Archive | March, 2011

Stop wandering through life and get a guidebook

Thanks to Rebecca for another gorgeous path photo! Click on the photo to visit Recipes and Food Adventures.

Many people go through life with no road signs, no road maps, no GPS. They travel life’s journey without a guidebook, and they don’t bother to hire a guide anywhere along the way. The thing is, if you don’t know where you’re going, where are you travelling to? And if you don’t have a destination in mind, are you really travelling, or are you just wandering around?

You’ve probably read this passage from Lewis Carroll before:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where —” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

How does it apply to your own life? Are you wandering passively through life with no destination in mind? Do you set clear goals for your life and take conscious action to achieve them? Have you asked yourself the three questions?

Setting goals and taking conscious action to work toward achieving them is the only way to get off Someday Isle and take control of your life. Since there’s no one guidebook on life, consider making your own personal guidebook for life.

Take a notebook or set up a folder on your computer to get going. Start with some of the exercises on this blog: whichever ones you think are most useful in your life. You may want to set up separate sections for each exercise, leaving space to review them at a later date. Some ideas:

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Easy tips on how to say no

Thanks to Ali for this path photo! Please click on the photo to visit her blog. Thanks!

I’ve said this twice now: “If you don’t know who you are, where you are, and where you’re going, then you have no perspective. You won’t know how to prioritise, and how to get things done and when.” Setting priorities helps me make clear decisions on how to plan my days and weeks, and it makes it easy for me to say no to things that I don’t want to do or that aren’t related to my high-priority goals and activities.

So why is it that some people find it so difficult to say no? Often it’s a case of people putting others’ interests before their own, and not respecting their right to decide how to manage their time. Once you understand what your goals and priorities are, and that your time is yours to manage, saying no becomes easier.

Tips on how to make saying no an easy part of your life:

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Time management system review

I’m into my second week with my updated time management system, and I wanted to make some observations. First of all, I loved this updated system! It worked very well, and since I’m a visual person, it was a great system for me.

Some observations:

  • I highlighted tasks using the colour of the day (orange, yellow, green) as soon as I finished them, so I could clearly focus on the non-highlighted tasks and get them done.
  • Some days I didn’t get everything done, and I carried them down to the next day with a big arrow. This helped me at the end of the week to see what things I didn’t get done, why, and how to better plan the following week.
  • New things were added to my schedule during the week, which changed one green (low-task) day to an orange (medium-task) day.
  • The colour coding of the days was interesting, and helped me see at a glance how busy my week was going to be and how many tasks I could add to my schedule. I especially noted this difference when I set up the current week. I noticed that last week, I had three orange days and two yellow (medium-task) days during the week, with the weekend being orange. This week, I have one orange day, three yellow days, and one green day, leaving me with ample space in my schedule for getting things done. The weekend is red, meaning that I’m not scheduling anything else aside from what I’ve already got on my plate.
  • By the end of last week, I noticed that while not everything got done exactly on the day that I had planned it, everything was finished during the week and nothing carried over into this week. Well done!

All in all, it has been a great system and I’ll let you know when I revise it and update it again.

Did anyone else try this system? Is it clear to you how I set it up? If not, I can include images here.

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How to find your dream job

Thanks to Rebecca for this path photo! Please click on the photo to visit her blog. Thanks!

Professional satisfaction is an issue that comes up frequently in coaching sessions. Some people are in the situation where they are out of work and need to find a new job. Others are currently working in a job they dislike and want to find something new.

The question I ask is: What kind of job?

The answer is often: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

And how would it be if you did know? How would you feel if you were 100% positive what your dream job is? What excites you about finding your dream job?

It’s easy to come up with the profession of our dreams if we throw away all of our filters and open up to what things in life really make us happy. We aren’t used to doing this, so we need to re-train our mind to open up and dream. After all, how are you going to find your dream job if you don’t dream about it?

There’s no secret science involved. The only way to find that ideal profession is to focus on ourselves and not on everyone else. Forget what your teachers/parents/family/friends/etc. have told you or what they may want you to do, and concentrate on yourself. Keep in mind that we all change over the years, and what might have been your ideal job ten, five, or even a year ago may not be now.

If you’re ready to explore this, great! Get a notebook or open up a blank document on your computer and ask yourself the following questions. Be sure to be as specific as possible, and write down your answers so you can review them later.

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Stretch out of your comfort zone

Thanks to Dick for this gorgeous path photo!

Ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Things are going the same way they always are…and yet something’s not right. Is there something more? There must be something more out there!

If you’re feeling like this, chances are you’re in your comfort zone. You know: you’re feeling relaxed, content, confident, safe, happy…and maybe also bored? Things are pretty good, and you feel like they could be better.

How to move on from here?

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