5 Unique Ways to Enjoy Summer

Vacationing and warm weather aside, summer is a time of year that almost everyone enjoys.  But if you’ve started a new job or have just started your own business and cannot take a week-long vacation this year, here are five maybe not-so-ordinary ways to enjoy the wonderful weather anyway.

 

  1. Take an afternoon to just be.  I frequently talk about one hour of solitude, how about an entire afternoon (or morning)?  Sometimes we pack too much into our weekends when we know we won’t have time off.  But it really is the time off you’re craving – so take it!  Sit in the sun, read a non-business book, take a nap - whatever floats your boat.  Your work-week productivity will go up; try it and see!

 

  1. Open the windows and clean the house.  This is not just for the Type A’s and clutter-control-aholics out there.  It will be easier to rest and relax on your days off if the house is clean, dust- and clutter-free.  Trust me – this works!  If you need more convincing, read Clutter Around You Creates Clutter in Your Brain, or Want Less Stress?  What often works for me is to open the windows and clean the house in the morning, that way the air is still cool.  Then I take my time off in the afternoon.

 

  1. Spend an afternoon with good friends.  I took Monday afternoon off and spent it with two of my best friends.  We were supposed to hang out by the pool, but the weather did not cooperate.  We were able to grill out, share some great food, interesting conversation, and fun times.  It was relaxed and casual.  Sometimes when we think of having people over, we think it has to be a big ordeal, but it doesn’t.  Just friends hanging out – kind of like we did in college – remember those days?

 

  1. Create your own motivational seminar.  You know all those motivational books you’ve been longing to read?  What about the ones you said you would read for a second time?  Pretend you’re going to a half-day workshop – at home.  Discipline yourself to sit for three to four hours, getting up only to stretch and go to the bathroom, and read that motivational book.  Imagine that the author is speaking to you and take notes.  It’s even better if can get outside in the shade, with some sweet tea!  If I’m going through the book for a second time, I like to create a “highlights” outline.  Then I can quickly refer to my outline anytime I want to remember the true highlights of the book.

 

  1. Host a “Come as you will be” party.  If you have the time, space, and money, it’s always fun to throw a party.  This concept is from Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, and the invitation reads:

 

Come as you will be . . . in 2013! [Pick a date about 5 years into the future.]  Join us for a celebration that will stretch your imagination and catapult you into your own future.  [Give party details:  When, Where, Given by, RSVP to, etc.  Then explain further:]

Arrive as who you will be 5 years from now.  Dress in your very best.  Speak only in the present tense the entire evening, as if it were already 2013, all your goals have been achieved, and all your dreams have already come true.  You will be videotaped as you arrive.  Bring props to show everyone what you have achieved in the years between, such as best-selling books you’ve written, magazine covers you’ve been on, awards you’ve won, and photographs or scrapbooks of your achievements.  Throughout the evening, you will have the opportunity to applaud others in their achievements and to receive congratulations.

 

Can you imagine attending something like that?

 

Make it a great summer—

 

Until next time,

Live Joyfully!

 

You can subscribe to this blog here.

Get Inspired!  What do you want to create? Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Guide to Self-Empowerment has helped hundreds of people create the life of their dreams.  You can read their stories here.  If you choose the downloadable version, it comes with my free report on The Science of Getting Rich.”

Get Organized!  Learn the secrets of getting and staying motivated and organized with the Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book.  This inspiring book gives you step-by-step instructions for getting control of every area of your life.  Click here for the table of contents and to purchase.

***Please Note:  All transactions are processed through PayPal, but you can use Visa, MC, AMEX, or Discover.

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Posted under Inspiration, Motivation

5 Unique Ways to Enjoy Summer

Vacationing and warm weather aside, summer is a time of year that almost everyone enjoys.  But if you’ve started a new job or have just started your own business and cannot take a week-long vacation this year, here are five maybe not-so-ordinary ways to enjoy the wonderful weather anyway.

 

  1. Take an afternoon to just be.  I frequently talk about one hour of solitude, how about an entire afternoon (or morning)?  Sometimes we pack too much into our weekends when we know we won’t have time off.  But it really is the time off you’re craving – so take it!  Sit in the sun, read a non-business book, take a nap - whatever floats your boat.  Your work-week productivity will go up; try it and see!

 

  1. Open the windows and clean the house.  This is not just for the Type A’s and clutter-control-aholics out there.  It will be easier to rest and relax on your days off if the house is clean, dust- and clutter-free.  Trust me – this works!  If you need more convincing, read Clutter Around You Creates Clutter in Your Brain, or Want Less Stress?  What often works for me is to open the windows and clean the house in the morning, that way the air is still cool.  Then I take my time off in the afternoon.

 

  1. Spend an afternoon with good friends.  I took Monday afternoon off and spent it with two of my best friends.  We were supposed to hang out by the pool, but the weather did not cooperate.  We were able to grill out, share some great food, interesting conversation, and fun times.  It was relaxed and casual.  Sometimes when we think of having people over, we think it has to be a big ordeal, but it doesn’t.  Just friends hanging out – kind of like we did in college – remember those days?

