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Tag: life planning

The Best Year Yet – Routines and Rituals Make Goals Work

“I wish…” We do it all the time, don’t we? We learned about how to make wishes from fairy tales. Magically, what you desire appears, without any effort. That’s not how real life happens. Yet so many New Year’s Resolutions or goals are wishes. “I want to lose weight.” “I want to write a book.” “I want to start a new career.” These are only wants or wishes. And that’s why so many resolutions go unfulfilled.

Wishing, wanting and dreaming are actually quite important to our human experience. They are the genesis from which we create a desire to do something different, to be more.

We urge you to be a Dreamer and dream big. But don’t stop there. Being a Dreamer won’t make your dreams come true. They’ll eventually languish in a drawer and will never see the light of day. So what’s next?

After dreaming, people usually become Goal Setters. We’ve been taught to write out the specifics of our dream — lose 2 pounds every week so I can look good at my school reunion; write 1,000 words every morning so I’ll have a book ready for publishing by the end of the year. While that’s a good start, it’s also where many goals die within a week or two.

So people next become SMART Goal Setters. They break goals into baby steps, so they can be measured, analyzed, and tracked. We do believe goals have their place, if they’re Quick, Easy, and Enjoyable. However, the trouble with only using goals is that when you fail, you always feel like you’re starting over. That’s a motivation drain.

Something is still missing…especially since our lives have been so radically changed by 2020.

To achieve your Big Dream requires you to have a planned strategy that keeps you accountable, plus an environment that reduces distractions, plus a support system that keeps you motivated. Yet it actually goes deeper than that. It takes Routines and Rituals. These are the things that change who you are at your core, so you become your Big Dream!

Goals seldom work unless you have healthy, sustainable routines that make that goal the easiest, most logical thing to do. Routines create automaticity so that goals become effortless.

Let’s run through how this works…

Wish: I wish I had a practice of meditation.

Big Dream: If I had a daily practice of meditation, I could start each day calmly, with clarity and focus. I would get more done. I’d be kinder to my family. I’d handle stress better.

Goal: Meditate every day.

SMART Goal: Get up 15 minutes earlier than normal, before anyone else gets up, so I have quiet to meditate every morning for 10 minutes.

System & Strategy: I tell my family that I’m going to be getting up at 6 A.M. to practice meditation because I’m feeling stressed and I’d appreciate no one interrupting me. I will be available to them after 6:30. To get up earlier, I need to wind down and be ready for sleep by 9:30 P.M each night. At the end of the day, I review my day, especially reflecting on how a meditation practice would make the rough spots better. I set out my comfy meditation outfit and set my alarm. I go to sleep easily, because I’ve processed the day’s stressors and I’m free to relax.

Routine & Ritual: I slip out of bed well before my alarm goes off because I’m looking forward to my special me time. I put on my meditation outfit, visit the bathroom, drink some water and then go to my quiet place. I spread my mat. I spritz the air with my favorite essential oil. If the sun is rising, I watch it as I do my yoga stretches and breathing exercises. I’m careful to be mindful of and savor how my body responds to each move. I count to my special number. (If the sun isn’t up, I imagine it rising.) As I complete my meditation routine, I set my intention for the day by speaking it out loud and recording it in my journal. I put my mat away and get ready for the day. I do this again and again until it becomes part of my routine for personal wellness.

Do you think this process will work for you? If you’d like some help establishing a new routine and ritual for your morning, make sure to download our free Daily Start to Gratitude & Empowerment.

Even with the challenges we face, we believe you can make 2021 Your Best Yet. We invite you to join our Great Circle Conversation tomorrow, Thursday, December 3rd at 8 am PST/11 am EST. We’re going to be discussing what our 2021 focus will be. We’ll design our “Best Year Yet”. If you haven’t signed up to be a part of our Great Circle Community yet, simply click here to join us and we’ll send you the link

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.

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!

Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear about 
upcoming retreats and events, and get tips on how to accelerate your growth as a leader.

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 Louise and Maria for meaningful conversations. Membership is free. Learn more today

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