The Secret to Getting What You Want

Are you just dreaming about your future?  Or are you creating your future?  Are you asking for the opportunities you want or are you wishing the pieces would magically fall into place?  Are you living a reactive life or a creative life?  In this video Steve Jobs reveals the secret to getting what you want in your life.  You won’t believe how simple his recommendation is:

Now that you know the secret, what is holding you back?  Yeah, I know… it’s scary isn’t it?  In fact, asking for what we want is so uncomfortable that I bet you are already creating excuses as to why this won’t work for you.

Here are some common excuses:

  • If they wanted to give it away they would do it without me having to ask.
  • They should know that I need ____, without me having to ask.
  • If I ask and fail, I’ll feel really embarrassed and foolish.

But what if? What if asking for what you want works? 

  • What if it’s possible for you to serve others better and create a better life for others if you asked?  Often we don’t ask because we feel it is selfish and self-centered but what if you looked more closely at what you are asking for? Would it not only help you create the life you want but also help you to help others?  If this is true then NOT asking because it makes you uncomfortable is really the more selfish thing.
  • What if it’s possible that others are waiting to be asked by you?  We can’t read other’s minds and we can’t assume they know our needs.  Think back to a time someone asked you for something and how excited and willing you were to give it to them.  Do you want to cheat someone else of that opportunity to be generous?  Weren’t you glad someone asked you for what they needed?
  • What if it’s possible that simply the process of asking will expand your horizons, whether or not you get what you are asking for?  Even if you are turned down when you ask for what you want, just the experience and habit of asking for something can grow you as a person and help you establish new relationships with others.

The Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you.  Identify something you want or need but have been reluctant to ask for.  If you need to write out what you will say or even practice asking out loud, allow yourself some time to do that.  Silence the excuses and schedule a time to ask.  Then… ASK IT.  I’d love to hear the results in the comments section!

meKathyCWC

Join me and Kathy Brunner in our newest teleseminar:  Rx: Burnout-Getting Your Energy Back

Hint (we’ll be talking about simple strategies you can use NOW).

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The Burnout Cure: Seven Tips

 

toomuch

Are you overwhelmed?

Overworked?

Over-committed?

All of the above?  So many women that I talk to everyday would describe themselves as burned out not fired up. Days are characterized by TOO MUCH.

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There is too much to do on the job. Just answering emails is a never-ending task.

There is too much to do at home. When they arrive at home, the evening is spent catching up on numerous family responsibilities;  chauffeuring children to endless activities, house-keeping tasks and helping with homework.

Oh, yes and then there is connecting with your spouse. Who has time for quality time with your significant other?

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What’s the antidote to burnout?  Here are seven tips to keep your life from spinning out of control

  1. Spend time on the weekend creating a master schedule for your upcoming week and setting your priorities. Be realistic and reasonable. Create theme days whenever possible. This means that Monday may be the day to spend the day writing or connecting with clients. Set aside one day for appointments or errands so that you can maintain focus.
  2. For any task that you plan, first ask yourself:
    • Is this necessary? If the answer is no, then eliminate it! We all have too many things we are doing mindlessly that aren’t even useful or necessary.
    • Can this be automated? For instance, pay bills online, automatically. Set up systems whenever possible.
    • Can this be delegated? Too many working women still hold themselves responsible for innumerable  chores that they could easily have someone else do. Can your children pitch in? Can you alternate the task with a friend or a neighbor? Can you pay someone to do it?  Save your energy and time for what you do best (your genius work) and what no one else can do (your relationships).
  3. Create a morning routine that sets you up for a successful day. Get up early enough to spend some quiet time in reflection and setting your priorities for the day.   DO NOT begin the day by checking email, Facebook or any other social media forum. Create and work your own agenda not someone else’s.
  4. Say yes sparingly and no frequently. There are endless opportunities and possibilities in everyday life. If you say yes to all of them, you will soon be over-committed, over-whelmed and over-worked. Know your main purpose and mission so that you only say yes to those things that fulfill that purpose. Don’t let someone else or your own conscience guilt you into saying yes when you need and want to say no.
  5. Create healthy rituals and routines that are a habit not a choice. Schedule your exercise times and downtimes just like you would schedule an appointment with an important client. (Which, by the way YOU ARE your most important client). Plan ahead for healthy eating options so you don’t default to drive-through-fast-food.
  6. Practice gratitude. Staying in touch with what you are grateful for on a daily basis will decrease your burnout and increase your joy.  Guaranteed.
  7. Give yourself a break. Most entrepreneurs and career women are incredibly hard on themselves and hold themselves to an impossibly high standard. The benefit of this is that you accomplish more and what you do is of higher quality. Make sure that you know when to turn it off and just relax. Practice saying: Now it’s time to stop working so that I can renew and refresh myself. Then do it!!

