February 10, 2019

Here is a lightly-edited version of the blog that followed last week’s blog in 2015. It has an equally important message for everyone who wants to effectively and joyfully pursue their Big Goals, whether personal or professional.

“In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.” – Sid Caesar

 Last week, I re-published a Fan Favorite blog that I wrote about a past client who had reached a very Big Goal in just 30 days because she applied three specific success principles:

  • Use all the tools available to you to their full advantage.
  • Be strategic (work smarter, not harder.)
  • Use every available minute.

Because she had a very big “Why” for reaching her goal and because 30 days was the specific amount of time she had to reach it, she committed to focusing and giving it everything she had for that short amount of time, even though she also had to maintain a demanding day job.

Her reward at the end of that intense effort was promoting to Director Level in her direct sales company, which enabled her to quit her 50-60 hour a week job and work her business on HER terms, so she could spend more time with her new husband and have the lifestyle freedom she had always dreamed of.  For her, that was a Big Goal worth pursuing with all her might.

Risking Burnout

Now, let’s examine the flip side of this: What happens if you get TOO consumed with pursuing a Big Goal that has a longer time frame than just a few months?  You are risking Burnout — depleting your emotional, mental and physical resources to the point of trying to drive to the finish line on an inner fuel tank that has run dry.

Burnout can bring some dire consequences:  The constant stress of pushing yourself hard and worrying about where you are in relation to a long-term Big Goal can lead to physical illness and/or emotional breakdown.  It can also alienate loved ones who feel you have abandoned them or that they are less important to you than your Big Goal.  Ironically, Burnout can lead you to abandon your Big Goal altogether, so that in the end, you have nothing to show for all the time and effort you put toward it.

Signs of Burnout

Another past client came to me after pursuing a business goal for several years with only modest success.  Every day, she beat herself up emotionally for not being where she thought she should be. She felt like a failure, despite recognizing that she hadn’t been given the proper training, support and resources during her first several years in the business. She had to figure it out by herself and actually did a pretty good job, yet, she couldn’t stop negatively comparing herself to colleagues who surpassed her results during that time.

She also beat herself up for the toll she felt her pursuit of success had taken on her family.  She had two wonderful school-aged children and a loving and financially successful husband, yet she believed they must feel resentful because she hadn’t spent all her time with them.  She admitted to neglecting herself, too, by allowing herself almost no Me time to replenish her physical and emotional reserves.

I coached her to begin treating her home-based business like a real “business” and set her office hours.  That way, she could focus on her business for a few hours during the day when her kids were at school and perhaps three nights a week she could spend an hour on it as well. The rest of the time, she should be taking care of her own well-being — including exercise, rest and relaxation, personal and spiritual development time– and spending precious time with her family every day.

Despite promising that she would work to find balance and act like she truly is her own boss, she came to our calls crying almost every week.  She just couldn’t let up on herself.  When she was with her family or doing something for herself, she kept thinking she should be working her business.  And when she was working her business, she felt guilty that she wasn’t taking care of herself and her family.

Since my job as a Personal Success Coach is to help my clients reach their Big Goals as quickly, easily and joyfully as possible, I realized after several months that we were not making progress, and so did she.  I recognized that she was showing signs of major Burnout, and was unable to put into practice the simple strategies and support I tried to give her. Finally, I warned her that if she stayed on her self-imposed “hamster wheel” of stress, she would inevitably have to quit her business altogether for the sake of her well-being. I recommended she seek professional help to regain a balanced view of herself and her life and that is what I believe she ultimately did.

How to Beat Burnout

When you are pursuing a long-term Big Goal, the same three principles apply that were followed by my client who reached her Big Goal in just 30 days. The key is the definition of using “every available minute.”  That does not mean “EVERY minute of your life”!  If you follow a daily schedule that balances work, play, spiritual and personal development, physical well-being, family time and Me time, you can use your available WORK time strategically by working smarter, not harder.

And, of course, I recommend that you learn to harness the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to reach your Big Goals with greater speed and ease by focusing your belief and channeling your own positive energy toward your Big Goal, which inevitably attracts the perfect people, resources and serendipitous breaks to you.

