There is no Perfect Plan

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There is no Perfect Plan

Do you have dreams? Do you have plans that are waiting for the right time to implement? This can apply to your professional goals or your life plan. Each of us has an ideal concept of how we want to live, work and play. What are you doing to achieve that ideal goal or vision? Most people will admit to having some vague ideas or goals. Very few people have their goals written down.

Yet I would suspect many of us are avid list makers. Why? When I capture my tasks on a list, they get done. It is that simple. If I don’t write them down or get them on my list, there is a much higher chance they get neglected or postponed. What does this teach us about getting what you want in life? Have written goals. Goals need to be very specific so you can work towards a real objective with a time line attached. One year I decided that my goal was to live in a cabin in the woods for a month. What I had in mind was a cozy cabin on a stream with lots of walking trails where I could spend a productive month working on next year’s projects. I did achieve that goal. My goal was not very specific, so what I got was living in a KOA cabin with no heat or running water for a month while on a travel assignment. I laugh now at this comparison between my ideal and my reality of a goal achieved. To me it is a great reminder that goals need to be very specific or you might get something completely different then your intended outcome.

Now comes the action part of any goal. What are you willing to do for this goal to be achieved? There will be a cost in time, effort or choices. Every step can be broken down into small actions that are reasonable and fit into your daily schedule.

The last step is to make a plan. Here is a sticking point for many people. We want to get it right. So the plan has to be air tight, all options considered and be sketched out all the way to how you achieve your final goal. Right?

Wrong.

Your plan for achieving any goal is to start with a plan. Getting starting is the plan. As you move forward you then will monitor, modify and adjust your plan based on how it works for you. Remember this is how adults learn, by doing. By making mistakes and adjusting or changing course from learning what does not work.

Throw out the idea of a perfect plan. Get a plan that gets you started on your goals.

That plan is the basis for taking action. Spiral Coaching offers a Laser Coaching 3 call special this month to jump-start your actions.  Decide Act Results- Click here to Start

Small actions will move you towards your goal. Say yes to your dreams by turning them into realistic goals one action at a time.

Think Big. Act Small

Think big-act small

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Every year feels like a good time to start fresh new projects or launch into new goals and activities. Everyone knows what they need to do to improve. So what stops us from making those ideal personal improvements? The classic mistake is attempting too many changes in too short of a time with no plan on how to make it happen. Then you get frustrated with no progress or not achieving those high level goals in one week and give up altogether.

Does this sound familiar?  This concept applies to mastering new skills, setting up a healthy eating plan or new exercise program.

What is a better way to make positive change?  Here are some ideas that will make your changes last.

Start with the why. Why do you want to make this change? Why is it important to you? What will improve in your life if you achieve this result? Make your why personal, important and clearly define all the reasons that you really want to achieve this change. Connect your change with what is important to you on a daily level.

Step two. Be very clear on your expected outcome. What does success look like? How will it feel to achieve this result? What does it mean to you? How important is it to make this change?

Step Three. Think big. Act small.  Go for the ideal end result.  Take small action steps that will be easy to achieve.  What do you need to do on a monthly basis or weekly basis to reach your goal?

The key to success is to start with small actions on a daily basis that you can commit.

Small daily changes will create a habit that builds towards your overall goal.  Journal about your progress. Write out your daily goals and check them off.

Final thoughts are to be patient with yourself as you move through any change process. Be kind and forgiving when you stumble or take extra time to get your new habits going. Every change needs time to become a habit. Every person needs a support team or system to help them make changes. Need a platform to get started? Get a free on line secure journal from Spiral Coaching.  Get Your Free Journal

What you focus on grows.

