Tag: goalsetting


How to Stop Procrastinating During and After the Quarantine

As I sit down to write this post, I’m procrastinating. I don’t feel like writing it because it’s a beautiful day and I’d rather be paddleboarding. It’s one of the few things I was able to continue doing during the quarantine.

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

Another time 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. Thirty years later I still remember this.

Better late than never

About five or six years ago, I decided to re-read the book and even journal 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 during the quarantine: get to the root of the problem

Procrastination isn’t a good thing. But it’s easy to do, both when you have more time on your hands, like during a quarantine. And, when you’re busy getting back in to the swing of life post-quarantine.

Because so much has been put on hold due to the pandemic, it can be tempting to also put your dreams and goals for your life on hold.

How many years 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 once we’re past this crisis?

Make this crappy year of 2020 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 the end of the pandemic. 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 (“How to Stay Focused on Your Goals During the Remainder of the Pandemic“), 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 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?

If you know this is true for you, and you honestly produce your best work having a tight deadline, then keep doing this (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?

If the amount of work it takes to accomplish your goal feels overwhelming, choose some other goals you’re excited about. Ones you won’t easily get 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 after the quarantine: take action

Now that you’ve figured out which reason or reasons for your procrastination, it’s time to 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 five years. I honestly don’t think I would’ve accomplished as many things as I have without my Passion Planner.

Finally, at the end of each quarter, 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, post-quarantine won’t be any different than pre-quarantine if you don’t make the choice to change.

By the end of this pandemic, instead of saying, “I’ll do it later,” you’ll be saying, “What’s next?!”

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How to Make the Leap From Unfinished Goals to Good Habits

It’s nearly the end of February, and by now you’ve likely slacked off on your goals or completely ditched your New Year’s resolutions. That’s okay, because this Saturday is Leap Day, a chance to start again. Every four years we get an extra day to use as a do-over. Look at it as a goal mulligan as opposed to a golf mulligan.

You can re-commit yourself to the unfinished goals and resolutions you set at the beginning of 2020. Not only that, this time around you can develop habits with staying power so you can achieve those goals.

But first let’s re-assess your unfinished goals to see why you haven’t been able to stick to them.

Re-assess your unfinished goals

Have you not forgiven yourself for failing?

If this article applies to you, then make sure you’ve forgiven yourself for the goals you’ve given up on.

You won’t be able to pick up and start again if you don’t take this first step.

Have you set too many goals?

Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of goals or resolutions you set in January. And giving up on a few has caused you to give up on all of them.

Take another look at your list and circle just one to three goals for you to focus on this year. You can choose the most feasible ones for you right now so you can start to see results quickly and therefore restore your confidence.

Have you been realistic about your unfinished goals?

Perhaps you didn’t go overboard with the number of goals you set, but you set them too high.

If this is the case, then go back and see if you can break those goals into smaller, more short-term goals. This will make them more doable.

Have you not been specific in your unfinished goals?

Maybe you weren’t specific enough with your goals. For instance, you may have said your goal for 2020 was to lose weight, but you didn’t indicate how much weight or by what deadline.

Go back and add some specific, measurable, and realistic details to your goals.

Have you set good goals but didn’t set good boundaries?

Maybe you’ve set good goals and you’ve been working at them, but the work has been slowed down by easily avoidable distractions due to a lack of boundaries.

It’s not too late to set the boundaries you need to accomplish your goals. But this time around, be firm in your boundaries by communicating them clearly to those who need help respecting them.

Have you made other people’s goals your own?

Sometimes we set goals at the expectation of others. This can happen both in our careers and in our families.

For instance, you may be looking for a new job or considering a career change, but your spouse is trying to direct you to the job they want you to have, instead of the one you want to build your career portfolio with.

Your boss may have goals already set for your job, which you must honor, but you should also set some goals for yourself within your current role, especially if you want to get promoted.

Develop good habits

To make the best use of your second chance at your goals, you’ll want to develop good habits by:

1. Making the decision to start again and being firm in this decision.

2. Not allowing exceptions in the first 30 days. This is a formative time for the habits necessary to achieve your goals.

3. Tell others so you are held accountable, they can encourage you, and you can set necessary boundaries.

4. Visualize yourself doing the things you need to do to achieve your goals.

5. Use positive affirmations if this helps you. It’s especially helpful to say them to yourself in the present tense instead of the future tense. For example, “I have started my own side hustle,” instead of “I’m going to start a side hustle.”

6. Practice the behavior until it becomes second nature for you.

7. Reaffirm and reinforce the behavior by rewarding yourself.

Don’t use your Leap Day as a day to goof off. Instead, use it as a launching pad to start again on your goals. Then imagine all you’ll have accomplished by the next leap year in 2024!

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How to Make Smart Investments in Your Life and Career

With the end of another year AND another decade nearing, it’s time to get serious about your life and your career. You don’t have to have a lot of money or even a lot of time to invest in your future. But, you do need to start somewhere. There are several little things you can do to make smart investments in your life and career. These little things will add up. And by the end of the next decade and even the next year, you’ll see a BIG payoff!

