It’s your mental Vitamin B for the week. Each Monday I share a little motivation & insight to start the week. You’ve got a lot of people depending on you. There is big work to do. So here’s a maxim for you, the smart, ambitious woman, to help you SHINE.
Our first Monday Maxim with Amy
We start out the year with one from Michael Phelps.
“The more you dream, the more you achieve.”
Don’t hide those dreams in the back of the closet somewhere. Step into it. And watch this year, become your best one yet.
As smart, ambitious women, we are constantly focusing on the details, making sure everything gets done and we are ready for the next thing. We are so in the stuff of life we aren’t dreaming.
We’ve forgotten to dream.
We are in the machine, not running the machine.
A quick challenge for the week:
1. Take 15 minutes this week and dream. Think bigger. Imagine. Dive in and feel those feelings of what you want to achieve in this year.
2. Then, and this is so important, write that down.
Just over six months ago I set a few resolutions. You know, “The New Year,” “This time it was going to be different,” etc. Oh, you too? I kinda thought so.
Where are you in that journey? If you’re like me, then a couple of those resolutions are going well, and a couple are…well, not even in the ball park. I get it. Life happens. But, I’ve been thinking, if I set a resolution and I never even get close to achieving it, why do I do it year after year? It’s just setting me up for failure. I make enough mistakes in my life- I don’t need to cause myself more frustration. That’s just ridiculous. And yet, I kind of think I’m not the only one. Am I right?
So, I’ve come to a decision. Instead of setting a resolution for an entire year, I’m breaking them down to six month goals. Why six months?
Well, after reading “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, I’m learning that while I’ve got the big picture set, I’m missing the new habits for success. My daily habits are not in harmony with my goals.
This has all led me to create SMART goals. You remember SMART goals, where did you first learn about them? College 101? Basic business skills 101? Me too. But as I was catching up on the early episodes of Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast, he shared it again as a refresher. (Note: I heard this about 2 months ago and have been thinking about since.) Now I have the plan, and will work to create the small, daily habits and see how they work with the big picture plan I’m working on.
Oh, you don’t remember SMART goals. Let’s refresh the memory. SMART goals are:
There are always a few questions I’ve listed that you should ask yourself as you set up your SMART goals. Specific shows the exact amount of progress you’d like to attain. Ask yourself,
What is it I want to achieve?
How will I do it?
Who will help me?
When will I do this? This is where I’ve struggled. By not scheduling a time to work on the goal, I’m missing it. And it makes me so frustrated.
Why am I doing this? This is the big one. You’ve got to remember the why to keep you working at it.
Any goal you set will not work if you do not have measurable tasks. Will you measure your goal by the amount of time you are reading? By the food you put in your mouth? By the time it takes or perhaps, by how many steps you take today. Consider these questions while setting your measurable goal:
How will I know if I am really achieving the goal?
When do I know you are right on track?
If I do get off track, how can I get back on goal?
When will I measure? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
How will I document my progress?
Now, it would be unrealistic for me to say that I will master Latin by the end of the year. I’ve never studied Latin. I know a bit of Spanish, but not enough to feel I can master another language in a few months. I need to set a realistic goal. Something I can and will be able to attain. Questions to ask yourself while you are setting the goal are:
Is this something that I can achieve if I work, really work, daily?
Is this something in a realistic range?
Is this something I/we want to achieve?
Results. All of this is moot if you can’t see the results. That’s where I used to screw up on my resolutions- too abstract, no results to really measure. I just heard someone say that the best way to achieve more success is to greatly increase your amount of failure. Consider:
What are the three habits that will set me up daily to achieve the goal?
How will I measure this week if we are on track?
How will I know within a month, 2 months, 3 months, if we are on track?
The deadline is key. I’ve never created a deadline for a resolution. Ever. What was I thinking? No wonder I would flounder to make a resolution stick. Ever. This is why the six month mark seems to be the key for me. I’ll have 2 sets of 90 days to get make things really click. That’s three months, each month will be a mini-evaluation of my progress with time to modify my efforts. This can really work this time. I get excited just thinking about it.
How long will I need to achieve this?
Can I minimize that time by two weeks? (Will it hurt me or help me?)
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-Focused, Time bound goals are the key to achieving your goals. Make a SMART goal a part of your life.
Tomorrow I will present my own SMART goal that I’ll be working on for the next six months. Is this one resolution you’d like to trade in for a SMART goal with me? Think about it tonight and tomorrow we will dig deeper.
Living your enriched life is something only you can create. You have the power within. You know what is in your heart, what you desire to leave to the world. I’ve been thinking about this concept for a long time. Only when listening to a podcast did I realize that this is the purpose of this blog.
See, each of us has a huge amount of potential to create and give something to the world. You have that “je ne sai quoi” to leave a legacy. It may be quilting, acting, creating fantastic code to innovate the web, or working with teenagers, it doesn’t really matter what it is. What matter is when you think about it, talk about it, write about it, you are on fire! It is one of your passions. I don’t believe that you have just one passion. You and I have topics that light us up, and which topic we choose to spend time on becomes a passion. That passion inspires others with what you, and only YOU, can give to the world. And you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? You know what that passion is.
