It’s Time To Do Your Dream

Think about the power of putting action behind your dream.

To walk through the possibilities, let’s start with a “small” dream – taking a vacation. For many people taking a vacation seems like a dream out of reach.

“Work will fall apart without me.”

“We can’t afford it.”

“The clean-up when I get back to the office just isn’t worth it.”

Etc. Etc. Etc.

However, when we decide to follow our dream, each of these can be rebutted and actions taken to support the desired end result.

Work will fall apart without me. First, I’m only buying this one if you’re a one-person shop. You aren’t that indispensable and if you are, then perhaps you do need to leave so that others understand all that you do – but that’s a post for another day! Back to following the dream… if this is true, steps can be made to mitigate potential problems. This is your dream! Plan in advance; recruit others to help you; hire administrative help. Whatever it takes, you’ll get creative because you have a dream.

Can’t afford it? Give something up and start putting that money aside for your get-away. My sister-in-law once pointed out that just $50 a paycheck set aside would get her to a tropical island within a year. Or maybe your trip is a gift to yourself when you get a bonus or pay off a credit card. Again, with focus you could overcome this obstacle as well.

Clean-up not worth it? Well, I’d argue that it always is; but if I can’t convince you of that here’s a creative idea for those of you who live in an email centric world. I heard about someone who put on his out-of-office replies that all emails he received during his time away were headed right to the trash bin and if it was important, please send the email after he returned. Do you love this?!

All of these things take conscious effort. Without the dream as a guide, either the vacation might not take place or the concerns may actually be realized, reinforcing that vacations are tough to take, afford and return from. The dream helps make it better all around.

Now, think about the power of putting action behind your dream. Buying a lake home. Having a baby. Retiring. Changing careers. Buying new furniture. Going to college. Starting a business. Cleaning out the garage. Volunteering in Africa. Planning a family reunion.

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Do your dream.

Remain Diligent

Here’s the kicker… once diligence pays off and a goal is achieved we must still remain diligent.

Did you finally get the promotion you worked hard for?  You need to keep working hard.

Reach your target weight?  You must continue to eat well and exercise.

Save money so you can retire?  You have to manage that money well in retirement.

Close that deal with a hotly pursued client?  You’ll need to soon go after another.

Diligence is incredibly important to achieving goals.  In the same way, diligence is also required to maintain what we have worked so hard to achieve.  We can’t let up.  If we do we might slip back to where we were.

So don’t get comfortable and overconfident when you’ve reached your destination.  Enjoy that you’ve arrived and then figure out your plan to stay there.

Remain diligent.

Prioritizing Preparation

What we choose to prepare for exposes our priorities.  If something is truly important to us, we’ll take the time to prepare for it.  And if we say it’s important and yet don’t prepare, how important can it really be?

As a new business owner, people will mention to me that they’d like to start their own business one day and yet they are doing nothing to prepare for it.  Without preparation, it won’t happen.

There are those who want to retire early and yet fail each month to put money away to properly prepare.

An individual may say that he doesn’t want to take daily medication but won’t prepare for maintaining his health through exercise and nutrition.

So what is important enough to you to prepare for it?  Want to be a corporate vice president one day?  What are you doing to prepare?  Want to own your home outright?  What steps are you taking to prepare for that?  Want to be healthy when you’re 80?  How are you preparing for that today?

No judgment here, simply pointing out that preparing, prioritizing and importance work together.  If you aren’t prioritizing preparations, then perhaps it – whatever IT is – isn’t as important to you as you thought.

Add your name to my mailing list to receive coaching tips sent right to your inbox twice monthly. Click here to join.

Long-term Motivation

Thinking about motivation this week and wondering where it was that mine went over the last few, I was reminded yesterday how long-term goals can motivate us to move in the direction of those dreams.

As I shared in a goal-setting workshop yesterday – speaking as much to myself as the participants – long-term goals help guide our short-term decisions, buffer us from failure, and motivate us to achieve more.  When we are able to see the end benefit of our current work, it’s motivating when we work to complete it.

For example, when I remember the mobile 80-year-old that I want to be, it inspires me to get on the treadmill.  Similarly, having my retirement goals in sight, I remember why I work hard for the money I earn and push a little harder.

Need to find some motivation?  Remember why you’re in it for the long haul.  Remind yourself why you started the journey.  Recall the reasons that originally when into setting your goals in the first place.  If these things were important before, they are likely still important now.

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.  ~Mario Andretti

Coaching Challenge: Celebrate

Each day gives us something we can celebrate.  We just need to be ready to see it; ready to shout out a rousing “woo hoo!”  Everyone has something to celebrate.  Today, I challenge you to celebrate.