 

  1. Create your own motivational seminar.  You know all those motivational books you’ve been longing to read?  What about the ones you said you would read for a second time?  Pretend you’re going to a half-day workshop – at home.  Discipline yourself to sit for three to four hours, getting up only to stretch and go to the bathroom, and read that motivational book.  Imagine that the author is speaking to you and take notes.  It’s even better if can get outside in the shade, with some sweet tea!  If I’m going through the book for a second time, I like to create a “highlights” outline.  Then I can quickly refer to my outline anytime I want to remember the true highlights of the book.

 

  1. Host a “Come as you will be” party.  If you have the time, space, and money, it’s always fun to throw a party.  This concept is from Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, and the invitation reads:

 

Come as you will be . . . in 2013! [Pick a date about 5 years into the future.]  Join us for a celebration that will stretch your imagination and catapult you into your own future.  [Give party details:  When, Where, Given by, RSVP to, etc.  Then explain further:]

Arrive as who you will be 5 years from now.  Dress in your very best.  Speak only in the present tense the entire evening, as if it were already 2013, all your goals have been achieved, and all your dreams have already come true.  You will be videotaped as you arrive.  Bring props to show everyone what you have achieved in the years between, such as best-selling books you’ve written, magazine covers you’ve been on, awards you’ve won, and photographs or scrapbooks of your achievements.  Throughout the evening, you will have the opportunity to applaud others in their achievements and to receive congratulations.

 

Can you imagine attending something like that?

 

Make it a great summer—

 

Until next time,

Live Joyfully!

 

You can subscribe to this blog here.

Get Inspired!  What do you want to create? Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Guide to Self-Empowerment has helped hundreds of people create the life of their dreams.  You can read their stories here.  If you choose the downloadable version, it comes with my free report on The Science of Getting Rich.”

Get Organized!  Learn the secrets of getting and staying motivated and organized with the Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book.  This inspiring book gives you step-by-step instructions for getting control of every area of your life.  Click here for the table of contents and to purchase.

***Please Note:  All transactions are processed through PayPal, but you can use Visa, MC, AMEX, or Discover.

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Posted under Inspiration, Motivation

Politics in the Workplace

One of the biggest disappointments I get when I take a consulting job working with an organization is all the political work-arounds I have to deal with.  It just drives me crazy.  I usually get around it by telling myself that I am there short-term, I was hired to do a job, and that I will make a difference in the end.

This past week I observed a situation that, after reflecting on many frustrating incidences in the corporate world, made me realize that there are some ways to rise above all the game-playing and mind-numbing banalities.  Ready?

The truly competent individual can be free of politics in an organization if he or she chooses. When you’re really good at what you do, you can rise above politics, and I’ve noticed that this is what the more successful people within a company have done.  Be careful when engaging in water-cooler talk and “making plays.”  It might be back-firing more than you think.  Brain Tracy says, “It’s the mediocrities at work who have to play games and every study shows that although they sometimes succeed in the short-term, they invariably fail when everyone figures them out.”  Looking back on previous situations I’ve been in, I’ll have to agree.  But then I suppose “studies” prove themselves, don’t they?

So how can you become the competent, mediocre-less, on-the-way-up type that you want to be?  Here are two things you can do to assure that you are in the right position.

  1. Do What You Love To Do
    Select your work carefully and if you don’t love what you’re doing enough to want to be the best at it, get out!  It is rare to be successful at a job you don’t like.  Enjoying your work and being good at it go hand-in-hand.  More importantly, your work should excite you and cause you to jump out of bed in the morning.  If it doesn’t, that’s a tip from your inner being that you’re not on the right path.  Flee from the boring or unsatisfying job as you would from a burning building. Working at something you don’t care about is the very best way to waste your life. Remember, this life is not a rehearsal for something else.  Love it; enjoy it – it’s what you came here to do!  If you need help with finding your passion, try reading How to Decide What to Do with the Rest of Your Life.

  1. Work for the Right Company
    One key to getting onto the fast-track is for you to work for the right company and the right boss. The right company is one that respects its people and practices pay for performance. Our employees are on a bonus system that makes them partners in the practice.  (Not from a liability standpoint, just from a profit-sharing perspective.)  The right company is dynamic, growing, open to new ideas, and full of opportunities for people with ambition and initiative.  If you’re happy with your work, but feel stuck in your career, maybe it’s time to steer or jump overboard.  Listen to that voice that’s telling you to have faith and make a change; never listen to the voice of fear, and don’t make decisions based on fear either.

    If necessary, find a new company, possibly one that is just starting up, that would appreciate your expertise.  Be sure that there are lots of opportunities for you to grow, develop and advance in the company. Your future is too valuable to waste where there is no future for you.

Finally, it doesn’t take long of being in a corporate environment to make me want to throw up!  Personally I prefer having my own business, making my own decisions, and the freedom to turn down business when I feel it is morally more right to do so.  I believe America would be a much better place to work in general if we went back to the small, family-owned businesses of yester-year.  Sure, family-owned businesses have their problems, too, but they are much easier overcome and our values were more in line with the well-being of all back then.  I’ll be blogging about this more in the weeks to come.  For today, your assignment is to think about the business you’re in and make some hard decisions if necessary.  Do you love what you do and for whom you’re doing it?  Or are you struggling to play the game?  If you’re playing politics, you’re missing out on so much bliss!

