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Create the Life of Your Dreams in 10 Minutes a Day!

June 3, 2010

Sounds too good to be true, I know. But you CAN create the life of your dreams in just ten minutes a day every day. Here’s how.

What you will need:

1) Create a space in your home where you feel relaxed and comfortable. It could be anywhere – your couch, your easy chair, in your study. Make it some place where you can be completely alone for 5 minutes every morning and every evening.

2) Find a timer. It could be a watch, cell phone, or an egg timer. I found it best to buy a small digital timer at Target. That way I can leave the timer in my special spot and I don’t have to spend time looking for it.

3) Buy a journal or notebook. You will use it for the evening exercises every day. You may also want to use it after your morning exercise for any insights or ideas you have.

The Exercise:

In the morning: Right after you wake up, before you start your morning routine or move into your day, go to your quiet space. Make yourself comfortable and take a few deep breaths to relax.

Set your timer for 5 minutes and begin.

Now, imagine your perfect day. You may be anywhere you want using any image you want. Make it something you are passionate about, something that inspires you, or something you have always wanted.

If you have trouble creating an image, start by asking yourself questions like the following:

• What am I passionate about?
• Where is my favorite vacation or getaway place?
• How do I like to spend my free time to have fun?
• Why do I want a better life? For my kids? My spouse? My parents?
• If I had all the money and time in the world, what would I do every day?

Take 5 full minutes to answer these questions in your mind with images, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings. Play it like a movie in your mind. Really immerse yourself in the show.

These 5 minutes are all about you and your dreams. No thoughts of “But, what if…” or “How can I afford it, do it, get there…” When your mind inserts thoughts of the mortgage or the boss or any other obstacle you may have in your life, just gently say, “Thank you for sharing” and go back to your movie.

At first, you may not be able to create clear images. It’s okay. It’s a process. Keep focusing on answering the questions in your mind’s eye.

The exercise is much more powerful if your morning movie is the same theme every day. It doesn’t have to be the same part of the same movie. If you imagine being in Alaska today and Aruba tomorrow because you are a world traveler, then it’s all good! But if they are for completely different reasons, it can get confusing.

When the timer goes off and you have finished, you may record any thoughts or insights you had in your journal. It’s a good way to keep track of your progress, though it isn’t necessary.

Note: Don’t read your journal during your 5 minutes. This is about creating a picture in your mind. Reading takes you out of that space.

In the evening: Right before you go to bed, go to your quiet space. Make yourself comfortable and take a few deep breaths to relax.

Pick up your journal and a pen and begin. This exercise isn’t timed. You work at the list until you come up with 5 of each of the following

GRATITUDE: Write down five things that you are grateful for today.

Spend a moment finding what you are thankful for at this point in your life. Some things to think about are:

• Something special or unexpected that happened to you today.
• Your best friend
• You had all green lights on the way home from work
• You found the perfect shoes at 75% off!
• Your cat or dog

It could be something that’s always been there, but you see how it really helps you do what you need to do. It can be something as simple as a car that runs, a roof over your head, or a good meal.

We are not looking for anything fancy or outrageous. On the contrary, you are creating a habit of having appreciation for EVERYTHING you have in your life – especially the little things…

SUCCESS: Write down five successes or things that you like about yourself.

Take a moment to think about what makes you ‘you.’ Take a look at the things that you do or are that you enjoy and that make you happy.
• Did you answer all the questions on Jeopardy right tonight?
• Did you get your black belt in Tae Qwon Do?
• How about you made it all the way through an aerobics class for the first time?
• Do you make a mean macaroni & cheese?
• Do you have awesome eyes?
• Are you a great salsa dancer?
• Are you a super friend?

Again, it could be HUGE or it could be small. You aren’t looking for size. You are building a muscle.
When these exercises are done every day, you will begin to notice a shift in your thinking in just a few weeks. It may take some time. Be patient.

As you continue to focus on what you want, you will find little opportunities you hadn’t noticed before. You will begin to understand that luck is really something you make for yourself.

Practice being successful in your mind and success will soon come to you. Practice gratitude in your heart and abundance will be your reward.

