Category: Goal-setting


How to Hack Your Way to a More Passionate Life and Career

Life can often be mundane, causing you to feel stuck. Especially when you aren’t living and working in your purpose.

I remember what that felt like for me.

So how can you become more passionate about your life and your work?

How can you better enjoy both?

By following these 8 simple life and career hacks:


1. Try again at a previously failed attempt.

Most people will suggest you try something new and I’m all for that.

I’m a big believer in trying new things, whether it’s new food, a new hobby, or even something as simple as a new route to work.

But I also know it’s important to try something old. Especially something you once attempted and failed at before.

You may remember from my post 5 Ways to Discover New Passions, I shared how I failed at my first attempt at rock climbing and how something clicked after giving it a second chance.

This gave me more confidence and a greater interest in the activity, resulting in physical improvement in my body.

What’s something you can try again?

What would be the possible benefits of trying it again?

Source: 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work: How to Overcome Obstacles + Achieve Job Search Success


2. Do one thing you can complete within 24–48 hours that will put you one step closer to achieving a long-term goal.

You can accomplish a large goal by taking a step-by-step approach.

Incremental steps add up to big achievements. Simply doing one small thing each day will help you develop habits necessary to reaching your goal.

What’s one thing you can do today to get you closer to achieving your bigger goal?

What’s one thing you can do tomorrow?

Ask yourself these questions every day.

Before you know it, you’ll have accomplished more than you thought you were capable of!

Source: Don’t Just Set Goals, ACHIEVE Them!


3. Understand how your strengths and skills benefit others.

Knowledge of what you’re good at is power, especially when trying to win a job interview or get promoted.

But knowing how your skills solve other people’s problems also helps you better understand your purpose, not just in work but also in life.

Think about your strengths and skills you possess both within and outside of your job.

How do they benefit others?

For example, my top spiritual gift is encouragement. I use this strength in so many aspects of my life, including my work, my interactions with friends, and when learning alongside others.

I’ve been fortunate to see how this gift helps people gain the courage to pursue their passions.

Source: Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic!


4. Update your resume every 6 months, even when you’re not looking for a job.

Because of my background as a career coach, I’ve helped thousands of people with their resumes.

I always tell them the same thing,

“Keep your resume updated every six months.”

Why?

  1. Because you never know when someone will ask for a copy of it.
  2. You never know when another career opportunity or promotion will come your way.
  3. It’s easier to remember what you’ve accomplished in the past six months than in the past six years if you find yourself in another job search down the road.

Source: Resumes That Get You the Interview: Little Known Tips to Get Your Resume Noticed


5. Ask 3 people who have your dream job how they got to where they are.

These conversations can open your mind up to ideas and opportunities you never before considered!

Listen carefully to their stories while asking a lot of good questions.

Learn not just from their successes but also from their failures.

You may find there wasn’t a straight line to their career path. There rarely is for most people.

This can give you confidence to pursue a new career path despite lack of formal education or direct experience.

Take their encouragement and advice.

Put it into action to see how far you can go in the direction of your personal and professional pursuits.

Source: The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively


6. Make a list of questions you’d ask if you were interviewing the interviewer.

People often forget the job interview is a two-way street.

You should always ask questions to help you make the right decision when faced with multiple offers.

Besides money, think about the things you’d need or want in your next job.

They could include similar core values, a flexible schedule, a culture that promotes “family first,” healthy living, etc.

Formulate a few questions you’d need to ask to determine if your next opportunity will provide those things.

Make sure to ask these questions in your next job interview, along with the other type of questions I outline in my Quora answer to “What are some interview hacks?”

Here’s what one of my clients experienced when she did this:

“One of the companies I interviewed with I decided not to accept any offers from them based on their answers to my questions so as not to get myself into the same work situation I was in previously. It is SO empowering to know what is good for me and to be able to say no! I have the tools now to spot the red flags and this has been helpful on several interviews. I am so glad to have this confidence.”

Source: Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety


7. Start a collection of your best work.

Curate a collection of your best work both from your job and your outside projects.

This can include personal things you’ve made (i.e. a book, a painting, etc.), and the projects your most proud of from your job.

Your body of work will help you see how your skills overlap.

But most of all, it will reveal your own career path thus far and where it might be pointing to next.

Source: The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers: Stand Out Above Your Competition


8. List the ways you’ve impacted the bottom line in your job.

When you’re working on hack #4, always include your on-the-job accomplishments and results of your efforts.

By focusing on results and not just your job duties, you’re able to easily see where you’ve had an impact, giving you a greater sense of purpose.

