Personality Type:  Know Yourself

Personality type has its roots in a psychological theory dating back to the 1920’s. The Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung (1875-1961) known for his work on the psyche, ego, personal unconscious, collective unconscious, archetypes, and dream analysis also developed the enduring theory of personality types based on psychological opposites.  Jung and  Sigmund Freud collaborated from about 1907-1909 addressing Freud’s mission of making the unconscious conscious through the practice of psychoanalysis.

Jung’s personality theory explains normal differences between healthy people.  He concluded that these differences in behavior stem from inborn tendencies to use our minds in different ways and can be influenced by culture, family, and the environment. Each of us possesses all six characteristics he defined in his personality theory, but we favor one or the other of each opposite.  His personality typology has been so enduring that it has current practical applications in career, leadership, relationships, and learning today.  So what are the six opposites that in combination define eight different personality types according to Jung?  Furthermore, what is their purpose?  Let’s start with Introversion vs. Extraversion.

Energy:

Where do we get energy?  According to Jung, one aspect of personality called the “attitudes”, are the psychological opposites Introversion and Extraversion.  In Jung’s typology, he believed that individuals gain their energy either from internal reflection and subjective experience (introversion) or from the outside world of people and the environment (extraversion).  These opposites interact with the “functions” of personality in gathering information and making decisions.  Together, they create a dynamic individualized way of experiencing and interacting with the world.

Information:human resources image

How do we gather information?  The four dichotomous “functions” of personality are Sensing vs. Intuition, and Feeling vs. Thinking.  Sensing types tend to focus their attention on concrete information obtained from using all five senses – touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell.  Intuiting types tend to focus their information gathering on the big picture inferred from the five senses.   They tend to abstract information and use imagination and concepts.

Decisions:

How do we make decisions?  Those who prefer Feeling vs. Thinking tend to be compassionate and value driven. They tend to use their energy and information in ways that promote harmony and practice empathy, considering the feelings of others in decision making.   Those who prefer Thinking tend to be analytical and objective in making decisions.  They take a step back from the situation and evaluate the facts.

“The four functions are somewhat like the four points of the compass; they are just as arbitrary and just as indispensable. Nothing prevents our shifting the cardinal points as many degrees as we like in one direction or the other, or giving them different names…but the one thing I must confess: I would not for anything dispense with this compass on my psychological voyages of discovery.”C.G. Jung, Psychological Types

Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers made Jung’s personality theory their life’s work in developing the most widely studied and used assessment of personality type.  It is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  It is based on Jung’s eight patterns of personality type.  Briggs and Myers added another dimension to the theory to determine which of the opposites are dominant and also extraverted into the environment.  It is the Judging vs. Perceiving function.  It expanded the theory to 16 personality types, all of which explain the way we get energy, gather information, make decisions, and interact with the outside world.

Dealing with the outside world:Man shaking hand

People who prefer Judging tend to be structured, organized and plan ahead.  People who prefer Perceiving are more spontaneous, open ended, and comfortable with last minute changes. These combined with the other “functions” and “attitudes” determine which of the psychological processes is dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior – or are varying levels of consciousness and unconsciousness, and which is extraverted.  Together, they form the gestalt of the multi-faceted 16 types of personality.

ENTJ is an example of a personality type based on Jung’s theory and the MBTI assessment.  It means the “attitude” is Extraverted, the “functions” are “Intuiting” and “Thinking”, and the way one deals with the outside world is “Judging”. Jung emphasized that one type is not better or worse than another type.  It is different.  Understanding those differences benefits the user in many ways.

In plain terms, according to Isabel Briggs Myers, Introduction to Type, Sixth Edition, an ENTJ tends to be “frank, decisive, assume leadership readily.  Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems.  Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting.  Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas.”  

Knowing your type gives you the information you need to understand the way you interact with others and thus, the way others interact, too.  It sheds light on the best ways to listen, gather, share information, and accomplish your goals.  When enlightened with the knowledge of “what makes you tick”, you also gain insights into what makes others tick.  This is invaluable information across the roles you play at work, home, and in personal development.

Jung’s legacy continues on in corporate environments, marriage therapy, and life coaching – among those seeking to better understand and leverage their personality type. As a Certified MBTI Practitioner, I’ve witnessed the profound personal growth and positive change created through increased self awareness and acceptance discovered through this process.