Try the exercises for two weeks. At the end of two weeks, go back and read your journal. See what has started to happen. I bet it will be delightful.

I hope you will share your stories with me. Feel free to post them here in the comments to help others see how easy it is to change your life. You may also email me at

Happy dream building!


A Journey of Self Discovery

May 26, 2010

As a passionate advocate of self development, I have put myself through many different levels of education and training over the course of the last eight years. I started long before that, but I cannot really connect the dots before that time.

I knew I was always searching for something, but never really knew enough to know what it was. I was obsessed with Eastern philosophies, but had no frame of reference. So I decided to check it out. I found a form of Buddhism that teaches the Law of Cause and Effect without being all in-your-face about rules and regulations. Awesome! Sign me up!

The meditative practice involves repeating a mantra out loud for as much or as little time as you like. Again, cool! I never was very good at the discipline of staring at candles…

At the time I was beginning my Buddhist practice, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto hypothyroidism, which is a disorder where the body created anti-bodies to fight the thyroid gland and force it to stop producing one of the most important hormones in the body. I was depressed, overweight, disoriented, and suicidal.

When I received the diagnosis, I was given hormone replacement pills. I was told I would be on these meds forever.

Now, I was raised in the typical American, single-parent, divorced household on the standard American diet (read SAD!).  Because of my diet, lack of physical activity, and suppressing emotional traumas, I developed a lot of coping strategies in the form of addictive behaviors.

I overcame smoking, drinking and several other destructive tendencies. Over the years, I experimented with nutrition, diet, supplementation, my meditative practice and how I treat my body to see what triggers or inflames my condition.

For the past two years, I have been able to successfully manage my hypothyroidism with a combination of diet and herbal supplements – WITHOUT DRUGS! The one area where I still seem to struggle is food – sugar and carbs in particular. When I fall off the wagon, I can FEEL it!

Three weeks ago, I began a course in developing mind power. As I did my daily exercises, I found myself really getting in touch with the concepts. I also found myself uncontrollably craving junk foods I hadn’t eaten literally in YEARS!

It took two weeks for me to make the connection. When I did, I was astounded!  Being in this place, I am noticing how my body feels. My joints hurt. I felt stiff, tired and cranky. I marvel at how I could possibly have lived this way all the time just a few short years ago!

Personal development and growth is a process that generally takes time. I understand this more with each day.  It’s frustrating as hell to be in a place where you see what’s blocking you, but you don’t seem to be able to do what needs to be done to release the grip of the addiction.

As human beings, we have the power and capacity to change our circumstances in the blink of an eye with just one sincere decision.  However, as human beings, we tend to wait until the situation is so bloody uncomfortable we feel like dying or killing someone before we feel the need to commit.

If you are on a journey of self-discovery, take heart.  It will almost always feel uncomfortable when you really dig down and find habits or behaviors you want to change.  You are not crazy.  That’s how it goes.

Support yourself through the process by using some of the following tools:

1) Cultivate relationships with a small group of like minded people.  These are the people who will support you through your shift.  Generally family and old friends don’t work here, just because they helped create the destructive patterns.  Often, they are the product of the same circumstances that got you where you are.  They don’t know any better.  Don’t worry about them now.  After you heal, you can offer them help, IF THEY WANT IT.  For now, focus on yourself.

2) Write down your WHY and read it EVERY DAY!  Better yet, record yourself saying your WHY and listen to it right when you wake up and just before you go to sleep every day.  It’s easy to lose sight of why you got on the superhighway, as your own personal demons are confronting you.  If you keep your prize always in sight, you will be stronger as you move through even the darkest of forests.

3) Forgive yourself when you mess up.  No baby ever learned to walk on the first try.  Often the patterns you are attempting to shift have been in place for decades.  You developed these habits as a way to cope with your environment.  Your mind is only trying to protect you.  Don’t let yourself off the hook – and don’t abuse yourself for tripping.  Keep going.  This is a great time to call those friends or re-listen to that recording.

Be kind to yourself.  Love yourself.  You are an amazing person.  Keep moving toward your goals.

