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Women, Supercharge Your Power! Plan Now to Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet!

It’s hard to believe 2020 is drawing to a close. As we approach 2021, it might feel doubtful that it could be your Best Year Yet. Better than 2020? Definitely! The best ever…could it be, with so much uncertainty and loss? It’s because of this uncertainty that it’s so important to pause, assess and make adjustments. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that 2021 will not be your best year yet personally and professionally. Your future is built upon the choices you make today.

As women of power, we sometimes forget that ‘where we are right now’ can be one of our strongest stability points. Remembering to stop, breathe, and regroup or simply slowing down and acknowledging that we’re okay can be so helpful. 

Part of our personal POWER routine is to use our Best Year Yet tool — we find a quiet space and ask ourselves a series of searching questions to observe and celebrate everything we’ve accomplished during the present year and from this we create a plan and momentum for the upcoming year. Here’s a sample of the Best Year Yet questions we consider:

  1. What did I want this year?
  2. What actually happened?
  3. How do I want to design next year?
  4. What do I want?
  5. How do I want to end this year?
  6. What did I accomplish?
  7. What did I learn?
  8. How did I limit myself?
  9. What are my personal values?
  10. What roles do I play in life?
  11. Which role is my major focus for next year?

 If you’d like to copy these questions into a document and spend some time answering them, we’d be honored and thrilled. No matter how you approach 2021, keep these three priorities in mind…

 Priority #1 Fuel your body, mind and spirit. Every day you expend energy and it’s important to constantly replenish it.

Priority #2 Make restorative sleep, good nutrition and exercise a priority. Your health, mental clarity and ability to be productive depend on it.

Priority #3 Develop systems. Goals are fine, but if you want to create real change, it helps to have supportive systems in your life so that you perform important tasks automatically rather than relying on willpower.

Giving attention to these priorities and implementing the following nine suggestions will give your POWER a boost, as you focus on making 2021 your Best Year Yet.

1. Deal first with “what is”. As women, we tend to get caught up in worrying about “what ifs”. They’re not real until they happen. And most likely they won’t happen, if you deal successfully with what’s in front of you.

2. Remove distractions. Use the rest of this year to get rid of the clutter in your house, mind, desk, email inbox or schedule. This will help make room for any opportunity that arises.

3. Revisit your original goal. After 2020, your goals or the way you envision your Big Dream unfolding might not be relevant anymore. You might need to refine these to make them fit present circumstances.

4. Clearly outline your metrics of success. Progress is measurable, even if it’s just one step forward. When you define your goals and break them down into consistent, small changes, according to a yearly, quarterly, monthly, and daily schedule, you’ll maintain your focus and motivation. This connects each day’s activities to your significant life goals.

5. Celebrate every win, small or big. Get up and dance, grab a latte, call a friend, share it on our Circle Facebook group. Make each win memorable, because that’s how you’re going to know at the end of the year that you really did make 2021 your best year yet!  

6. Assess your skills and close the gaps. When you focus on nurturing a growth mindset, not on making resolutions, you engage your innate capability to change and develop whatever skills are needed, making you flexible and resilient enough to try Plans A to Z, until you succeed.

7. Hold rest and reflection breaks as sacred. Meditatively and mindfully “hear” what your body is telling you about the choices you’re making right now.

8. Connect with accountability partners, coaches, mentors, and supporters. The Hawthorne Effect shows that our productivity usually increases when we know someone is watching. When someone holds us accountable, we build more structure into our days, which is so important during these times of physical distancing.

9. Plan for “bad” days. Feeling down, making mistakes, having setbacks are part of life, so embrace them as your body and mind telling you it’s time to regroup. Rest, learn a lesson from the experience and re-center yourself. (Our Daily Start to Gratitude & Empowerment guided visualization practice is a great way to do this.)

Reviewing and planning are indispensable tools for creating the “Best Year Yet” personally and professionally. Our December Great Circle Call will focus on this topic in more detail. You’ll discover an action-filled activity that will guide and anchor you in finding our way forward. Plus a fully engaged group of women who want to fuel and use their POWER to achieve something great. Please join us! There’s no cost or obligation, except to come with an open mind and heart ready to empower yourself to fulfill your biggest dreams. Sign-up now, so we can send you the link.

Feeling Disoriented? 7 Ways to Find Your Way through Turbulent Times

Feeling lost? Adrift? Isolated? Disoriented? Can’t see your next step? Going in a direction you never expected? If you relate to any of these feelings, you’re not alone.