Let’s break it down by various areas of your life. We’ll use the seven major areas as outlined in my Goal-Achievement Plan, a free download when you subscribe to my newsletter at www.yourpassioninlife.com. Don’t let all the following suggestions overwhelm you. Instead, just pick one or two to start with. The results you see will motivate you to make the same kind of investment in the other areas of your life. Pretty soon you’ll see an overall improvement in your life and career.

1. Spiritual investments

Getting centered spiritually, regardless of what it looks like for you, is probably the most important investment you can make in your life. Setting aside time at the beginning of each day for small habits such as prayer or meditation, reading, and journaling can get your day started off on the right foot.

Eleven years ago I started getting up an hour early each morning to do just that. I can’t even begin to describe what this has done for me, personally and even professionally. But now I can’t imagine starting my day without it. This habit is truly my daily bread. It’s helped me to make smart decisions in all the other areas of life listed below. The return on my time and emotional investment is priceless.

I encourage you to do the same. If mornings seem impossible for you, then at least commit to this habit every night before bed. Just know though, it will be harder to stay committed once you’re already tired. This is one reason why I recommend doing it in the morning. The other reason is because you’ll have the armor you’ll need to face each day’s challenges with renewed strength.

2. Investments in family

This one is sometimes hard for me to manage since my family is located far away. You may have the same situation too. Taking the time to speak to each other on the phone or via FaceTime on a regular basis (instead of just texting) can strengthen family ties.

When together in person, resist the temptation to play on your phone or on social media, especially during a meal together. Instead, put the phone away and invest your attention in your loved ones. Be fully present with them.

If the phone does come out, let it be to share some recent photos with each other and to take some new photos together, creating new memories to look back on ten years from now. Who knows what new technology will be available in ten years to let us share these photos and take new ones?!

3. Smart investments in your health

If you haven’t heard this yet, health is the new wealth. Being able to enjoy your life ten years from now will depend on your current health habits. Your bank account will also depend on your health. Will you still be able to work ten years from now based on how you’re currently treating your body?

The past ten years I’ve developed new eating and exercise habits. While the addition of these habits to my routine has been incremental, I’ve already experienced numerous benefits. I can’t wait to see how my habits and results improve in the coming years.

In addition to investing time in regular exercise, it’s good to invest a little more money in healthier foods. Although healthier foods still cost more than unhealthy foods, think of the money you’ll save in doctor bills in the future!

You may have seen the story on Facebook about the elderly woman who was able to reverse her dementia by eating foods like blueberries and walnuts. She’s not Super Woman, but what she’s eating are super foods! Super foods are those foods found in nature containing more nutrition than any other foods.

The top ten super foods are avocados, blueberries, broccoli, eggs, garlic, honey, lentils, quinoa, spinach, and walnuts. They’re best for you when eaten with other super foods. Every morning I need 30 grams of protein so I don’t get hungry again too soon. I’m usually able to incorporate three to four super foods in my high-protein breakfast.

In addition, there are several foods that can lower your cholesterol. They include fish, olive oil, whole grains, berries, avocados, beans, nuts, spinach, red wine (in moderation), vegetables, citrus fruits, soy, green and black teas, and (my favorite) dark chocolate. I also get at least four of these in my high-protein breakfast.

Try incorporating some of your own favorite foods from the items above in your diet to go along with some fun form of exercise you enjoy most.

4. Smart investments in your career

Without making the above smart investments in your life, it will be difficult to be successful in your career. Career success also depends on your ability to sharpen and update your current skills while learning new skills. Doing so requires an investment of time, and sometimes money.

If your current employer pays for professional development or continuing education, take advantage of it! But go a step further and seek out additional educational and personal growth opportunities that can prepare you for a promotion or possible future career change. You can find these opportunities in local continuing ed programs and online, most of which are typically very affordable. Having this additional training can give you leverage when starting your own business, asking for a raise, or negotiating a salary offer for a new job.

Speaking of salary negotiations, career success also depends on how well you can negotiate a fair salary. This is something I teach my clients how to do tactfully.

Let’s assume whatever the salary offer is, you’ll get at least the average cost-of-living raise each year, which is typically 2% to 3%. Let’s say you get an initial offer of $80,000 and accept it without countering. Do you realize in five years, you will have lost out on as much as $27,340 in salary increases by not asking for just $5,000 more? (An additional $5,000 is the most you can usually ask for without the hiring manager having to seek additional approval.) Raises compound just like financial investments do!

5. Financially smart investments

If you’re able to negotiate a higher salary, then you’ll have more money to invest now which will grow over time. But financial investments don’t just include putting your money into a 401K or into the stock market. They also include learning how to be more financially responsible. This begins with investing the time to creating a budget, monitoring your spending habits, figuring out necessary spending cuts, saving for an emergency fund, taking the time to pay off debts, adding to your emergency fund, and learning more about smart investing.

