What Will Be Your One Word for 2015?

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The New Year is just around the corner and I have a quick little test for you. (Don’t you just love pop quizzes?)

When I think about my plans for 2015, I am

a.  Not setting goals.  They never worked before and it is a waste of my time.

b.  Evaluating my past year and setting new goals based on my accomplishments last year

c.  Feeling totally overwhelmed.  I’m not sure what I accomplished last year (maybe survival?) or what I want to accomplish next year.  Maybe I’ll just take a nap and think about it later.

During the holiday season I’m

a.  Kicking back and sleeping in, over-eating and over-spending.  After all that’s what holidays are for, right?

b.  Holiday?  What holiday?  I’m keeping my nose to the grindstone.  Holidays are just like regular work days, except now I’m also exhausted from cooking, shopping, cleaning…

c.  Enjoying some time off with family and friends.  I have a system in place and know the steps I need to take each day to keep things running smoothly.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

This time of year, people love to ask you, “Are you ready for the holidays?” Trying to do it all can be exhausting.  I know.  This is especially true for women.  We’re trying to energize and renew relationships, honor family and spiritual traditions and work a job or run a business.  We’re trying to balance all those spinning plates in the air and cringing everytime we hear one crash.

Distractions are everywhere; elaborate Pinterest style decorating,  shopping for the perfect gift for everyone and attending every holiday extravaganza or event. As we are pulled in every direction, finding time to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways is a challenge.

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My One Word for 2014

There are lots of ways to bring calm and order to the chaos.  One way is to create focus. In 2014, I created focus by picking one word to define my upcoming year. It was a north star.  An intention to align with. A  lens through which to view my world.

My one word for 2014 was adventure. It was a reminder to incorporate the spirit of adventure into everything that I did.  It seemed the perfect word for a year in which I retired from a 21 year career of school counseling in order to move forward into a new business of writing, speaking and coaching.

How did this word influence my year?  It gave me something to look for and focus on.  It also gave me something to intentionally create.  As I made plans, I made sure that adventure was a part of each goal.  I planned celebrations and get-togethers with friends and family. I traveled and visited new places and made new friends.  I signed up with a business coach for the first time ever as I ventured into the new territory of taking what had been a part-time activity and creating a business.

Once I began focusing on adventure, I saw the word everywhere I turned;  in my daily devotional, signs along the road and in conversation with others. It narrowed and highlighted my attention for the year. At one point as I was journalling about the word adventure and how I was incorporating it into my life, I realized that the word itself advised me on how to best use it.  In order to add adventure to my life, I had to venture out into new territory, new places, new relationships.  While adventure can sound exciting, it can also be a bit scary as I moved outside of my comfort zone.   I can truly say that focusing on that one word made a huge difference in my life.

My One Word for 2015

As I move into the new year, I’m already planning for my one word that will guide me forward. While I haven’t yet decided on my word, I’m considering and trying on various possibilities.  I’m reviewing the past year and planning for the future.

What about you?  How will you create focus for the upcoming year?  What will your one word be for 2014?  Want to develop your focus?  Change your world?  Join me for a free teleseminar on Finding Your Focus and One Word for 2015.  Sign up here:  http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminar

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Rick Bragg Charms Everyone at Foxtale Book Shoppe

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Tuesday evening, I had the privilege of meeting author, Rick Bragg for the the first time at Foxtale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Georgia.  He entered a packed room following glowing introductions from the store owners and proceeded to entertain, enthrall and challenge the audience with stories of his recently published biography of rock and roll legend, Jerry Lee Lewis, His Own Story.  With a sharp wit, keen perception of human nature and engaging stories, he kept the audience spellbound.

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After several minutes of talking about the two summers he spent interviewing Jerry Lee Lewis, he opened the floor for questions with this analogy:  Okay, I’m going to give you a chance to ask questions.  Now those of you with a Pentecostal background are probably going to sit here in silence for the next several minutes so let’s just cut to the chase.  I don’t believe there are any dumb questions and I’m not going to ask anyone to come forward and give their testimony so let’s just cut out the moment of silence and get on with it….

