You Are Out of Time

Today leads tomorrow, that leads to the next day, that flows into a week, into a month, into a year, into a decade, into a lifetime. We know this right?

Depending on where on the age spectrum you are, you may go from nodding your head to rolling your eyes and exclaiming how quickly time goes.

I’m in the latter category.

Wasn’t it just 2005?

How could it be Spring already?

Why is time speeding by?

I saw this quote the other day and I stopped. I was terrified.

three equal  persons  hiding his face with a cloud, conceptual image

How would you act if you knew you only had another 10 years?

What would you give up? What would you do differently?

Sit down and be uncomfortable with this thought for a while.  What are you putting up with that would intolerable if you knew, 100% certain that it your life would be over soon?

What are you missing out on?

What are you wishing you did, said, went?

Now, what is your action plan?

You Need Some Support

Who is on your team?

I know it seems that your goals are your own and you can do it alone, and maybe you can, but why?

People love you and want to help you succeed.

Let them.

I’ve written about this before, but because it is so important (and let’s face it, you probably didn’t listen to me), I’m writing about it again.

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You need to assemble a Super-Team. They are your support system for achieving everything.  Now everyone will have slightly different requirements, but I think everyone needs the following:

The Comforter – this is the person you call when things have gone from sugar to sh*!. They will tell you everything is okay, that you will be alright, and that it isn’t as bad as it seems. Mostly, they give you the hug and cookie on a bad day.

The Tough Lover – this person is going to tell you the hard, unvarnished truth. It might hurt your feelings, but they do this out of love. They are unflinchingly truthful. Go to this person when you need your butt kicked, when you know you’ve been lazy, and need someone to call you on your antics.

The Business/Goal Adviser – this person is the one with the business information you need or is the one who has accomplished your goal. Perhaps this person is your idol or ideal. They can help you navigate when things get tricky in the pursuit of your goal.

The Break Friend – this is a great person to have in your group. They are the ones who will tell you are taking everything too seriously and will get you to take an hour off for lunch, a movie, or even a weekend get away. Be cautious! Too much time with this person can mean less focus on your goals and too much time playing. Time away is important, but moderation is the key.

The Coach – This is usually the paid person in your group. People shy away from the expense, but let’s be real, when you spend money you are generally serious. You’ll listen to their advice because you paid for it! The Coach will make you think and help you see things from a different direction.

Accountabl-a-buddy – This can be done by The Coach or not. This is the person who you tell that you will do something and then actually do it. I have a yoga buddy. Every day, she and I send a Facebook message stating we did yoga and how much.

Accountability doesn’t always seem sexy or necessary, but for most, knowing that someone is going to say/write, “Did you x today?” is powerful.

One word of caution when selecting an Accountability partner, make sure they are as committed to their goals as you are to yours. If you don’t hear from them daily (or whatever your schedule is), if they don’t ask you if you’ve done your activity, they won’t be effective in keeping you on track.

Who can you add to your team?

 

Big, Medium, Small & Tiny Goals

I want another word for goals.

When we talk goals, inevitably we talk about significant things, life-changing things, big things.  If what we want isn’t “big enough” we don’t call it a goal.

And if we don’t call it a goal, then all the resources, attention, and desire seems to get washed away.

What if you want to downsize and get rid of unwanted and unused items? Is that a goal or does it get regulated down to the “Things to Do” list?

If it is a goal, you have strategies in place. You know to visualize, to put time on your schedule, to ask yourself why this is important and what you will get out of it (thus motivating yourself), you think about possible obstacles and how you can overcome them, and line up your resources.

That stuff doesn’t happen if it is just a ‘to-do’ item.

character_with_custom_clipboard_17708So let’s have some fun and re-define or at least get clear on types of goals out there.

You probably have (or should have) a variety of goals –

Major Goals: These are goals so big they change the entire landscape of your life. Getting married or divorce, moving to another state or country, having a child, starting a new career or get your degree.

Big Things: Those that take 1+ years to accomplish and are, well, big. Things like earn a million dollars or lose 50lbs+ or go back to school.

Milestone: A significant step towards achieving your Big or Major goal.  Losing the first 10 lbs or completing the first class towards your degree. Even the first week or month without a cigarette.

Action Items: These are goals that you can accomplish in one-step or one action. They are important, so don’t discount that they are done quickly as something that isn’t worth your time or your resources. Action goals can be buying something that you need but have been putting off, especially if it has to do with a Big Goal or Major Goal, or cleaning out your closet, or even self-care items like getting your hair done or getting a massage.

