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How to Make This New Decade Your Most Successful One Yet!

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Several years ago, I was introduced to the pageant world when I was hired to provide interview coaching for the contestants of a preliminary pageant in the Miss America system. Since I wasn’t familiar with pageant competition, I began my research, which included attending something called “Work Weekend.”

Work Weekend is the annual event held a month before the Miss North Carolina state pageant. It’s where new judges are trained and the state contestants are prepped for the upcoming week-long competition.

Each year during Work Weekend, the current Miss North Carolina gives a talk to the newest batch of state contestants. She shares her experience of winning the crown, making appearances across the state, and promoting her philanthropic platform.

While attending this talk, I observed the contestants as they listened intently to the reigning Miss North Carolina. But I noticed one contestant in particular who was writing feverishly in her notebook. She never once looked up.

Laser-sharp focus

At the following year’s Work Weekend, this same young woman stood before the latest batch of state contestants. She told them how, when she was sitting in their place, she was writing down what she wanted to say to them in her own speech.

I knew what I witnessed the previous year was someone who’d already won the crown and was preparing for her role as queen. Within the year, I watched this woman compete and win the Miss North Carolina title with laser-sharp focus, and go on to become the 2nd runner-up at Miss America.

She used a method for achieving success you too can apply to both this new year and this new decade.

Method to a Successful New Year and New Decade

1. Visualize it

Start by visualizing the success you want to have by the end of this next decade and by the end of the new year. Close your eyes and picture yourself having already achieved this success.

What do you see?

What do you hear?

And what do you feel?

Go back to your vision board I talked about in one of my previous posts and see what you might need to add to it. Look at it on a regular basis as a reminder of what you’re working toward.

Repeat this step each year of this next decade.

2. Prepare for it

Now, taking your vision, work backward to determine what steps must be taken to arrive at your goal.

Do you need to learn something new through training or additional education?

Do you need to expand your network?

Or, do you need to just gather the courage to take a calculated risk?

Use a mind map like the example in my recent post “Are You Happy With What You Accomplished This Past Decade?” to help you plot your steps for success.

Then, consider if there’s anything you can begin now that will be required of you once you’ve achieved the success you seek. Map out those steps as well on your mind map.

Update your mind map at the beginning of each new year of this new decade.

3. Trust in God

Like Amanda Foust said in “How To Find Peace About The Future,”

“We need to accept that the future is unpredictable in some ways, but what we do now does have an effect on where we will be later…Understanding our lack of control, continuing to work hard in the present, and letting God handle our future is the only sure way we will find peace.”

Once you’ve done the first two steps of visualizing your success and preparing for it, all you can do at this point is trust everything will work out the way it’s supposed to, as long as you’ve done your part.

It’s at this point you have to develop patience to see the fruits of your labor. And you must learn flexibility in case success might look slightly different than you originally envisioned. It may take the entire decade to develop patience and flexibility, so allow yourself time to be molded in this way.

Believe in your success in the new decade

The example of the young lady mentioned above is a reminder how success doesn’t just come from achieving your goals. It also comes from believing you can achieve your goals.

She was able to do what was within her control. She visualized it, prepared for it, and trusted God with the rest.

I encourage you to do what’s within your control. Learn to recognize when you still have more to do, and when you need to take a break and let God do the rest.

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Here Are the Top 10 Most Popular paNASH Blog Posts of 2019

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Can you believe we’ve reached not only the end of another year but also the end of another decade? I’ve been writing much of the past decade, and for the past four years I’ve been writing blog posts on topics related to pursuing your passions and finding new work and career paths that you can be more passionate about.

I’m so grateful to all you readers and listeners who loyally follow the paNASH blog from week to week. I love hearing your stories of how a particular blog post helped you succeed in your job search or your career. Your support and feedback means so much to me!

As a thank you, here’s a collection of the top 10 most popular paNASH blog posts of 2019.

Top 10 Most Popular paNASH Blog Posts of 2019

  1. How to Write Networking Emails That Will Get Responses
  2. What Is the Best Way to Describe Yourself In a Job Interview?
  3. Stop! Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags In Your New Job
  4. How to Know If Your Burnout Is Killing You?
  5. Is There Such a Thing As the Perfect Job? No (and Yes)!
  6. Why You Need to Stop Overthinking Networking
  7. How to Avoid Common Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Career
  8. 5 Things You Should Never Say In a Job Interview
  9. How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out
  10. How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs

Please share

Please share any of the above blog posts or other paNASH posts on your social media platforms and with your friends so they can also benefit from them.

