If you’ve ever felt stuck, doubtful or dis-empowered, try this out!
I’ve been using this technique recently with some of my clients and they are experiencing amazing results.
Read the questions below and write them down so that you can keep them with you until they become second nature. Ponder and think about the questions regularly. Talk to supportive friends, colleagues, family and your professional coach about it. Meditate and journal about these questions, too!
Question 1: What is the easiest, quickest, and most enjoyable way to (my desired result?)
Question 2: If I knew that it would work out in a way even better than I could imagine, what would I create for myself?
Question 3: What is working in my life right now? (What am I grateful for in my life?)
When you ask yourself powerful questions, such as those above, regularly and keep asking these same questions again and again, answers will begin popping into your head (sometimes when you least expect them!). As you continue doing this, answers will come more rapidly as you condition your thought patterns and train your brain to think more positive empowering thoughts. When your brain accepts a new possibility and negative thought patterns are blocked, more positive solutions can flow effortlessly. Rather than spending days or weeks contemplating a problem, you’ll more quickly be able to think about solutions.
Let me know how this works for you. Leave a comment on this blog!
When working with successful clients, I’ve observed that those who experience the greatest levels of fulfillment and personal satisfaction as they achieve their goals, have aligned their goals with their personal values. If you follow good goal-setting practices in addition to aligning your goals with your values by writing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and trackable (S-M-A-R-T Goals) action plans, you have a better chance of success and knowing what your true priorities are. You spend the majority of your time on what matters most to you!
The first step in the values-based goal-setting process has to start with making an inventory of your values. Goal-setting is important but unproductive unless it is set on a foundation of your values.
Your values are the intangible aspects of life that make you feel in alignment, complete, on track, and functioning at a high level. Values are the essence of who you are. They are at your core. Although they may change over time, a life that aligns with one’s core values will feel more satisfying, even in the most difficult and challenging times. Values are the things you do that you find very attractive, an emotional state that you feel is very important. As life changes, it is important to re-examine your values. What was important to you at 20 may not be the same thing as when you’re 43.
Some examples of values include adventure, fun, service, creativity, connection, etc. When we consciously design our life to align with our values, life gets immeasurably richer — and easier! Gaining clarity of your values and designing your life around them is a process.
To discover your values, ask yourself:
- What is most important to you in your life?
- Then ask, what is important to you about that? What does this give you?
For example, if you answered that family is most important to you. Dig further to discover the core underlying value by asking what does family provide for you; you may find that family gives you a sense of connection, belonging or community. As you see in this example, the underlying value extends beyond family. Focus on what the value gives you to be sure you’re uncovering the core value because this will help you set your goals around your values.
Once you identify you values, choose activities or goals that are aligned with them. When you set goals to experience more of what you value most, life gets immensely richer – and easier!
Are you a SuperBusy Mother who can’t put down your BlackBerry??
Did you read or hear about the new statistics on Work (DIS)Satisfaction in the US released this week? Check it out!
I am a colleague of Laura Berman Fortgang and authorized program facilitator for her Now What? program. Today I received Laura’s latest newsletter and asked if I could share this information about growing job dissatisfaction in America.
Anyone who lived through the depression might have a good belly laugh at these statistics because earlier generations did not always have the luxury of being happy in their jobs–they did what they had to do because they had to. Happiness was not part of the equation.
HOWEVER, for the past few decades, job satisfaction has mattered but never more than during the 90′s when the economy was good and people had choices as to where to work and how much to get paid. In the 90′s you had to keep employees happy to keep them!
NOW, and in the last 9 years since 9/11, we have seen a progressive dip in satisfaction.
People are making more and more concessions to stay employed knowing the economy is not good and the job market is tough. More of their wages are going to pay for their health insurance and other benefits. They are seeing flat or no pay raises. Furthermore, something that the news reports did not account for was how many people are working harder and carrying more responsibility as more and more of their co-workers were being laid off.
At the core, however, as someone who works with people looking for the next horizon in their career, I find that there are other core reasons why work is not working.
