A Year of Total Fulfillment

A Year of Total Fulfillment

Ever crush a goal and have a strange sense of emptiness?  Make 2018 a year of total fulfillment.

Are you joining millions who are going to the gym this week? Here’s a plan to kick off your next several trips to the gym. Focus on lifting weights with one arm. Each time for the next bunch of visits keep working that same arm. Curls, flies, lift, press, repeat . . . work it! 

We all want a toned arm. Actually, none of us want just one toned arm. We would look ridiculous. No one is setting a fitness goal for 2018 to look weird, but many are setting goals in just one or two areas putting themselves at risk of feeling very unfulfilled even though they’ve achieved their goals. When working on your personal plan for 2018 take a look at more than just your job or your financial status or your relationships. Take time to reflect on and plan for your whole self. Gift yourself a year of total fulfillment in 2018 by thinking through and planning in the following 8 areas

1.  CAREER: Are you considering a new career or advancing in your current one? Do you have the job you want? What about your job do you love? What can you do to make your job better? Many people think that the employer is responsible for making their job better, but it’s more in your control than you may think. What – if you did more of it or less of it at work would make you enjoy it more?
2.  FAMILY: We can be mutually fulfilled in career success and family success when we take the time to decide what is important and how to manage our time.
3.  FINANCIAL: Financial planning should include short term, mid term and long term. What are some things on your “want” list? What steps can you take to make those a reality? Are you thinking big enough?
4.  PHYSICAL: I worked with a CEO who would say “get out and run, and if you can’t run, then walk, and if you can’t walk, then crawl, but get up and do something”. We all only have one body. What can you do this year to take care of yours?
5.  RELATIONSHIPS: Which relationships do you want to build? Do you have any that are toxic? “Who you spend time with is who you become”. These are great words of wisdom from Tony Robbins.
6.  SPIRITUAL: This doesn’t have to be about religion (but it sure can be). What are your beliefs? Your beliefs drive your actions and your actions get your results. Do you have limiting beliefs keeping you from being more, doing more, and having more?
7.  INTELLECTUAL: I read that Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day, Elon Musk ran out of books to read in the library so he would sneak into a bookstore to read more, and that Warren Buffet devotes much of his time to books. Success leaves clues. If these three very successful men devote time each day to sharpen the saw, we all should. If reading is not your thing then find something fun. Ted Talks are entertaining, impactful, and full of knowledge.
8.  FUN: All work and no play will make 2018 a dreadful year. What do you enjoy doing for fun? Do you have any interests or hobbies? How will you make sure to take some time for yourself?
Make 2018 your most fulfilled year yet by planning in all 8 areas for a complete you. You can do this!

Give Yourself an ‘A’

When you wake up each morning, I want you to give yourself an ‘A’.  This is a lesson I learned from Ben Zander, conductor and educator.  Tell yourself, “today, I get an ‘A'” and then think about all of the reasons you gave yourself the highest mark.  What did you do?  What did you say?  Who did you help?  What did you do that brought you joy?

It’s amazing that just this little act of seeing yourself in this light will transform your day.  You are enough.  You do get an ‘A’.  You deserve it!

New Year’s Grateful-utions

We’ve already had our first snow with a little “stick” here in Michigan.  It’s one thing to see a few flurries.  There is new meaning when you wake up and see snow caps on rooftops.

Snow means winter is coming.
Winter coming means Christmas is coming.
Christmas coming means New Years is right around the corner and New Years means . . .
The time of year when we all resolve to be better us’es.  (yep, I made that word up).

As  2014 comes close to an end do yourself a favor.  Before you consider making a list of everything
you need to improve upon in 2015 make a list of everything you are awesome at.

Are there things we could do better?  Sure there are. And, do you know what?
There always will be.
Instead of focusing on all of your shortcomings take the time to be grateful.
Reflect on all of the great things you have,
great things you have done,
greatness you have seen.

Don’t begin the year beating yourself up and making resolutions that may not even be realistic.  Begin the year loving yourself with a personal inventory of all of the goodness around you.
Spend the remainder of 2014 building on your gratitude list.  At the end of each day ask yourself

What made me happy?
What made me laugh?
What am I most proud of?
What did I try for the first time?
What lost treasure did I rediscover?
Who did I help?
Who helped me?

If you want to find happiness in 2015, first find gratitude.

Couch to Marathon in 58 Days, Week 2

“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.”

Here is this week’s schedule.  The big one is already under our belt.  So far, we’ve only wanted to quit…almost every day.  We haven’t built momentum yet, but I know we will.  We can do this!!!

Success requires first expending ten units of effort to produce one unit of results. Your momentum will then produce ten units of results with each unit of effort.

Tell Yourself Positive Stories to Stay Positive

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny
~    Mahatma Gandhi
The above quote has been stated and restated and rephrased by many different people over time.  If you Google the first line over 38,000,000 results appear. I must have heard it, read it, watched it on a YouTube video hundreds of times in my life, but today as I listened to an audio program I finally understand how it works.

Your beliefs become your thoughts. 

I always mistook that your beliefs meant your values, but notice how values come later in the phrase. 
Belief is first.  What is the belief then?  What I learned today is that belief comes from an activity.  Your belief is the story you tell yourself about the thing that just happened.  Here’s a story I could tell myself . . .

My neighbor forgot to take out the trash – again –  and a week later the bin is overflowing and I am angry with my neighbor because they are lazy and forgetful and I wish they would move so I could have a better neighbor.

My belief, in this example is that my neighbor is lazy and forgetful.  Now, if I follow the formula in the passage above, because my belief is negative, all of my thoughts regarding my neighbor are negative. My words to them become negative, I mistreat them and now they dislike me for being a mean person and my destiny is that I am disliked by all of my neighbors for my behavior.  I am miserable and continue to wish that all of my neighbors would move away.

Here’s the kicker . . . what is reality?  Is my neighbor really lazy and forgetful? No.  How could I possibly know that?  So, why would I believe it to be true?  The only truth is that I allowed myself to downward spiral because of the story I told myself. My negative thoughts created hurt and suffering. So, who has the problem, my neighbor or me?  Let’s retell the story.

My neighbor forgot to take out the trash – again – and a week later the bin is overflowing.  I believe that my neighbor must be very busy and so I ask if there is anything I can do to help.  In fact, they do accept the offer and I help out. Now I see another neighbor in need and help them as well.  My neighbors take note and soon my neighbors are all helping each other and we all marvel in the great community we live in.  I am happy and enjoy living near such wonderful people.
Now, I see Gandhi’s statement is more than just a nice message.  It is a plan.  It gives us a tool to use when something doesn’t go our way.  When something makes us angry, or hurt we need to take a time out.  What story are you telling yourself?  Take a moment to decide what is the reality and decide how to keep your belief positive.  Your belief is your choice. 

p.s. this story is purely fictional.  I am in fact more likely to forget to take the trash to the curb than any of my neighbors.

Step aside from all thinking, and there is nowhere you can’t go. ~ Seng-ts’an (the Third Founding Teacher of Zen)

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