Tag: Reach Your Goals

Practicing Gratitude & Positive Thinking

 

 

 

Building a practice of gratitude & positive thinking is easy for some, but for others, it can be a struggle. If you were raised with an abundance of negativity, it might be challenging to break the habit of looking at life through a pessimistic perspective. However, through conscious choice & practice, you can change that. As your thoughts begin to move toward the positive spectrum, your eyes will naturally open to gratitude. It’s almost impossible to be a negative thinker and have gratitude!

To grow your gratitude, look at how you feel about yourself & the people in your life. Do you gravitate toward trust, kindness, doing the right thing? How is your self-esteem? When you feel good about yourself, you can feel good about others as well! Positive thinking begins from within. If this is a battle for you, try:

  • Repeating affirmations
  • Veering away from overly critical people in your life
  • Reading uplifting material that encourages you & allows you to let go of fear & self-condemnation
  • Replacing negative thoughts as soon as they pop up
  • Focusing on your breathing, consciously slowing it down & imagining that with each exhale, you release negativity
  • Acknowledging the little things that are good about your day & your life

To change the hole in the bucket syndrome (when you seem to never have enough), redirect your focus to what you do have. Your health, friends, a flower growing in your yard, loving pets, two hands, a working mind. Once you begin, you’ll see there’s a lot to be thankful for!

Gratitude is active; it champions goodness, sincerity & earnestness & is meant to be shared with others. The more you give it away, the more it’s like the one seed that grows into a field of flowers – it’s self-perpetuating. Similar to positive thinking, the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. Positive thinking allows you to fail & to try again. It encourages you to grow into your best self & walk away from anything or anyone toxic in your life. Most people who are negative about others are projecting their own inner fears.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. This may sound harsh or simple; however, when you sit on the pity pot too long, you get stuck. Life is made of ups and downs, ride them out & learn the lessons. Let go & move onward. Don’t overly chastise yourself for mistakes. Realize the good in a bad situation. Find those little “thank goodness that didn’t happen” & be grateful. Yes, it’s terrible you lost your job, but you still have all your body parts, move on. Practicing gratitude during difficulties builds stamina & helps you grow stronger & more positive.


Realistic Goal Setting

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Many of us have imagined having, doing, and experiencing things that are not part of our present life. When we desire those things to come true, we’ve identified a goal. But how do we best ensure that our goals become a reality? Here is one way to go about it:

1) Determine what it is you want.

It seems like a given if you are making goals, but often we forget to clarify what we want and why. Articulate to yourself what result you want to see happen (the goal) and how it will benefit you.

2) Ask yourself if there is more than one path to your goal.

Often, there are several ways to achieve the same result. If your first attempt does not work out as you plan, it is helpful to have another tactic already thought out. This realization also helps you remain flexible in your journey.

3) Brainstorm your steps.

What will you need to know, learn, develop, practice, and so on, in order to achieve your goal? If your goal is to build a house, there are many steps to complete, many of which need to be in a particular order. If you aren’t sure what steps are involved, do some preliminary research. After getting an idea of the process, ask yourself again if this goal is what you want, revisiting the reason behind it as well. It is one thing to put yourself through a long or challenging journey for a goal you truly desire. It is quite another to subject yourself to an arduous journey only to realize the effort, time, and resources were not worth attaining the goal.

4) Give yourself a due date.

Setting a goal with an “achieve by” date provides a sense of urgency to start taking action as soon as possible. If you normally give yourself too much time for your goals, set your goal date sooner than feels comfortable, which will lovingly encourage you to begin now. If you normally place an end date on your goals that you don’t achieve, put more thought into what kind of time you have to dedicate to your goal and what steps are required to get there. Setting an unrealistic timeframe unnecessarily puts you in a position to fail, which over time, can result in a negative attitude toward goal setting.

5) Write down your goal.

Write your goal down on the top of a blank sheet of paper, or in a blank document on your computer. It is easy to forget our goal when we only keep it in our head. Also write the due date down. Studies show that those who transfer goals from head to paper are more likely to achieve them.

6) Plan backwards.

Starting from your decided due date and working backwards, write down what steps you will have taken by that point. If you believe your goal will be achieved in 6 months, you may want to go backward each month to one month from now, then backward each week, listing steps to achieve along the way in support of your goal. As you get closer to today, try to be more detailed in your steps. Chunk down any “big” steps down into smaller pieces so it is easy to see what the next step is, and to combat any feelings of overwhelm.