Also, it helps you confidently discuss your worth when it comes time to negotiate a new job offer, a promotion, or a pay raise.

Source: Make More Money, Without Taking a Second Job


When you follow these life and career hacks, you’ll start to see ways to become unstuck. Soon you’ll be living a more passionate, vibrant, and productive life!

For more life and career hacks, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

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How to Know When Passion Is Knocking On Your Door

I recently responded to a Quora question asking,

“How do you know if you’ve discovered your passion?”

Sometimes you find your passion, and sometimes your passion finds you. But in either case, you’ll be able to hear it knocking by listening for these eight clues:


1. If you’re so engaged in it you lose track of time.

How many times have you been working on something and looked up and saw two hours had passed before you realized it?

What were you doing in those two hours?


2. If you’re energized by it, as opposed to being emotionally and/or physically drained by it.

Now, of course there will be times when you’re tired from working in your passion. But usually it’s a good kind of tired.

Be sure to get your rest though. While hustle is good, you need to make time to re-energize so you don’t burn out.


3. If you’re at peace with it instead of stressed out by it.

This doesn’t mean you won’t ever get stressed while working in your passion. But if there’s far more peace than stress, you’ve probably found your passion.


4. If you’re willing to do it for free.

Don’t misunderstand me. If your passion is something you’re hoping to make a career out of, you definitely need to get paid what you’re worth.

While in the beginning you may need to do some free work to build up your portfolio, you eventually need to start charging for your expertise when there becomes a demand for it.


5. If you forget to eat.

This one is an easy clue for me personally. If I find myself skipping or delaying a meal for something, I know I must really be really passionate about it!

But just like you need enough sleep to be healthy, you also need to maintain a balanced diet to keep your passion productive.


6. If you wake up in the morning looking forward to it.

Since I started working for myself in pursuit of my own passion, I no longer dread Monday mornings.

In fact, I actually look forward to them!


7. When it doesn’t feel like work.

I’m very passionate about my work, but it often doesn’t feel like work. When that happens, sometimes it’s hard for me to take a break from my work.

But again, balance and moderation in everything is what keeps me productive and helps me avoid burn out.

Being a workaholic is not healthy, nor is it necessary. We all need to stop falling for the glorification of workaholism and busyness.


8. OR, when at times it does feel like work.

Even if it does feel like work but you’re willing to persevere and push through the tough times instead of just giving up or quitting when it gets hard, you’ve probably found your passion.

There have been numerous times of challenge in pursuing my own passions, but I never had a desire to give up no matter what the challenge was.

This is the true definition of passion.


Designing Your Life

In addition to (and in overlap of) the above, the authors of Designing Your Life (Bill Burnett and Dave Evans) pose the question,

“What things in your daily routine make you feel all (or most) of the following?”
  • Complete involvement in an activity.
  • Euphoria/joy.
  • A clear idea of exactly what to do and how to do it.
  • Calmness and peace.
  • Time is gone before you know it.

Burnett and Evans refer to this as “flow,” or in other words, total engagement. Flow feels more like play than work, and it includes not being concerned about the outcomes of what you’re engaged in.

Fear of Failure

I consider a lack of concern about the outcomes to be a willingness to fail and to learn from that failure.

But there are some people who allow their fear of failure to put a damper on their passions and they never end up pursuing those passions.

Let’s cut to the chase. The fear of failure will always be there. You just have to decide if your fear of never knowing what would’ve happened is greater than your fear of failure.

I hope it is, because if you let fear of failure win, you’re not only missing out, but so are all the people who could benefit from your passion.


Need help recognizing and pursuing your own passions? Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to help get you started!

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How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk Like an Olympian

Like most people, I’ve been watching the Olympics the past week and a half. It’s the best way to witness people’s pursuit of their passions in action. 

What I love most about the Olympics and sports in general is the inspiration and encouragement it provides for everyone who has a passion and a dream.


You’re Never Too Old…

The stories I’m most inspired by are the ones where the athlete has competed in numerous Olympics over the years.

In this winter Olympics, there’s 45-year-old Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai who now holds the record with EIGHT STRAIGHT Olympic appearances. 

Kasai says he also plans to compete in the 2022 Olympics as he approaches age 50.


But it’s the story from the 2016 Olympics that I love most.

It’s of the Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina. 

At the time, Oksana was 41-years-old competing in her seventh Olympics (and she still hasn’t ruled out Tokyo!) in a sport where as young as 21 is considered “old.” 

Oksana is my “shero” because she and I are almost the same age (I’ve got a year on her), and she doesn’t let her age be an obstacle to her dreams and her passions.