Why tracking success makes you feel better

Why does tracking your success make you feel better?
Do you stop and celebrate completed projects or successful actions ?
If you are like most of us, you are too focused on mistakes or failures to pay any attention to what you did accomplish this week, month or year. The habit of keeping failure or mistakes in mind negates our success and allows us to be discouraged about any hope of self development or improvement. This year try starting a new practice of keeping a success journal. Writing down your successes helps you become more empowered. Once you write something down, your subconscious reminds you that you are successful and accomplished. Celebrate actions steps as they get completed. The ability to acknowledge your self for a completed task reinforces the habit of getting things done.
Why is it important to celebrate success? Taking the time to remind ourselves of what we 4are proud of achieving builds self confidence and motivates us to strive for new goals.
What do you consider worth celebrating? That answer is very personal. Anything that you have worked hard on or been persistent in making happen counts. I make a year end list of everything that I have accomplished. My list this year includes reducing my paper files by one drawer, swimming twice a week, getting a twitter account and facilitating a leadership retreat for women. I am proud of one hike on a very high steep trail. If I had tried this alone, I would have turned around because I am not comfortable in high exposed places. I let friends help me through the tough spots. The reward was the most amazing view of the summer: once I could sit down and enjoy the view. Your list will be unique to you. Try this as an exercise. Sit down in a quiet space. Use paper or computer. Write for one hour everything that you can think of over the last year that you accomplished. Don’t censor it or analyze the list, just let your thoughts flow out. Enjoy the feeling of success as you read and review that list.
Here are some questions to help you with your flow of accomplishments.
What did I learn?
What challenged me?
What habits have supported my self care?
How have I contributed to my community?
What have you achieved that surprised you?
What smaller steps have you made towards bigger goals?
What are you most proud of?
Now decide how you want to celebrate all these amazing accomplishments. Do something just for you that is nurturing and rewarding. Paying attention to your success steps will build confidence and your overall appreciation of your skills and expertise. Enjoy and have fun with this new habit of celebrating your success.

Healthy Food Habits for Busy People

Healthy habits are small choices that you make each day that support your larger goals and vision of living well. This list will give you some ideas on how to turn your ideas into action steps that move towards a higher quality of life. Keep it simple when it comes to food choices. That is what works when you balance a busy life with healthy eating habits.

 

  1. Plan meals ahead. You know that if you have a plan for the week you make better choices. Set up a time each week to plan out your meals, snacks and needs so that you have healthy choices on hand when you need to eat.
  2. Use a list at the grocery store. This will save you time, money and avoid impulse decisions at the store.
  3. Buy the bulk of your food on the outer isles of the grocery store in produce and protein. Avoid the center isles where the processed food lives.
  4. Read labels. Start looking for added sugar with words that end in –ose: Frutose, dextrose, glactose, or syrup, barley malt, fruit juice concentrate.
  5. Stop drinking soda. This is the one thing that could make the biggest difference to your health. Diet soda with artificial sweetener is no better when it comes to keeping you in a cycle of craving sugar.
  6. Drink more water. Have a water bottle or glass of water close to you. Just the habit of having water in front of you will increase your intake. Ideal is 8 cups/ day.
  7. Cook ahead or cook double portions so that on hectic days you have food ready when you get home or leftovers to pull out of the freezer.
  8. Eat out less at restaurants. You can both save money and calories by cooking your own food. When you do eat out- choose foods that are baked, grilled and not fried. Ask for salad dressing on the side so you can control how much you use.
  9. Make a large pot of brown rice on the weekend when you have more time. That rice will last all week to add to your protein and vegetable dinners. Try quinoa as a grain that is healthy and easy to cook as your side for meals.
  10. Make open face sandwiches that only use one slice of bread- you can have lettuce on top to hold everything in. Pack your sandwich with protein and veggies. Try mustard instead of mayonnaise to flavor it.
  11. Avoid late night snacks. Put up a closed sign in your kitchen as a reminder

 

Here are some ideas of healthy snacks that you can grab and go with.

  • Fruit- it is a fast food
  • Vegetables with hummus
  • Cheese- like mozzarella sticks
  • Almonds or nuts that are raw and unsalted
  • Protein shake
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Yogurt- Greek – plain- you can add your own vanilla or nuts

The bottom line is to make your food choices ahead of time so your system makes it easy to eat healthy at the end of the day when you are tired or low on energy.