Here we go…

  • Find something to celebrate today.  It could be your accomplishment or someone else’s.  The celebration can be big or small.  Just celebrate.
  • Plan a celebration.  A birthday.  A retirement.  A reunion.  Find an excuse to celebrate with family and friends.
  • Celebrate an important relationship.  Your time with your loved ones might not be as long as you hope.  Let someone you love know how much he or she means to you while you can.  As often as you can.
  • Acknowledge a milestone you met this week.  They happen all the time.  Did you meet a deadline?  Finish a project?  Pass an anniversary date?  You don’t have to go tell everyone you did it – simply acknowledging your work and time passed is good.  An internal celebration just for you.
  • Find a “win” to celebrate.  Yours or someone else’s.  Perhaps your child got an “A” on a tough assignment.  Or your spouse made a big sale at work.  Or you were able to get a client to re-up on a contract.  Make a favorite dinner or uncork some wine (for the adults, not the kids!).

However you choose to do it, choose to celebrate!

Thanks for reading! Now head on over to Facebook and join me there!

Related Posts

Celebrate Milestones

Our weekend of celebrations started out with a very important milestone: our youngest son turned 13.  Officially a teen and no longer our baby boy, we’re watching him turn into the man he will become.

Because of his cousin’s wedding, Davis’s birthday was spent at the rehearsal and the groom’s dinner.  Even so, time was taken to mark his milestone birthday as others and we paused to give him gifts or wish him a happy birthday.  The bride led us all in a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” following our meal as well.

It could be argued that the day we reach a milestone is like any another day.  Most milestones are not life-changing events, really.  Our son is the same today as he was a week ago.  But then, things aren’t quite the same either.  Reaching a milestone by definition puts something else in the past.  For Davis, it was his childhood.  At retirement, it is a career.  At graduation, it’s cramming for exams and all-nighters.

It’s this piece that makes it important for milestones to be celebrated.  It’s a way to recognize the work completed and the time past.  Whether celebrating with a big party or simply enjoying your own quiet acknowledgement, taking the opportunity to enjoy and relish the moment is something that should not be missed.

Celebrate!

Lifelong Goals

The more I learn about long-term goals, the more convinced I am that setting them is key to achieving shorter-term goals as well.  When our short-term goals tie to a bigger picture, we tend to stay on the path toward our big goal and are more likely to stay positive when we complete smaller goals along the way.

Last month I told you about the Best Possible Future Self Exercise and shared this about my own experience:

When I went through this exercise, I saw myself as very healthy, agile and active, even though these attributes weren’t the main focus of my thoughts in the exercise.  Seeing this for a few days made me realize the importance of my health wasn’t matching the priority I was giving it in my day-to-day life.  My realization from this was that I wouldn’t achieve my long-term goal of having good health if I didn’t implement shorter-term goals that related to that goal.  Knowing that those goals have a bigger purpose gives me energy to keep pursuing them, even when I have setbacks and fail.

Today I can tell you that since this discovery I’ve been exercising regularly.  And even with no short-term goal beyond staying active, I find that I’m pushing myself to become physically stronger.  If I miss a day it’s simply a bump in the road on the way to my long-term goal of being healthy, agile and active when I’m in my 80s and 90s.  If I miss two days in a row, then I remind myself of the big picture and I’ve been able to easily get back on track.

It’s a different experience than I’ve had with exercising in the past and I know it’s due to tying today’s activities to my long-term goal.  Doing so motivates me to stay focused on the final outcome of being an active and healthy octogenarian.  I’ve got a long way to go to achieve that goal and I’m looking forward to working on it for years to come!

Find me on Facebook.

Your Best Possible Self

If you regularly read this blog you are likely someone who thinks a bit about your future and where you want to go next.  With that in mind, today’s post is more of an eye-opening exercise than it is a question.  Though at its core there is a question: What do you want out of this life?

The Best Possible Future Selves Exercise was created by Sonja Lyubomirsky as a tool to allow people to experience the power of optimism.  However, it also serves as powerful way to identify long-term goals that might not surface another way.

Here’s what you do: for 20 minutes, three days in a row… “Think about your life in the future. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of all of your life dreams. Now, write about what you imagined.”

And now I will get personal.

When I went through this exercise, I saw myself as very healthy, agile and active, even though these attributes weren’t the main focus of my thoughts in the exercise.  Seeing this for a few days made me realize the importance of my health wasn’t matching the priority I was giving it in my day-to-day life.  My realization from this was that I wouldn’t achieve my long-term goal of having good health if I didn’t implement shorter-term goals that related to that goal.  Knowing that those goals have a bigger purpose gives me energy to keep pursuing them, even when I have setbacks and fail.

As you go through the exercise yourself, keep your mind open to what you see and pay attention to what you need to do now to get to where you want to be.

When you’re done, come back and share your story.  I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you, Bryan

There have been managers who managed me well and managers who didn’t. Today I have to say farewell to one of the best managers I’ve had as he moves on into retirement. It’s perfect to include lessons learned from Bryan this week where the focus is on gratitude because I’m so thankful for both what he’s taught me and that I had the chance to work with him.

