The Power of Perseverance

hopepersevereI think we all know what perseverance is- “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”  And it’s an important trait to have in order to be successful in life. It means working hard to get things done regardless of any odds or obstacles that may come up, and when we persevere, we don’t give up.

Do you persevere in your job search or on projects? Or, after meeting rejection or difficulties, do you quit?

Here are some tips for building perseverance:

  • Develop a growth mindset; be open to learning new things
  • Know when to push yourself a little and when to take a break; if you can make one more phone call, then do it.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break and try again later.
  • Set realistic goals that are meaningful to you; set yourself up to succeed and don’t compare yourself to others.  Making 3 phone calls a day might be enough for you and if you feel good about that, you’ll be more apt to make more calls the next day.
  • Acknowledge or reward your accomplishments
  • Be persistent; don’t give up!
  • Practice positive self-talk; when you find yourself thinking “this is too hard” or “I don’t know how to do this”, tell yourself, “I can figure this out, I can handle it!”  And surround yourself with positive-minded people.
  • Practice self care; connect with your breath, meditate, do yoga, take a walk outside-do things that nurture your body, mind, and spirit…
  • Visualize your success; believe in yourself!

One of my life stories…

Many years ago, when I was getting my Masters in Social Work, I decided I wanted a paid internship in Corporate Social Responsibility (those were the days!)  I did some research and found a couple of Public Policy Directors in major insurance companies who were willing to chat with me about the possibility of having an intern.  I was in Hartford, CT, the Insurance Capital, so I thought what better place to learn about CSR.  After several interviews, I found a Public Policy Director at Travelers who was very interested in having me work for her and offered me a nice stipend.  I was so excited!  It was May, and she was going to work out the details and get back to me.

After not hearing from her for 3 weeks, I called to check in.  Her secretary said that her boss had been in a biking accident and had broken her arm so she was recuperating at home.  Her secretary and I developed a nice phone relationship and while time was running out and I still didn’t have a Fall internship in place, I kept the faith, and kept in touch with this wonderful secretary.  If it had not been for her support and reassurance that they did really want me, I might have given up.  But I really wanted to work with this woman, so I persevered.  Sure enough, in the nick of time, the Director called me and thanked me for hanging in there.  And I not only got my paid internship, I also ended up living with the Director in her home for the year which turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life!

So I am fond of perseverance- it has served me well.  May it do the same for you!

What’s Good For You?

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the need for more self-compassion, notably Brene Brown’s, The Gifts of Imperfection, and what I’ve been noticing is how often we tend to self-criticize.  Whether it’s calling ourselves “banana brain” when we forget something, or “stupid woman” when we make a mistake, negative self-talk, even seemingly funny, has a detrimental effect on our overall self-worth.  Putting ourselves down and criticizing ourselves under our breath can create tension, feed anxiety and fear, and make us feel miserable.  That critical inner voice is our subconscious talking and if we let it, it can diminish our motivation and energy.  Even if our conscious brain is saying, “you’re not stupid, you’re an intelligent talented woman”,  if we’re beating ourselves up inside, it’s our subconscious thoughts that rule.

We need to learn to treat ourselves with kindness and self-compassion!  This will boost our energy and motivation and reinforce our belief in ourselves. We’ll be more resilient to stress, able to do more of what we want, and we’ll just be happier in general.

Here are 3 tips to practice being kinder to yourself:

  1. Say calm, soothing words to yourself like, “Nobody’s perfect.  We all make mistakes sometimes,”  or “I’m me, and that’s a good thing!
  2. Do something every day that’s good for you, feeds your soul, nurtures you…it can be anything that makes you happy- taking a yoga class, going for a walk, baking for someone, or listening to music.  Take a break your way and enjoy it!
  3. Practice self-care and compassion…if you’re stressed or suffering about something, pause and notice what you’re feeling, and maybe where you’re feeling it in your body. And then, ask yourself, “what do I need to feel better?”  Maybe it’s calling a trusted friend, or getting a massage, or maybe trying a loving kindness meditation.

Here’s one of my favorites…I start my day with this meditation:

May I be happy, may I be healthy in body and mind, may I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm, and may I be free from fear, the fear that keeps me stuck.

After you say it to yourself, you can say it to anyone you love, friends, and to everyone in the world.

Kindness is contagious- embrace who you are, believe in yourself, and share your gifts with the world!

