One word: Heal. This is my word for 2016. (Read more about choosing a word HERE). My desire is to experience deep healing throughout this year. In order to live the extraordinary life, be all that God made me to be, and do all that God designed me to do I must experience real, authentic, and deep healing.Read More
wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur
Filtering by Tag: goal-setting
It is common in recent years to choose a word for the year. It has probably been popular for ages, but I have seen it in books, blogs, and heard it spoken about more often recently. I have been doing something similar with my mastermind team for the past eight years. We make contract statements. For example, "I am a Joyful, Positive, Forgiving Woman."Read More
Do you have dreams? Are there things you have been wanting to do, or things you know without doubt you are called to do, but you haven't gotten around to them yet? Dreams and desires without action are just wishes, hopes, and fantasies. Without action now, your dreams will still be sitting on the shelf unfulfilled when you leave this earth.Read More
One night the kids and I were hanging out in the living room. I was on the couch with Celina snuggled on my lap. She is 8 years old, but I think she will always find a way to snuggle on my lap! BJ was in the chair working on a drawing and AJ was standing near us. I don't remember exactly what he was doing, but probably tossing a ball in the air as he is often found with a ball in his hands. The topic of conversation moved to BJ and her desire to be a fashion designer. She loves fashion, style, and music. AJ asked her a question or two and BJ's response indicated that her belief about the fashion designing dreams were mere fantasies - she didn't really believe they could become reality. AJ jumped on this disbelief quickly and reminded her of her passion, talent, and skills. He said in a number of words and number of ways, "You can do it!"Read More
Sunday, October 5, Joe and I completed the Sleeping Bear Dunes Half Marathon. Because of my foot injury I had only run one time in the previous three weeks without pain. That run was five days before the race and a distance of 3.5 miles. Also, the longest distance I had run before the race was 8.02 miles and 8.5 miles for Joe. Race day was filled with many firsts, personal records, and (of course!) life lessons.Read More
While training for my first half marathon, I wrote out some thoughts and lessons I was learning. The following was written about five months before the race. I am in the midst of training for my first half marathon. Actually, truth be told, I am in the midst of training for the training for my first half marathon. Every marathon or half marathon training program I have seen begins with the ability to jog or run three easy miles. It does not begin at "Couch to 5k" pace.Read More
After many years playing yo-yo, I am finally saying "ENOUGH!" I want the goals - the life of my dreams - more than I want to stay in my yo-yo comfort zone. (Read about my "yo-yo" here.) The first step in crushing the yo-yo is to determine what is holding you back. As I shared in part I, the top three things currently holding me back the most are sugar, paper piles, and iPad games. My commitment to these three is keeping my goals and dreams at arm's length month after month and year after year. Acknowledging what holds me back makes me responsible. From this point on, I choose. I either choose to address this beast or ignore it, but either way I choose. I am choosing to engage these top three in battle -- and I will win.
Yes, I say with confidence, "I will win!" How do I know I will win? Because I am burning the boats like Hernan Cortes in 1519. During the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the commander scuttled his ships so that his men would have to conquer or die. There was literally no going back. In the same way, I am not giving myself an out or a return pass to my former life. I am creating my future by making a decision, creating boundaries, and setting up strong accountability. Come back to my next blog post where I will discuss the hard-core accountability necessary to ensure success.
The Three Boats I Am Burning:
"What does this mean?" you ask. No sweets, desserts, soda, candy or sugary treats.
"When will you eat these delicious treats again?" you ask. I won't. Yes, I have considered the plethora of sugary opportunities that will come my way. No, this was not a light or easy decision.
#2 Paper Piles I am done making excuses about the mounds of paper on my desk, the kitchen counter, bookshelf, and any other flat surface in the house. I am done watching my stress increase with the increasing mounds.
"How will you eliminate all of this paper?" you ask. I will set a timer for fifteen minutes and work on these piles every day I am home.
"How will you keep these paper piles from returning?" you ask. Fifteen minutes a day. This is my new habit for life. Yes, for life.
#3 iPad Games I went 100 days without iPad games last fall and was amazed at how much I did not miss them. I will enjoy using this newly acquired time blogging, reading, crocheting, playing a game, connecting with my family, and working on my business to build our future and our fortune.
What is holding you back from living the life of your dreams? What are you willing to say "farewell" to for good?
Seriously pursuing the life of your dreams is not easy, but it is worth it!