Here are the four Success Principles I believe will help you reach your long-term Big Goal with healthy balance and emotional fulfillment, instead of Burnout and tears:

Four Principles of Long-term Success

  • Treat your Big Goal like a Big Game, rather than a struggle for survival. Nobody, including you, is going to die if you don’t reach your goal by when you thought you would.  Remember you are PLAYING to win and you will win your Big Game by getting to the finish line feeling happy, healthy and fulfilled. Maintaining a centered, enthusiastic and positive energy each day will make others want to join you and help you win your Big Game.
  • Pace yourself to play the Long Game. Realize this is a marathon, not a sprint.  Focus on reaching a series of short-term goals within your Long Game and take time to celebrate those victories as milestones on the path to the finish line. If you don’t, the finish line can seem mighty far away.  Regularly acknowledge yourself and allow others to acknowledge you for the ground you have taken, instead of focusing on how far you have left to go.
  • Treat yourself as valuable and others will too. Make and follow a Daily Game Plan to give yourself whatever you need to fulfill your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Don’t try to play Superman or Superwoman and go it alone. Make clear, specific requests for whatever help you need.  Those who care for you will be happy to step up and support you, if you simply ASK.
  • Stay committed and maintain perspective. Don’t let the petty disappointments of today make you doubt that you will win your Long Game if you just keep on keeping on. Realize that the last “No” just brought you that much closer to the next “Yes.” If you truly want to beat Burnout, you must view your Big Goal as just one part of your life, not the all-consuming focus of your life.

Here’s my final suggestion for beating Burnout: Take at least ONE FULL DAY off each week and once a month, take the ENTIRE WEEKEND off to refresh, relax and rejuvenate your body and soul.  Plan fun activities and get-away trips with friends or family, instead of using the whole weekend to catch up on paperwork, run errands or tackle honey-do lists. You will return to the pursuit of your Big Game with renewed enthusiasm, greater productivity and enhanced creativity.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The blog will be taking the next weekend off so I can enjoy President’s Day Weekend with my family!  This is one of the ways I avoid writer’s BurnoutA Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday February 24.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer yourself or someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change your/their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching, with no obligation and no strings attached!  To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

February 3, 2019

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  I am spending the day relaxing and enjoying the game (and commercials) with loved ones, just as you probably are. So here is a lightly-edited blog from four years ago that is still a Fan Favorite. Enjoy!

“Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it.  I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.” – Charles Kettering 

I believe that any Big Goal is possible to achieve, no matter what anyone else says or how improbably short the time frame may seem.  However, if you want to harness the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to help you reach your goals with greater speed and ease, you must learn to distinguish empowering “Possibility Thinking” from mere “Pie in the Sky” wishful daydreaming.

Are Your Beliefs Limiting You?

A vital aspect of Personal Success Coaching is helping my clients to recognize when they are holding unconscious Limiting Beliefs about their Big Goal. A Limiting Belief is a limitation we unconsciously place on what we think is possible to achieve.  We must remember that our beliefs are not the “Truth,” but simply our interpretation of the facts, based on our own past experience or someone else’s. A Limiting Belief holds you back from pursuing a Big Goal, while an Empowering Belief encourages you to go after it with gusto.

Working daily with the Law of Attraction over the past 14 + years to manifest my own Big Goals and help over 750 clients manifest theirs, I have come to believe that virtually all Big Goals are possible to achieve, with one important caveat: You must be willing to do three things in order to put the Law of Attraction into action to make the seemingly “impossible” possible.  Unless you are willing to follow these three “Keys to Success, you are simply fantasizing that your Big Goal is going to magically drop from the heavens into your lap. Believe me, it won’t.

Don’t Buy Others’ Limiting Beliefs about Your Goal

One of my past clients demonstrated in textbook fashion how following these three Keys to Success can help you manifest any Big Goal in record time.  “Dorothy” was a young professional with a high-paying day job who dreamed of turning her part-time business into a full-time career.  Her compelling “Why” for pursuing this Big Goal was a strong desire to spend more time with her new husband than her intense day job allowed, while still maintaining a good income.

After analyzing her direct sales company’s pay plan, she determined that reaching the Director Level would enable her to quit her day job and start living the life she dreamed of.  When we began coaching, she had just 30 days left to reach Director by the fastest, easiest route. After that, the requirements would be much tougher, so she decided to go for it that month with everything she had.

Her well-meaning upline Leaders told her that “statistically” she would have to talk to 100 people about the products and/or the business opportunity in order to reach her Big Goal.  She knew she could not realistically expect to do her 50-60 hour a week job AND talk to 100 prospects in 30 days.

So, I asked her to challenge the Limiting Belief that she absolutely MUST talk to 100 people in order to get the business partners and product sales volume required to reach Director. I reminded her that this statistic was simply an “average” of what it had taken other consultants to reach this goal.  I asked her whether she thought it was possible for one individual to do better than “average” and she said, “Yes.”  Then if it is possible, did she believe that she could actually do it?  “Of course!” she replied.  Supported by her new Empowering Belief that she was capable of producing results that were far above “average,” she set out to fulfill each of the three Keys to Success for reaching a Big Goal.