Most people in her position would tell themselves they are “too old.” 

Too old for what? 

Tell that to the 85-year-old woman I met while volunteering for the Senior Olympics. 

By the time she’d made it to the event I was working, she had already competed and medaled in NINE other events over the previous three days.


…Or Too Young

On the flip side of this, I was recently working with a new client who shared with me that one of her self-talk limiting beliefs (a perceived obstacle) is she is “too young.” 

I found this surprising coming from someone who works as an actress, also a career where time and age are against you. 

My response was, “too young for what?” 

When I delved deeper into where this limiting belief came from, I discovered she suffers from the same thing I do: 

“youngest-sibling-syndrome”

I describe this phenomenon as never feeling adequate because your oldest sibling is there to remind you that in their eyes you’re still just a baby and have nothing meaningful to contribute to the world.


Age Is Just a Number

The point is though, age is just a number. 

We have the choice to let our circumstances, others’ opinions, or even our own negative self-talk control our lives. 

Or, we have the choice to be inspired and moved by the examples of those who ignore all the “you can’t because of your age” talk and say to themselves, 

“I can, even if I fail in my attempt.”


From the judges’ perspective, Oksana failed miserably in her landing of her vault. 

Upon landing so hard she ended up going into a flip on the mat. 

From my perspective though, she should’ve gotten extra points for the extra flip. For making such a failed landing look so graceful!


Change Your Limiting Beliefs and Your Negative Self-Talk

If you have a God-given desire to try something you or others may consider you to be either “too old” or “too young” for, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is this limiting belief keeping me from?
  • What would be the worst-case scenario if I keep believing this?
  • How can I turn this belief around to a more positive statement?
  • How can I benefit from believing the more positive statement?
  • What would be the best-case scenario if I start believing the positive statement?

I encourage you to be as honest as possible in your answers. As you answer each question, you’ll see how you can turn your negative self-talk to positive self-talk.


How to address your limiting beliefs is just one of eight steps in my 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. To get all eight steps, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a free download.

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Make 2018 the Year of the Right Regrets

8 Ways to Avoid the Wrong Regrets in 2018

Like most people, my biggest regrets in life have been the things I didn’t do as opposed to things I did do.

One of my biggest regrets was not studying abroad in Australia while I was in college. I’d waited too late to inquire about it, when I had only one semester of school left.

This was a big regret because I’d always wanted to go to the land Down Under ever since I was a little girl.

Since I didn’t get to go in college, I tried to make up for it several years later by taking a month-long vacation to Australia as a gift to myself for my 30th birthday. 

The Cons

There were a lot of reasons not to go on the trip. 

Like the fact that it cost a good chunk of money. 

And that I was in the midst of a new relationship.

Or that I would have to go by myself since none of my friends could take off that much time from work.

The Pros

But there were also a lot of other reasons for me to go.

The trip would occur during my birthday. I’ve always wanted a summer birthday, and in the Southern Hemisphere I’d get to have one.

I’d be gone during winter break, the same time my students at the college I worked at would also be away. Therefore I wouldn’t put an extra burden on my co-workers.

I had enough time built up to take off 7 weeks from my job at the time (and still had an extra 10 days of vacation left over). 

Also, being single with no children made travel and travel planning easy. It could be another 18–20 years before I’d have that kind of freedom again!

Not Letting the “Maybes” Cloud My Judgment

I can remember my initial thoughts when trying to decide to book the trip or not. They went a little something like this:

“Maybe I should wait until I’m married and go to Australia on my honeymoon.”

OR

“Maybe I should wait until I’m retired when I have more time and money.”

I quickly pushed those thoughts aside. 

I knew there was no guarantee I would even be physically able to go when I retired. 

And why in the world would I want to wait on some man to take me when I can do this now?

So, I hopped online, did a little research, and found a very reasonably priced flight. 

I still wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for a month-long excursion, but I had 9 months to figure it out.

I gave myself a few days to sleep on the information I’d researched. And then I booked my trip.

No Regrets (Except One)

I’ve never regretted my decision. 

In fact, if I hadn’t done it then, I would’ve spent the past 15 years regretting it. 

My only regret? 

Not doing it sooner.

8 Ways to Avoid the Wrong Regrets in 2018

1. Don’t settle for “good enough.”

“Most people settle for ‘good-enough.’ Their diet, dating partners, job, income, and relationships are all merely ‘good-enough.’ But since their choices are common, that’s what their life becomes.” — Anthony Moore

I could’ve settled with my “maybes.” 