Every day is a gift. What gift did you receive today?

A New Lease on Life…

May 20, 2010

PERSPECTIVE – it’s all in the way you see things…

Everyone has opinions.  And opinions are based on conversations or past experience.  Your past experience dictates how you feel about something, whether you get it first hand or through the stories of others.  That helps you figure out how to respond when something even remotely similar happens again.

The trap is when we think that the same tactic will work over and over and over and over and over again…  Like whatever is happening now is EXACTLY like the event that we used to create the pattern!

Humans are creatures of habit.  We resist change.

The mind has a beautifully efficient system.  We learn that this berry is poisonous, we stay away.  We experience fear when being chased by a tiger, we learn not to mess with the pretty kitty.  We almost get run over crossing the street against the light, we learn that jaywalking is dangerous… and we jaywalk anyway…  No, wait.  That’s a different story.

So the brain is geared to make ASSUMPTIONS.  That way, the brain can work to interpret new data while the older situations are put on auto-pilot.  Since the environment is always changing and there is SO much to keep up with, it’s the brain’s way to stay sane.

Let’s look at those assumptions.  Are our assumptions ALWAYS right?  (That could be considered a trick question to some of you.)  The answer is NO.

Wait!  What do you mean NO?  I thought my brain was efficient?

Efficient?  Yes!  100% Effective?  No!  The mind works under a simple principle.  Sloppy success is better that perfect failure.  (Of course, it refuses to allow you to operate the same way)

How does perspective show up?

Last night, my husband mentioned a conversation he had with a customer who said, “Oh!  You are from Argentina!  My neighbor is from Argentina!  Argentineans are such wonderful people!”

His comment to me was “And what if her neighbor was a son-of-a-b****?”

It’s funny how we group people, places, and events into categories.  If you stop to think about it, that’s where all stereotypes begin.  Those stereotypes become the wedges that divide in times of struggle creating division, racism, and even genocide.

Wait!  You mean that the lady saying “All Argentineans are NICE” is the basis of genocide?  Yes…

Her opinion was statement of “FACT” for her.  This “FACT” is based on her observation of one or two or three test subjects at the most…

It wasn’t a malicious opinion.  She even thinks she’s being a genuinely sincere and likable person.  But what happens when she uses this opinion to avoid doing her due diligence in a business situation and she gets burned?  Will she then believe that all Argentineans SEEM nice?  But that in “REALITY,” they are ALL out to get you?

Since the opinion was formed quickly and on shaky evidence, what’s to say that it wouldn’t shift with the same ease?

And then what?  Now she has an opinion that causes a reaction in another direction based on 4 test subjects out of a pool of millions…

If someone told you that cheesecake causes cancer in 4 out of 4,000,000 people, would you still eat it?  I would…

Let’s put that into perspective.  You get in cars all day every day and yet, in 2008, out of 304,060,000, 34,017 died.  (For those who jaywalk, 4,378 of those were pedestrians.)

For you numbers people, that means that you are over 100 times more likely to die in a car wreck than of cheesecake cancer.

So, we still get in cars and yet our decision about Argentineans (or Jews or Blacks or Whites or Republicans) still stands…  We are willing to write off a whole population of people as “bad” based on the behavior of one person.

“But, that’s because it happened to ME!!”

Now, don’t get me wrong.  As I said, these short cuts help make our lives easier.  But wouldn’t it be nice if you knew why you said and did certain things under certain circumstances?

If you don’t know WHY you said or did it, then you aren’t really in control of your life…  And that may be the very reason why you haven’t had the level of success you want in different areas of your life.

Take a look at an area in your life where you just can’t seem to make it to your goal, no matter how “hard” you try.  There may be a perspective or an opinion at work that you aren’t aware exists.

As you take a look, you may start to see some patterns.  Do you usually expect the worst from people and they rarely let you down?  Or does life just seem to flow for you and you aren’t sure why?

Remember the old adage; Awareness is the first step to change.  So start small and work to cultivate self awareness.  It may be frustrating at times, but stick with it.  The benefits will far outweigh the cost.