Here were some of the answers to questions from the audience:

What made you decide to write a biography of Jerry Lee Lewis?

I’d like to say that I had my life saved in a bar fight with Jerry Lee and wanted to repay the debt, but actually one day I got a call from my agent…

What was the biggest challenge in writing about Jerry Lee?

Jerry Lee lead a full out hard driving life and the challenge going in was finding the piece of his story that readers could sympathize with.  I believe I found that and nailed it in the first  chapter.

Was Jerry Lee Lewis agreeable to working with you? 

Of course he was.  I’m just like an adorable little puppy to be around.  What’s not to like?  Actually, we got along because any story he told, I could relate something similar in my own life, just on a different scale.  When he talked about getting punched out and knocked down the stairs by a band member, I could talk about getting punched out by a 300 pound bartender.  When he talked about the police chasing him and him rolling his Rolls Royce and surviving, I could talk about  the police chasing me and rolling my car and surviving… course mine wasn’t a Rolls Royce.

Is that story in the book?  

Of course, it’s in the book.  The book is over 500 pages. It’s all in the book.  There’s not a boring page in there either.

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There wasn’t a boring moment in the evening either.  Rick Bragg is as adorable as a puppy and sharp witted as a fox. We could have stayed for hours and listened to his entertaining stories.  I look forward to reading his latest work!

Check out my latest work and download the ebook Dream Achieving:  Learning to Fly… You can find it in the sidebar.  Let me know what you think!

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To Sell is to Serve

2012-11-11 06.42.20One aspect of being a writer and an author that I initially dreaded was selling and marketing my books.  In the beginning I was one of those people who said, “I can’t sell anything.” I don’t think I’m alone in this.  I’ve talked to many authors who tell me how much they enjoy writing but once their book is finished they absolutely hate marketing and selling it. However if you produce a product, eventually you want to share it with others and unless you can afford to give it away, you will need to learn how to do that without melting into the floor.  The most helpful thing I’ve learned about selling wasn’t a technique or an engaging pitch.  It was a mindset shift, from selling to serving.

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Be a Servant

In his excellent book, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others, Daniel Pink devotes a whole chapter to this idea.  He feels that good salespeople today don’t “up-sell”,  they “up-serve”. Up-selling at best is annoying and at worst, downright despicable.  It’s the super-sizing mentally that has you walking away from the counter with an order of french fries and an apple turnover when all you really wanted was a burger.

Up-serving on the other hand is an entirely different approach. It is really listening to the customer and going beyond the expected outcome, all in the customer’s best interest, even if it isn’t in the business’s immediate best interest. Of course ultimately, meeting the customer’s needs really is in the business’s best interest because a satisfied customer will return. Up-serving is building a relationship and honoring the customer.  Many businesses have jumped on the service bandwagon but are still missing the mark.  Up-serving is more than delivering  pizza in 30 minutes or less.  It is more than hollering out a welcome to every person entering the door.  So just what is up-serving?

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Make it Personal

Up-serving is putting the customer first, literally.  This means taking the time to know what the customer wants and needs.  It is listening and then offering ways that your product can help.  This is very different than blindly trying to sell everyone you encounter an extra large order of fries or a set of tires just because they are on special today.

Up-serving is also being available.  It is not just learning about your customer’s needs but also being available to correct problems when they occur.  It’s a real voice on the phone not a machine.  It’s a customer service rep who doesn’t follow a script and who is understanding when there is frustration.

Make it Purposeful

Most people at their heart like to feel that what they do makes a difference.  This is why businesses like Tom’s Shoes and others like them are so successful.  They not only deliver an outstanding product (the first order of business) but they also make a difference in the world by turning profits into caring for others.  Tom’s shoes provides shoes for people in underdeveloped countries who can’t afford them using a one for one approach;  each pair of shoes sold, means that a pair of shoes is given away.  If you have a product that can follow their example in bettering the world, you will have an instant rapport with many of your customers.  Up-serving businesses aren’t just interested in making a difference in the lives of their customers.  They are interested in making a difference in the world.