Just as ancient mariners oriented their location on the high seas according to fixed points in the night sky, so we rely on fixed relationships and structures to orient ourselves in the world. Think about the things that give you stability. Perhaps it’s a beloved parent or mentor. Perhaps it’s a romantic partner. Perhaps it’s a religious, business, financial or political institution you’ve trusted for years.

Over time, we surround ourselves with elements that provide security and direction to our lives that keep us oriented. But what happens when these “fixed” elements are no longer stable or they even disappear?

We can lose our way when a beloved person dies or when a relationship ends. We can also lose our way, especially now, as the world has been turned upside down with the pandemic, political upheaval, natural disasters, economic crises, lost opportunities and so many other disorienting things.

Then there’s the internal mismatch between what’s going on within you versus what’s happening on the outside. As you grow and change, it’s normal and natural to experience periods of disorientation. What once worked for you, may no longer do so. This is a collective experience.

In all of these circumstances, how can you use where you are today to get you to where you want to be? Here are a few suggestions that work for us…

1. Develop a positive mental attitude that this experience is a springboard (not a roadblock) that you can connect with your own goals, in some manner.

2. Normalize where you are. Be compassionate with yourself through soothing practices such as deep breathing, mindfulness and meditation. Then acknowledge and accept how you’re feeling. Remember that your body sensations can give you powerful clues to your deepest feelings.

3. Relax into it. Sit quietly with each feeling. Pay attention, without judging, and put a name to each sensation and emotion as they appear. Notice; breathe; then thank it for it’s powerful message; and reassure yourself that it’s safe to let it go.

4. Readjust your goal. Never give up your Big Dream. A new path can be frightening. However, when you greet it with curiosity and anticipation, you’ll broaden and deepen your experience, so you see all the possibilities available to you.

5. Reassess your desired outcome. What’s important to you at age 20 will not be so important at age 50. But your values — kindness, justice, honesty, integrity — won’t change. Now’s the time to reaffirm the values that resonate with you and make choices aligned with them.

6. Refocus your energy. If you’re like many people, you have an ocean full of ideas that keep you running around in circles chasing this, then, that. Get ultra focused on The One Thing that means the most to you and do what supports that One Thing.

7. Identify ONE small step to take today. Any movement you make, when you feel lost, IS progress. No doubt there will be many moving parts to your One Thing, so now it’s important to break it down into manageable bite-sized pieces.

Might we suggest that your ONE small step is joining our Great Circle Community on Thursday, November 5th at 8:00 am PT; 11:00 am ET? The topic for discussion: Dissonance vs Resonance — How to Ensure Our Words Align with Our Values, will reveal, among other things, how the words you speak and think are keeping you in a disoriented state.

And here’s some BIG news! If you can’t join us but still want to benefit from the interaction, we’re also now connecting and conversing via our private Facebook Group. We’d love for you to join us! Click the Join button to request access.

(Thank you for the use of your photo Lacie Slezak on Unsplash)

Feeling Drained? How Can YOU Do Power Different?

“In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.” ~ Margaret Wheatley

Do you feel powerful? If your answer is, “Some days, YES! Some days, NOT AT ALL!” We understand how one day you can feel full of energy and clarity; and then the next day you feel drained, deflated and uncertain.

We’re living in interesting times. We find that many women we talk to have been inspired this crazy year of 2020 to do something more meaningful with their lives. For these women, it’s been a wake up call! They have a spark, an inspiration, a message they need to share with others. Do you feel it too? Perhaps, in the moment, this idea fills you up and makes you feel powerful. But the reality is we live in a world that can easily drain your power away, if you let it.

That’s why it’s important to us to help YOU achieve your big dream, by supporting you from start to finish. Perhaps you want to write a book or find a new career path, or incubate a new project, but you keep losing your way and running out of steam.

We want you to be able to greet every day with renewed Power. After all, it is our mission to help YOU do Power Different.

At Newave Leaders, doing Power Different is…

  • going against the grain, trusting it’s the right thing to do, 
  • not following the masses, creating something new even if it’s not popular yet, 
  • listening to your audience and creating content that is relatable, changing your rhythm to include the rhythm of the people that you embrace, 
  • trying new things, not knowing that they’re going to work and being able to shift.

Power grows through experience. But how do you gain experience in doing something you haven’t got a clue about? The key is to make self-leadership a daily priority and take productive baby steps toward your dream.  With repeated practice, you’ll develop self-confidence and grow your reputation for being someone who reliably makes beneficial decisions, has good communication skills, and works well with and can effectively influence others. You become a Newave Leader!

The most powerful leaders model the behavior, attitudes and speech they expect from others. They also possess these seven basic psychological traits, which of them are your strengths and which could use some work?

