Be Present and Move From Surviving to Thriving
By Michele Alexander Owner of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting
We are in the throws of our Holiday Season. This means many of us are
asking ourselves questions, about what our resolutions. What will they
be in the New Year? We look to the future? Stop!!! Participate in the
present!!! It's a great way to empower yourself, assess where you are,
and find out where you really need to make change. I'm not saying don't
make a resolutions; in-fact, that's exactly what I am saying But, being
SMART could really make a difference.
Second Acts is dedicated to helping single career
women in midlife be present and empower themselves to create successful
change. This is only the beginning. Starting in January, each issue
of Second Acts, will focus on areas that will support and empower development
and focus for single career women over 35. They are as follows:
- January - Missions
- February - Relationships
- March - Clutter
- April - Finances
- May - Motherhood
- June - Self Care
- July - Celebration
- August - Support Networks
- September - Leadership, Mentoring and Career
- October - Entrepreneurship
- November - Holidays
- December - Resolutions - Happy New Year!!!
So let's commit to the experience, of the journey.
This issue of Second Acts discusses resolutions. …and, it's only the
Thanks Again for All of your Support this Year!!!
Happy New Year!!!
Setting Tips for New Year Resolutions
you've ever had a yearly performance review for your job, you know it
can be a tense experience that determines whether you receive a pay
raise or not. Your boss will likely have a detailed checklist of your
progress and success, as well as notations on areas that could use some
While these reviews can be stressful, they are also helpful because
they offer a bigger perspective than you would ordinarily see in your
day to day job functions. You might become aware of activities that
are unproductive, limiting, or even detrimental to your professional
You can also benefit from this same process by creating an annual New
Year review for your life. It can help you assess progress in all areas
of your life, address challenges and obstacles, and come up with some
exciting goals and plans for the New Year.
The best time to do a review is during the last few weeks of the year,
but it can be done any time you want a fresh start. You can choose to
do just one session or several, whatever works best for you.
Set the Mood - When you are ready to begin, first create a calm, quiet
atmosphere. Put on comfortable clothing and choose a private area where
you won't be disturbed for 30-60 minutes. You can also light some scented
candles and incense, and play some soft music if you like. Grab a pen
and notebook or journal. Then take a few minutes to sit quietly and
take some slow, deep breaths. This will help you release stress and
focus your thoughts.
Review - Now you are ready to begin reviewing your life over the past
year. Did you accomplish everything you wanted to? Were there areas
that could have used some improvement? Give some thought to these six
- Physical health and fitness (diet, exercise)
- Financial wellness (earnings, savings, investments)
- Spiritual growth (inner peace, meditation, prayer)
- Mental health (positive thoughts, attitude)
- Career (job, business)
- Relationships (with significant others, children, friends, family)
Ask yourself three questions about each of these areas, and write your
answers in the journal.
- Which of my positive actions contributed to growth and progress?
- Which of my negative actions caused stagnation and lack of progress?
- What could I do better to improve my progress in the coming year?
It is very important not to judge yourself harshly during this process!
An annual review is not about beating yourself up or concluding that
you're a terrible person. This should be an unemotional, objective view
of your life goals and progress. By becoming aware of areas where you
can take more control over your life, you can create more success and
Plan - Now that you have a clear view of the past year and ideas about
what you could do differently, you can make plans and set goals for
the coming year. Again, look at the six main areas of your life: Physical
health, Financial wellness, Spiritual growth, Mental health, Career,
and Relationships. What would you like to create for yourself in the
coming year? Write some specific goals for each category. Your goals
should be realistic, yet somewhat challenging. You want to dream big,
but not overwhelm yourself either. It can also be helpful to break your
bigger goals down into smaller increments. You can set 3 month goals,
6 month goals, 9 month goals, and 12 month goals.
Action Steps - This is a crucial step in the process. Once you have
your goals set for each category, think about the action steps that
will move you toward your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight
and get into better shape, daily exercise would be an action step. That
is something you need to do every day (or nearly every day) in order
to accomplish your goal. Be specific with the action goals. Don't just
write, "eat healthy." Write down exactly which foods you want
to include, and which you want to avoid. Write down the exact types
of exercise you want to include, which days of the week you want to
do them, and for how many minutes each day.
Enjoy the Journey - Once you begin putting your action steps into motion,
it's important to understand that self-improvement is a process. You
won't change everything overnight. By expecting too much, too soon,
you could sabotage yourself. Instead, keep focusing on the action steps
every day. Congratulate and praise yourself for keeping with it. If
you begin to slack off, be firm with yourself about getting back on
track, but again, don't beat yourself up. Simply refocus on your goals
and begin again. All positive actions will create positive results,
and as long as you keep trying, you cannot fail.
Gauge Your Progress - It can be helpful to keep performing daily or
weekly checks to be sure you are moving in the right direction. Simply
review the goals and action steps you have set for yourself, and assess
whether you are on track or not. Again, keep this process unemotional
and objective. If you see areas that could use improvement, you already
know the steps to take to turn them around again.
Activities like this review process can be such a powerful tool in
our own development. No matter what we've achieved or haven't achieved
in the past, it's never too late to start over. Each new day is a chance
to invite more love, abundance, joy, peace, and success into our lives.