The Three Keys to Success in Manifesting

Success Key #1:  Use ALL available tools to their full advantage. We created her personalized Daily Success Script ™ and she began repeating it aloud twice a day for about 10 minutes each.  She understood that the purpose of the Success Script was to build her belief that she could do it, give her the right energy to attract the right prospects to her, and open her subconscious mind to come up with inspired new shortcuts to lead her to her goal.  She did her Success Script twice each day like clockwork, never making an excuse that she had forgotten or fallen asleep or didn’t have it with her when she needed it. She recognized that success requires Integrity and she kept her word that she would use every tool I provided to help her reach her Big Goal.

Success Key #2: Be Strategic.  You do not need to know HOW you are going to reach your Big Goal before you can begin to pursue it.  You simply must take EVERY Action Step that you know about now, and trust that more pinpointed guidance will be provided as you move forward.  Being in ACTION demonstrates to God/The Universe and your own subconscious mind that you really ARE committed to manifesting your Big Goal. That commitment energy attracts the ideal resources, people and serendipitous opportunities that will guide you to it.

I asked Dorothy which people on her prospect list she thought had the best chance of saying “Yes” quickly.  She said, “The ones I’ve already talked to at least once. The time wasn’t right for them before, but it might be NOW.” She decided to call them again and simply ask, “Is NOW a good time for you to try the products risk-free and/or to join me in the business?”

This strategy worked very well. When she told her friends about her Big Goal, quite a few were willing to help her by placing an order right then.  A few even decided to finally  jump into the business.  She got through her “Follow Up” list much faster than she would have making initial calls and having to explain the products or the business. She strategically went after the “low hanging fruit” and it paid off.

Success Key #3: Use your available time wisely.  Especially when pursuing a goal with a tight time frame, it’s critical to get into action quickly and work smart throughout.  Dorothy didn’t have a lot of hours available, so she made every minute count.  She talked to coworkers and made calls on her lunch hour, made more calls in the evenings, and asked several friends to host two or three events on the weekends and invite their friends to come. And when she did those presentations, she was amazed at the ABOVE-AVERAGE ratio of guests who approached her afterward to ask how they could get into the business.

Just before midnight on the last day of the month, Dorothy signed up her final business partner, placed her final order and was promoted to Director. When she ran her stats, she discovered that her personal success ratio for prospecting that month turned out to be much higher than either the company average or her own past experience.

At her company’s annual convention, Dorothy received a special award for reaching Director Level faster than anyone else in her entire region that year. Soon, she quit her day job and continues to enjoy building her business and spending lots of time with her husband.

So what approach will YOU take to pursue your own Big Goals — Pie or Possibility?

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

 ****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

 To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.  

 

January 27, 2019

“We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” – Barbara De Angelis

 I hope you have been enjoying creating your 2019 the way YOU want it to be, using the guidelines I gave you in the last blog (Your Time to Shine – Blog 326).  If not, the time is NOW to get it done because it will truly set the stage for your Big Dreams to manifest sooner, rather than later!

No matter how distant your Big Dreams seem from your current reality, it is possible to reach them. Manifesting your dreams requires that you demonstrate both a real PASSION for them and a BELIEF that it is possible to achieve them. It’s not your job to know HOW you are going to get there – that is up to God/the Universe.

Your job is simply to say “YES” to your dreams.  Saying “YES” with every fiber of your being sets in motion the Law of Attraction, which states that “energy attracts like energy.”  Your “YES” energy (your thoughts plus the emotions your thoughts create in you) will attract the perfect opportunities, people and resources you will need to reach your Big Dreams.

But there is also a time for you to say “NO.” In order to make the time and space for YOUR dreams and live YOUR life with integrity and authenticity, you must sometimes say “NO” to other people’s requests.

“Having the courage to say ‘no’ to requests that are unnecessary could be your most effective time-management tool!  Never say ‘yes’ without considering the time investment you are committing to. Ask yourself, ‘What is the potential consequence of saying ‘no’?  Then make a good decision on what you commit to.  Be incredibly selective about your commitments.” – From the book 175 Ways to Get More Done in Less Time by David Cottrell and Mark Layton

This can be emotionally hard to do, especially for recovering “people-pleasers” like me.

For much of my life, my knee-jerk reaction to just about every request made of me was always “YES!”  Even if it was something I wouldn’t have chosen to pursue for my own happiness or fulfillment, I generally agreed to the assignment in a misguided attempt to “help” the nice person asking me to perform the task.  My thought was, “If I don’t help them, who will?” (If you say that same thing to yourself, NOW is the time to stop!)