Until next time,

Live Joyfully!

You can subscribe to this blog here.

Get Inspired! What do you want to create? Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Guide to Self-Empowerment has helped hundreds of people create the life of their dreams.  You can read their stories here. If you choose the downloadable version, it comes with my free report on The Science of Getting Rich.”

Get Organized! Learn the secrets of getting and staying motivated and organized with the Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book.  This inspiring book gives you step-by-step instructions for getting control of every area of your life.  Click here for the table of contents and to purchase.

***Please Note:  All transactions are processed through PayPal, but you can use Visa, MC, AMEX, or Discover.

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Posted under Dental Practice Management, Education, Inspiration, Law of Attraction, Leadership, Motivation, Success

My #1 Success Tip

When I was a computer instructor, one of my favorite things to do was to give my students lots of “tips and tricks.”  Short, simple techniques that were just “cool,” as we said back in those days.

On this website, a blog post lends itself really well to tips and tricks since the articles need to be relatively short, grab the reader’s attention quickly, and definitely offer something of value.

My favorite post and tip that I’ve given here over the past two years is The Motivational Trick that Works - Every Time.  But today, I want to offer something that I’ve learned from the opening of our new dental office.  The concept is what I call “long-term perspective.”

After more than 50 years of research, Doctor Edward Banfield of Harvard University, concluded that “long-time perspective” is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. Having a long-term perspective turns out to be more important than family background, education, race, intelligence, connections or virtually any other single factor in determining one’s success in life or at work.

This certainly seems to be true of my husband.  Building a new dental facility in a small town that both meets the needs of the community and provides the state-of-the-art quality of care that my husband insists on seemed almost impossible to us 8 years ago when we got married.  But we kept our “eyes on the prize,” set our goals, managed intermediate steps, and voila – 8 years later, mission accomplished.  (Now our goal is to make it profitable – which will be a later post!)

Brian Tracy says, “Your attitude toward time, your “time horizon,” has an enormous impact on your behavior and your choices. People who take the long view of their lives and careers always seem to make much better decisions about their time and activities than people who give very little thought to the future.”

If you stop to think about it for a moment, that statement makes sense, but it’s not common sense.  Most people go through their life thinking that they just have to take whatever “life dishes out,” or whatever is “in the cards” for them.  While I’m a huge believer and teacher of “one day at a time,” I also know the value of having an overall strategic plan.  Here are 5 ways to develop a future focus.

  1. Think and Write About Your Future
    Successful people have a clear future orientation, and they have their vision of their future written down where they can review it periodically. They think five, ten and twenty years out into the future and develop a plan of action.  Then, they analyze their choices and behaviors in the present to make sure that they are consistent with the long-term future that they desire.  Thinking about your future is an important first step, but you’ve got to write it down as well, so that you have guidance from day-to-day as to what to do next.

  1. Determine the Consequences
    By definition, something that is important has long-term potential consequences. Something that is unimportant has few or no long-term potential consequences. Before starting on anything, you should always ask yourself, “What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?”  The clearer you are about your future intentions, the greater influence that clarity will have on what you do in the moment. With a clear long-term vision, you are much more capable of evaluating an activity in the present and to assure that it is consistent with where you truly want to end up.

  1. Make Success a Top Priority
    If there is a task or activity with large potential positive consequences, make it a top priority and get started on it immediately. If there is something that can have large potential negative consequences if it is not done quickly and well, that becomes a top priority as well.  Whether it’s going back to school, continuing your education in your current field, learning marketing techniques, whatever your frog is, resolve to gulp it down first thing.  Resolve to do at least one thing every day toward your number one goal.

  1. Stay Motivated
    Motivation requires motive. Whatever your goal is, it must excite you.  The greater the positive potential impact that an action or behavior of yours can have on your life, once you define it clearly, the more motivated you will be to overcome procrastination and get it done quickly.  Thinking continually about the potential consequences of your choices, decisions and behaviors is one of the very best ways to determine you true priorities in your work and personal life.  If something doesn’t excite you, your choice is not motivating you and you need to choose something else.

  1. Visualize It Coming True
    I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I talked and dreamed about what this new dental office would look like.  It really is a dream come true and my husband said just last week, “Even though we’ve been in the new building for several weeks now, it just occurred to me that I’m not going to have to leave at some point.  It’s just now starting to feel like it’s mine.”  Is that a “dream come true” or what?

Your Assignment

Review your list of tasks, activities and projects regularly. Continually ask yourself, “Which one project or activity, if I did it in an excellent and timely fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?”

Whatever it is that can help you the most, set it as a goal, make a plan to achieve it and go to work on your plan immediately. Remember the wonderful words of Goethe, “Just begin and the mind grows heated; continue, and the task will be completed!”

Until next time,

Live Joyfully!

You can subscribe to this blog here.

Get Inspired! What do you want to create? Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Guide to Self-Empowerment has helped hundreds of people create the life of their dreams.  You can read their stories here. If you choose the downloadable version, it comes with my free report on The Science of Getting Rich.”

Get Organized! Learn the secrets of getting and staying motivated and organized with the Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book.  This inspiring book gives you step-by-step instructions for getting control of every area of your life.  Click here for the table of contents and to purchase.