I could’ve blindly accepted my initial thoughts of deferring the trip until I was married or retired. 

And I could’ve rationalized those thoughts were a “good enough” plan.

But guess what? Fifteen years later I’m still not married and I’m not even close to retirement. 

In fact, since then, I left the security of a job with retirement benefits to start my own business (something else I don’t regret).

While today I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, undoubtedly due to leaving a 9–5 job working for someone else, I know I wouldn’t have the energy I had when I was 30 to do all the rock climbing, hiking, and snorkeling I did in the heat of the Outback and the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Every day I’m so glad I didn’t settle for “good enough.”

I encourage you not to settle for just “good enough.”

2. End the wrong relationships.

So what about the relationship I’d just started a few months before going to Australia? It ended one week after I returned. 

Even though it was heartbreaking, looking back I’m so glad the relationship didn’t work out. (What a regret that would’ve been if it had!)

Don’t wish you hadn’t wasted time in an unhealthy relationship. 

Instead, start the year knowing you can make it on your own and you’ll be available for an even better relationship before or by the end of the year. 

3. Say no to opportunities that don’t support your life mission statement.

Speaking of relationships, I’ve written before about how I had to make the decision to end a relationship a little over a year ago because I recognized it didn’t allow me to fulfill my mission in life. 

Having a life mission statement in place will help you to say no to choices you’ll regret later. 

4. And say yes to opportunities that do support your life mission statement. 

A life mission statement will also help you say yes to some pretty cool things you hadn’t previously challenged yourself to.

Even if nothing materializes from these opportunities by the end of the year, you can know it wasn’t time wasted because these things will have led you further in fulfilling your mission in life, which may lead to something even bigger and better down the road!

5. Learn something new.

Don’t let another year pass having not learned the one thing you’ve always said you wanted to learn. 

Instead, end the year knowing you’ve developed a new skill. 

I personally have always been a big believer in lifelong learning and continually encourage my clients to embrace also it.

Just recently I started learning Italian. I hope by the end of 2018 I’ll be somewhat proficient in it.

I may never have an opportunity to use it in my future. But at least I’ll have further developed the language center of my brain and added a new skill to my repertoire. 

(Even if the only thing I learn is how to say “food” in Italian [“cibo”], I know I’ll be able to survive getting lost in any future trips to Italy!)

6. Start that side hustle or passion project.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

If there’s something you’ve wanted to start, whether a hobby, a side business, or a passion project, what are you waiting for? 

Just start!

Don’t put any pressure on it to be perfect or even successful. Just let it be a creative or fun outlet for you from your everyday routine. 

Let it evolve and be open to what it might grow into organically.

For instance, a few years ago I started writing a blog about my adventures in stand up paddling and the spiritual parallels of those adventures. It was really just a place for me to record and preserve my thoughts. I didn’t promote it at all. 

My little side project turned into my 2nd published book, which eventually helped fund my recent mission trip to the Amazon jungles of Brazil.

You never know what can happen with your own passion project. And you’ll definitely never know if you never start.

7. Turn your side hustle into your full-time gig. 

If you start to see some momentum with your side hustle and discover a market for it, it may be time to consider turning it into a full-time gig. Especially if you already know how to think like an entrepreneur.

It was much easier for me to start my own business after working it part-time for 9 months before going full-time with it. 

But, eventually I had to pull the trigger and take a leap of faith because I knew it would never be the right (or perfect) time to leave my job and pursue my business full-time.

While being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, if you’ve got the desire to do your own thing and you’ve calculated the risks and counted the costs, this year may be the year to give it a go.

If it doesn’t work out, you may have some regrets, but you won’t die.

And you’ll never have to live with the regret of never having tried. 

You may even experience freedom and success like never before!

8. Develop your positive self-talk.

You’ll never be able to accomplish the above if you keep listening to your negative-self talk

What if I had listened to my “maybes”? 

What if I had told myself I couldn’t go to the other side of the world by myself? 

Well, I don’t have to wonder “What if?”

Instead, I have memories of the places I visited, the beauty I experienced, the wildlife I saw, and the people I met. Some of whom I still keep in touch with to this day. 

When you start to hear the negative thoughts that are determined to keep you in just a “good enough” existence, re-frame them with positive self-talk. 

Stepping Out in Faith

Shortly after I’d stepped out in faith and booked my dream vacation to Australia, things started to fall into place. 

I found a fun part-time gig to help me earn a little extra money for the trip. 

Also, I received a sum of money previously owed to me which covered the remainder of my cost for the trip. 