"Always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting." I cut this quote out of USANA's quarterly magazine several years ago and taped it to the edge of my computer monitor. I don't even remember how long ago or who said these inspiring words. The small piece of paper has endured new computers and a cross-country move. The words are a timeless reminder for those moments and seasons when my dreams are out of focus, I am stuck, and I feel like quitting.
Always stay focused. Focus is not always the problem, but the object of my focus can either move me closer or lead me further from my goals and dream. I must keep my goal in focus. I write down goals down - 30, 60, and 90 day goals which each point toward my larger six month and one year goals. Every goal is in alignment so that I stay focused on the path that leads to my dreams.
Keep moving forward. The only way to create momentum is to move, and the most difficult place to move from is a stationary position. It is like a large train sitting still on the tracks. It takes a large amount of force and energy to get the train in motion; however, once it starts moving and picking up speed it moves with very little force. I am noticing the same thing with my business. I am my own boss and it is up to me to get in motion. I get the ball rolling by picking up the phone, initiating a conversation, or responding to a need. These are also the things I choose to keep doing so that I can maintain momentum and encourage others.
Never, ever consider quitting. Take quit out of the vocabulary. I can honestly say that the only people I have seen fail in my line of work are the people who quit and the people who continually consider quitting. Let me illustrate with a non-business illustration:
Many of you know that Joe and I dated for a long time before we were married (17 years ago!). During our first 2 years of college (after dating 2+ years in high school) we dated "off and on." I couldn't even tell you why we broke up so much except for the fact that I allowed uncertainty to stay in my mind. This may sound silly, but I remember during the fall of my sophomore year of college recognizing my flakiness and making a decision that if Joe and I ever got back together that it would be for good. We were dating again within a few months and stayed together until we were married three years later. And in our marriage relationship divorce is off the table because we will never, ever consider quitting!
The achievement of my dreams demands that I "always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting." Where are you with your dreams? Which of these areas is keeping you from getting where you want to go?
The journey isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.
This is Part 3 of a 4-part blog series about the New Year I am doing with my husband Joe. Thanks for reading and sharing in the journey.
How many times have you set the same resolution? Maybe you don't call it a "resolution", but you know what I'm talking about. We all have that goal, dream or resolution that always eludes us. We say, "this is the year, or month, or day that everything will change!" Maybe you reflect on the past year and realize, in one area or another, that you are in the same place you were last year at this time. Or, perhaps, you've had a wake-up as Alfred Nobel did (story featured in yesterday's post).
If you relate to being stuck or feel like your life is going in circles and fear that you will continue to end up in the same place over and over, then it is time to write a different story. My friend in business, Melissa, often reminds people that "your past does not define your future". The story of 2013 does not have to be the story of 2014. Just like Alfred Nobel, you too can choose something different.
Here are three steps that I am using to help write a different story in my life and hopefully they will help you write the story you dream of too!
1) Know your commitment and commit to the process. One of my resolves for 2014 is to be healthy and release weight. If healthy is the story I want to create then I better be committed and know clearly the process I am committed to. I will not arrive at healthy without making choices that reflect my commitment. Some of these choices are putting healthy food in my mouth; stocking the fridge with healthy, whole foods; filling my purse and car with shakes and bars for those times I am on the run; exercising regularly; and communicating with my accountability partners. I know what it takes to be healthy, but in order to really achieve healthy I must commit to the process.
2) Paint your story in living color. Tony, my business and life coach, is a master of painting life pictures. When he describes living in financial freedom, for example, it comes to life and I can visualize, feel, smell, and touch each piece as if I am actually living financially free. That kind of clarity is necessary if we are going to pursue dreams. We must be able to see our story in clear, living color. This can be done by writing your story as it looks on December 31, 2014. When you get to the end of this year what will you have accomplished? Write it in specific, detailed, living color.
3) Be accountable. I avoided accountability for many years because I convinced myself that it showed weakness to need help. I didn't want to bother others with my journey, but I also realized that my journey didn't go where I wanted it to without accountability. The dreams that elude me are ones that require changing my actions and my choices and that is where accountability comes in. For me, the idea of the end goal is exciting and inspiring, but a few days or weeks into the daily habits my excitement wanes and slowly my choices return to "normal". Accountability is key in order to maintain the changes until they become my new normal. (Joe will share more on choices in the next post.)
What story do you want to write for 2014? Take time before Part Three on Thursday to write out your story from the perspective of December 31, 2014.
The road to our dreams is not easy, but it is always worth it!
