Category: Goal-setting


How to Make Your Big Decisions More Simple

Excerpt From Lori’s Latest Personal Branding Book

Here’s an edited excerpt from my newest personal branding book. I’m excited to share in my third book how to make better life and career decisions. Enjoy!

Are you facing a big decision, unsure which direction to take or which option to choose?

It could be career-related, such as the choice between two job offers.

Or it could be more personal, like the choice between staying in a relationship or ending it.

If only there was a simple way to make these difficult decisions! Well, maybe there is.

Notice I said “simple,” not “easy.”


I’ve personally found a simple way to make some of my hardest decisions.

But, it requires deep reflection and discipline to utilize it.

I’ve used this same method in working with my clients to help them better face their own difficult decisions.

Here’s how it’s worked for me, and how it can work for you.


Reflection

First, I had to come up with my own personal mission statement.

I’d done a professional mission statement for my business, so why not a personal one just for me?

I had to spend time reflecting on my core values, philosophy, and goals.

Then I had to reflect on how I wanted to carry out those hopes and beliefs.

This took some time and required me to be completely honest with myself and with God.

My personal mission statement:

“To boldly pursue my passions and purpose, and to teach, encourage, and inspire others to do the same, resulting in lives overflowing with joy, peace, and fulfillment.”


Discipline

Second, I had to remember to use my mission statement as a filter for all my choices.

If the choice didn’t support my mission statement, it had to go.

I had to be disciplined enough to make the decision my mission statement revealed to be the right one.

No matter how difficult it would be.


For example, at the time I wrote my mission statement in late 2015, my friendship with my guy-friend was turning romantic.

The relationship was great at first, but after nine months of dating, I noticed a pattern that had been developing for some time.

This pattern wouldn’t make such a relationship sustainable if certain variables remained the same, which they did.

I wasn’t sure if I should end the relationship or give it another chance.

After much prayer, I was reminded of my mission statement and why I’d written it.

So, I pulled it out and started reading it. I immediately realized that the relationship didn’t support the life goals in my mission statement.


What I had to do.

Though I didn’t want to end the relationship, I had to in order to stay true and authentic to my God-given hopes.

It wasn’t an easy thing to do because my heart didn’t feel like ending it.

But my soul knew what was best for me in the long run. (This is why it’s dangerous to subscribe to the “just-follow-your-heart” advice of today’s culture.)

I had to be disciplined enough to push through my fickle emotions which were temporary, and focus on the decision that would make me happier and healthier down the road.

Once I ended it, I received confirmation in so many forms (including red flags that weren’t previously present) and realized I had indeed made the right decision.

Anytime I considered turning back, those red flags served as reminders as to why I had to stick to my decision.


What do you have to do?

Do you have a big decision in your life you soon have to make?

Maybe it involves a move to a new state or a new country.

Maybe it involves going back to school or ending a long-time friendship.

Whatever decision you face, I encourage you to follow a similar process to see if it helps make things a little simpler.

Not easier, just simpler.

It may even make you stronger.

Get the Personal Branding Book!

To learn how to write your own mission statement along with discovering what makes you unique and how to articulate your uniqueness, check out my latest book:

Personal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic

Copies of my personal branding book are available in paperback for $12.99 or for free with purchase of my on-demand program. To receive more info, click below:

personal branding book

Sunday Inspiration: Recognize Your Gift, Know Your Goal

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!

“Do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit.” 1Sa 12:21 NKJV

In order to succeed in what God has called you to do in life, you must recognize your gift and know your goal.

When you’re clear about and committed to these two things, you need to demonstrate two qualities: discipline and determination.

Fritz Kreisler, one of the greatest violinists of all time, had them. Crowds packed Carnegie Hall in New York to hear him. But the road to success was a bumpy ride.

As a boy he wanted to do nothing more than play the violin, so his parents paid for him to have music lessons. But he didn’t make as much progress as they hoped, and after a few years he quit the lessons.

Over the next several years, through college and early adulthood, he studied medicine but failed to complete medical school.

He joined the army and failed to be promoted.

He tried and quit many other pursuits.

Realizing that the one piece of success he had enjoyed in life related to the violin, he went back to his instructor and said, “I want to play.”

She said, “Fine, I’ll take you back as a student, but only if you acquire the irreplaceable quality that is necessary for you to become a great violinist. You must exhibit undefeatable determination.”

So once again, here are your steps to success: (1) Recognize your gift. (2) Know your goal. (3) Dedicate yourself to the process no matter how long it takes. (4) Trust God to bless your efforts.

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/recognize-your-gift-know-your-goal

How to Improve Your Career With Physical Fitness

We’re well into 2019 with the beginning of February on our heels. If you made any new year’s resolutions, it’s likely you’ve already slacked off on them. Good for you if you haven’t!

If you have, it’s not too late to use February 1st as your fresh start.

For some this may mean getting back into a workout or exercise routine. Even if your new years resolutions didn’t include anything fitness-related, they should. Not only because it’s important to your health, but also because it’s just as important to your career!

Why Physical Fitness is Important for Your Career

The BBC recently published a story on the importance of exercising during the work day and how to fit it into your work schedule. Studies have also shown how important it is to continue a regular workout routine when you’re out of work and conducting a job search. Including exercise as part of your job search or work day helps you:

  • perform better and with more energy in job interviews or on work projects.
  • stay positive when job opportunities or projects don’t work out as you’d hoped.
  • increase your confidence in your skills and abilities.
  • sharpen your mind.
  • grow your network.
  • relieve stress.

