Author: Rebekah Burke

5 Tips for Successful Resolutions

2015 New Year celebration2014 has come and gone, for some the year was difficult and couldn’t have passed fast enough. For others it was like a dream and saying good-bye was bitter sweet. Whatever your 2014 looked like, here you are in 2015, another new year in front of you and new aspirations and dreams you would like to see realized, and with the right approach those dreams will become your reality this time next year.

We’ve all been there before, thinking “this year I am going to do it! This will be my best year yet!” Or maybe you just want to recover from the year before, shooting for better instead of best. Resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but often they loose their luster right about February. January holds strong but after the first couple of weeks countless resolutioners fall off the change wagon.

So how to you make a resolution that sticks?

  1. Be realistic

When changes need to be made, having an achievable goal is crucial. Big pie in the sky ideas are fun and seem grand but they are pie in the sky for a reason – they stay in the sky and can’t be reached. Find something that you can actually accomplish in a year or can see yourself doing every day. If you want to decrease the stress in your life by meditating for an hour each day and changing nothing else, I hate to break it to you but you will be disappointed and just as stressed as ever. However, to start cutting out unnecessary stressors in your life a little bit at a time will lead to a calmer lifestyle.

  1. Be specific

General statements are nothing more than general New-Years-Resolutions-Photostatements and they will get you nowhere. Picking one thing that is a priority to change and really fleshing out what the change will look like and how to get there is the best way to realize the change. Loosing weight doesn’t magically happen because you wish it to happen. It happens with specific dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and consistency. Weight loss is successful when there is a plan for achieving that. Is it 5 lbs. or is it 20? When do you want to loose it by? What foods need to be eliminated from the diet and what foods need to be introduced? What physical activity needs to be present every week? Definition folks – that’s how you’ll now what you are changing and how you are going to do it!

  1. Build in deadlines/benchmarks

Do you remember back to when you were in school and all of a sudden you had 4 papers and 2 tests all the same week and you had no idea how you were going to get everything done and get in some studying? It is a terrible feeling and can be completely overwhelming. Gradual progression towards a goal is much less overwhelming than having everything dumped on you all at once. Build in small goals to achieve the bigger overall goal, this shows progress and forward movement – so much more encouraging! Going on a big trip is much more doable when each month you commit to saving so many dollars that will add up to your trip budget when the time arrives. Running a 5K can be dangerous for your body without training, but committing to running a little more each day will prepare you for the 5K. There are a lot of cool programs out there that lay out weekly goals/benchmarks for common resolutions, like the Couch Potato to 5K in 8 weeks and others. Have fun finding programs that others have been successful using!

  1. Have accountability

When you keep something to yourself no one can encourage you or help you through the tough times. That is why support groups exist at all, accountability and support! Keeping resolutions to yourself take the opportunity away from your friends and family to be your cheerleaders. On top of that, doing things alone is a little scary and not nearly as much fun. When you have decided what your goal is and found markers to track your progress look around and see who would be up for doing it with you or who will ask you about it every week or so. Maybe a friend or family member would like to make the same change and you can both work on it together.

  1. Make your changes for you, not someone else

When I work with clients I always ask some form of the question “What brings you here?” Sometimes I hear “I don’t know, my (insert family member here) made me come.” Well, those clients never stick and doing accomplish much at all. They aren’t doing something for themselves; they are being pushed to do something for someone else. Changes that are a part of someone else’s agenda are changes that only that person can address – you can only address the changes that are on your agenda. When being pushed to doing something someone else wants there is often guilt, shame, or blame. This trio is the enemy of change and they are very damaging. Examine your goals and make changes that are meaningful to you. You will be more successful and more fulfilled!

 

Have you had a successful resolution? What are your goals for this coming year? Share your thoughts with us!1
resolution-600x320

Notes:

  1. Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

How to Turn a Set-back into an Opportunity

catching-fire-photos-post-art-2In light of the recent release of the third installment of the Hunger Games, I can’t pass up this opportunity to write about the symbolism in the story. I have been a big fan of Katniss and the Hunger Games trilogy since reading the books several years ago. I think there are a lot of life-lessons we could all take away from the books, but I want to focus on the significance and symbolism of the arrow.

Arrows are different from other weapons/projectiles. There are more independent and flexible and their operation is unique. In order for an arrow to move forward and be effective it has to be pulled back. And not just pulled back, but pulled with great force and tension. When the tension is strong enough the arrow will fly forward and will go much farther than it possibly could if it had been thrown forward. So what makes it go farther and stronger? It is a combination of pulling back and tension or pressure.