This is part 2 of a 4-part blog about the New Year. My husband and I are tag-teaming to create these special blogs, so be sure to read part 1 here, if you missed it. Part 3 will be at www.overboardministries.wordpress.com on Thursday, and part 4 will be back here on Friday.
My life purpose is to enrich the lives of others through compassion, generosity, and extraordinary living. When is the last time you sat down and considered the purpose and direction of your life, business, health or family? Having a specific purpose in any endeavor gives parameters and direction to all the little choices connected to that endeavor. So often I am caught up with the daily grind that I don't take time to really consider whether I am even on the path that leads toward my goals and dreams. In the chaos and mundane routines, it is easy to lose site of these goals and dreams. This weekend I took a much-needed night away to refocus, and strategize the direction of my business. (I am so thankful for a spouse who sees the value of this time and even made sure it happened!) In a few short hours I recalled and clarified what I do: I am a coach. I teach people how to earn full-time income while working part-time from home. That seems rather simple and also sounds a little over-kill to take a night away to get this kind of amazing clarity.
This clarity arrived in the first hour, but the hours since then have been just as crucial. I mapped out how everything I tried to do to build my business now has a purpose and focus. If I post on Facebook or any other form of social media, and I hope to see a direct impact in my business then I better know where I'm headed. There is no way for anyone to follow me if I do not know where I am going. This is true for any goal in life, business, health, or family.
What is your purpose? for your life? for your family? for your future? for your health? for your business? What area of your life could use some serious consideration about the direction and path you will take?
I am choosing to avoid refined sugars. I don't like to admit this, but I feel physically better when I avoid these sugars. I love sweets and want to keep eating them; however, sweets seem to like me quite a bit too. The reality, in this extraordinary journey, is that I must master this vice rather than letting it master me.
During my recent 90-day challenge, one of my victories was eliminating iPad and iPhone games from my daily habit. I made this a goal because I realized how much mindless time I spent playing these games during the day and late into the night. It was tough at first, but today (nine days after completing the challenge), I still haven't played a game. It has definitely become a new, positive habit in my life.
Mastering my iTime played a role in my decision to eliminate refined sugar. The other motivation and encouragement in choosing this new habit is the inspiring story of my son, AJ, completing a one-year, No Candy No Soda Challenge. Here's what AJ had to say, "Without doing challenging things (like this challenge), I wouldn't be ready or able to do other challenging things God has for me later." He's right! I want to be ready. I want to inspire, motivate, teach and coach. I don't want to be in this same space, working on this same vice five years from now. It is a challenge, no doubt, but it is worth it.
I strongly believe in replacing old habits with new ones, replacing iTime with new productive habits, and old sweets that don't serve me with new ones that do. Simply eliminating anything from our lives without replacing leaves a gaping hole that desires to be filled. The easiest thing to put in the empty space is the old habit I am attempting to eliminate. Therefore, I must fill it with a new healthy, positive habit that serves my long-term goals.
I want to thank my friend and blog editor, Sharilyn, for this awesome recipe. If you would like to see the original recipe from Texanerin Baking, click here.
This recipe is delicious and relatively easy (necessities for me to choose a recipe). Here are a few pointers: 1) Make this recipe! 2) Use a food processor. I do not currently have a full-sized food processor and I would highly recommend that tool for this recipe because the ingredients are fairly dry. (Magic Bullet, which can do wonders with so many things, didn't work well here). 3) Follow the instructions for "natural peanut butter". 4) Enjoy a healthy, guilt-free, sweet treat.
- 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter or almond butter - room temperature
- ¼ cup (80 grams) honey (commenters have used agave and maple syrup with success!)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
- ½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips (use vegan or dairy-free, if needed)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they're combined.
- Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
- With wet hands, form into 1½" balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don't do much rising.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.
Don't want to bake but still want to enjoy yummy, healthy, sweet treats? Click here to see what I use and recommend.
Picking up where we left off in the last blog, I wanted to take the time to interview AJ and get his direct perspective on his No Candy No Pop Challenge. For starters he informed me that he would rather I call it "soda" than "pop" and therefore the name change on this blog. :)
Traci: What was the challenge from your perspective?
AJ: To go a full year without candy or soda.
Traci: Define candy.
AJ: Anything you would get on Halloween.
Traci: What was your first thought when you were presented with the challenge?
AJ: I thought it was impossible.
Traci: It took you two days to make the decision . . what made you change your mind about it being impossible?
AJ: Another person did it meaning it must be possible, so I decided to give it a try.
Traci: Why did you take this challenge on?
AJ: 1) The reward. ($365, all or nothing) 2) To show myself that I could do it. It's not impossible.