What about you?  How are you up-serving other?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section of this blog.

NEW!  Download a copy of my newest ebook:  Dream Achieving:  Learning to Fly when you sign up for my newsletter.  Both are packed with encouraging and inspiring ways to follow your calling and live it out with passion and purpose.  You can find it in the sidebar.

Ready to take the next step and follow your dream?  Check out the holiday special:

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 Start Where You Are:  http://lynnewatts.com/quickstart

With three one hour teleseminars, three worksheets and a download of my book, Dream Achiever;  Simple Steps to an Extraordinary Life, you can start the new year in a new way!

 

 

 

 

 

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You Are One of my Thankfuls

meLaura2013

Sometimes kids are the best at summing up life’s lessons.  My friend Ellen’s grand-daughter, Carleigh, did that at Thanksgiving a few years ago.  When asked what she was thankful for, she responded without hesitation, “YOU!” meaning of course my friend and her Gigi, Ellen.  Don’t you know Gigi was pretty excited to hear that response?  Wouldn’t you be excited to to hear who is thankful for you?

With that in mind and in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, each year I publish my list of the top ten people in my life that I am thankful for.  Here it goes:

10.  The inspirational figures--Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Andy Stanley, Kent Julian and Christine Kane –who have devoted their lives to making a difference in the lives of others and who have truly made a difference in mine.  I’ve read their books, attended their conferences and benefited from their coaching.

 9.  My co-workers at Sixes Elementary.  Although I retired last May from my 20 year career as a school counselor at Sixes Elementary, I still consider myself part of the Sixes family.  I continue to be involved with sponsoring a weekly writing club with my friend, Candace Meek.   This is a group of educators that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of all the children they touch.

8.  My Sunday School class at Kennesaw United Methodist Church.  I have belonged to the same church for over 27 years and in that length of time I have made a a lot of friends.  These are all people who celebrate with me in good times and who wrap their arms around me in the bad times.  I am eternally thankful.

7.  My Thursday ‘Love Ya Like A Sista’ group.  We support each other, we vacation together, we socialize together.  We love each other like sisters.

6. My close girlfriends, Valerie, Barbara and Ellen who know me so well and love me anyway.  You are the best.

5.  My grandfather. He was the first writer that I knew. I am so grateful that he recognized my talent and encouraged me to develop it.

4. My sister and brothers. There is a special bond between siblings and I will always cherish this.

3. My Mom and Dad.  The older I get, the more I appreciate the support, the encouragement, the sacrifices, the constructive criticism and the love that you shared to make me who I am today.

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2.  My daughters.  It’s amazing the depth of love a parent can have for a child.  I am so honored and privileged to be a part of their lives and I am proud of their journey to becoming the best they can be.

1.  My God who loved me before I even knew Him and who sought me out and sent His son to reconcile and seal that relationship.

What about you?  What if during this season of thanks, you recognized those to whom  you are most grateful in your life?  Who would that be?

This is a reposting of the Thanksgiving post of 2011.  If you like it please share on Facebook and Twitter.

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Five Ways to Create a Five Star Presentation

I just attended the Georgia School Counselor Conference for what must be at least the twentieth time. I started going as a student before I even had my first job as a school counselor.

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I was also a presenter at the conference for the fifth time or so.  (I’ve been a presenter every year for the last few years and I must admit I’ve lost count).  Attending a conference is a great way to increase your knowledge about a particular topic but presenting at a conference increases your knowledge exponentially while also building your network and showcasing your expertise.  I’ve attended dynamic, entertaining and informative presentations and I’ve sat through insanely boring and irrelevant presentations and while there is always room for growth, I’ve tried to imitate the former.

