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52 Weeks Forward
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‘”Meow” means “woof” in cat.’ – George Carlin

Changing the meaning of Language

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We are amazingly complex creatures with language variations that boggle the mind.

I grew up hearing that sticks and stones could break my bones but that names would never hurt me, only to learn that name calling does hurt. It hurts deeply and profoundly and that these unseen scars can cause a lifetime of pain. Why is that? Why can a name, a sound in the air, create so much discomfort?

I think it’s important to take charge of language and understand that like all things, it’s subjective.

If I had a nickle for every time I was called stubborn as a child I would own the world’s supply. Maybe I was stubborn, maybe I wasn’t, but this really came down to someone’s opinion of my behavior. My being stubborn wasn’t valued and I was always being asked to changed my behavior. Then a funny thing happened. I moved to Nashville, TN and started working in an environment that needed my unique talent. But you know, they never called me stubborn. I started hearing this new word. Tenacious. It was a light bulb moment for me. They essentially mean the same thing, but tenacious sounds so much more positive. It sounds like a talent!

Language can shoot us down or lift us up – we’ve got to make the choice on which way we want to go.

Just recently I was taking with my husband about my “what ifs”. It’s been a touchy subject. His perspective is that I worry too much. My perspective is that I’m completely prepared, honestly what if there is a zombie apocalypse – I’m so ready! What was important to me was to flip what the language meant. I’m a planner. I help people breakdown their goals into actionable items. I help assess situations, find opportunities and create options to success – in order to do this I need to thing about the what ifs and create paths for each scenario. Essentially I help to create a choose your own living the dream adventure. In this format, my what ifs sounds like a talent.

See what we’re doing here?

This week, take a look at that word, that piece of language that keeps coming up in your life. Is it really a natural strength that you just need to learn how to harness for good?

My favorite book for digging in and focusing on our talents is Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph D. I mentioned this book is Week Two. We have so many words to explain our short comings, but few to explain our brilliance. Understanding our strengths in such a way that we live within our truth and we share that with the world is profound. Sometimes we just have to change the language.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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If there was an over arching theme for 52 weeks it would be planning and executing a timeline. I know it’s easy to get so caught up on the planning that we don’t actually get started. But I also believe that a huge amount of freedom comes from a structure of fundamentals. It sounds counter-intuitive. Structure = Freedom. Let’s dig in.

timeline

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Create a Timeline that Works

Committing to a timeline of actions to complete within a certain time frame is the best way to ward off procrastination and frustration while staying true to the end goal.

I tend to work backward from a goal or result. But the key is to filter it through your regular timeline.

If you have kids in school, than maybe you work your timeline around their schedule. Paying attention to their terms, breaks and holidays will give you a structure to wrap your activities around.

Maybe your day job has a specific calendar of busy and slow times, of corporate retreats and meetings, that dictate how you manage your personal time.

Maybe you are a member of a religious organization that builds their calendar around specific holidays and events.

These are all great examples of calendar structure that we use to plan our daily lives and it’s important to incorporate these filters when planning our 52 weeks forward.

How To Make a Timeline

1. What is your main goal? Your, “a year from now you will have wished you started today” idea

2. What is your plan to achieve it?

3. What activities will you need to execute in-order to travel toward you goal?

4. Working backward from your goal to today, create a time frame that incorporates your natural calendar.

5. Fill out your personal timeline as it relates to your goal.

6. Looking at your timeline in a visual manner do any barriers pop up? How will you address those?

7. Commit to your timeline.

8. Add in time to measure your progress.

9. Learn from your opportunities and don’t give up.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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There is nothing like visiting with old friends to be reminded that time is an illusion. Oh there is indication that time has passed (I believe we may be morphing into our parents)… but really it felt like no time had passed at all.

Old FriendsTodd and I graduated from Duncan MacMillan High School in June 1993. That may have been the last time I laid on eyes on him.

Saturday we met at Stone Mountain Park for an afternoon of catching up and adventure. I was excited to meet his wife Tamara. We are friends on Facebook, but had never actually met in person. I love searching through her posts to read up on policies and politics, especially since like me, it’s filtered through the experiences of a Canadian living in the US.

Todd is in the military, doing exactly what he always said he wanted to do. That makes him a double hero in my book. I’m fascinated by those who know their place in the world and do it with such passion and grace. Not only does he stand on guard for thee – Canadians and hockey fans will see what I did there – he is also living his dream. And to top it all off I love that he and Tamara are giving their kids the gift of travel. Stationed in the mid-west, they have been using vacation time to visit every nook and cranky of the good ole US of A. An activity which has brought them to my neck of the woods.