 

 

“1st Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

“2nd Image courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

“3rd Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Psychology Today – Easy Tips for Keeping New Years Resolutions

140772-141776This article is published in Psychology Today by Mark Banschick and Heather Edwards.  It is entitled, “Break Bad Habits”. 

It’s countdown time!  The new year marks a fresh start for new beginnings.   Be prepared on January 1 to state your New Year Resolutions and stick to them! If your plan is to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, save money, or build your career or social network, then get started on developing a system for success that will work for you.

Resolutions without specific plans usually get pushed to the wayside by the demands of everyday life. Come April, they’re already out the window and down the street! Be prepared to keep your New Year Resolutions in 2014 using these simple tips for seeing them through to 2015.

Be specific: Define the details of your goals and make them measurable. For example, if your goal to is lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose? By when? If your goal is to spend less money and start a savings, how much money do you want to save? Set a deadline. Make your goals attainable, but not too easy. Setting goals you CAN achieve will keep you motivated.  Making them too easy isn’t really a challenge. The point is to stretch yourself to a higher level of functioning.

Make your goals personal: Stay true to your values and purpose. Do your goals come from a desire for improvement that are tied to your personal belief system? What is most important to you? The more personally meaningful they are, the more likely you are to stick to them and be successful.

Get a partner: Having a workout or healthy eating partner can help keep you motivated and on track. Design a supportive environment. For example, if you know that junk food and soda are your weakness, remove them from your home and replace them with healthy snacks and seltzer water. Remember, it’s nearly impossible to quit a behavior without replacing it with a new one. Find healthy alternatives. Start a progress chart. Record daily and weekly change. Write an accountability blog which others may be following.  Join a weight loss group or get a trainer.  IMG_6963

Believe in yourself: Your goals have to be important to you. Does it motivate you? Is it a value of yours? Is it a high priority? Do you have a sense of urgency about it? Can you imagine yourself 6 months from now, or a year from now, having succeeded in your goal? What does that look like? How did you get there? Retrace your steps to determine what you did to be successful in your future self. Do you have support?  If you believe you can do it, you will!

Put your goals in writing: Write them down in an “I Statement”. Put them in a visible place. Own them! This will serve as a reminder and motivator every time you see your personal statement. For example, if career development is your goal, “I will find a networking group in my field of interest and join it by February 1. I will seek out courses and sign up for at least one new class or conference in my field of interest by February 1.”. Stick these notes on your refrigerator or on your desk, in a high traffic area in your home or office. Set reminders in your phone. Review your goals regularly.

Replace self sabotaging thoughts with a positive mantra: Be flexible. Remember that failures are only temporary setbacks and great motivators for change. It’s never too late to get back on track. Even if you haven’t met your goal by your deadline, remember this is a process that takes time. Don’t confuse the destiny with the path. The path is meant to be savored, too. Each step you take will get you closer, even if its not exactly on schedule.  Remember, YOU CAN DO IT.

Now you’re ready to ring in the new year with a plan for a new you! Write your goals down. Be specific. Do some soul searching to determine what’s most important to you. Tell your friends. Get a partner. Set reminders. Chart your progress. Be patient. If you need more support, get a Life Coach, Counselor, or expert in the life domain you’re focused on to help you succeed. Happy New Year and New YOU!

Psychology Today – Five Secrets of Highly Successful People

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This article is published in Psychology Today by Mark Banschick and Heather Edwards.  It is entitled, “5 Tips for Success”.

Everyone has a unique life story. Family traditions, religious beliefs, and cultural norms differ and converge in a myriad of ways across people and places.  We embody our personal experiences and take them with us, wherever we go. We use our history as a road map through life. What’s familiar is comfortable and predictable.  The downside is, it can keep us stuck in old patterns that hold us back.

What if you took the road less travelled?  What if you could shed the part of your life story that is holding you back while developing those that propel you forward?  Well, you can!  Recalibrate the GPS.  Follow these five secrets to creating the life you want.

1. Large and In Charge.

You can effect neural firings and change the structure of your brain!  Daniel J. Siegel describes this neuroplasticity of the brain in his book, “Interpersonal Neurobiology”.  By choosing to focus on positive experiences, you can manage and regulate your neural firings.  The more you take in the good, the more naturally your brain will spontaneously notice it unfolding around you.  You can reap the benefits of positivity that otherwise may have been overlooked.  We’ve all heard the saying, “Smell the roses.”.  Rick Hanson also talks about this in his book, “Buddha’s Brain – The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom.”.