 

Free Meditation Session

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Free Meditation Session on Friday, July 13, Noon-1:30pm!

If you want to find out how meditation and mindfulness can help you feel a sense of well being and peace, wherever you are in your life, whatever you’re dealing with, then join me Friday July 13.  All are welcome…

To register, send me an email with Free Meditation in the subject line and I’ll send you the logistics…or call me.  I look forward to meditating with you…

Work and Well-being

NeverGiveUpICT (Institute for Career Transitions) held a workshop Saturday, June 23rd on the status of work and well-being.  I wasn’t there, but I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.  If you’re a job seeker, you’ll relate and realize you’re not alone.

 

Headlines are missing key facts:

  1. If under-employment is factored in, unemployment is around 7.5%.
  2. 15% of college-educated people earn < $15/hr and 1 in 5 are under-employed.
  3. 20% of unemployed are LTU (Long-term unemployed).
  4. 30% of age 50+ unemployed are LTU.
  5. For workers >= age 62, between the years 2005 and 2015, the % of people earning <= $15k went from 10%to 15%.
  6. Full time employment (FTE) continues to drop overall as a % of all jobs.  The % of contract and part-time jobs continues to rise.

Don’t let the headlines get you down! It’s tough out there, but keep going…your fellow job seekers are your biggest allies.

Qualitative Data:

More people are exhausting their retirement savings and/or are on programs such as SNAP.  People are turning to survival jobs- renting out rooms on AirBnB, driving Uber and Lyft.

Older, well educated workers are finding it harder to get a job like the one they had before, so they look more broadly, either going down, or transitioning to a new field.  Going down levels leads to objections that they are over-qualified; switching to a new field leads to objections that they have no experience.

A growing number of people are in emotional crisis which leads them to self-blame, isolation and heightened stress  and makes it hard to focus and conduct an effective job search.

What Works:

Networking!  It’s not easy for some and it takes time to network effectively which can lead to more stress.  Building rapport and long term relationships is “an incredibly difficult feat” for people in emotional and financial lows.

“This game sucks.”  We need to change the game, but individuals who must play the game can’t change it.  There is no Magic Formula and many job seekers are disappointed.

Ofer talked about the Collaboratory and its strategic and social/emotional benefits.  Members meet 15 hrs/week and help each other in a place where they feel valued, a sense of belonging and accountability, decreased isolationism, and affinity with others.

Someone asked about a recent Boston Globe article on older workers being unable to gain employment in this “robust economy”, and how Governor Baker’s office is building a list of older-worker friendly companies.

Ofer saw this before when he was invited to the White House during the Obama administration.  Companies included their names on a list but there hasn’t been follow through by them or the government.

The majority of workers in the USA face issues, not just the unemployed. Many are unhappy, have lost benefits, are under-employed, stressed, but afraid to quit or ever take time off.

3 Questions Asked:

As one of my clients said, “What people wrote in response to these questions is so moving and true to life.” The unemployed continue to amaze me in their perseverance, their determination to keep going, and in their humanity.  It is hard not to get emotional reading these now; I can only imagine how it was to be in the room.  Our country really ought to be serving them better…

  1. I am most proud of:
  • The friends I have
  • My unpaid public policy advocacy
  • Getting my fashion biz certificate (64 unemployment)
  • Helping people who are important to me when I don’t feel I can
  • Reinvented my career with recognition worthy success
  • Family
  • Helped others to find path to make positive change
  • Not sure anymore; there are things I enjoy; a great meal I’ve created
  • That my children are living the values that I feel are critically important to how a good life in community should be lived
  • My 401K (sounds awful to say but represents 15 years of night/weekend work invested
  • My teaching; my kids
  • Being non-judgemental and forgiving and raising my children with similar values
  • I have had the courage, repeatedly, to leave jobs that were inauthentic and treated employees as ‘pieces not people’ and creating life supporting options
  • Helping people build and develop their skills
  • My 2 adult children (boys); proud of who they are and what they’ve done and our relationship
  • Spending my life helping people
  • When I inspire others to believe and use their strengths
  • Of my achievements at previous jobs
  • Perseverance; creativity; resourcefulness; relationships where people have stuck by me regardless of my emotional state
  • Being reliable, supportive, caring, open-minded
  • My work ethic, especially in the face of adversity
  • Being part of an improv group (I am an introvert)