Stay tuned

Stay tuned for a new year and a new decade of posts to help you create a career you can be passionate about! If there are any topics you’d like to see covered in the upcoming year, please share your requests in the comment box. Thank you!

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Sunday Inspiration: Blessed In Your Calling

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“In all to which you set your hand.” Dt 28:8 NKJV

The word vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, which means “spiritual calling.” Every vocation, regardless of what it is, is a calling from God. And once you start to see your job in that light, you’ll find it easier to believe God wants to bless you on the job.

So with that in mind you need to:

(1) Pursue work compatible with your gifts. “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised” (1Pe 4:11 NIV).

(2) Learn everything possible about your job. “Let the wise listen and add to their learning” (Pr 1:5 NIV).

(3) Recognize God as your true employer. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does” (Eph 6:7-8 NIV).

(4) See work as God’s gift, not punishment. “When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God” (Ecc 5:19 NIV).

(5) Use criticism to your advantage. In fact, make it work for you. Ask for suggestions and correction. “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” (Pr 13:18).

(6) Do more than what’s expected. “Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him [two]” (Mt 5:41).

(7) See the Lord as your work partner. Stay Christ-conscious throughout the day as you perform your duties, and “the Lord shall command blessing on you…and in all to which you set your hand.”

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/blessed-on-the-job

How to Make This the Last Year You Say Next Year

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As I sit down to write this blog post, I’m procrastinating. I don’t feel like writing it for a couple of reasons. One, it’s my birthday and I’d rather do something else, but I can’t because I have too many other things I have to get done between now and when this post is due to publish. Two, the words for this post aren’t coming to me as I’d hoped.

While I don’t usually procrastinate, there are times when I do. And this is one of them.

Another time I was reminded of this morning was when I was a junior in high school. I had an English class assignment to read a book entitled A Walk Across America and write a journal entry for each chapter of the book.

I did read the book. But I was procrastinating on the journal entries. I told myself I’d go back and do them after reading through the entire book first. This was not a good idea.

After reading the book, the journal entry portion of the assignment now seemed too daunting. I never did finish the full assignment. I only turned in three or four journal entries and therefore did not get a good grade. Twenty-nine years later I still remember this.

Better late than never

About five years ago, I decided to re-read the book and maybe even journal on some of the rest of the chapters.

In doing so, I learned the author, Peter Jenkins, now lives near me just outside of Nashville. I contacted Peter and told him the story above. He got a good laugh out of it and of course said, “Better late than never!”

I often wonder to myself, “What if Peter had procrastinated and never took his walk across America?” He surely wouldn’t have high school English instructors using his book to teach young minds about the importance of pursuing goals and adventures.

How to stop procrastinating: get to the root of the problem

Procrastination isn’t a good thing. But it’s even worse if it’s causing you to put off your dreams and your goals for your life.

How many years (or decades) have gone by where you never did what you said you wanted to do? How many more years do you want this to continue happening? Make this year, 2019, the last year you say next year. Here’s how!

You first have to get to the root of what causes you to procrastinate, especially if you’re a chronic procrastinator. So let’s first figure out your reason for procrastinating.

1. Is your goal not urgent enough?

If you don’t think your goal is urgent, then ask yourself if you’ll be disappointed again if you haven’t completed it by this time next year. If the answer is yes, then your goal has now become urgent.

Look at some of the other goals you have for yourself and ask the same question. Then choose the most urgent of those you said yes to, and commit to beginning it now.

2. Do you feel like you don’t know where to start?

Well, whether you realize it or not, you’ve already started just by reading this post and determining which of these reasons are causing you to delay your goals. And if you’ve read last week’s post (“Are You Happy With What You Accomplished This Past Decade?“), you should’ve already started with the first few steps in the complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. If not, go back and do so.

Now you have a place to start, so you can no longer use this as an excuse.

3. Are you afraid of failing?

You won’t be considered a failure if you at least give your goals a try. It’s when you don’t try at all that you’ll be seen as a failure.

I’ve written a lot in my blog about the fear of failure. If this is your reason for procrastinating, I suggest you type the word “failure” in the search box of this blog and read what pops up!

4. Do you work better under pressure?

This might be about the only legitimate reason to procrastinate, but be honest with yourself about it. Is this really true about you? Or are you just saying this because you don’t want to admit any of the other reasons might be the real reason?

If you know this is true for you and you honestly produce your best work having a tight deadline, then keep working this way (since it seems to work for you!). But go ahead and set your deadline for your goal.