***Please Note:  All transactions are processed through PayPal, but you can use Visa, MC, AMEX, or Discover.

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Posted under Dental Practice Management, Education, Inspiration, Law of Attraction, Leadership, Motivation, Success, Weight Loss

Off Kilter?

Do you ever feel like there will never be enough time to do everything you want to do?  Well, guess what – you’re right!  We are constantly growing and expanding, which means we’re always wanting more, even if it’s more peace, serenity, time off, etc.  The future is always more and we will always want it.

 

Brian Tracy teaches “The Law of Forced Efficiency,” which says that, “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.”  I recently found this to be absolutely true and that’s what I want to discuss today.

 

Most of you are probably aware that I haven’t been posting as many articles on this site as I had been for the past two years.  You’re also probably aware that my husband and I opened a new dental facility two months ago.  Yes, these two facts are related. 

 

With all of the preparation and planning that I did before the big move, there were things that happened that I just could not have anticipated.  Don’t get me wrong, it was all mostly good stuff, or things that were easy enough to deal with, but everything coming in at once simply took more time than I had allowed.  Combine that with my own business projects and trying to keep up with acquiring new business, and the blog writing just went on the back burner for a few weeks.

 

I felt guilty for a long time, but then decided that I really didn’t owe any explanation to anyone.  However, at the open house for the new office, I told an avid reader that my blog writing was suffering because I’d been so busy with the details of the practice and her response was, “I could tell.”  OUCH!

 

After reflecting on that though, I came to realize that all that simply meant was that I really put a lot of myself “out there” on this website, and that was my original intent; to blog about the trials and tribulations of my life and the lives of my clients (who always remain anonymous) in the hope that it will help others, and it does.

 

So what does a personal strategic planner and time management “guru” do when a major event in her life throws her out of kilter?

 

Drop back and punt.  Take it one step at a time.  Ask, “What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?”

 

The main problem was that no matter how well I planned or how much I worked, the jobs and responsibilities just kept piling up.  (I know what a lot of you are thinking right now – “Welcome to my world.”  I know, I know.)  Add to that the deadline of wanting everything to look perfect for the open house, and what would normally be a task that could be put off suddenly became a top priority – like cleaning all of the scuff marks off the baseboards.

 

The other big issue for me was that normally, even if I’ve had a busy day, I can write a really good post late at night and still meet my personal goal of 3 articles per week.  While there were days when I finally sat down at 9 or 10 PM, I was so much more physically exhausted than a normal work day that I couldn’t even muster the energy to type!  I spent a lot of time on the office landscaping and taking care of it even after the moving and cleaning was over, to the point that my body doesn’t feel that it has returned to “normal” yet – and it sometimes feels like it will never be normal again!  But I do seem physically stronger and I’m sleeping better than ever, so the positive aspects outweigh my whining by far.  But that’s another post!

 

The biggest lesson I learned from all of this was that I can be a highly productive person. Every hour of every day I had to stop and re-prioritize my growing list of tasks.  I found myself constantly asking that question, “What is the best use of my time right now?”  My time management principles were reinforced and I feel stronger mentally than ever before. 

 

I also feel more relaxed every day, which was worth going through this experience.  I had to learn to let some things go, like blog post writing, that I really wanted to do, because other things were more important.  As Goethe said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.”

 

I tend to make things important that aren’t, which makes me rush around a lot.  This project has helped me realize what is truly important to me, and that it’s okay to let things slide every once in a while.  As much as I love my business and everything I do, my husband comes first.  He is my top priority.  Why? Because he’s a good man who works very hard and he deserves my best.  I knew what I was “getting into” when I married him; I made that choice consciously, and when push comes to shove, like it did this Spring, he will always come first, by my choice.

 

Your Assignment

Take a few seconds at the end of a major project or task each day and sit quietly where you cannot be disturbed. During this time, let your mind relax and just think about your work and activities.  Ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time, right now?”

 

The more you implement this process, the easier it will be for you to set clear priorities, to overcome procrastination and to get started on that one activity that represents the most valuable use of your time.

 

In almost every case, during this time of solitude, even if it’s just a couple of minutes, you will receive wonderful insights and ideas that will save you enormous amounts of time when you apply them back on the job. Often you will experience breakthroughs that will change the direction of your life and work.  When you do, please come back here and share it with the rest of us!

 

Until next time,

Live Joyfully!

 

You can subscribe to this blog here.

Get Inspired!  What do you want to create? Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Guide to Self-Empowerment has helped hundreds of people create the life of their dreams.  You can read their stories here.  If you choose the downloadable version, it comes with my free report on The Science of Getting Rich.”

Get Organized!  Learn the secrets of getting and staying motivated and organized with the Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book.  This inspiring book gives you step-by-step instructions for getting control of every area of your life.  Click here for the table of contents and to purchase.

***Please Note:  All transactions are processed through PayPal, but you can use Visa, MC, AMEX, or Discover.

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Posted under Education, Inspiration, Law of Attraction, Leadership, Motivation, Success

How to Write Your Personal Mission Statement

In my previous post, I discussed ways of finding your purpose, how to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, how to find your passion.  Okay, so now you’ve figured out what you want to do, what’s next?