This may not sound like fun and may even sound difficult depending on your current financial situation. Taken all together, it does seem overwhelming and impossible. But when you break it down into baby steps as financial expert Dave Ramsey teaches in his book The Total Money Makeover, it not only becomes easy but also motivating!

While I don’t subscribe to everything Ramsey teaches, I will say his baby step method to financial freedom does work! By following this method, I’m on track to have my car paid off a year early. And this feels good! It’s motivated me to set bigger financial goals like contributing more to my mutual fund and IRA and giving more to causes meaningful to me.

You can start small today by making payments on your smallest debt and then using the snowball approach Ramsey teaches to tackling your remaining debt. As a result your debt will be paid off faster than you think!

6. Socially smart investments

Like smart investments in your family, it’s also important to invest in others through your network and your in-real-life social connections.

I’ve written numerous blog posts on the importance of building professional relationships to grow your network. This takes a lot of investment of time and energy. It requires you to be the kind of contact you’d like to have. It also requires you to be realistic about the time it takes to build and nurture these professional relationships. As a career coach, I cannot stress enough the importance of growing your network!

In addition to creating strong ties in your professional network, you want to do the same in your social life. The best way to create and foster new social connections is by getting involved in activities and causes you’re drawn to. This includes getting involved with a group interested in the same form of exercise you enjoy, volunteering with others for a cause you find meaningful, or joining a small group in your church. These are just a few examples, but they do help you find your “tribe” so to speak.

I’ve personally made friends with people just from my passion of stand-up paddle boarding, my participation in a weekly dinner with my small group, and from volunteering alongside people I otherwise would’ve never met. What are some things you can get involved in to meet and bond with new people?

7. Investments in personal growth and education

Similar to professional development that sharpens your career skills, it’s important for your personal development to invest in some lifelong learning on topics outside your career. Investing in classes on a subject just to learn more about it or to improve your knowledge can have a great return on investment! In addition to increasing your knowledge on a new subject, it can exercise your brain and reduce your risk of age-related diseases. It can also expand your network and your social circle. It can even help you discover a side gig or another revenue stream!

I’m always trying to learn new things and improve on the things I already know. For instance, last year I took a paddle clinic from former canoeing Olympian and QuickBlade owner Jim Terrell to improve my stand-up paddling skills. I’ve also taken classes on topics like financial success, self-defense, small business marketing, and much more.

As stated earlier, many of these courses are offered through continuing education programs and are usually very affordable. I encourage you to check out the Nashville Community Education Commission to see what classes they have you might be interested or curious in. This is a really fun way to invest your time and money to better your life and your career!

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Sunday Inspiration: A Balanced Approach to Setting Goals

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!

Question: “What does the Bible say about setting goals?”

Answer: The Bible offers a balanced approach to setting goals that includes making plans yet doing so with wisdom and humility. Jesus’ illustration of building a tower implies that it is a good thing to have set goals (Luke 14:28).

To live with no motivation or planning is not God’s desire. Proverbs 6:6-11 says,

“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
    When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.”

Laziness causes a person to neglect work and fail to exploit the window of opportunity. Summer is the preparation time for winter, and we dare not wile it away. Failure to plan ahead will result in “poverty” and “want.”

Wisely setting goals leads to better results: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit” (Proverbs 21:5).

However, just because we’ve done our planning doesn’t guarantee our goals will be met. The process of setting goals must be infused with humility. James teaches,

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14).

The Bible teaches against two extremes: never setting goals and setting goals with no thought of God. The balanced alternative is found in James 4:15: “Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” It is good to make plans, as long as we leave room for God to change our plans. His goals take precedence over ours.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” In other words, we have our ideas and make our plans, but God will ultimately accomplish His sovereign desires. Do our goals make room for the unexpected? Do we love God’s will more than our own?

Finally, we can take comfort in the words of Jesus: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:33-34). Our goal-setting need not be accompanied by fear. If our plans focus on Christ and honor Him, He will see to it that the best results—the eternal results—are ours.

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/setting-goals.html

Is Your Comfort Zone Really All That Comfortable?

Do you think your comfort zone is really all that comfortable?

Well, let’s see. Does any of this describe your current situation?

If any of the above sounds familiar, your comfort zone is anything but comfortable.

The Line Between Your Comfort Zone and the Life You Really Desire

Instead, it’s what I call the THRIVE ZONE.

comfort zone

Are You Willing to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

Are you fed up enough with how uncomfortable your comfort zone is you’re willing to experience some temporary discomfort and make some changes?

Next Steps to Your Thrive Zone

First, learn how to set (and achieve) goals the right way. This involves subscribing to the paNASH newsletter to receive an 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. This complimentary resource will help you:

Second, if you like free resources and want more, register for my complimentary on-demand program 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work. In this program you’ll learn how to:

The Results You Can Expect

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