2. The most challenging part of being unemployed/underemployed/no meaning in work (besides financial) is:

  • All the extra stuff that fills my non-work time
  • I am so bored
  • How I feel about myself
  • Not being able to contribute/use my skills
  • Staying positive
  • Not knowing if anything  I’m doing is making a difference
  • Meaning (lack of)
  • Life is passing by and I am wasting it
  • Trying to be productive; fill your day to check things off your list; taking advantage of your new found free time
  • Meaningless job; irritation; depression; I want out
  • The feeling that I’m not hitting certain life ‘mile stones’ that others in my age group (and younger) seem to be completing or entering (owning home, married, more degrees)
  • Being perceived as a has been; defective somehow; undesirable
  • Feeling that you lose yourself
  • Isolation; missing stimulation of ideas and colleagues; not feeling comfortable knowing how to talk about ‘situation’ without burdening others or ‘complaining’
  • Not being able to contribute fully because it took too much to be managing day to day
  • Emotional challenge
  • Losing sense of self worth
  • Not using skills
  • Friends moving for jobs and to pay for less expenses; friends not understanding; periodic negativity and sadness from disappointment
  • Loss of perceived status- it really hurts to feel lesser/lower than
  • Sense of having no control; being powerless
  • I’m not doing my part to contribute- wasted resource
  • Keeping my intellectual spirit high and not mentally checking out
  • The fact that I derive so much of my value and sense of self-worth from my work and when I am not producing tangible, quality outputs, I begin to lose my confidence and experience a feeling of incompetence and less worth

If I had 2 more hours before I went to bed, I’d:

  • Write (mentioned 7 times)- write in my journal, compose, creative writing, hand write letters to friends
  • Listen to motivating Ted Talks or books on tape
  • Meditate/Guided meditation (mentioned 3 times)- meditate/reflect
  • Art/Writing/Collage
  • Read (mentioned 12 times)-about fashion, about people’s different stories, read more fiction, read without worrying, reading my journal, read for fun
  • Watch TV, watch friends stories on Instagram, watch shows on You Tube
  • Play musical instruments and sing
  • Yoga; yoga/stretch; yoga for an hour
  • Dance
  • Unwind; relax; rest
  • Do something just for me
  • Photography
  • I’d spend more time creating: canvas, painting, crafting, drawing etc.
  • Have sex
  • Be outside at night for more than 2 hours
  • Rethink the current direction of our World
  • Play
  • Improve the appearance of my home, make it more welcoming
  • Hug
  • Spend more time with family and friends

Wow, that was powerful and moving for me just to type and take in- now, what can we do about the situation?  I don’t know but I think we need to raise public awareness big-time:  About ICT and the work they do, about how companies could be hiring LTU and workers over 50 more, about what legislators could do, and about how we can retrain workers for new jobs to name a few.  What do you think?  Please share your ideas with me or Ofer Sharone at ICT.  It’s going to take a village…

I’ll be offering a free meditation session on Friday, July 13 at Noon-1:30 for anyone who’s interested.  Details are on my website…hope to see you there!

Have Do Be or Be Do Have

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.

~Margaret Young

Most people live according to the Do Be Have model- in order to have something, we must do, do, do, and then we’ll be successful. We’ve been taught this. For example, if we want to have career success, we must do something, like work 80 hours/week, and then we’ll be happy. This becomes a neverending treadmill of always needing to do more in the pursuit of happiness, which can lead us to stress and worry so much that we block potential possibilities.

Being Requires Reflection and Connection

In truth, if we stop the constant striving, worrying and planning every moment as a human doing, then life flows, and we can live more authentically, as the human beings we were meant to be. If we can take time to figure out our “why”, our purpose or intention, from a place of love and mindfulness, envisioning ourselves as happy, then the Universe will fill in the “how” and we can take advantage of opportunities as they come. Be first, then do, and you will have all that you need.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this since my trip to Brittany. I felt like more of a human being there and it was wonderful! I was relaxed and happy. My days flowed from one joyful moment to another… I enjoyed precious time with my daughter as we filled our senses with art, flowers, food and the beauty of the villages in the area, speaking a little French and connecting with locals who were more than happy to share stories with us. Yes it was vacation and we had no real “to do’s”, but we were present being as we were doing things.