Keep it simple and start with small changes that fit your needs. If you need more ideas on how to simplify your life: take action and Contact Gwen for a complimentary coaching session

 

 

Extreme Kindness Week

Collegiate West CO Trail/ CD 12,548

I live in a mountain town, where extreme sports and outdoor adventures are common.

People will spend weeks and months getting ready for a local event because they enjoy the challenge and like to be in top physical shape. I enjoy outside exercise and it does reenergize me by just spending time outside. I think it is important to recognize and start any exercise program right where you are. Recognize that most of us are not and will not be top competitive athletes. So rather than compare our performance on anything to the top elite competitors, what if we appreciated ourselves for where we are performing right now.

What if there was a competition for extreme kindness?

What if you had to practice being considerate of others and kind to yourself every day to get ready for this event?
How would you treat yourself if being kind to yourself was the key to success?

I am going to define kindness as when you recognize all the positive things in your day and appreciate what you have accomplished. Unkindness would be to point out and focus on any mistake, disappointments or things not done exactly right. Then you would berate yourself for all of them repeatedly.

For extreme kindness week take up this challenge for yourself.

Be aware of how much of your talk is positive.

Can you rephrase things to point out the positive side first?
Listen to your self-talk this week and be aware of what you are saying to yourself.

How much of your talk is negative?

How much of your talk is positive?

Do you allow for mistakes and learn from them?

Do you review every mistake over and over again feeling worse each time your review it?

How would your treat yourself if extreme kindness was your only focus?

Take up the extreme kindness week challenge with a friend and see what you learn

Kindness is part of the ability to be optimistic. Optimism is a key characteristic of resilient people: those people who are good at handling stressful situations. Looking for the positive aspects in self and others is a way to build up your own internal optimism, while practicing kindness.

Amazingly when you focus on kindness  in your own life, you will find kindness does exist everywhere.

A responsible brain gets to rest

What being a perfectionist and very responsible person has done for my productivity.

I like to get things done- and feel like I am moving forward with projects and goals- who Doesn’t?

What I have been experimenting with is using an online tool called Todolist- I was afraid it would make things too complicated- instead- I am not searching for pieces of paper where I captured my thoughts last night on what needs to happen this week or today. Like anything else it only works well if you set up things in sequence- for any program- here are my best practice tips

  • Break down every project into individual steps
  • List out every step as an action to be taken
  • Give yourself enough time for each step
  • Not all projects have to go on your schedule- some just sit there until you are ready  to start
  • Only schedule things that you actually have time to do each day-
  • this one is the toughest one for me to learn- I get excited about working on something and want to get it all done right now.

A good reality check for me is to write down how much time I will allot to each task or project

Remember to allow time to exercise, get outside and take brain breaks. This keeps me feeling good about life and not chained to the to do list. So far I am liking my new tool and enjoying the satisfaction of having my stuff all together in one place. That reduces the stress of feeling like you might miss something or forget something,

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That for me is the key – ending each day feeling good about what I got done. I like the feeling of having things sorted and set up for another day. That makes it easy for me to let go of work and move into play. This is really important when you work from home- having a mental process that closes your office door for the day and lets you be refreshed and recharged while still in your home.

Find out what works for you- how do you switch gears? What makes it easy for you to close your work brain down for the day?

