Tag Archives: goals

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!


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

quotescointime.1
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…


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.


Walking Out of the Fog

quotesseefartherHave you ever driven in rain so intense that it was hard to see what was five feet in front of you? Or walked around on a foggy night where even the most familiar surroundings seem foreign? What do you do during times like this? Pull off the road until the downpour subsides? Slow your speed to a crawl? Walk tentatively while disoriented?

But do you eventually make it to your destination? Of course. Was it easy, or enjoyable? Perhaps not. But if you kept moving forward, you got there. Because even when you can only see five feet ahead of you, with every step that five foot window moves forward with you. And when you did reach your destination, it felt amazing, didn’t it? You did it, in spite of all that nature threw in your path.

Sometimes the things we want most in life are similar to being in those times of uncertain direction.We may know what we want, but not how to get there, or what to do. But if we can’t see clearly what we need to do, or where we need to go, we just stay where we are, waiting for the fog to lift, and the rain to stop.

What ends up happening instead is we get wet, and continue standing in the same spot. It’s like standing in the blazing sun and waiting for a cloud to show up when the sky is perfectly blue. There is another way.

The key here is not waiting for circumstances to happen TO US… but to take action and move to a dry or a shady location. If something is important enough to you, you will need to take the steps to fulfillment of that dream or goal.  Taking action doesn’t have to be something huge and scary. Stepping out of the rain is action. Buying an umbrella to help you stay dry while walking in the rain is an action. Talking with a new friend while waiting inside for the rain to subside is action. Any of these small actions might lead to the right person, place or thing that you need to keep moving toward your goal. But, you’ll never know if you just stand there, waiting.

And so it is with your goals. Small, simple steps will lead you where you want to be. Trust that taking a step in the right direction will reveal the next step, and the next. Before you know it, you will have reached your destination or life goal. Way to go, you!  Then, find a new one. After all, the journey is where everything happens.

Enjoy the journey, one step, one action, at a time.


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.


Making Your Plan For Success

 

Most people will pause at the start of a new year to think about the upcoming months and what they would like to accomplish. Many people approach a new year with a list of Resolutions, those big items that can be life-changing if completed. Too often they are not.

It makes sense to first take stock of what you have already completed from your list of goals. Actually, reviewing and updating your goals should be done at regular intervals, say quarterly or monthly, depending on the length of time needed to complete your goals. This process helps you see where you are right now in relation to where you want to be. And we all know that having a map won’t help you get where you want to go if you don’t know where your starting point is.

Once you have reviewed your progress and where you are now, you can begin the fun part of goal setting. Yes, the FUN part! This is where you get to brainstorm and think BIG about what it is you want in your life. Do not censor your ideas, just take out some paper and ask yourself this:

What do I want my life to look like in 5 years? In 3 years? In 2, or 1 year? And just write down everything that comes to mind. Here are some examples:

  • Live in a house with an ocean view
  • Successfully support myself working from home
  • Be 30 pounds lighter
  • Travel to Machu Picchu
  • Attend Wimbledon with 3rd Row seats
  • Be a published author

These are some of mine, off the top of my head. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to get out all the big dreams that are covered in cobwebs, as well as the continuing goals you already have.

Now, look over your list. Pretend that this list is in the present. If your life is now everything you have on your list, how would you feel about it? If you aren’t dancing or jumping up and down or at least smiling, you need to add some bigger, better stuff to your list. If you are, then you are ready to take the first step to making it all reality.

Remember that there are various areas of your life that you may want to set goals in. These areas are:

  • Career/Financial – how you earn, spend and invest money
  • Social – your relationship with friends, family, community
  • Personal – your mental health, self-esteem, happiness
  • Intellectual – stimulating your mind, learning, trying new things
  • Physical – health, exercise, eating habits, medical care
  • Spiritual – your values, beliefs, life purpose

Let’s start by putting your list items into each of these categories. It is important to be happy and healthy in each area, as problems in your work, for example, can spill over and wreak havoc in your relationships or your health. All of these parts of your life are interdependent, so it is recommended to have goals in each of them.

Next, pick the most important items from your list and write them as goal statements. This means writing it in a way that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed (this is the SMART way to set goals). As an example, here are a couple of mine:

  • Have my finished Happiness eBook for sale on Amazon by March 30 (Career/Personal)
  • Lose 30 pounds by June 30 (Physical)
  • Save $100 or more each month in my Machu Picchu fund (Spiritual/Intellectual)

These are SMART goals. These are the statements you should write up and hang on your refrigerator, or computer and see them every day. They can still seem bigger than necessary to ensure your success. For instance, Lose 30 pounds by June 30 is a goal statement that meets all the SMART criteria, but it may make more sense to set mini-goals to reach it.

