Are You Meeting Your Goals?

I love when other bloggers inspire me….

The first Monday morning of a new month, how I love setting up goals for success.  I am learning how to set goals in all areas of my life in an effort to stay focused.  It isn’t always easy on those “bad days” but there are things I want to accomplish, what about you?

Sometimes we focus on professional/ business goals, sometimes the focus is on personal goals and often it’s both. Regardless of the focus, many times we don’t meet our goals, even when they’re really important to us.  Admit it, I am  not alone, right?

Why?

When I am talking about goals, I don’t mean the proverbial to-do lists, I mean actual goals.    When we are trying to lose weight, the goal is a number on the scale.  In our careers, maybe it is a certain pay or job title.  In our business maybe it is the chance to have our own business which actually pays the bills.  Maybe your goal is freedom from debt.  Whatever it is,  why is it so hard to meet those goals?  You have the desire and motivation, right?  So why don’t we reach them sometimes?

Multi-tasking!  Yup, the main reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they are trying to do too many things at once. As we get ready to set ‘new year resolutions” or as I like to call them “new year goals”, how often do we list out more than two?  Think about how you started this past year, how long was your list of goals?

Maybe you wanted to lose weight, eat better, get a new job, find your passion, be a good mother, create a vibrant social life, start a business and so on. Sound familiar? All are terrific desires, but too much for one person to handle at any given time.

When we try to make lots of changes in our life, it is overwhelming and we become unproductive. Despite years of thinking “multi-tasking” was a good thing, recent studies are showing it is actually less efficient than focusing on one project at a time. WOW!  I was the QUEEN of multi-tasking.  With the onset of MS, I am finding this doesn’t work for me.  The truth is our brains just aren’t wired to do lots of things simultaneously.

Although it’s wonderful to have multiple goals in life (I know I do), the key to success is to step back, examine what you really want right now, and pick ONE goal to focus on. YIKES!  I know it’s hard to do, but if you spend the majority of your time focusing on just one goal, you’ll accomplish it in record time. Determine the steps you need to finish the project, follow those steps daily before you tackle anything else on your daily to-do list.  Remember no more than 3 things on your to-do list a day!

I will admit, my vision board for 2017 was filled with many things.  The reality is, when I focused on just two aspects – things began to happen.

First, I earned the Leadership Incentive Trip.  Then I moved on to being consistent in my business.  The results have been AWESOME!  While reaching for my goals in business, I built strong relationships and strengthened my walk with God.

I am already thinking about my vision board for 2018.  I really do like the simple drawings and words.  Handmade helps me to feel connected with it instead of just cutting out pictures from a magazine.

What’s amazing is with laser focus, you’ll reach the goal sooner and be able to move on to the next goal on your list. Handling your goals one at a time like this will actually enable you to achieve more each year than if you try to complete everything at once.

Set up a time frame (90 days is recommended) to devote yourself to the goal you’ve chosen to focus on first. After 90 days, if you’ve been taking consistent and concentrated actions you’ll have hit the goal – or at least come a lot closer to it than if it was just another item on your list of things to do.  Will some of the other goals overlap?  YES!  Will you make progress in other areas while focusing on one? YES!

Won’t it feel AMAZING this time next year to know you have accomplished the most important goals you’ve set for yourself? Try it for six months and see what happens!

Want to be accountable?  Share your goal with us and then come back in 90-days to share the results.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Value Yourself

My weightless journey has been a journey.  Actually more like a roller coaster.  Last week at our meeting we talked about valuing ourself no matter what the scale says.  This was like a SMACK in the head for me.

The numbers on the scale have always played a factor in how I feel about me.  No, let me be honest, when I was at my heaviest I didn’t get on a scale.  I had no clue how much I weighed and being clueless seemed to be okay with me.  I liked myself as I hid behind the weight not letting anyone get too close.  Does this story sound familiar?

I walked into the doors of Weight Watchers seeing myself through different eyes.  The eyes of the scale.  It didn’t get really hard until I got closer to my goal weight.  As the number got lower, the insecurities of my youth came out.  No, I didn’t head to the nearest shrink to bare my soul – I began fighting the inner gremlins with some help of some really good people. I learned to start seeing myself as others see me.

I know what does all of this have to do with anything, right?  How many of us let the number on the scale define us especially when we are on a weightless journey?  We let our self-worth be connected to the number on the scale.  When it goes down, we are happy.  When it goes up, the inner gremlins join us in beating ourselves up.  It is time to stop the madness.

Recognizing and appreciating ourselves for our many gifts and talents is not an easy task. The reality is when we feel good about ourselves, we are more likely to have a positive outlook on life, take better care of ourselves and the end result is we lose weight.  The better we feel about ourselves, the easier it is to lose weight.  Think about your own journey….