Want to learn more?  Join me for a teleseminar:  Rx:  Burnout-How to Get Your Energy Back.  Sign up here:

http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminar

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The Fear Factor: Networking for Introverts

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Nothing strikes more fear into the heart of an introvert than the advice: Go forth and network to grow your business, get a job or just be successful in whatever endeavor you are attempting.

I should know.

I’m an introvert.

Why Introverts are Naturals at Networking

As introverts, we think that being asked to network means doing something that we are terrible at. We think that everyone else is a natural at networking, while we somehow missed out on the networking DNA. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Networking is a learned skill, not an inherited ability. Introverts  have unique abilities that make us exceptionally good at networking if we just get up our courage and dive in. Here’s why:

  1. We are naturally sensitive to other people and how they are feeling.
  2. We are better listeners. Bet you’ve been stuck in a conversation before with an extrovert who wouldn’t stop talking about themselves, right? Your eyes glaze over and you can’t wait to get away. Introverts won’t bore you with their own story. They’ll ask you about your story and they’ll care about you while they listen to it.
  3. We are usually more focused and prepared for an event. Because introverts are often nervous about networking, they tend to do their research: Who will be there? Who will they most likely have something in common with?

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The Fear Factor

If introverts are so good at networking why does it take an act of Congress to get us out and do it? There are several reasons why:

  1. We anticipate other’s feelings and decide in advance that we will be inadequate in some way. Introverts say things like, “Everyone else looks like they know what they are doing and I don’t.”
  2. We over-think the situation and worry about what to say. Introverts think, “Everyone else knows how to strike up a conversation and I’m at a loss.”
  3. We don’t like being the center of attention and feel awkward. Introverts think, “Everyone else is comfortable while I’m standing here like a fool.”

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Three Skills to Develop

How can we tap into our strengths and use the skills we already have in a networking situation?

  1. Change the focus. Shift the focus to others and their feelings and needs rather than focusing on your own.
  2. Create a plan. Decide in advance to approach x number of people and find out two things. Here are some suggestions:
    1. What do you do for a living?
    2. What is your biggest challenge in your business?
    3. How did you get started in your business?
    4. What do you like or not like about your business?
  3. Develop an elevator speech. This doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. Here are some examples:
    1. I write children’s books with an empowering message and coach other creative women writers.
    2. I help women that are burned out and overwhelmed find their calling and live it out with purpose.
    3. Your turn:

 

You Can Do This

Being an introvert uniquely qualifies you to be a networking genius. But your style and your technique will not look like the typical extrovert who dominates the room, talks to everyone present and leaves with a handful of random business cards.

Work in your strengths and get to know a few people well.

Concentrate on developing a relationship not an impression.

I promise the experience will be rewarding for you and those that you touch.

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Can you Defy Gravity?

One of my favorite plays of all time is Wicked and it is coming back to the Fabulous Fox theater in Atlanta, Georgia this month.  I’ve seen it four or five times and have the T-shirt to prove it! I love laughing at the clever lines and humming the inspiring music. I eagerly anticipate the best part of the play when Elphaba the wicked witch sings Defying Gravity and levitates in the air, wind blowing, lights dramatically flashing.  It gets me excited just thinking about it.

The Powerful Message of Wicked

What is it about this play that brings me back time after time?  The message of the play is inspiring and timeless. It is the story of learning to be comfortable in your own skin, even if it is green.  It is the story of the illusions and masks that we all wear and the courage that it takes to defy gravity and be authentically yourself.    There are three key lyrics that sum up the passionate revelations of Wicked.

  • People come into our lives for a reason, something we need to learn~Glenda the Good Witch   In the beginning of the play Glenda is all about changing Elphaba into a Ga-linda clone.  By the end of the play she recognizes the qualities and gifts of Elphaba that she can learn from.
    • Take away:  What can you learn from even the most difficult people in your life?  Can you see life through another’s eyes and learn from their perspective?  Can you put aside your world view and learn from another’s experience?
  • I’m through accepting limits, because others say they’re true~Elphaba the Wicked Witch  This is another inspiring message, this time from Elphaba, the character that we all initially believe is “wicked”.  In truth, she is misunderstood, but she accepts others’ perception that she is wicked until she realizes that she is allowing others to limit her abilities and her path in life.
    • Take away:  We all tend to allow the perceptions and values of others to limit our lives.  How are you allowing others to limit your goals and aspirations?  How is your perception of your abilities influenced by others rather than a realistic assessment of what you can really do?
  • Everyone Deserves A Chance To Fly~Elphaba the Wicked Witch  When Elphaba gives herself permission to be all that she can be, she becomes a power to be reckoned with.  Permission to love, permission to express her opinions and convictions honestly, permission to stand up for the truth.
    • Take away: So often we limit our lives and live small.  We are afraid to step into the greatness, the bigness that is possible. Have you allowed yourself to fly?  Are you challenging yourself to use your gifts and talents?  Are you defying gravity?

