Dream Big Challenge: Week 3 – Hit the Rewind Button

We are half-way through the 4 week Dream Big Challenge!

First pat yourself on the back for showing up even if you didn’t meet your goal.  If you’re having doubts about this challenge, tell the chirping monkey in your mind to knock it off.  Our monkey mind only sees what we didn’t achieve instead of what we accomplished.  So acknowledge yourself for showing up.  I even gave myself a present for getting this far.  I love to garden, so I bought a new gardening magazine while at the grocery store.

Now, it’s time to review what happened while working on your dream.  Did you meet your goal 85% of the time instead of 100 percent?  Did you run into some resistance?  Make sure you muzzle your chirping monkey mind while attempting to look at the resistance.  Your monkey mind is sure to tell you, you’re not good enough….you screwed up….you’ll never make it…You get the idea.  Instead try and uncover the underlying emotion, belief or action that blocked you from reaching 100% of your goal.

Once you have your answer it’s time to hit the rewind button and start again.  According to Issacson, Steve Job’s biographer, Jobs believed that everything that he had done correctly, required one moment when he hit the rewind button and corrected something he didn’t see at the outset of the project.   We are going to rewind the steps from the first two weeks and modify them so we can achieve 100%.

  • Envision your dream – Did you didn’t interact with a visual or auditory reminder of your dream each day.  If not, find a way to make it happen each morning.   I love post-it notes on the mirror. One of our Big Dreamers Mona Pease has a virtual cork board for her vision which she sees every time she turns on her computer.
  • Dissecting the dream into small action steps – Were your actions steps doable in a short period of time?  If not then cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Carving out time for action steps – Here’s where most people hit their resistance.  If this is where you struggle, spend some time reflecting on the underlying block to your dream.  Once you become clear about your block, it diminishes its power.

For those of you at 100% keep dreaming and for the rest of us that are not quite there, hit the reset button.  This added focus will help push you forward.

Remember to leave a comment to be eligible to win one of the Dream Big prizes.

Dream Big Challenge – Week 2: Action Steps

 

“Take the first step in faith.  You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

I hope you are enjoying the Dream Big challenge.  Remember to leave a comment on all four dream big posts to be eligible for the prizes.  In step one, we envisioned our dream.  Now, it’s time for our next step.

Strategy for week 2:  Start with Small Action Steps

Dissect the pieces of the puzzle that create your dream.  This is an important step in making the process manageable.  I have a broad goal that relates to how I feel the moment I walk into the door of my home.  I want my home to instantly elicit in me a sigh of contentment.  So how do I get there?  I look at the goal as putting together a puzzle entitled PEACEFUL HOME.  This puzzle has lots of pieces, including painting, new furniture, getting rid of stacks of paper….and more.  It’s a long list and seems overwhelming, but as I separate it into little manageable tasks I can move forward.  I believe long before all the pieces of the puzzle are complete, I will have already reached my goal of creating a home environment that brings me a sense of peace.  Just beginning the process this week, has already caused a shift in me.

 

Carve out time and take small action steps.   It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that you don’t have time to make any changes.  Unfortunately, this belief can derail your dream before you even begin.  Jennifer Lawler, author of the Dojo Wisdom series discusses how a martial artist trains each day, even when old and disabled.  He accommodates his life for his art.  One of my critique partners is a lawyer with a full time job, two active young children, a wife and he still manages to write one hour a day.  How does he do it?  He gets up at 5 a.m. each morning.  He put in the effort to accommodate his life to his art.

So how can you accommodate your days for the life you want to dream into being?  Even 15 minutes a day will begin the process of transformation.  Why?  Through those daily 15 minutes, you are informing your subconscious that you are committed to your goal.  You will be amazed after a week of allotting only 15 minutes how much you can accomplish.  Build it into your routine (e.g.  shower, coffee, 15 minutes). If you are ready to change your life, you will find the time.

So this week start with small actions steps and create the habit of pursing your dreams.  This step may lead you to dreams more magnificent than you could have ever imagined. 

Enjoy putting together the puzzle of your life.  