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” ~Brene Brown

In Brittany, I was living authentically…I was being me. I vowed to keep this feeling when I got home- not to worry, or get caught up in other people’s treadmills, or spend my time doing things that don’t really matter to me. It has been a challenge, but I’m committed to making it part of my daily mindfulness practice to be more human. If I feel myself starting to slip into Eeyore mode, worrying about not getting enough done, or meeting people’s expectations, I go to my toolbox and choose from my energy boosters- meditation, yoga, walking, connecting with a friend, going to a music or dance performance, or going to my kitchen and cooking or baking something delicious…and pretty soon, I’m back in my flow, being me…

Be, Do, and Have…

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What about you? Do you feel like a human doing or a human being? The choice is really always yours. Take some time to reflect and just be…Set an intention for the life you really want and take small steps towards it every day with messages of loving kindness to yourself…We can’t get away from doing things that need to be done, but we can come from a place of love and enjoy being while we’re doing.

It’s Spring…Renew, Refresh, and Look Forward!

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Spring is finally here!

I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Bretagne, France where Spring had just arrived. The flowers were blooming, birds were chirping, and the sun didn’t set until 9pm. The air was fresh and clear, and I felt so alive. I returned refreshed and renewed, ready to awaken each day to whatever life has in store for me, looking forward in love and joy!

“Like it or not, at times we all reach a point of stagnation in our lives, when we can’t seem to go forward or backward. This can be the death of us, whether of our hope, our health, our faith or our relationships. In such situations we often cannot see the need for change in ourselves, or we cannot see the way of making it happen. We look outside of ourselves for an answer, even just a subtle push. The springtime is nature’s season for giving that subtle push, though our personal season of renewal can come at any time, in any month of the year.

Spring has been the harbinger of changes to come since before mankind walked this Earth. It has been worshipped as sacred, as the time of the new dawn, by countless cultures and religions, both ancient and modern. It is worth pausing to reflect on this time of renewal while it is happening around you. Let spring fill you up with hope, for spring is an energy which never looks back or allows regrets. Spring is the looking forward, the building up, and it is filled with optimism and promise.”

(Shared by a colleague; author unknown)

What is calling you this Spring? Where does your energy want you to go? Pay attention to the signs and follow them. Let yourself go…and enjoy the ride.
May you find success this Spring!

Collaboratory Results Get A Thumbs Up!

As a Career and Life Coach with ICT, I just had to spread the good news!  I hope you’ll share this with fellow job seekers along with my previous blog on the Collaboratory.  The value of this organization and its’ work has far reaching effects- join us and watch your job search bloom! 

NeverGiveUp

Ofer Sharone, PhD, and a founder of ICT,  The Institute for Career Transitions, recently finished analyzing the qualitative data of pre and post interviews with the first cohort participants of the collaboratory and two findings literally jumped of the pages. 

1) Greater openness to alternative sources of income =  as a result of their experience with the pilot participants became more open to more types of jobs.  In most cases this meant that people started with a focus on standard full-time “W2” employment and by the end of the pilot were actively considering other approaches to generating income.  The main factor driving this change is a growing recognition of the fact that “W2” jobs may not be as available as people had hoped prior to the pilot, and moreover, even if they are able to get a W2 job that such job may in fact be a risky move given the constancy of layoffs and churn in corporate America and the particular vulnerability of older workers to layoffs.  Another key reason for broadening beyond W2 jobs was a growing recognition of the barrier of age discrimination.   He attributes all this to the collaboratory’s approach (which I also think is a core ICT principle) of not sugar coating the reality of the barriers that older long-term unemployed professionals are facing. Another factor was having a cohort of others, plus the facilitators, to brainstorm with and bounce ideas with!

2) Improved emotional wellbeing = given that the greater openness to alternatives discussed above stems from a growing awareness of obstacles to getting what are traditionally considered “good jobs,” we might expect to see a decline in emotional wellbeing (I.e., people upset because job market is tougher and less fair to older workers than they might have previously thoughts) BUT there is a very strong pattern of participants describing improved emotional wellbeing.  The key reason for this improved wellbeing is the community of other participants and the facilitators.  The community that formed at the pilot seemed to go beyond filling the gap of what may be a loss of work colleagues and provided a sense of being “cared about.”  In the “pre” interviews job seekers talked about difficulties in their marriages and friendships, and he believes that the improved wellbeing arose to an important extent due to the participant community filling this hugely important need.   This improved well-being in turn made it possible for the participants to more actively pursue their career goals.

Here are a few illustrative quotes from participants:

–Meeting all the people was incredible. It was a unique group of people to come together and bond the way we did.

