Monday, July 29, 2013

Why is it so hard to be self reflective?

Often, when I encourage my coaching clients to spend some time on self reflection, they look at me like “what are you talking about?”. Turns out self reflection is a skill many of us have never learned. I explain, self reflection is merely spending time asking ourselves important questions which others ask of us but we fail to ask ourselves. Of course, I encourage them to spend time actually answering the questions.
Last week I asked some of my clients to share with me the most important question they should be asking themselves at this moment. I was delighted with their responses and would like to share them with you.

  • “Why don’t others in important positions see me as I see myself?”
  • "How can I ensure I make every moment count?”
  • “Am I totally nuts?!”
  • “Am I a good listener?”
  • “Do I take the time to understand other people’s needs and desires?”
  • “Have I done something to ‘Pay it forward’ this week?”
  • “Did I call my Mom and Dad to make sure they were OK?”
  • “Did I set my weekly goal and then make sure I met or exceeded that goal for the week?”
  • “Did I have life/work balance this week?”
  • “In what ways have I been joyfully disciplined?”
  • “What are the proven ways to focus and accomplish future goals?”
  • “Where do I see myself in 5 years?”
  • “Has anyone seen my phone?”

Your action step: What is the key question you should be asking yourself this week?
My request: Please share your questions in the comments so that I can compile them and post them for everyone to use.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Are you able to finish one task, before starting the next?

In our “Age of Destractability”, finishing one task before starting another has become extremely difficult for most busy people. We all seem to live in a time crunch, where getting things done fast has led us into a multi-task mindset. Unfortunately, we try to do this with a brain evolved to be single tracked. Whistling while we work wasn't too bad, but how challenging it has become to listen to a podcast on our smart phone, while monitoring emails and texts, and drinking coffee, while driving 80 miles an hour. You don't have to be Charles Darwin to figure out “we weren't made that way”. Even though this is an affliction from which I suffer mightily, I have garnered a few tips on how to finish one thing before starting another. Problem is, I didn't write them down before I checked my facebook so now I can’t remember most of them. So please, send me your best tips on how to finish one thing before starting another.

1. Tell yourself, “I am now doing one thing and I will finish that one thing before starting another”
2. Make “finish” your new mantra.
3. Write down “I am now....” and do not move on to the next task until you have completed that task.
4. If you have OCD, these instructions will make no sense to you. Your issue is that it takes too long for things to feel finished. If you think you have ADD and you've gotten this far into the text without starting something else, you probably don't have ADD.

Remember the words of E.B. White “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tips from a 90 Year Old on Staying Fit in Mind, Body, and Spirit

My mother-in-law, Jean Carino, at age 90+ continues to be strong in mind, body, and spirit. The key to her being able to sustain health and vitality at 90 is that she pays attention to all three of these areas. She reads and plays Mah-jongg, golfs and exercises, and is an active member of her church. Inspired by her, I have developed these 4 tips on how to stay strong in mind, body, and spirit throughout your life

1. On a regular basis, take an honest inventory and give yourself a grade on how well you are doing in taking care of yourself on:
  • Mind
  • Body
  • Spirit
2. Create regular habits or rituals to be sure to do something daily to stay fit in all three areas. Some examples are:
  • Keeping a journal
  • Meditating or praying
  • Enjoying nature
  • Engaging in a creative activity
  • Exercising
  • Enjoying a sport
  • Playing games with friends and family
  • Having meaningful and stimulating conversations
  • Reading meaningful literature
3. Be mindful in all that you do
  • Doing one thing at a time
  • Being aware of the impact you are having on others
  • Doing good for others without seeking benefit for yourself
4. Practice love
  • Loving yourself
  • Loving your family
  • Loving your friends
  • Loving and protect the world you live in

Please post your suggestions for keeping fit in mind, body, and spirit!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Are You Stuck in Achieving Your Stretch Goal?

I have been emphasizing the importance of having a stretch goal. The problem with trying to achieve a big goal is that we often procrastinate, never seeming to get to what really desire to achieve. My experience shows that one way to overcome this problem is to join a goal accountability group. These groups help by creating contagion among group members to get going on what is really important. Also, helping others achieve their goals motivates us to achieve our own. I am forming new Goal Accountability Groups. Please contact me if you would like to participate in one

Here are some tips on forming your own goal accountability group:
1. Organize these groups in your work setting, and set a regular time for the groups to meet, perhaps over breakfast or lunch once a month
2. Organize groups among people with a shared goal. I have participated successfully in a writers group which has yielded several books and articles for the members. My neighbor, Sue Holdaway Heys, has been part of a quilting group. Many of its members have won several prestigious awards for their work.
3. Be sure that at the end of each group meeting, each participant has designated their next action step toward achieving their stretch goal
4. Make sure participants are having fun and are using their creativity.
5. Don't tolerate members who are heavy-handed, dictatorial, or excessively critical toward other members.

Have fun and success in setting up your group! And please contact me if you'd like more advice or wish to participate in one of my Goal Accountability Groups.