Life does that to us too, it pulls us back and there seems to be a mountain of pressure ready to dump on us an any given moment. The pulling, we know that as a set-back. When was the last time you experienced a set-back? Did it feel like everything you have been working for was just beyond your reach? That you were actually moving farther away from your goal than you started? That can create its own kind of pressure but sometimes there are external pressures to add to the pile.

Those moments when it feels like there is a set back or when there is too much pressure and to goal is further than where you started, those are the moments when being goal-oriented is crucial. When there is a focus, a direction, there is still a target. That makes it impossible for you to stay in your set back forever. You have to move out of it and when you do you will move towards your goal. But that only happens when there is a release of pressure. That release can come from you – you can take control of the situation and let go of the pressures that don’t serve you, the pressures that hold you back. Sometimes we have to patiently wait and let others release the pressure, keeping your focus until that moment will still allow you to move forward to where you want to be.

You are the arrow and life is the bow, and you are the one who gets to pick the direction. You have the power to turn set-backs and what seems like overwhelming pressure into an opportunity to fly forward. Turn your stress into good stress and launch yourself forward!

 

When have you been an arrow? What happened as a result? 1

Notes:

  1. Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

The Power of Meditation

In our fast-paced, frantic world it seems like the thing we want most is to be able to just sit and relax! And then we get the opportunity to do just that . . . woman-computer-phone-internetand then the TV goes on . . . and the smart phone . . . and the tablet – and before you know it there you are surrounded by technology and providing your brain with no less than 4 separate tasks. Does that sound relaxing? At all?

Meditation is pretty much the exact opposite of that. It is an opportunity to be mindful and completely present, an opportunity to take control of your thoughts and not let them kidnap you and run away with you. There is an abundance of research on how helpful mediation is in calming anxiety, stress, and general unhappiness. It has incredible short and long-term benefits. It is free and takes no more than 20 minutes a day. So why aren’t we doing it?

It is so hard to slow down and to give yourself the luxury of doing nothing but sitting and being present. Do you even know how to do that? It certainly isn’t intuitive, you have to learn how to do it and work on being present and still. Meditation is an act of cultivating stillness and silence. Those are two things that society tells us is bad, that to be happy we need to be seeking the next best thing and to be doing something fun and enjoyable. If that were actually true wouldn’t the search for happiness be over?

Something must be off, so let’s try something different and look inward for sustainable happiness. Something that doesn’t fade and doesn’t have conditions on sticking around.

How do you meditate?

Meditation Postures 008This is a very simple question, simple process, but with difficult follow-through. In order to meditate you sit in a quiet place in a comfortable position, generally on a chair (not a lazy-boy), and close your eyes. Then focus on your breath, breathing in and out being mindful of you body, remaining still and silent. You’ll have a lot of thoughts come zipping through your mind “Did I pay the water bill?” or “I want ice cream” or “This is boring.” Just let them pass and fade away and remain still and silent, focusing on your breath.

So easy, right? After you sit for 20 min, let me know how easy it was to stay focused on your breath! It is challenging but the cultivation, the continuous process of bringing your attention back to your breath and the here and now, that is the mediation. That is what will lower your stress and anxiety. The decision to respond to life’s challenges in a mindful and intentional way is how you can stop stress from controlling your life and stop anxiety from creeping in when you least expect it.

A good introduction to mediation is to practice mindfulness, I have posted about mindfulness in daily life and mindfulness for stress relief, but there are also great resources out about mindfulness meditation that are a great addition to your personal library. 1

Have you ever tried to meditate? What was it like for you?

Notes:

  1. Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

Feeling Powerless

There are so many different instances where any of us find ourselves with a lack of control over our circumstances. These happen at work, at home, at school,powerless-underwater1 in public, in traffic, in our health, the list goes on. I would imagine that any of us could look at a given week and find over a dozen instances where we didn’t have the control, didn’t have the power to alter or influence our circumstances.

Lack of control doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have any power. Lack of control can be making a conscious decision to defer to another person/entity/ group, the control you still have is whether or not to maintain your deferred status or to trust the “other” with your decision making. When something is out of our control we can still be at peace with that and find a new point of control within the circumstance.

