Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tools for the new year

Now is as good a time as any to start preparing for next year.  To help you do that, I've organized a number of tools that I think you may find useful in pursuing what you want next year.

1.  Me
Lest we forget that I am more than just a blogger, I will remind you that I coach, I teach, and I help get people unstuck from wherever they're stuck.  I charge $75 a session (which, in this world, is a STEAL) and I've got a lot of happy clients, with always room for one more...

2.  Make it Happen Now! Workshop, January 12th and 27th
This is a course I offer every year at the start of the year.  It helps you identify what you want, figure out what stands in your way, make a plan to go after what you want, and develop accountability to make sure you stick with your plan.  It's $75 for four hours and past participants have repeated the course year after year.  Find out more about it here.

3.  Notes from the Universe
This is a great site that will send you messages every weekday morning to remind you how wonderful you are and how you fit into the bigger picture of the universe around you.  I use them as a springboard for my meditation and to reconnect me with my heart.  Here's a sample message:
The one thing all famous authors, world-class athletes, business tycoons,singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common, Kate,is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.Yet still, they began their journeys.You are so poised for greatness,The Universe
One day, they're going to name something big after you, Kate!Like a statue, a college... or a hurricane.
You can sign up for them at here.

4.  Robert Holden's Shift Happens
I've learned a lot from Robert Holden and find him to be one of the warmest, sweetest, and friendliest thinkers out there.  I've signed up for his mailing list and, like the Universe, every weekday morning I get a motivating message from him.  For example:

Today is a good day for forgiveness. Mind you, forgiveness is not for everyone. It is only for those who would like to experience peace, love, joy, bliss, healing, freedom, total salvation and things like that.

You can sign up here , where you'll find lots of other great tools from Robert, too.

5.  Coach Alba
This is a tool from the people at Change Anything that can help you stay on track by receiving texts to help you get through what they call "Crucial Moments."  I imagine I might use it at night when I have a tendency to eat mindlessly -- just a quick text from Coach Alba to remind me to be mindful, and all of a sudden I'm brought back to myself.  At the moment, it's programmed to best work with people who want to lose weight, though I imagine they'll come up with other iterations of it.

You can find it here.

6.  StickK
This is a site I wrote about earlier that provides you with external motivation when your internal motivation starts to lag.  Essentially what you do is sign up for a challenge -- losing weight, getting a new job, working on your memoir, writing a new song, whatever -- and then wager with stickK that you will commit to taking action on that goal, or you'll have to pay money, either to a friend, a charity, or an "anti-charity" (a cause you hate).  I've used this technique with clients before with really great results, but you can try it for yourself online here.

7.  Avoiding Destination Addiction
Just watch this video:
8.  My Previous Posts on Goal Setting

Thursday, December 13, 2012

thinking of next year's goal... now

As we reach the end of the year, it's easy to get torn between two extremes:  at one end are the parties, the wine, the food, the time off, the butternut squash lasagna, the flaky-cakey-whatever-that-was-last-night-at-the-company-party.  At the other?  The goals we set on January first about how draconian and austere we're going to be in 2013, probably to remedy all the things we've wonked up during the holiday season. 
There has to be a better way, right? 

The key to staying focused on the long-term picture without feeling denied during such a festive time of year is all about moderation. 

Now I am not the poster child for moderation.  When something feels good, I'm like my friend's dog who, when let off the leash, will undoubtedly be found near the garbage -- not eating it, but just happily rolling around in it.  Wallowing, if you will.  It's easy to feel like the cheer that is spread at this time of year isn't going to last.  That there will never be another party, or that you just have to see one more group of people or you won't be invited back next year.  Strange:  the abundance of cheer can make us fear its lack. 
I'm not suggesting that you stay home and miserable during the holidays.  In fact, I'm not even suggesting you refrain from eating that flaky-cakey-whatever-that-was-last-night-at-the-company-party (because, damn! that was tasty!).  But do you need that AND a sugar cookie?  Do you need two glasses of wine AND a martini?  Do you need to stay out until 2am Tuesday AND Wednesday?

If the answer is yes, then by all means, do it.  But wherever and whenever the answer is no, take a moment to remember what you really want from your life.  Remember to take care of yourself.  And remember that the difference between this week and the first week of the year is just an arbitrary distinction you're making. 

If you want that goal, why not start now?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dan Pink’s Drive

If you haven’t seen this video before, take 11 minutes and watch it now. Seriously. I’ll wait.

So I just finished a two day training on these concepts and, while it’s meant to address employees’ engagement and motivation, I think it holds true for our personal lives and the drive we have to live fully.

Think about it: what’s something that you do because you absolutely love doing it? Odds are there are three big contributors to what makes that fun and wonderful for you: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Let’s take one of my favorite things to do – hiking. Part of the reason I love it is because I have autonomy over it – I can do it whenever I want (more or less) and there’s nobody breathing down my neck telling me how exactly to do it. Another part of the reason I love it is because I can get better at it. I can hike longer, higher, farther. I can get more present while I hike and get “in the zone” with it. And I see progress as I go along – the views at the top of a mountain, for example, make me feel like I have mastered something (even if it’s just my legs). And thirdly, hiking contributes to my sense of purpose – living more fully. It takes care of my body and mind (so I can help others take care of theirs). It connects me to myself and to whatever friends I hike with. It gets me out of self-doubt, and it’s fun.

Now think about something you don’t love to do. If you’re like me, it’s something like doing the dishes. You can use these same concepts to help yourself motivate through tasks you need to do but aren’t particularly jazzed about.

Dish-doing autonomy: I can decide when I want to do the dishes, what kind of soap to use, how hot the water is, and how long I let them pile up before doing them. This is way better than having a roommate pestering me about the stack of baked-on-caked-on-greasy-dirt-encrusted cookware.

Dish-doing mastery: In truth, I don’t care about getting better at doing dishes, but I do care that they’re done well. So I can focus my energy on making sure they’re socially acceptable. I can also use the time it takes to do dishes to get better at something else – maybe by listening to a podcast or news report, or by focusing my mind on the task at hand.

Dish-doing purpose: If I tie doing my dishes back to purpose, they become much easier to do. I do my dishes so I can take care of myself so I can help take care of others. Then dish-doing becomes a gift I give myself instead of a punishment I inflict on myself. I do my dishes so I can be a responsible adult. I do my dishes so my home reflects the way I feel about myself. Think about it like explaining why you do the dishes to a young person. This can help the young person in you connect more fully to the task at hand.

More neat insights to come, but I wanted to introduce you to Dan Pink and these concepts before, say, another month accidentally passes without me writing anything…