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to write a personal mission statement.  Why?  Because when you’re faced with a difficult choice to make, choosing the option that fits with your purpose in life will be easier if you have a mission statement to reference.  Also, your mission statement will (should) motivate you.  Allow me to explain further.

A mission statement describes your unique purpose in life.  It summarizes the talents and qualities you have and want to develop, what you want to accomplish, and what contributions you desire to make.

What are you passionate about?  What really excites you?  What would make you jump out of bed in the morning knowing that if you didn’t show up it would make a huge difference in the cause?

Passion is so important when creating your mission statement.  If you’re not passionate about your mission, it’s not really your mission.  If it doesn’t speak to your soul and keep you awake at night thinking about the possibilities, you haven’t hit on the right thing yet.

While the specifics of how you fulfill your mission may come in stages, your mission will more than likely remain the same throughout your lifetime.  Even though you play different roles during different phases of your life, one thing will always remain constant – your mission.

Having a personal mission statement helps you make daily decisions.  When you have a choice to make, which option gets you closer to accomplishing your ultimate goal?  Will it help you to fulfill your mission?  Nothing, no action, is neutral; everything you do either helps you fulfill your mission and accomplish your goals, or moves you further away from them.  When you make your decisions based on your personal mission statement, you never regret it. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that you will never have to do something you don’t want to do.  On the contrary.  There are tasks and obligations that I must fulfill on a regular basis that I don’t particularly enjoy, but they get me closer to my ultimate goal, so I do them.  Sometimes they are just in line with my values, and so I complete these tasks because they help with the overall picture of who I am or want to become.

For example, my mission is to motivate, educate, and inspire others to be their best.  This has been my mission since I was a child.  I have not always been aware of it, in fact, I was not completely aware of it until my early 30’s.  Even since I have detected my mission, I have had different jobs, roles, and goals.   

As a child, my teachers called me a natural “leader.”  It was a long time before I would understand what that really meant.  At the time, I thought it meant I was going to be a teacher when I grew up because I was often asked to tutor other children.  My attitude and ability to explain things clearly were often called upon to help motivate my fellow classmates.  Teachers found that I could get their students to do what they could not.  Some of my teachers thought it was because I was able to speak to these students on “their level,” but they soon found out that this talent seemed to be unique to me.  I just thought I was well-liked and blessed with being a little smarter than my peers.  In fact, I was already starting to fulfill my purpose in life and just didn’t know it. I have been through many jobs and changes during my career, but the happiest moments in my life have occurred while teaching in some way.

If I had been aware of my purpose earlier in life, there are many paths I would have been spared.  I won’t bore you with the details; let’s just say I’ve taken a few wrong turns.  A mission statement would have prevented that, so the earlier in life you do this the better off you will be, but it’s never too late.  Many young self-made millionaires credit their early financial success to a personal mission statement.

To get started with crafting your personal mission statement, take the time to review your answers to the questions in my previous post, How to Decide What to Do with the Rest of Your Life.  Here are those questions again in brief:

  1. When you were a child, how did you answer when anyone asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
  2. What special skills or talents do you have?
  3. There was a time, it could have been a long time ago, or recently, when you did something that made you feel like you were on top of the world.  What was it?  What were you doing?
  4. What do you like to do?  What do you do in your spare time?  What do you choose to read about?  What are your hobbies?
  5. There is something that you do that, when you’re doing it, you completely lose track of time.  Hours feel like minutes.  What is it?  What are you doing? 
  6. What do you have a passion for?
  7. How much money do you need/want to make?
  8. What does the market need right now?
  9. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Answering these questions should divulge the purpose within you that’s trying to manifest.  You’ll see a theme developing; you’ll feel compelled or driven by a certain idea or set of actions.  One thing’s for sure, when you’ve hit on it, you will know it.  The thought of accomplishing it will resonate with your core and give you energy you quite possibly never knew you had.

The next step is to create a statement that includes a measure and a method.  How will you know when you’ve accomplished your mission?  How will you know you’re on the right path?  How will go about fulfilling it?  What result will others see in you?  What results will you see in others?  Below are some examples to ponder.

Examples of Personal Mission Statements

  • To motivate, education, and inspire others to be their best through my writing and speaking.
  • To raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children and grand children by listening to their needs and teaching them to be self-sufficient.
  • Bring the level of customer service in my company to an all-time high and keep it going so that the company grows by at least 10 percent annually.
  • Help the broke, lonely, down-trodden, desperate people of this world see that there is hope.  To help them get on their feet and live respectable lives.
  • Lead my community in becoming a better place for its citizens.  To have better schools, better homes, better lives and brighter futures.  To bring in companies that can provide jobs and increase the standard of living for all families.
  • Use my talents and skills to help others live healthier lives.
  • Help teenagers believe in themselves and help them develop their God-given talents.
  • Volunteer my time, talents, and resources to provide development opportunities for disadvantaged children.
  • Accomplish excellence in whatever endeavor I choose for my life.
  • To use my education and experience to motivate others to want better oral hygiene for themselves and their families. 
  • To make a difference in my community by selectively giving some of my earnings to those in need.
  • To achieve what matters most.  To help others do the same.