Notice when you feel your best, most confident, prolific self. Fully absorb the gratifying feelings that happen in these moments. Look for opportunities to experience successes and accomplishment. Spend a few minutes each day encoding positive feelings. This can gradually improve and change your brain structure over time allowing you to build momentum toward goal fulfillment.

2. Bring on the Love.

Lake Tahoe

Positive energy breeds positive energy. Laughter is contagious. The best therapy can be a hearty laugh with friends.  Notice your company when you are feeling your best. The more time you spend with positive people in a supportive environment, the better you will feel. Positive relationships are one of the essential elements of well-being in Positive Psychology, according to Martin Seligman. Well-being is proven to be more fulfilling than happiness. It’s comprised of positive emotion (pleasure, ecstasy, comfort, etc), engagement (in an activity or moment), positive relationships, meaning (belonging and serving something larger than yourself), and accomplishment. Spend time with those you love and cherish. Participate in meaningful activities in which you are industrious.

3.  Scared and Alone.

Certain circumstances and challenges seem overwhelming. They take us outside our familiar comfort zone or back to a previous stressful time.  They can create insecurity and threaten our self esteem. Being faced with a seemingly impossible task can stop us in our tracks. Here are a few ways to accept the challenge and assert your new empowered self!

– Jump right in! This is a method that typically results in finding that your worst fears didn’t come true …and were likely exaggerated from the start.

– Take “baby steps” toward your goal and celebrate your progress every step of the way. This will reduce your fear gradually over time with each new successful experience.

– Challenge  automatic negative thoughts by rating their validity on a scale of 1 – 100.  Chances are they are pretty unrealistic and invalid.  Replace them with rational thoughts.

– Mindfully notice your body and breath.  Breathe slowly.  Shift your attention between bodily sensations and the surrounding environment.  In doing so, you can regulate physical reactions that feel like panic.

– Notice the inner child holding onto fear in moments of self doubt.   Soothe him/her.  Use your wisdom to inform and calm that inner part of yourself.

4. Goodbye, Chaos!

New studies in neuroscience show that we are capable of achieving anything we want. The trick to this achievement is truly wanting it and believing you can do it!  We’re born with an amazing brain capable of learning and mastering more than we even understand. It’s not because we can’t achieve it, but because we don’t fully tap into our brain’s potential. Fears and anxieties might convince us that we can’t do math or we aren’t an artistic type. Brain studies demonstrate this to be untrue. Now more than ever, it’s evident that practice DOES make perfect! Tony Buzan talks about this in his book, “The Mind Map Book”. The more time you spend repeating the same exercise or thought pattern, the better you will perform it over time. With practice, you are strengthening the neural pathways responsible for mastering those thought and behavior patterns. So take a painting class or learn a new sport or language! If you believe you can do it, you will.

5. Hello, Dreams and Aspirations!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”, Mae West.   Make the most of your life!  Imagine it as you want it to be. Notice what gives you energy. Get started on setting clear, achievable goals. If at first your goals seem too lofty, then break them down into smaller ones. Establish daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly targets. Remember that everything is a process. If it’s worthwhile, it probably takes a lot of hard work and a steady dose of time. Practice patience and flexibility with yourself while holding true to taking forward steps.

Begin mindfully acknowledging your extraordinary individual strengths and nurture them.   Notice your most challenging moments as opportunities for growth and empowerment and don’t shy away.  Clarify your strengths, challenges, and life goals. Overcome those old habits that stifle you.  Begin to design your best life.  It’s never too late to start creating the life you want.  In the words of John Cage, “Begin anywhere.”.

Choose the high road, the low road, or the one in the middle.  Just be mindful of what works and what doesn’t.  There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to creating the life YOU want, but through mindfulness you can choose the actions that create positive change for YOU.  Leave fear at the door.  Embrace your future self.  In the words of St. Ignatius Loyola, “Go forth and set the world on fire.”.

 

Design Your Best Life

IMG_9273Each of us has a unique life story. We come from different families, places, and generations. Our circumstances effect and shape who we are and become. Personal experiences are part of us, wherever we go. We use our history to guide us through life. What’s familiar is comfortable and predictable. Sometimes though, it’s not the most helpful. How do we acknowledge and let go of the part of our life story that holds us back? How do we flourish, soothe, and celebrate our truly unique, special, and amazing potential?    Answer the following questions to help clarify your strengths, challenges, and life goals.  Begin to design your best life.