I remember doing a VERY scary exercise when I began trying to squash my inner gremlins.  I was told to ask 5 friends and/or family what they thought my best qualities were.  In other words, how would they describe me?  YIKES!  I sent the message out and was definitely not ready for the responses I received.  I was told I was kind, generous, compassionate, determined, helpful and strong.  I didn’t see myself from their perspective. But on my worst days (seems to be quite a few lately), I go back to the list and repeat the positive traits over and over again.  Why?  So I can feel and believe them again.

What can you do to see yourself through loving eyes?  No, I am not suggesting you reach out to family and friends to ask for their input (unless you want); I am suggesting you find a quiet spot, grab a piece of paper and a pen, reflect AND…..

THINK about someone in your life who cares about you; a friend or relative, spouse or significant other.

FOCUS on the person for a minute and describe them in words or draw a picture.  What do they look like? Height? Eye color? Hair? Do they smile a lot? Do they have a soft or loud voice?  How would you describe their personality?

CONSIDER what makes this person special to you.  Does thinking of this person make you happy?  Excited? Loving? How do they make you feel?

IMAGINE you are this person who loves YOU and start to see yourself through their eyes.  What do you like about this person you see?  Write down thoughts, feelings and behaviors you love about yourself.  I know this is tough.  You may just start with “I like my eyes” – something simple.  Then dig deeper.  Think about the qualities you have down deep – are you caring? kind? passionate about life or a cause? hard worker? friendly?

COME BACK to yourself and read what you wrote.  You will notice a growing appreciation for how you feel about yourself.

Believe me, I get how tough this can be.  I struggle with it too. Do this once a week for one month and read the positive qualities daily.  You will be amazed at the difference it will make in your life.  Thirty days make a habit, right?

Change those negative, unhelpful thoughts into positive thoughts.  Changing your mindset is the first step to make a difference in your life which will give the ripple effect of making a difference in the lives of those around you.  Share you best qualities with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

New Year’s Eve 2016

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It is New Year’s Eve… some are at work eagerly anticipating another day or two off. Others are eagerly preparing for the festivities or maybe even started to celebrate. Somewhere in the midst of all of the craziness, there is always the talk of New Year’s Resolutions, right? Most people pick a resolution because of a plaguing problem (sometimes for years) and vow to change it. Has resolutions worked for you?

New Year's Resolutions, list of items

Here is usually how it goes:

January – motivated, committed and on track to keep resolution

February – some motivation, mostly on track

March – motivation gone and Resolution forgotten

Does this sound like you? I have taken a different approach…

What started as a challenge in 2013 has become a new way of approaching the New Year. With all the happenings of the past year (personal and business), I am looking for a word to sum up my plan for 2017.

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The “One Word” experiment moved me from the long list of changes to ONE WORD.  This  year I am adding an acronym to help me stay on track. In the past, my one word has helped me to take all my big plans, and narrow them down to a single focus.  When things got tough, when Doubtful Debbie and Negative Nellie visited; I went back to my ONE WORD and gained focus. It isn’t always easy but it helps me to focus on the goals I had for the year. Notice I didn’t say resolutions, I said goals.

Here are the steps I use to finding my word as recommended by “the one word experiment”:

Step 1: DETERMINE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BECOME

The first step is to simply take some time and decide what kind of person you want to be at the end of this year. This goes beyond simply being healthier and wealthier, but it must drive deep into your soul. What about the condition of your heart? What about the person God Himself has created you to be?

Step 2: IDENTIFY THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERSON

Picture the person and then simply identify their major characteristics. Is the person gentle? Is the person generous? What are the qualities of the person you want to become?

Step 3: PICK A WORD

Once you have a list of the characteristics, simply pick a word. There might be fifteen things you want to change, but you must resist the temptation to promise you will do them all. Instead, simply commit to ONE WORD.

Step 4: MAKE IT AN ACRONYNM

Now you have a word, add steps for each letter of the word.  Not only will the word help you to focus BUT when the struggles come, the words or action steps attached to the word will help you persevere.  This doesn’t mean you add “goals” or another word, it is all about reminding ourselves of the positive steps to take to achieve our dreams.

One Word will provide you with a lens to see the changes you need to make as well as a way to determine whether or not change is actually happening. Understand this process is hard, but staying focused on your word will help you to struggle in the right direction so you can actually see God working in your life.

I have my word for 2017 and despite my best efforts to move to a different one, God has continued to bring this word up.  I can see how this ONE word will be my guide as I strive for the goals I have for 2017 in my personal, professional and business life.happy-new-year-wishes-quotes-20161What is your ONE WORD for 2017? Or are you still in the “resolution list” mode? Either way, share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Overwhelmed?

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It is about a week before Thanksgiving.  Many schools just got off Fall break due to the Elections, Veteran’s Day and Teacher’s Convention.  Moms everywhere (or at least I always was) are feeling the stress of all the things to get done BEFORE the holiday in addition to who they are going to handle the proverbial “I’m bored” statements from the kids.

