Are you living in the middle of a drought?

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Spring has arrived in Georgia and everything is bursting into bloom.  In the midst of the rainy cool days and the green all around, it’s hard to anticipate the dry heat drenched days of the summer but I know that they are coming.

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Plants Need Water–Duh!

I’ve done this more than once.  I work for hours in the garden, weeding, transplanting, moving plants here and there, then exhausted I gather up all my tools and head inside for a well deserved break.  I just figure I’ll water the newly transplanted plants later.  Unfortunately, this usually means I forget about them altogether and the next day I find my plants wilted beyond belief. Sometimes I can rescue them… sometimes not.

Of course I know that watering is essential.  It just didn’t always happen.

People Need Nourishment–Duh!

Gardening reflects life in a lot of ways.  Just as plants need water, we all need refreshment and nourishment in our lives. There have been numerous times in my career and daily life when I have become so consumed with the details and the tasks, that I forgot to take time to refresh and nourish my mind and my body. There have been whole seasons of my life when my only goal was to to get through the day at work and at home in the easiest simplest way possible, always flying under the radar and staying clear of any problems.  I was just marking time until I could get to the weekend or evening when I could do what I wanted and relax.

In many ways, my life was in drought mode not growing mode.  Much like a plant during a drought, I was just waiting and hoping for a better growing season next year.

Are You Living in Drought Mode or Growing Mode?

A few years ago, I came to my senses and decided to begin living more intentionally.  Rather than living a reactive life where I was constantly putting out fires and reacting to everything around me, I began living a creative life.   I established priorities and I pushed myself into new areas and new ventures.  I attended conferences and workshops.  I hired a coach.  I established a new business outside of my day job.

It’s been risky.

It’s been scary.

It’s been exhilarating!

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Water is essential to life.

It’s a reciprocal relationship of course.

When you give water, the plant flourishes.

When you neglect them, both plants and our spirits wither and die.

Is your life in drought mode?

What about you? Have you been in drought mode so long that it’s become the new normal?  Like my thirsty plants, are you waiting and hoping that the next month, the next year, the next season will be better?  Or are you watering the plant?  Are you living intentionally and nourishing yourself? I’d love to hear in the comment section what drought mode is for you…

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A Called Woman Coaching Team wants to help you get out of drought mode:

RX for BURNOUT is a program to help you effectively identify and control the issues causing you to feel stressed, burned out and overwhelmed.  Rx:  Burnout provides you with the skills and action plan you need to gain control back over your life.

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Learn about the online class and super bonuses here:

http://acalledwoman.com/burnoutclass

Sign up here:

http://acalledwoman.com/burnoutspecial

But hurry!  Registration ends Saturday, March 28th

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Five Reasons Not to Hire a Coach

This week I’ll be attending a three day retreat that focuses on all aspects of my coaching and writing business.  I’m looking forward to being back in the company of so many other entrepreneurial women who are energetically and passionately following their calling. Although I began creating a life that followed my calling over five years ago, it wasn’t until recently that I actually signed up with a coach to aggressively move forward on that dream.

 

What took me so long to ask for and get the help that I needed?  I’m an expert at talking myself out of doing stuff and waiting for a better time.  I find that creative, professional women are often the best at coming up with some of the most convincing reasons to not ask for help.  Here are some I’ve used myself.

Five Reasons  Excuses Not to Hire a Coach

  1. I’m trained as a helping professional and I coach/counsel others all the time.  I’ll just coach myself.  This one is the most dangerous.  I should know.  I’ve used it for years.  Just as you can’t counsel/coach your own family successfully, you can’t coach yourself.  You fool yourself.  You talk yourself out of things.  You ignore  the signs that are obvious to others.  You get in a rut.  I know mechanics work on their own cars and plumbers fix their own pipes but there are too many false paths that we can get lost on if we try to coach ourselves.
  2. It’s too expensive.  Behind this excuse is the belief that we aren’t worth it. Investing in ourselves is a commitment that signifies that we are committed to following up and following through. When was the last time that you invested in your inner self and your future?  While we’ll buy something that will change our outer appearance, ( a new Easter dress or hairdo that will soon be out of style), we question the value of paying for something that will continue to give value to our life forever. (Notice I didn’t say these excuses made sense.)
  3. There are lots of free webinars and ebooks available that I can use instead.  I’ll just get read them and apply what I’ve learned first and then later, if I still need help, I’ll hire a coach. The trouble with this statement is that it is a half truth.  There are hundreds of free resources available and it is a great idea to take advantage of them.  The role of a coach though is to help you put the things you learned into practice.  So a coach might help you narrow down the most effective ebooks to read and then personalize how the strategies you learned will work best for you. A coach is personal and specific to your situation while a webinar or book is not.
  4.  I don’t have the time.  This is actually a good reason to hire a coach.  A coach will help you streamline your efforts.  A coach will help you prioritize tasks and provide a sounding board for making decisions. A coach will guide you down a productive path and help you eliminate time-wasting activities.  Bottom line though is that we all make time for the things that are most important to us.
  5. It’s too early (or too late) and I’m not ready yet.  The fact is, we’re never ready.  We could always be farther ahead.  We could get a bigger better website, email list or product.  We could wait until we’re in a different season of life.  Waiting though means that we are missing out on the opportunity to grow right where we are now. Later doesn’t really mean a better time.  It just means a different time with different challenges.  There will never be a perfect time so take imperfect action now, right where you are.

Want to stop the excuses and create the life that you dream of?  Check out my coaching packages.

Are you overworked, overcommitted and overwhelmed?  Register for my free teleseminar on Rx:  Burnout-Get your Energy Back!