7) Hold yourself accountable.

Committing to your goal is the first step to the success of your goal. This may be signing a contract with yourself as a symbolic gesture of your promise. If you would like more support and accountability, share your goal and due date with others. With whom, and to what extent, is up to you. It is best to choose those whom you know to be supportive and positive. Although it is wonderful to receive encouragement and progress requests from others, remember that you are responsible for taking consistent action on your goal. Keep your goal and plans where you will see it each day.

8) Celebrate the little “wins.”

Check off each step as you make progress and take some time to recognize your achievement. Do something supportive and loving for yourself to celebrate. Positive reinforcement helps us look forward to and take the next step.

Setbacks, perceived failures, and obstacles are often part of the journey to achieving your goals. However, following the tips here will provide a foundation for a clear, actionable path to a goal you truly desire, thereby setting you up for a more enjoyable, successful experience.


Making A Meaningful Change In Your Life

_269Is there an area of your life where you’d like to see different results, or where you’d like to create something completely new? While evolution or resolution can occur on its own, we often need to actively participate in initiating change in order for our desired outcomes to occur.

Know where you stand.

Take an honest, non-critical look at yourself in this moment. In an area of your life that you feel needs work, what do you consider is going well and not going well, and why? Before you make a meaningful change, it’s beneficial to know what you’re working with—your starting point. For example, in a house remodel, you would need to have a clear picture of the blueprint, room dimensions, and foundation in order to know how to successfully plan for and make changes to the structure. Look at your situation with as much objectivity as possible.

Brainstorm how change might happen.

What steps could you take now to facilitate change? If you are unhappy with your job, and you’ve noted the pros and cons, what kinds of actions are you willing to take in order to have a better experience? Is it taking a job at another company with a more supportive work environment? Is it staying at your current job and working on the relationships with your boss, co-workers, or clients by using a different approach?

Stop being hindered by what you think is possible or likely to happen. Imagine the most desirable outcome and then ask yourself ‘what am I willing to shift in order to get that result?’ It is important that you take responsibility for creating the change you want. If other people are involved in order for your desired outcome to manifest, perhaps some shift in YOU (attitude, interaction level or style, perception, etc.) will affect others and cause a result in the same direction.

Take action.

All thought and no action usually does not turn into forward momentum. No matter how small, take one of the steps that you think is needed for your desired change. If that one step seems too overwhelming, then take a half step. Any size step will help guide you on your way.

Suppose you want a more enjoyable work environment and believe that would be supported by strengthening the relationship with one of your co-workers. An action step may be to make more of an effort to engage that person daily in conversation. Through talking daily, you can learn what their interests are and what’s important to them, which will increase your understanding of them, and make the other person feel more connected to you. Over time you might invite this person to an event outside of work that they’d enjoy, in order to have a chance to develop the relationship further.

Evaluate your results.

If your actions fall short of your expectations, instead of seeing it as a loss or mistake, consider it a learning opportunity as you found out what didn’t work. Knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what does. If your action garnered positive results, decide if you will continue the action or if a new and different step is called for.

Repeat.

Most often, one action step—even a huge one—is just the beginning. To reach your goal you will want to continue the process of evaluation, action and re-evaluation. As this is a meaningful change for you, it will be worth your effort. Be patient, recognize your progress, and enjoy the journey.


Are Your Beliefs About Money Keeping You Poor?

_1647Before money was in the form of paper or coins, people traded goods of value such as cows, fish, rice, salt, weapons, and clothing. The value of money is what we put on it. While our government has decided the amount a piece of paper or coin is worth, individuals place an additional, intangible value on it based on upbringing and experience.

For many people, money has emotion attached to it. As children, we observe how our families react and interact with money, and we receive messages about how they perceive it, which forms our money “beliefs”. See if any of these sound familiar: Money is the root of all evil, troublesome, difficult to get, hard to keep. Having money equals power, control, happiness, security, and solves problems. Are any of these your beliefs?

Money is neither good nor bad; it’s neutral, simply a tool that we use for the exchange of goods and services. However, that is not how most of us perceive it.

Do you have an emotional charge about money? What are your feelings about wealth or lack of it? Does your perception of money change in different circumstances? Do you feel that your self worth fluctuates according to your bank account?