Here are my five tips for creating a memorable presentation:

  1. Begin with a personal story to connect with your audience.  People come for the information but they really like to know you and why you chose to present on this particular topic.  Share.  Be real. Be vulnerable.  When I present on personality style, I share my own journey with learning to accept and finally celebrate being an introvert.
  2. Include a reference to a theme that you will carry through your presentation.  In my presentation on personality style, I share how important it is to recognize your strengths and celebrate who you are.  Celebrating your own unique personality style is is the theme throughout the presentation.
  3. Begin by letting your audience know what to expect;  how long you will speak, what you will cover and what they will leave with such as a handout, knowledge of your particular topic or an offer to extend the lesson.
  4. Use stories throughout to enhance the topic and make it real and memorable.  I like to share how understanding personality styles has made a difference for me in my relationships with my family and co-workers.
  5. Create a way to follow-up with the audience and extend the presentation.  Audiences always like a give-away and I collect email addresses for a drawing  where I give away a book or something else related to the presentation.  Then I email everyone the next day to thank them for attending and offering another free item that extends the lesson.

At the end of my presentation on: DISCover Your Personality Style, I was excited to receive all excellent reviews in all three of the categories!  Here are two of my favorite evaluations:

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Understanding your personality style and working in your strengths can transform your life and your relationships.  Check out my Personality Plus Offer which includes a 45 minute clarity call to discuss the results of the online personality profile.

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Would you like for me to bring the DISCover Your Personality program to your organization or place of work?  Email me at lynnewatts@comcast.net and lets talk!

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Is Your Passion Greater than Your Fear?

 

meDISC2013cI’m a big fan of Dan Miller of 48 Days to the Work You Love fame. This probably doesn’t surprise you.  If you’ve ever talked to me for any length of time, his name and his wisdom have probably come up more than once.  He was kind enough to write the forward to my book, The Call;  Perfect Dream, Imperfect Life.  I am a regular listener of his weekly podcast.  In a recent podcast on following your passion, he referred to his son, Jarred who co-authored his latest book with him.  Jarred is a free-spirit and an entrepreneur who followed his passion to Africa when he lived for several years and worked out his commitment to the people there through helping them develop sustainable and profitable income.  Just prior to leaving for Africa to follow his dream and his passion for the first time, Jarred wrote a letter to his parents, expressing his excitement and his fears about the adventure.  Dan quoted Jarred as writing that “though he had fears about the outcome, he was certain that his passion exceeded his fears of inadequacy.”   That statement made me think.  Is my passion greater than my fear of inadequacy?

My Fear

In recent posts, I’ve written about being an introvert.  As a young girl,  I was very shy little.  Talking to people was not something I did easily.  I can remember birthday parties where other kids played games and I watched from afar, summer camps that I turned down the opportunity to attend because I didn’t know anyone and many other social activities that I avoided.  The thought of making a presentation to a group struck fear into my heart. One of my first jobs just out of college was as an addiction counselor in an alcohol treatment center. Part of the job involved  teaching regular classes. I can still remember the anxiety I would feel weeks ahead whenever my name would appear on the schedule. I would agonize over the material.  I would worry over the reaction of the attendees.  My hands would shake and my voice would quiver throughout the class.

My Passion

Fast forward to 2014.  I recently retired from 20 years of working in an elementary school as a guidance counselor, where I taught hundreds of classes to children and adults every year.  What happened to my fear, terror really, of speaking in public?  My passion is greater than my fear.  I am passionate about engaging children in becoming problem solvers, becoming successful at setting and reaching goals and interacting better through understanding personality styles.

Next week, I’ll be presenting to the Georgia School Counselor Conference in Augusta, Georgia.  I have two breakout sessions for school counselors where I’ll be teaching DISC personality style and lessons to empower children to be great leaders.  I also often present to women’s groups on finding and living your passion.  Do I ever feel the fear the old fear of public speaking?  Of course.  Fear, self-doubt and lack of self confidence still plague me.  Daily. But I keep moving forward.  Why?  Because my passion is greater than my fear.

