Category: Pursuing Your Passions


What Are The Biggest Career Mistakes You Should Avoid?

The below post was originally published on Quora as a response to the question, “What are the biggest career mistakes to avoid?”

The number one career mistake to avoid is to go into a career someone else is pushing you into, whether that includes parents, spouse, friends, etc.

The number two career mistake to avoid is going into a career just because it pays a lot of money.

In either situation, you’re likely to end up hating your job, resenting those you’re trying to please, and regretting your decision.

Regret Caused by Career Mistakes

As a career coach who works with people who are in career transitions, typically in the middle of their careers, I see a lot of regret.

They come to me looking back on their decisions realizing they were climbing a ladder that was leaning against the wrong wall.

While for most it’s not too late to make a career change, it is more challenging due to more financial responsibilities at that age.

Even if they’re making really good money, they often find that having taken a job just for the money was at the expense of:

  • Doing something they enjoy.
  • Making a positive impact on the lives of others and doing something with meaning and purpose.
  • The time to enjoy the money they’ve been making.
  • Time with their family.
  • The courage to take a risk and make a change to something that fits all of the above but maybe pays a little less.

A Time to Experiment

While you don’t have to start out in your career knowing exactly what you want to do, early career is probably the easiest time to experiment with different jobs to help you discover your passion because at this stage in life you have:

  • The time to try out various jobs/careers and build your career portfolio. It’s easier to work for a place for a year or two and then switch to something else early in the game.
  • The freedom from being responsible for anyone else but yourself. Once you have a mortgage and a family, it’s a lot harder to leave a miserable but good paying job.

But It’s Never Too Late

This doesn’t mean if you made any of the two mistakes listed above in your early career you can’t go back and correct those mistakes or avoid them in mid or late career. You just might have to be a little more creative in your approach.

 You can still experiment in some (or all) of the following ways:

  • Talk to others who are doing what you now want to do and/or have made a career change of their own. Find out how they did it, what challenges they faced, what rewards they gained and what advice they have for someone like you.
  • Take some intro courses on an area that piques your interest. You can do this through local community classes or online classes.
  • Start a side-hustle in your spare time. Don’t worry yet if it will make you money or not. Just see if you enjoy working on it more than you do in your current job. If so, then start brainstorming some ways to monetize it either by offering the same service to a company in need or starting your own company.

The Bottom Line

There’s a lot more I could write about in response to the above question, but it would be a novel. The bottom line is, pay attention to:

  • Your strengths and the things others tell you you’re good at.
  • The things that energize and excite you instead of drain you.
  • The things that give you peace instead of stress you out.
  • Other people who are doing the things you’re interested in. Talk with them. Find out how they got to where they are.

If you pursue those things, they will build upon one another, leading to new opportunities that will eventually make up the whole of your career.

A career you can look back on with satisfaction and without regret.

For more tips on how to pursue your passions in your life and your career, subscribe to my newsletter at and receive a free downloadable 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

career mistakes

The Best of My Favorite Nashville Things

During my first visit to Nashville nearly 12 years ago, I could sense it in my bones that this city was on the cusp of becoming the “it” city.

I can’t say what exactly spoke to me. It was just a feeling that I couldn’t shake.

When I returned home from my visit, I decided some how, some way, I was going to move to Nashville.

Even if it meant sacrificing my proximity to the ocean and becoming landlocked.

Fast forward six months and I was loading up a Ryder truck and hauling my stuff to Music City USA.

Fast forward again to 2013 and Nashville was dubbed “The IT City” by The New York Times.

“There’s a bit of charm and a richness a city the size of Nashville allows for.” recording artist Jennifer Nettles


Like most people who visit Nashville, I became enchanted with everything my senses could absorb.

The grittiness of those determined to pursue their musical dreams.

The friendly folks always willing to help out a stranger.

The energy of creativity afloat in the fields of technology, entertainment, and art.

And the always delicious southern cuisine.


At the time right before my move, I was working as a college career adviser in North Carolina. I leveraged my network in the field of higher education to secure a job in the career center at the prestigious Vanderbilt University.

I also snatched up some real estate before everyone else figured out just how great this city is. And boy, am I glad I did considering the city’s current housing costs and shortages.