Most of the time, I was saying “Yes” to other people’s requests strictly out of guilt.  And guilt is a negative emotional energy that will NOT engage the Law of Attraction to help you perform a task with ease and efficiency!  Thus, at the end of such a “self-coerced” project, I often felt emotionally and physically drained and resentful of both the good work I had done and the good person who had innocently made the request.

In the early 2000s, I was asked to volunteer my time with a worthy organization that relied heavily on unpaid volunteers to do much of the work.  Were it not for an army of volunteers, the organization couldn’t have offered their services at low rates to the people who needed them most.

Since I had personally benefited from their services and believed in their work — and had skills they could use — they naturally approached me and asked me to “give back.” At first, it was just a few hours a week, which didn’t seem like much to ask in return for all that I had received.  But as my skills grew and the workload increased, the requests for my time grew as well.

For the first year, volunteering was a fun, challenging and personally enriching experience, even though I was beginning to struggle to find the time, as my fledgling coaching practice was just beginning to grow.

By the beginning of year two, I found myself performing 15-20 hours a week of unpaid work for a cause whose time had passed for me. I had gotten all there was to get out of the work I was doing there, and it had become simply a repetitive chore for me.  I was not one of the “Yes, we can!” people who came there eagerly each week, happy to be contributing to the cause.  The work was still purposeful for them, but it no longer was for me.  I felt more and more resentment. I knew in my heart that I was done.  Yet, I lacked the courage to simply say “NO” every time the volunteer coordinator called me.

Finally, tired and depressed, I was forced to ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” The honest answer turned out to be my guilt-ridden belief that “If I don’t help them, who will?” When I forced myself to think about it, the answer to that well-meaning question was very clear: The people who will help are those for whom this work is purposeful!

My Ah-Ha Moment was realizing that, by “contributing” my time out of guilt instead of genuine passion, I was doing an uninspired job that neither forwarded the work nor reflected the spirit of the organization.  I was occupying space that could have been an opportunity for the RIGHT person to contribute their skills, to grow and develop and experience fulfillment, just as I once had.  By lacking the integrity to say “NO,” I was not only depriving myself of the opportunity to pursue purposeful activity, but I was also selfishly depriving someone else of their opportunity to contribute their priceless gifts.

After this self-revelation, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I called organization’s volunteer coordinator to resign after giving three years of weekly service. I didn’t beat around the bush, explain myself or make excuses. I knew from studying the Law of Attraction that defensive, “guilty” energy would only attract similar negative energy.

Recovering People-Pleasers take note: Well-meaning people who attempt to cajole you into participating in their projects will view your attempted “explanation” as a sign that you are wavering and will try to pressure you further.  I recommend stating firmly and simply, without a hint of guilt, “Thank you for thinking of me for this opportunity, but I am going to say No.  I wish you all the best with your project.”  You will be amazed at their reaction!

The volunteer coordinator replied that he understood and thanked me for my service. It was that simple to free myself from the time and emotional bondage that was preventing me from pursuing my OWN Big Dreams!

So, if you are still saying a guilt-induced “Yes” to hobbies, committees, politics, a dead-end career or personal relationship which no longer serves you, please know that you are preventing another soul from bestowing his or her priceless gifts on the world.  And, you are depriving yourself of the joy, prosperity and fulfillment that will come from living a life of authentic, purposeful self-expression.

So what are you waiting for?  Pick up the phone right now and “Just say No!” Then you will be free to pursue your own authentic Big Dreams — the ones you are passionate about and truly believe in….the ones that make you say, “YES, I can!”

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  to schedule their session.  

 

 

 

 

July 29, 2018

 “Your success depends mainly upon what you think of yourself and whether you believe in yourself.” – William Boetcker

This month is important to many of my clients who are all in the same network marketing company.  July is their “convention qualification” period, where the status and titles they reach by the 31st will determine how they are recognized at their international convention in New Orleans in September.  It’s a big deal, and they are all running hard and giving it their BEST effort to reach their individual goals.

I fully support playing full out for a Big Goal.  If you really, really want something – especially if it has a drop-dead deadline – you need to be willing to work smart every available minute and use every mindset and Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) tool available to help you succeed.  Playing full out demonstrates your commitment to your Big Goal and causes God/The Universe and your own subconscious mind to conspire together to give you a boost with the “How.”