Join the 4 week DREAM BIG challenge

Are you experiencing the midwinter blues?  If you are having trouble taking action or if some of your goals seem to be languishing, then it is time to join the Do North four week  DREAM BIG challenge. We are going to join together encouraging each other to go after one dream….one passion that is withering from lack of care.

Over the next four weeks participants will select a dream or desire to push forward in their life.  It could be a big goal or maybe it’s a small thing that you just can’t seem to tackle.   Often the minor irritations in our life are really blocks to achieving our bigger dreams.   Each week I will share new strategies and tools designed to drive your goal forward.   AND what would a challenge be without prizes at the end? Prizes include:

  • Do North mug – a reminder as you drink your morning coffee to follow your True North
  • Two Personal Coaching Sessions – designed to catapult your life forward
  • A guided meditation – Releasing the past…embracing the future (mp3 format)
  • A Godiva chocolate bar – Doesn’t everything end with chocolate?

To be eligible to win one of the randomly awarded prizes all you need to do is leave a comment on all four DREAM BIG challenge posts.   If your comment does not show your name, please include your first name and last initial.  You can sign-up through email subscription to be notified of the next post, otherwise just check back each Wednesday.  So let’s get started with this week’s strategy for bringing your dream to life.

Strategy for week 1:  Envisioning Your Passion

This week take some time and dream about what it is that you would like to create in your life.  In order to manifest you passion, you need to dream it into existence.  Maybe it’s a new job or relationship.  So, what does it look like?  If you are struggling with the particulars, then just image how it would feel.  Once you have an idea about your dream there are many tools to help you envision your dream.  Select a tool from the list below that works best for you.

  •  Create a Vision Board – Grab a poster board and add images, words, colors and anything else that represents your dream.    If you’re a techie and want to create something online, check out pinterest.com.  It’s like a virtual cork board.
  • Use the sound device on your smart phone and record what your dream looks like. I call this creating a dream script.  When recording don’t say “when” or “if”, instead state everything in present tense, (e.g. I am…).
  • Use a mapping software to chart out the pieces that make up your dream.  There are great free mapping programs like freeplane or freemind.
  • Create a “day in the life” of your dream – You know what your dream is, so what would a day be like if your dream became reality.  Write it out or try jotting down a day’s schedule that represents you living your dream.

After you have finished this process find a way to interact with what you created each day.  You can put the vision board on your dresser or listen to the dream script each morning.  If you charted out the pieces of your dream, post the map somewhere or consider putting the “pieces” of your dream on post-it notes and sticking them on your bathroom mirror.  Just make sure that each day you spend a few moments reflecting on what you dream looks or feels like.

So, what are you dreaming into reality?   Happy Dreaming!

Balance through Conscious Choices

Sometimes when you’re looking for balance in your life you just have to jump ship.  That’s what happened to me 18 years ago……….. Find out more in my guest post on author  D. Jean Quarles blog.

http://www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com/2012/01/conscious-choices-pathway-to-authentic.html

The 5-Minute Motivator

“The road to success is always under construction and in life there is no free ride.”   — Eric Kaplan 
If you are looking for a great book to get you moving, check out The 5 Minute Motivator by Dr. Eric Kaplan.   I like this book because of the suggested concrete actions and habits to incorporate into your daily life. Dr. Kaplan and his wife were 100% paralyzed from cosmetic injections but fought through the pain, fear and suffering to complete healing!  Click on the book to check it out now!

Achieve your goals: find a goal buddy

Yesterday, I received this email from my son.  He was home on semester break, sitting in the basement, when he sent it to me with a copy to his dad and brother. We’ve done “family challenges” before (see a holiday challenge) and often use emails to get it started.

Family,

For a handful of reasons including the fact that I would like my parents to live past the age of 65, Jack to suck in that gut and so I can put on a little weight as well as run more than a mile without my lungs collapsing, I think we should have a family workout competition.  What I’m thinking is that on a week to week basis we would have a workout requirement of 3 days.  Your workout could be anything of your choosing, swimming, running, soccer, weights, yoga.  But there will have to be approval from the other family members (sorry mom walking around the block does not count).  The consequence for not meeting the weekly quota will be a $5 penalty that will go into a pot.  This is obviously on the honor system of the parties involved so mom and dad no cheating.  I think the best method would be to set goals for ourselves to reach in 4-5 months from now and the person(s) who reach those goals will split the pot.  Just a thought, let me know what you guys think about it.