A mild example is that lunch is being catered for an event and you have a strong dislike of what is being served. The choice of caterer or menu was out of your control, your point of control is to find an item here or there you can tolerate, to suffer through a lunch you dislike, or you can seek an alternative food source. Jimmy John’s delivers almost anywhere!

Lack of control in one area means there is control in another area, once you find that you open up new options for yourself, more on how to manage when life happens here. When you can find your point of control it’s like getting your feet underneath yourself – you gain stability and security.

Powerlessness is a deeper problem. There is no choice there, and powerlessness is where anxiety and fear live. Powerlessness is a space where there is absolutely no choice, no opportunity for impact, input, or control. This is others making your decisions for you or the situation being so out of hand that there is nothing you can do to change the course of movement. Powerlessness is often accompanied by a feeling of hopelessness and defeat.

Did you know there is a silver lining there? For most of us, day-to-day life will include loss of control masquerading as powerlessness, but there are very few times when we genuinely experience total loss of power within our own lives. When that happens, when those feelings of hopelessness and defeat are all that come to the surface, we need an advocate. We need someone to come to our aid and help us see, reclaim, and wield our power, to show us how to regain control over our lives and how to use our power as strength.

Advocates come in all kinds of packages, sometimes it is a parent, a friend, a child, a sibling, a stranadvocateger, even a part of ourselves that still maintains the fortitude to push through. And their firm, gentle encouragement can often be subtle, as simple as a hand on the shoulder or a genuine smile. The real silver lining is that when you experience powerlessness you don’t have to stay there. Let me say that again – you don’t have to stay there and chances are that you won’t stay there for long! Your advocates will find you, maybe even you will find you, and will help you to fight to regain control over your circumstances.

 

Have you experienced powerlessness? How did you find your way out of that situation? 1

Notes:

  1. Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

3 Ways to Get More Sleep and Why That Is Actually Important

We are hearing from everyone all the time how important sleep is. I don’t know how your calendar looks, but mine is packed, often with things scheduled as early as 7 in the sleepermorning and ending at 9:30 at night. Does your candle burn at both ends?

When I think back to the times in my life where I got 5-ish hours of sleep or less I also recall the coffee I needed to wake up, the groggy feeling that followed me all morning, the lack of energy I felt, moodiness, higher stress levels, and a constant sense of being overwhelmed. Any of those things are reason enough to find the source and terminate it. Study after study tells us how important sleep is to our vitality, to our life in general. With all this research, why are we not getting the hint and sleeping more? Our culture plays a huge role in the fast-paced, never miss a thing, workaholic type of lifestyle that undercuts so many of our efforts to live well and sleep well.

Sleep studies show nights of sleep disruption for 14 consecutive nights show the same negative impacts as sleep deprivation for 2 nights, specifically that cognitive functioning decreases steadily while the experience of sleepiness plateaus. The individual may not feel very tired but their brain is not operating at full capacity. 1

Rapid Eye Movement sleep, or REM sleep, is a deeper quality of sleep and researchers with the American Psychosomatic Society have linked increased REM sleep with

decreased subjective emotional responsiveness to negative stimuli and a decrease in amygdala reactivity

These same researchers found,

Poor sleep efficiency has been related to lower levels of perceived social support . . . perceived social support moderates the link between threat-related amygdala reactivity and trait anxiety. In addition, poor sleep may likely cluster with other negative health behaviors. 2

 

The bottom line is when you get don’t get enough sleep (approximately 8 hours or more for adults) you experience:

  • Decreased Brain Functioning
  • More Mood Swings
  • Less Social Support
  • More Unhealthy Behaviors

With that being said, the no-brainer is to start sleeping more so you can reduce your level of stress, feel better physically and emotionally, and get more done while you are awake. Easily said, not easily done. So here are 3 easy ways to get more sleep.

Set a Bed Time for Yourself

If you have kids this gets a little trickier, but if their bedtime is 9, your is 10:30. Make it a 3805sleep-beautypriority to get to bed by 10:30 every night, or the time that makes the most sense for your schedule. If you can sleep until 8 then 11:30 may be a better bedtime for you. Before we had the luxury of lightbulbs and technology we had the sun to mark our days, when it went down we started working our way to bed. Getting to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning does so much to regulate your body and get yourself on a schedule. The more consistent you are the easier this is.