Mini-Items: These are almost insignificant things that need to be done but you have been putting off. These are not honey-dos or to-dos, they are associated in some way with your other goals.  Cleaning your house would not be considered a mini-goal unless this is the first step towards getting your house ready so you can sell it.

 

 

How Do You Get Inspired To Action

I’ve been staring at the blinking cursor of my blog for about 10 minutes. Spent another 20 minutes playing on Facebook and scratching my cat’s ears as they block the screen.

I write a blog daily Monday through Friday. On Monday, I actually write two, because Tuesday morning I have a networking meeting during my normal writing time.

Point is, I’ve been pretty disciplined on sitting my butt down at a certain time and working.

But today, as I look at the screen, nothing is coming to mind. I have a laundry list of potential topics, yet none jump out at me, none inspire me.

What do you do to inspire you to perform?

And what is the difference between motivation and inspiration?

Inspire: fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Motive: something (such as a need or desire) that causes a person to act

To me, there isn’t much of a difference, is there to you? Either way neither is pushing me to filling these pages with something useful, something that you will read and go “Oh! that is why I do what I do. How easy, how brilliant!”

Challenge

This is a week-long challenge. I want you to discover what pushes you from the “I don’t feel like doing it” mind space, to the “Let’s get it done!” one.

Make a laundry list and keep that list where you can see it because when you get stuck in the doldrums where everything seems too hard, it’ll help snap you out of it.

Here is a short list of mine. Feel free to borrow it.

  1. Walk outside with the dogs. Moving my body and changing locations always seems to spark something.
  2. Get out and garden, same as the above, except at the end of it, I can see a measure of my time. Cleared space, raked leaves, the absence of weeds. Sometimes, I just like to know I can affect change.
  3. Call up a fun friend and chat. Hearing a friendly voice and talking about what is going on helps.
  4. Listen to an inspiring podcast or watch videos. Kat Loterzo being a favorite.
  5. Read an inspirational book. This one I have to be careful with because I spiral toward just reading for hours and hours on end.

What do you do that inspires you to act?

Do you REALLY want it?

Commitment (insert some old school joke here).

How committed to success are you?

It is easy to say you want something. You may tell people, conversationally, how you want to be:

  • Thinner
  • Healthier
  • Wealthier
  • More community minded
  • More devout

But do you really?

Here is a test to see if you are really committed to your goal. Did you work on it today? How about yesterday?

Did you write it down in your fancy planner or a slip of paper? Did you tell a friend, co-worker or family member that you couldn’t do something because you were going to work on your goal?

Did you actually do more than that?

I’m not judging! Truly! I’m sitting here looking at my notebook and transferring two activities that will get me closer to my goal. Yep, transferring them from my notes yesterday because I didn’t work on them.

I looked at it. Thought about it. Didn’t do it.

You’ve done that, right? 

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You felt the frustration and anger at yourself for not just doing it! It might not even be that big of an activity.  It may seem minor, might not even take time, but still it sits there.

Mocking you. Reminding you that you didn’t do it. That it still needs to be done. That nothing will change until you do it.

Here is your challenge. And just to be clear, I’m going to do this too. Think of it as an experiment. I want to hear on tomorrow’s blog if you did it and if it worked for you.

Set up a timer and I want you to visualize yourself starting this task. Put a lot of energy and emotion into. Positive stuff only! Let yourself feel how happy you are at doing this. How relieved you feel by taking action. How proud of yourself doing it. How much easier it is than you thought it would be.

Then think about being in the middle of the activity. Things are going great! Everything is way better than you thought.

Now, I want you to feel all the happiness and sense of accomplishment at finishing it. Yes, it might be a small piece of a much larger goal, but I want you to celebrate it! Let yourself feel all the positive emotion.

Open your eyes, breath in and out deeply, and start to work on your goal.

I’ll update you tomorrow!

Step 1

I’m patting myself on my back. Day 2 and I’ve actually sat down and started to write.

What is a journey to discovery without some progress? Standing still in the exact place you were before.

Which I have been doing.

Which I don’t want to do anymore.

Which is the whole point of this blog.

I know you’ve been there before. Chances are you are reading this because this is where you are now and like me, you are looking for answers.

We want there to be a magic button. A 100% fool-proof method that would turn your hopes and dreams into actual achievements.