Download the free Dream Achiever ebook found in the sidebar and like Elphaba… LEARN TO FLY!

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Top Ten Ways to Travel Smarter

People don’t take trips.  Trips take people.  John Steinbeck

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I love to travel.  Every year I attend a lot of seminars and retreats.  I speak at a lot of conferences.  I’ve taken groups of high school students to Europe and back (didn’t even lose any)!

Most of my travel involves business but sometimes I travel just for fun and to see new places. I even write a monthly column for a couple of magazines on local destinations. Over the years I’ve developed a system for making travel as comfortable, productive and stress-free as possible.

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Here’s my top ten tips for traveling well:

  • #10–  Plan ahead and have a regular system for packing.  I have a suitcase that I keep packed with basic items all the time.  The basic items I have included are based on disastrous trips I’ve taken where I arrived in Tennessee in the dead of winter without a sweater or at a hotel with a fitness center but nothing to work out in.  No, the suitcase isn’t huge… I add the basic clothing items I need when I pack but I have a few things that I’ve routinely forgotten that I keep in the suitcase.
  • #9–Bring a few comfort items that will help you feel at home no matter where you are.  For me this is some special caffeine free  tea bags that I can enjoy in the hotel room after a day of stress-full presentations and perhaps a chocolate treat.
  • #8–Ritual is important–As much as possible keep your regular schedule.  This means going to bed at the usual time and getting up at the usual time.  For me this includes a morning focus session where I outline my goals and action items for the day.  Travel should be energizing not exhausting.
  • #6–Hydrate–This is a big one and something I have to be continually mindful of no matter where I am.  Take your bottled water with you when possible.  If it’s not possible because you are flying, purchase a water bottle and use the filtered water where ever you are.
  • #5–Maintain a healthy diet–I know this is hard enough to do at home but sometimes it feels impossible when you are attending a conference or traveling.  The keynote lunch is loaded with carbs and oh, that tempting cheesecake dessert! Enjoy yourself but be selective and look for ways that you can keep your focus on healthy food.  You will feel better and be more energized for it.
  • #4– Allow enough time–Whenever I’m doing a presentation in another city, I like to arrive the day before and spend time getting prepared for the session.  I scope out the room I’m presenting in, checkout the set-up and review my notes as well as re-pack any items to have on hand for the session.  Nothing is worse than feeling out of sorts as you start a presentation because you spent the last thirty minutes frantically looking for the room…
  • #3–Learn something new–Travel is fraught with lots of downtime.  Minutes or hours sitting in an airport or driving to the destination.  I spend this time listening to audio books and podcasts that I follow.  Audible.com is a great site where you can download almost any book imaginable.  Be sure to take your phone/ipad and earbuds to make the most of your time.
  • #2–Meet someone new–Part of the excitement of travel is not only seeing new places but also seeing the world through new eyes.  Spend some time getting to know the locals in an area.  Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations for places to eat, things to see and do.  Learn about the stories of the people you meet and share your story with them.
  • #1–Celebrate and be present–The number one travel tip is to celebrate your travel experience.  Look at the world through a positive lens.  Enjoy the people you meet and your surroundings! What will you learn and experience that will change the story of your life forever?

What is your favorite travel tip?  Tell me in the comments section… I’d love to hear.

 

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Do You Know Where You’re Going?

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If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.  David Campbell

Does this quote sound like you?

Do you know where you are going?

Do you feel like you are always busy but never get anything done?

Do You Have Lots of Lists but Nothing to Show for It?

My sister-in-law works in a pawnshop and one day she discovered a list that a customer left behind in the shop (true story–I’m not making this up…):

list

Pretty obvious this individual needs to get more figured out than just how to check things off the list.  He (or she) needs to find a different path to follow and hopefully a different list!

No matter what your To Do List looks like we can all deceive ourselves into thinking that just because we are checking things off that we are living a productive intentional life.  This has been true for me as well.  Living an intentional goal oriented life is a relatively new experience.  I’ve always been organized with lots of to-do-lists.  I’ve always worked hard. Since I was quite productive and was checking things off my to-do-list, I felt confident I was moving forward.  Accomplishments however, in and of themselves are not always the desired end result. It is possible to be highly organized, energetic and productive but all in the wrong direction, much like someone who lives in New York and travels to California by way of Florida.  You can check off a lot of landmarks along the way but you may never arrive at your destination.