In the recent movie, “Up In the Air”, George Clooney’s character, an HR rep who fires folks, said it so well when he said to someone who was losing his job: “How much did they first pay you to give up on your dream?”
In America, we are known for people having the freedom to pursue their dreams and think big, but often, people give up on their dream. Granted, sometimes it’s for very practical reasons but our culture doesn’t really support people’s dreams in most workplaces. The bottom line rules, not the growth or satisfaction of the employee. We tell our kids and students to ‘follow their dreams’ and then, when they do, we ask them: “Well, how are you going to make a living at that?”
People also don’t take responsibility for their own growth.Work satisfaction doesn’t come from what you do but WHO you get to be when you are doing your job. IF you don’t like who you get to be at your job, it is your responsibility to find ways to change that EVEN if your actual job dscription does not change.
People start coasting. Their life works well enough and they don’t want to ‘mess with what’s working’. But is it really working? Dissatisfaction can set in so easily when we allow ourself to go unchallenged.
People allow their work drudgery to follow them home. It is possible to improve your life even if you can’t improve your work. Instead of letting our work drudgery follow us home, we can invest in our private life and create a happiness that can make work palatable. Invest in creating family memories, indulge in a hobby, ‘date’ your spouse or partner, take classes, enrich your life!
People can find other opportunities, even in a tough economy. HEY! Then the obvious—gain the courage to look for other work! Invest in your worth as an employee with training or another degree or try your own biz if you can stomach it and bank roll it.
No one promised us we’d be happy at work, but you deserve to be. In other words, it’s exactly what to aim for and yet no one is going to hand it to you. CREATE IT!
Reprinted with permission from Laura Berman Fortgang. Originally published in The Now What?® Newsletter,Volume Three Issue Bonus #1, January 7, 2010
During the holiday season there’s much ado about giving and receiving. We spend a lot of money buying gifts and valuable time shopping and wrapping these gifts. What often is forgotten in this hustle and bustle is the simplicity of the holiday spirit.
What can you give that’s not costly or time intensive?
What gifts have you received that haven’t been fully appreciated?
We had more than a foot of snow last week and several social engagements were canceled. I saw this as a gift of time! With the commitment removed, I now had several hours to prepare at home. I wrapped, decorated and baked. Now, I feel ahead of schedule and I’m actually looking forward to the parties being re-scheduled.
When I’m out and about shopping I consciously greet everyone with a smile. I allow drivers to take my parking space. I invite people with just a few items in front of me in line. I walk around humming Christmas carols and occasionally burst into song.
No, I’m not crazy…I’m simply enjoying the simplicity of giving and receiving. Look for the joy, spread it widely and you’ll undoubtedly have a more joyous and happy holiday!
Wishing you peace, joy and happiness!!
The following tips can help diminish the stress and avert accompanying low energy levels that may lead to greater susceptibility to illness, feeling blue, fatigue, irritability, and generally a negative holiday experience.
Ruthlessly plan ahead. With Thanksgiving already behind us, Hanukkah in full swing and Christmas and Kwanza just ahead, there’s less time for planning, but continue planning as much as possible. Set specific days on your calendar for activities such as baking, shopping, wrapping, and visiting friends or relatives. Also, be sure to schedule some relaxation time for yourself. The holidays will feel more manageable if you are well-rested.
Determine Your True Priorities. Manage your time rather than letting it manage you. Decide what your priorities are regarding holiday events such as parties, family functions, gift buying, cooking, and all other related activities. Put them in order of priority and give yourself ample time for each thing. DO NOT wait until the last minute unless absolutely necessary, or it will be hard for you to not feel pressure and stress.
Define Your Limits. Learn when & how to say “no” so that when you say it you mean it. You only have so many days and hours to squeeze in family, friends, business get togethers, gift buying, food preparation, gift wrapping, traveling, packing, etc. If you have extra time and the desire to help others, fine. However, make sure you have completed or scheduled what’s most important to you first. Others can cross your boundaries if you allow them. Remember that you don’t have to attend every party or event you’re invited to and if you’re not feeling up to it, you may politely cancel. There’s also no need to take on everything yourself, holidays are a time to enjoy, ask for help when you need it!
