Archives For Goal Setting & Motivation

New Year Resolutions

New year resolutions. I’ve never been a fan. I don’t keep them because I don’t make them. I don’t make them because I don’t keep them either.

New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~Mark Twain

Most new year resolutions are about how to loose weight and how to manage your money. Why is that? Probably because Americans and Brittans spend and eat too much.

We all need improvement and a new year is a great chance to make these changes.

Make Goals for the New Year

2014 is almost over and you want to change. You want 2015 to better than 2014. Twenty Fourteen has been a tough year for many of you economically, relationally, spiritually…in short its be hard and you’re tired of crying, going backwards, and being hurt. It can be a better year.

This year make goals instead of resolutions. You might have heard this before, but have you actually done it? Have you taken the time to sit down and actually write down goals?

If you choose not to make goals, then you are actually choosing not to achieve and be better. Not deciding is a decision.

5 Easy Steps for Goal Setting

  1. Get away to to a quiet place with a pen and paper or use your I-pad if you are techie for a few hours.
  2. Reflect on the past year. Read a journal (aka your Facebook page), look at your pictures, and journal about the past years pain and triumphs.
  3. Pray (talking and listening) and think about what you need to change. This might included adding or subtracting things, people, or activities.
  4. Write down those things that you are going to change. Yes, write them down and put them in a place where you’ll see them every day. *Bonus Make your Goals SMART
  5. Tell a friend who’ll keep you accountable and help you reach that goal.

SMART Goals

S- Specific 

M-Measurable

A- Attainable

R- Realistic

T- Time Bound

Action: Write your goals and share with a friend or you can share below in the comments. Happy New Year!

(Photo by Rob & Jules)

Empty book shelves

Clear your schedule and free energy to make your new goals a reality. Credit svenwerk.

A new year is here. Wow that was fast! It’s time to create new goals and resolutions to keep you successful and moving forward in life.

In order to say yes to a new goal–you’ll need to say no to an old habit or activity.

10 Ways to Make Room for Your New Year’s Resolutions

Here are a few ways to create space for that new weight loss plan or spending plan.

1. Delete one social media account on your smart phone or ditch it completely. I left Instagram several months ago and haven’t really missed it. My friend deleted the Facebook app off his phone and gained back many minutes each day.

2. Wake Up Earlier- One of the best ways to have time for your new resolutions is to wake up earlier. You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish before the sun rises and all the kids wake up.

3. Unsubscribe- You know those dozens of newsletters, coupon sites, and other junk email you receive each day? Those valuable minutes you take reading or just hitting delete are precious. Unsubscribe or block those senders to gain back your time.

4. Turn off the Tube- Seriously, if you’re looking to make headway on those resolutions and goals–turn off the TV and gain back hours out of each day.

5. Budget Your Time– Have you ever done an audit on your schedule to see where your time is spent? Create a time budget and mark out every 15 minutes of the day to ensure those new goals have a spot in your week.

6. Block Your Computer– Try blocking social media sites during certain times of the day–like the times you’re supposed to be running or working on another goal. The best way of course is to turn off your computer and use good ole’ pen and paper.

7. Go to Bed Early- Since you’ll be waking up earlier it is only natural you’ll need to wake up earlier. Start a routine to be in bed by a certain time and prepare your wardrobe or set coffee on automatic brew to make the morning easier.

8. Wear Earphones or noise canceling headsets when you’re working to block noise and distractions during key times during the day. 

9. Dump friends or acquaintances– You don’t really need to know what your 3rd grade friend’s kids are wearing for Halloween do you? It is time to dump ‘friends’ from your online accounts that are eating time and causing you to compare and become jealous. There might even be a real-time friend that needs a few boundaries set and their time limited [I recommend the book Boundaries]

10. Check email only twice a day– Don’t be a master to your emails. Schedule several blocks of time each day to answer email and don’t be a master to the dings and chimes of email [Idea from book The 4-Hour Workweek]

I wish you much success on your new goals for this year!

How will you clear your schedule and free up energy to accomplish your New Year’s Resolutions and goals? 

Time to begin your journey! Credit

Time to begin your journey! Credit stevendepolo

Seriously what are you waiting for? The time for excuses and procrastination has ended.

Did you make New Years resolutions that fizzled out before Valentines Day?

The time to act is now!

Small Steps Matter

No matter whether your goal is to be debt free, loose 30 pounds, or do a muscle up (mine)–take a small step today towards that goal.

Small steps really matter. Think you can beat $100,000 of debt in one day? No way! It will take years, but if you don’t start today, then your journey will never begin.

My friends, it’s time to begin or restart that journey. You know what it is. You know the goal you’ve been neglecting.

