Thursday, 29 January 2015

Making Weekly Intentions Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

Last week we looked at the advantages of including a ‘Daily Practice’ into our routine to help us achieve our goals.  You can read that post here.  Today I’m talking about ‘Weekly Intentions’.

We used 'running a marathon' as our example for last week so this week we'll look at another type of goal.  I know so many people who wanted to 'learn something new' as part of their resolution list.  It’s an admirable goal!  Keeping our brain active has huge benefits for our mind, body and soul.

So where do we start?  Let’s ask ourselves those all important questions:

1.      Why am I doing this?

2.      When am I doing this?

3.      What do I need to do to achieve success?

Why we want to learn a new skill is more often than not a very personal choice.  I’m going to Italy this year so learning to speak a few sentences of Italian would be highly beneficial.  Learning a new skill may compliment your business, or set you up with a new business venture. 

When you want to learn your new skill will depend on the learning provider.  If it’s through a local college then courses normally start in January or September.  Distance learning courses can begin at any time. 

Our third question; what do I need to do to achieve success? can be easily accomplished if you have chosen a specific course/place.  For example; if you have chosen to learn creative writing at your local college, half the work has been done for you.  All you have to do is turn up to class every week and complete the writing exercises!

Sometimes this is easier said than done.  If you do enrol on a community course then it’s important to write each of the class dates in your diary or on the calendar.  You may prefer to set a reminder on your phone.  Commit yourself 100% to taking this course.  Illness or bad weather may thwart you on occasion but if the intention is there then you’ll return the following week.

Actively leaving the house to attend a weekly class takes away all the stress of setting a weekly intention.  You booked the course, paid the fee – now turn up and enjoy yourself.  Telling your friends or family just how important the class is to you will help keep you focused and give you that precious 2 hours a week for yourself.  You many need a babysitter or help with transport – people are very willing to help out so just ask.

What if you’ve chosen a distance learning course?  You can learn something new while sat in your pyjamas!  Of course, this may be heaven for some people, but for others it’s a minefield of self-motivation and abandoned dreams.

The way around this pitfall is to treat an online course in exactly the same way you would with a community college course.  Assign a day/night/two-hour slot per week and block it out of your diary.  By writing it down, you are more likely to commit.  It also allows you to tell your friends and family that you are busy if they invite you for coffee.

Thinking about your goals weekly will help to keep them at the forefront of your mind.  My weight watchers group meet every Wednesday lunchtime.  The same people show up week after week because we have committed to this date/time.  We support each other, and it has become a valuable part of my week.  My mum has been at goal weight for three years, but she still attends the meetings – why? Because it keeps her motivated to maintain her goal. 

If you have several challenges on the go then you may find it helpful to use a ‘Weekly Intention List’ (I do love my lists!).  You can split your weekly action points into sections such as Personal, Business, Kids, and Money, etc..

Here is my personal list:

·         Book an acupuncture appointment for February

·         Buy my brother’s birthday present before 31st January

Here is my business list:

·         Complete the next chapter of my WIP non-fiction book by end of February

·         Go over my vision board presentation schedule for next week’s workshop

·         Write the next five blog posts

·         Email self-help author re a guest post/interview

These are my ‘Weekly Intentions’.  If I was hand writing this list, I may use a green, orange and red pen so that at a glance I could see the priorities.  For example; if I wrote my list on a Sunday evening and my vision board workshop was on Monday evening, then this would be my top priority.

My advice, when writing your weekly intentions, is to keep it simple.  Don’t use it as a to-do list.  My to-do list of all the jobs I need to complete (home, work, kids, writing, business, social media, and leisure) covers two A4 sides!  If this were my weekly list, I’d be deep breathing into a paper bag by now!  I transfer the items I need to do in that week and include an action point that drives my goal forward.

Looking at my weekly intention list above, you will see that I added ‘complete the next chapter of my WIP’.  This item will help me achieve my 2015 goal of completing my second non-fiction book ready for editing before October.

Remember that the weekly intentions are there to help drive your goals and they can be used on their own or together with your daily practice.

Next week we will look at developing a ‘Monthly Care Plan’.

 

Do you have a way to boost your motivation from week-to-week?
 
 
Photograph 'Schedule in an Organizer' is by Stuart Miles (freedigitalphotos.net)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

How to Stay on Track with Your Goals by Using a Daily Practice.