I’ve found this to be true in my own career. If I don’t stay active on a regular basis, it’s not just my body that suffers. My work also suffers. But when I carve out the time for fitness, I see amazing results.

The Career Benefits of Physical Fitness

For example, when I go stand up paddle boarding, all my stress melts away. I come back to work with a clear mind resulting in clarity on how to approach a difficult situation or my next project.

The jiu-jitsu classes I’m currently taking not only are making me physically stronger but they’re improving my mind’s reaction time and ability to problem solve.

Spending a day in the trees doing various ropes courses builds my confidence and improves my focus.

And my workouts designed by my personal trainer help me sleep better at night so I’m refreshed for the day’s work ahead of me.

In almost every one of these activities I’ve also grown my network. I’ve met potential clients, some of whom have turned into regular clients. I’ve met others who’ve referred their friends to me. And I’ve also made strategic alliances and business partnerships through the various activities I’m involved in.

An Invitation to Improve Your Career With Exercise

I believe so much in using the benefits of fitness to better coach my clients on their careers and to help them make more connections. I do this by often including my clients in some fun activities.

In the summer I frequently take clients paddle boarding to help them gain clarity over their current career situation. I’ve taken clients to do ropes courses. I’ve invited clients to be my guest in my jiu-jitsu class. And a few weeks ago I even had a client mixer that included a self-defense class and time to network with each other.

All activities are conducted with the client’s ability and fitness level in mind. They’re designed to get clients far enough out of their comfort zone that they don’t end up too far out of it. The goal is for it to be fun, healthy, and helpful. When the weather gets warm again (which I hope is very soon!), I plan to have another client mixer at the Adventure Park Nashville ropes course.

If you have a passion for fitness, want to step outside your comfort zone, and need help getting unstuck in your career, click here to complete the paNASH intake form.

And if fitness isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Clients are never required to participate in any physical activities. Maybe your resolution for 2019 is to simply focus on finding your own passion or making a career change. If so, let’s talk!

Related Posts:

fitness

What Are the Best Resources for Setting Goals in the New Year?

A few weeks ago I came across a vision board I created for the year 2011. It was the first year I’d ever done a vision board.

I vaguely remember tucking it away at the end of 2011 feeling somewhat discouraged. Only half (or slightly less than half) of the things on my vision board came to fruition.

When I recently re-discovered the vision board, I was excited to see all but one of the items have now come to fruition!

I can also look back at my goals and vision boards from the past three years and see so many things I’d written down have come to pass. It’s true what they say. People who write down their goals are 50% more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t.

Of course, most of the goals I’ve set I have some control over and can easily achieve as long as I’m committed and persistent. Others depend on forces outside my control. All of them require some level of faith for full achievement.

Goal-setting for those who hate goal-setting

There are all kinds of ways to set goals and several resources available for goal-setting as outlined below. I personally have used various ways such as vision boards, mind mapping, lists, and my Passion Planner calendar.

But maybe goal-setting isn’t your thing. Perhaps you’re more of a problem-solver instead of a planner or goal-setter.

Well, just recently I heard about a simple way to set goals from a problem-solver’s perspective according to Bob Biehl. It’s a great method for those who cringe at the thought of setting goals but light up at opportunities for troubleshooting.

Here’s how it works:  create a chart first listing 2-3 problems in your life you want to solve. Then think about what goals would help solve those problems. Finally list the opportunities you have surrounding those problems and goals. The opportunities are the steps you would take to solving your problems and, as a result, will achieve your goals.

Here’s what the chart looks like:

By starting with a focus on the problems first, you’ll be more motivated to set goals since this approach matches your skills and your preferred method of working.

Even though I’m not one who gets excited about problem-solving, I decided this year to use the above approach. It actually helped me think of some goals I may not have considered having not followed this approach. It was even flexible enough to allow me incorporate some of the other goal-setting tools I’ve used in the past.

The Best Resources for Setting Goals in 2019

No matter how you prefer to set your goals for 2019, I encourage you to utilize the resources I’ve provided over the years that have also helped me achieve my own goals. These resources include:

Who knows. Maybe by using the above resources and putting your goals in writing you’ll also look back one day and see just how much you’ve accomplished.

Oh, and the one thing on my 2011 vision board that didn’t get fulfilled? Well, I’m choosing to believe since all the other items were fulfilled in God’s time, that final item eventually will be too.

Happy 2019!

setting goals

How to Make 2019 the Year of No Regrets


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 doing a study abroad experience to 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.


Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

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.


Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

The Pros

But there were also a lot of 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 seven 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!

Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, Northern Territory

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 nine 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.


Uluru/Ayers Rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

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.


Kata Tjuta/The Olgas, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

8 Ways to Make 2019 the Year of No Regrets

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 115 degree 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.”


Airlie Beach, Gateway to the Whitsundays

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.


Whitsundays’ Long Island, Queensland, Australia

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 couple years 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.


Whitsundays’ Long Island, Queensland, Australia

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!


Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Australia

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 signed-up for a six-month Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense program. And in February I plan to take a class on investing.

I hope by the end of 2019 I’ll be more knowledgeable about stock options, and become quicker in my reaction time to defend myself if the need ever arises.


Mount Tyson, Queensland, Australia

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 2017 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.


Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

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 nine 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!


Airlie Beach, Gateway to the Whitsundays

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.


En route to Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Australia

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 seven 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 three weeks’ vacation time for salaried employees.

Add in to that the vacation I’d already accrued and 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.


Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

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 for 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 any fear of bugs pretty quickly!)


Sydney, New South Wales

If you can commit to all eight, you’ll likely end the year with no regrets.

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

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All photos by Lori Bumgarnerno regrets