5. Do you just not want to do the work that’s involved?

If the amount of work it takes to accomplish your goal feels overwhelming, choose some other goals you’re excited about and won’t easily get either bored or overwhelmed with. Start with those.

Once you see how you’re able to accomplish these goals, you’ll find it easier to accomplish your other goals.

How to stop procrastinating: take action

Now that you’ve figured out which reason or reasons for your procrastination, next set and prioritize your goals. Again, use the free 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan I gave you in last week’s post.

Then, find an accountability partner. Someone who you can report to periodically on your progress (but not someone who’s going to nag you about it). Someone who wants to see you succeed but doesn’t necessarily have a personal stake in the results of your goals.

Also, write down dates in your calendar and set alarms on your phone for check-in points (either every month or every 90 days).

I recommend using a Passion Planner since it’s specifically designed to help you accomplish the goals you’re most excited and passionate about. I’ve used one every year for the past four years and just started filling out my fifth one for 2020. I honestly don’t think I would’ve accomplished as many things as I have in the past four years without my Passion Planner.

Finally, at the end of each quarter in the upcoming year, look back over what all you’ve accomplished thus far. This will give you the confidence and the momentum you need to finish out the remaining steps and tasks for your goals.

“The truth is 2020 won’t be any different than 2019 if you don’t make the choice to change.” Yasmine Cheyenne

By this time next year, instead of saying, “I’ll do it next year,” you’ll be saying, “What’s next?!”

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Are You Happy With What You Accomplished This Past Decade?

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This time last year, I found my very first vision board I’d ever done. I made it in 2011 after noticing a colleague’s vision board hanging in her office. She told me ever since she’d started doing vision boards, she was able to see so many of the items on her board come to fruition. It intrigued me so I decided to give it a try myself.

When I found my first board while de-cluttering my house, I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to see how every item on my board, except for one, has since come to fruition. They didn’t all happen in just one year however. They happened over the course of the past decade.

What I find interesting about my first vision board is I designed it in the form of a mind map, and at the center is the word “God.” All the items branching out from the center were things I realize I never could’ve accomplished without God’s help.

You may not share the same faith or beliefs as me, but I think it’s important to have something solid, a strong foundation, to anchor your goals. But even just writing down your goals and vision for the future makes you 50% more likely to accomplish them. This is a true statistic. I even notice this in my weekly and daily calendar. If I write down what I want to accomplish for the week, it gets done. If I don’t, it doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.

My past decade

Since making my first vision board, I’ve created a vision board every year. However, I haven’t always followed the same mind map format. Some years I’ve done a collage with photos cut out from magazines, other year’s I’ve created a private Pinterest board. I’ve also used a tri-fold board with Post-It Notes, but I seem to always gravitate back to the mind map. So you can imagine how excited I was to see Canva.com now has over 35 mind map templates to choose from! (See example below.)

The past decade I’ve been fortunate to have experienced and accomplished a lot of cool things. I’ve published several books, changed the focus and mission of my business for the better, traveled to the jungles of the Amazon to advance the Gospel, served as a career consultant in various capacities, took up stand-up paddling and added two boards to my fleet.

I’ve also experienced the challenges that come with life. I made the difficult but healthy decision to end a relationship, almost lost my eyesight in my right eye and endured a very painful surgery for it, and cared for a family member who had to learn how to walk again after an accident which could’ve left him a quadriplegic.

Looking back over the past decade, the good definitely outweighed the bad. And even the bad had enough good sprinkled in to make it possible to persevere and achieve my goals.

Your past decade

What has your past decade looked like? Are you happy with what you accomplished this past decade? Do you still have some things to accomplish?

If you’ve accomplished what you hoped to, good for you! Take some time to celebrate it. Then start planning for the next decade.

If however, you’re the type of person who tends to procrastinate, you’ll want to stay tuned for next week’s blog post entitled “How to Make This the Last Year You Say Next Year.”

Your next decade

But this doesn’t give you another week to procrastinate! In the meantime, you can learn how to create your own vision board for a whole new decade with my free download, The 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

This plan is designed to get you out of a rut and help you not just set goals, but also stick to them and achieve them! I promise if you follow this plan, you’ll start to see things happen in your life. Things you always hoped to do or planned to do but never quite got around to it.

You’ll now have both a plan and also the confidence to get started on your goals for the next decade! For your free copy of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan, go to howtoachievemygoals.com. Stay tuned for next week’s post!

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