Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development
On January 1st many of us identified some big changes we want to make or a plan we want to accomplish during the new year. By February 1st we began wondering what we were thinking and why we paid for a whole year gym membership or committed to a seemingly impossible resolution to lose weight and get in shape.
Now that the month of January is behind us, don’t get discouraged because your resolutions have fallen by the way side. Instead, get excited because now is the time to get seriously focused on how you can identify and construct effective goals and action plans so 2016 can be your best year ever!
So where do you start? I recommend to my clients that they begin by learning and implementing the SMART approach to goal setting. By clicking here you can download instructions on how to begin identifying and creating SMART goals and action plans. You will also receive helpful worksheets for creating each of your goals and action plans.
The SMART approach begins with writing down...
The entertainment industry has been shaken recently with the well-publicized deaths of musician/actor David Bowie, Eagles’ founder Glenn Frey, and actor Alan Rickman, who played Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies. Each one has had a major impact on popular culture through their individual art forms, but none of them lived past the 70-year mark. By today’s standards, that’s not very old. The death of a high-profile person is a reminder that no one is exempt – there is a day coming for each of us that will be our last, and that makes us think deeply about life. What is important? What difference will I make? What will I be remembered for?
Here are some principles to help you think about how your life can make a difference in this world:
Clarify your values – This is the foundation you will ultimately build your life upon. If you have never put into words the things you believe are worth living for and worth dying for, today can be a good...
Last week my daughter Kristen and son-in-law Kyle welcomed their first child, Clayton James, into the world, giving me the gift of becoming a grandfather for the first time. As a father of three children, I have been blessed to experience the indescribable joy of holding my newborn children in my arms and instantly falling in love with them. I have now learned that it is just as wonderful as a grandparent!
When I held Clayton for the first time I not only experienced a rush of emotion, but a strong sense of responsibility. Not the responsibility of providing for him materially – I trust those days are over – but rather the responsibility to love, instruct, and discipline him in an effort to help influence his development towards becoming all God desires and plans for him to be.
As I think of my role as grandfather and the tremendous opportunity I have to be an influence in Clayton’s life, I’m aware of some of the specific ways I hope to fulfill this very...
We have all heard the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, think about how you would like to be treated and extend that same treatment to others. No one can argue with the effectiveness of that rule, but I’d like to encourage you to become familiar with and apply what is referred to as the Platinum Rule.
Here’s the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as you know they would have you do unto them. The difference between the two rules is subtle, but it could help you build stronger relationships because it customizes the way we treat others to their preferences, not ours.
Let’s look at an example. If you want others to treat you with respect, then it is only right and appropriate for you to be respectful to others. But what does that look like? To you, respect might be giving someone time and space after a heated argument to cool off and be left alone to process their thoughts and emotions before trying again to resolve the issue....
And so, in the blink of an eye, we are beginning a new year – welcome to 2016! The future is before us, which gets me thinking about where I want to be by this time next year – and beyond. You may be thinking about that, too.
When you look at your hopes and dreams for the future – where you want to be at some defined point in time – what do you see? Is the road pretty clear before you or is the fog too thick? Of course, no one has the power to fully predict their future, but those who cast a vision and do whatever it takes to achieve it have a better chance of predictable success and satisfaction as they look back from the vantage point of old age.
Casting a vision for your life simply means to decide what you ultimately want to do, have, and accomplish in life. The following excerpt from our audio presentation, “The Power of Values” will give you a great start on casting a vision for your future.
Many people today know what they ...
I get it – the holidays may be the busiest, most frustrating time of the year for your business. Demand for products and services skyrockets as gift-buying escalates. As lines get long, tempers can get short – on both sides of the counter. Your customers are under pressure to finish their holiday preparations, deal with kids bouncing off the walls and meet all their “joyful” obligations. You need your staff to be extra patient, extra friendly and extra efficient. The reality is, you need them to be at their best when they have all the same pressures, time constraints, plans and problems your customers have.
So, what can you do to help them have a jolly holiday in spite of the hassles? It doesn’t take a lot of time, money or effort to keep employees feeling positive about working for you, even during the busiest season – a little of each goes a long way toward job satisfaction and loyalty.
Thank them – When you know your staff is hustling to...
If you read our previous blog and began implementing some of the first 7 suggestions for ways to reduce your stress, you may already be on your way to feeling more relaxed. In the first 7 tips we suggested: Get away regularly, develop your favorite hobby, read 15 minutes per day, engage in Expressive Writing, share a belly laugh with someone, use Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and use aromatherapy.
Here are 7 more tips for getting out from under stress overload.
8. Engage in breathing exercises. The more stressed you are, the more rapid your breathing will be. In a genuine “fight of flight” situation, the stress hormone cortisol is intended to help the body respond with fast escape or self-defense. But when no burst of activity burns off the hormones, they can cause serious health problems over time. Regularly practice inhaling for about 4 seconds – taking in enough air to lift the chest and abdomen – hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale...
Life is full of stress, and it’s not always bad. If we’re honest, most of us enjoy the adrenaline rush of meeting an unexpected challenge once in awhile, but none of us do well when the stress of heavy workloads, over commitment, family needs and uncontrollable circumstances never lets up.
The reality is, your mental and physical health is at stake if you don’t make it a priority to engage in stress-relieving activities and habits that help you relax.
I have developed a list of 14 things you can do to start now. Today we will talk about the first 7, and then we will cover the other 7 strategies next time.
1. Give yourself permission to get away regularly. This may be a solo activity, or can include anyone you enjoy being with – your spouse, friends, family, etc. It can be a weekend at a cabin or hotel, or an afternoon at a park with a good book. In a pinch, an hour in a quiet place or listening to music can even be helpful. The only “rule” is that...
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. I have very fond memories of the many special gatherings my family has celebrated together. Playing and watching football, catching up on the latest news, and eating until we practically pass out continues to be a part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition. As is the case for many families, it has also been our tradition to acknowledge the many blessings we experienced throughout the year.
Pausing to reflect on the things and people you are thankful for at Thanksgiving is a great practice, but it’s important to remember how valuable it is to engage in this exercise on a daily basis. When you consistently make space in your life to regularly pause and express gratitude it promotes an attitude of appreciation, optimism and hopefulness.
The truth is, we too often take for granted the things and people that help to bring...
I hear it sometimes in counseling and coaching sessions: “It’s just the way I am. I say what I have to say and if somebody doesn’t like it, it’s their problem.” This is a common attitude for someone who doesn’t want to make the effort to improve their communication skills. Some people don’t understand why the way they communicate is just as important as what they say – and at times it’s more important.
To illustrate, let’s talk about something that is on many of our minds this time of year – Thanksgiving. If you are planning a Thanksgiving feast, you have a choice about how to prepare it. You can simply stick the turkey in a pot of boiling water along with a can of green beans and then whip up a batch of instant mashed potatoes and toss a loaf of bread on the table. The end result is, in fact, a turkey dinner. But how much do you think your family would enjoy that meal?
Part of the joy of gathering around the...