And speaking of kids, our young-ins became fast friends and the park gave them plenty of opportunities to bond. Peyton is devastated they will not be back through anytime soon. It is a big country after all and there is a lot more to see!

SkycourseHopefully it won’t be another 22 years before we see one another again!

Have you connected with an old friend recently? Did it feel like no time had passed?

If you haven’t maybe now is the time to reach out. Social media it’s easier than ever!

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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My dad is one of the hardest working men I know. Which is why I love it when he says he feels like he’s never worked a day in his life.

Love it

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Many of us are passionate beings looking to share our gifts with the world. Our days are filled with endless responsibilities and distractions and staying true to the vision for our future becomes work. Even when we love it.

Because of my dad, I never grew up thinking that work and having fun were on two different ends of the spectrum.

That’s not to say that work isn’t work. I knew he had long nights, heavy loads and can count on one hand the number of sick days he took. I know he had bad days, stolen merchandise and unpaid receivables. But I also know he loves it.

My mantra, living the dream, is a little ode to my dad. My dad, a successful business owner who never felt like he worked a day in his life because he loves what he does. And it’s all he ever wanted for us too.

This week’s journal entry should explore this idea of loving what you do. When we do more of what we love we feel strong. Our moods can be better and we may even feel focused enough to take another step toward our dream.

Draw a line down the middle of your page. On the top of one side write LOVE and on the other side BECAUSE. Now think about all the activities you perform in a typical day and assign them to either category.

How many activities do you do each day that you love? These activities bring you joy, make you feel strong and give you sense of general well being.

How many activities do you do each that you do just because? This is a list for everything else.

How do your lists look? Are they balanced? Does this visual give you an idea on where you can make some changes?

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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Metrics are a way to monitor our efforts. We are over a quarter of the way into our journey and now we should talk about how we are tracking it.

Metrics

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We all want to see progress. A year from now we want to know we started and that we are getting somewhere. So how to we check in on our goals? How do we measure the progress of change?

Now is time to go back to the Planning for a 52 Week Journey sheet.

A smart goal (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related) is one that we can measure. If your goal is to loose weight, secure a promotion, finish a course, complete a project, etc tracking may seem pretty straight forward. But what if your goal is to be happier, less stressed, have more time than how do you track this progress?

One of the easiest ways to set a metric is to do a simple rating of 1-10 on how you currently feel.

Now give yourself a rating of where you’d like to stand at the end of the year.

Checking in on a regular basis means tracking your ratings and also the activities that are making a difference.

  • Are you working out on a regular basis? (yes or no)
  • Are you removing candy bars from your diet? (yes or no)
  • Have you spoken with your boss? (yes or no)
  • Have you created a weekly date with yourself? (yes or no)

You activities may not be so cut and dry, but every goal will have action items and we need to find a way to track them. Seeing your progress can be an extremely motivating.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

Sharing inspirational tips on productivity, marketing, and a positive mindset – Join us!


And the fears that once controlled me, Can’t get to me at all” Let it Go, from Frozen written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

Let it go

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Let it go isn’t just the hook for a Disney block buster. It’s a way of life that can help move you forward.

Thinking about the past is normal, dwelling in the past can feel a lot like being stuck. Past events can become anchors, and if we let them, keep us from living the life we desire.

Are there things that keep you stuck? People, expectations, habits, desires, ideas, relationships, conversations, judgements, memories…

Now is the time to let them go. Here are a few exercises to help.

Spell it Out

Last week we talked about journal writing. This week let’s explore our anchors. Putting pen to paper can be tough. Really laying down the ideas that swirl through our heads and take up a lot of space is a mindful exercise. It mean slowing the thoughts enough to write them down. To purge them from your mind and give yourself a moment to truly connect to your emotions.

No comes the most important part. Let it go. Watch it go through a shredder, dig a hole and bury it, or my personal favorite, burn it. I know it sounds incredibly goofy, but if you haven’t tried it and you’re still feeling stuck, what do you have to lose?

Find Support

If the thing is bigger than you. If it’s an addiction or abuse find a support group, consult a trained therapist and source help. You don’t have to hold on to this thing any more. Know that letting go and moving on doesn’t mean forgetting or even forgiving. It means you are taking back the power – your anchor does not own you and you need to stop giving it permission to keep you from your dreams.

Dwell on the Good

What are you grateful for? Sometimes we just need to re focus our thoughts. That doesn’t mean we don’t deal with our anchor. Ignoring the anchor is not going to make it go away. But understanding that there is a balance is an important step in being able to let go of whats holding you back.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

Sharing inspirational tips on productivity, marketing, and a positive mindset – Join us!