Mental Health Days

April 30, 2010

Have you ever taken a ‘Mental Health Day’?

You know what I mean…  Playing hooky from your job!  Calling in “SICK”…

Did you go to the beach?  Did you eat ice cream and watch movies?  Maybe you decided to go shopping!

If you think that calling in “SICK” to run ERRANDS is what I mean, then think again.

A Mental Health Day is a day that you take COMPLETELY for YOU!!  You and your well-being.

The value of taking time off and taking time for your self is sorely underrated!  Many of us think that taking time off means getting personal stuff done.  That’s not what I mean.

Let me explain…

Several years ago, a friend of mine graduated from Massage School.  She offered to do some work on me as a gift to celebrate.  (Hey, it didn’t make sense to me either, but I NEVER turn down free bodywork!)  When she finished after almost 2 hours, she said, “Erin, take the rest of the day off.  Go do something you enjoy.”

At the time, I was in Grad School.  I wasn’t “working,” so I had the rest of the day “off”.  I thought I would just hang out at the apartment.  Yeah.  That would work.

She looked at me, no doubt sensing my thoughts of just “chillin,” and said “Go do something FUN.  You do know how to have fun, don’t you?”

Ha!  Busted.  She knew me.  She knew I had no intention of going “out there” to do something frivolous like having FUN…  Come on.  I’m an adult.  I’m an accountant.  I’m in Grad School.  I don’t have FUN anymore.  It’s irresponsible…

Well, today, I am learning the value of taking time off with no direction or intention other than just for the sheer “joy” of it…  Or in my case, the necessity of learning HOW to…

Over the past couple of years, I have been searching for my IT.  (I swear I saw it around here somewhere…)

For those of you who have only met me recently, yes, you did hear me say “I am an accountant.”  That was one of my many previous incarnations.  I decided to give it up in favor of pursuing my calling…  I believe that it is to help people learn about well-being and achieving balance in their lives.

They say that you teach what you need to learn…  Well, my life was so catawampus that I had nothing much left in the house of fun.  All the ways I learned to let loose as a young adult were all the ways that cause cancer, stroke, or innumerable other problems or diseases.

Through my process of growth, I found that I had steadily meditated, prayed, and disciplined myself out of the very things that were keeping me sane!  Not that they were good for me, mind you.  But I had never refilled the empty space that they left behind.  I created even greater imbalance!

How the heck does THAT happen?!?  That’s the question I was asking myself.

Turns out, I was running around “trimming the fat” in my life, but not really looking to see if those areas were the causes of my challenges.  It’s like companies that think that if they are losing money, the only thing to do is to cut expenses.  (If you are the owner of one of those companies, STOP IT!  You’ll understand more in a minute.)

Have you ever gone to a hairstylist who just starts cutting and then sees what’s left to see if it looks right?  I haven’t…  Thank goodness!  That would be a DISASTER!  The stylist needs to have a plan.  She has to know what you want it to look like when she’s done…  And she works with what you have NOW.

If your stylist is really good and knows your hair, she may even be able to tell you if that style will really work for you or suggest changes to the style to make it fit you better.

With business, all expenses are NOT created equally.  Some are IMPERATIVE for the business to continue…  Thinking coffee?  No…  It’s more like MARKETING or COMMISSIONS.  If you cut areas that are driving the growth of your business, then you can probably expect to see your business growth tank.

But what does that have to do with taking time off to have FUN?!?

Well, when I went into my life slicing and dicing and surgically removing all the juicy bits, I was left with one DRY piece of nothing much.  I couldn’t figure out why I was bored and uninspired!  All I did was take out all the “bad” stuff, right?  I should be good to go!

What I found is that I left out creating space for me to recharge!

So, what do YOU do to recharge?

What makes your heart sing?

What is it that, when you do it, you forget all about time?

  1. Make a list.  Keep it handy.
  2. Set a date with yourself at least once a month, if not once a week.
  3. Do it!

You will be amazed at the clarity you’ll find.  Life is meant to be lived!  Joyously!

Tips for Walking the Path of Personal Development

April 15, 2010

A friend asked me a couple months ago, “What do you do when someone ‘un-friends’ you on FaceBook?”

