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Category: Goals
Reinvent Yourself

Are you stuck in a rut?  Has your life become routine – doing the same thing day in and day out?  Has your once happy life become ho-hum?

If so, it’s time for a change!  Explore what’s missing that you’ve wanted to do, see, or change.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Look for something new and embrace change.

What do you want to change?  Something small – like changing your hair style or make-up?  Or something big – like moving to a new home?  According to a recent survey from MORE Magazine, here are the top ten things readers said they wanted to change about themselves.

  1. Travel more
  2. Make new friends
  3. Try a new sport or fitness routine
  4. Change your job or career
  5. Change your living space or location
  6. Take a class or go back to school
  7. Change your hair or make-up / find a new romantic partner (tie)
  8. Change the way you dress
  9. Volunteer
  10. Start a business

What’s on your Top 5 list?  Pick one of your top 5 and commit to it.  Whether it’s joining a gym or taking a cooking class, get started today!  If you need support for making a big transition – like changing your job or career – contact me for a complimentary 30-minute coaching consultation.

What one change will you commit to?  Please share with other readers.

 
Overcoming Setbacks

According to Franklin Covey Company, some 75% of us will break our New Year’s resolutions within three months.  We’re almost two months into the New Year.  How are you doing?  Are you sticking to your resolutions?  By now you’ve probably experienced your first setback.  Maybe you’ve resolved to spend less and save money.  You had done well until yesterday, when in a weak moment you couldn’t resist the $100 dress you saw at Macy’s.  Rather than fall off-track, how can you get back on track and continue making progress?  Here are five tips to help you overcome setbacks and get back on track.

  • Come up with an alternate plan. Let’s say your resolution is to exercise more, and you’ve set a goal to walk 3-4 days a week for 30 minutes.  You’re discouraged that you haven’t been walking as much as you want due to inclement weather.  What are some alternate plans you could make that will allow you to meet your goal?  Maybe you could go to the mall and walk, or purchase a treadmill and use it on ‘bad weather’ days.
  • Reset unrealistic expectations and goals. If you aren’t seeing results, it can become very frustrating – whether your goal is to lose weight, get fit, or build your client base.  It takes time to see results from your hard work.  If your goal was to lose 50 pounds in 5 months, think again.  When the weight doesn’t come off as quickly as you’d like, it’s discouraging.  That’s when you’re likely to give up.  Instead, reset your expectations.  Losing one to two pounds a week is much more realistic.
  • Learn from your setback, accept it and move on. Let’s say your resolution is to improve your communication with your spouse, and last night you blew up at him.  The key here is to learn from your mistake.  What prompted you to lose your temper?  How can you better handle the situation next time?  Then stop beating yourself up; realize that no one is perfect.  Accept that the slip occurred and move on so you can continue making progress.
  • Enlist your support network to help you get back on track. Family and friends can give encouragement to help you make positive changes in your life.  If you feel you’re falling back into old behaviors, ask a trusted ally to support you in getting back on track again.
  • Realize that change takes time. For any behavior you’re attempting to change, you need to successfully practice it for about 30 days in order for the behavior to become a habit.  Be patient, and remember that change takes time!
 
Let Go of Perfectionism

Do you want to do it all and do it perfectly?  If so, you may be a perfectionist – a high-achiever who makes no room for mistakes. Those of us who fall into this category are always sensitive to weaknesses in ourselves and others.  Unfortunately, we are a rigid bunch, and we are prone to self-doubt and fears of disapproval.  Unlike people who strive for excellence, a perfectionist is driven and determined in a way that isn’t healthy. They are unable to enjoy the process of achieving because the pursuit of the goal causes so much anxiety. Wanting it all and wanting to do it perfectly is enough to drive any woman insane.

In a recent survey of U.S. working women, 61% indicated that “high expectations of themselves” was one of their biggest work-life challenges. In particular, they thought they should be able to do it all and do it all well. One woman commented, “I don’t have enough time to do everything as well as I would like – cleaner home, nice meals for my husband, more time with children and  grandchildren, etc.”

It’s important to have high standards for yourself, but be aware of the difference between high standards and impossibly high standards.  Always strive for excellence, but at the same time, remember that no one is perfect except God.  I love this quote by Michael J. Fox – “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.  Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”

We are susceptible to perfectionism, each one of us. Do you really need to cook a gourmet, three-course dinner each night? Or are leftovers good enough? Does your house really need to pass the white-glove test? Or can you live with a little dust? Does your home really need to look like a model home? Or will second-hand furniture do?

When I became a mom I realized I needed to lower my expectations or I would go bonkers. I used to follow my toddler around picking up her toys all day long. Ten minutes after picking up toys, more toys were strewn in the other room. My efforts achieved nothing and only exhausted me. Finally I learned to live with the clutter.  If you don’t let go, you’ll go crazy. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough. Now I go for “good enough.” Consider what’s good enough for you.

Rather than hold yourself to impossible standards, be a realist:

Recognize your limits.  Remember you are not superhuman nor do you have super powers.

Lower your standards when needed. You don’t need to live with the anxiety.  Your peace of mind is more important than living up to impossibly high standards.

Accept your imperfections. You might make a few mistakes.  You might even fail.  So what?  Let’s face it – you’re human.  Learn from your mistakes and move on.

Let go of perfectionism. Instead strive for excellence, but don’t expect perfect.

 
New Year’s Resolutions — and How to Keep Them

This New Year’s many of us are resolving to get healthy, get organized or save money.  Here are the top 5 New Year’s resolutions for 2012 (according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology):

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Stay Fit and Healthy

Yet despite our best intentions, within a few months many of us will fall back into old habits.  Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8% actually achieve them (Journal of Clinical Psychology).  How can you be part of the 8% and keep your resolutions?  Here are three steps for success:

Prepare

  • Make realistic, attainable goals and develop a specific action plan – Don’t just resolve to lose weight; set a goal to lose a specific number, say 20 pounds, and to drop a pound a week.
  • Establish confidence in your goals and publicly share your resolutions – The social pressure creates accountability, because you don’t want to report back about a failure.

Beginning

  • Track your progress regularly and reward success – For example, weigh yourself on a weekly basis and reward yourself with a manicure or facial for every five pounds lost.
  • Use slip-ups to strengthen your resolve – Avoid self-blame during times of weakness, but resolve to do even better.

Long-term

  • Cultivate social support – Find an accountability partner who will support you in your efforts to make lasting changes.
  • Create a plan to deal with slips – Stick with it.  We all fall victim to temptation.  The difference between successful resolvers and failed ones is the ability to bounce back from relapses.
  • Think of your goal as a marathon instead of a sprint – Remember it take three months for a change to become routine.
 
Favorite Quotes on Goal Achievement

Do you struggle with achieving your goals?  Maybe some of these quotes will give you inspiration.  Here are my favorite quotes on goal-setting and goal achievement.  See if one of more of these quotes resonates with you.  Post it in a place where you’ll see it on a daily basis – on your bathroom mirror, your calendar, the dashboard of your car – to give you motivation.

“None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

~ Albert Einstein

“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”

~ Brian Tracy

“There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.”

~ Henry Ford

“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”

~ Author Unknown

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

~ Larry Elder

Effort only full releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”

~ Napoleon Hill

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”

~ Earl Nightingale

“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.”

~ Viktor Frankl

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

~C.S. Lewis

What is your favorite quote on goals?  Please share with other readers.