Quick Tips for Getting Back on Track in the New Year

It’s the New Year–a time for new beginnings. Are you feeling excited, optimistic  and energized?

If you’re like many people I know, you might be feeling tired, sluggish and overwhelmed already.  And it’s okay to admit it. (Sometimes I’m energized and exhausted in the same day!)

It’s easy for pressure to build quickly after you have had a chance to let go of work during the holidays.

If you’re having trouble getting back on track, you’re not alone.

Here are some quick tips for easing back into the New Year:

Take your time.

You may not feel like you have a choice about the pace at which you operate, but you have more control than you realize. Set realistic expectations. Set boundaries where needed. Get clear about your priorities. It’s okay to walk before you run.

What pace feels right to you?

Notice your resistance.

When you’re too tired or you’re avoiding some activities, this might actually be a good sign. Pay attention. Maybe you don’t want to step back into the same environment or activities that don’t serve you well. Think about something new you can try, a change you can make that would give you more of what you really want.

What are you resisting?

Don’t judge yourself.

Too many people say, ” I should be accomplishing more.” Or “I should be more active.” Or ” I should lose more weight.” They think they are not good enough, capable enough, etc.  Replace those thoughts with “I am…” positive statements like these: “I am figuring things out.” “I am taking one step at a time.” “I am moving in the right direction.”

What do you really need to hear right now?

Start small.

Choose one area of your life or work that you would like to improve. Set a short-term goal. If you want to run a marathon, you don’t go out and run the entire distance. Maybe you’ll run a mile this week as a start.

I’m trying a new daily planner to improve my planning process. It’s a small change. I will see how it goes.

What’s something small you can do that will still give you a sense of accomplishment?

I’ve been writing more about the importance of paying attention to how you feel, not just what you do as a leader.

When you feel strong, healthy and vibrant, you are more likely to enjoy your life and work.

Make your own well being a top priority this year.

PS — Share this message with a friend or colleague who may benefit.

Let me know how I can be of support to you or your team in the New Year!

Three Keys to Overcoming Your Toughest Business Obstacles

It’s been fun watching the Ninja Warrior competition where athletes move quickly through different kinds of obstacle courses to reach their goal.

runnerAs a business owner or executive, there are parallels you experience as you grow your business.

Here are three Ninja inspired keys to moving through obstacles in your business more easily.

1. Commit.

One key to the success of exceptional athletes is their ability to fully commit to the process. When the athletes get a running start to conquer the obstacle course, they don’t hesitate, look back or question their decision. They go for it.

If they do hesitate, they will stumble, lose time or fail.

Once you’ve made your decision, move. Play it out. Replace any doubt with determination.

Entrepreneurs are especially likely to look around at new ideas and possibilities. While not always a bad thing, too much distraction impedes your action.

Stay focused on your next step so you’re not distracted by anything that will keep you from achieving what you want.
Assess your level of commitment based on your actions, not just words.

2. Bounce back.

Build your resilience. Inevitably there will be times when you fail or you can’t complete the course. You might not get over the wall.

Maybe you didn’t get the funding you needed, you lost a big piece of business or your star employee quit.

Major business setbacks can negatively impact your mindset, health, relationships or well-being.
The most impressive athletes don’t beat themselves up. They acknowledge that they made a mistake, but they don’t dwell on it. They recommit and refocus on the goal.

Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel good. Your mood affects your mindset. The better you feel, the easier it will be to shake off whatever negative experience has occurred.

Some of the most successful Ninja athletes are simply being themselves and having fun. Do more of that in your business to minimize any negative impact. You’ll navigate your business obstacle course more easily.

3.  Find your fans.

If you feel like you’re going it alone, find the coach and fans you need. Be specific about what you think you need. Ask for help when you need it.

Start or join a mastermind group. Fans are waiting for you there in the form of other business owners and executives. You’ll be surprised to see how many people have experienced a similar obstacle. Learn from them.

