, or you are lost.

What does it mean to know where you are now? This involves asking some tough questions and giving honest answers. Start by taking stock of your life in these areas:

  • Career/work
  • Family life
  • Education
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality

 

Think back 3, 5 or 10 years and ask yourself, “Where did I hope to be right now in these areas?”. If you regularly set goals for yourself, this should be fairly easy to determine. If you don’t set goals, or write New Year’s Resolutions, you may not have a yardstick to use as a measure.

This is a critical first step to calibrating your Inner GPS. Even if you have goals or life plans, updating them every 6 months or so is an excellent habit to keep you on track, as you never know when construction detours by way of unforeseen circumstances (lost work, sickness, divorce, etc.) can impact what you want for your life.

Take some time and write down where you are in your life right now. If you don’t know where you are, you won’t know how to get to your desired goals! Make this a priority so you don’t wander aimlessly through life.

The next step is to know where you want to be with your life. Do you want to start a new career? Are you itching to live someplace warmer? Have you thought about your family size? What about feeling healthier and happier? What specifically do you want to accomplish in these areas?

These are the next questions you need to clarify. Using goals and visualizations in all areas can help you stay focused on getting you going in the right direction. The clearer you are about your plan, the easier for your Inner GPS to lead the way, and show you the steps to take to get there.

It’s time now for you to turn on the GPS and start taking steps to your ideal life. Start today, don’t look back 3 years from now and say, “I wish I had started sooner”. For more help, see some of my other articles on Goal Setting on my website.

Enjoy, and may all your traffic lights be green!


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.

 

 


Make Your Dreams Happen With SMART Goals

SMART goals. Use them when you want to make sure your goals have the best chance of success.

This means that instead of just having pie in the sky wishes like, “I want to be the next Oprah Winfrey, (or Roger Federer, or Steve Jobs)”, you get very specific about what you want. How do you do this? Use the SMART way of writing your goals.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

Let’s say my goal is to be the next Oprah. What are the particular qualities or attributes about Oprah am I wanting? Do I want to be a single 50-something woman with a lot of money? Do I want to own (no pun intended) a cable channel and a magazine? Am I interested in meeting and talking with leaders and change-makers from the world over? Can you see how there are an infinite number of ways to define this?

What SPECIFICALLY do I want? This is the first step in setting a good SMART goal.

Next, you want to make sure your goal is MEASURABLE, in other words you will clearly know when you have reached it. Continuing with our goal to be more like Oprah, let’s say you wanted to have enormous amounts of money like her. If you state it in terms of a specific amount, then it is measurable.

GOAL: I want to have 12 million dollars in my bank account. This is specific and measurable.

Now, is it actionable? Are there steps you can take to make this happen? Yes. How you do that is the key, and will most likely have many smaller steps to complete. For instance, perhaps you want to buy and sell real estate to make money. Or buy and rent it. Or develop land into commercial properties. Or write and sell a book on How to Make Money in Real Estate. Endless options. You do have to DO something to make it happen. So let’s say your goal will look like this:

GOAL: I will buy/sell real estate properties until I have 12 million dollars in my bank account. Specific, measurable and action-oriented.

Next we ask, is this a REALISTIC goal? Do you believe I can do it? Certainly it has been done many times by many people, but the key here is your belief in my ability to do it. You may want it, but are you willing and capable of following through? The test isn’t if you are afraid to do it, but rather do you feel passionate enough to push through the fear and do it anyway. Any worthy goal will usually cause you to stretch outside your comfort zone – Outside the Box, if you will. Take some time and make sure you feel up to the challenge your goal presents. Also, take the time to envision what your life will be like once you achieve it. This is very powerful. Then, we tweak the goal or reaffirm it.

GOAL: I will buy/sell real estate properties until I have 12 million dollars in my bank account. Specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic.

And last, the goal needs to be Time Constrained. To say that you want to have 12 million dollars is great, but unless you have a deadline you could be working toward this the rest of your life. By when do you want to have this accomplished?

GOAL: I will buy/sell real estate properties to accumulate 12 million dollars in my bank account by December 31, 2014. Specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time limited.

Now you have a SMART goal. Of course this goal is going to take a bit of time and effort. To reach it you will need to break it down into smaller goals. Examples might be:

  • Buy and resell 12 properties by 12/31/12.
  • Hire 6 new agents to work for me by 5/31/12.
  • Secure Investors for 5 million dollars for subdivision project by 4/30/12.

These are a few examples, and you may need more, but with mini-steps with deadlines, it will be much simpler to stay on track to reach the Big Goal! For more examples of SMART goals, see more articles!


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!


Step into Nature, Connect to YOU!

When the temperature dips, and the wind starts blowing the changing  leaves, I get excited. The beauty of nature always amazes, and never more than during the fall season for me. I love the feel of the crisp air as I walk. The crunch of the fallen leaves, the contrast of clear blue sky with cooler-than-it-looks temperatures. It makes me smile, and feel very happy to be alive. Do you feel this way, too?quotenatureteacher

When the sun retreats at an earlier time each week, it reminds me to savor the daylight left.  It’s hard not to get caught up in the busy excitement which starts as we prepare for the upcoming holidays. As I settle in to the time change, I start to evaluate the year to this point.