The Key to Living Intentionally

What makes the difference? Priorities and Focus.  In the past, I created a long never-ending list of stuff to accomplish.  About three years ago, I realized the importance of setting goals first and then tackling the list.  It’s not that I get any more done.  It’s that the things I get done are the things that move me along the path of accomplishing the goal.  Just having a goal creates focus and helps in setting priorities.

I’ve also found that in each major area of my life, it helps if  I determine a theme for the year.  In previous posts I’ve talked about choosing one word to orient my focus.  This year my word is possibilities.  This means that as I plan my schedule for each week and month, I look for and expand my possibilities.  So far this year, I’ve attended an author event in Tennessee and this week I’ll travel to South Carolina to speak at the Palmetto School Counselor Conference. I’m finding lots of possibilities!

Five Ways to Increase Your Productivity

In the past, I just tried to work harder and longer.  But no matter what I did, my lists just got longer and longer and I never seemed to get finished.  I was often frustrated that the things I really wanted to do never got done. At the end of the day, I had lots of little things done but still hadn’t focused on my writing or gotten the one thing done that would create some income.  Does this happen to you?

There are several reasons why we so easily get lost in the details and the seemingly urgent but not so important tasks of our lives.  One reason is that our brain craves completion.  We are naturally drawn toward tasks that are easily and swiftly completed.  This is why you mean to get that article written or that client on the phone but instead you find yourself emptying the dishwasher.  There is a natural resistance to something that is open-ended but short meaningless tasks are very seductive. How many times have you found yourself completing these tasks because it will “only take a minute”?  I’ve developed several techniques for making sure that I stay on track and focused during my working day.  This is especially important as an entrepreneur working out of my home.  Distractions are everywhere!

  • Have a daily focus time first thing in the morning
  • Develop a daily checklist which includes your One Thing (the one thing to get done no matter what)
  • Create a schedule and begin the day by completing your One Thing
  • Work in regular 55 minute bursts of focused energy followed by 5-10 minute breaks
  • Set aside a particular time for emails, phone calls, text messages and stick with it!!

What about you?  Are you living life on purpose?  Do you need some help?

Jump Start Party

At A Called Woman Coaching, we are committed to helping you Jumpstart 2015 and we want to do it in a BIG way so Kathy Brunner and Lynne Watts have put together a terrific way for you to Jump Start Your Year!  Here’s the deal:

Find a friend, any friend (this is your part… we’d like to but we can’t do this one for you)
Sign up for our Jumpstart Party 2015

Here’s what you get when you sign up:
Two copies of The Call:  Perfect Dream, Imperfect Life
(yes, real books mailed to you)

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Two copies of Finding Your Fire
(See why you need a friend?)

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Plus, you are both invited to: A special one hour teleseminar just for you, your friend and a few other Jumpstart participants

When: February 1st  at 8:00pm EST (it’s a virtual party where we will share productivity and energy strategies like the ones in this blog to get you going. We’ll also provide some personal coaching on your questions)

Where:  On the phone, silly–that’s why it’s called a virtual party

Why:  Because you want to rock it in 2015!

Can’t show up for the party?  Don’t worry we will record the call and send you a recording of the teleseminar 

Total Cost for books and the call:  49.95 + shipping

We can’t wait to have you join us for the Jumpstart Partee 2015!!
Here’s the link again:
http://acalledwoman.com/Jumpstart

Don’t Wait!  Offer Ends January 25th.
http://acalledwoman.com/Jumpstart

Questions?  Email us at:  lynnewatts@comcast.net

A year from now you will wish you had started today… Karen Lamb

Party on…
Lynne and Kathy

 

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I walked 120 miles!

I recently saw the movie, Wild which chronicles Cheryl Stray’s 1,100 mile walk along the Pacific Crest Trail.  While I can’t say I accomplished something quite that monumental, I do have a homegrown story of a group of women who took on a physical challenge.   This energetic group of women wanted to create changes in their world by making a renewed commitment to exercise.

It all started in November when one member of our Thursday Sistas’ group issued a challenge.  She was pretty fired up to start an exercise program for herself and challenged us all to join in. The reward at the end of six weeks would be a celebratory dinner at a local restaurant, Capers.  This idea started a flurry of emails back and forth with everyone either joining in or at least commenting on it.  Here’s how it all started…

The Challenge Begins

Ladies,

We’re just going to have to come up with another reason to celebrate at Capers sometime.  I don’t want to wait until the next birthday to try it.  Maybe it could be a reward for walking so many miles or so many days in a month.  Would anyone want to do that with me?  We don’t have to walk together, just have a plan and stick to it without fail for a month or two.

