Friday, February 25, 2011

Are Your Goals Failing You?

For the past 5 years, one of my grandiose new years' resolutions is to run a 5k in less than 30 minutes.  I have walked/run three 5k's in my life, and my time is nowhere near 30 minutes.  So it seemed like a great goal to really push myself.  But the reality is that in 5 years I have made zero progress on this goal!  ZERO!!!

So in November of this past year I decided it was time to get serious about this goal.  I challenged myself to do a really tough (non-cardio) workout for 10 days in a row.  I completed that challenge and was feeling strong and confident.  So with all this momentum behind me, I decided it was time to re-introduce the treadmill.  I set a new 10-day challenge to do a 10-minute (yes - you read that right -- only 10 minutes) workout on the treadmill!  By the third morning, I couldn't even talk myself into doing 5 minutes on the treadmill.  The first challenge was a harder challenge to complete, but I had no trouble motivating myself to do it!  That's when I realized that I wasn't failing my goal, my goal was failing me!!!  I just needed to set a completely different goal!

About that time a friend invited me to go to a Jazzercise class with her.  I had never been to a Jazzercise class before, and I was pretty much hooked from the first session!  So what was my 1 new years' resolution this year?  To do Jazzercise at least 3 times/week.  Do I have any trouble motivating myself to go to Jazzercise?  No!  I am having a great time; I love how I feel all day after doing the workout (one week I even did a few extra workouts!).  My favorite part of doing Jazzercise is walking past the treadmill in my Family Room with ZERO guilt!

Two months into the new year, I am still going strong on my new years' resolution!!!

Is there a new years' resolution (or any other type of goal) that has been failing you all these years?  Maybe it's time to set a better goal for you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Your Next Step is... Take Action!!!

"The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today.
The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer." ~Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's

Right after my mother's death I was having a hard time being motivated.  So I started asking God in my prayers to "Show me the next step and help me have the courage to take it."  Most of us know what that next step is, but for whatever reason we don't have the courage to take the step.  I asked for them to be baby steps that I could easily manage.  Guess what?  If you take enough baby steps, then you still make progress!  In fact you make more progress taking baby steps in the right direction, then you do going full speed in the wrong direction!  You don't have to take massive action, just take that small action you feel inspired to take.

It may seem random and unrelated like cleaning out a certain closet.  But while cleaning out that closet you may find something that helps you figure out the next step, or a thought may come to you while you clean out the closet, or having the closet cleaned out may take something off your mind and open up space for something else.

Don't waste your time and energy questioning the action step -- just do it!  And then ask what the next step is!  One of my husband's favorite sayings is:  "God can't steer a parked car."  So get moving and then let God guide you where you can be the most effective.

So ask yourself:  "What is one thing I can do in the next 2-5 days that will bring me a step closer to my dream/goal?"  Then go and DO IT!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Best Expert on You is... YOU!!!

This week we are going to be focusing on how you are your own best expert!

Nobody knows your goals and dreams like you do.  Nobody knows what motivates you like you do!  No one else even knows what it's like to be you!  No one knows you like you know yourself.

You may not feel comfortable hearing that.  You may be thinking right now that if you really are your own best expert, then you are in big trouble!  Because you may be feeling a lot of confusion about who you are and what your dreams, goals, and aspirations really are!

Our mind plays tricks on us.  Its job is to make sure we stay safe, and the way that it keeps us "safe" is to keep us from changing.  So it works really hard to convince us that everything should stay exactly how it is!

So if you want to find out who you really are, don't try to process it through your mind.  Instead take out a pen and piece of paper and ask yourself questions such as:  What do I really want in life?  If I could do anything I wanted for a whole day, what would it be?  What are my three greatest dreams?  Would I rather:  1) learn and teach knowledge; 2) live and promote a peaceful life; 3) fill the world with as much love as possible?  (Or in other words, which motivates me more:  knowledge, peace, or love?)  If I were to live my dream life, what would my next step be?  What could I accomplish in the next 3-5 days that would take me a step closer to discovering who I really am?

Write the answers to these questions - or any other questions you think of.  Keep writing until you have nothing else left to write.  If you are having a hard time coming up with something to write, then ask yourself the question "If I did know the answer to this question, what might it be?"  If you still can't think of anything, then go on to a different question.  You may be surprised at some of the answers you write!

Come back here and share your experience with this exercise!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!!!

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo da Vinci

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." ~Confucius

Simplicity is my theme for 2011!  There are so many areas of my life that have become cumbersome and weighed down. I have repeatedly taken 5-year plans in various areas of my life and attempted to achieve them in 6 months or less!  Besides feeling like a complete failure, it is very tiring to live your life like this!  So this year I am simplifying and congratulating myself and celebrating every achievement -- no matter how small it may seem!

Sometimes the very act of simplifying can seem overwhelming.  So I have been doing it in bite-sized chunks -- very small bite-sized chunks!  I found this great 21-day challenge through a friend, and it really helped me tackle a little at a time.  I'm not through the 21-day challenge yet, but I am making progress!  Every time I purge a closet, I can feel myself breathing more freely.  Go here for the 21-day challenge

Another obvious place where I have simplified is with my new years' resolutions.  Usually I make grand resolutions -- extremely impressive!  I'm pretty sure that if I ever were able to accomplish all my new years' resolutions in any given year, I would unanimously be crowned Queen of the World.  In other words, it is not even humanly possible to achieve some of my grandiose goals in a single year!  Now I follow the motto:  Better to succeed incrementally than to fail impressively!

I chose one new years' resolution this year.  Today is January 25 and do you think I have abandoned my resolution?  Oh, no!  I am jamming on it!  I feel like a rock star!!!  Now that this new years' resolution has become a habit, I am ready to add in another resolution.