First I thought to myself, “How juvenile!”

Then I thought, “I can ‘fix’ her.  This is a chance to start a conversation about personal responsibility.”

This person is one of my oldest friends.  She and I go way back, so I had an idea of what I was dealing with…  Or so I thought.

After writing what I now see was a dissertation or maybe even a rant, she responded by politely thanking me for my insight.

Over.  Right?

Well, last night I got a text from an acquaintance, one whom I met through a very intensive personal development course I have been recently experiencing.  The question was remarkably similar, “What do you do when someone you thought was a friend, a [personal development course] friend at that, just starts not talking to you anymore…”

Not having the history with this person AND having seen how my rant to my older friend might not have been the perfect way to handle the situation, I responded by asking two questions.

“[Friend], I would ask myself two questions.

1)      What am I making it mean that they haven’t talked to me  for a while?  (What story am I making up about it?)

2)      Who am I being for this person to have made that choice?  (How have I been behaving with or around this person?)”

That felt better.

As I was meditating this morning, I came to the realization that in all of the personal development and spiritual circles I engage in, there seems to be an underlying current.

Everyone seems to be joining these groups LOOKING for SOMETHING.  It could be friends or answers.  Usually, it seems that we’re all looking for a quick fix to stop feeling generally like poo.

We spend thousands of dollars on trips, cars, furniture OR whatever…  Even to the point of physically altering ourselves so that no one recognizes us anymore.  And when we end up having or doing or looking like what we thought we “should,” we still feel like poo.  Only now we’re BROKE, too.

We join religious groups and personal development movements to be told what to do, because we can’t hear our own inner voice.

We want to be around people who are “like minded” – which generally means other people who feel like poo and really don’t want to anymore but don’t know what else to do, either.

How do I know?  I’ve been searching like mad myself!

The path isn’t flawed.  The goal is.  People start religious and philosophical organizations and personal development movements to help people.  But what the hell happens?

The vibe feels good because it’s all about possibility!  We’re all fired up and the party is ON!!

Usually, the message comes clear from the stage or pulpit that the work must be done within before anything will change on the outside.  But we missed that part…  We were busy dancing…

Pretty soon you’ve got a group of highly motivated people who now see what the problem with their friends and family is.  And they go out and tell everyone in very short order.

Let’s go back to the beginning.

What was my goal when I began my journey?  To feel better.

When did I want results?  Right now!

I felt great when I was in class, session, services!  I felt awful when I got back into my world.

If any of this is sounding familiar, it’s not just you.

So what to do?  Stop with self-improvement?  NO!!!  That’s the fastest way to get where you want to go!

My favorite fable that sums it up best is about Chinese bamboo.

A farmer plants bamboo seed.

In the first year, the farmer tends the seed, fertilizing and watering it.  Not much happens.

In the second year, the farmer continues to fertilize and water the seed.  Not much happens.

Neighbors are pointing and whispering.

In the third year, the farmer still continues to fertilize and water the seed, having faith that his efforts will come to bear fruit.  Not much happens.

Neighbors are laughing and making fun of the farmer.  “What a waste of time!”

In the fourth year, the farmer continues to fertilize and water the seed.  Still nothing appears to be happening.

Neighbors are gossiping and feeling pity for the poor, stupid farmer.

In the fifth year, the bamboo sprouts and grows an amazing 2 feet a day!

Neighbors are congratulating the farmer saying “I knew you could do it!”

What happened?  The bamboo was growing a strong root system to support its growth once it finally broke through.

It’s natural to want to feel better.  Groups and clubs help us get through the rough spots when family and friends don’t always understand where we are coming from.

The danger lies in missing the lesson.  If I always see the problem as being outside of myself, I’ll never be okay, because I can never fix what is outside of me.

Once I can begin to see that who I choose to be in the face of that challenge or hardship determines how I feel, I now have the power to take my life where I want to go!  AND I can begin to feel better IMMEDIATELY without waiting for someone else to change!  Even if circumstances don’t change right away, I have the power to feel better.