–Compared to three months ago, I’m in a very different place. Before the Collaboratory, I had become extremely depressed and withdrawn. I had developed so much anxiety that I stopped looking for work. Every little task just seemed to be too overwhelming for me. The Collaboratory has helped make a massive difference in my sense of well being right now. So I’m very, very grateful. The support from everybody, the structure of how it worked, and having a place to report to three times a week and being held accountable for it. And the seriousness I got about having to participate, that really helped to sort of put me back into shape. At first, I was sort of offended by it a little bit. But in the end, it was exactly what I needed to whack me back into shape! (laughing) Let go as much of this emotional baggage that’s been created in the last year or so. I’m very grateful to the Collaboratory.

–I appreciated how the conversations started to get meaty and idea generating. …I did believe that some of the strategic advice was very collaborative and that I got just as much from each of the participants as I did from Tom, Deborah and Scott. It was facilitators, but I think the benefit is that we had nine other people to bounce things off of.

–In any event, what I loved particularly about Collaboratory, they basically gave me a safe spot, a safe place to experiment with my own thoughts and my own ideas. It gave me permission to take the risks I had, either from my career experiences or old belief systems that weren’t working for me any more and getting in my way, gave me permission to suspend those and to really figure out what was important and what was necessary and what I could actually do.

–I was real focused almost exclusively on landing the next W2 job, and some of the things out of the pilot, …has actually led to a potential career transition for me. Instead of doing it a few years down the road, I’m looking at in parallel now continuing to find a full-time job if that comes first….. I think that was as a result of talking about the sandboxes or just constantly being pushed to take action and change. That changed my mindset in that you don’t have to have everything be perfect or done or right. Just do something about it every day to keep the ball moving forward.

–My attitude about this thing called a career has shifted hugely. It’s not about a title and/or a set parameter for the job or the work. It’s not about security or benefits. It’s really just about how I can apply my skills and talents and so something that feeds me professionally.  . . My ability to talk about what it is that I do and want to do and where I could do it is getting more clear as well.  Just being open and flexible and agile really is what the Collaboratory has provided to me.

–We’re still keeping the group together even though the program has been completed. Going twice a week. I know that’s a big part of why I show up, right? It’s still the group, everyone understand what you’re going through. You’ve got something scheduled in your day. It’s interaction with people that you know care about you and want to see each other succeed.

I think you can see this is really worthwhile!  For further information on ICT and the Collaboratory, contact Deborah or Ofer:

Deborah Burkholder, ICT Executive Director, deborah@ICTransitions.org.

Ofer Sharone, PhD, Asst. Professor Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, osharone@soc.umass.edu

This Is The Future Of Work…

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I’ve been involved with ICT for several years now as a Career and Life Coach and want to spread the word to all job seekers so that more people can benefit from these programs…Please share this with others…

 

Are you trying to manage a job search on your own?
Join us for the next ICT Collaboratory.

The “Future of Work” is…NOW. We get it! Precarious income and frequent transitions are the new normal.

The Institute for Career Transitions’ Collaboratory is a structured intense 12-week program designed to help you effectively navigate your job transition and promote a renewed sense of well-being allowing you to show up at your best.

A job search is an intense and often lengthy process. As the search goes on, energy and commitment can wane and we can become more isolated. The ICT Collaboratory will help you focus your efforts and effectively navigate your “work in-between work.”

My ability to talk about what it is that I do and want to do and where I could do it…being open flexible and agile really is what the Collaboratory has provided me.”

“The Collaboratory has helped make a massive difference in my sense of well-being.”

“It really has shifted my thinking about how you make money or how you survive in this new work landscape.”

As part of the Collaboratory, you will contribute your skills as part of a small select team of professionals committed to each other’s professional development and success. Your team meets three mornings a week – an intense schedule to allow the formation of a strong and resilient team to tackle the technical and adaptive challenges of managing your career. Challenges such as:

  • Reconnecting with your strengths
  • Focusing your job search
  • Strategies for generating short-term and long-term income
  • Building your productivity team
  • Crafting your message (LinkedIn, resume, cover letters)
  • Improving your productivity, decision making, and accountability

If you are a professional in or thinking about a job transition, the ICT Collaboratory’s approach will empower and revitalize your job search as you continue to build your network of people committed to your success.

We are interviewing for our next cohorts. Each cohort is limited to 10 talented professionals. Selected candidates are asked to participate in research surveys, interviews, issue discussions, and well-being benchmarking.