Staying Grounded

As mentioned in the Intention vs. Execution post; precision, rigor and discipline are guideposts that Bryan always goes back to. His focus on structure, hard work and the basics helps ground those around him who work in roles where ambiguity and chaos are often in the forefront.

Keep it Simple

In the business we’re in it is incredibly easy to get mired in confusion amid the complexity of what we need to work through. That said, many times what needs to be done comes down to a few simple things – and Bryan always reminded us that we needed to find that simplicity to effectively go forward.

Give People a Chance and Room to Take It

When I began working on Bryan’s team I felt that I’d been given another chance to breathe life into what I’d been working on. He offered the freedom to do what needed to be done to be successful. Not only was this appreciated beyond measure, it was a lesson in how to manage people as they come onto a new team.

On top of these lessons (and many more), Bryan has been warm, welcoming and connected with people on a personal level… truly caring about each person as an individual.

It goes without saying that he will be missed. At the same time, I am again filled with gratitude to have had the opportunity to have him as an important part of my journey.

Best of everything to you, Bryan. Godspeed.

Find me on Facebook: Coach Carolyn

Do Your Dream

Think about the power of putting action behind your dream.

To walk through the possibilities, let’s start with a “small” dream, one I mentioned yesterday – taking a vacation. I don’t know what it is about people but for many, taking a vacation is a dream beyond reach.

“Work will fall apart without me.”

“We can’t afford it.”

“The clean-up when I get back to the office is just not worth it.”

Etc. Etc. Etc.

However, when we decide to follow our dream, each of these can be rebutted and actions taken to support the desired end result.

Work will fall apart without me. First, I’m only buying this one if you’re a one-person shop. You are not that indispensible and if you are, then perhaps you do need to leave so that others understand all that you do – but that’s a post for another day! Back to following the dream… if this is true, steps can be made to mitigate potential problems. This is your dream! Plan in advance; recruit others to help you; hire administrative help. Whatever it takes, you’ll get creative because you have a dream.

Can’t afford it? Give something up and start putting that money aside for your get-away. My sister-in-law once pointed out that just $50 a paycheck set aside would get her to a tropical island within a year. Or maybe your trip is a gift to yourself when you get a bonus or pay off a credit card. Again, with focus you could overcome this obstacle as well.

Clean-up is not worth it? Well, I’d argue that it always is; but if I can’t convince you of that here’s a creative idea for those of you who live in an email centric world. I heard about someone who put on his out-of-office replies that all emails he received during his time away were headed right to the trash bin and if it was important, please send the email after he returned. Do you love this?!

All of these things take conscious effort. Without the dream as a guide, either the vacation might not take place or the concerns may actually be realized, reinforcing that vacations are tough to take, afford and return from. The dream helps make it better all around.

Now, think about the power of putting action behind your dream. Buying a lake home. Having a baby. Retiring. Changing careers. Buying new furniture. Going to college. Starting a business. Cleaning out the garage. Volunteering in Africa. Planning a family reunion.

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Do your dream.

Dreaming Again

A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. -John Barrymore

I’m dreaming again. I had some dream-killing events take place a while back and remained in a dream-void for quite a while. Not a place I enjoyed being. Has this ever happened to you?

As a coach I hear people talk about dreams as if they are sometimes not worth having – even something that they do not deserve. It always makes me sad when someone reflects this way. As humans, I believe that we need to dream and, as quoted above from John Barrymore, if we replace them with regret it ages us. Dreams are what help us keep our youth and, more importantly, our momentum.

Being in a dream-void made me feel like I was drifting; lacking purpose. I found that when I quit dreaming in one area (my career); it bled over to other areas of my life, too. Sort of depressing, huh?

The good news is that it works the other way, too. As I recognized an absence of dreaming in my life, I found ways to add it back in. Small dreams at first – I think the first thing I did was to plan a family vacation – and then other dreams began to come back into play.

Having a dream also creates a sense of purpose by providing to us an understanding of where to put our efforts and what choices should be made. I can gauge whether my plans match up to my dreams and this gives my actions purpose and direction. Knowing this gives weight to the importance of dreams and provides insight into the understanding that dreams are far more than simply wandering daydreams or visions in the night.

Now my head is spinning with the possibilities. No regrets.

Retiring Without a Rudder? You May Need a Coach – DailyFinance

Today I am going to cheat a little and refer you to an article I recently found about the niche of Retirement Coaching. After reading this piece, I’ve shared how exciting I think this is with many people. In our financial focused world, it seems that financial planning equals retirement planning – but retirement is about so much more than simply having enough money to get by! How exciting it would be to plan for retirement more holistically.

I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did and that it gets you thinking about retirement in another light.

Retiring Without a Rudder? You May Need a Coach – DailyFinance.

Enjoy the day!