Everyone’s moving here, and I can’t blame them for wanting to!


Nashville

photo by Joey Martin

Since moving to Nashville, I’ve had experiences I never dreamed I’d have.

I left higher education to start my own business and named it after my new town — paNASH (a play on the French word “panache” and the name “Nashville,” just in case you didn’t get that).

I’ve had the opportunity to get to know celebrities as the real people they are outside of the smoke and mirrors of fame.

I began the best relationship of my life, with Jesus.

I became a two-time published author and #1 Amazon bestselling author.

I got to serve with a local church on a mission trip to the remote jungles of the Amazon.

I discovered my passion for standup paddle boarding.

I made some beautiful friendships, gained a new lease on life, and discovered my 40s are way better than my 20s and 30s ever were!


There are so many people I meet on a regular basis who also felt the lure of the Nashville vibe and couldn’t stay away from here.

So for the 70+ new people moving here EVERY DAY and the millions who visit here each year, welcome!

Here are a few of my favorite Nashville things I want to share with you!


My favorite perk of living in Nashville:

Town and country

Aside from not having to pay state income tax, the biggest perk of living in Nashville is getting to have the best of both worlds in terms of city life and country living.

Only 10–15 miles outside of town are beautiful rolling hills and picturesque lakes with wooded hiking trails, sprawling horse farms, and beautifully manicured golf courses.

In the heart of downtown Nashville you’ll find a Grammy award-winning symphony, restaurants headed by world-renowned chefs, fine art museums, headquarters for various multi-national companies, and professional hockey, football, and soon-to-be major league soccer teams.


My favorite music venue:

The Ryman Auditorium

While I have too many favorite music venues here in Nashville to name, if I have to pick just one it’s the historic Ryman Auditorium, AKA the mother church of country music.

It’s where the Grand Ole Opry began and is now host to some of the world’s greatest musicians and recording artists.

I’ve had the opportunity to experience the goose-pimpling acoustics of this national treasure while attending the ASCAP awards and performances by The Civil Wars, Lyle Lovett, and even my favorite comedian Brian Regan.

After the shows it’s an easy 13 steps across the alley to the world famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge for more great live music.


My favorite place for business lunches:

Pinewood Social

Located downtown next to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and housed in an old trolley barn, Pinewood Social is buzzing with heads of tech startups, freelancers, and entrepreneurs meeting over lunch to discuss work.

But it also provides some time for play with a swimming pool, bocce court, bowling alley, and private karaoke lounge.


My favorite place to learn new things:

Nashville Community Education Commission

The Nashville CEC offers a plethora of personal and professional enrichment courses at affordable prices (some are even free!).

Classes include songwriting and other arts, foreign languages, cooking, career and finances, technology, and more.

I’ve both taught and taken classes with the Nashville CEC.

I’ve taken a financial success class and a copyright law class, and am registered to take a Kung Fu/Self-Defense class this spring.


My favorite Nashville hot chicken:

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

While all the Nashville hot chicken joints are good, Hattie B’s on Charlotte Pike is my favorite. You can also find Hattie B’s in midtown near Music Row.

My preferred level of heat right now is “hot” but I think I’m about to graduate to “damn hot” with the goal of reaching the ultimate heat level “shut the cluck up!”

If you go, be prepared to stand in line, and know that it’s worth the wait!

My favorite celebrity who doesn’t act like a celebrity:

Vince Gill

Vince Gill is the nicest and most humble man, not just in country music, but in music in general.

While far from being an attention-seeker, he always has a friendly word to everyone at the Belmont basketball and Ensworth High School football games I frequently see him at.


My favorite 4-legged celebrity:

Doug the Pug

This Nashville fur resident has 6 million Facebook followers and 3 million Instagram followers.

Doug the Pug also has his own bestselling book and recently did a book tour in the UK.

His daily posts and regular visits to the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital bring smiles and laughs to so many faces.

Though he may not be the best role model for keeping my new year’s resolutions, I can’t help but love him and his jolly rolls!


My favorite cafe:

37° Degrees Sth

I’m SO excited about this new place located close to me in Belle Meade!

It’s a Melbourne-inspired coffee house owned by an Aussie couple who, like me, fell in love with Nashville and decided to move here.