Here is an exercise that might clarify your perception of money and its potential for change:

  • Visualize a pile of cash in front of you. How big is the pile? How does it make you feel?
  • Substitute the cash with one of the examples of ancestral trade before money, like exotic spices or shells. Do you still have the same reaction to your alternate pile of wealth? Now, how do you feel about having more, giving some of it away, or saving it?
  • If you feel more comfortable or less comfortable that your wealth isn’t money as we currently know it, examine why that is.
  • Do your feelings about money support you? If not, ask yourself are you willing to examine those feelings about money and adjust your perspective to a more supportive position.

Consider what adjustments around money you could make in both the long and short term. Perhaps it is focusing more on where your money goes each month (budgeting, consulting a financial advisor) or perhaps focusing less (if you feel you control it too much). Maybe you could adopt a positive mantra on money and wealth to say throughout the day, such as: Money flows freely, easily, and abundantly to me.

While changes toward your desired view on money may not occur overnight, clarifying what your current views are is a significant step.


Overcoming Internal Resistance

rose in bloomHave you ever decided to do something and then found yourself procrastinating, avoiding taking action, or feeling stuck? Maybe you purchased a self-help program you believe will be helpful but haven’t started it. Perhaps you decided that organizing your work or living space will increase your productivity but you’re avoiding clearing the clutter or gathering the ideas/tools to guide you to the best setup. Whatever your situation, you know when you’ve hit a wall of resistance, and while it doesn’t feel good, it can actually give you some important insights.

Two things can be possible when you feel internal resistance within yourself:

  • What you are resisting will benefit you and requires you to push through any perceived limitations and inner blocks.
  • Your body, soul, instinct, etc. is telling you what you’re setting out to do might not be supportive to you at this time.

So how do you figure out the type of resistance you’re facing? And what do you do with that information?

1) The first step to decision and action is awareness, so you can gain clarity as to what your resistance is really about. Instead of pushing your feelings down, ignoring them, or trying to force them to change, allow yourself to feel and explore them. Notice what comes up for you and take note without judgment or criticism.

2) Ask yourself where this resistance is coming from and what is it about. Allow the feelings that came up in connection to the resistance to be your guide.

  • a) Is the source of resistance due to not knowing the next step to take? Fear, worry or doubt that you can do it, or if it will work out for you? If any of your resistance comes from this type of energy, you can learn from it. Whenever we see our blocks or “stuff” it is often an opportunity to shift from negative to a positive way of thinking.

Ask yourself why you have the fear, worry, doubt, etc. Is there proof that it’s true? Are you drawing upon your past perceptions or the perceptions of others? Whether or not we consider ourselves to be “creative” people, we have active imaginations that sometimes come up with all the ways something will be hard or won’t work out for us. This is our ego trying to protect us. Thank your ego for doing its job and let it know you are going to do it anyway with the help of higher consciousness and your intuition.

  • b) Is the source of your resistance coming from a feeling, sense, or intuition that something isn’t right for you or supportive for you to do? If so, this type of energy is telling you to re-examine your motives and reasons you think you need, should, or want to do this. Did you at first think it was a good idea but have since changed your mind (or sensed it is no longer a good idea)? Did you set out to do this for someone else because you think it’s what he or she wants you to do or will make them think better of you? Do you know or sense that continuing with your initial decision will drain your energy, health, and happiness or deplete you in some other way? If your answers come from this type of resistance energy, it might be in your best interest to let it go.

3) Once you are clear as to whether your resistance is a sign to push through your blocks or a sign to re-evaluate and redirect, it’s time to tune in, connect to your higher self and ask: What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? What is my desired end result if I could only do it right and nothing could stop me?

Then ask: What would the first step be in making that perfectly successful vision happen? Allow your heart to answer these questions. It knows the answers, so be open to receiving the messages and all the possibilities, no matter how “unrealistic” they might seem in the moment.

4) Take that first step! It could be finding the book or resource to learn what you need to know. Maybe it’s reaching out to a contact for help or thinking of who might know the person you need to connect with. Your first action step can be to act as if you are living in the energy of a person who has accomplished something similar to what you want your ideal end result to be. Your action steps may be uncomfortable, and there are no guarantees what will result, but putting into action what you desire is crucial to turning thoughts, dreams, and desires into reality.