Let go of the need for Perfection. For many it is tough to accept your own limitations. Think about what you really have to do, and really want to do. Then, think about what you realistically have adequate time and energy to do. Give up unrealistic expectations. Follow those guidelines and you will perhaps do less and not see as many people, write as many holiday cards, or cook as many cookies or pies, but you will be much less stressed and enjoy the holidays considerably more. Simple concept. Put it on paper and stick to it. Cut yourself some slack!
Pace Yourself. Prepare for events in stages. Save and re-use your recipes and shopping lists from year-to-year because traditional holiday dinners vary little. If you are going to be cooking for a large group on one or more occasions, shop early, and prepare what you can in advance, whether it is the day before or the night before. Many types of casseroles, baked goods and snacks can be made 1-2 days prior and kept fresh in a freezer or refrigerator in sealed containers or their own cooking dish. If you have 100 cards to be addressed and mailed, block off 15-30 minutes every day to work on them starting 2-3 weeks before they need to be mailed. Or, better yet, create a mailing list with labels you use annually. Look for possible gift ideas throughout the year, purchase items on sale and put them away until the holiday comes! This alone can save much time (and money)! Also, you avoid the holiday crowds in the stores and malls. Accomplishing a few tasks at a time rather than doing it all at once can cut your stress level by a large amount. Stay organized and focused!
Use Your Computer To Shop And Send Greetings. Take advantage of the technology sitting on your desk or resting in the palm of your hand. One way to save time and energy is to do some of your shopping for gifts online! Most of the major gift and department stores have a web site, and most also have their catalog or many items in many categories online (with photos often) from which to choose. You can use credit cards using a secure server to protect your card number, or in many cases, you can pay by check, phone order or fax. Just about everything from CD’s and videos to toys, jewelry, clothing, computers and computer accessories, and personal items, are available to order online. Use any of the major search engines to find the store address if you don’t know it. Virtual malls are also available through multiple sources. Additionally, you can use your computer to send virtual holiday cards, pictures, holiday newsletters, etc. to friends, business associates, and family online.
Help Others/Volunteer. This is especially good for the person who lives alone or is all alone as far as family and friends. There are many opportunities for you to create your own sense of “community” by being with people who are also alone and in most instances, far worse off than you physically and financially and perhaps emotionally, as well. You can volunteer your time to work at a food bank or soup kitchen where a holiday dinner is served and prepared; go to a local church or shelter to help feed the homeless and the poor; whatever, just be creative and look for opportunities you can contribute. The more you give, the more you will get back in blessings and good feelings yourself. It may not happen the same day or all at once, but it will happen. When you see that the best gift you can give is yourself, your spirits will rise and be reinforced with a warmth and strength which is better and longer lasting than any gift or holiday party.
Practice Patience & Good Deeds. Keep repeating to yourself when feeling rushed “I have plenty of time.” Hurrying is a struggle against time—that’s unhealthy. Adopt a more relaxed attitude. Let others in front of you in line (especially when they seem distressed), hold the door open for the person exiting with a handful of packages, give up the parking space, drop off something thoughtful to someone special to you just to show your appreciation & thankfulness, find the acts of kindness that make you feel good and do them repeatedly.
Sing, Hum, etc. (it doesn’t have to be out loud). Experience the joys of the holiday season by hearing the music. Let the music help ease your tensions. Some suggestions: ‘Tis the season to be jolly (perfect if you’ve lost your sense of humor); Dashing through the Snow (helps you remember that although not everybody can dash through the snow, movement is absolutely essential to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being); Making a list, checking it twice (Don’t expect your already overloaded mind to remember any more than your way home and the names of your immediate family members); you get the picture!
Exercise!! Yes, that’s right, even before the New Year’s resolutions! Having to park three miles away from any place peopled with shoppers gives you an excellent opportunity to squeeze in a little aerobic activity. Carrying your purchases back to that same location might be considered strength training. It’s amazing how many ways you can work in a workout. However, do more than the credit card wrist twist; the lugging of packages; the raising your arm to mouth and opening wide—do real cardiovascular exercises at least 3 times per week for 20 minutes or more. You’ll be amazed at all the extra energy you create!