Simply by focusing our thoughts and taking action toward our goals,
we can create virtually anything we desire.
About The Author
Wendy Betterini is a freelance writer
who strives to motivate, uplift, and inspire you to make your dreams
a reality. Visit her website, http://www.WingsForTheHeart.com for more
positive thoughts to help you on your journey.
Tips For Setting (And Keeping) Life Changing Resolutions
By: Toni Coleman
It's time for that annual ritual of making (and breaking) our New Year's
resolutions. There is something about the idea of being able to start
over that motivates us to pause (at least briefly) and reflect on our
lives as they are, as well as how we would like them to be. Yet how
many times have you thought back to last year's goals and found that
many or most of them were abandoned or just forgotten after a few weeks
or months into the year?
Many of us have difficulty following through on our resolutions due
to factors such as choosing unrealistic goals, not making them challenging
enough and/or lacking the necessary motivation to stick with them. The
following tips should help put you on the right course and assist you
in staying committed to your most important goals for 2006.
Start with a life vision
If you don't know what you want your future to look like, how can you
decide what areas of your life need to be worked on? Spend some quiet
time TODAY reflecting on (and writing down) what is good, bad or incomplete.
Then try to "see" your life if all of these areas were addressed
and had become satisfactory to you.
Clear away clutter. Go through paperwork, files, old bills and receipts,
closets, drawers and storage containers. Decide what you need and will
use and either throw out or give away all the rest. Put aside some time
each week for this purpose. After you have cleaned out you can think
about your existing systems for management and storage and see if these
need reworking or just some fine-tuning. Keep ONE calendar to record
all appointments, events, etc. Write down everything- don't rely on
Expand your horizons and make a commitment to learning something new.
Challenging yourself will infuse you with greater energy and sense
of purpose. It will help build your self-esteem to realize you really
are capable of more than you had previously believed. This new learning
can also give you additional resources to assist you in your career,
personal or love life.
Set challenging but realistic resolutions
Choose goals that stretch your ability muscles, yet are realistic and
therefore less vulnerable to failure. Don't respond to that negative
inner voice that says; "oh, I'm not capable of that". Instead,
focus on what you truly desire for your life and relationships and let
this be your guide.
Write down your resolutions
Write them down and stick them on your bathroom mirror, your fridge,
your car dashboard, your desk or wherever you know will be a good place
for you to see them. You can also show them to a good friend, family
member, your coach or anyone who could provide support and encouragement.
Create action steps for each resolution; write them down, and keep
an accounting of your progress for each.
A resolution without planned action is doomed to failure. Break each
goal down into small action steps or objectives. Putting a date for
completion will help ensure you follow through. Come up with an accountability
system that will work for you. Make sure you check off each accomplishment
as you go and be flexible and willing to make adjustments in your action
steps in order to achieve your desired end results.
Take care of yourself; eat well. Exercise regularly and learn to control
and eliminate unhealthy stress.
I know this is an obvious one, so why is it often ignored or overlooked
when we are attempting to make important life changes? How many times
have you said, "I don't have the time" to eat right, exercise,
sleep adequately, etc? Not caring for yourself will guarantee failure.
So, why not make this your first and most important resolution for 2006?
Work to eliminate bad habits
Including this as a New Year's resolution would put you on the road
to good follow-through. Bad habits will sabotage your efforts and use
up your limited resources of time, energy and focus. For each bad habit
you decide to eliminate, have a good habit in mind to replace it with.
Set appropriate and healthy limits in all areas of your life
Knowing your limits and enforcing them with yourself and others is
a prerequisite to a healthy life and relationship. Learn to say "no"
and "enough" and be firm in your resolve that this is a good
thing to do. Otherwise, you will also be undermining your resolution
to take care of yourself.
Work to be the kind of person you want to be with
Bringing out the best qualities in yourself will help to ensure that
you attract people of good quality into your life. You wouldn't want
to compromise on the standards you have set for a potential mate. Therefore,
it's important to understand that this also holds true for other people
in search of relationships.
Now begin this year with the resolve to be the person you know you
have the potential to be. You'll be pleased with the wonderful changes
that await you!
About The Author
Toni Coleman, MSW is a licensed psychotherapist,
relationship coach and founder of http://www.consum-mate.com. As a recognized
expert, Toni has been quoted in many local and national publications
including: The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, New York Daily
News, Indianapolis Star and Newsweek newspapers and Family Circle, Woman's
Day, Cosmo Style, Tango, Men's Health, Star (regularly quoted body language
expert), and Nirvana magazines. She has been featured on abcnews.com;
discovery.health.com; aolnews.com; MSN.com, Match.com and planetearthradio.com.
Toni offers dating help and relationship advice as the weekly love and
dating coach on the KTRS Radio Morning Show (St. Louis, MO) and through
her syndicated column, "Dear Dating Coach." Her newsletter,
The Art Of Intimacy, helps over fifty-five hundred subscribers with
its dating and relationship advice. Toni is a member of The International
Coach Federation, The International Association Of Coaches and The National
Association of Social Workers.
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