But there’s a hidden danger if you are always running at breakneck speed from one goal to the next.  While reaching important short-term goals can require a full-out sprint for a limited period, achieving long-term success is more like running a marathon.  You have to pace yourself or you risk physical and emotional burnout.  And you must always remember that you are not defined by your achievements.  You are valuable and worthy simply for being the unique and special person you are.

Here is a lightly-edited blog from “convention qualification month” two years ago that reminds us to keep a joyful attitude and take sufficient time to play, spend time with our loved ones, rest and recharge if we are going to win the LONG RACE.

July 17, 2016

I didn’t have to look far for the topic of this week’s blog.  It kept recurring among my clients last week and it is the subject of a collection of articles published by the Unity church entitled You Are Enough.

Two of my clients had their phones die for a time this week.  Both admitted to feeling a secret sense of relief because they could not be held responsible for not working their businesses.  One of them was at the beach for a week with her family and was able to spend some guilt-free time playing with her kids and just relaxing, while the other, with a few precious days off from her day job, had time to play with her daughter and just “float in the pool.” The latter confessed that she had actually contemplated not coming to her coaching call because she didn’t want to admit to me that she had been “unproductive” this week.

I told them both that they shouldn’t feel guilty for doing what they really wanted to do.  Their worth is not defined by how productive they are being.  Their self-worth should come from knowing that they are unique and special and valuable because of who they ARE, not what they DO.

As a Personal Success Coach, my job is to help my clients get whatever they want in life.  The Big Goal they choose to pursue is up to them – greater prosperity, a fitter body, a loving relationship or a successful business.  Nobody, including me, can tell them what their heartfelt goals should be.  Nor should they put undue pressure on themselves to reach those goals at the expense of having life balance, fun and fulfillment.  If they become so driven to succeed that pursuing their Big Goal feels like a burden, I recommend taking a step back to examine their true motivation.

Many people have a strong “Why” for pursuing a goal, especially a financial goal.  One of my clients wants to succeed at her business so her mother can retire from her job.  Several want their spouses to be able to quit their jobs to pursue their dreams or spend more time with their family.  Some are motivated to financially support a cause they care deeply about. Those are all great reasons for consistently doing the daily activities that will get them closer to their goals with a sense of joy and enthusiasm.

But I have seen some people approach their daily tasks with a joyless, teeth-gritted, “this is hard, but I MUST do it” mindset and energy. I believe they are actually driven by the idea that they must prove their value through their achievements.  Their sense of self-worth depends on outer successes and the approval of others.

One of my clients recently shared a journaling she had done to explore her Limiting Belief that “If I give it my all and fail, my life has been a waste.”  This was her Ego’s internal worst case scenario about what might happen if she didn’t reach the level of success in her business that she wanted.  In the course of her self-exploration, she had the Ah-Ha Moment, as Oprah calls it, that she doesn’t remember her father saying “I love you” very often when she was growing up.  But she does remember him frequently saying, “I am so proud of you.”

Thus, her father’s pride in her accomplishments became her Ego’s path to “earning” the unconditional love she truly craved. She wrote, “I think this has sort of made me think that if I can’t do something that makes a splash, it’s not worth doing and certainly not worth talking about.  So I find myself striving for that over-achiever status.  I feel like anything less is pointless and even something to feel shameful about, so I just don’t talk about it.”

Being human, I am sure each of us feels or has felt at some time that we are not good enough. For some, it’s about their appearance:  “I’m not…young enough, pretty enough, thin enough…” to be worthy of receiving unconditional love and acceptance from those I care about.

For me and others, it’s about our performance: “I didn’t go to the gym.  I didn’t get an A.  I didn’t win the competition.  I didn’t put on the perfect birthday party for my child.”  Therefore, I suck.

The truth is, your inherent value doesn’t increase or decrease with age, beauty, fitness level, accomplishments, job productivity or salary.

As minister Joel Osteen, puts it, “You are the apple of God’s eye” simply because you exist. If you are alive on planet earth, you are enough.  In fact, you are PRICELESS.  Otherwise, you are claiming that only the pretty, thin, A students, celebrities and sports stars are worthy of God’s love, their own self-love and the love of people whose opinion matters. What about the rest of us, then?

I believe there is no swimsuit competition in Heaven – or here on Earth, for that matter. As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently said, we should not be judged by the color of our skin (or any other external factor), but by the content of our character.

So if you long to take a little break from your pursuit of success to just “float in the pool” from time to time, do what your heart calls you to do.  When you are working, give it your 100% BEST…. And when you want to relax and recharge, allow yourself to enjoy and be fully present to it, without guilt or shame.  Schedule time for both work and play and you CAN have it all.