Helen Keller said, “Feel the fear.  Do it anyway.”  Do you have a passion that you wish to follow, to nurture?  Is fear keeping you from venturing forth?  What can you do to increase your passion and overtake your fears?

I’d love to help you follow your passion and move beyond your fear.  Get a free download of The Call Workbook to help you get started:  http://lynnewatts.com/DISCprofile  Use the code word:  reinvention

For a limited time I am offering the Online DISC Personality Profile and a 45 minute personality clarity call for a special price.  You will love the doors that this assessment will open to your understanding of yourself and your relationships.  You can find it here:  http://lynnewatts.com/DISCprofile

 

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What Type of Introvert Are You?

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Do you wish you were someone else–personality wise?  Introverts wish they were more outgoing. Extroverts wish they were more chilled out and focused.  In this series of posts on personality style, I’ve been sharing how understanding how we are wired can lead us to celebrate our strengths and and stand in our own power rather than wishing we were different.

Are You More Outgoing or Reserved?

According to the DISC personality profile there are four basic personality types and 41 possible combinations or blends of those. That’s a lot of combinations! Two of the types are outgoing.  They are fast paced, energetic, enthusiastic doers who have an internal motor set on go.  Two of the personality types are more reserved and slower paced.  They are more laid back, tend to take their time and think things through carefully.

Are Your More Task Focused or People Focused?

Another way to divide the four types is according to their focus.  Two of the personality types are more people focused.  They tend to be more social, interested in teamwork, communication and personal interaction.  Two of the personality types tend to be more task oriented.  They tend to be more focused on process, plans, program, guidelines and accomplishment of a goal.  Which one describes you?

Here is today’s video that will help you decide which of the four possible personality styles describes you:

Your Personality Style from Lynne Watts on Vimeo.

As you can see from the video, understanding your personality style is crucial to success in so many areas!  It affects our relationships with family, co-workers and friends.  Did you see yourself in the personality types?  Did you see your spouse, friend or boss? What type of introvert are you?  Let me know in the comments below…

Want to learn more about working in your strengths and aligning with your true personality?  Join me for a teleseminar, Sunday, November 2 at 8:00 EST.  Sign up here to get the call in instructions:

http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminars/

Everyone who signs up will receive an audio replay of the teleseminar so don’t worry if you can’t attend!

Do you have a question you would like me to answer in the teleseminar?  Please comment below and I will be sure to address it!

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Learning to Celebrate Being an Introvert

disc2One of my favorite gifts that I received when I retired from my career as a school counselor was a lovely canvas designed by Kelly Rae Roberts.  Her extraordinary work combines quotes and collage.  Even though I don’t know her, I feel we share something in common and her art pieces always speak to me.  The one I received says, Your beautifully, messy, complicated Story Matters, Tell It.  Don’t you just love that?  Do you believe that your story matters?  Are you telling it?

My Unremarkable Story

One of the reasons that I failed to tell my story in the past was because I believed it was not extraordinary.  After all, the story of a shy introvert who was so afraid of her voice that she tried to live under the radar while she waited for permission, waited to be discovered/rescued and waited for her life to be “just right”, isn’t a story worth telling… is it?  To have a story to tell, you need one that’s remarkable, don’t you?  You need to have scaled mountain peaks, and overcome great obstacles, and slain a few dragons.  I hadn’t done any of that so what was there to tell?

It’s All in Your Perception

It wasn’t until I started telling my unremarkable story that I learned that telling my story could be an inspiration to others.  It could bring comfort, hope, and challenge to someone else who felt the same way. And then this amazing thing happened.  As I told my story, it became a remarkable story because through telling it I was no longer the shy introvert who tried be invisible and didn’t make a difference or take a risk.  I became the shy introvert who moved beyond the story I told myself to the confident, capable, make a difference in the world person that I am (most of the time!) today.  That’s a remarkable story isn’t it?  It’s a story of overcoming personal challenges, scaling seemingly impossible mountains of doubt and slaying some internal dragons.  Turns out there’s a lot to tell.  And there’s a lot of people who need to hear my story to give them the encouragement and the strength to slay their own dragons.