Your Sista,

K.H.

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Day One-First Walk

 

The Challenge Guidelines:  Day One 

We’re starting on the coldest day of the year because TODAY MATTERS.  I’ve been starting “tomorrow” for a long time, and I’m telling you, that hasn’t worked.  Now for the sake of calendar symmetry, I would prefer to start officially tomorrow on a Sunday and have 6 straight-line weeks on my calendar.  But I’ve been told that’s crazy thinking, so let’s just start today.  

Charting suggestions so far:  Do it yourself any old way, the app My Fitness Pal, the app Everybody Walks.  I can’t comment since I know nothing about apps.  I have a feeling I’m about to learn.  :)

Today will be a beautiful day, so try to get outside in the warmest part and get moving.  Or turn on the TV, push the laundry off the elliptical machine, and walk that way.  We can work out each of our individual plans and our charting as we go along, but the most important part today is to take a walk.  When you have time, try to write down your personal plan.  Ready…set…GO!

~K.H

Walking in Downtown Kennesaw

Walking in Downtown Kennesaw

 

There was of course one member who wanted to follow the beat of her own drum.

There’s Always an Exception to the Rule

Dear Sistas,

In real estate there process called a 1039 exchange where you and another person exchange ownership of pieces of property of equal value and avoid capital gains taxes.   I propose a 1039 exercise exchange for me – To wit: (doesn’t that sound really legal?)

I will not participate in your walking plan since my schedule is unpredictable and because I left Chicago 40 years ago so I would never have to walk very far in extreme cold again.  My proposal is to exchange your frigid frolics with three hour dance classes twice a week 

I went to the first class last night.  I spent several hours either dancing with the female instructor or with the only unattached male.  He is a very sweet man slightly shorter than me with absolutely no sense of rhythm.  He was either counting out the beats aloud (“…and one and two and three and turn…”) or repeating the steps (“ ….up fast fast slow back fast fast slow..”) It took real concentration on my part to dance at a pace that had no relationship whatever to the music.

Fortunately we also did some line dancing which requires no partner and the female instructor was great.  Tango anyone?  

Actually, I had a really good time and plan to go back again.  If I promise to do this strange but oddly entertaining form of exercise at least twice a week, can it stand in lieu of walking in a winter wonderland? I’ll even wear a pedometer or get a verification of attendance from the instructor if required.

Your kind consideration of this proposal will be greatly appreciated.

S.A. aka:  Happy Feet

The Official Answer

Dear Happy Feet

Thank you for the recent submission of your Alternative Exercise Proposal.  While the Sizzlin’ Sistas Social Club normally requires strict compliance with established Challenge criteria, your excellent standing as a Sista has earned you special consideration.  Your detailed activity description provided sufficient evidence that dancing does indeed meet the following Challenge requirement: “…it has to be a little more than you already do and…we’re going for faithful and consistent exercise without terrible suffering.”  While there is some concern that a poor dance partner may constitute “terrible suffering,” your assurance that you “had a really good time” has allayed concerns until you report otherwise.  After careful consideration, the Capers Challenge Committee has approved your request  with one stipulation: you must demonstrate your new dance skills at the SSSC Christmas Party on December 18, 2014, and teach fellow Sistas a dance of your choice.  Please note that your selected dance may be anything except the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Dance, or Twerking.

Sincerely,

Party on,

K.H.~Self-appointed Capers Challenge Committee Chair

Sizzlin’ Sistas Social Club

Walking Noonday Creek Trail

Walking Noonday Creek Trail

Regular Encouragement:  Day Three

DAY 3: AGreat Day To Start Again

It was an easy thing to walk this weekend because the weather was fine, I didn’t have any special plans, and my next-door neighbor was a motivating partner.  The reality, though, is that any little thing can de-rail my enthusiasm, like a cold bug or a long work day or RAIN AND EXTREME COLD.  Today may be our first special challenge day.  You may decide to make this your “rest day” (a trick I have used for years).  But maybe you’ll think of a creative way to squeeze in at least a partial workout before the next Ice Age sets in: walk around your building a few times at lunch or have a reconnaissance mission around the mall to get you psyched for Christmas shopping.  Oh, here’s my favorite idea: drop a couple of shots of peppermint schnapps and turn on the electric blanket before you drag your husband out for a fast and freezing night walk.  Don’t worry, he’ll agree to it as soon as he realizes you’re drinking.  However you work it out, make it a GOOD day!

~K.H.