37° Degrees Sth is my new favorite place for so many reasons:

  1. It reminds me of my time I spent in Australia about 15 years ago.
  2. Their Avo Mash avocado toast topped with a poached egg is to die for.
  3. AND they have delicious hot chocolate made with Nutella (another one of my favorite things!).

I can’t wait to try everything else they have to offer!


My favorite place to pursue my passion for SUP:

Paddle Up Nashville

I first discovered stand up paddling here in Nashville when I went to Paddle Up Nashville for a beginner lesson.

I was hooked from the first moment! It’s the closest thing to walking on water, and it’s so much fun and great exercise.

It wasn’t long before I stopped renting a board from Paddle Up and bought my own race board from them. The owner was very knowledgeable about what kind of equipment would work best for me personally.

Paddle Up has so many fun activities like full moon paddles, mileage builders, and Thirsty Thursdays. They even had a solar eclipse paddle this past August. There was nothing like staring up at the sky and experiencing totality while laying on my board and floating in the middle of the river.

Nashville is the perfect place to do flatwater stand up paddling. Paddle season lasts from about March through October and sometimes even into November because of Nashville’s mild temperatures.

Plus, we don’t have alligators or sharks in our water!

Click here for my interview with Paddle Up owner Neil Newton.


My favorite patio:

Blue Moon Waterfront Grille

After a day of paddling I often like to walk down the ramp from Paddle Up to Blue Moon Waterfront Grille for a drink or some appetizers.

They have one of the largest patios with one of the most beautiful views of the river and the marina. And of course this being Nashville, there’s often live music going on.

Boaters will dock right next to the restaurant while making a stop on their voyage down the Cumberland.

It’s a nice little unexpected place off the beaten path.


My favorite place to hike:

Edwin Warner Park

There are so many hiking trails in and around the Nashville area, but Edwin Warner Park is my favorite. Especially since it’s only a mile from my house and also connects to neighboring Percy Warner Park and the Harpeth Greenway.

There are miles of both wooded and paved hiking trails that transport you to a serene wildlife sanctuary. I never tire of seeing deer, owls, and other beautiful animals.


My favorite place to bike:

The airstrip at Cornelia Fort Airpark

Most people don’t know there’s access from the bike trails at Shelby Bottoms Park to the Cornelia Fort Airpark, named after the first female pilot to die on war duty in American history.

Even fewer people know this small airport was the one where Patsy Cline’s plane was supposed land had it not tragically crashed in 1963.

Here I can actually ride my bike on the airstrip where planes like hers used to land and take off.


 

My favorite place for comfort food:

Barbara’s Home Cookin’

You won’t find any “gentrified” home cooking recipes here. Just good ole southern comfort food made with love by Barbara herself.

Located just outside of historic downtown Franklin, Barbara’s Home Cookin’ is like going to eat Sunday dinner at my grandma’s house.

But I never know who I’ll run into there.

I’ve seen Clint Black and Lisa Hartman-Black, Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, Mark Slaughter, founder of the heavy metal band Slaughter, and more.

Barbara’s is the area’s best kept secret.

Their food is even better than the famous Loveless Cafe, but without the two-hour wait.


My favorite non-ACC college sports team:

Belmont Bruins Men’s Basketball

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a big college basketball fan, specifically ACC basketball. Even more specifically Carolina Tarheel basketball.

But since I’m too far away from NC, I get my college basketball fix from the Belmont University Bruins.

I always enjoy visiting Belmont, whether it’s for a program I’m doing for the students, visiting colleagues, or attending one of the games.

The atmosphere of the games is so much fun, and with Coach Rick Byrd at the helm, you can always expect excellence from each player.


My favorite hamburger:

The Pharmacy

I have yet to find a hamburger as good as the ones back home from The Shake Shop, but a close second are the burgers from The Pharmacy in eclectic East Nashville.

Their shady beer garden patio makes the burgers taste even better!

And the only time I ever drink soft drinks is when I’m at The Pharmacy. They make their own old fashioned sodas that contain no caffeine, no preservatives, and no corn syrup. The orange creamsicle is my the best!


My favorite Nashville souvenir and gift shop:

Anderson Design Group Studio Store

Forget the chintzy souvenir shops in downtown Nashville where everything there is made in China.