Avoid Or Be Very Moderate With Alcohol, Sugary Foods, Caffeine. Most holiday gatherings include the sharing or offering of alcoholic beverages, coffee and cakes, cookies, etc. Since many people use alcohol, caffeine and sweets as a way to combat stress and even depression, it is wise to limit your intake if you wish to limit your stress. These items are only a temporary stress reducer. Keep in mind, the best stress reducers are laughter, listening to and/or singing music, helping others, being loved and sharing love, and for many, association with their church or faith through private or public ceremonies and events.
Gratitude helps you focus on the positives in your life. Read this blog I recently posted at My Path to learn more about the power of gratitude and how to bring more of it into your life.
Today is national Women’s Health & Fitness Day! It’s the largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages. This unique national program — with participation by local organizations throughout the U.S. — focuses attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women.
More than 1,000 groups across the country will host women’s health and fitness events at senior centers, hospitals, health clubs, park and recreation districts, local health and service organizations, schools, retirement communities, houses of worship, and other community locations today and also on the last Wednesday of every September to come. An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 women are expected to participate in these local activities.
Whether or not there’s a local event, do something for your health and fitness today! If life is too busy, click over to my website for a free article Top 10 Ways to Fit Fitness into Your ‘Too’-Busy Schedule.
Any activity, including walking, exercising, a health screening,
or even attending a health information workshop counts today! The goal of this special day is to encourage women to take control of their health: to learn the facts they need to make smart health choices, and to make time for regular physical activity. Don’t hesitate…do something now!
This week’s e-newsletter, “Success Tips for SuperBusy Parents” is about getting involved in your child’s school. My children are now in 7th and 10th grade. I find that my opportunities for involvement have changed throughout their school years.
When my children were in elementary school, I could volunteer as class parent or for special projects or field trips (which I did). After jumping in with two feet, I pulled back from some of my initial involvement because I found it draining my energy and taking valuable time away from my family. Instead, I chose to limit my involvement to those activiites where I could have direct interaction rather than behind-the-scenes support. I got to know other parents, teachers and the Principal.
As my children got older, they wanted less of me at the school. So, I volunteered to help with publicity and fundraising (as long as it didn’t pull me away from family time!). Last year, when my daughter asked me to chaperone a trip, I changed my appointments at work so that I could take advantage of this limited opportunity. It was one of the best decisions I made! Besides spending time with my daughter, I enjoyed spending time with her friends and visiting the Philadelphia Zoo. I also appreciated the opportunity to meet the other chaperones, especially a dad who is the President of a mid-level company who was there at the request of his son.
You never know what joys you’ll get from your school involvement! Choose wisely and volunteer when you can. Don’t be too busy to enjoy some of the best pleasures life has to offer! I’m already hoping my daughter requests me to chaperone the overnight trip at the end of 8th grade!!
Those who are tied to their technology so that they can respond immediately to anyone reaching out to them need to better understand what this behavior is costing them…
Are you someone who almost always immediately replies to every phone call, text message or email so that you can demonstrate just how committed you are to your work and family? Do you often provide an immediate response for work-related items while getting around to family, friends and personal matters when you have the chance? Or, do you respond immediately to your family while putting off work-related contacts?
Having the habit of responding immediately, whether for everyone, or for just work or personal matters is unhealthy. Many are fooled to believe that when they respond immediately to work-related matters they are demonstrating their commitment to their job. However, are they? And, does this level of availability really measure true commitment?
Commitment is not synonymous with being constantly available! Operating as if it is contributes to higher stress levels and lower life satisfaction levels. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this and gain some valuable tips.
The advances in modern technology have created a common distorted view of expectations. Commitment to your job in too many cases has become equated with being constantly available. However, just because you can be constantly accessible and responsive doesn’t necessarily mean you should be available 24/7.