Stop Drinking Caffeine After 3 pm

no-coffeeI have definitely been guilty of the 3:30 coffee to get me through the end of my work-day. The problem with caffeine late in the day is it leaves our nerves agitated and postpones the body’s ability to sleep. When you hit that afternoon slump instead of hitting a cup of Joe, take a walk around your office, do 15 jumping jacks, if you are really ambitious do a 2 min headstand. You will feel more energized and better able to tackle the end of your day without killing your sleep cycle.

Avoid Electronics with Back-lit Screens in the Evening

Do your eyes ever feel dry after you have spent most of the day on your computer? Yep, you have experienced eye agitation first hand. The blue light that is incorporated into your computer screen is incredibly stimulating for your brain and it agitates the eye. Sitting in front of your computer, tablet, or phone before bed is like giving a child a piece of cake with ice cream and 30 minutes later at the peak of that sugar rush telling them to go to bed. The solution is to stop using electronics after 8 pm or to install f.lux on your devices to naturally take out the blue light in the computer screen. This happens gradually and will help your eyes and brain adjust naturally with the time of day. There is also the option to get a pair of glasses like the ones I wear to protect your eyes from the harsh light.

I have made all these changes in my life over the past year and my quality and consistency of sleep has increased greatly, I physically feel better, and I get sick less often.

Have you experienced the negative effects of poor sleep? How have you dealt with it? 3

Notes:

  1.  Kerkhof, G., & Van Dongen, H. (2010). Total sleep deprivation, chronic sleep restriction and sleep disruption. In Progress in Brain Research (No ed., Vol. 185, pp. 91-103). New York, NY: Elsevier.
  2. Prather, A., Bogdan, R., & Hariri, A. (2013). Impact of sleep quality on amygdala reactivity, negative affect, and pervieved stress. Psychosomatic Medicine, 75, 1-9.
  3. Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

Finding Confidence #likeagirl

girl-running-on-beachIt was recently brought to my attention that some people think that women or “girls” are less credible than their male counterparts. Wait . . . did I say recently? That wasn’t true at all. I’ve lived with the knowledge for a very long time that society often discredits or undercuts women and girls starting with the ages of 11 or 12 and continuing through to adulthood.

There are certain things that girls should do, like, say, and be and certain things they should not. My mother as a doctor was pegged as being “emotional” when she was passionate about the health of her children and patients and had research and evidence to prove her position. I as a young professional woman am often not taken seriously at first; I am often interrupted or not addressed directly. Traditional male roles, when filled by a woman, create unease and society becomes discontent with this broken boundary.

Yes, I believe it is true that men and women have different and unique strengths – but isn’t it just as true to say that people have different and unique strengths from other people? When did we decide it was ok to attack the female population during their formative years? Puberty is a difficult time for anyone where the person is building the foundation for who they will become and what life path they will follow. It is also a time where any deviation from cultural expectations is harshly punished and youth are told they must stand out, but they have to stand out within a certain set of guidelines so as to maintain the greater balance.

Really, this whole issue of “like a girl” isn’t just about critically looking at our own stereotypes and how we develop those greater ideas about what is normal and what is not. It is about celebrating each girlkickperson as an individual and exploring what they are capable of. There is an awesome campaign out there that does just that. This short 3 min video does a fantastic job of explaining what this post is all about. What messages has the culture you live in pushed onto you? What boundaries are you trying to break and reshape? How are you living up to your full potential and celebrating your own abilities? Admittedly this has been a little bit of a rant, but I am too invested in my family and community to let negative phrases be thrown around so mindlessly.

Have you ever been put down with the phrase “like a girl”? Please share your experience with us! 1

Notes:

  1. Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

Natural Born Fear: Anxiety is Learned

When I am working with a client for the first time one of two things happens. Either they can link their current level of stress and anxiety to one particular event or time in their life or they say, “I have always been really anxious.” Well that raises a pretty important question: What is anxiety?

Dictionary.com says anxiety is: “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.”

When we move a bit deeper than that we find that anxiety is rooted in the past or in the future. The mind is racing over something that has already happened, worried about what that means for the future or the brain is worried about what might happen in the future. An anxious brain is a brain that lives in the past or lives in the future, but never in the present.

loud-noisesAnxiety is also learned. Did you know that? People are only born with two fears:

Falling
Loud noises

 

Both of those are biological instincts designed to keep you alive. Imagine modern society’s primitive ancestors – loud noises could be a predator or some other red flag for imminent doom. Not good for the caveman = natural fear. Falling could also mean certain death. Also, not good for the caveman = natural fear.