Focus your mind on what you want

What your mind focuses on grows. Simple yet very true statement. Think about what is most important to you in life and that area expands. I have multiple lines of business. When I take more jobs in physical therapy- I have a regular paycheck and a planned out schedule.
What happens to my coaching practice? It slows down. So by saying yes to one area, I am letting another area decline. Last year, I purposely limited physical therapy jobs. Guess what? I doubled my coaching practice- just by paying more attention to it. What areas are you passionate about? Can you find them in your current work? Consider how you can do more of those high value things that bring you joy and keep you fully engaged? Look at how you spend your time. Focus on how to feel good about your time spent at the end of a day or week. What areas of life need more of your time and attention? The beginning of the year we all have great intentions on healthy eating and more exercise. Then what happens? Good intentions for positive change get lost within a busy hectic schedule. Consider what is important to you as you make your choices on where and how to spend your time. Small daily actions can quickly give you a sense of accomplishment that keep you moving towards what is near and dear to your heart. These daily or routine habits form the foundation of making larger positive changes.
What actions could you take on a regular basis that would make a difference in your life right now? Nourish yourself by finding and completing those small actions that support your area of passion. Remember when you focus on what you have accomplished – that feeds a positive attitude which supports your confidence that you can accomplish what ever you set out to do.
If you need some support- consider using a journal or finding a coach.
Here is a link to my journal site

You can get a free on line journal to support your own personal growth and development. Using a journal is a great way to focus and sort your thoughts on what you want.

Connections- Strength or a Weakness?

When does a strength become a weakness? My connections to people- relationships is a strength.
Connections and the need to be connected can be a weakness for me. How? When I stay in a job or situation too long- because of the connection- I stay- after this situation is no longer meeting my goals or needs. I am reflecting on that now- I do some fill in work with a hospital as a physical therapist- the other staff- my co- workers are great- they make me laugh- they raise above impossible situations with grace and energy- which is energizing and fun.
Over the last few months- I have re-evaluated my goals and what is working or not- this work is taking away from my goals – and my primary business of coaching. So I have cut back my schedule- and decided not to replace this with any thing other than more coaching time. How is that working- very well- I am getting reconnected close to home- teaching a QiGong class for a local gym- which is a positive connection for coaching – and interacting with people who are invested in health and wellness. I believe that when you close one door other doors will open- and that what you focus on is where you will get growth and development. I am looking forward to new developments and opportunities that I will have the time and energy to make happen.

The Power of Identity

Who are you? Who do you choose to be in the world?  What is your purpose for being?

Reflect on how your choices are influenced by your personal identity. Many of us carry labels from our past that others have given us. These labels may not be valid or accurate today. Focus your awareness on how you view yourself today. Your beliefs lead to self-perceptions that can determine your outward actions. What labels do you carry about your self?  Write a brief description of yourself as the person that you are striving to be.    Read that statement every morning while looking in a mirror. Reflect on how this exercise affects your day.  Consider how your own beliefs about yourself help you or hinder you this week?  Are there any labels you need to drop or toss out? Pay attention to your choices this week and how your actions support your choices.  What happens when you have to take an action that is out of your comfort zone?  It is only with reflection on our actions and beliefs can we make changes that support personal self development and growth. Try one new thing this week that moves you towards a personal or professional goal. 

New Year’s Resolution Chart

Resolution List- Do you start out the New Year with a long list of things that you want to accomplish? Here are some ideas to help you feel good about your resolutions.
1. Think big
Have two or three overall themes that guide your actions all year long. Post them up where you can read them every morning and reflect on them every evening. Give yourself a gold star for everyday that you accomplish one of the big items.
Here are my personal favorites-
Speak up about the positives
Make deliberate choices
Do one hard thing every day
Set up intentions for the day before I get out of bed
Practice gratitude at the end of every day
Make quiet time for me
Be kind and honest
Before I make that snap judgment- consider I don’t know the whole story
Give myself credit for what I did accomplish
Listen more than I talk
Ask more questions
Connect with friends and family

Spend more time with fun people and less time with people who complain

The second plan I have this year is to focus on one area each month. January is energy month.

I am tracking the situations and jobs that I get excited and energized to do.

I am also paying attention to the things that I ignore or put off again and again.

I am going to let that list guide how I spend my time and what things I agree to do for others. I want to learn what things are of the highest value for me and what things I need to give away or stop doing all together.

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