1. When do I shine?
There are times, situations, places, and environments where we shine! Notice when you feel your best, most confident, productive self. Fully absorb the gratifying feelings that happen in those moments. Look for opportunities to experience successes and prosperity more often. Spending a few minutes encoding positive feelings, sensory, and cognitive information can gradually change your brain structure.

Daniel J. Siegel describes this neuroplasticity of the brain in his book, “Interpersonal Neurobiology”.  By choosing to focus on the positive you are managing and regulating your neural firings.  The more you take in the good, the more naturally your brain will spontaneously notice it unfolding around you and reap the benefits of positivity.  Rick Hanson also talks about this in his book, “Buddha’s Brain – The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom.”.

2. What are my most difficult moments?
Certain circumstances or challenges seem overwhelming. They take us outside our comfort zone, back to a previous stressful time, and feel unfamiliar thus creating insecurity in our confidence and performance. Being faced with a seemingly impossible task can stop us in our tracks. Here are a few ways to address this situation.
– Take “baby steps” toward your goal and celebrate your progress every step of the way. This will reduce your fear gradually over time with each new successful experience.
– Jump right in! This is a method that typically results in finding out your worst fears didn’t come true and were exaggerated.
– Ask yourself what you are saying to yourself (noticing your internal monologue) about those intimidating situations. Challenging those automatic thoughts by rating their validity on a scale of 1 – 100. Replace negative thoughts with positive, hopeful ones.
– Mindfully notice your body, breath, and surroundings. Breathe. Deliberately shift your attention between your immediate physical sensations and surrounding stimuli – smells, colors, lights, objects, people, temperature, etc.  In doing so, you can become more in control of bodily reactions that feel like panic.
– Notice the inner child holding onto fear in those moments of self doubt. What is he/she experiencing?  Soothe him/her.  Use your wisdom to inform and calm that inner part of yourself.

3. Who brings out the best in me?
Positive energy breeds positive energy. Laughter is contagious. Notice who you are with when you are feeling your best. The more time you spend with positive people in a loving environment, the better you will feel. Positive relationships are one of the elements of well-being in Positive Psychology, according to Martin Seligman. Well-being has been determined to be even more fulfilling than happiness. It’s comprised of positive emotion (pleasure, ecstasy, comfort, etc), engagement (in an activity or moment), positive relationships, meaning (belonging and serving something larger than yourself), and accomplishment. Spend time with those you love and cherish. Participate in meaningful activities in which you are industrious.

DSC_0068

4. What old beliefs cause chaos?
New studies in neuroscience show that we are capable of achieving anything we want. The trick to this achievement is truly wanting to succeed and believing in yourself!  We’re born with an amazing brain capable of learning and mastering more than we even understand. It’s not because we can’t achieve it, but because we don’t fully tap into our brain’s potential. Fears and anxieties might convince us that we can’t do math or we aren’t an artistic type. Brain studies are demonstrating this to be untrue. Now more than ever, it’s evident that practice DOES make perfect! Tony Buzan talks about this in his book, “The Mind Map Book”. The more time you spend repeating the same exercise or thought pattern or challenge, the better you will perform it over time. Each time you practice, you are strengthening the neural pathways responsible for those thought and behavior patterns. So take a painting class or learn a new sport or language! If you believe you can do it, you will.

5. What do I want to get out of life?

You only live once. Make the most of it! Imagine your life as you want it to be. Notice your preferences, hobbies, interests, strengths, talents, and desires. Get started on setting clear, achievable goals. If at first they seem too lofty, then break them down into smaller ones. Establish daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly targets. Remember that everything is a process. If it’s worthwhile, it probably takes a lot of hard work.  In the words of St. Ignatius Loyola, “Go forth and set the world on fire.”.

Jobs 101: The Ultimate Search Simplified

Brooklyn BridgeWe’ve all run full speed ahead in the hamster wheel of work-exhaustion and discontent, at times. Job dissatisfaction can bring you down and effect all areas of your life, if it is not addressed.  People often feel burned out and under-appreciated at work.   “I feel so disrespected.”, “I’m bored with my job and I deserve a promotion.”, “I’m overwhelmed, I don’t enjoy my work anymore.”, are pretty common expressions of burn out.  These are obvious indicators that it’s time for a career make-over.  If you put in the time, effort, and soul searching required, you can create the career you want!  It seems like a daunting task, but the alternative is not an option.  How does one turn that formidable rodent wheel of work exhaustion into the grand Ferris Wheel of job and life fulfillment?  Here are a few tips for re-defining your professional self and getting on your way to a purposeful and inspiring career.

