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I ran into a writer buddy of mine at a party this weekend. We discussed the hardships of working a demanding career job PLUS kicking out novels each year(ish) PLUS simply being a home owner. Nobody promised living the dream would be easy.
How do we and others like us do it? We CHOOSE to do it. Our creative projects become a priority. We schedule time to work the projects, because they’re important to us. Making progress becomes a priority.
- Set aside time each day to work on your creative project. Even 15 minutes a day will help you make progress toward achieving your goals. Make progress a habit
- Set a deadline for each short-term goal and the ultimate goal of completely finishing your project
- Visualize what your creative project will look like when you’re done.
- Beat yourself up if you miss a day or a week of working the creative project. Stuff happens
- Try to swallow the whole enchilada at once. Bite size pieces of your project are easier to tackle
Stick with it! You can do it! Sending best wishes and encouragement your way!
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Back when I was a fresh-faced graduate with a shiny new diploma in Computer Programming, I created a Vision Board. It was covered with pictures of successful women, houses, nice clothes and fine foods. I’m happy to report every single one of those pictures came to fruition in my life. Some of the results were not quite what I expected, but they did help me build a very successful career.
Today, I’m in a place where I’m preparing to make major life changes as I head toward retirement. Hmmm. I guess what I really mean is I’m bursting out of my employer’s clutches and dancing toward new adventures. Can you see me giggling and clapping my hands?I have a few ideas to build up my current personal business and may even start a completely new one. Time to make a new Vision Board.
What’s the Point of a Vision Board?
- Helps you figure out what you really want in life
- Puts your ideas and dreams in a format you can see
- Meditate on the images every day. You’ll start to see these goals appear in your life.
Vision Boards are Great, but…
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- As with any map, you first have to know your destination before you start
- Do research on steps to achieve your goals
- Be smart! While Leaps of Faith are super inspiring, the landings can be brutal. Aim for the deep pools of success. Avoid the jagged rocks of failure
Creative Visualization may sound like some hippie dippie notion, but I’m living proof it works! Knowing what you want in life is the first step in achieving your goals.
I’ve been a corporate mentor/ coach for over a decade. While every person and situation can be different, they have common themes. One of the highest reoccurring issues is the feeling of being overwhelmed.
A new project manager is afraid to delegate and tries to do everything herself.
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The job asks an employee to travel for the third week in a row. Despite being exhausted and getting grief from his family, he says “yes.”
Sometimes this horrible feeling of being overwhelmed lands my mentees in what I call a “five-week rest in breakdown town.”
The folks I coach are smart and talented individuals. They understand you can’t keep pushing your body and mind to the point of breaking. Such behavior has consequences. They come to me for advice and I remind them about Healthy Boundaries.
What Are Healthy Boundaries?
- Imagine a force field around your body – You control what gets in (negative remarks, job demands, needy people)
- Keep your force field strong – Find that “One Thing” that matters most to you. Use your passion to feed the boundary
- Remember: IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO! Don’t want to go to a contentious family holiday? Don’t go! Work wants you to travel, but you’ll miss your kid’s birthday? Say you aren’t available that day!
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What’s the Deal with Limitations?
We talked about Boundary walls being useful. Limitations are also walls, but rather than keeping unhealthy things out…they keep you and your potential in a little box.
- Face those barbed impenetrable walls. Take a hard look at how and why you are limiting yourself
- Be absolutely honest. Is your wall made up of fear or bad memories? Failure can hurt, but it shouldn’t keep you from trying again
- Make a list of positive and encouraging goals you could achieve if you get past your self-imposed limitation
- Take the Hammer of Courage and smash that wall down!
Final Thoughts: You must take care of YOU! Corporations and selfish people will try to drain every ounce of energy from you if given the chance. Build up your boundaries to stay healthy. Knock down your limitations to stay passionate.
Spring is beginning to um, spring in my little corner of the world. Tiny green leaves are reaching up to the sun. Crocuses and hyacinths are blooming in bold colors. And me? Well, I am entering into my time of renewal.
My Spring Mantra:
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Positive change is beginning to bud inside my heart.
I will throw out the old dead negative notions.
I will help the new bud to grow by feeding my dreams with positive thoughts.
What about you? Are you ready to throw away the outdated thoughts that no longer stimulate your growth? My best wishes and positive thoughts headed your way!
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Change happens. It’s the nature of all things. Sometimes change is quick and unexpected. Other times it is agonizingly long in coming. Drag your feet to resist the change, it will be stressful. You might even experience a bit of pain. Embrace the change with acceptance and perhaps a bit of excitement – things will go easier.
I’m a Change Agent. My job, or calling if you will, is helping others to adapt, plan and take steps toward positive change. It can be difficult for individuals to see a path out of their rut. They feel stuck. They know they need a change, but don’t know how to climb out of their situation. That’s where I come in. I, and other folks like me, can see a path to positive growth and happiness. Then we help you see it too.
What happens when a Change Agent gets stuck in a muddy rut? Yep. My clothes are covered in the stuff! Here are a few things I’m doing to climb out of the mud and advance to my next opportunity:
Read a Classic again – Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
Get Inspired – Read or watch pieces about innovators and other inspiring people who have achieved the goals you dream about
Dream – Listen to yourself. What do you want? What don’t you want?
Take Action – Make a plan and see it through
I’ve been a mentor for ten plus years. 98% of my mentees have gone on to be successful in their business goals. The other 2% refused to either work hard for their dream or couldn’t conquer their fear of change. Moving out of a negative, but comfortable situation can be scary. Find a good mentor or coach to help you on your path. I guarantee happiness is worth the hard work!
Pitfalls and perils can surprise you on your creative journey. Stay true to the little light from your inner wisdom and you’ll make your dream a reality.
Bypass the promises of “Easy Solutions”
Ignore the detours of doubt
Watch for the signs your inner wisdom leaves for you
Hold on tight to the faith you have in yourself and your dream
Spring is a wonderful time for renewal and new beginnings. Why not start the creative journey you’ve been dreaming about? Or refresh things on your current adventure?
Here’s a list of things you’ll need to pack for the trip:
- A positive attitude
- Your spirit of adventure
- A rough idea of the plan to reach your goals
What to leave behind:
- Other peoples’ negative judgements
- Your inner critic
- Immovable Expectations (Sometimes you want to allow things to unfold)
Above all else, enjoy the journey!