Your mission statement may change slightly over time and that’s okay.  You may need to modify it based on new levels of awareness and education.  Remember that the only constant in life is change.  Things change, people change, circumstances change.  It’s all good. Stephen Covey says, “The key to the ability to change, is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about, and what you value.”   Allow yourself the flexibility to grow your mission statement as you grow, refining it as necessary.  But remember,

“If you’re not following your heart, you’re living someone else’s dream.” –Lyn Christian

Your Assignment

Write your personal mission statement and read it to someone with whom you feel comfortable.  Are you ready to share it with the world?

Posted under Leadership, Motivation

Write It All Down


The longer I live the more I appreciate the basics of life:  a good, clean home; a stable job and husband; a reliable car; and systems that work.

 

I used to spend thousands of dollars per year investing in the latest self-help book.  And don’t get me wrong, those authors have made me the person I am today and I am eternally grateful.

 

But one system I’ve been using for almost two years now is that every month, I allow myself one new book, but also review one “old” one.  Lately I’ve struggled with finding anything new and have mostly been reviewing my favorites.

 

This week, the book that is up for review is Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anna Klauser.  I’ve blogged about Ms. Klauser’s wonderful book before in Creatively Combine Your Tasks, and 18 Reasons to Love Lists.  But today I want to share a new reason to love this book.

 

I’ve been inundated with tasks and projects lately.  My regular readers know that my husband moved into a new dental office one month ago.  We really believed we’d be all moved in in about a week.  Fools!  Oh, well.  Things are going well, and we’re having the time of our lives doing all of it – it really is a dream come true for both of us.  But at the end of the day, I am much more tired than usual.  Okay, enough of trying to rally up a pity party from my online friends, I’ll get to my point now.

 

I love using Outlook to organize all my lists.  I adore Excel for strategic planning, but there is something about putting real pen to real paper that just gets things done.  I love it.  I love the act of making a list.  I love the feeling of planning a project out loud, and on paper – writing it out.

 

As I’ve read this book many times over now, I have several pages ear-marked.  As I write this post, the book falls open to the first page of Chapter 11, Becoming Committed

 

I’ve made a note at the top of the page that reads, “This is my favorite page in the whole book.”  So I’m going to share it with you now:

 

In an oft-quoted passage from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition, W.H. Murray speaks to the significance of commitment.  Once you walk forward in faith and a conscious effort, all manner of support and tangible backing will be available to you.

 

Until one is committed, there is hesitance . . . The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events raising in one’s favor . . . unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

 

It is up to you to trust the possibility enough to be willing to put your dream in writing, and to take the first step, even with no evidence that it will actually happen.

 

What I’ve learned over the past several weeks is that Providence doesn’t just come for big dreams, He will come for your overwhelming projects and to-do items as well.  I’ve relied more heavily on my old-fashioned Franklin planner and it’s the only way I’ve accomplished what I have while basically trying to work 2 jobs and keep the house in order.  My advice to anyone gearing up to go through a move or any other type of major project is write it down, write it down, write it down.

 

Henriette shares more stories of her own and discusses the psychology behind why writing things down works.  This book is so fundamentally powerful I believe everyone should own a copy.

 

In the meantime, here are a couple of tools to help you get on the path to lasting peace and happiness:

 

Wake Up and Create the Life You Want:  A Guide to Self-Empowerment

 

Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book

 

Until next time,

Live joyfully!

You can subscribe to this blog here.

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Posted under Education, Inspiration, Law of Attraction, Leadership, Motivation, Success

The Daily Ground

No, that title is not a misprint.  Although, it could be the daily grind that causes the need for the daily ground!  What I’m talking about today is spiritual grounding.  Everyone has bad days sometimes, and we all get burnt out.  When you find yourself irritable, hostile, nervous, short-tempered, or just in a bad mood, it’s a sign that you need to get grounded.

Paying attention to and protecting your psychic and spiritual energy is a valuable part of leading a more peaceful and fulfilling life.  Here are my seven favorite ways to get grounded.  Try these methods whenever you feel your energy or vibration is over stimulated or out of balance, or when you feel you are being negatively influenced by energy- whether someone else’s — or your own.

  1. Getting outside – literally.  Just the very act of standing on the ground will help neutralize your negativity.  Visualize all of your problems flowing from your brain, down through your body, out your feet, and into the ground.  If possible, sit on the ground and relax for a few minutes.
  2. Deep Breathing.  Okay, just don’t do this one as you start a phone call!  I do this one when I’m in the car or can’t step away from a project.  If my husband catches me doing this, he’ll say, “Well, that was a heap big sigh!”  “Just getting some air,” I’ll reply.  Since I occasionally have trouble with asthma, I know that my response is probably almost as physical as it is spiritual, but I figure either way, it feels great!
  3. Exercising.  This method naturally follows next since you breathe more deeply when you exercise, but there is something about getting physical that adds to the clearing of the mind.  Whether it’s a 5-minute walk or anything more vigorous, (whatever you like to do), exercise is good for the mind, body, and spirit.
  4. Cooking.  Sometimes the way I cook is like exercise!  But there’s also the creativity component, getting something accomplished, and getting my mind off my problems that helps me get grounded.  And my husband gets to enjoy the results of this one as well!
  5. Gardening.  I can remember that as a child, my mother would always know when something was bothering me because I would “play in the dirt.”  What can I say, old habits die hard!  I love gardening just for the purpose of it, but just like cooking, gardening gets my mind off things.  Cooking can sometimes be too complicated for true grounding, and pulling weeds is sometimes just what I need.
  6. De-cluttering.  My regular readers already know how I feel about clutter.  If my bad mood stems from a sense of “overwhelm-ment,” I know it’s time to de-clutter.  I told my time management class just yesterday that it seems counter-intuitive; you think you should be getting stuff done instead of de-cluttering, but trust me, you really will think more clearly with everything in its place.  Which brings me to my final favorite grounding method -
  7. Organizing.  I’m not speaking here of organizing your desk; that’s de-cluttering (more than likely.)  What I’m talking about here is creating a Work Breakdown Structure for a project, or organizing your day or week, or whatever it’s going to take to make you feel better.  Instead of plowing in on a project, if you’ll take the time to get organized first, your mood will lift and you’ll accomplish more in the end.  You might even think of ways to avoid unnecessary work and find people to delegate parts of the project to.