Hiking Kennesaw Mtn-Coldest Day Ever

 More Motivation:  Day 5 -Off the block

I’m not going to bother you with emails every day, promise, but neither am I going to sit silently and watch this effort fade away.  I really need to improve my fitness no matter what, and you know what they say: “Misery loves company!”    :)

 If you’re in, how’s it going?  Did you define your plan?  Have done your activity yet?  This is a “no-guilt, no-perfection” program, so don’t feel bad if you’re slow off the starting block.  You might want to just come clean about the struggle and maybe your friends can give you a boost to get started.  Whether your problem is time, darkness, cold, injury, ugly workout clothes, or lack of energy and motivation, we’ll all understand. ~K.H.

 There Was Personal Investment

Sistas,

I’m so happy to hear the Capers Challenge is well under way!   I’ll tell you that the mention of water aerobics got my attention.  Where there is water, there are bathing suits.  Next time you don’t feel like walking, put your bathing suit on and then decide if you’re going to walk that day! 

It’s good to hear that some of you have have moved into the planning phase.  I’ve spent whole years in the planning phase, and consider myself an expert.  If you’re still not doing any actual exercise after purchasing an elliptical, a gym membership, a pretty water bottle, a lock for the gym locker, a special towel to wipe your sweat away, heel inserts for your walking shoes, an iPod, and flattering workout clothes, the Capers Challenge Committee will stage an intervention.

 Day 7: Sunrise at 7:18 and sunset at 5:33.  ~K.H.

Yep, stopped by the police because we were walking too fast!

Yep, stopped by the police because we were walking too fast!

 Quitting is Not an Option

Day 11 Is it time to quit?

SHORT ANSWER:  No

LONG ANSWER:  It would be completely understandable to table this exercise thing until a better time.  There’s too much going on between the usual demands of work and home, plus the latest crisis, plus holiday prep and celebrations.  I can think of so many things I should be tending to instead of walking aimlessly for 40 minutes.  That just makes me more tired and stiff when I need to be at my best to handle everything else.

I know I have it easy.  When I think of the demands most of you are managing, I think I sure have a lot of nerve trying to motivate any of you– you are superwomen already.  But here’s the thing: in order for any of us to continue doing all our stuff this year and next, we need to be physically well enough to do stuff.  We need to be strong enough and able enough and we need to feel pretty good in our heads, too.  So this little exercise plan is a way to meet those needs without getting in too deep.  You are not paying a lot of money for this, or breaking yourself down, or investing huge amounts of time.  You’re just doing a little bit more exercise than you had been doing before and you’re doing it a little more consistently.  You’re in control of your own plan.  It might be time to adjust the plan or recommit yourself to one day at a time, but it’s not time to quit.  A little exercise is better than none. 

I wanted to share a really inspiring quote with you about not quitting, but I couldn’t find one that didn’t get on my nerves.  So instead, I’m sharing this bit of wisdom that cracked me up, even though it doesn’t support my goal here one bit:  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. ~W.C. Fields

Walking Downtown Acworth

Walking Downtown Acworth

We Can Always Change Our Story

Hi Ladies,

This morning when Lynne asked me if I wanted to walk today, I had a physical reaction.  I made a sour face, my head drooped, I closed my eyes, my muscles all sent “NO!” messages to my brain, and my lazy butt whispered to my legs, “You don’t have to do it, just sit down.  She can sit down and read a book instead.”  I am not always enthusiastic.

So 20 minutes later, from a booth at Las Palmas, I texted Lynne that I DID want to walk.  What changed my attitude in that time?  Knowing that I was about to overeat unhealthy food and get lazy for the rest of the day, even though I really do have a lot of important stuff to do today.  So I decided to switch things up and see if a walk would re-energize me after my Chilequiles Mexicanos and sweet tea.  So, now I’m about to head out for what will surely be a good walk on a nice day, and I’m sure I’ll be glad I did it.

See, we can always change our story.  We can do better, make a new decision.  What’s your story today? ~K.H.

Lessons Learned

  • Changing habits isn’t easy but it is POSSIBLE. Start where you are and take one small step forward.
  • Support is essential.  If you are making a change in your life, find an accountability partner to spur you on.  Sorry, my neighbor K.H. is already taken…find your own:)
  • You will be amazed by the results of taking consistent action over time.  When I tallied up my miles, we had walked over 120 miles!

What about you?  How do you need to change your story?  Let’s do it!!  Ready, Set… Go!

Download my ebook:  Dream Achiever:  Learning to Fly and let’s start changing your story today!!

KSU Wandere

KSU Wander

  • Walking Kennesaw Mtn
    Walking Kennesaw Mtn

KSU Wander

New Year's Day Hike

New Year’s Day Hike

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Ten Ways to Make the Most of a Conference

meuplevel2

Every year I attend conferences and I speak at conferences.  I guess you could call me a conference groupie. Conferences and retreats are great ways to expand not only your knowledge but also your network.  Every conference that I attend I expect to learn new ways to encourage and empower others to live their calling with passion and purpose.  I also expect to make a new friend or connection that I will also learn from.

