This Isn’t How You Planned It

Is your life going the way you planned it?  Are you living out your dreams?  Or are you on the verge of giving up? Are you working at a job which seems fruitless?  Is your relationship hitting a brick wall?   Do you get a little extra money, and then an unexpected expense saps the money as quickly as you got it?

I’ve been there and some days I’m still there.  Sometimes life is all about moving ahead when the road is long and hard. When you’re exhausted and weary, it’s essential you take charge before you burn out or give up.

Like you, I’ve been there, done that!  I never planned to reconnect with the love of my life 16 years ago. I never planned on leaving my dream job.  I never planned on being diagnosed with MS.  Life happens and the plan changes.

The best skill you can gain in life is the ability to navigate unexpected turns and setbacks life throws your way. NEWS FLASH!!!! Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it. The truth is, it rarely does.  So, let your challenges build character and perseverance to empower you to stay the course and win your race.

Here are some tips from the amazing Valerie Burton on just how to do this:

1. Stop expecting things to be easy.

The quickest way to become discouraged is to expect life to unfold just the way you planned it, with few or no obstacles or opposition. Raise your hand if this is you?  I know I’m not alone here.  Life is so much easier when the expected challenges appear –  you know, the ones you planned for.   Don’t get caught up in feeling sorry for yourself when hard times come.  This is the perfect opportunity to tap into your strengths, character, and faith to courageously face whatever life throws your way.

2. Get some fresh air.

When your inner gremlins get the best of you, and you start traveling down that dark tunnel, it might mean you need a break.  Have you been focusing on your problems, rehashing them over and over in your mind? Remember, focusing on the negative brings us more negative.  Take a walk. Do something different. Get out of your normal environment. It can energize you and redirect your thoughts.

3. Get some perspective.

Fresh air will give you perspective and clear out some of the cobwebs or maybe even blow away the inner gremlins.  The greatest difference comes when we focus on someone else’s life. When you start focusing too much on what’s wrong in your life, force yourself to notice what’s right. STOP and think of three things you’re grateful for. Believe me, you probably can’t stop at three! Now, open your eyes to others’ stories about determination and strength.  Despite what we may think, we are not the first person to face our challenges.  Look for someone who has gone through them with strength and grace? When you realize you are not alone, you will feel the rush of power. In face, you may discover someone who has triumphed through far greater challenges and can be a source of inspiration.

4. Commit to running your race to the best of your ability.

Who knows why you are going through what you are going through? It may not even be worth the energy of attempting to figure it out. What is worth your energy is expanding your character and capacity in the process.  Think about the ways will you become a better person by persevering through this? What growth do you intend to glean through it all?

5. Be an inspiration.

Yes, you can be an inspiration for someone else.  Your story may be just the thing someone else needs to hear to overcome their obstacle.  Every person who has faced a challenge has overcome them with their attitude, determination, and faith. Tackle your challenges in a way your children, friends, family, and coworkers will be inspired by your example. You can give others hope by simply acting with the courage to live and love fully in the face of fear and disappointment.

The first time I was told I was an inspiration, I laughed because the truth is, I never believed I could inspire anyone.  My life was my life full of challenges and obstacles.  Some I have overcome and some inner gremlins I still do battle with.  About 2 years ago, when the diagnosis of MS was “unofficially” given, I made a decision to allow my setbacks to build character and perseverance. Truth was my life’s journey had brought me to where I was today.  The challenges were actually a blessing in disguise.  Do I always understand it? NO!  Do I always like it? NO!

If you are struggling, I challenge you to stop feeling sorry for yourself.  It is time to gain  some perspective which will inspire and empower you.   When you get discouraged, what thought will lift you up?  Share it with us, maybe you can inspire someone else…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Need Help Achieving Your Goal?

Yesterday we talked about “drawing a line in the sand”, hitting reset when we are stuck. Each month I set goal in my business – some months I struggle while others I knock it out of the park.  I am one of those always looking for the next coaching opportunity to help me get through a rough spot.  Did you know you, can actually coach yourself?

Thank you Valerie Burton for sharing these seven questions and inspiring me to troubleshoot some of my own challenges.  I’m not saying business coaching is not necessary or helpful but sometimes we can work through the challenges on our own to help us grow and move out of our comfort zone.  Let’s get started:

1. What are your three most important values?

Values are the concepts and principles you feel are most important – what you value in your life. For example, one of my values is caring/ concern for others. Taking care of others has always been important in my life.  I always wanted my own business because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others – from the early days making premature baby clothes till now – caring for others is always in the forefront.  Research says we stick to our goals when they revolve around our values. Not sure what your values are?  CLICK HERE for a link to some examples.  What are your three most important values?

2. What goal would best reflect those values?

Once you know your values, think about your goals and ask, “Does this goal reflect what I value?” If it doesn’t reflect them at all, then it may be time to drop the goal. If the goal reflects a little, tweak it so it represents what matters most to you. When you make your goal more meaningful, you increase the likelihood you will persevere until you reach it.

3. What are the measurable signs I’ve reached my goal?

We have all heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals, right?  The bottom line is your goal should be very specific. For example, my goal to goal weight.  A more specific version of this goal could be, “I’m going to lose a pound a week for the next 3 months.” It is a goal you can measure at a doable pace. It becomes about you consistently changing small habits to be successful. With a specific goal, you are able to get very specific about what you need to do in order to achieve it.

4. What skill do I need to acquire in order to be able to reach my goal?

I dream big – some would say too big.  What about you?  If you dream big and you haven’t reached your goal yet, maybe there is a good reason.  Maybe you don’t have the skill set to fully achieve your goal.  Don’t get discouraged! Acquiring the right skills can become a goal to help you reach your goal. Why “acquire” instead of “learn”?  Sometimes you need to personally learn the skills and sometimes you need to find someone who has the skill so they can help you reach your goal.  You might hire someone to help you or team up with a partner, or it maybe have a conversation with someone who understands what it takes to reach the goal. “Be honest with yourself ” about the skills you need to reach your goal.

5. What is my game plan for handling a setback on my way to the goal?

Let’s face it, we will have setbacks. There will be disappointments. There may be failures along the way.  What happens when I don’t lose the pound a week or when my business calendar is not full?  Are you ready for them or are you convinced it will never happen?  SMACK!  We need a game plan so 1) it’s not a surprise because you’ve already planned for it, and 2) you already know what to do. Think ahead and ask yourself: “How will I handle a setback so I bounce back quickly and keep moving forward?”

6. Who is the best person(s) to give me feedback on my progress?

Feedback or accountability is necessary for success. Talk to someone who is objective, someone who can look at your work and say, “I’ve been there, done that and here’s what will work.” Remember the old saying “Iron sharpens iron”?  Ask and willing accept help from those who understand the process.

7. What is an alternative path to my goal?

Do you have a list of action steps and think there is only one way to achieve your goal?  Guess what?  You need to be flexible. Your path might not be the path meant to be used to reach the goal. Be open to an alternative path if your path is not working. Be flexible and creative, and sooner than not, you’ll arrive at your finish line.

What is your goal and does it reflect your values?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!