Any one of the exercises will help, but when necessary, I’ve been known to do them all before proceeding into my day!  Getting into alignment with your higher self in whatever you have to do is way more important than the action itself.  Try it; you’ll be glad you did!

GET CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE NOW When you’re ready to create the life you want, you’ll want to purchase my latest e-book to help you get started and on the right path.  I share my latest success tips and how I’ve applied 20 years of solid business principles and the law of attraction to acquiring the life of my dreams.  Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Guide to Self-Empowerment is helping many others do the same.  It comes with my free report on “The Science of Getting Rich.”  Both are downloadable, so you get them immediately, pay no shipping, and the cost is only $27.

Posted under Education, Inspiration, Law of Attraction, Motivation, Success

Relaxed Productivity


How to Get It All Done in an Easy and Relaxed Manner

 

How do you go about your days?  Do you feel hurried and pressured, or do you have a relaxed sense of control over your work?  Do you feel guilty when you take time off because there’s so much work to do?  Do you worry about the task you’re accomplishing at the moment because you’re afraid you should be doing something else more important?

 

There are three basic tenets of good task management:  Planning, list keeping, and action.  Leave any one of these out and you’ll be crying the “I’ve got too much to do in too little time” blues.  I’ve addressed these three concepts separately many times on this blog, but today I’d like to bring them all together to really illustrate their power, and the power behind a system.

 

It’s really not that difficult.  Anyone could easily figure out that a good plan with no action is useless, and nearly everyone I know has learned the hard lesson of performing a bunch of tasks without a plan only to have to start all over on the project due to a lack of planning. 

 

The list is something that tends to elude most people.  Why do so many people resist lists?  I don’t get it.  Sure, they might keep a shopping list or a values list, or even a projects list here and there, but few people I know keep a list of everything they need to do within a certain time frame, or even everything they need to do to complete a project.  Most lists I see when working with clients are completely filled with general ideas and vague concepts.  Don’t get me wrong here, any list is better than no list, but a detailed list filled with actionable items, things you can actually do, is always the most powerful. 

 

Where does such a list come from?  In his book, Getting Things Done, David Allen says:

 

“After years of working with thousands of professionals down in the trenches, I can safely say that virtually all of us could be doing more planning, more informally and more often, about our projects and our lives.  And if we did, it would relieve a lot of pressure on our psyches and produce an enormous amount of creative output with minimal effort.”

 

When I read that, I said, “Amen!”  I’ve been preaching from that belief for years, but have never put it quite so eloquently.  Thank you, David.

 

A good list comes from a good plan.  Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that I and other time management instructors have made is to give this process the term “Strategic Planning.”  See, for those of us who are the Type A, go-get-‘em kind, the idea of a war-like attack on projects, goals, and desired outcomes feels great.  But most of the world is Type B – laid back, and anti-war on all fronts.  So most of the world sees an article like “Strategic Planning” and thinks, “that’s not for me – I’m not like that.”

 

In reality, planning is nothing more than thinking about what you’re going to do before you do it so that you have a better shot of getting it done right the first time.  Most people, no matter what their personality type is, would like to accomplish that.  It doesn’t take as much time as you think – sometimes as little as 10 seconds.  So why don’t more people do that type of thinking more often?

 

I’ve learned that most people don’t want to be in control of their lives.  Organized Christianity teaches people that “God is in control.”  Well, ultimately yes.  But if God wanted day-to-day, direct decision-making control over our lives, why did He give us free will?  Or a brain for that matter?  Is it not your choice of control over your life that either honors or dishonors God?

 

Most people believe that control is a bad thing due to some experience with a “control freak” who they witnessed go berserk when the McDonald’s drive-thru messed up their order. We’ve all had someone in our lives at some time or another who was so adamant about being “in control” that they drove everyone around them nuts.

 

True control is being able to handle whatever is thrown at you in the way that you want to handle it, while not throwing you too far from your intended path.

 

I remember learning about Type A and Type B personalities in Psychology 101.  The instructor gave us the assignment of evaluating ourselves and announcing in the next class which type we were.  When my turn came, I proudly stood and announced myself as “a perfectly controlled Type A.”  To which my teacher replied, “Only a true Type A would describe herself as ‘perfect.’”