Join Me for a Teleseminar:  Work in Your Strengths for Introverts

One way that I like to share my story is by teaching others about the four basic personality styles and how we can all learn to celebrate our personalities by working in our strengths.  Let me share the first video in the series with you:

 

personalityintro2 from Lynne Watts on Vimeo.

I hope you’ll join me for the rest of the story…. To sign up for the teleseminar:

Go to:  http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminars/

What’s Your Story?

Do you believe that you have a story to tell?  Are you afraid that it’s too unremarkable, too messy, too imperfect, too shameful, too embarrassing to tell?  Who needs to hear your story?  Begin today to share your story.  Maybe you only share it with one person at first.  Maybe you start slowly and cautiously, but please start.  Because your story does matter.  Tell it.  Someone is waiting to hear.

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Two Secrets to a Productive Day

meKathyWhat Do I Do All Day?

Now that I am retired from twenty years as a school counselor, lots of people ask me how I like retirement and what I do to keep busy all day.  My response is that I love my new job of working full time as an author, coach and speaker.  I am truly busier than ever.   In fact I was just commenting to a colleague that I don’t have enough time to complete all the tasks and ideas that are swarming around in my brain.  So just what is the secret to managing my time effectively when there is no boss or predetermined schedule?

You Can’t Really Manage Time

You can’t really manage time because it is, well, time. You can’t corral it.  You can’t stop it or speed it up. But you can manage your activities. The problem most people have is that they try to manage their time by keeping track of information and priorities in their mind.  The brain is not designed to hold on to and maintain a list of everything that you need to accomplish.  The brain is designed to be used as a problem solving organ.  Here are my two secrets to having a productive day:

Begin Your Week with a Plan

Each Sunday afternoon I spend some time creating my calendar for the next week.  I have it on a whiteboard that I keep in a very visible place.  I put all my appointments, client calls, speaking engagements etc on it.  I also have this on my ipad but the large visual that I can quickly see each morning over my coffee helps me organize my day.

I have another whiteboard where I list ongoing ideas and projects.  Some of these are in various stages of completion.  Some are in my parking lot of ideas.  This means that I will get around to them at some point in the future but they are not currently demanding my time.  For example, I am currently working on completing programs for two breakout sessions for the Georgia School Counselor Conference which is in a few weeks.  This is an active project.  Creating a proposal for speaking at other conferences is in my parking lot.

Begin Your Day with a Plan

There is something incredibly compelling about a schedule that is written down. There is something powerful about knowing how you are going to spend your time and being accountable to a schedule, even if you are the only one who created it.

I begin every day with a very simple form that I complete.  I’ve tried lots of different approaches and forms and this one addresses everything that I’m trying to do in my day.  It guides my day in terms of business activities and personal schedules but it also begins with getting my mindset firmly in place.  I’ve found that this is often the forgotten piece in so many checklists.  We spend time recognizing what we want to do but don’t spend any time centering ourselves in who we want to be.  I begin each day answering the questions: Who do I want to be?  and How do I want to feel?.  Then I align my mindset with that before I even begin my tasks.

Why Creating a Plan Works

One thing that we know about the brain is that the brain is drawn toward congruity and completion.  This is why it is important to have a plan or a goal for the day.  Our brain will then want to align our daily activities with those goals.  It is drawn toward activities where completion is a given.  This is one reason that we often find our selves emptying the dishwasher when the plan was to contact three possible clients or write 1,000 words on the book.  It’s not just procrastination.  We can easily see the end of emptying the dishwasher or sorting the mail.  Other tasks are not so clear.  This is why having a system for managing tasks and setting priorities is so important.

Learning to identify the important activities in your life and structuring your day and your weeks to direct your energy is a necessary part of  living an intentional life.  It is how dreams become reality and  goals are achieved.  A goal is simply a dream with a plan.