Traci: How were you able to accomplish this challenge?
AJ: 1) I kept repeating the Bible verse, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." 2) Support from family and friends. 3) Saying "I am choosing" instead of "I have to". It was my choice. I could end it whenever I wanted.
Traci: What challenges did you face along the way?
AJ: 1) We moved to Michigan, on a camp, where they have pop and candy. It was tempting especially during my week of camp. 2) Right before it ended - I really wanted to be done. 3) Friends and family would forget and offer candy and soda. It felt like they were doing it on purpose to taunt me.
Traci: How did you handle these challenges?
AJ: I knew I wasn't going to back out anytime during the challenge so I just kind of stepped through them.
Traci: Would you do this challenge again? Why?
AJ: (A moment of pause). Yes. Without doing challenging things (like this challenge), I wouldn't be ready or able to do other challenging things God has for me later.
AJ is a pretty wise 12-year-old. What challenge or challenges have you been putting off? What new challenge are you willing to step into that will move you in the direction of your dreams and goals? 1) Choose your challenge. 2) Clearly define the parameters. 3) Enroll family and friends as your support team. 4) Give yourself a reason or set a reward that will motivate you along the way.
Will it be worth it? According to AJ it is worth it.
My 12-year-old son, AJ, is a stud! :) He is smart, athletic, witty, focused and a generally good kid. I love spending time with him - watching football, playing cards, or seeing him show-off some of his own sweet athletic moves. I love many things about who AJ is, but one really stands out to me: determination. When AJ decides to do something or to save money for something it is an opportunity to witness amazing determination. One time he was saving money for an iPad and in that situation every penny counted. In the summer all the kids decided they wanted to get smoothies. I told them I was happy to take them to the smoothie shop, but I wasn't going to pay - they were on their own. The girls got their money, but AJ told us to go ahead without him. When we returned he was having a smoothie. He had made his own with things we had in the house so he didn't have to use his money. Creative determination.
August of 2012 I threw out a challenge to AJ: no candy and no pop for one full year. This may seem an easy task for some of you, but believe me it was a challenge for AJ. This came about after a fellow USANA associate shared at International Convention how his daughter, AJ's same age, had gone one year without candy or pop. There was a monetary reward for this girl and I put a $365 reward out there for AJ, all or nothing. If he had candy or pop even one time in 365 days then his reward would be $0.
It took AJ two days to make his decision. He was in - all in! Consider, as AJ did, some of what this would mean . . .
Halloween - no candy, school (yes, they still have candy at school), friends and siblings (they do love to torture), Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, birthdays (his own and others), going out for burgers or pizza - no pop. Then to top things off, we moved to a camp with pop machines in the dining hall and candy in the Red Canoe (store). AJ was so determined that he wouldn't even eat a cookie that had M n' M's inside. He eliminated every possibility of missing his goal.
WOW! It is so convicting to consider what was accomplished. I have goals (desires) that I want with my health, family, income, business, etc. and yet I often find myself saying, "It's too hard!" Sometimes, as I've written before, these goals are only 30 or 90 days long. What could I accomplish in 365 days with the determination and focus of my son, AJ?
To be continued . . . because I want AJ to share with you how he was able to accomplish this great challenge. I think there will be lessons for all of us in what he has to share.
I have really enjoyed reflecting on life through this blog. I am so grateful for feedback from many of you, and for the opportunity to encourage many more of you to live your own extraordinary journey. I love writing about great experiences, influencial moments and opportunities fully embraced. Today, however, is not one of those times. I set a few goals 89 days ago. The deadline is here - tomorrow - and I did not complete the goals.
My awesome, convicting and sometimes annoying (I usually feel that way when I am being a victim) coach, Tony, often reminds me that "sometimes you win and sometimes you learn". The only way that a failure is truly a failure is if I don't learn. So today, on the precepice of my 90 Day Challenge, I choose to learn and to share a couple of those lessons with you.
Lesson #1: Enlist Accountability
When I make a goal (commitment) I must set up firm accountability. I must enroll people on my "team" that will hold my feet to the fire. And in order for this to happen I must share my commitments with them openly. I recognize that I did not enlist firm accountability for the long, 90 day, haul. It looked pretty good for the first 30 days, but then I let things slide. It is difficult to enlist firm accountability without being firm in my commitments. Honestly I was not very firm in the commitments or action plan that would take me to my goal.