And like me, you’ve probably made some half-hearted attempts. Watched the motivational videos of Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, and read the blogs of Kat Loterzo (my personal favorite kick-butt woman and one of the reasons I’m doing this) or Barbara Cochran (real estate and Shark Tank panelist) and it feels like it is just in reach.

But either you don’t reach or your arms aren’t long enough.

They seem so far ahead of you. They seem to know something you don’t know. Have some magical power that you are lacking.

So you stop. Or you start and falter. But this time is going to be different. For both of us.

How? I’m figuring that out right now. I’ll push you and you’ll push me. Eventually, we’ll get somewhere or figure out why we aren’t.

Let’s do this. Step 2 is going to have some homework so check back in. Business woman celebrates successful deal at office. Business People

Here is some semi-inspiring stock photo (I paid for it thank you very much) of how fabulous and happy you’ll be for checking back in for the next blog.

The World Will Not Crumble Without You

I wrote a blog called Slow Down and Take a Day Off about the importance of taking a moment to yourself. Rest, recharge, take a frigging minute.

I know there is a lot of resistance to this. This idea that the entirety of the world rests on your shoulders and if you should falter for even a moment, the whole house of cards will fall.

Back in the corporate days, when I worked with a team, I felt that if I left, took a day off or even just quit, everything would fall apart without me. That no one could possibly run it as well or as efficiently as I did.

Guess what? I was wrong.

I used that “I’m invaluable” thought as a way to keep myself there, even if I was unhappy. What was my unhappiness when people needed me? What was my unhappiness if I was the reason that an entire department ran well?

When I finally left because I was so absolutely miserable that I didn’t care if my co-workers suffered or not, the department kept running without me.

The multi-billion dollar company didn’t stop. The world continued to turn.

We are all the heroes of our own story. 

Are you inflating the importance of your contribution or existence? And please know, I’m talking specifically about areas where you are unhappy. Where you are showing up because no one else is or because you feel that the {insert term here} would just fall apart without you.

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I’m here to tell you, you are important. Important for what you do and represent and are, but you are replaceable.

Because no matter what, the world continues to turn.

This should make you feel a little sad, but a whole lot liberated.

Free yourself from the chains you’ve put on yourself and choose your own happiness.

 

Do You Want To Feel Bad?

How silly, right?

Why would anyone want to feel bad?

We all want to feel good, don’t we?

You’d think that, wouldn’t you? But people sometimes consistently make a choice to feel bad. Maybe they are addicted to the bad or wrong choice.

They may get a ‘hit’ when they feel bad.

Let me explain.

Betty is in overload! Too much going on. She has her two kids who need her help, her business, her volunteer work,  her housework, and all the boards that she is apart of.

Betty is overwhelmed. Too much to do and not enough time. She isn’t sleeping or eating well. She needs help, doesn’t she?

But when she gets offers to help from others, she says no. She needs the help, and yet she doesn’t take it.

Why?

Could it be Betty wants to feel overwhelmed?  She can cut back on things, like volunteer work or boards, but she chooses not to. She could hire help, but doesn’t. She could get help from people who love her, but she refuses.

So what the hell Betty!?

What happens when bad feeling feel good?

Betty is getting something from feeling overwhelmed.  It could be the addictive feeling that she has too much to do, or that people depend on her or the mistaken belief if she wasn’t doing it all, everything would fall apart. She is important.

Plus she gets to brag to everyone how much she does and how she has so much to do!

Is there anywhere in your life you are doing this? Perhaps it isn’t overwhelm that is your ‘bad’ emotion of choice.

Do you overeat and feel bad afterward?

Do you not make the sales calls and feel bad afterward? Like you failed?

When and where do you feel bad?

If you could stop the bad feelings, would you?

 

Ask Yourself This Question

As I go through my NLP certification course, I get to learn some fabulous techniques that will help my coaching clients.

Even better, they help me!

The latest technique is a simple but effective one. But aren’t all the best techniques seemingly simple?

What is the difference between people who constantly eat unhealthy food (and regret it later) and those that do not?

Is it discipline? Are they just better?

It is a question that is asked.

But not only a question, but the timing of the question.

By the way, as a healthy eater, this is true for me. Others, I would love for you to weigh in and let me know if this is your thought process.