I urge you to make this your daily mantra:I am not my job title or accomplishments.  I am whole, complete and perfect, just as I am. I am the apple of God’s eye and I am ENOUGH.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog will be on vacation for the next two weeks while Rick and I relax and recharge ourselves and visit our wonderful family in beautiful Washington and Oregon.  A Cup of Caroll will return with a brand new post on Sunday, August 19.

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

June 17, 2018

“Sustained concentration is a learnable skill.  It’s not something you’re born with; it’s something you develop through daily practice.” – from Secrets of the World Class by Steve Siebold

In the last blog (What is Your Why Today – Blog 306), I gave you a few specific tips to help you maintain your focus and enthusiasm and willingness to take consistent daily actions toward a Big Goal that you know will take a fairly long time to reach.

Besides being crystal clear on your WHY, I believe you also need to give yourself a consistent short-term emotional reward at the end of “just another Wednesday” that was full of To-Dos, errands, and activities. At the end of the day, when you have carried through on your promised action steps toward fulfilling your long-term Big Goal, you crave a feeling of inner satisfaction and fulfillment, whether or not your efforts produced any apparent outer results.

Without a satisfying feeling of accomplishment, you won’t be so enthusiastic about getting up and pursuing your Big Goal again tomorrow, even if you have an empowering long-term WHY.  We all need regular “Atta Girl/Guy” emotional pats on the back to keep us motivated, especially if it takes a while to see a tangible payoff from our faithful efforts.

Here’s a little daily emotional reward my BFF Lisa and I cooked up spontaneously during our recent morning texting routine. We often reach out early in the day to make each other laugh, encourage each other and remind each other to “carpe diem” (which means seize the day, in case Latin isn’t your first language) and not waste precious time because, well, we don’t know in advance which day is going to turn out to be our last one on this planet, now do we?

I shared with her my vow that from now on, before my head hits the pillow each night, I am going to ask myself “What was my L.A.C.E. today?” That’s an acronym for:

L.EARN – What was one new thing I learned today? In order to learn something NEW each day, we all have to remember to LISTEN more than we TALK, and that’s a good thing. Today, I learned from my accountant how to pay our corporate Payroll Tax using Quickbooks!  It was the very first tax payment for Rick’s and my fledgling “R & C Schwartz Inc.” corporation — and that’s kind of exciting!

A.CCOMPLISH – Did I courageously tackle the important things on my To-Do list first today? Or, did I just check off the easy little “busy work” stuff that won’t move me any closer to my Big Goals? If I tackled the hard stuff, the stuff that matters, I give myself a big old “Atta Girl,” because I know those things WILL pay off, if I just keep at it.  Today, I spent several hours writing two blogs so I can have more time on the weekends to play and to prepare my Prosperity Summer Camp course lessons.

C.ONTRIBUTE – What did I do to help someone or improve something today? My life is about more than just pursuing my own personal goals — it has a bigger purpose.  I believe we were all put here by our Creator to make the world better by using our own unique skills and talents.  A day lived without helping someone else is not a completely fulfilling day. Today, I helped my clients see some possible new ways of tweaking their daily method of operation that are going to help them be more successful.

E.NJOY – (Lisa added this one. She’s all about fun and laughter.) What made me laugh, feel happiness, glad to be alive today?  For me, it was my walk on the most perfect Southern California summer morning. I let myself drink it in and thanked God out loud for another day of life in Paradise.

If you make a habit of asking yourself at bedtime, “What was my L.A.C.E. today?” and honestly answering each of these four questions, I believe it will help you to stay motivated and on track to accomplish your long-term Big Goals. (Or do what we now do and get yourself a L.A.C.E. Accountability Buddy to share your answers with.)

This daily practice can also make you feel more present, more fulfilled and more satisfied with your life.  You won’t be living in the past or the future, as too many people do. Instead, you will be living in the NOW, focused on making the most of each Today, which will inevitably lead to more successful and prosperous Tomorrows!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off to celebrate my birthday weekend with my wonderful husband Rick at Disneyland on Friday and dinner with friends on Sunday. (And since it’s a milestone one, who knows what else might be in store for me?)  A Cup of Caroll will return to your inbox on Sunday, July 1.