For more information on living an intentional life, including how to structure your time, check out my book: DreamAchiever:  Simple Steps to an Extraordinary Life.

Do you need some help with creating a plan that will help you move closer to you dream job and dream life?  Check out my coaching packages.  I’d love to talk with you!

My teleseminar on Work in you Strengths~Stand in Your Power for Introverts is less than two weeks away.  Learn all about it here: http://acalledwoman.com/teleseminar

 

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Three Dog Dogmas for Winning at Life

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Recently, I attended the US Disc Dog National World Cup Competition in Cartersville, Georgia.  This is a fascinating organization that provides opportunities for all breeds of dogs to compete in a free style throw and catch and throw format.  Many countries were represented at the competition including Canada, Japan, China, & Czechoslovakia.  I was mesmerized by the energy and skill of these dogs.  I can only imagine the training and dedication that it takes on the part of the owners to develop the dogs into top notch competitors.

Roxy  the Rock Star and Jac

Roxy the Rock Star and Jac

Roxy the RoxStar

Here’s the back story to my attendance at the event.  While attending an author event, I met another aspiring author, Trish Greenlee who wanted to publish a book about her dog, Roxy, a rescue dog that her husband  trained to compete in disc dog events.  Roxy the RoxStar is a rags to riches story of a dog no one wanted who became a winner.  I met with Trish to advise her on how to publish her book and her book will out soon.  This competition was Roxy’s last performance as she will be retiring  and resting on her laurels which include the following:

  •  In 2009 she won 1st place in Division II Freestyle.
  • In 2010 she won 2nd place in the US Finals, and then 4th place in the World Finals.  She has qualified to compete in the World Finals event every year since 2009.  All of this is pretty incredible when you realize that she had a Titanium knee replacement in 2012.  Jac took her out of “Freestyle” competition at that time, and only competes with her in “Toss and Fetch” now.
  • In this past weekend’s events, Roxy won 7th place out of a field of 80 dogs competing in the “Toss and Fetch” competition World Finals.

Three Must Do Dog Dogmas

It occurred to me as I watched these amazing talented dogs compete that  there are a number of lessons that we as humans could learn from them.  Here are three Must Do Dog Dogmas to move into the World Cup Winning Circle in our own challenges.

  • Focus-The focus that each dog had for their trainer was the most obvious attribute.  They enter a field where there are hundreds of distractions all around:  other dogs, people talking and clapping, an announcer on a microphone, the smells of food, the wind blowing just to name a few, but the dog’s eyes remain glued to the trainer.  While they may pace and circle around in barely restrained excitement, their eyes are focused and ready for the first command.
    • What about you?  Are you focused on your goals?  Do you tune out the many distractions all around you?
  • Persist-The winning dogs persist throughout the whole routine no matter how many mistakes they make.  Certainly not every dog caught every disc thrown to them.  Some missed several in a row but not one laid down and gave up.  They gave every throw, every trick 100% of their effort and if they missed, there was not a moment’s hesitation before they took off in pursuit of the next throw.
    • What about you?  If you miss the mark, if you fail at a goal, do you collapse in a heap or do you gather up your energy and keeping moving forward?
  • Celebrate-The finish of each performance often ended with a leap of the dog into the trainer’s arms, hugs, kisses and a proud salute as they acknowledged the accolades of the audience.
    • What about you?  Are acknowledging your wins and accomplishments?  Are you taking the time to hear the cheers of the crowd?

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Winning at Life

The dogs in the competition came in all shapes and sizes.  There were dogs that may have had an advantage due to their breeding.  There were dogs that were large and could leap high in the air.  There were dogs that had long legs and could run fast.  But there were also winning dogs, like Roxy who overcame obstacles and through focus and persistence accomplished more than could be expected.  It’s all up to you how you play the cards that you were dealt in life.  No matter your circumstances, you can achieve your dream.  Just look at what Roxy accomplished and be inspired.

Roxy

Roxy, Trish and Jac Greenlee and family

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