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Three Questions to Simplify Your Life

Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.  Steve Jobs

This week I’ll be sharing information about A Called Woman Coaching with the Kennesaw Business Association at the monthly luncheon.  As a new member, I get one minute to tell the group about who I coach, how I work with clients and the results they can expect.  One minute.  Sixty seconds.  Steve Jobs was right, simple is definitely harder than complex.

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Three Questions

Discovering your calling and following it through to create the life you dream of is also simple… and hard. Here are three important questions to ask herself to get you started:

  1. What is the greatest life lesson that I have learned that I am passionate about sharing with others?   The answer to this question is the basis of A Called Woman coaching.  Just as I learned to stop waiting to follow my dream, I share with others the practical steps they can take to turn a dream into a reality.  It’s never too late to take imperfect action. We’ve all learned something and have lessons to share.
  2. What am I doing right now that I need to drop out of because I’m not passionate about it and it doesn’t fit into my plan?  Have you diluted your talents?  Have you created obligations that are draining your time but don’t really fit in with your mission?  Did you agree to do something temporarily that has become permanent?  Are you trying to do everything when you could eliminate or delegate some of those tasks ?  If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then narrow down your focus and simplify your life.  Most clients that I talk to are so afraid of missing out on something and consequently so over-committed that they can’t find the time or energy to pursue their passion.  Say yes sparing and no frequently.  Create a priority management system rather than a time management system. Don’t be a generalist who says yes to every opportunity that comes along. Be selective.  Be excellent.  Be remarkable.
  3. If I only picked three things that I would do what would they be?  Now narrow it down to the one thing to focus on NOW.  Simple is harder than complex but it is energizing and fulfilling.  Find the area that really uses your expertise and your passion.  Now set up a schedule and create a plan to focus on that area.

Less is More 

A television show that I have watched with interest on numerous occasions is Restaurant Impossible.  In the show, chef Robert Irvine, evaluates restaurants that are on the brink of failure and not only renovates the physical space but changes everything from staff to menu options.  For each session, he typically has the cooks prepare all of the main dishes, tries them and revamps the menu.  Here is one thing he always does;  he downsizes the menu.  Instead of pages of items, he always has them create a select few items  and make them really well.  We too can learn from this scenario.

Are you trying to be a generalist or are you working with focus in your area of strength?  What do you need to let go of?  What do you need to ramp up?  I’d love to hear in the comment section below!

Want to identify and work in your strengths? Ready to stop waiting and follow your calling now? Check out my dream achiever coaching program:   http://lynnewatts.com/coachingforsuccess

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Free Teleseminar Series:

Rx:  Burnout-How to get your energy back

Over-committed, overworked and overwhelmed? This is the teleseminar to get your mojo back!

Join Lynne Watts and Kathy Brunner on Sunday March 22,  at 8:00 pm EST for a special teleseminar

Rx:  Burnout-How to get your energy back

See you there!

 http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminar

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Decision Making in Seven Steps

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I used to be indecisive.  Now I’m not so sure.  Tommy Cooper, comedian

Decisions.  We all make them.  Constantly.  I used to think I had difficulty making decisions.  I’d waffle back and forth on something.  I’d put it on the back burner and forget about it for a while.  Later, I’d revisit it.  I’d reconsider.  I’d ask people for their opinion.  I’d agonize over what to do.  You get the idea.  I was definitely indecisive.  Then I found a new perspective.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

Not making a decision is actually the same as making a decision.  You are just fooling yourself.  Eventually whatever the decision was, it is made in the negative.  Let’s say for instance, I’m trying to decide which of several colleges to apply to.  I research. I contemplate.  I talk to friends.  But I never decide and so I never apply to any college.  My decision?  Not to go to any of the choices.  Or lets say I want to change jobs.  I talk about it all the time.  I read about job openings and fantasize about what it would be like to have another job.  But I never apply for another job.  My decision?  To stay in my current job even though I am miserable there.  Not deciding and following up on that decision is the same as deciding to stay right where I am.

Not making a decision drains your energy.  When you have a pending decision that you are in the process of deciding, you have energy that is expended in that effort.  No matter what stage you are in, whether you are waiting for something else to happen, or whether you have tabled the decision until you are in a better frame of mind or whether you are actively researching the facts–that unmade decision is draining your energy.  As soon as you make the decision, no matter the outcome, you have released that energy for other things.

You always have a choice–even when you think you don’t.  Seth Godin writes that “I had no choice,” actually means “I had only one path that was easy in the moment.”  Even doing nothing  in a situation is a choice.  Think you can’t afford to change jobs, go to school or leave a relationship?  There is always another way, it just many not be as easy as the path you are on now.  It may take more effort, time, money, creativity and risk than what you are doing–but there is a choice.

Seven Steps to Making a Decision  

  1. State the problem.  This seems obvious but how often have you wrestled with something endlessly without clearly defining what the decision is?
  2. Set a time table.  Make it reasonable.  Give yourself a few days or a few weeks depending on the circumstances but nail it down.  Going on for months and years without deciding is draining your energy.
  3. Research and get advice.  Use more than one source.  Get more than one opinion.
  4. List the alternatives.  Clearly identify your choices.  Remember you always have more than one.
  5. Choose the best choice. 
  6. Take imperfect action. A decision does not have to be perfect.  In fact, it probably won’t be.  Make it anyway.  A decision is useless unless you act on it.
  7. Evaluate the results.  Instead of thinking of all decisions as life or death, consider them research and development.  The more decisions you make, the better you become at it and the more resources you have to draw on for the next decision.

Here’s a great decision to make:  Join me for the next awesome teleseminar:  Rx-Burnout

When you sign up, you’ll receive the Burnout quiz that I mention in this video.  

 

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Click on the button in the sidebar to register.  

 

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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!

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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

 

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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)

the-call-small1

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

finding-your-fire

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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