 

 


Lessons from Animals on Love and Life

P1020737Although animals can’t walk, talk, or think quite like us, that doesn’t mean they can’t teach us a thing or two! Here are some life lessons that we can learn from animals:

Listen to your inner wisdom. No matter how trained a pet is, all rules and focus on treats go out the window when instincts kick in. If there is a threat of danger, they do everything in their power to protect themselves. They don’t care how they look or what others may think of them. So if your instincts tell you that doing something isn’t safe to your physical, mental, or emotional well-being…don’t do it. That could be anything from not taking on more responsibilities to declining an invitation to a party. In the same way, if there is something your inner guide is telling you to do to promote your well-being—taking some time out to recharge, calling up a good friend, getting outside for a long walk—listen to that voice too.

Let those you love and care about know how you feel. If you’ve ever witnessed a dog’s happy reaction to seeing his or her owner after time away, you know what unrestrained joy looks like. No amount of training can stop that dog from expressing gratitude, love, and excitement. Sometimes we humans restrain ourselves from expressing warm, fuzzy thoughts to others. Let the joy out! Think of how good you feel when someone shows they care about you. So if you experience feelings of love, affection, or any happy feelings for people in your life…don’t keep them to yourself!

Be present. Animals live in the moment. They don’t hang onto stories or emotions such as anger, guilt, hurt, despair, and fear that we humans can replay for a lifetime. They also don’t give themselves ulcers worrying about the future. Most of the painful thoughts we have don’t have anything to do with the present moment. Let go of the stories, limiting thoughts, and unsupportive beliefs that cause you upset, and strive to live in the only moment we really have…the now.

Figure out what you want and then take action. Often, when we humans decide we want some wonderful dream or goal for ourselves, we get stopped before we even start by unsupportive self-talk. When a squirrel decides to collect food for the winter, he doesn’t let worry, doubt, or fear stymie him. He doesn’t think: I’m not prepared for this. What if I fail? What if people think my goal is ridiculous? The squirrel just goes out and gets the job done. He knows what he wants and takes all the action he can in that moment. If an obstacle gets in the way, he doesn’t give up…he changes tactics, and then continues to focus on the goal. Focus on your desired outcomes, not the “what ifs” that may never even happen.

Be YOU and only YOU. Animals don’t try to be someone they aren’t. They are unabashedly and unapologetically authentic. Isn’t that one of the reasons we love them? There’s only one you. Be proud of your uniqueness!


How to Create Affirmations for Attracting Your Best Life

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An affirmation is a declaration about what we want to manifest in our lives. When stated in its most supportive form, it vibrates truth from within your heart. Affirmations are an effective tool for mental, physical, and spiritual wellness, personal growth, and attracting what we desire.

While affirmations appear simple, there are several important components to be aware of in creating a powerful affirmation that will work for you:

Make your affirmation positively positive. If your goal is to be out of debt and therefore want to create an affirmation that will support you in that mission, take care not to use the word “debt” in your statement. While getting out of debt is a positive idea, the word debt isn’t. Our brains naturally focus on the main subject, which in this case, would be debt. You’ll start thinking about all the bills you owe and before you know it, an affirmation that was meant to inspire you is stressing you out instead! A better stated affirmation would be: Every day I am attracting more wealth and abundance or I am moving towards financial independence! See how these affirmations focus on what you DO want, instead of what you don’t?

State your affirmation as if it has already happened or been resolved. Your unconscious mind will agree with everything you say. So if you declare, “I will soon have plenty of free time to spend with my family,” your unconscious will pipe up enthusiastically and agree with you. However, what is being agreed upon is that you WILL have that freedom sometime in the future…but not now. Avoid using wish, might, will, going to, try, and want in your affirmations. These types of words (future tense), will keep what you desire in the future instead of manifesting it in your present. By saying “ I am in the process of creating plenty of free time in the next week to spend with my family” you are allowing your unconscious mind to have a boundary to work within and assist you in getting what you desire in present time.

Make it believable. If you don’t believe your affirmation, it’s of no use to you. For example, if you say “I am a millionaire” and then your inner critic has a lot of things to say in response—Yeah, right. How’s that going to happen? Maybe you’ll be a millionaire in a million years!—this affirmation isn’t going to do you any good. This is a great time to use a transitional statement, which means you are in the process of getting there. For example, instead of:

I easily trust people. –> Each day, I am getting better at trusting people.

I have my soul mate. –> I am in the process of attracting my soul mate into my life.

I am financially solvent. –> I am in the process of increasing my income 30% over the next 3 months.

Using these “in the process of” affirmations can be more believable when “happening right now” doesn’t sit right with you.