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* hour of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

February 25, 2018

“What we feel, think, and do this moment influences both our present and the future in ways we may never know.  Begin.  Start right where you are. Consider your possibilities and find inspiration…to add more meaning and zest to your life.” – Alexandra Stoddard

The following is a blog written by the wonderful personal trainer I used to go to who co-owns a popular fitness studio in Sacramento, CA. (www.HealthyHabitsStudio.com)

I believe that her wise words apply to ALL long-term goals — personal and business, as well as health and fitness.  All Big Goals require patient, committed one-day-at-a–time focus and one-step-at-a-time planning to reach.  If you take her advice to heart, and make it your own guiding philosophy, I believe you can and will achieve your BIGGEST personal, business and fitness goals this year.

Today is a big deal!

By Rose Zahnn

“You woke up this morning and began making choices.

You chose whether or not to exercise, to eat a healthy breakfast, or to do something productive. You chose whether or not to eat that donut, to sleep in, or to watch an extra hour of TV.

At the end of each day, the sum of your choices pushes you in a direction.

It could be pushing you in the direction of fitness and health, if your choices were predominantly healthy.

Or, the sum of your choices could be pushing you in the direction of weight gain, health issues and problems.

I find this perspective helpful when it comes to making a major body transformation. It’s tempting to feel overwhelmed about changing your body when you have many pounds to lose and much work to do, since you can’t do it all in one day.

However, by capturing the power of each day by making healthy choices, you will be pushed in the direction of weight loss and health day after day, week after week.

Until, one day, you’ll look in the mirror and see that you’ve arrived at your ultimate destination: a lean, healthy and fit you!

So, embrace the power of each choice that you make today, and allow a momentum of good choices to push you through to your goal.

Do This At Bedtime: The best way to ensure that you will make great choices tomorrow is to plan for it tonight. Before you go to sleep, jot out your plan for the next day.

Today is a big deal.

Today is all you have.

Make the most of today.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog and I are taking next weekend off.  Look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday, March 11, which also happens to be the start of Daylight Savings Time for most of the USA.  Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

January 21, 2018

“Today is unique!  It has never occurred before, and it will never be repeated.  At midnight, it will end, quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever.  But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities.” – Charles R. Swindoll

 I hope you have had a chance to complete your 2017 and create a vision for the brand new year that lies before you. If not, there is still time!  Go to my blog archives at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and use the past two blogs to guide you in these important steps to lay the foundation for a happy and successful New Year.

If you have completed these two steps, there is one remaining step for you to get your year off to a successful start and maintain order and ease throughout the year ahead – getting organized. If you practice using the plan I am about to share with you, I can promise your 2018 will be filled with more internal peace and ease and more external efficiency and productivity.

(What follows is a lightly-edited post I published in June, 2015 that is definitely worth reviewing to get your year off to a great start!)

One of the biggest challenges my coaching clients seem to face is how to sort out multiple priorities among all the important tasks and projects they want to accomplish each day. With a demanding full-time job and a side business to manage, along with a family that needs their time and attention, how on earth are they supposed to find time for their own personal needs like daily exercise and Personal Development time? Where is that elusive “life balance” everyone wants?

I show them how to prioritize and manage their many accountabilities with ease, using a simple system I learned years ago.  I call it the “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system, after a memorable demonstration by a time management/efficiency expert.

First, he placed a big glass jar on a table.  Next to it, he placed four glass jars containing rocks, pebbles, sand and water. He asked the audience in which order he should put the four substances into the jar so that ALL of them would fit.  Looking at the four containers separately, it seemed unlikely that the rocks, pebbles, sand and water could ALL fit into the one big jar, but he promised they would IF they were put in the right order.

Finally, someone got it: Put the BIG rocks in first, followed by the pebbles (which filled in the open spaces between the rocks), then the sand that sifted down into the cracks between the pebbles, and finally the water, which seeped down between everything, filling the jar to the top.  Yes, all four items DID fit into the available space, even though it looked impossible when you considered them separately.

The point he was making is that if you take care of your most important tasks (the “Big Rocks”) FIRST, all your other tasks can be managed with ease.  But if you eat up most of your day checking off a long list of meaningless “little stuff” – or worse, spinning your wheels trying to figure out what to tackle first — you won’t have enough time and energy left to accomplish the truly IMPORTANT things that will make the biggest difference for you.

In addition to this great prioritizing insight, I also learned another key principle of productivity from the book “Master Your Workday Now!” by Michael Linenberger. He asserts that, while you may like to think you attend to the most “important” tasks first, the truth is, we all invariably do the most URGENT tasks first, whether or not they are the most IMPORTANT to us.  These may or may not be your personal priorities, but they are tasks with a short deadline that your boss, church committee, spouse, kid’s teacher, Team members or customers say they MUST have your help with right NOW.  You will put out these annoying little fires first because alleviating the internal pressure caused by the feeling of urgency trumps all.