Name Your Talents:

What are your special skills and strengths?  Everyone has strengths!  What are yours?  Notice the challenges and tasks that you enjoy.  Identify the activities that give you energy, and a sense of satisfaction.  Shift your focus to the responsibilities you savor.  What are the small successes within each of those that you’ve mastered? Use this information to develop the job description you want.  Consider industries in which those assets are valued and sought out.  “Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” – Benjamin Franklin.

Brainstorm:

Identify a few options.   Based on your answers to the previous questions, what can you do differently today?  Leverage your successes to ask for what you want.  Here are a few ideas for how to do so.  Talk to your boss about gaining more responsibility, or peruse the internal job postings in other departments. Consider starting your own business, or begin the task of updating your resume and exploring external options.  Perhaps your interests lie in a different industry altogether.  Whatever your direction, stay true to yourself.  The more you enjoy your job, the less it will feel like work!  “Use what talents you possess, the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” – Henry van Dyke.

Gather Information:

What do you need to know?  You’ve completed the first steps of career exploration.  Now that you’ve identified what’s important to you, search out industries and companies that match those preferences.  Make a list of your top five target organizations.  Begin researching their history, mission, and products.  Go to networking activities, such as industry conferences or business networking groups.  Speak with people in those businesses.  Do your homework to avoid jumping from the frying pan into the fire!

Training and Education:

Is there a certification or license that would push you over the next hurdle in your career?  Find out what is required to achieve it.  If you’re planning to pursue a different field, explore the education and credentialing requirements for those jobs.  Collect informational packets from professional schools and universities with programs in your area of interest.  Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”, Lao Tzu.

Choose a Deadline:

This is a crucial factor in the process of self discovery and change.  Creating a deadline helps you stay on track in defining and aligning your path in career development.  It keeps the journey time limited, focused, and easier to manage by breaking down the steps into weekly, monthly, and/or annual goals.  What do you want to accomplish by the end of this week, this month, or this year?  Write it down.  Share your intentions with others.  Accountability to yourself and those you love will provide the structure and support necessary to follow through on your plans.New York City

Self Care:

Throughout the process, be good to yourself.  Job hunting and career development can be overwhelming!  Maintain life balance.  Establish healthy boundaries.  Spend time with friends, family, exercise, and have fun.  Be patient.  In the words of Buddha, “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.” So continue to embrace and be grateful for the things you cherish.

 

Psychology Today Article… Getting Unstuck: Revitalize Your Professional Self… Six Ways to a Better Job.

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This article is published in Psychology Today by Heather Edwards and Mark Banschick.  It is entitled, “

Getting Unstuck: Revitalizing Your Work Life

Five Ways to a Better Job”.

 

Let’s face it.  We’ve all been there, running full speed

in the hamster wheel of work-exhaustion and

discontent. Job dissatisfaction can bring you down

and effect all areas of your life, if it is not addressed.

People often feel burned out and under-appreciated

at work.   “I feel so disrespected.”, “I’m bored with my

job and I deserve a promotion.”, “I’m overwhelmed, I

don’t enjoy my work anymore.”, are pretty common

expressions of burn out.  These are obvious

indicators that it’s time for a career make-over.  If you

put in the time, effort, and soul searching required,

you can create the career you want!  It seems like a

daunting task, but the alternative is not an option.

How does one turn that formidable rodent wheel of

work exhaustion into the grand Ferris Wheel of job

and life fulfillment?  Here are a few tips for re-defining

your professional self and getting on your way to a

purposeful and inspiring career.

Name Your Talents:

What are your special skills and strengths?  Everyone

has strengths!  What are yours?  Notice the

challenges and tasks that you enjoy.  Identify the

activities that give you energy, and a sense of

satisfaction.  Shift your focus to the responsibilities

you savor.  What are the small success within each of

those that you’ve mastered? Use this information to

develop the job description you want.  Consider

industries in which those assets are valued and

sought out.  “Hide not your talents. They for use were

made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” – Benjamin

Franklin.