So why is there this intense fear and anxiety over things like being late on a deadline? Over not having the perfect dinner prepared? Over having open conversations with the people around us? We all learn our fears. To this day you will not, and I mean never in any circumstance, convince me to put my body in water where I cannot touch the bottom. Will never happen. I was not born with the fear of water but somewhere along the line (or maybe with one too many Jaws movies) I learned that water meant certain death.

What are your learned fears? Learned expressions of anxiety? (Hint: anything you fear that is not falling or a loud noise) Please know that I am not saying that many of our fears are not in some way designed to protect us. All of our stress responses served a legitimate, positive purpose at one time, but somewhere along the line the stress and fear overwhelmed the brain and the nervous system and became anxiety instead of being that live-savor. More on that later, but for now, know your stressor, the triggers for you anxiety and start making a plan for how to regain control over your stress!

 

What fears did you learn and how are you conquering them today? 1

Notes:

  1. Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

Cookies Make You Feel Better . . . But Only for A Little While

You just reached for a cookie. Did you know I can tell you are probably Cookie_Jar_350stressed right now? I know that lunch was an hour ago and you aren’t hungry, but you still reached for your sweet, salty, or fatty snack. You aren’t hungry but you are stressed!

Why do we do that? For me it is cookies, but for you it could be Doritos, cheese-its, ice cream, a snickers bar – what ever it is your snack makes you feel a little bit better. Maybe this is a nervous habit for you and you don’t even realize what you are doing. Well, good afternoon, its time to wake up my friend and do something different. Before we can change what we are doing now, lets look at why we reach for unhealthy snacks.

When you are stressed your body isn’t able to use the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is important for a lot of reasons because of the processes it helps your body perform, things like:

  • Making you feel happy
  • Improving your decision making skills
  • Regulating your sleep cycle
  • Increasing your tolerance for delayed gratification

So when you are stressed and your serotonin doesn’t work properly this is what happens:

  • You feel sad
  • You are a poor planner
  • You have poor impulse control

Serotonin can be replaced by eating food. By eating things that are high in sugar, carbs, and fat we can spike our serotonin and you will feel better. But food doesn’t stay in the body forever, its got to come out and when it does your mood plummets to where it was before and you feel awful again.

When we eat unhealthy snacks we are actually self-medicating. We send our bodies on a roller coaster ride to make up for the low serotonin by eating bad food all because we are stressed out and can’t manage our emotions on our own. When this is your reality you are also a poor planner and you have poor impulse control – you don’t want to think about what to do to address the stressor, you just want a cookie!

There are ways we can replace those unhealthy foods so we aren’t adding pounds along with our high stress but there are also ways to address the root of the problem – your stress level! When you decrease the stress you won’t feel the need to self-medicate.

Here are three easy ways to decrease your stress:

  1. Make a list of what you need to accomplish, then work your way through the list. When something starts to worry you take comfort in knowing that you will get to it because you already have it on your to-do list.
  2. Acknowledge if something is out of your control. So often we worry about things we can’t do anything about. Figure out who can influence that worry and let them worry about it.
  3. Do something that relaxes you. If you are at work it may help to have an inspirational book or devotional to read when you feel overwhelmed, if you are at home maybe you need to sit in your favorite spot with a hot cup of tea. Deep breathing is always a sure-fire way to relax your mind and body.

Next time you reach for that cookie (Dorito, snickers, ice cream, etc.) catch yourself and tackle the root of the problem instead of self-medicating. When you decrease your stress you won’t need to replace your serotonin, your body will do that for you!1

Notes:

  1.  Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

Justify This! Live Your Live without Explaining Yourself

Erin recently sent me a link to this article listing out 18 things women shouldn’t have to justify or explain. It is a great article, and a fun read and I encourage you to check it out here. But it got me thinking: what is the point and purpose of justifying yourself? Justification is not something that serves us well (and if you have read any of our other posts you know how I feel about doing things that serve you well), so let’s cut to the chase and just live as we will and do the things that bring us happiness, rest, and a sense of wellbeing.

justify-cartoon

Justification is damaging to the person needing to present the reason or purpose behind an action, event, or state of being. Sometimes things are out of our control and to have to explain away why something is when we had no hand in creating it is ridiculous. Looking at #11, justifying why you wanted to put less makeup on today versus yesterday is ridiculous – it is no one’s business and it brings into question your level of worth as a person through someone else’s point of view. Justification means we have to explain to someone why we are worthwhile and why we are important.