 

What I was trying to say, and what I have been trying to achieve and maintain for most of my life, is a balance between my naturally strong drive for success and the all-too-typical “whatever” attitude.  I don’t want to be either one of those people who gets to the end of their life and thinks, “I wish I’d tried a little harder,” or, “I wish I’d enjoyed life more.”  I simply want to be proud of my accomplishments and able to enjoy them at the same time.  So far, the method I’ve found that helps me, or maybe even makes me, strike that balance, is the Strategic Plan.

 

From that well-thought-out strategic plan, you create your lists of actionable items.  I keep many lists and work from most of them throughout the day.  Sometimes I have a list of things that simply have to be done.  I set aside time to plow through those.  Planning my day, week, and month, helps me realize when I’m trying to do too much, and helps me focus on what is really important to me.  When I look at the time required to complete a certain project and realize it’s not going to fit within the necessary time frame, I’ve discovered it in time to have the project, or certain aspects of it, assigned to someone else.

 

My daily list has only the things I should be able to accomplish in that day.  I have a “must do” list, and a separate “if I get time today” list.  I can relax even on the must-do’s because it’s all under control.  Everything that really need to be done will be, and I’ll like have time to do more, but if something comes up I can handle it.  Most importantly, I’m not just sitting around waiting for something to happen; I’m moving forward in my life the way I intend.  And I’m doing the stuff I planned to do, not whatever someone handed to me when I walked in the door.  I am in control.  I make my own decisions, and that is very freeing.  No one can argue with me as to whether or not I’m doing the right thing, because I have my plan.  It’s well-thought-out, prioritized, and moving me closer to my ultimate goals.  If it is part of my job to do the things someone else determines for me, that’s okay, too, because that’s in my plan.  That sense of control helps me relax and take everything in stride.

 

I like to use this analogy for balanced project planning.  Let’s say that you suddenly got a strong craving for chocolate chip cookies.  What would you have to do?  You would have to find a recipe, check your pantry for the ingredients, possibly make a trip to the store, assemble the ingredients in the proper order, prepare them properly, and then what?  You’d enjoy eating them, right?  You wouldn’t say, but I worked so hard at creating them – let’s just leave them on the table and look at them.  Or, well, if we’re just going to eat them anyway, why bother making them in the first place?  Or, and this is my biggest pet peeve, “you know you can buy them already made at the grocery store, don’t you?”

 

To me, life is worth getting in there, getting your hands dirty, and making things from scratch.  Sure there are plenty of ways to get by, but the rewards are never as delicious as the real deal.  Plus, the harder you work for it, the better your recipe, the more you enjoy it in the end.

 

Now, go bake some awesome chocolate chip cookies.

 

Here are a couple of tools to help you get on the path to relaxed productivity:

 

Wake Up and Create the Life You Want:  A Guide to Self-Empowerment

 

Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book

 

Until next time,

Live joyfully!

You can subscribe to this blog here.

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Posted under Education, Leadership, Motivation, Success

Getting from 8 AM to 5 PM


The theme of my motivational and consulting services is always how to get from where you are to where you want to be.  One of the hardest subjects for my students is often determining just exactly what it is they want.

 

But even when I have a client who has clearly identified his or her desire, they often have trouble bringing that down to a practical, action-based, get-results formula.  It’s like saying, “Yes, I know I’m here, and I know I want to get over there, but my days are already obligated to all of these tasks that are focused here, where I currently am, and have to be.” 

 

For example, a public school teacher wants to retire early and start her own business as a garden designer.  What do you do when where you are and where you want to be seem so far apart, and you feel stuck in your current situation?  (By “stuck” I mean that this teacher has only 2 years until she can retire with full benefits.  To quit her job now would mean losing significant benefits.  Plus, the income she will have from retirement will help her start her new business venture.)

 

What I advise in this situation is to prepare a personal strategic plan, with lots of fun thrown into the mix of your current life for the next two years.  In this particular situation, the teacher can read everything she can get her hands on about gardening and the business of gardening.  There are classes she can take where she can meet people of a like mind.  She could visit beautiful and renowned gardens locally and abroad to get ideas.  She might even meet a potential business partner, or clients, along the way!

 

The important part is to keep yourself motivated and inspired while you’re passing the time.  A good strategic plan will help with this.  I would even go as far as to decide how much money I’m going to need and start saving that amount, and possibly even start a greenhouse, if my intent were to sell plants.

 

The bottom line for any plan is to start doing something today that will get you started on your desired path.  Sometime today between 8 AM and 5 PM do something from the perspective of your future self.  Before long, the situation you once felt “stuck” in will seem more like a time for preparation; a time for revving up. 

 

If you’d like some help with your personal strategic planning, feel free to e-mail me.  Sometimes it just takes another point of view to get the ball rolling.

 

In the meantime, here are a couple of tools to help you create the life of your dreams:

 

Wake Up and Create the Life You Want:  A Guide to Self-Empowerment

 

Eliminate Clutter and Organize Your Life E-book

 

Until next time,

Live joyfully!

You can subscribe to this blog here.

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Posted under Inspiration, Motivation, Success

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