Brainstorm:

Identify a few options.   Based on your answers to the

previous questions, what can you do differently

today?  Leverage your successes to ask for what you

want.  Here are a few ideas for how to do so.  Talk to

your boss about gaining more responsibility, or

peruse the internal job postings in other departments.

Consider starting your own business, or begin the

task of updating your resume and exploring external

options.  Perhaps your interests lie in a different

industry altogether.  Whatever your direction, stay

true to yourself.  The more you enjoy your job, the

less it will feel like work!  “Use what talents you

possess, the woods will be very silent if no birds sang

there except those that sang best.” – Henry van Dyke.

Gather Information:

What do you need to know?  You’ve completed the

first steps of career exploration.  Now that you’ve

identified what’s important to you, search out

industries and companies that match those

preferences.  Make a list of your top five target

organizations.  Begin researching their history,

mission, and products.  Go to networking activities,

such as industry conferences or business networking

groups.  Speak with people in those businesses.  Do

your homework to avoid jumping from the frying pan

into the fire!

Training and Education:

Is there a certification or license that would push you

over the next hurdle in your career?  Find out what is

required to achieve it.  If you’re planning to pursue a

different field, explore the education and credentialing

requirements for those jobs.  Collect informational

packets from professional schools and universities

with programs in your area of interest.

Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles begins

with one step.”, Lao Tzu.

Choose a Deadline:

This is a crucial factor in the process of self discovery

and change.  Creating a deadline helps you stay on

track in defining and aligning your path in career

development.  It keeps the journey time limited,

focused, and easier to manage by breaking down the

steps into weekly, monthly, and/or annual goals.

What do you want to accomplish by the end of this

week, this month, or this year?  Write it down.  Share

your intentions with others.  Accountability to yourself

and those you love will provide the structure and

support necessary to follow through on your plans.

Self Care:

Throughout the process, be good to yourself.  Job

hunting and career development can be

overwhelming!  Maintain life balance.  Establish

healthy boundaries.  Spend time with friends, family,

exercise, and have fun.  Be patient.  In the words of

Buddha, “There is no path to happiness: happiness is

the path.” So continue to embrace and be grateful for

the things you cherish.

The Recipe for SUCCESS

We all strive for success.  It’s in our nature to set goals for self improvement and get to work on them.  The difficult part is seeing them through to the end.  Falling off the self-improvement wagon hurts!  It bruises our ego, self esteem, and motivation.  In order to succeed, you must imagine your future-self in a place where all your goals are met.  What does that look like?  What do you notice about yourself?  What do you see in your surroundings? Who is with you?  Where are you? What are you feeling?  Now that you’re there and you’ve taken a look around, notice how you got there.  Backtrack through the steps you took toward your success in the future.  What were the hurdles and milestones?  What or who helped make it happen?  It’s a kind of reverse thinking, but it can unbind your mind to allow new creative thoughts and ideas to emerge.  It skips over the fear phase and assumes you’ve already done what it takes.  Go with it!  Here are a few more pointers using the word “Success” as an acronym for just that, success.

S:  State your intention.  Envision your future self the way you want things to be 6 months or a year from now.  What do you notice?  What is different from your current life and self?  What one change can you make today to move you closer to that goal?

U:  Understand the process.   Educate yourself.  The  more informed you are about the end goal, the more patient, resilient, and empowered you will become.  Talk to people with the expertise and experience you desire.  Learn from them.   Be inspired by them.  Remember, “that knowledge is power, that knowledge is safety, and that knowledge is happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson.

C:  Clarity.   Clear values and expectations fuel a sense of purpose and fine-tune your focus.  When goals are personally meaningful, they are more likely to be achieved. Listen to your own preferences, interests, and talents.  Ignore the mind chatter that is others’ opinions.  What gives YOU energy?  What special skills or talents do you want to use more?  Embrace them.  Develop them.  DSC_0043

C:  Communicate.    Communication increases accountability.  Talk to friends, family, and colleagues.  Start a blog.  Network with peers who have achieved similar goals.  Schedule check-ins and updates with friends, coworkers, your boss, or a Life Coach to keep you on track.

E:  Establish priorities.  Develop daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists, or use mind-mapping.  Set a specific short term goal for each time period.  Tailor them to meet your six month and annual goals.  Notice obstacles to achievement.  Minimize those.  Problem solve solutions for energy drainers that inhibit your progress.