Billy

The thing is each of us already started to set personal goals, but it’s so easy to make excuses to oneself.  It’s much harder to come up with an excuse when you have a “Goal Buddy”. We’ve all agreed to start the challenge next Monday.

Last weekend, I met Pat Schmatz, award winning author of Bluefish, who shared her interesting twist on having a goal buddy.  As a writer, she’s developed a number of strategies to keep herself on track. My favorite is her Sunday night phone calls from her writing goal buddy.  On the call, they set their goals for the week and review their goals from the previous. No excuses are allowed.  I suspect they are both pretty political because if they don’t meet their goal, they need to send $5 to the political party they do not support. It’s working for them.  They’ve never had to ante up the $5.  When setting their weekly goals, they also question each other if they seem unrealistic.

Making sure your goals are achievable is an essential part of the process.  Success will help keep you working and moving forward. Everyone in my family has until Monday to tweak their goals.

I think mine will have something to do with weight loss… muscle strength….maybe chocolate.     I try and work chocolate into everything I do.

This Week:  Find a goal buddy to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions.

The Power of Kindness

I’m thrilled to have a guest blogger today, Karen Cioffi.  Below is a reprint of a post from her site.  It’s a great reminder of the power of small acts of kindness. At the end of the post Karen is offering a great promotion for writers and those who are involved in marketing.

This article is a departure from my regular postings, but I read a touching story yesterday, sent from Hope Clark, in the Funds for Writers newsletter. It told the story of a freshman nerd who got bullied and a kind stranger who took action.

The gist of the story: Walking home from school one Friday, a boy noticed another boy (the nerd) carrying a load of books. Watching, he saw a group of kids deliberately knock him down. He felt sorry for the boy and instead of just walking by, he stopped and helped. The boys ended up becoming best friends.

Years later, after thriving and growing during high school, the nerd was giving the graduation speech. He revealed that the Friday he met his best friend, he planned to kill himself that weekend. That’s why he had all his books and belongings from school, to save his mom the grief of having to get them. His best friend, without ever knowing until then, had saved his life with a simple act of kindness and friendship.

This is not the only story about how a kind act actually saved someone’s life; there are many such true stories.

The point is: One small act of kindness can turn someone’s day around, can turn anger into calmness, can save a life.

And, that act of kindness can have a rippling affect. That high school nerd went on to become a doctor – who knows how many lives he saved or might save. But, the rippling effect doesn’t have to be in the form of a doctor, it can be another act of kindness, a smile, a helping hand to someone else.

I recently listened in on a webinar about breaking through your own stumbling blocks, no matter how deep rooted they are. One of the points delved into the fact that each of us is from an original source, most of us consider that source God. Since we’re all created by God, we are all basically one.

While this isn’t a great revelation, this philosophy has been around a while, it does remind us that we should do unto others as we’d have them do to us . . . since we are all one.

Would you prefer a kind word or an angry word, a smile or a frown, being brought down or encouraged, a slap or a kiss. You get the idea.

Our actions cause reactions in those we interact with – you just never know what that one simple act of kindness or friendliness will cultivate.

The world has many heroes, such as firefighters, those in the military, the police, rescuers, and so on, who risk their lives to help others and save lives. A kind word, an act of kindness, a friendly gesture, while not heroic and on a much smaller scale, has the same capability.

Years ago I listened to a speech about how during the gold rush people worked hard to search through dirt and rock to find gold. It brought out that we should do the same toward people. Rather than quickly finding fault, take the time and effort to search for the good in others. Search for the gold.

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Karen Cioffi is a published author, freelance writer, and marketer, and to start the New Year with a BANG, from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2012, she is offering all her writing and marketing e-books (purchased directly from her site/s using the Paypal SHOPPING CART) for a $1.19 each. And, this will include new titles added within that time period.  For a complete list of the available titles and links to more information:

http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2011/12/2012-writing-and-marketing-ebook.html

For a complete list (with brief descriptions of each ebook) go to:

http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/p/karens-books.html