Remember, the further away from the source you go without refreshment, the less likely you are to recall the truth.  It’s impossible to change years of habits by attending a one weekend seminar.

To keep your personal development and spiritual growth on track, here are some tips:

1)      Be sure that the path you have chosen fits you!

2)      Listen to CDs and read books related to the events or the philosophy – the closer they are to the source, the better!

3)      Stay plugged in by taking follow-up courses or attending services regularly.

4)      Find a coach or mentor – someone who has done what you want to do.

5)      Do the homework or practice, even when it gets uncomfortable.  You want to dig out the old weeds so your garden will thrive.

6)      Find an accountability partner or someone to work with.

7)      Create a study or support group and be sure to include at least one person who has been on the path for a while.

8)      Surround yourself with people from the events and organizations you attend.  Stay in touch.

As you walk down the path of personal growth, you may notice the weeds get thicker and the jungle gets darker.  Take heart.  Soon you will enter the clearing and all will be as you imagined it and more.

Trust yourself and your heart.  Do what must be done and always be true to your dreams!

Do You Value Your Future?

January 14, 2010

Value… It seems like a simple enough idea, doesn’t it?

That word could lead to talking about great sales at the mall…

It could be a conversation about how we position our businesses in the marketplace by providing customers so much more than they bargained for…

Or maybe we could shoot the breeze about the current state of the world and how today people don’t seem to know what’s important any more.

Those three completely different conversations are all brought about by the same simple 5-letter word.

For the purpose of this conversation, let’s define value as the guiding principles considered to be sufficiently valuable as to be worth one’s time, effort, or interest.

Basically, what are you willing to give up your time and energy for?

This apparently simple idea can make you amazingly successful, if you play your cards right.

Why wait for your ship to come in? By getting in touch with what you value, you can grab the remote control and steer your ship right into port.

“But, how can it be that simple?” you ask.

When you know what you want, the decision making process becomes almost effortless.

For example, let’s say you absolutely love carrot cake. When the waiter presents the dessert menu, if carrot cake is one of the choices, your decision is practically made, right?

Or, let’s say you are cutting back on meat for health reasons and you are going to dinner with some friends. If they gave you a choice between Ruth’s Chris Steak House and The Cheesecake Factory, you would already know your preference, right? (For the salads, of course…)

How about one more… You HATE numbers. You NEVER balance your checkbook. You don’t even know where it is! You would almost certainly apply for a job as an accountant, right? Of course not!

Well, most people make choices about what to do for a career, where to live, or which friends to hang out with purely based on chance… There’s no thought given to what really makes them happy!

When Ghandi began his career in Africa, he was an attorney. He was so incensed by the way he and his friends and family were treated because of the darker tone of their skin, that he began organizing groups before and after work hours in protest. Eventually, it became an obsession and consumed all of his time. When he moved back to his mother country, India, he began to lead similar protests and gatherings in response to treatment by the ruling British government.

Ghandi did not start out with the intention of freeing India or changing the world. He simply understood that equality, freedom, and peace were important to him.

Once he allowed himself to live his life based on what drove him, his life flowed, delivering to him success, freedom, and the hearts and minds of his people.

Abraham Lincoln is another exceptional example. He led a life of despondency and despair. From his childhood, he knew loss and suffering. Mental illness ran in his family and sickness took the lives of his mother, sister, and several other relatives. He even lost the love of his life early on.

Lincoln got involved in politics in an effort to right what he felt were serious wrongs in our country at the time. He lost many more times than he won when running for office. But, he never gave up. And because he knew his core values, he had the strength to keep going when others would have surely quit.

Lincoln decided to retire from politics in his 40s, but was drawn back into the fold in 1854 when the debate over slavery got hot again. So passionate was he about the causes of justice and equality that he continued to campaign and travel and address audiences for 8 years, attempting to convince the country that slavery was wrong and that he was the man to put the matter to rest.

After losing two elections, he finally got his shot. Today, he is one of our most admired and revered presidents, even though most people only understand a small part of his story.

So, what makes these two amazing people so different from everyone else? Aside from fighting against slavery, each valued his future. Each knew what he was passionate about. Each understood where his time would be best spent to make life more meaningful for himself and those around him.