S:  Self awareness.  Keep yourself in check.  What is your experience of the process of change? Notice your thoughts, feelings, and energy levels as you progress.   Is your devotion thriving?  Is it waning?  What are your ideas about your experience?  Use that critical information to make adjustments as needed.

S:  Satisfaction.  It’s the gratification that accompanies effort, determination, and purpose. These are the common denominators of happiness.  Remember to enjoy the journey and celebrate the small victories.  “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”  -Mahatma Gandhi

Virgin Islands

EVERYDAY INSPIRATION

IMG_5971SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION EVERYDAY! I find inspiration in the people around me. My clients, friends, and family give me ENERGY, AMBITION, AND PURPOSE. The beginning of a new year brings introspection, evaluation, and a quest for self improvement. Along with the usual resolutions, most of us seek to develop a unique and personally meaningful aspect of our lives. I wonder if you’ve said, “I want a creative outlet.”, “I want a mission.”, “I always loved [dance] as a child. I want to bring that back into my life.”

DISCOVER YOUR PASSION. What makes you smile, laugh out loud, or shout? The path to fulfilling your quest for meaning lies within YOU. Where does your mind wander to when you have a moment of peace and quiet. IMAGINE that there are no barriers and money is no object. What would you do? Where would you be? Look around. What do you notice? What does that place look like? Who is there? How do you feel? What are you experiencing?

NOTICE WHAT YOU DO when you’re not working, parenting, or involved in chores. Do you listen to music? Do you write? Do you enjoy art? Are you biking, skiing, hiking, or walking? Do you eagerly await the next great recipe or restaurant review on the cooking channel? Or are you engrossed in culinary, arts, or entertainment magazines? Are you dreaming of flying a plane or running a marathon? Are you outside in nature enjoying the mountains, the beach, or wide open spaces? Pay attention to these DREAMS and behaviors. They are clues to your true passions.

WHAT SETS YOU FREE? What activities take you to another place? Perhaps music transports you down memory lane or to a peaceful, excited, and creative place. Consider learning to play an instrument, becoming a D.J., or a dancer. Where do you begin? Start by calling local colleges and private instructors for information on how to learn that new skill. If it seems too daunting, then start smaller by sharing playlists or seeking out concerts and performances that get you fired up. Take a dance class at a local studio. The point is to challenge yourself and enjoy life.

If your wanderlust is roaming the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday nights, then perhaps your inner artist is ready to burst out. Museums, colleges, and private art studios offer a host of classes and seminars that teach art history and how to design and produce art. Maybe you’ve already dabbled in painting, ceramics, needle point, or jewelry making and want to take it to the next level. Take a class in a new technique or find free on-line tutorials at sites like Craftsy.com. If you want to start making money through your creative talents, start an on-line store at Etsy.com

Is cooking (or eating!) your passion? Try out a new recipe every week. Find healthy ones at whatwillyoubee.com! Educate yourself on a variety of cultures and traditions through culinary exploration. If physical exercise is your outlet, break up your usual routine and take a rock climbing class, a dance class, or hike a new trail. Gym membership, personal trainers and coaches are a steady and reliable source of support and expertise. Join a pick-up team at your local park or recreation center. Yoga can help calm your body, mind, and spirit. If you’re feeling bored or stuck with the usual activities, ITS TIME TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. There’s no shortage of information available to get you started on your path to a more fulfilled life. Find a meet up group that shares your interests. Meetup.com has activity groups for everything from hiking, running, biking, and soccer to mom and tech meet ups. Whatever your interest, you can find it there and make new friends to boot! Let go of your fears and expectations. “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST. Shake things up in 2013! Let your curiosity be your guide. Don’t stick with the status quo. Remember, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO DO! “What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.”, -Napoleon Hill.

Ringing in the New Year

Jessi Haggerty, RD asked me to write a guest blog on Keeping New Years Resolutions for her Website whatwillyoubee.com.  Check it out here…..

One of my favorite cousins is back, posting about how you can keep your New Years resolutions going strong all year long… Not just until February 1st! Check out Heather’s expert advice here!

 

The new year is the time for new beginnings. With 2013 right around the corner, what do you want to change, improve, develop or start? Be prepared on January 1 to state your New Year Resolutions and stick to them! If your plan is to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, spend less money, or build your career or social network, then get started on developing a system for success that will work for you. Resolutions without specific plans usually get pushed to the wayside by the demands of everyday life. Come April, they’re already out the window and down the street! Be prepared to keep your New Year Resolutions in 2013 using these simple tips for seeing them through to 2014.