Take a step today. One pushup. One dollar saved. One less TV program watched. One more pull up. One dollar budgeted.

Take a step. What are you waiting for?

Start Your Journey Today

Below are few good resources for starting a solid financial journey today!

Financial: 

What step do you need to take today? Ready. Set. Go! 

Have you said this today?

Thanksgiving is an attitude, not a holiday. Thanksgiving is something we exude; it is something we offer to others and to God.

Giving thanks starts in our souls and is expressed in words and deeds. In Scripture, thanksgiving is expressed in words, worship, prayer, sacrifices, and giving to others. A quick search in the Bible for “thanks” showed up 133 times; including words such as thankful, thankfulness, and thanksgiving. A phrase I found over and over was:

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

Being grateful and giving thanks is something that God wants to develop in our lives. I’m not opposed to having a day to celebrate and be thankful for all that has happened over the past year (both good and bad), but I want to have a lifestyle of thanksgiving.

I am a bit cynical at times and I was going to write a post about what I am NOT thankful for. But then I remembered Job’s life and attitude. He had much and much was taken away, yet he still had an attitude of thanksgiving.

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”-Job 1:21 (ESV)

While counseling and coaching others these past few years, I’ve seen a lot of tough financial situations. I know there are some who found this blog because you are searching for help and hope.

I encourage you in your difficult situation to continue to be grateful for what you do have and not on what you do not have. I have seen that my clients who let bitterness creep in, often continue to struggle.

But those who are grateful, often will gain hope. The hopeful see something better in the horizon and strive towards that end.

If you want to improve your situation (either financial or life), start with your heart and I think you’ll find your actions will begin to reflect what dwells in your heart. When your heart and actions change, your life will change. Be grateful and have hope.

Challenge: Let’s take this Thanksgiving Day to begin a year of thanksgiving to God and others. What are you thankful for and how can you express thanks? Share in the comments below!

(Photo by Vistamommy)

going against the flow

Taking the stairs isn’t normal.

As I exit my vehicle and head towards the entrance of my work each day a strange little dance begins to unfold.

I swipe my security card and head indoors and wind down the hallway where 5 elevators await to whisk me to my desk on the 5th floor.

If I’m fortunate enough, no one will be there waiting on the elevator and I’ll duck around the corner and hit the stairs.

Alas, many days there will be a polite person waiting, hey this is Oklahoma not New York, and they’ll inevitably be holding the elevator for me.

“No Thanks, I’ll take the stairs.” I shout down the hallway to the bewildered polite person holding the elevator.

Taking the Stairs

I’m not sure when I became a stair taker, but I take pride in it. At the mall, stairs (if I can find them). At the airport, I’ll take the stairs in the middle of two inviting escalators.

I’m often annoyed in places like hotels which seem to hide their stairways and have them exiting outside the comfort of the lobby. Why hide the stairs?

I feel as in most places, I’m herded and encouraged to the take the escalator or elevator. I’m lulled into being pushed along the “people movers” at the airports too, instead of walking.

I often feel like cattle with these devices instead of a person with free will–and legs for that matter.

Taking the Stairs is a Daily Choice

calories per stairs chart

Small steps burn calories. Credit @ontargetcoach

It’s easy to take the elevators and escalators in life, yet they don’t make us stronger or give as much satisfaction as taking the stairs.

I burn a good bit of calories by this daily choice too. How much? This chart in our office stairway encourages us to burn the 3,500 calories needed to burn a pound of fat. That’s a lot of stairs!

Taking the stairs is daily choice. With each flight of stairs I’m burning about 4 calories. Not much right? Add that up to a daily average of 8 flights (going up and down in between departments) equals about 32 calories each day.

Weekly 160 calories. Monthly 640 calories. Yearly 7680 calories–Bam!  That’s enough to burn or keep off 2 pounds of fat each year!

Those little steps each day at the office add up to a larger yearly gain.

It Works for Money Too!

The choosing to take the stairs principle works for money too. Think you can’t save much? Save or invest a little each paycheck and see the wonder of compound interest.

Have debt? Apply a little extra above the minimum payments and see that debt start to shrink. Apply even more and that debt will be snowballing down the hill at crazy speeds.

Be Weird and Take the Stairs

Small steps pay off. The hard thing to do is the daily choice to make the effort.

Yes, you’ll be odd by taking the stairs. You risk offending others, having others talk about you, and looking weird by not following the rest of the cattle.

Do it! Apply the “take the stairs” principle to life and you’ll one stepping your way to success.

Try applying this saying literally and figuratively today, “No thanks, “ll take the stairs.”