  • Walk/Gazelle for 20+ minutes 5 times each week
  • Eat 5-7 servings of fruits/vegetables each day
  • Have a protein shake each night at 8 pm- then brush teeth
  • Yoga stretch for 10 min in AM/PM 5 or more days/week

Now there are more specific goal steps which will make the larger goal easier to achieve. I know what to do, and I can keep track of when and how often I do them. Do this for any goals which will benefit from breaking it down into smaller, easier steps.

Use these goals and mini goals to keep track of your progress. You may want to reward yourself when you meet mini milestones along the way. This will do wonders for your confidence and motivation to keep going.

Lastly, having accountability to yourself and your success can make all the difference in the achievement of your important goals. The moment you commit to anything, the moment you believe you can do something, things in the world start to happen to help you along. But, you have to take a step, do something every day to make it happen. You are the winner, the beneficiary of the benefits of completing your goals, so make a promise to yourself that you are worth the time and energy required to enjoy the rewards waiting for you. You are also the one who loses out when you don’t reach your goal. How will you feel next year when you do this again, and have the same goals? Either they aren’t what you really want, or you do not think you deserve them.

And you’d better believe that you are capable and deserving of much more than you can even imagine. So, start today to make your ideal life your reality. Here’s to your massive success!


You, In Review

 

Here we are, at the end of another year. It’s the perfect time to take stock of what you’ve done, and not done over the last twelve months. Is this idea scary to you? Or fun?

Whichever way you look at it, it pays to take a look at what you’ve accomplished. It helps you see where you are on your path to your big goals. Now, if you don’t have those figured out yet, that’s OK. Most likely you still have ideas and plans rolling around in your head that you keep track of, right?

Today we will look at what you’ve done this past year, and next time we will go through the exciting process of setting your plans and goals for next year. Did you know that the act of putting ideas and goals down on paper gives them more power? It makes them more real to you, and subsequently makes you more committed to your successful accomplishment of them.

It’s alright if you feel less than thrilled with your success for this past year right now. By the time we’re done you will be able to pat yourself on the back for the work you have complete, so read on. It may also help you clarify what you want to tackle for next year.

First, let’s take a moment, and look at the areas of your life that you will want to review.

  • Career/Financial: This includes how you earn money, spend it, and invest it. It also covers how you feel about your work, or plans you may have to change careers or get a promotion. What were your financial goals, and which ones did you meet?
  • Social: This is all about your relationship to your friends, family and the community at large. What did you do to improve, or initiate relationships, or to help others? How also did you care for your surrounding environment?
  • Personal Growth: This covers your inward mental health; self-esteem, confidence, happiness, and the like. How did you work to improve yourself?
  • Intellectual: Stimulating your mind, learning new things, trying new things is part of this.  This is an important way to keep you young. What courses, activities, and books did you tackle to learn something new?
  • Physical: Here we include your eating habits, exercise, and medical care, everything that helps you keep your body healthy. What accomplishments do you have in this area?
  • Spiritual: This includes any work or clarifying of your values, beliefs or life purpose you may have done. Do you know how you fit in to the big picture of life, and what your gift is to the world? What have you done to explore or understand this?

Now let’s start reviewing these areas. If you have your goals you set for this year, or for the longer term, you may want to use them as a reference. If you don’t, that’s fine; you just may need to think a bit harder about what you’ve completed.

Take out a clean sheet of paper, or open a new word document. Label the top: My Accomplishments for the Year 20__. Next, start with the first category, Career/Financial, and just jot down everything you have done this year in this category. Nothing is too small- -paid off first credit card, saved up for a new computer, got a bonus at work. You get the idea. Only write down what you have actually done this year.

When you start to come up blank, move on to the next category until you have completed all six, Career, Social, Personal, Intellectual, Physical and Spiritual. You can always come back to one whenever an idea pops into your mind. Don’t worry about putting your successes in the right category either. They are just guides to help you cover the major areas.

Give yourself as long as needed to pull out as much as you can. If you like, you may take out a highlighter and color up your results with the successes that you are MOST proud of.

There you have it. The year in review, based only on the positive steps you made. Are you surprised by how many there are? That happens a lot. If you want to remind yourself of how well you did, hang it on your refrigerator or by your computer- it will spur you on to do even more next year.

For next year, we will start with this accomplished list and set some new goals. It‘ll be fun. But first, do something to celebrate having a great year.

Well done, YOU!