Go for emotional impact. The whole point of an affirmation is that it makes you feel good and will assist you to create change in your life! Therefore, check in with how your affirmation makes you feel. You want to experience emotions such as excitement, joy, optimism, love, peace, and gratitude. What you think creates what you feel and what you feel creates what you believe and what you believe creates vibrational energy. This vibrational energy is what assists you in creating the life you desire.

Want to know more? Read one of my previous posts about affirmations.


Is Age Just A Number? Or A Reason To Keep Us From Our Dreams?

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“You’re too young.” “You’re too old.”

Age is used as a limiting factor our whole lives. While meditating, a thought came to me that I was 10 years younger than I am. Suddenly I felt great! I once again felt young, as if my life was still ahead of me rather than mostly behind me, which is how I was feeling at the time. I realized if I take away my age number and put another one in its place, like trying on a new coat, I will feel totally different!

Do you let your age stop you from going for what you want? Have you given up on goals or dreams because you think it’s too late? Imagine, like I did in my meditation, that you are 10 years younger. Does that change your view on whether that dream you put out to pasture could become a reality?

We, as a society, place enormous significance on what number our age is. Women feel this pressure especially, but it has become an issue for men as well. On the other hand, society’s view on age keeps changing, usually because someone—who didn’t let their age stop them—did something spectacular. In May 2015, 92-year-old Harriette Thompson kept to a tradition she started when she was 76 years old…running a marathon!

On a personal note, my grandfather at age 87 fulfilled a life long dream of being his own boss. He started and successfully ran a small business, using his skills as a designer in the garment industry.

While there are real limits that come with age, there are many, many more perceived limits we tell ourselves because of how “old” we are and what we believe that means. Age does not necessarily determine what is possible for us. Honor the strength of your mind and its powerful ability to affect the way we feel and perform. Instead of letting society dictate how we feel about our age, let’s just feel good about it!

“I have a dream to climb Everest at this age. If you have a dream, never give up. Dreams come true.”

~ Yuichiro Miura, oldest man to climb Mt Everest, at 80 years old

Encourage your youthfulness of spirit, dream on, and enjoy the possibilities!


Are You Limiting Yourself?

What you choose to believe will dictate many facets of your life. Society has a lot to say to us, about us. It likes to tell us we’re too small to make a difference in the world or we don’t have what it takes to be what we want to be. And you know what? Many of us believe these societal lies – and once we believe something, it becomes a part of who we are; it is grafted into the patterns of our thinking.

What are your beliefs about yourself?

In this blog post, I’d like to identify some common, restrictive beliefs and show you how to go from limited to limitless. Let’s get started…

Restrictive Belief #1 – ‘I’m too small to make a difference in this world.’

While it is true that you are just one person, when you believe that you do not have the power within yourself to positively impact the world around you, you become a carrier of negative energy – in other words, you become limited. Limiting yourself in this way leaves no room for abundant thinking.

APPLICATION- Want to kick start abundance in your own mind?:

Begin with gratitude. Think gratefully of the positive qualities you do possess: ‘I’m thoughtful, empathetic, smart, educated, strong…etc, and I’m thankful for these attributes.’ Through this exercise, you will have opened the door to making a difference, and your possibilities will become limitless.

Restrictive Belief #2 – ‘I’m not courageous enough.’

Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Okay, so you’re afraid to do something. Maybe you’re trying to overcome your fear of switching careers or starting a family.

APPLICATION- Want to overcome your fear?:

Acknowledge it. Look it straight in the eye and don’t be the first to look away. You see, once you sit with whatever it is that causes you to be afraid, that thing becomes less scary, less powerful. Through this exercise, you will become the victor, and in Mandela’s wise words, you will “triumph over it.”

Restrictive Belief #3 – ‘I don’t have enough time in a day.’

Time is a funny thing in that when we’re experiencing hardship, it seems to go on forever, yet when we’re having fun, time flies by. Rarely does it feel like we have just the right amount of time to accomplish everything on our to do list.

APPLICATION- Want to feel like you have enough time?:

Create it. Don’t let your looming deadlines and the ticking of the clock dictate your daily life; instead, rise an hour earlier and get ahead. You may even find incredible rejuvenation in rising early to experience some well-deserved quiet time. Take the reigns and set your own rules. Remember, you’re the one wearing the watch; it’s not wearing you!

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Take a few moments to ask yourself what you believe. You might be surprised to see what comes up. Open yourself to a limitless mindset and let abundance flow in.