Am I where I wanted to be? Have I completed the goals and projects I set forth at the beginning of the year? The good thing about asking these questions now, is that it isn’t too late to finish some of them (or all of them…). More than likely, at this time of year we think more about getting through the holidays and preparing to start a new year, when we’ll set new goals.

It’s a plan.

But how will you feel at the end of the year if you give up NOW on completing the bright and shiny plan you made back  in January? I know I feel the weight of it niggling at the back of my mind, like a gnat that you can’t see, but you know it’s there for the periodic buzzing around your head.

How about this instead. Take a half hour to sit or walk outside, and while you notice and enjoy all the beauty around you, go over your plans and how far you’ve come this year. Celebrate your accomplishments (Well done, you!). Then take a look at what you haven’t yet finished. Like the seasons in nature, there is a time for everything, and as we near the years’ end, it’s the time to wrap up the loose ends of some of those plans, so they can be safely put away for the winter. If you clear out the  business of this year, you will be free to dream about new and amazing plans for next year.

Get rid of the buzzing gnat first. Free your mind of the niggling unfinished business. You may find that finishing some items could be easier than you thought. Some of the goals you may be able to cross off your list because they don’t fit any more. Either way, if you can find a way to put your goals to rest for the year, you’ll be free to enjoy the holidays, the slow winter season. And once completed it will feel like you do when  watching a beautiful sunset. Ahhh.


Now Is the Time For NOW!

quotetwainYou’ve probably heard that you can’t live in the past, or the future. You can only live in the present, NOW. How often do you find yourself thinking about what you did last week, and how you would do it differently if you could? Or how much you are looking forward to finally going off on the vacation you’ve been planning for the last six months?

Are you able to change what happened last week? No, of course not. Do you know what will happen on your well-earned vacation? Anything could happen between now and then.

Which leaves you only able to deal with what’s happening right now. Look around you. Are you doing something which you enjoy (of course! reading this…)? Is there something you wish you were doing today? Then why are you not doing that? What are you waiting for? The future is not guaranteed.

Seriously, though, how often have you sat down at the end of a long day or week and wondered where the time went, and why you feel like you really didn’t accomplish much of importance. I know I do more often than I care to admit. One thing that helps me to do more of the meaningful things is to make them the top priorities. If the plan is to do those things first, chances are so much greater that they will meet a successful completion.

The other thing that helps me immeasurably is to turn off the TV, or any other distraction that may beckon for my attention. If I follow up with turning on some motivational music, it’s almost impossible to stop me.

What small change could you make to be doing what you need to right now? And, what would be the best thing for you to do right now to get you one step closer to your dreams fulfilled? Take a moment, really think about those two questions. Write them down.

Then, dial down your distractions, and turn up your motivation for success.
One day, one NOW at a time.


It’s Impossible to Fail

quoteimpossibletofail

What would you do if it were impossible to fail?

It’s an intriguing, and exciting question if you really let yourself  think about it. Let the question invite your mind to dream. Just let it go. In fact, why not take some time right now to quickly write down what comes to mind- without judging your responses.

I’ll wait. 🙂

Ok, was that an eye-rolling exercise, or perhaps so exciting that you can’t wait to get started? Did you even write anything down? If not, go back and do it. And feel free to add to it at any time.

Now take a look at your list.  How many of these things are you doing right now in your life? Even if only as a hobby, or reading, learning, talking about it, how many do you give any of your time to?

Chances are that you probably don’t spend much-or maybe any- time on them. Why is this, do you think? Do these activities seem so out of reach to you, or are there obstacles in your way to enjoying your ultimate life dreams?

Now, could those obstacles actually be…you? Many times we are the only thing keeping us from success. It could look like a lack of money or other resources, or unsupportive family and friends, or lack of confidence, or any number of things that can really all be traced back…to you. Because it would be crushing to want something so much and then fail at achieving it, right?

But, what if it were impossible to fail? Could you do it? Could anything STOP you from doing it?

Let’s find out. For you, it is possible.


Move Forward

 

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Gets you nowhere fast. It stands to reason then, that if you want different things to happen this new year, like losing weight or making more money, you will have to take different actions to meet those goals.

The best thing about your past, is that you can look at it with objective eyes and learn a lot about what was successful for you, and what was not so much. You’ve heard that people who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it. This is very true, so your purpose for looking back is to learn from your mistakes, and figure out how not to repeat them.

Now you can use this new insight to move forward to more success. What have you done in the past that worked well for you? How can you use this to further your success for losing weight? What have you done that kept you stuck? How can you replace that with a new action? Ask friends for suggestions, if you have none. They know you and will probably have great ideas to try out.

You may also want to look into Coaching as an option. A Life Coach is someone who works with you to keep you focused and accountable to your Action Plan. It could make the difference between repeating your goals for next year, or moving on to new ones. What could your life look like if you met all your goals? Think about it…

This month the topic is Goal Setting. If you haven’t already read the article in the last newsletter “Making Your Plan for Success”, I highly recommend you do that ASAP. If you don’t set goals for your life, you end up being swept along with the current and whatever problems, crises, distractions cross your path.