Linenberger believes that, as a rule, we can handle a maximum THREE urgent matters each day. When more than three urgent tasks are competing for your attention at one time, your brain loses the ability to prioritize and accomplish them. Most of the time, attempting to accomplish more than three urgent “Big Rocks” causes your brain to shut down and not finish some or all of them, or makes you to try to get them done in a slap-dash way that produces poor results.

What is the best way to accomplish your most urgent and important Big Rocks tasks each day?  Rule #1 is DO NOT schedule yourself for more than THREE Big Rocks per day. These are defined as tasks that must be done by YOU (meaning you cannot delegate them to someone else) AND must be done or worked on TODAY.  If it can be delegated, ask for help!  If it can be put off to a later time and still be done properly, schedule it as one of your “Big Rocks” for another day.

All this talk of urgency probably doesn’t sound very easeful, does it? So how do you accomplish three Big Rocks, along with the rest of your To-Dos every day with a feeling of ease and control?  Simply PLAN your Big Rocks in advance! Here’s how Mr. Linenberger’s book taught me to do it:

  • For 20-30 minutes each weekend, sit quietly with your long To-Do list of upcoming tasks and projects and your day planner calendar open to the coming week. Study your To-Do list carefully and decide which tasks are going to be your Big Rocks to accomplish during the coming week.
  • Schedule a maximum of THREE Big Rocks tasks per day into your weekly planner/calendar at the TIMES of day you think they should be done. Some Big Rocks will be appointments at set times, such as a conference call with a potential business partner at 10am on Tuesday, a dentist appointment at 3pm on Friday, getting your car’s oil changed on Thursday morning, going to your kid’s soccer tournament Thursday at 4pm, etc. Other daily Big Rocks will be projects and tasks that you must choose the best day and time for YOU to work on. In that case, you will be blocking out times on your appointment calendar that you feel are optimal for you and the results you want, such as making prospecting calls from 10am to 11am each day, writing a report that’s due by the end of the week from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday, practicing the cello each day from 5 to 6pm, in preparation for a recital in two weeks, etc.
  • IF a conflict arises between a previously-set appointment (which, of course, you wrote in your planner the minute you set it) and a Big Rock task or event that came up later, your weekly planning time alerts you to either change the current appointment OR negotiate a time change for the task or event. Being in integrity requires that you notify anyone else who will be affected by such changes, just as soon as you become aware of them. If another’s expectations are not going to be met, alerting them ASAP allows them time to either get someone else to fill in for you or to negotiate a new time for you to accomplish it.
  • After scheduling the three Big Rock tasks and appointments for each day of the coming week, you then can fill in the rest of the open times with your “Pebble Tasks.” These are not as important as the Big Rocks and/or they can be done at flexible times, so you can fit them in after you see what the Big Rocks schedule looks like each day.
  • Next, come the “Sand” and “Water” items, such as errands. If these small items don’t get done today, it’s not a big deal; you can still fit them amongst the Big Rocks and Pebbles another day. Try to be efficient by looking at your To-Do list for multiple errands that can be done in the same trip and block those out for 30 minutes or an hour in a given day.  TIP: Always have something useful to read or listen to while you commute or are stuck waiting somewhere for a few minutes.  Don’t waste precious time playing games on your smart phone when you could be reading a good book or improving your skills via a recorded training call.

IMPORTANT CAVEATS: In order for this system to work:

  • You absolutely MUST keep a daily/weekly planner that has slots of at least 30 minutes for each day. (My coaching appointment calendar has 15-minute time slots from 8am to 8pm each day.)

AND

  • You must keep ALL of your appointments – business, personal, doctors, kids’ sports, social engagements, etc. on the SAME planner/calendar.  If you have multiple calendars going for different areas of life, you will inevitably double-book yourself for something important and tears will flow.

My clients who faithfully use this simple “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system report that it really works!  They have a greater sense of control over their time and no more stress and guilt from double-bookings or forgotten appointments. And they have a real sense of accomplishment at the end of they day because they were able to complete the things that really mattered to them, instead of just checking off a bunch of little tasks that can’t help them reach their Big Goals.

Is setting aside time each weekend to plan your week ahead worth the sacrifice of 30 minutes of precious me time or family time? I promise that, in return, you will gain a greater sense of personal control, lower your stress level, and begin to create that “life balance” we all crave. Seems totally worth it, doesn’t it?

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next two weekends off for taxes (Ugh!) and Super Bowl Sunday (Yay!).  A brand new Cup of Caroll will appear in your in-box on Sunday, February 11th.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and request a complimentary session.