For something authentically Nashville-made, visit Anderson Design Group Studio Store. Located right next to Centennial Park and The Parthenon, here I can buy original “Spirit of Nashville” artwork by the studio’s owner Joel Anderson.

Click here for my interview with artist Joel Anderson.

I can also find unique local products and gifts with packaging and branding designed by Joel and his team. Merchandise includes Bonga Java coffee beans, Olive & Sinclair chocolate, and more!


My favorite place for happy hour:

Park Cafe

I stumbled upon this sophisticated yet quaint restaurant and wine bar in Sylvan Park while trying to find the perfect place to celebrate my birthday with friends.

We all loved Park Cafe so much.

The wine was good, the food was even better, and they have great happy hour specials on their tapas-style dishes and their drinks.

They were so kind to put us in a private room for my birthday celebration when I didn’t even ask for one. Top-drawer service!


My favorite place for some quiet time:

The Natchez Trace Parkway

Whenever I really need some quiet time to think, I like to take a drive down the Natchez Trace Parkway.

This 444-mile scenic parkway starts in Nashville and cuts through the beautiful terrain in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi leading to the Gulf coast.

I often stop along the way for a view of the Natchez Trace Bridge or for a walk along some of the nearby hiking trails.

My bucket list includes working my way all the way down the entire parkway and making stops at all the historical sites and bed-and-breakfasts.


 

My favorite place to get away from Nashville:

30-A

While I enjoy all Nashville has to offer residents like me, there are times I need a change of scenery.

And like for most Nashvillians, the best get-away is to the South Walton beaches in the Destin, Florida area, specifically Scenic Highway 30-A.

Emerald waters, white sand, sunshine, and scrumptious fresh seafood. What more could a girl need to recharge?

The Pearl Hotel at Rosemary Beach on 30-A

 

paNASH Passion & Career Coaching has been named one of the top 10 Nashville coaching services for the past two years in a row by Expertise.com. Subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

paNASH offers a coaching track just for those new or moving to Nashville to help them make a smooth transition and successfully integrate into the Nashville community.

To get started, complete the paNASH intake form and Lori will schedule you for a complimentary consultation.

Nashville

“Follow Your Heart” is Bad Advice. REALLY Bad Advice! (Re-Post)

This is one of those rare times where I’ve titled my post before writing it. Usually I don’t come up with the title until after having written the post.

The reason for the change this time is because this title is a phrase that’s been blaring in my head for so long.

It’s something I’ve wanted to shout from the roof tops above the popular (and often misled) notion of today’s culture that tells people to “just follow your heart.”

Telling someone to follow their heart is bad advice.

Really bad advice.

The Truth About The Heart

The heart is emotional and therefore fickle.

If everyone went with every whim that came to their hearts, the world would be a lot more chaotic than it already is.

There’s definitely something to be said for self-control. And this is not just common sense, it’s also biblical.

Jeremiah 17:9–10 says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

What this means is, as humans our hearts are inclined toward selfishness and sin, and therefore some decisions made with the heart are made with the wrong motives.

Passion Comes From Your Gut

Passion is different from heart.

Passion is something that burns deep inside your gut, propelling you forward despite whatever you’re feeling in the moment.

It’s what keeps you going and working hard even when things get tough, even when your heart doesn’t feel like complying.

Passion is oftentimes more committed than the heart.

I think this quote says it best:

Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.” Mark Z. Danielewski

Think about this quote in terms of those who are passionate about running marathons.

To be successful, it can’t be just because their heart loves running or likes the euphoria that comes with running.

If that was the case, runners would quickly give up during training when they experienced the pulled muscles, the bleeding blisters, the extreme exhaustion, the harsh elements of outdoor running, and so on.

I’ve been guilty in my past of making decisions with the wrong motives and chose to follow my heart instead of my gut. I know from personal experience that each time I’ve ignored my gut I’ve regretted it. And each time I’ve listened to it, I’m glad I did.

Follow Your Passion

So what’s the difference between following your heart and following your passion?

Following your heart is an attempt to gain immediate gratification.

It’s impulsive.

It doesn’t weigh the consequences.

Its desires are temporary.

And it doesn’t want to tolerate the suffering required for results.

Following your passion is committing to something you know you must do.

