Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Are You Up To?

Like many people, I have set some pretty lofty goals for 2011. The important thing to remember about your goals is that they need to be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Time-Specific) in order for you to see real success with them. The intimidating thing about that is, oftentimes, we undershoot “just in case” things don’t work out like we planned. If you plan your goals with the mindset of an Under Shooter, you will always live beneath your potential. On the other hand, if you make your goals so unrealistic and unattainable, you will still be living beneath your potential because they will still be unachieved. Okay, so let’s be clear: A goal is something you can realistically see yourself attaining and not a “wish list.” So, while you may desire to change jobs this year, unless you’re willing to commit to doing the things that are necessary (i.e. updating your resume, networking, etc.) it wouldn’t be wise to list that as a goal. Here are a few other tips to help you get focused (if you’re not already) and stay focused:

1. Set your goals up in such a way that they can be measured. For example, saying that you want to lose 10 lbs. is a better goal than just simply saying you want to “lose weight.”

2. Along that same line, be realistic. If you’ve never been a size 6, it is not likely that 2011 will be your year to reach that size. Your genes, lifestyle and eating habits may be more consistent with a size 10. Be okay with that.

3. Put some time on it. Giving yourself a realistic time-line will position you for greater success. If you’re trying to lose those 10 lbs. in one week, well…You get my drift.

Understand that it is a good thing to be goal-oriented. However, many people shy away for fear of failure and end up in The Land of Average. The key is to prioritize your goals and give yourself little rewards along the way. Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

So, I’d love to know what you’re up to? Email me at InspiredSistah@InspiredSistah.com.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fear Factor

In one of my favorite books, “Who Moved my Cheese?” there’s a question posed, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” This question is loaded and it really makes you evaluate where you are and where you aren’t. It’s also a question that I ask myself periodically when I feel like I’m getting stuck.

I have a whole plethora of things I’d love to do. So then the question becomes, “Why aren’t you doing those things?” The answer for me and for countless others is bundled up into one sorry, little word: FEAR. Now, on the surface, if you asked me if I was fearful, I would yell a resounding, “No!” But from time to time, I have to go back and ask myself that basic question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

The reality is that many of us have big dreams, but we get stuck in the “paralysis of analysis” and allow our desires to remain just a dream. Fear creeps in for a lot of reasons, but two major reasons for our fear are Fear of Failure and Fear of Success.

Fear of Failure comes into play when we ruminate over the “what ifs.” “What if they don’t like me? What if no one reads it? What if no one comes? What if?...What if?...What if?” In actuality, none of the people whom you deem as successful could afford to be concerned with the “What ifs.” If they did, they wouldn’t be where they are now. And, as I’ve said before, “What’s the difference between you and them?” Nothing, other than they've decided to move past their fears.

Fear of Success is really a big one because it’s kind of insidious. This fear manifests itself by your secret sabotage of your dream. For example, you may procrastinate by not returning phone calls, finishing projects or attending workshops. Not moving forward with those things will, ultimately, delay you in moving forward with your dream…in a big way.

Understand this, no matter what your goals, hopes or desires are, you can start pursuing them TODAY. Regardless of your financial, relational or mental status, you can start right where you are. The way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time. In other words, don’t get so caught up on the fact that you don’t have all of the details worked out. The key is to get in motion. Moving forward will position you to attract all of the things you need to see your dream come to pass.

In closing, I’d like to share with you my answers to the question:

If I were not afraid, I would—

  • Travel the world inspiring and encouraging women to live abundantly full lives.
  • Teach women how to live free despite their past, shortcomings or inhibitions.
  • Live my life to the fullest so that when I take my last breath, I know that I’ve left this world in a better place than when I arrived.
While my goals have not been fully manifested, I have to make a decision everyday to move toward them doing what I can with what I have RIGHT NOW. And I challenge you to do the same.

Take some time to ponder this question and write down your answers. Look at them often. Remind yourself of them…and then let’s go!

See you at the top!

Inspired Sistah