Lesson #2: Embrace Commitment
One goal I made was in relation to my health and releasing inches around my waist. Eating sweets does not serve me in reaching this goal. I really love sweets, but I committed to go without. That's a great commitment but the problem is that I did not commit to going without sweets for the entire 90 days. I decided I would go until I no longer craved them. Go ahead and shake your head. I'm shaking mine too. What was I thinking? I made it 30 days with no sweets and I no longer craved them, but by day 37 I could no longer leave the sweets alone. My commitment was weak. My action plan was non-existent and I payed the price.
Lesson #3: Execute an Action Plan
Executing an action plan would require creating an action plan. Again, a 30 day action plan is not sufficient for a 90 day goal. Creating daily, weekly and monthly plans are critical in order to create real success. Sad to say, but I took more of a "fly by the seat of my pants" approach rather than developing a clear, concise action plan.
These lessons are great, but this learning is only as valuable to me as my willingness to implement change in the future. What goals are on your horizon? What are doing to ensure success on your extraordinary journey?
What do clean sinks, floss, and sit-ups have in common? Quite a bit actually. Each one of these is a relatively small act that has great impact. Many years ago I heard about Fly Lady, a woman who teaches people how to keep their houses clean. What is the first and continual step for keeping your entire house clean, according to Fly Lady? Clean the kitchen sink to sparkling clean and keep it that way. I was sceptical, but I gave it a try. What happened when I cleaned my kitchen sink? I ended up cleaning the kitchen counters too. I swept the kitchen floor. I cleared the kitchen table and even placed a centerpiece on the table. The entire house became more clean - not overnight - but very quickly the house was in better shape, starting with the simple act of cleaning the kitchen sink. I have had similar experiences with exercise, most recently with sit-ups. I am currently participating in a 30 day Strong Ab Challenge. Day 1 involved 15 sit-ups, 5 crunches, 5 leg raises, 10 second plank, a healthy nutrimeal shake and protein snack bar. The rest of the day I could do and eat whatever I wanted. This relatively small challenge inspired even greater things out of me on that first day. I chose water to drink, I snacked less and I avoided late-night eating. Just like the clean sink, making a small, easy change can motivate change and better decisions in even more areas of the house and my life.
One more example: I rarely choose to wash my face at night. I use the best skin care products and I love the feeling and smell after washing my face - in fact I think I even sleep better at night - yet I still choose not to do it. After my last dentist appointment, I made a decision to floss my teeth every night for the six months between appointments. Guess what happened 21 days into this new daily routine? I started washing my face! Flossing my teeth at night is a very small thing that very quickly impacted another area of my health and life - washing my face (not to mention the fact that my mouth is experiencing great benefits also).
So what's the point? Go clean your kitchen sink, floss your teeth and do some sit-ups? The point is to embrace the small changes - daily - and allow those small changes to impact greater areas of your life. What is a small change you can add to your life that does not feel too difficult? Commit to doing this new habit daily for 30 days and watch what happens. This may be the thing that propels you into an even more extraordinary journey.
Dreaming energizes me. I am not talking about the dreams I have in my sleep but the dreams and goals I have for my life. Some of these current dreams include paying off 100% of our debts, taking a family trip to Chicago, taking the kids to our favorite places in Hawaii, flying first class, a trip to Sanoviv, a new high-tech refrigerator, money to help our families come visit us in Michigan, release 10 pounds, attain USANA's Growth 25, and I could literally go on and on.
I really want these things, and as part of my effort to achieve these goals I began a 90 day challenge over a month ago. I set two goals that require work in health and business, goals that will move me closer to the above mentioned dreams.
Enter: awareness, aha, conviction.
I can dream and wish all I want, but if I never do - take action - then I greatly decrease my chances of achieving my dreams. Not only I, but my family and friends will also miss out on the benefits of these dreams. I have been doing a lot of dreaming, wishing, hoping, planning, but now I humbly realize I have not been taking enough of the right kind of action. Ouch!
The biggest ouch in this aha is my big "why" (The Reason Why). "I want my kids to see and know that dreams are possible. I want my kids to set goals, go after them and see them accomplished. I choose to be a living example for my kids that dreams can and do become a reality." If I don't get aggressive and go after my dreams with persistence then I will not accomplish my why. What will my kids believe about setting goals and pursuing dreams? My kids and their dreams are worth the effort it takes to make change and do the work necessary to achieve my dreams. They deserve to see this visual example of what is possible.
What dreams are you hoping will come true, but in reality you are sitting by watching them slip away? Are you ready to DO something about it? Please share in the chat box what action you will take today to move in the direction of your dreams.