And, let’s face it, life is more fun when it’s meaningful. You get more done in less time. You enjoy the process so much more… AND you are far more likely to actually get what you want at the end.

Are you a slave to a job you hate? Do you sell your soul because you don’t think you can live your dream?

What are you trading YOUR time for?

Need help getting in touch with your Core Values? Come to Lingo Leverage: Do You Value Your Future? on Thursday, December 10th. For more information, click here

Visit Well To Do Living today to get your free gift!

Resolve to Succeed in 2010!

January 14, 2010

It’s that time of year. Most of us made some pretty audacious resolutions for 2010. Now we’re looking back 6 days wondering why we thought we could walk on water. How many of you feel me?

I’m here to tell you it’s not your fault! You’ve been set up! Set up to fail. We’re told we are less than by our parents, pastors, teachers, heck – everyone! But they didn’t know any better either.

We’re measured at every twist and turn. It’s always about MORE! What we DIDN’T get done, rather than what we did! Our systems are all set up to show us how short we fell rather than how far we’ve come.

Making resolutions plays into the old psychology. You aren’t good enough the way you are, so you need to do or have more. And make it FAST!

Wanna try a new way? Let’s do it a little different this year. How would you like to learn how to set yourself up for success?!

There is a definite difference between making resolutions and setting goals.

Making a resolution feels like denial. You are giving something up… Cold turkey! You know… You’ll NEVER ________ (smoke, drink, have sex, eat chocolate) again! You’ve set yourself up to fail right away because that little kid inside of you says “Nu-uh! No way! Can’t MAKE me!”

Face it… If it was so easy, you’d probably have done it by now, right?

On the other hand, setting goals gives you time to get to your destination. You can even give yourself some space to fall down, if you need to.

But even with goal setting, you aren’t guaranteed success. It’s a process. And if you aren’t prepared, it won’t work either.

So what’s the magic formula? What’s missing?

You want it…
You said it…
You planned it…
What happened?

Take measures to ensure your success by taking the following steps.
1) Know WHAT you want
If you don’t have a clear vision of where you want to go, chances are you’ll never make it anywhere. Just knowing what you don’t want isn’t enough.

To prove this theory for yourself, try walking into an airport and asking to buy a ticket to anyplace other than Hoboken, New Jersey. Where do you think the ticket agent will send you? Probably out the front door with security…

Do some soul searching on this one. Spend some time to pick one thing you CHOOSE to manifest and work with that for now. Start out small, just to prove it really works. Remember, we’re working to build a habit of success! Not to blast you for what you didn’t get done!

Also, Goals should be SMARTER – Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time based, enthusiastic, and rewarding. If your goals are smarter, you’ll have a harder time figuring out if you’ve made it.

2) Know WHY you want it
Possibly worse than not knowing what you want is not knowing why you want it.

What purpose does the attainment of your goal mean for you? How will you be changed by it?

If the achievement of your goal doesn’t move you in a particular direction, you probably won’t be moved to achieve the goal. That’s why the Enthusiastic in SMARTER. You gotta like what you’re getting at the end of it.

3) Know HOW you can get it
Okay. Now this step is the scary one. This is the ACTION step. Don’t freak out.

It’s scary because most of us get so locked up in the how that we don’t take action. That seems silly to say since I said you need to know how you can get it. That just means that it’s time to make a move.

For now, just remember that the path you choose isn’t written in stone. Getting into ACTION is the most important thing.

If you don’t know HOW, try imagining yourself there at the goal. Then imagine back from there one milestone at a time to where you started from. Write these steps down and then do them one at a time.

OR, find a mentor, coach, or someone who has done what you intend to do. Make sure it’s someone who has successfully done it and not just a wanna-be. The world is filled with arm-chair quarterbacks. If you want the fast track, jump on someone else’s coattails.

One last thing… RELAX. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the most important part of life is not what you get but what you become as a result of the process. Disempowering goals deplete you of joy and energy. Strong, powerful goals not only motivate you to achieve them, but they also help you grow in the process.