Connecting at Conferences

I’ve met some people at conferences who are not only a great inspiration but also lifelong friends.  An example is Kathy Brunner who I first met several years ago at a Speak It Forward Conference.  We not only collaborate on the Called Woman Conference each year but we also attend other conferences together.  Here we are at the Christine Kane Uplevel Conference held in Atlanta last June.

mekathyuplevel

In addition, I attended Christine Kane’s October retreat in Asheville, North Carolina where I was able to focus on creating successful business systems for the Called Woman Coaching Business.    Here I am with my strategy coach, Elaine Bailey and my awesome accountability partner, Mary Frances Gonzalez.

me,elaineandmaryfrances

Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Next Conference

I used to just show up at a conference and hope it would be worthwhile.  Of course, I would research the speaker and topic but ultimately I expected to be informed and entertained.  Not any more.  Now I come actively prepared to learn. What does that mean? Well, a lot of people come to a conference expecting to sit back and take it all in.  They are probably going to get the minimum out of the conference.  But to really get the most out of a conference, plan ahead and come ready to be actively involved.  Here are ten ways to maximize your conference experience:

  1. Review the schedule and plan your time.  Get to sessions early if you expect them to be crowded and sit in the front of the room.
  2. For any given topic, have a list of questions you would like to have answered.  Ask them.
  3. If you attend a conference with a friend make sure they are as eager to learn as you are.  Don’t let them distract you from the subject.  Make sure you spend time apart so that you meet new people.
  4. Take business cards.  Give them away.  Ask other people for their cards.  Make a note on the back that will help you remember the person.
  5. Know your elevator speech:  Who you are, what you do and why you are here
  6. Take pre-stamped postcards or cards to use as Thank You cards for speakers or other people that you meet. Write them while the material is still fresh and send them right away.
  7. Never eat alone.  Invite someone you don’t know to eat with you.  Invite a speaker to lunch.
  8. Identify the new people you meet that you want to stay in touch with and reach out quickly via one of the social media platforms.
  9. Take the time to thank the speakers for the insights they have shared.
  10. Take something to give away: your book, a link to an ebook, something more memorable than your business card. Share it!

Free Teleseminar Series:  Finding Your Focus and One Word for 2015

Ditch the New Years resolutions  for a strategy that will create intention and purpose!  Sign up here:  http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminars/

Want to make 2015 the year that you move forward in achieving your dream?  Contact me about my coaching packages.  I have 2 openings left.   http://lynnewatts.com/coachingforsuccess

A year from now you may wish you had started today.  Karen Lamb

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What Are You Afraid of?

A year ago I consulted with an aspiring author. We originally met at an author event where she asked the question, “How would you go about getting a children’s book published?  I’ve written a story and I’m not sure what to do next.”  Several years ago that could have been me asking the exact same question.  I gave her my card and offered to share my journey with her.  A few months later we were sitting at my kitchen table and I was giving her lots of information  on how to get started.  I love coaching aspiring authors because I’ve been there myself and I truly did not know where to start or who to ask for  advice.

Where is Trish today?  Today she is a published author selling her book.

roxy

What Are You Afraid Of?

“I think I need to get over my fears,” she said at one point.  “I think I’m afraid of success.”  Our fears often define us and keep us from moving forward don’t they?  I too have been plagued with fears.

  • What if I fail?
  • What if no one wants my books?
  • What if I’m fooling myself and I’m not really any good at writing?
  • What if I make the wrong decision?
  • What if I work and work at this and nothing happens?
  • What if I have a book signing party and NO ONE comes?

Trust me, my brain works overtime on the ways I could fail.

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Maybe I’m not asking the right questions though.  Maybe I should be asking questions like:  What are the possibilities ahead?  How can I dream bigger?  Create more?  Serve others more?  Trish is right.  Sometimes it is not a fear of failure but a fear of success that paralyzes us.

Just as I coach other women who are dream achievers, I also have a business coach, Christine Kane, who urges me to overcome my fears and move myself forward in my business.  Here is the card I received from her for the holidays:

CK card

We all experience fear as we anticipate the future ahead.  We all need someone to both support and challenge us.  Who does that for you?

The Number One Regret of the Dying

In a book entitled, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, an Australian nurse, Bonnie Ware, who spent years caring for the terminally ill writes that the number one regret is this:  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.  Does that hit home for you? It did for me.