Unhealthy Eater:

See the food
Eat the food
Ask themselves why they did it
Regret taking the action

Healthy Eater:

See the food
Ask themselves what they would feel like after they ate it
Doesn’t eat the food
Has no regrets

talia_question_mark_800_clr_20785The simple question that looks to a future state and makes the person ponder whether the place they will find themselves after taking action is worth it.

Yes, this works for everything. 

I’m a homebody. I prefer my own company. Give me a book, my garden, my kitchen, a great walking trail and I’m in paradise. Going out is a necessary evil for me.

The other day, I had an event that I knew I should go to. I was warring with myself, trying to decide whether I was going to go or not. I didn’t want to get dressed and drive and make nice. It seemed like too much effort.

I sat down, and I thought to myself if this was two hours after the event how I would feel if I didn’t go? If this was two hours after the event and I did go, how would I feel?

Which state did I want to feel?

I made my choice and felt 100% okay with it.

I want you to try this technique when you find yourself in a position to make a choice. As always, make sure the future state you are thinking of is a full 3-D experience.

How would you feel about yourself?
How would your body feel?
What are your thoughts? Negative, positive, neutral?
How would this affect your next decision?

Are You Walking To The Horizon?

One of my favorite client’s gave me this analogy about walking toward the horizon. No matter how much time you dedicate, no matter how hard you work, if your goal is to walk to the horizon, you’ll fail.

Right?

For those who aren’t sure why this is, every step you takes means the horizon is one step further away.

This analogy works two ways:

  1. People will create goals and the moment they are close, they change it. They can never achieve their goals because they never allow themselves to.

Example: My goal is to lose 20lbs. I’ve lost 18, so 20lbs isn’t enough, I should lose 25lbs.

2. People will create impossible goals that no matter what they do will not be achievable.

Example: My goal is to homeschool my 5 children, be a partner in a successful law firm and volunteer 10 hours a week to my favorite charity.

Which one are you?

Challenge

Identify which type of goal person you are. If you aren’t either listed above, congrats! Stop reading this blog, you have better things to do!

If you are one of these people, self-identify now. No shame, no blame, no worries.

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Number 1 – Stop it! Write down the goal, achieve it and then celebrate!  You did something awesome! Do NOT set a new goal until you have properly celebrated achieving the first one. Do NOT undermine the achievement by saying it wasn’t hard enough, it was too easy, anyone can do it. You set a goal, you did it. Be proud.

Number 2 – Find a trusted advisor and have them help you set goals. There are a number of reasons why you set impossible goals (and I’ll write a separate blog about them later), but for right now, it is enough to know that you need someone’s help to create realistic goals.

Candy Sugarman

Changing Your View

I just had a unique to me experience. I had professional headshots taken. I paid to have my hair and makeup done.

Which for a majority of women is no big deal, but if you’ve ever seen my videos on Facebook, you’ll notice I’m either bare-faced or wearing minimal makeup.

My hairdressing skills are combing it out or putting it in a ponytail.

So to have this experience of having my hair done and having more makeup put on me than I’ve ever had (plus eyelashes!) was disconcerting.

After the professional finished her magic, I took a look in the mirror and I could hardly believe it was me!

Candy SugarmanWho was this woman?

I felt older, I felt beautiful, I felt different.

It was an uncomfortable feeling. What I was seeing in the mirror was not what I was used to. It wasn’t bad, but it was so different than what I normally see.

If you’ve never had your photo professional taken, I urge you do it. Gloria Cambria of GTC Photography was my photographer and the experience was wonderful!

She checked in with me frequently and can I say, I hated my pictures. Not her style, or the lights, or anything, I hated my smile. I looked forced, uncomfortable because I was. I was so out of my element.

It is a true testament to her professionalism that she did manage to get some stunning (if I do say so myself) photos.

Okay, enough about me, the point of the blog is how you see yourself and what you do when you see yourself from another angle or from someone else’s point of view.

I feel like I’m a regular, somewhat goofy, woman.

I’ve been told I can be intimidating, which feel ridiculous me, but I have heard this from multiple people throughout the year.

The pictures, the pictures show a woman who is a professional, who you would be intimidated by.

I just need to reconcile who they are with who I think I am.

Challenge

What feedback are you getting from others about who you are? Cold, withholding, sweet, goofy, intimidating, mean?

Do you agree? Can you open your mind and look at the situation dispassionately and see how others see you? Do you agree?

Do you want to change it?

The choice to change is up to you, but make the decision with all the proof and information you need.

