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The one problem with visualization

family positive thinking Jan 23, 2017

Now that you have visualized what success looks like in your chosen area, I have to warn you about a potential pitfall.

When we use visualization effectively, it releases all sorts of feel good chemicals in our brain and makes us quite happy.

Why is this a problem?

Because the brain has such great feelings thinking about our goals that it thinks that it has ALREADY achieved success! This is why day dreaming is so very lovely (and problematic!!)

When we have all these great feelings we end up doing LESS to achieve these goals!!

This can be hard to understand but think of it this way: we set goals and strive to accomplish them to feel we are living on purpose and to feel good about ourselves.

One of the pitfalls of visualization is that it creates these good feelings without actually working or achieving these goals.

What I am saying is that visualization is great but it is NOT enough on its own.

So, what should we do?

1) Visualize success and get clear on the goal BUT then take step...

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SMART goals

parenting spirituality Jan 22, 2017

Some of you may have heard of SMART goals.

Here are the criteria and some examples of SMART goals.

Specific - Studies show is that in order to activate our creativity, engage our focus and call out our best resources, the goals that we set need to be very specific. So what EXACTLY are you aiming for? Do you have a goal to read more? How many books will you read? What kind of books? If your goal is to connect more with family, who specifically will you connect with and how? How often will you initiate connection?

Measurable – How will you know that you have achieved your goal? Becoming a better person is not a measurable goal. Breathing and counting to ten before responding to sass from your teenager is more measureable. Becoming more efficient is not measurable. Getting through your task list at home before 2pm is measurable.

Action oriented – what will you DO differently? Becoming healthier is much too vague and does not specify the action. Eating dinner before 8pm on...

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The 4 demons that stand in the way of aiming high

Let's talk some more about discomfort. Aiming high and achieving our goals requires us to do some hard work. But it also requires us to become VERY used to living with uncomfortable feelings.

Let me explain.

  • Fear 
  • Uncertainty
  • Doubt 
  • Shame


These are some feelings that we encounter when we want to achieve something meaningful in our lives.

When we first begin on the journey to actualizing our potential, we think that if we are feelings these things, something's wrong. We may think that either we are on the wrong path or that we are ill equipped to take this journey.

What if I told you that EVERYONE (well, mostly everyone that various studies have followed!) feels fear, uncertainty and doubt when embarking on something ambitious and/or meaningful to them?

I remember that when I was writing my book last year, I became very familiar with what I began to call 'the demons' of fear, uncertainty, doubt and shame. These demons would make me want to give up on a daily basis.

I learnt...

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Between discomfort and delusion

Goals outside our comfort zone challenge us and encourage us to give it our very best. They create the right amount of stress to help us perform our best.

There is, however, a fine line between discomfort and delusion.

Delusion means that the goals are so unrealistic that they are highly unlikely to be realized. Delusional goals are not only outside our comfort level, they are wayyy outside our current skill set and available resources.

Goals in the delusional zone set us up for failure, leaving us feeling defeated, frustrated and discouraged.

Let us take health goals. Committing to a non-negotiable regimen of daily movement maybe outside our comfort zone if we do not have a regular program of movement and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Setting and achieving a goal of regular movement will require us to make commitments and develop habits which will very likely be uncomfortable in the short run.

Setting a goal of running 10K outside every morning in the winter at 6am in Eastern...

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Aim high when setting goals

Let us talk about career and personal goals for a minute.

You may be tempted to play it safe when you are setting goals. You may want to set targets that you can easily reach to avoid feeling the emotions that come with failed attempts at reaching your goals.

While easy goals may cause some satisfaction and feeling of achievement in the short run, (it feels sooooo good to tick off something off that list, doesn't it?) they do not lead to major progress or growth in the long run.

Your goals need to be outside your comfort zone to cause you to stretch and grow.

In other words, aim high. Get over playing it safe. No one who achieved anything significant in life did it while playing it safe.

Let the adventure begin.

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You will not meet all the goals you set this year

Here is your daily dose of Wisdom for Living Your Best Self!

You will probably not meet all the goals you set this year.

Most likely not.

Even with the the best intentions, the right plan and consistent effort, you may not meet all your goals.

So what?

Realistically speaking, with some smart goal setting and positioning yourself for success, you are likely to meet about 70% of the goals you set.

Of course, it is also possible that you may exceed some or all of the targets that you set for yourself.

And without concrete goals . . . .

Well, you already know what happens to all the new Year Resolutions that you have been making in the past.

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What was your lowest score?

Unless you are living an amazingly well-balanced life, there will be one or two areas in your assessment which stand out as having a significantly lower score than the rest.

These areas of our lives are easy to ignore because it just seems very difficult to make a change in these domains.

But here's the thing: these are the very areas in your life that are calling out for attention.

The good news is that even a small positive change in these areas will improve your life satisfaction greatly and lead to success in other areas.

Let us take an example. For me, the area with the lowest score currently is my physical health. And because it is so low, I don't want to deal with it.

On the other hand, I also recognize that dealing with and making improvements here will have a MAJOR impact on all the other domains of my life.

Get the picture? So for yourself, identify the one or two areas with the lowest score in your life assessment. It may be relationships, finances or mental/emotional...

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Assess the domains of your life

A very effective way to look at and evaluate the big picture of your life is to think of the various areas of life as 'domains'.

Here is a list of 10 domains of life. Use the list below to rank how you feel about a particular domain by giving it a score from 1 – 10. 10 is absolute perfection while a score of 1 would be an absolute disaster.

The best way to do this is not to overthink it. Simply go through the list below and write a score for how you feel about this area of your life. This is completely subjective. No one needs to know this score except yourself. (you might want to copy and paste it in a word document OR write it out)

The domains of life:
1) Physical health – sleep, eating, exercise, disease etc

2) Mental wellbeing – stress, negative thoughts, mental illness

3) Interests, hobbies, creativity – have you been yearning to take up knitting but have not?

4) Romance, love life, marriage relationship – are you happy with the way things are at...

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Getting ready to set goals

family self development Jan 11, 2017

Most of us make resolutions or set goals in one or two areas of our lives. The majority of New Year Resolutions or goals tend to focus around the areas of health (weight loss) and career.

A better way to live our best selves is to see the big picture of our lives and begin to assess and make goals in many areas.

There are many ways to do this. We will look at one way today and another tomorrow.

The first way is to set goals according to our roles in life.

Think of the roles you have in life.

We have family roles (mother/father, son/daughter, spouse) work/career roles (employer/employee, manager, team member) community roles (community member, leader, pastor).

Now consider where you may set goals for improvement.

For example, in my role as a mother, I may need to work at being patient and to listen more.

In my role as a supervisor at work, an area for improvement might be to give effective and timely feedback.

What are some of the roles in your life currently? Can you identify...

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Process and outcome goals

There are some changes that we desire to make in our lives are habit related, for example, to exercise "more", eat "healthy", go "less" on social media. These are mostly the kind of resolutions that we make.

We will refer to them as 'process goals' because these are permanent changes that we wish to implement in our lives. Things that we want to give up or new habits that we wish to adopt fall under this category.

Regular exercise is a great example of a process goal. This is something that ideally we would like to become part of our lifestyle.

There are other goals which are outcome related, such as "lose 20 lbs", "read 10 books", "make 1,000 sales" etc. Goals like these are accomplished when the target is reached.

Of course process and outcome goals can work really well together in many areas of our lives. In health for example, a process goal would be to exercise 6 times per week and an outcome goal might be to achieve a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or better. The outcome...

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