Spend more time with people you enjoy. You’re more likely to develop mutual “fan like” relationships where there is support or camaraderie.

Appreciate those who have believed in you, invested in your business or given you support along the way. Those fans will create more fans for you.

Do something simple today to express a little appreciation to someone in your network.

Obstacles are a part of business and life. You don’t have to face them alone. And shouldn’t if you want to achieve the success you desire and deserve.

What’s one of the biggest obstacles you’re facing in your business? I’d love to know.

Paralyzed with fear? Good!

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good.  Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
~ Steven Pressfield

I like leadership quotes that address fear because fear is inevitable for anyone in a leadership role. 
There’s a lot of pressure to appear strong as a leader, yet even the strongest leaders say things like:
“I’m scared to death…”
OR
“This is terrifying…”
When fear strikes, do this exercise below. Consider it a mini virtual coaching session.
If I were sitting across a table from you, these are some of the questions I would ask. I encourage you to answer them on your own.
What are you afraid of? Why?
Depending on your answer, I might dig a little deeper and ask, “What are you really afraid of?”
For example, if you say you fear that the meeting will not be a success, is that the real issue? Or is it that you might be blamed, criticized or that people might lose faith in you? Get to the heart of the issue.
What’s the worst that could happen?
How would you deal with it?
 
Often a worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as it initially seems. It’s important to focus on best-case scenarios as well.
WHY must you do what you need to do?
HOW will you do what you need to do?
 
As you commit to what you really must do, the fear will diminish or you will pay less attention to it.
We all have fears. The willingness to face them while staying focused on what really matters is a leadership skill.
Accept fear as part of your growth process. Without fear, you’re probably not thinking big enough, reaching high enough or being challenged enough.
 
Seek out friends, peers and mentors who have conquered fears that you face.
You will learn much from them.
Find a safe place to process your fear. If you don’t, the fear may grow and keep you stuck.
Build your faith–faith in yourself, your team, your business. It’s the best way to overcome resistance and combat the negative effects of fear.
Fear may be indicating a needed change, big opportunity or new direction.
Let fear be your fuel to help you achieve what you really want!
PS – Struggling with a specific fear in your leadership role? I want to hear about it.
Simply reply to this email. We’ll determine next steps.

In the NEWS


Gayle appeared recently on ABC 33/40 to talk about setting goals and tips for achieving what’s most important to you this year.

Do you know where you’re going?

People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.
~ Earl Nightingale

This is one of the leadership quotes I like that might seem obvious. After all, if you are in business, you can’t grow your business unless you have some kind of goals.

goalsNotice that the leadership quote does not say success happens because people achieve their goals. It’s simply important to have goals.

Goals help you set direction.

They give you a way to say, “This is where I want to go.”

Just setting a goal puts things in motion that may not happen otherwise. Even if you don’t know exactly how to achieve the goal, you’ll begin taking some steps to move toward it. You will figure it out.

I worked with one client who resisted setting goals. She was concerned that by setting goals, she would be setting herself up to feel badly by not reaching them.

You may resist goal setting for a number of reasons:

  • You are not setting the right kind of goals. They seem too big, amorphous or unrealistic.
  • You really don’t want to reach the goal. It could be what someone else thinks you should accomplish, but it’s not what you really want.
  • You are “too busy.” Good goal setting requires a little thinking time outside of your normal routine. Goal setting is a proactive exercise. Often it’s easier to be reactive than proactive.

In your leadership role, you must set goals for your business and help others in your business set goals.

Help those you lead become more goal oriented.

Ask a simple question like, “What’s your most important goal for this week?” (If they don’t have a quick answer, help them figure it out!)

When they tell you their goal, ask if there’s any kind of additional support they need to help make it happen. You’ll be appreciated as a leader who really cares about their success.

The process of setting goals varies depending on the person. Whether you have an intuitive or analytical approach, practice writing down your goals.