The majority of our New Year Resolutions, goals and aspirations fail because of a number of reasons; a lack of planning, not being fully committed or setting ourselves unattainable challenges.

It’s like we purposefully set ourselves up for a fall.  We don’t have to operate in this way.  Setting a challenge that may test us can be liberating and life changing.  Writing my book, How I Changed My Life in a Year taught me that.

Yes, we all scribble down a list of changes we want to make each year, and yes, be the end of the third week many of us have abandoned them.  I heard on the news this morning that today is the day our weight loss ambitions are discarded and we attack the biscuit tin!  If we looked at that list for a moment, we might see the reason:

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

What's Your Power Word of the Day?

Last week I talked about leaving behind the rigidity of goal setting to allow for the relaxed beauty of ‘flow setting’.  You can read that post here.

Today I want to introduce you to a new motivational past time that I stumbled upon whilst writing up last week’s post. 
 

It’s no secret that I adore journaling.  My home and office are full to the rafters with pretty notebooks, matching pens and folders.  ‘My name is Shelley and I am addicted to Stationery!’

So, as I spent a luxurious hour on Pinterest, my ‘super-stationery-senses’ were activated when I found a link to the seaweedkisses blog.  Michelle’s beautiful page is dedicated to her passion for journaling.  As well as sharing her tips, she invites us to take a sneak peek into the notebooks, journals and organisers from people all over the world.

Before I go on, I want to set the scene of just how excited I was to find this site.  First of all, let me ask you a question.  Who has watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)?  That’s the one with Sean Connery in it.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

No Need For Goal Setting - Try 'Flow' Setting Instead

Normality has returned to the Wilson household (well, as normal as you can get with three teenagers under one roof!)

We all shuffled back to school, college and work this week with as much enthusiasm as a wet mop.  I’m not surprised about the kids – that comes with the territory, but I’m a different story.  I love my job very much and yet I returned with a melancholy aura.
 
My evenings aren’t much better.  At the end of last year, I would finish work to do my household chores.  I’d feed the kids, clean the fish and then settle down in front of my laptop to bash out a chapter or two and tackle an article or blog post.
 
Instead, I find myself staring at the wall with a bewildered expression plastered to my face.  It’s not writers block.  I know this because my head is crammed full of story and blog post ideas that scream at me with every waking moment (thank goodness for post-it notes!). 
 
It finally hit me at 2am the other morning as I tossed and turned in bed and eventually turned the light on to empty my thoughts onto paper.  I’ve been so busy organising my blog content to help motivate my readers that I forgot all about setting my goals!
 
I feel like a balloon let loose in the sky and is floating aimlessly.  That perfect quote, ‘a dream without a plan is just a wish’ is on repeat in my brain.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Sink or Swim? How to Handle the New Year.

At this time of year I feel like Kate Winslet's character from the movie, Titanic.  It's that moment when Rose and Jack are clinging to the railing of the doomed ship, with seconds to reflect, before being sucked into the icy depths.

The New Year feels similar.  I'm clinging on to the old year, full of its adventures, loves and losses and wondering if I'll survive what's to come.

Just like Rose, I hold my breath and kick like crazy for the surface.  What I find each year never fails to amaze me.  I learn new lessons, meet new mentors and discover a little bit more about myself with each passing moment.

To be able to cling on so hard to the back of my ship I need to add a little structure into my life.  Writing my book, How I Changed My Life in a Year taught me the importance of planning.  Nothing changes unless you make it happen, and to do this you need to sort through your thoughts and catalogue them in the best way for you.

Every new year I ask myself two questions:

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Finding Your Feet in the Blogging World

Friends come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  Some are small and perfectly formed; some are tall and can help you pop the star on top of your Christmas tree.  Other friends are a collage of pixels crammed into a postage stamp sized photograph – yes, I’m talking about our online friends.  Tweeters, bloggers and our Facebook friends are just as important as our face to face contacts.

This blog will celebrate its second birthday on the 1st January 2015, and its success is thanks to a mixture of people.  My holistic health spa clients who enjoy my ramblings, my family who gets to find out what I’ve been up to and my friends who support me in everything I do.  Then there are my fellow bloggers; the army of online buddies I have made along my journey.  A ‘like’ here, a ‘comment’ there, a re-blog, a Facebook share and a tweet.  The blogging community is one of the most supportive groups I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.  If you were contemplating starting a blog as a New Year Resolution – don’t think, just do!