Even when it scares you.

Even when it’s difficult.

Even when you’re tired.

Even when there’s some suffering involved.

It’s taking the time to do your research, make a plan and count the costs.

It’s being responsible to your gut, instead of a slave to your heart.

When it comes to the big decisions in your life, which would you rather base those pivotal decisions on: pop psychology fluff, or truth?

Will you follow your heart, or will you follow your PASSION? Something to think about!

Learn how to set goals that will stick because they’re based on your passions instead of your heart. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

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How to Know If You’re In the Wrong Job

It’s a New Year. Time for a New Career?

“How long does it take to realize you’re in the wrong job?” 

This is a question I recently came across on Quora. I’ll share my response with you. But first, I want to ask you:

Are you also wondering the same thing?

Or is it already clear you’re in the wrong job? 

Could it be time for a new career for you? 

It’s a new year, so why not a new career?

Especially if you already realize you’re in the wrong job.

The question posed isn’t, “How do you know you’re in the wrong job?” 

Instead it’s, “How long does it take to realize it?”

My response on Quora actually answers both of these questions.

The Quick Way to Know

It doesn’t take long to know if you’re in the wrong job when you spend a few minutes taking some personal (and honest) inventory. 

Here’s an exercise that’s much more effective than a traditional pros and cons list:

First…

Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. 

The first column should include the things you must have in a job (i.e. your “dealbreakers”). 

The second column should be the things you’re willing to compromise on. 

The third column should be the “icing on the cake” things (i.e. things you would LOVE to have in a job, but don’t necessarily need to be content).

Next…

Compare your three lists to your current job. 

Does your current job have at least 60% of the things listed on your sheet of paper? 

Or at least 60% of the things from the “must have” column?

Then…

If not, it’s time to start looking for the right job that matches the majority of those things on your 3-column list.

Need help looking for the right job? Complete the paNASH intake form to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

The 60% Rule

I always tell my clients,

“You should love at least 60% of your job.”

Why?

Because nobody loves 100% of their job 100% of the time, but if it’s less than 60%, you’re in the wrong job or career. 

I once had a client who, when he first came to me, was so miserable in his job that there were some evenings he said he would find himself in the fetal position on his couch near tears at the thought having to go back to work the next day.

After reviewing the results of some inventories he’d done with a previous career coach, I said, 

“Do you realize you only enjoy less than 20% of your current job? No wonder you’re so miserable!” 

Another surprising thing I discovered from the results of his inventory was he has a very entrepreneurial spirit. 

This all came as a shock to him because the results had not previously been interpreted to him in such a way.

Revealing these insights to him with a new lens of “passion” instead of just “job” or “career” opened up a whole new outlook for him.

He’s now been able to make extra money on the side doing the art work he’s passionate about and very talented at, which could possibly lead to his own full-time business as an illustrator and cartoonist, or provide him the financial means to leave his current job in search of something more fitting with his foreign language skills. (The guy speaks 3 languages, including Japanese!)

https://www.instagram.com/artbyrobert/

 

Where a pros and cons list would’ve been more limiting, my client is instead more diligent in not compromising on his “must haves” and more open to opportunities that meets at least 60% of the criteria from his 3-pronged list.

I’ve personally found the 3-column list exercise to be more helpful than a pros and cons list when it comes to my own big life decisions. 

The benefits are that it helps with analysis paralysis and keeps you from overthinking or second-guessing your decisions.

It also helps you stay realistic when considering different opportunities.

The More In Depth Approach

Another thing that’s helped me personally and also helps my clients is to spend some time coming up with your own personal mission statement. 

This may take a little time to nail down, but it’s well worth it. 

Why? 

Because you can use it as a filter for your decisions.

For instance, my personal mission statement is: 

“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.”

When I’m faced with a difficult decision, I look to see if the choice in front of me supports my mission statement or not. 

If it doesn’t, I don’t select that choice. 

This helps me to live authentically and be true to my purpose.

Click here to read more about my process of writing a personal mission statement.

So where are YOU in this all-important decision?

If you know it’s time for a new career, a career coach can help you figure out your options and how to make the transition. 

Don’t wait until the end of 2018 where you’ll find yourself in the same situation. 

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive tips to help you get unstuck and start moving into the right career!

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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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