The 7 Psychological Strengths of EmPOWERed Leaders

1. Know how to maximize opportunities. Prepare now so you can take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.

2. Listen to your intuition. A practice of mindfulness will help you cultivate and “listen to” your intuitive powers.

3. Expect good things. Look for the good, since that’s what you want to attract into your life.

4. See the bright side of any situation. Resilience transforms every negative into a positive.

5. Make intentional commitments. Recognize how your emotions are forming your decisions then mindfully pause, step back, then, if it’s aligned with your purpose, fully commit to it rationally. 

6. Build a diverse community. Seek out those with whom you don’t feel a personal affinity and learn from them.

7. Communicate by listening more than speaking. You’ll form meaningful connections when you make eye contact and give your full attention until you feel what they are feeling.

You’ll make the fastest advancement when you actively look for ways to daily practice self-leadership skills at home and in your community. We encourage you to pick something from this list and make it your focus for the rest of the month. 

Would you like to build your Power on a strengths-based model that values creativity, positivity and looks beyond the present to create a best possible future… but you don’t know how? Then begin your journey at The Great Circle Community and let us give you a supportive foundation from which you can grow your greatness. There’s no charge to join, we’ve made this opportunity available to women because we believe with every fiber of our being that together we are stronger.

And if you want to follow that up with attending our upcoming retreat, Bring Forth the Leader Within, we’d be thrilled. (The window of opportunity for locking in the Super Early Bird Pricing is drawing to a close. Now is the time to invest in your future!)

4 Steps to Value-Driven Leadership and Crisis Management

Maria here… I recently experienced a crisis, when I had to quickly evacuate my home, as a terrible wildfire swept through my community in southern Oregon. Thankfully, I’ve since been able to return home. Across the nation, crisis upon crisis is occurring — wildfires on the west coast, hurricanes in the east, and we still have COVID-19. Both the best and the worst qualities tend to surface in these intense moments. Are you always happy with the way you react?

To deal successfully with a crisis, you really must find a way to empower the leader within you. Not every crisis we face is life-threatening. They take different forms in our personal and professional lives. For many of us, the ingrained reactions seem to fall within Fight, Flight or Freeze.

These responses can hardly be called value-driven! Under stress, your amygdala triggers the release of neurotransmitters and hormones – like adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol — preparing you to survive an immediate danger. And when you’re dealing with chronic stressors, your body remembers and responds emotionally and physically in a default manner; your amygdala becomes trigger-happy, causing you to react impulsively, in a way you may regret.

To counteract this, retrain your brain to PAUSE.

Pausing gives your prefrontal cortex a moment to integrate the information from your amygdala with other information. Your brain can connect with your purpose and goals, giving you clarity of what action needs to be taken next. It puts you back in power. You get to choose how you’ll react.

Case in point is the story of how one of my neighbors handled herself during the evacuation. As soon as she smelled smoke from the nearby wildfire, she quickly visited all the neighbors to make sure everyone escaped. Without emotionally reacting and trying to save her own house and possessions, she chose to act in harmony with her values. Later, when I spoke with her, she was happy that she had been able to hold to her values under pressure. 

How would you answer this question: 

When confronted with a crisis, I tend to_________(Freeze? Run for cover? Come out swinging with anger?) 

We all have embodied responses that we’ve adopted over the years. It’s important to be honest in your self-assessment. Only then can you change your response by choosing a new and updated one, which you will need to practice deliberately until it becomes second nature for you. 

This process starts with changing your perception of the situation. Observe your reactions with compassion, curiosity and mindfulness. In what ways could you bring more positive states of mind, like curiosity or humor, to a stressful situation? This simple mindset shift is a powerful tool to help calm you down physiologically. 

Another powerful tool is called “Flow” or “getting into the zone.” Flow comes from a total engagement in a task that fully challenges the skills you know you have.

Here are four steps to move into Flow, which is a much healthier and productive response:

  1. Become aware of what response you have embodied early on.
  2. Observe when and how it gets activated.
  3. Bring mindfulness and compassion and acknowledge how that response protected you in the past.
  4. Practice your new response.

A practice of mindfulness will help you develop a deep self-awareness enabling you to notice, identify and accept your feelings and thoughts, as you experience them. This puts you in charge, not your emotions, which are neither good or bad. They are sources of information. 

