Getting things done! Three tools to keep you on track.

It’s easier to meet goals when other people are expecting something from us – our boss, our work team, customers, family. We don’t want to let them down.

But when our goals are personal, it can be more difficult to get traction. We might put off personal goals because we think they only matter to us.

Implementing this simple three-step process can help.

One: Buddy Up!

Find an accountability buddy. Your buddy is someone who has their own goal to accomplish. They will commit to holding you accountable and vice versa.

You both agree to scheduled check-ins and complete honesty about your progress, or your lack of progress.

There will be times when you don’t make progress. After all, the whole reason you need a buddy is because you’ve been struggling to meet this goal on your own.

Continue reading “Getting things done! Three tools to keep you on track.”

Beating Procrastination

Monday morning started out wonderfully! After a restful weekend and a good night’s sleep, I felt refreshed.

As soon as I rolled out of bed, I grabbed my coffee and did my usual morning writing. Perfect! This is a routine that rarely gets altered. It’s a habit I’ve created.

Remember the habit loop? Cue -> Action -> Reward. I was off to a great start!

It was one of those rare days when I didn’t have any appointments. I intended to get a lot of writing done!

What did I do instead? I procrastinated.

I showered quickly and headed out. I’d been out of town and wanted to reconnect with my friends at the neighborhood coffee shop.

None of the usual cars were in the parking lot, so I drove on down town for breakfast. I was halfway downtown anyway, right? And, I could swing by and pick up the mail.

After a conversation with the restaurant owner, and too much time reading the newspaper, I walked up the street to an art exhibition. Since I was in the vicinity, I’d snap some pictures of my friend Leonardo’s art. He’d asked me to. Continue reading “Beating Procrastination”

Take Five. Meditation for Busy People.

MeditationMeditation is good for us. The research is abundant and conclusive. Calming the mind has many benefits. Can you find 30 minutes in your day to meditate, to be totally present and mindful?

I heard that groan! I saw you roll your eyes! You’re busy. I get it. Me, too. So I’ll get right to the point.

It’s not just for monks

A lot of us, when we think of meditation, imagine monks in robes sitting on cushions among misty mountains somewhere in Tibet. Lucky them! Serenity. Quiet contemplation.

And, we think, it’s not something we will ever have time for! We have mortgages and jobs and families.

Another way to look at meditation

The truth is, there are many ways to meditate, as well as a myriad of books and experts to instruct you. But if you don’t have time to take a class or go on retreat, you can still meditate.

Meditation can be as simple as focused thinking. Total presence. Awareness. Right here. Right now. Here are some definitions of meditation that I like:

  • the act of giving your attention to only one thing
  • the act of remaining in a silent and calm state for a period of time
  • the process of quieting the mind

The five-minute meditation break

Continue reading “Take Five. Meditation for Busy People.”

Falling up. Two Facts and One Story About Failure.

Failure sucks! Pardon my honesty, but I can’t think of a single person who likes to fail. It’s painful. It’s embarrassing. It is to be avoided at all costs. Right? Well, good luck with that.

Two facts:success blocks

#1. You will fail. Failure is mandatory, not optional.

#2. There can be no success without failure. Failure is learning.

Standing Upright and Moving Forward

If you’ve ever watched children learning to walk, you know that they do a great deal of falling down! They stand, wobble, and fall. They pull themselves up, and fall again, and again, bumping their heads and skinning their knees.

Yet their enthusiasm is unwavering. They keep trying until they master the task of standing upright and moving forward.

We learn to ride a bike, ice skate, and ski by falling down. If we keep trying, most of us master these skills. So instead of calling it falling down, maybe we should call it falling up.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  – Winston Churchill

Each time a child falls he gathers some bit of information he can use on the next attempt. He doesn’t focus on the failure; he just keeps trying. As adults, we can do the same thing.

Unfortunately by the time we reach adulthood, we have been trained to think of failure as bad and shameful. We forget what we intrinsically knew as children.

Of course, the stakes can be higher. Adult failures can involve losing jobs, money, relationships, and reputation. Still, it’s worth remembering rule #1. Failure is not optional. It happens to us all at some time. Stand up and move forward!

A Story of Failure Continue reading “Falling up. Two Facts and One Story About Failure.”