As a mom, it’s easy for us to reach the overwhelmed state and it can be difficult to get past it.  I mean when we are in the midst of it, who can really see the light at the end of the tunnel?  It is there but it may be so far away we can barely see it.

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Here are 5 practical ways you can overcome the feeling of overwhelm and actually have a happier day.

Breathe

Sounds pretty basic, right?  The truth is we need to take some deep breathes to calm down so you can think clearly.  When things spin out of control,  our first instinct is to try to accomplish as much as possible in a short amount of time but this only makes things worse.  Once you calm yourself down, you can return to the busyness with a better frame of mind.852f65964ac14908994e75e2618fb7a1

Brain Dump

A ‘brain dump’ is a journal exercise where you write everything currently on your mind. You can write individual words, make lists or write out your feelings. It’s a fantastic way to clear your mind and organize your thoughts so that you can move past the overwhelm.

Focus

Everything is out of your brain so choose one task which will make the biggest difference in your life right now.  I know it is tough.  Our list is long and EVERYTHING could possibly make a difference.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Clear a table covered with papers and other stuff.
  2. Clean up the pile of clutter in your living room.
  3. Start on the mountain of laundry.
  4. Create a meal plan.
  5. Ask a friend to watch the kids at her house so you can take a nap.
  6. Clean the kitchen.
  7. Clear a counter.
  8. Say no to a few upcoming obligations.
  9. Make some meals.
  10. Call a friend to chat.

Relax

Okay, I can see the eyes rolling like I am totally CRAZY!  Who could possibly relax when there is a million things to do.  Actually, sometimes the best way to deal long to do list is to forget the list and do something fun. When you return, you will have more energy, motivation and creative ideas to work on the list. You might actually accomplish everything needed to be done in record time.

Prioritize

No, not your list – create a quick list of what is most important in your life. Now, go back to your brain dump and circle the tasks which have to do with your most important list. Work on conquering them and the other stuff can wait for now.13726574_10208957067301151_2459943727636367299_n

Can I guarantee you will go from overwhelmed to focused?  No but what I can tell you is by consistently practicing these tips, it will be a whole lot easier.

I challenge you to take a few minutes to create your MOST IMPORTANT LIST. Write down your top values and priorities.  Then post this list where you can see it for those moments when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Transform Your Life By Decluttering

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I am about a week out from the kids coming for Thanksgiving.  In between hubby working on some projects in the condo, I have been doing some clearing out.  Piles to donate.  Tossing stuff.  Then there is the piles of “I could sell this, if we had a yard sale”.  Okay, let’s be honest, it isn’t going to happen.  The condo association doesn’t allow yard sales.  I have thought about putting things online but the thought leaves as quickly as it comes.

I focused on my office the other night.  I had lots of “stuff” laying around and my brain was getting cluttered.  I seem to work better with the “less is more” theory.  The less stuff, the more I get done.  I am amazed at how focused I am now when I get in my office.

Decluttering and downsizing is all the rage now.  Everyone seems to want to go back to a simpler time when we had less stuff.  The truth is before I totally understood why I needed to declutter, it was just another task on my to-do list which kept getting longer and longer.

Then I found a great blog post by The Peaceful Mom and I want to share some of her thoughts on how decluttering can transform your life:

#1 Clear Spaces Increase Your Focus and Productivity

Did you know clutter drains you mentally by distracting you, restricting your ability to focus and inhibiting your brain’s ability to process information?  It is a proven fact.  I don’t know about you but I can squirrel enough on my own, I don’t need any help from the clutter. Cluttered surroundings can cause you to become frustrated because your mental resources are worn down. Decluttering reduces your frustration as well as increasing your ability to think and be productive.

#2 Clear Spaces Decrease Your Stress Level

Researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) published the book “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” revealing the results of their study of 32 California families. They found a direct link between increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in female home owners and the high density of clutter in their homes. Decluttering brings calm and reduce your stress.

#3 Clear Spaces Save You Time and Money

This time of year, I always seem to spend more time looking for an item I bought ages ago and put in a ‘safe” spot, what about you?  You know you have it but you can’t find because of all the other stuff in your house?  How often have you bought something only to find out, you already have it but it was stuck in a pile in the back of the closet or in the garage?  Clear organized spaces mean more time and money to do what you want to do.  I don’t know about you but I could use some more time and money.

If you’re feeling stressed, drained and overwhelmed, decluttering is a fantastic place to start. Getting rid of all the excess stuff in your home can be challenging, but the benefits are so amazing.

As I am clearing out, I think of my daughter many years ago telling people “mom is in a cleaning mood, so if you aren’t tied down or don’t have a purpose, you could end up in the trash!”.  I’m headed again in the “cleaning mode”, one step at a time.  Lots of donations being dropped off over the next week or so.

Check out The Peaceful Mom’s 31 Day Declutter… I have done this sporadically but it makes a HUGE difference when trying to overcome the mess.

Share your best tips for decluttering with us… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!