So I’m a nerd. There I said it. Whew. Glad we got that out of the way. I buy books like some women buy shoes. Every once in a great while, I find a book I have to have. I have to get to the core of the issue and not just read, but embrace it, absorb it, take in the very stuff that it is and make it a part of my mind. My very center. This is not a philosophy to consider, a business model to pattern, or another study full of data points and logarithms for further evaluation. No, this concept rings true. This is a piece of literature that invokes a pattern of thought I have been pondering, questioning, and asking about for quite sometime and I hunger to hear and study more.
I’ve found that the podcast has been the most effective method for me to take in new information as I’m folding laundry, washing a dish or two, or cleaning. Chores have become immensely enjoyable. Whodathunk? It’s not just a chore now, it’s a workshop of thought while my hands are busy on the mundane. Oh, the power of the podcast. Chris Ducker, powerful entrepreneur, interviewed Todd Henry and asked so many questions about his book, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day. And I was in awe. This spoke straight to me. There were so many times I was nodding and vocally agreeing with comments.
In essence, his message is tend the soil you have been given, and CREATE a harvest for the future. Plant the seeds for those you leave behind. Leave a legacy. But, how do you create a legacy today?
How is your legacy created even with the mundane acts of daily life?
First, find what is holding you back.
Henry is quoted, saying: “Be Fiercely Curious.” Ask a lot of questions. Challenge the assumptions you have had in life. Are you like me and have been thinking, “Well, I’ve always been a big girl. I come from a big family. I don’t think I’ll ever be fit.” What is that? How has that assumption molded my daily behavior? Why didn’t I see that before? What other assumptions on my life are holding me back?
What assumptions of your life are holding you back? Do you have to do that task every day or are you doing it because you’ve always done it that way? Is there another way to create an environment that you love? Do you think that you’re stuck financially and will never be out of debt? Can you hear the self-fulfilling prophecies created by your own voice? Could you earn money in a very different way AND help those around you? Can you create something better today? It takes a completely different mindset to start thinking this way- but that’s where the magic happens. That’s where life becomes exciting! Todd Henry explains it like this:
We don’t like uncertainty… We prefer the certainty of immediate results, rather that the potential that will expend a lot of effort and on the other side of the effort there will be nothing. But that is where breakthrough comes from. The process itself is worth it. The process of making something, the process of risking, of trying things in and of itself is worth it if we want to contribute and build a brilliant body of work over time.
-Todd Henry, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day
This is EXACTLY what WomanEnriched is all about: breaking through. I was finding myself doing the chores, getting the jobs done, and checking things off the never ending list of to-do items. This is good; however, I needed to breakthrough. I knew that there was MORE inside me. There was much more that I wanted to create. More I wanted to give to the world. But it took RISK.
I want to share my thoughts, my friendship, my heart with the world in a very personal way. I want to cheer people on, remind them of their value and help them achieve even more than they had believed they could. Why? Because I believe there are others who need these thoughts. I trust that there are good people in the world who want to read this content and share their insights with me. I consider the people who read these posts as not just people, but friends. Real friends. Even if I never meet them in person. I appreciate them immensely, for they are doing a considerable amount of good in the world. Don’t they deserve a shot of Vitamin B (Or Vitamin Blog as I like to call it) and some homemade sunshine from one that cares? Can someone inspire them to do a little more? Can I? I want to. Only time will tell. But that’s what I want to be.
Second, Take small risks every day.
Want to write a book? Tell one friend today and once you hear that cheering you on, will help you have confidence to tell two more. Want to be a screenwriter even though you are working 10 hour days? You’ve got 30 minutes of peace before you go to bed. You do. You could write down some key thoughts you have on a sticky note, then when you sit down to work you just go to work. Want to be a potter? Find a class in the community. You can do this. You really should do this, too.
Because at the end of the day, will you wonder about your choices? Did you live a life having a breakthrough or did you play it safe? Did you spend time giving value to others? Were your relationships the warm, rich ones that ooze happiness in your life? Did you give it your best? Only you can answer these questions, don’t check out of life with regret. Todd Henry sums it up this way:
Based on conversations I’ve had with people, based on research done by others, the things you will regret are the times in your life when you chose to do the safe thing instead of doing the thing that your intuition told you was right.
Listen, at the end of your life, when you lay your head down for the last time, if you’re not purposeful about your life you will have a lot of regrets. But if you are purposeful about structuring your life in such a way that your spending those four finite resources: focus, assets, time, energy in a meaningful and purposeful way you will lay your head down for the last time pointing to a body of work and saying, “Yes! That represents me!” and you will die empty of regret, but you will die full of satisfaction for a life well lived. And I think that’s all any of us can ask for.”
Third, Consider this TED Talk by Candy Chang.
Powerful stuff, huh? I can’t stop thinking about what that enormous chalkboard for the whole world would look like with everyone writing down that thing they want to do before they die. Every one has a passion. Now, let’s break through. Complete strangers posted their life’s goal on a chalkboard to share with the world. Write yours down on a sticky note, may be you post it on the bathroom mirror so while you are preparing for day, you are keeping your mind focused. Perhaps it’s at your cubicle, so you remember what you are doing there. Maybe it’s on the fridge. And, show it to me. Take a picture and put it on Instagram using #breakthroughtoday .
I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Tell me, how do you work on your passion and keep up with the daily minutia?