People demanding justification from us are the same people who are trying to put you down or belittle you. I don’t want to imply that this always comes from a malicious place or that people are out to get you because they aren’t! Most people ask for justification because they honestly don’t understand something, they have a different worldview, or they really want to help you be better by examining your though process. I bet you had no idea all that was riding behind, “Wow – you just ate more than my kid brother after hockey practice, were you really that hungry?” This person is probably a little surprised you could hold that much food at one time, and is wondering if it is healthy for you to ingest that much at once. A question that is rooted in concern and surprise grows into a mess of judgment, blame, and guilt.

When we don’t understand things we ask for an explanation. Now, truth be told, I think that is a good thing. When you don’t understand or you are interested to know more you should ask questions and dig around a little bit to find answers and deeper understanding. But seeking understanding and seeking justification are two different things.

  • Understanding is non-threatening and is validating to us.
  • Justification is judgmental and harmful to both the asker and the person asked because of its sneak attack on personal worth.

Justification has become so ingrained into our culture that we often provide justification for the things we do without being asked. We are questioning our own self-worth before anyone else is. That is how deeply rooted this guilt-seed has become. You wear leggings and you have to say that it is because they are comfortable; you want to spend all Saturday watching your favorite show and that is ok because you worked a full 40 hr week. What is that like, to have to prove why your thoughts, feelings, and actions are valid? To have to prove that it is ok for you to be you at your best and worst times? I think that is kind of hard, and it takes your biggest advocate (YOU) and forces them to be your first critic.

When we have self-compassion and we cherish ourselves, then we know that we are innately worthy and that our choices are good just because they serve us well. You love leggings – so enjoy wearing them. You love your favorite show, so watch it relax!1

Notes:

  1.  Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953

Roadblocks in Goal Setting

So the last post was about creating a road map to setting your goals, making things easier for you to do the things you want to do by just doing a little bit of upfront work. There is another side to this though, we haven’t talked about the things that might get in your way. This happens to us time and time again where we are ready to do something and then out of left field – WHAM! We are stopped in our tracks because something comes up, someone objects to our forward motion, or life just happens.

Sometimes we can plan for these things and sometimes we can’t. Bills roadblockare predictable and we know in advance we will have to pay them but sometimes paychecks aren’t as reliable as we would like them to be, especially if you are on commission or part-time. Sometimes unexpected expenses come up, someone gets sick or the car breaks down. These things can really take the wind out of your sails.

Sometimes we are our own roadblock. How many times have you heard someone say “My diet starts on Monday,” or “I’ll won’t put off my paper until the last minute next time.” That all sounds like bologna to me, and if you are honest it will sound like bologna to you too. Roadblocks are a fact of life; they take us off guard and hinder our motivation to reach our goals. But they don’t have to keep you from getting to where you want to be!

Its all a question of priorities. Where are your priorities? Is your goal your priority or someone else’s? That is an important question because I guarantee that the only goals you will reach and sustain are the ones that you own and are at the top of your priority list.

If roadblocks have been a problem for you, despite great intentions and planning you can’t seem to make it all the way to your goal then here are some things to thing about.

  1. Decide who owns this goal. Like I said before, if this is important to you then we are on the right track. If this is someone else’s idea then do some soul searching and see if there is any part of this you can get behind. Maybe you don’t want to lose weight but you do want to live a healthier lifestyle. You don’t really care if the kitchen gets remodeled but you do want to cook more at home (and a new grill and range makes that a lot easier!).
  2. Identify what could get in your way. If you are trying to get better about keeping your books at work and having better accounting, then late nights might be a problem that would keep you from staying at work and getting it done. If you want to reduce your carbon foot-print by riding your bike to work, rainy days might really discourage you from pedaling for 4.3 miles.
  3. Make a plan for those roadblocks. When you have a solid list of the things that might get in your way, make a plan for what you will do when they come up (because they will). You can schedule an hour towards the end of the work day, during business hours to work on the accounts and books, assign other staff to take care of the other end-of-day tasks. When it rains be sure you know where the bus route is and grab the bus instead of driving or have a carpool worked out with co-workers.

The key to success with goals is planfulness and intention. When you plan ahead and you are invested in what you are doing, you will definitely reach the goals you set for yourself. And goals can be contagious! Once you reach one you can’t wait to set the next.1

Notes:

  1.  Google + Author, https://plus.google.com/u/0/102851063175689428953