I still feel afraid everyday that the latest idea or venture won’t turn turn out.  I worry that someone will point out something that was wrong.  I worry that it will all fall flat.  It was only after Trish’s comment that I started counting up what I have accomplished in five years toward my dream of publishing a book and sustaining myself as a writer, speaker and coach. Three websites, two ongoing blogs, five books, regularly speaking and selling books at events, a coaching business where I help other women attain their dreams…  isn’t it funny how our fears get in the way of acknowledging our accomplishments?

The Key to Overcoming Fear

Helen Keller said, “Feel the fear, do it anyway.”  As I talked with Trish a year ago, I  encouraged her to recognize her fears and do it anyway She has and I’m so proud of her accomplishment.  That has been the key to anything I’ve accomplished as well.  One step, sometimes one very small step at a time, I’ve built it.  Not because I was confident and courageous.  I just did it anyway.  So can you.

What about you?  Are you living a life true to yourself, or the life others expect of you?

trishg

The Self-Publishing Guide by Lynne Watts is a comprehensive tool for anyone who is considering the self-publishing world. Due to her experience as a self-published writer, she has created a system that addresses the whole process.  Highly recommend this Self-Publishing Guide.
Trish Greenlee, aspiring published author
 

Download the free ebook:  Dream Achiever:  Learning to Fly and let’s start making your dreams a reality! Find it in the sidebar of this post.

Join my upcoming teleseminar:  Finding Your Focus and One Word in 2015.

Sign up Here:   http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminars/

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Creating Your Own Dance or Just Following the Routine?

 Are you living your life with exuberance?  Creativity?  Are you living your biggest story?  Or are you just surviving and flying under the radar? Here’s a preschooler who could teach us all a lesson about how to live with gusto!

What Are Your Excuses?

Of course, I know that none of us can engineer all the circumstances of our lives.  We don’t choose our families and we certainly don’t have control over other’s choices.  We can’t control the environment that we were born into or many times the health issues that we may encounter.  However, we can determine  our reaction to the circumstances of our lives.  As we move into 2015, here are three life lessons that steer my course and that I believe will help you live your bigger life story.

Live Life on Purpose

So often people let life happen rather than making it happen.  This has been the greatest lesson I’ve learned.  My early years were spent wishing, waiting and wondering if I’d be able to accomplish my dreams.  I reacted to  life rather than created my life.  I gave away my power to anyone and everyone.  Instead of a list of goals, I had a wish list and no action plan to make those dreams come true.  I had an exhaustive to-do-list and I was incredibly busy but without any clear direction.  Living intentionally has changed my focus and my life.

Look for the Opportunity in Everything

Living intentionally doesn’t mean that I don’t face opposition, failure and tragic circumstances.  Of course my life, like yours, has events and relationships that are discouraging and disappointing.  Sometimes I can make changes that improve the situation.  Sometimes I can’t.  But I can say that if I look hard enough there is always an opportunity in the midst of it all.  Maybe it means that I change my perspective.  Maybe it means that I learn something that I can share with someone else who is going through a similar concern.  Always it means that I have grown and changed in someway for the better.

Do Something New Everyday

I am a creature of routine and habit.  So often, my goal is to feel comfortable and keep the status quo.  Being open to learning from new experiences means being open to change.  This is true in simple things as well as in the bigger events in my life.

Here’s an example of my being resistant to change and learning.  I drove the same way to work for 20+ years.  It involved traveling down a winding, dark two way road before the sun was up.  It was fine early in the school year, but once we moved into the winter months and the weather was rainy, foggy and sometimes icy, the drive in the dark was treacherous.  Nevertheless, I persisted in traveling the same road believing that to change and drive a new route on the expressway to  my work would be even worse.  Finally, my last year at the school (!) when my arrival time was made even earlier, I decided to try the expressway and see if the drive was better.  Guess what?  It was a huge improvement!!  Why did it take me so long to try something that was so simple?  It was an unwillingness to learn and try something new.  This is an ongoing challenge but I continue to look for ways to learn and change even though it means doing things that are uncomfortable.

posssiblities

My One Word for 2015

Last week I posted a blog about selecting one word for 2015.  As I considered the word to choose, I wanted to choose one that would continue to encourage and move me into my bigger story.  A word that would at once challenge me and guide me.  I’ve chosen the word, possibilities.  Here is the definition:  abilities or qualities that could make someone or something better in the future.  I want to continually focus on the possibilities in the world, the things that could encourage and empower us all to live the biggest most amazingly incredible story possible.  

What about you?  Are you creating your own dance or just following the routine?  What are your possibilities for 2015?

Join me on September 11th for a free teleseminar on creating focus through one word for 2015.  Get the details and sign-up here:  http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminars/

 

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