Be specific: Define the details of your goals and make them measurable. For example, if your goal to is lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose? By when? If your goal is to spend less money and start a savings, how much money do you want to save? Set a deadline. Make your goals attainable, but not too easy. Setting goals you CAN achieve will keep you motivated, but don’t make them too easy or it’s not really a challenge. The point is to stretch yourself to a higher level of functioning.

Make your goals relevant: Stay true to your values and purpose. Do your goals come from a personal desire for improvement that are tied to your belief system? What is most important to you? The more personally meaningful they are, the more likely you are to be successful.

Get a partner: Having a workout or healthy eating partner can help keep you motivated and on track. Design a supportive environment. For example, if you know that junk food and soda are your weakness, remove them from your home and replace them with healthy snacks and seltzer water. Remember, it’s nearly impossible to quit a behavior without replacing it with a new one. Find healthy alternatives. Start a progress chart. Record daily and weekly change. Write an accountability blog which others may be following.

Believe in yourself: Your goals have to be important to you. Does it motivate you? Is it a value of yours? Is it a high priority? Do you have a sense of urgency about it? Can you imagine yourself 6 months from now, or a year from now, having succeeded in your goal? What does that look like? How did you get there? Retrace your steps to determine what you did to be successful in your future self. This will help you define the steps to accomplishing what you want.

Put your goals in writing: Write them down in an “I Statement”. Put them in a visible place. Own them! This will serve as a reminder & motivator every time you see your personal statement. For example, if career development is your goal, “I will find a networking group in my field of interest to join by February 1. I will seek out courses and sign up for at least one new class or conference in my field of interest by February 1.”. Stick these on your refrigerator or on your desk, in a high traffic area in your home or office. Set reminders in your phone. Review your goals regularly.

Replace self sabotaging thoughts with a positive mantra: Be flexible. Remember that failures are only temporary setbacks and great motivators for change. It’s never too late to get back on track. Even if you haven’t met your goal by your deadline, remember this is a process that takes time. Don’t confuse the destiny with the path. Focus on the process of change. Each step you take will get you closer, even if its not exactly on schedule.

Now you’re ready to ring in the new year with a plan for a new you! Write your goals down. Be specific. Do some soul searching to determine what you value. Tell your friends. Get a partner. Set reminders. Chart your progress. Be patient. If you need a little extra support, call a Life Coach to help you clarify and become your improved future self. Happy New Year and New YOU!

click here to read the original post of this blog on whatwillyoubee.com.

Unlocking Your Potential: What would you change?

How did Felix Baumgartner discover the courage and fortitude to freefall from 128,000 feet in the stratosphere and break the sound barrier?  How did Steve Jobs harness the brilliance, passion, and energy to improve lives so dramatically through technology? How did Michael Phelps train to win 22 Olympic Medals, far exceeding any other wins in history?  Each of them started with an idea, a curiosity, a dream.  Each of them took a risk.  Each of them fully committed to their talent.

What is your idea, dream, or curiosity?  What do you want to achieve, experience, or change? How could you define the steps to a better tomorrow?  What is stopping you?

Now is the time to get started!  Stop depriving the world of your greatness and unleash your aspirations!  If you woke up tomorrow and found that a miracle had occurred while you slept, what would you notice when you opened your eyes? What would be different?  What part of that can you effect?  What is the first step to take?

Your Life Coach can help you unlock your potential, navigate life’s hurdles, and create a vision to hone in on your unique skills, talents, and passions.  You CAN achieve your dreams!  Are you ready to stop saying, “I can’t.” and begin saying, “I will!”?  Life Coaching is more than satisfying accomplishments. That’s certainly part of it.  It’s about LIFE satisfaction, feeling good, purposeful, and inspired.

Inspired Life Coaching, LLC is offering Coaching Starter Packages and Life Coaching Groups at discounted rates to get you raring to head into the new year!  Starter packages include three individual coaching sessions for the cost of two.  Weekly Coaching groups are one-third the cost of individual coaching sessions.  Get amped up!  Get ready to make 2013 your best year yet!  For more information on these special offers, call or email Coach Heather.  These offers must be purchased by November 30, 2012.