And remember how I said I was able to take 7 weeks off of work and still have 10 vacation days left over? This all occurred because at the time I worked for a state university and for two years in a row we didn’t receive a raise. 

To compensate us for it, we were all given 20 extra vacation days on top of our annual 3 weeks’ vacation time for salaried employees. 

Add in to that amount the holidays we all got off during winter break and I had it made!

I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family before leaving for Australia. 

Then I spent my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Down Under. 

Finally, I was able to have a week for some much-needed rest and time to readjust my internal clock before returning to work, just in time for the students’ return to campus.

Without the vacation compensation, I probably wouldn’t have had so much time to really relish the experience. 

The timing turned out to be perfect and “the stars aligned” for it to all work out. But I had no way of predicting all those things would happen. I didn’t have a crystal ball telling me it would all work out. 

I just had to take a chance while at the same time being smart about it. And I’m all the better for it. 

Now I have no fear of traveling alone (or doing anything else alone for that matter). 

I have more knowledge about the history of one of the most fascinating continents on earth and a new respect its native people, the Aborigines. 

I no longer have a fear of bugs. (Sleeping on the ground in the Outback where the spiders are the size of your fist will help you overcome your fear pretty quickly!)

I encourage you to commit to at least one of the 8 ways to avoid the wrong regrets in 2018. 

If you can commit to all 8, you’ll likely end the year with only the right regrets.

And who knows where those will lead you in the years to come! 

If you want to make 2018 the year of the right regrets, subscribe to my 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to start setting the right goals for your future!

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Are You Where You Wanted to Be at The End of 2017?

In January, I wrote a post entitled “Where Do You Want to Be At the End of 2017?

I shared with you my goals for the upcoming year, along with three challenges to you the reader:

  • Try something new you’ve always wanted to try and make it happen this year.
  • Find at least one way to step out of your comfort zone this year.
  • Set at least one goal you want to achieve by the end of the year.

Today, I’m asking myself, “Am I where I wanted to be at the end of 2017?”

The answer to that question is yes, and no.

Because, as we all know, life happens which can sometimes mess up our plans.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.” Woody Allen

2017 Goal Re-cap

Sometimes, either goals don’t happen, they get altered, or they get delayed. This happened with some of the goals I shared in my post in January.

The 2017 Goal That Never Happened

First, my goal to experience tiny living didn’t happen for various reasons. It’s still something I want to do, but will have to become a goal for sometime in the future.

The 2017 Goal That Was Altered

Second, my goal for my very first mission trip got altered.

Originally, I was supposed to go to Brazil in March with my own church where we would travel down the Amazon River on a boat and sleep in hammocks while making stops in small communities along the river to help with everything from construction and home visits to ministry.

Unfortunately, my church didn’t have enough people signed up for the trip to make, so I got assigned to a different group for a mission trip scheduled for July.

This trip would still go to the same area, but instead would involve teaching jungle pastors at a small, makeshift conference center overlooking the Amazon River. Instead of the experience of staying on a boat while traveling to various villages, the pastors of those villages came to us.

When Changes Occur for the Best

This actually worked out much better than the original plan for several reasons.

One, after an unexpected complication from an unexpected surgery in late January and an extended recovery time, I wouldn’t have been physically able to go on this trip in March. But by July I was doing much better.

Two, the type of work this particular trip required was much more in line with my gifting and my skillset. God was able to use me in the best way possible.

Three, when I arrived in the jungle, I saw the boat I would have stayed on had I gone in July, and I realized, that trip would have been too far outside my comfort zone!

The challenge of no A/C, sub-par plumbing, limited electricity, and learning to communicate with those who speak a different language was just the right amount of discomfort I needed to learn to appreciate from my first mission trip.

I was in what’s called the learning zone (the area where you’re outside your comfort zone but not so far outside it that you panic and therefore are unable to learn anything from your experience).

One of the 2017 Goals I Accomplished

Finally, I was able to accomplish my goal of helping more people in my business get unstuck in their careers and find a new direction that complemented their passions.

But even that goal was delayed because of my surgery. But I accomplished it and have the same goal for 2018.

Are You Where You Wanted to Be At the End of 2017?

Now I’m asking, are you where you wanted to be at the end of 2017?

If not, why?

The good news is, there’s still some time left in this year. And, come January 1st, you get a clean slate of 365 days to work with.

What’s one new experience you want to have in 2018?

What’s one way you can step out of your comfort zone in the new year?

What goals do you want to achieve in 2018?

Don’t let time get away from you. Learn how to achieve all of the above with my complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan by subscribing to my newsletter.