Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What Gets in YOUR Way?

 So maybe that's a rhetorical question.  Most of us know that we are the ones that get in our own way.  What do we do about it?  This is about you, your life & achieving your goals!

In order to give yourself the best edge toward success, when you set a goal, make sure it's outcome focused, in line with your values and stated in the positive.  Make it SMART:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-Oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time Sensitive
Focus on the Outcome. 
What is it you REALLY want and what is the PAIN of NOT achieving your goal?

QUESTIONS to ask yourself
  • Is this goal in line with your vision and your values?
  • Is the goal something you really want or think you SHOULD do/have?
  • When thinking about achieving this, do you feel a deep sense of contentment or excitement?
  • How does it fit into your lifestyle (time/effort/commitment/impact on others)?
  • If you could have this goal RIGHT NOW - would you take it?

Wait, you say!  What's this got to do with getting in our own way?  Here we go...

Identify possible OBSTACLES upfront

  • Can you start & maintain the outcome of this goal - are YOU in control?
  • What else might you need to deal with - will it affect other areas/people in your life?
  • What is the secondary gain for maintaining the status quo?
  • What will you have to give up or stop doing & are you willing to pay the price?
  • What else could help you or get in your way - how do you sabotage yourself?
  • WHO will you have to BE to achieve this goal?
Is your Goal the right SIZE?
  • Does it need to be broken into smaller goals or is it too small to motivate action?
  • What is the smallest, super-easy level?
  • What is your target level that you feel is just right?
  • Finally, what would be an outrageous level that would push you out on a limb?
  • Give yourself a goal range so you can't fail to achieve some level of success!
Now gather your RESOURCES and get moving!  There are things, people, contacts, skills, money, etc. that you already have.  Make an inventory and decide what you still NEED.
Remember - Goals are there to inspire you, not beat yourself up with... 

Stop getting in your own way before you've even started. With a little forethought, those bricks will vanish into an open door that pulls you through with gusto.


 Door Photo by Salvatore Vuono /

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looking Backwards, a Hindrance or a Help?

What do you believe about looking backwards over your life? 
  • That it's a wasted effort? 
  • Leave the past in the past and move on?  
  • No use dwelling on what went wrong.
This is certainly a prevalent view.  Is it yours?

Or do you enjoy ruminating over the past? 
  • Either the happy times "that were" and you wish could still be.
  • Or all the things that went wrong and made your life miserable (at least that's what you're believing at that moment).
Kind of the glass half empty model.  How's that working for you?

Is there another way? 

What about taking a moment to examine your day to see if you're living in alignment with your highest beliefs (call it Spirituality, Divine rules you live by, or Universal laws to how to treat others & yourself).

One way to do this is through the Examen Practice or using your own version of these principles.  It's been around since days of old and was used by St. Ignatius.  It involves 5 steps which I've adapted:

1.  Be still in the present moment and be at one with your Higher Power: 
That may be God/Goddess/Source/Intuition, whatever you tap into for guidance.  Ask that you be given clarity and understanding around the events of the day.

2.  Apply Gratitude:
Take note of the bright spots, moments of joy or beauty.  What gifts did this day bring?  Think of the work you did, the people you interacted with - what were the blessings and how were you a blessing to others?  Food you ate, natural wonders you saw, catching all the green lights - the smallest things are worth noting.

3.  Observe Your Feelings and Emotions:
Some of our best insights are here.  Were you angry, excited, anxious, or joy filled?  What do these mean?  What would you go back and change if you could?  What is your intuition telling you to do?

4.  Focus on One Event and Ask for Guidance: 
Wait in the stillness for a message about one part of your day -  whether it was positive or negative, what clarity or advice does your higher self have to offer around this?  Don't force an answer, but listen to whatever arises.

5.  Look Toward Tomorrow:
What's on your to-do list?  What are your challenges?  Pay attention to the feelings  that come up around these.  Feeling eager anticipation or not enough?   Ask for help, know that that guidance is always there for you to turn to.

Use this process today or periodically to check-in with yourself.   See if the path you are on is still the one you want to take.  Turn on your inner GPS.  Are you are on the path that takes you where you want to go in the most direct route.  If you feel stuck, imagine you are a wise strong eagle flying overhead observing you at a crossroads of paths unsure of which road to take.  What does the eagle see that you can't because you're too close to the situation?  Listen to and follow through on the guidance you receive, otherwise you may find yourself wondering around in a maze of detours by tomorrow again. 

Looking back to see forward more clearly!  Try it today!
Please leave a comment if you've had an experience like this that gave you gained insight and clarity.

Image from Master isolated images /

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Change Your Thinking - Change Your Life - Really?

"A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." ~ Stephen Dolley Jr.

You say you'd like a life where you're feeling no angst over your choices. You'd love your job, have a great relationship that included acceptance and support, you'd live in balance and be able to set boundaries for others and yourself. Do you believe it's possible or do you see all the problems that "might" get in the way?

Some people are so smart, they easily see all the things that could get in the way of their own joy:
  • I can't make the choices I want, because no matter what I choose to do, someone will tell me I'm wrong and criticism doesn't feel good. 
  • All the good men are taken.
  • I have to work overtime in order to succeed. 
  • Work has to come before my family in order to pay the bills.I can't quit this job, I'm in too many years to leave because of the benefits or the retirement program.
  • Just being who I am is not enough in this competitive world.  I have to do or be more.  I have to live up to someone else's expectations and that's just too hard.
  • I'd just rather not rock the boat, it's too scary.
Here's the deal, how badly do you really want a different life or at least a life that feels different?  You have to really want it, be willing to try something out of your comfort zone, be willing to persevere, and really believe that YOU can have/do it.  At the very least, you have to be fed up with how you're feeling  now, have suffered enough loss of ___ (your joy, peace, happiness) to be willing to try something else.

When all those thoughts of why and how this may work for other people, but I can't have it because - crop up - focus on the positive aspects of making it happen. 
  • What would it look like? 
  • What would it feel like? 
  • How will you reward yourself for making this change?
  • Who will be with you when it happens?  
  • See them congratulating you! 

Keep the focus on why you CAN make it happen instead of why you can't.  Take no excuses from your monkey mind any more! 

Do you need some help with this?  Getting started is half the battle.  Enlist a support system of family or friends.  Put into place structures that will remind you this YOUR dream and it is possible.  That may be journaling, mediation, vision boards, scheduling a regular massage.  It may be hiring someone to help - life coach, counselor, baby sitter, or head hunter for that job you want.

We can have an immediate transformation of belief often after a session or two with someone who believes the power of our own innate ability to make these changes.  They stand by us, cheer us on, and give us the tools to not only survive in our present circumstances, but to thrive in the now and work toward the what can be.

A quote that helped turn my thoughts around at a dark time in my life is:

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." ~ Lao Tzu. 

Are you ready to let go of your perception of what you can't have or be?