Make a practice of asking yourself questions like these, with curiosity and without judgment…

  • How does this situation make me feel? (Happy; anxious; etc.)
  • How are these feelings showing in my body? (Light and expansive; tight and drawn inward; etc)
  • Why is this happening? (The tone of voice and words hurt your feelings.)
  • What past situation is my mind recalling to make this connection? (This reminds me of the time I was made fun of in school and felt powerless.)
  • Is this old story still serving me? (No. I am no longer that girl; I’m a capable woman.)
  • How can I integrate the past with the present? (Thank you amygdala for trying to keep me safe, but I’ve got this!)
  • What can I do to remain in harmony with my intentions, values, purpose? (Breathe; Stay calm; Let it go; Correct a misunderstanding; etc.)

The precious PAUSE between stimulus and response gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your power. In times of crisis, you’ll hold true to your values and will be able to lead others to safer ground. You’ll avert arguments in the family; keep the team working together through a huge mistake; and find solutions to problems. Master self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management and you’ll be able to handle any crisis with less stress and emotional reactivity, as well as fewer unintended consequences.

We’ll be exploring our leadership and how to ensure that it always reflects our values at our 2022 Women’s Retreat, Bring Forth the Leader Within held on January 15-22, 2022, at Blue Spirit Costa Rica. Don’t you owe it to yourself to become an empowered leader who can handle whatever the future brings? Are you hesitant to even consider a retreat with everything going on? Understandable! Learn about our stress-free cancellation policy and the advantages of planning a retreat right NOW, even if it seems like a dream under current conditions.

Future Pacing — Go Beyond the Pandemic to the Future YOU Envision

Has the pandemic had an impact on your motivation? Has it caused you to rethink your possibilities? Put your life on hold? Give up on some dreams? Do you feel like you can’t plan for the future? You’re just waiting…waiting for life to begin again…waiting for something good to finally happen. You don’t have to wait any longer! During these uncertain times, it’s really helpful to practice future pacing — this is where you direct your mind to go into the future, visualizing something tangible and positive.

What exactly is future pacing and why does it work?

Future pacing is a neuro-linguistic programming technique that you use to create positive expectations, which gives you the experience of enjoying the desired results right now!

When you anticipate something it activates the well-being and reward part in your brain. Many of us get just as much fun from planning our vacation as experiencing it! And think about the last time you heard an inspiring speaker who made you want to get up and get going! While you sat and listened, had those words made you healthier or made you more money, or done anything tangible for you yet? In a way…yes. They triggered a state of high motivation in your brain, because you saw and heard in your mind’s eye how your achievement would be received by the world. You actually felt how it would feel then. You were there!

Olympic and high-performing athletes tap into the power of future pacing all the time. They see themselves on the platform, receiving the gold medal, as the crowds go wild. They see and feel their muscles straining as their bicycle streaks past the Finish Line at the Tour de France. They hear the basketball swoosh through the hoop to score the winning point.

When you experience the anticipated result by seeing, hearing and feeling the rewards, you drive positive expectations deeper into your mind and body. It grounds you. Your expectation begins to work for you, not against you.

How you can make future pacing a daily practice.

Visualize the future you desire. Rather than dwelling on how bad the world has become, form an idea of your positive future, and bring it to mind multiple times during the day.

Keep your focus on where you’re headed. People realize their greatest potential when they focus on one thing at a time. Work hard at creating routines and systems that will get you to where you want to go. Master your craft — one aspect of it at a time. Meditate, journal, and talk with others about it.

Spend your energy wisely. Understand that every thought, word and action is taking your energy. Ensure your energy is going toward the realization of your dream. When you awaken every day, eat with your vision in mind; move with it in mind; speak with it in mind; live with your dream always in mind. Start manifesting your vision now in your personal and professional life. And you will begin to feel the rewards, right now.

Attract others into your community.  As you work at mastering your chosen course, you will naturally draw others into your community and they’ll be thrilled to help you fulfill your vision. Your passion as a leader will spark the greatness in others, which will keep your flame alive.

Plan something spectacular for when our current reality is over and a new normal is present. We are taking our own advice! We are actively planning our 2022 Women’s Retreat, Bring Forth the Leader Within. It will be held on January 15-22, 2022, at Blue Spirit Costa Rica, a world-class yoga and meditation retreat center. (And it’s 100% refundable if for some reason travel is still not an option.) 

By planning to join us, you’ll instantly benefit from future pacing a transformational experience in a beautiful and tranquil location! Learn more about what you can look forward to at our 3rd Annual Retreat and how to take advantage of Super Early Bird Pricing!

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The Great Circle Community — A safe space where your inner voice is welcomed and heard. Tired of all the rhetoric and noise? Become part of the solution and join  Maria and like-minded, empowering women for meaningful conversations. Membership is by invitation only. Learn more today

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