Do You Believe?

 

What you want – the goals, the lifestyle, the money, the relationship – whatever, is there ready for the taking.

Do you believe?

Can you see yourself in that lifestyle, with that person, walking around in that body, living in that house?

Because if you don’t truly believe that your goal can actually come true for you, it won’t.

I hesitate to use the word faith, only because that word is so loaded with religious context that a person can quickly and easily find themselves in a quagmire of issues.

But yes, faith is a big part of getting your goals.

If you don’t have the vision, if you don’t do the work, and if you don’t have the faith that if you actively and passionately pursue your goal that it will be yours, you won’t get it.

The old saying, “If you can conceive, if you can believe it, you can achieve it.” is true.

So stop. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, do you truly believe, do you have the faith, that if you do what you need to do, you can achieve your goal?

And if you don’t, then that is a totally different blog!

 

Slow Down! Take A Day Off

When I see my Doctor, she accuses me of being a Type A personality – pushing myself relentlessly and working too much.

Which is funny to me because I certainly do feel that is me. But we’ve talked about self-concept before haven’t we?

Type A and Type B personality theory describes two contrasting personality types. In this theory, personalities that are more competitive, highly organized, ambitious, impatient, highly aware of time management and/or aggressive are labeled Type A, while more relaxed personalities are labeled Type B.

But this got me to thinking, when was the last time you slowed down?

When was the last time you took a deep breath and said, “Today is a maintenance day. No work, no checking emails, no studying, no relentlessly pursuing something. A goof-off day.”

If your first reaction is either panic, disbelief, fear, or even to bust out laughing because that could NEVER happen

You need a day off.

lounging_dog_days_summer_800_clr_12418Before you start with the thousand and one reasons why you just CAN’T take a day off, I want you to remember, the first step is to believe that it is possible.

If you don’t believe it can happen, it can’t. If you believe you can, then you will go into a resourceful state and start to look for ways to make it happen.

Pick a date in the future. Not so far that it seems unrealistic and so distant that it doesn’t seem like it’ll happen. Not so soon that you start to sweat and panic.

Three weeks to a month is usually doable.

Pick the date, put it on the calendar and then spend some time figuring out how you can make it happen. Have a friend take the kids for the night in exchange for you doing it in the future? Tell the family and let them know they are on their own for breakfast, dinner, getting back and forth from school. Tell your clients you will be out of pocket and that they’ll hear from you when you come back.

The world won’t fall apart, I promise you. 

Heck! They love you right? They want you to be happy? Tell them this is something that you really need and have them work with you to figure out how you can 24 hours of “you” time.

The time off you get is important. Heck, it is critical. Everyone needs time to rest and recharge. To think about where they are and where they are going. Are you on the right path? Do you need to bask in the glow of your accomplishments or do you need to rethink?

When you are running and pushing and achieving every day, we forget to stop and look around and ask,

“Is this what I want to be doing?”

So, give yourself the day off.

Holy $*!&, This Works!

I’m working on my NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Certification so I can be a better life coach.

For those that don’t know, NLP is the belief that there is a connection between neurological processes (neuro-), language (linguistic) and behavioral patterns learned through experience (programming), and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life. (Thanks Wiki-pedia)

As with everything, I always try out what I learn on me first, and I ask myself, is this helpful? Is this easy? Is this something others can do? Is this something that I would use over and over for myself?

Yes, I ask a lot of questions. I’m curious.

That’s just me. 😉

I’m currently studying about Association and Disassociation. I won’t get into it too deeply because that would take time.

To sum up, it is how you can view your experience, either internally or externally. 

Examples are helpful.

Imagine you are at your first job interview. Sitting in the chair, staring across from someone who, based on a few minutes, will decide if you get the job.

Do you feel your palms sweating? Feel your heart racing? Re-experience the thoughts going through your head?

That is Internal or Association.

Now, take that same scenario, and put it in on a mental movie screen. You are no longer ‘in’ your body, you are watching the whole thing from afar.

What did the interviewee do right? What did they do wrong? Emotions are gone, you are looking at it as an objective third party.

That is External or Disassociation.

So what? Well, if you are dealing with things in your life where you get very emotional and can’t see your way out of, looking at it in a disassociated state can help you get a better handle on. Once you remove the emotions, you can better analyze it.

See, pretty cool way to solve your problems, right?

If you’d like to purse NLP, here is the course I’m taking)