Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Resolve to Achieve Goals January 6, 2014

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Happy New YearIt’s the beginning of a New Year and for many folks that means it’s time for “New Year’s Resolutions”. You know what resolutions are, they are those promises you make to undertake some sort of self-improvement or other benevolent or positive task of one sort or another. What you may not know is that I am “not a fan” of the whole New Year’s Resolution phenomenon. This may seem counter-intuitive since I am a coach and all, and my work is deeply rooted in supporting my clients in their personal and professional goals. But to me, resolutions are a bit of a recipe for failure. There is shallowness to them in my mind, a thought without a plan, and a wish without a vision. In fact, according to Wikipedia – “A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning.” Not the greatest of odds really.

That said, I am a big fan of setting goals and I do think that the beginning of a new year is a great time to start. While in all honesty, I believe one can be successful with starting work on their goals at any time of the year there is a “psychological” boost that a new year offers that primes us for a “fresh start”. So, what’s the big difference? Is this just a matter of semantics here? I don’t think so.

While a resolution may carry within it the necessary spark to get the fire burning, a goal provides the shelter for the flame, the kindling, the firewood and the purpose. Goals if they are to be successful require more thought and planning in order to be properly executed. They require; a roadmap along the way, a vision, sub-goals, supports and encouragements, a strategy for obstacles and distractions, awareness, a system to check, recheck and reevaluate along the way and accountability. Goals have meat on their bones that can make them strong enough to withstand the elements; where in my mind resolutions only provide the skeletal framework. As a life coach, this belief is very much a part of what I do when I am working with my clients.

Yep, sometimes like with resolutions, we do not meet our goals. Sometimes we abandon “Plan A” and move on to “Plan B”. Life is like that and though at times it can be unpleasant, we can often survive and even move forward more successfully with fresh lessons learned making our experience more successful. So if you have made a New Year’s Resolution this year, don’t let me rain on your parade as I do truly offer you my best wishes for success. Use the fresh start of the New Year – it’s a little gift from the universe to get you thinking in a positive direction AND consider going deeper, fleshing out the details of your dreams, creating a goal that you will be meaningful for you and taking all the steps necessary to ensure your success.

And… If you would like to speak to a coach to help you along the way? I may know someone who would be honored to join you on your journey.

 

Oh Those Mice November 4, 2013

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mouse“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Yes, that’s the kind of day it has been, she says, glancing over at the long “to-do” list by her side with only half its items crossed off. I may have been overly ambitious this morning when I pulled from the list of projects that I was working on, a sub-list of thirteen items that I wanted to do today. But honestly, I think I knew when the day began, that this was likely more than I would be able to accomplish.

Though at the top of my page, I had confidently written “Monday”, I never really expected to get everything done. Really, it was more of a priority list, than a “to-do” list, these were the tasks that I knew needed to be attended to, (for a variety of reasons) before anything else, and though when I started writing this post, I was feeling rather dismayed to see so many things things still awaiting my attention – the fact that I got eight of them crossed off was in actuality, a pretty good go.

Whether our efforts are “successes or failures” is really a matter of perspective, isn’t it? Sure it would have been lovely to have had everything crossed off by now, but it was in fact, still a very productive day. And… I’m not done yet. In addition to the fact that I hadn’t really expected myself to finish everything today, I had also planned to work late tonight, so actually, I really am not finished yet. Sure, there will likely be carryover tomorrow, but I know what my next tasks are and I will come back to them for awhile after dinner. And when I am ready to call it a day, then I will do just that.

I am not a big proponent of celebrating each miniscule milestone in our lives; I don’t think it’s necessary to congratulate ourselves for doing the things that we are responsible for at every moment. But I also don’t think it is necessary to give ourselves a hard time, when we have done our best but still have more to do. Because really the most that any of us can ever do, in almost every circumstance, is to do our best in the given environment in which we find ourselves. Life is messy, plans change, and things don’t always go in a linear fashion – but give yourself credit for gettin’ in there and working it.

At least, I can now cross “write blog” off my list and I have a head start on tomorrow’s agenda! Peace-out, peeps – be gentle with your selves.

 

The Power of 8,000 Women December 7, 2012

Women

Yesterday, I attended (along with 8,000 other women, and a couple of men) the 2012 Massachusetts Conference for Women. ttp://bit.ly/VFym82 With its attendance breaking previous numbers,  it was the largest women’s conference in the country.  And let me just tell you, 8,000 women in one room is pretty damned impressive. Wow! And these were not just any women, they were every woman! A broad, cross-section of attendees – of many races, ages, professions, socioeconomic classes, etc. – all there to be inspired, to learn and to connect. Very powerful, very, very powerful indeed…

The conference, which went from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm – was organized under this year’s theme of: Imagine: Find Your Purpose, Make a Difference. And of the thousands there many attendees already knew their purpose and were making a difference in their own lives, in their communities and in the world. And with a full day out of the office yesterday, and an evening and day spent catching up and slowly absorbing and incorporating some of the pearls of yesterday’s experience, I am finally ready to decant some of what I walked away with from yesterday.

The keynote speakers were excellent! Charlotte Beers, (http://bit.ly/11TDjP3) the extremely successful business woman and author who has left her mark on the highly competitive world of advertising – talked about clarity, memorability and persuasion. Her wit and power delivered a presence that was riveting and engaging. Dr. Brene Brown, (http://bit.ly/VCWcoJ) professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, renowned speaker and author of Daring Greatly, who has spent years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame delivered an address that modeled authenticity and inspiration. Beautiful! Deepak Chopra, M.D. (http://bit.ly/TMkdXf)- physician, author, leader in the realms of mind-body health, spirituality, human empowerment and peace – delivered with the grace of someone who has attained international recognition; a thoughtful keynote about collective transformation, and the age of wisdom. And Arianna Huffington, (http://huff.to/11TGMgo) president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and prolific author charmed us with her humor and reminded us of the need to take care our selves and to nurture optimism. If only one had spoken – the price of admission would have been worth it, and if I wrote notes faster – I would share with you a pearl from each of them, but alas, I was absorbed in my listening and my notes paid the price.

 

 

Beyond the keynotes, the breakouts offered closer access to numerous influential and impressive individuals whose impact and accomplishments touched the lives of others across all strata. And the audience, this little group of 8,000 area women – soaked it all in, laughed, shared, energized, and even shed a tear or two. There was a sense of connection, of commonality – of a collective view for a brighter vision for the future and the beautiful self-awareness that comes when your skills, gifts and talents are humming with invigoration.

I am still soaking it in and enjoying the buzz of watching my inspiration work through my own bones – excited to see the many ways it will manifest. 8,000 women – there is a lot of power there – but the most wonderful part is the awareness of the immensity of power that resides within each of us – to imagine, to create, to enlighten and to inspire. Wow!