Requirements: 1) actively looking for work; 2) three-month on-site commitment. Cohorts start with a 2-day weekend orientation, followed by a regular work schedule – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:30am-12:30pm.

Danvers cohort starts April 14; Brighton starts May 5.

Program fees include facilitated work sessions, professional coaching, and a full membership at the Staples Workbar co-working location. To learn more or to schedule your pre-registration interview, contact:  

Deborah Burkholder, ICT Executive Director, deborah@ICTransitions.org.

The Institute for Career Transitions, a 501c3 non-profit, researches the impact of the changing nature of work on individuals and society. We appreciate Workbar and the Staples Corporation support in making this program possible.

Practicing Loving Kindness

HeartflowersBrene Brown says, “Love is not something we give or get; it is something we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them- we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”

I woke up this morning remembering these words from Bob Dylan’s timeless “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “How many deaths will it take ’til we know that too many people have died?”

In the wake of yet another tragedy, I continue to hope for a kinder world where we all live in peace. I believe this is what we all want…and to that end, I invite you to join me by starting each day with this loving kindness meditation. This has become a daily ritual, along with writing my 5 gratitude statements each night. It only takes 6 minutes, so I hope you’ll try it.

  • May we all be happy…
  • May we all be healthy in body and mind…
  • May we all be safe and protected from inner and outer harm…
  • May we all be free from fear, the fear that keeps us stuck…

Love makes the world go round…Let the practice of loving begin within your own beautiful heart. Give yourself what you wish to receive and give others what you wish to receive from them.

With hope in my heart,

Clare

How Are Your 2018 Goals Coming Along?

January is the best time to make positive changes in your life.  It’s a time when many resolutions are made, but few are kept.  You have to stay motivated if you really want to manifest your goals and intentions.  How?  Here are 3 great tips from JJ Virgin, New York Times bestselling author…with my thoughts sprinkled in…

1. Find an accountability partner.

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Once you have a clear goal, you need to write down the action steps that will help you reach that goal.  (I like Vision Boards, and I use a Goal sheet that has different sections for areas in your life, such as Business/Work Goals, Home Goals, Personal Goals, and Fun Goals.  I fill this out at the beginning of each year and post it on my bulletin board where I see it every day.)

Next you want a partner, a friend or two, or a coach to hold you accountable.  Ideally, they’re available weekly and act as your personal cheerleader.  Share your goals, strategize, and plan with them.  You can ask them to check in with you for a progress report and/or schedule a call or in-person meeting with your accountability partner at least a few times a month for updates.  (I like having a coach for this, as well as a coaching group, and this year, I’m going to try it with a friend in TN, where we can be each other’s accountability partner!)

2. Track your progress on a regular basis.

In order to review progress, you have to track it.  Do this in great detail; you’ll see when and where you’re most productive and you’ll learn lots about your habits and patterns.  As you move towards your goal, you may notice that you procrastinate:  Ask yourself, when and why do I procrastinate?  When do I do my best work?  Am I overwhelmed?  Am I eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep?

2018goals

Once you’re aware of your emotions and habits, you can tailor your action steps to them.  Look at your calendar and decide how much time you have for action steps, and block out your schedule.  Then track the hours you spend working towards your goal.  On a scale of 1-10, how focused and productive were you?  Write this info down and share it with your accountability partner.  (I put my action steps on my wall calendar in time; this helps me be realistic and not put too many things in one day.  At the end of the day, I check things off if I’ve completed them.  If I don’t get to something, I move it to the next day I know I’ll have time to complete it.  At the end of the week, I check and see if I missed anything and if so, I do it on Friday or the weekend.  But my goal is to have weekends free, so that motivates me to finish things Friday!)

3. Celebrate your small successes and your big wins.

Acknowledge your accomplishments along the way!  Completing action steps and goals is intrinsically rewarding, but plan small extrinsic rewards as well…Take a walk in nature, see a movie with a friend, take a relaxing bath…  Enjoy small pleasures and celebrate each goal as you achieve it- this will keep you motivated to set and achieve goals that really matter to you.  (This is so important.  Make sure your goals and intentions are ones that you really want to achieve-in your heart and your mind.  I write my accomplishments in my gratitude journal each night and I do celebrate them.) 

Feeling good about your big goal or project will keep you motivated to keep setting conscious, authentic goals and and action steps to create the life you want!