If you fall short of your goals, don’t beat yourself up. Set new goals or modify the original ones.

By setting your own goals, you’re less likely to follow someone else’s agenda.

I encourage you to set a specific short-term goal for this week about something that’s important to you. Write it down…now.

Don’t worry about missing it. You just might exceed it!

PS – As a reminder, articles like this one are being posted throughout the year on my blog www.workmatters.com/blog along with other posts inspired by leadership quotes found in my new Leadership Journal. The journal is available at Amazon.com.

What’s Up with My Daily Coach App?

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-iphone-white-screen-new-wide-black-border-image44134168If you have downloaded the My Daily Coach app, you may have noticed that we’ve been updating the app for 2016.

Soon it should have new content that sends notifications during the weekdays only. I’ve decided not to publish content for the weekends so you should get a little break from my prompting.

Thanks for your patience as we get it right.

If you have not downloaded the app, it’s available for the ipad, iphone and Android mobile devices. You can learn more about it here:

http://workmatters.com/mydailycoach/

What are you thinking about?

“What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be.”

~Mark Victor Hansen

So what are you thinking about? 

Pen in the hand over white backgroundThis time of year people naturally think about the New Year and what they want their life or work to look like. Whether you’re working on personal development, business goals or leadership goals, a little of your time and a lot of self-motivation are required.

However, three common traps might make deciding what you want more challenging:

  1. Distraction Trap

As you ease back into work, you probably feel pulled in different directions. This distraction limits your “thinking time” as you are swept up in the rush. Other times of the year, your brain may be consumed by thoughts about what needs to get done today instead of what you want for your future.

To counteract this trap, set aside dedicated time to reflect on your future. If you don’t, you may cruise through life on autopilot and not achieve your desired goals. Force yourself to stop, consider the big picture and look for new possibilities. Then decide what path makes sense for you, your work, life or business.

  1. Should Trap

You fall into the “Should Trap” when you hear yourself saying, “I should…” You might think something like, “I should spend less time on the road.” “I should get more involved on a board.” “I should start that project.”

My suggestion is to shift from using “should” to “want”. For example, “I want to start that new project.” See how that works? Cultivate a healthy sense of selfishness. After all, if you are not filling your life with what you really want to do and feeling fulfilled, you won’t be able to serve others to the best of your ability.

Using the word “should” often stems from some form of guilt. On the other hand, the word “want” is based on your desires. Allow yourself to want whatever you want. Then, focus on that and let go of the “shoulds” that get in the way.

  1. Judgment Trap

Judgment is one of the most dangerous traps. When you catch yourself thinking about what you want and then immediately deny it, you know judgment is at work. You might say self-sabotaging things to yourself or others like:

  • “I’m not ready.”
  • “That’s too much of a risk.”
  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “That’s not possible.”

As judgmental thoughts pop into your head, take time to notice them and write them down. Next, write down why the statement or excuse is not true to turn it around.

For example, if you say you are not ready to tackle a big project, write down all the reasons why you are more ready than you’d like to admit. This exercise pushes you past the judgmental limitation so you can think bigger and move into action.

PS – My newsletter articles (also found at workmatters.com/blog) this year are inspired by the leadership quotes in the new Leadership Journal I created for busy leaders like you. The journal is available through Amazon.com

Order your copy of the journal today to follow along, capture your own ideas and do your best thinking. See details below.

Have you ordered your Leadership Journal?

The New Year requires new thinking. My new Leadership Journal will help you in the process.

journalDid you know that you are much more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down?
I created the Leadership Journal for busy leaders like you who are serious about achieving their goals. It’s a simple weekly journal with a few coaching questions and inspiring leadership quotes to keep you motivated and on track throughout the year.

Just 10-15 minutes each week of thinking time will help you achieve what matters most to you.

Get one for yourself, your team or anyone who might benefit from this empowering goal-setting tool.

Find it on Amazon:

LEADERSHIP JOURNAL